REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

Givin’ it to ya straight, kids. Your girlfriend’s brain remains foggy in a wicked HoLiDAZE! Oh, my soul. What day is it? Why does it feel like midnight when we’re eating dinner? What the heck am I gonna make for dinner!?! Why am I starved at 9 p.m.? It’s hardly a mystery when one consumes more sugar and carbs in December than you can shake a French toast stick at. While I didn’t gain more than a couple of pounds, the fact remains, holiday treats replaced nutritious foods packed with vitamins (and not streusel). REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays is essentially a cheat sheet to get us back on track. p.s. My holidaze even caused blogging technical difficulties – I pushed publish too soon, and this post showed up in your email today when it should have been just THIS POST which I am hoping readers still see! Oy!

You’re probably on your way to the gym this second, but me? I need to begin eating more like an educated grownup and less like Buddy the Elf unless I want to live in those newfangled girdle shaper things I keep seeing in videos everywhere. Is it just me? Are you seeing more spanxy video ads this January than you honestly care to see?

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Who am I kidding? Those ads bug me but they also make me wonder if those things really work that well! Ha! Those marketers are geniuses!


14 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

I’m not suggesting anything oogie-oogie or earth shattering. Just simple food swap ideas for real people to help us achieve our goals!

1. Ditch Mayo for Mustard

I adore mayo (omg, in the olden days…a schmear of Miracle Whip on Wonder bread with nothing else? You could color me a happy camper!), but this one’s fairly easy, oui? Calories in mustard? Zip.

BTW. As a little girl, my Southern granny introduced me to mustard as a delicious, light, zero calorie dressing for egg noodles and pasta…it’s so good and reminds me of her…try it!

These Made in Sweden Spreaders Are So Happy in the Kitchen!

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See my home RIGHT HERE. Hello Lovely Studio. 14 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

2. Swap a Grill Pan for a Skillet

I think I have shared this a zillion times, but I use a 12″ cast iron nonstick grill pan just about every single night for grilling rather than frying! It does not wear out and is probably the most important weapon in my healthy cooking arsenal.

3. Lemon Water

Here’s the most important healthy swap for me personally. I’m not proud of it, but I’m a Diet Coke fiend. Ditching it whenever possible for lemon water is likely to increase my energy, decrease my cravings for carbs, and even improve my complexion.

Attractive water goblets for your lemon water, darling?

16 oz. Glass Goblet
Water Goblet Set
Funny quote about the struggle to eat a healthier diet. ALMOST LEFT THE GROCERY STORE WITHOUT BUYING A BAG OF SPRING MIX TO THROW, UNOPENED, INTO THE GARBAGE IN TWO WEEKS. Hello Lovely Studio. #quote #humor #funnyquote #hellolovelystudio #dieting
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14 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

4. Baked Potato for Fries

French fries are beyond delicious and hard to resist, but go for the baked potato and go to bed skinnier! When eating out, ask for the substitution as well – who knows how many calories those restaurant fries contain!

For More Even Cooking…Potato Nails

Potato Nails

5. One Slice, Not Two

Whether dining out or making it at home, order up one slice not two. Making a sandwich? Leave it skinnier and openfaced!

And, yes, of course, this Jesusfreak blogger owns this exact holy mother toast stamp…

Madonna Toast Stamp

6. Fresh Herbs for Cheese

While I’m not suggesting we substitute herbs for all of the cheese in our grilled cheeses, think of all those casseroles and recipes we mindlessly sprinkle with cheeses when we could brighten and lighten with clean, lean, fresh green yum instead.

Funny quote about the struggle to eat a healthier diet. I'M JUST A GIRL STANDING IN FRONT OF A DONUT. ASKING IT TO BE A SALAD. Hello Lovely Studio. #funnyquote #humor #dieting #hellolovelystudio
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14 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

We interrupt these smart swaps to make you feel better than ever about your current dietary habits no matter how wack and high in calories they are (Also. This vid just may work as well as hypnosis for weight loss…)

7. Make Your Pizza Green

Stick with me now, pizza pie peeps. You don’t have to strip your whole pizza pie naked of cheese entirely. But I’m sure every now and again you have topped your pizza with fresh lettuce salad. So just do this more regularly!

Inredients for a luscious winter potpourri to simmer on the stove. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio.
14 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

8. Hard-boil ‘Em

Skip the fat associated with fried and boil your eggs instead.

Also cute egg cups. How civilized.

I BELIEVE IN A BALANCED DIET....SO A CUPCAKE IN EACH HAND. #cake #quote #hellolovelystudio
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14 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

9. Instead of Sweetened Breakfast Cereal…

Eat a bowl of oatmeal like I do! Over the years, I have experimented with methods for cooking my old fashioned oats perfectly (which means the way my beloved Southern granny cooked oatmeal!), and I’d love to hear your preferred recipe. Right now, what works best for one serving is 4 minutes at full power in the microwave in this exact Le Creuset stoneware dish (below)…it won’t bubble over!

