14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 is not about guilt or deprivation. Rather, let’s be creative with gentle loving ideas to be more intentional about fuel for our bodies as we journey toward optimal health.
Has anyone successfully emerged from all the inevitable GRAZE as well as the HOLIDAZE? Please don’t yet ask this blogger what day of the week it is