Inspiring quote. MAYBE TRY A DIFFERENT APPROACH EVEN IF IT SORT OF SCARES YOU. #hellolovelystudio #inspiration #quote
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10. Skinnier Pasta

Any green beans fans in the house? I do love green beans and have found I can make a pasta dish a whole lot healthier since French cut green beans can sub for half of the pasta.

I AM PROOF POSITIVE THOSE STARVATION DIETS DON'T WORK. DUD. I FASTED LIKE 38 MINUTES. NOTHIN. Funny quote by Hello Lovely Studio. #quote #humor #hellolovelystudio #dieting
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14 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

11. Thin Over Deep Dish

Oh this one is such a challenge for this Chicago deep dish pizza lovin’ girly. If you spot me at my favorite Italian restaurant, look away! My pizza portions can resemble those of a defensive lineman! But let’s try to indulge our bodies less with deep dish pizza and more with self-kindness.

Beautiful kitchen design with herringbone wood floor, butcher block top work table and white brick. Design by the Fox Group.
Photo & Design: The Fox Group.

12. Swap Refined for Whole Grains

Go for the higher fiber and nutrients whole grains offer over refined grains which are associated with thickening of the arteries. Read those labels on bread at the grocery store. I found a whole wheat bread I like with triple the fiber of everything else.

MY HEAD SAYS 'GYM' BUT MY HEART SAYS TACOS. Funny quote about dieting and the struggle to eat a healthy diet by Hello Lovely Studio. #humor #hellolovelystudio #quote #tacos
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14 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps After the Holidays!

13. Trade Fatty Meats for Lean

If you don’t want to cut out red meat entirely, begin replacing half of your normal consumption with lean cuts and fish. I’m horrible at cooking fish at home so if you have tips or ideas, lay it on me.

Hello Lovely Studio.

14. Merlot for Margs

Red wine packs some health benefits in addition to being lower in calories than a margarita. I rarely drink alcohol so this one’s easy for me…in fact, I would rather cook with red wine than sip it since I love how it enhances the flavor of food!

I may not be fit and young like Mimi, but I can eat healthy like her!

PIN THIS POST FOR FUTURE REFERENCE AND Make sure to visit THIS STORY for encouragement to eat more plants!

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Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. January 11, 2019 / 5:32 am

    amo o blog de vocês. Tem mil inspirações. Gosto de ver as lindas postagens de seu país.
    Feliz 2019.

    • michele
      January 11, 2019 / 6:54 am

      Thanks for reading! Happy New Year! 🙂

  2. Amy
    January 11, 2019 / 2:12 pm

    Great post!! I do most of your 14 tips but some were new great ideas & an encouragement to KEEP IT UP! The first video was HA-LAR-I-OUS and second one had SUCH great ideas/recipes!! Thanks for sharing both. Your blog continues to be one of my all-time favs for many reasons! So glad I found it as I don’t follow many…thanks! You do an awesome job. May 2019 be full of grace and peace for you and yours.

    • michele
      January 11, 2019 / 11:56 pm

      So grateful for your loyal readership – I love hearing from you and am so happy you found some smiles here. Best to you in this new year, full of hope and new mercies every single day. 🙂

  3. Catharine
    January 15, 2019 / 4:49 pm

    I had to laugh about throwing the “spring mix” lettuce into the garbage….I thought I was the only one doing that on a regular basis!! Just a funny, quirky little thing that we probably all do!

    • michele
      January 15, 2019 / 5:43 pm

      Isn’t that hilarious! It is resonating with so many people! Thanks for tuning in. 🙂

  4. January 19, 2019 / 9:08 pm

    I am with you on the deep dish chocolate chip cookie pie. OMG, too much. I like all of your healthy food swaps. I am so into lemon water, but a dentist told me that the acid in the lemon water can damage your teeth. I still add lemon but not all of the time. Even when it is good for you, it affects something else. I eat oatmeal almost every morning.
    I am not sure why I don’t receive emails when you post at my parties. Curious!
    So glad you stopped by and hope your weekend is going great.

    • michele
      January 20, 2019 / 4:21 pm

      That is a helpful point about dental health, and I need to research this further. Thanks for hosting and adding a layer of beauty here! xox

  5. January 22, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Love these swaps! Oh my goodness, the french cut green beans for half the pasta!!?? That is genius, and I never would have thought of it! (Also, it’s funny, just yesterday I was asking my husband if he had ever eaten Miracle Whip on a slice of white bread when he was little! I did it all the time! (Although, the thought now makes me literally gag a little!) Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things!

    • michele
      January 22, 2019 / 2:58 pm

      Thanks for hosting and adding fun here – love your energy and spirit! xox

  6. January 23, 2019 / 7:00 pm

    So many great ideas here! Thanks so much for sharing at TFT!

    Oh and I prefer herbs over cheese! I have been DF for 7 years due to food allergies but I don’t miss it anymore!

    • michele
      January 23, 2019 / 8:23 pm

      Hi Amber! Great to hear you have adapted to life beyond cheese… that gives us all hope! I appreciate your visits to so much – thank you!

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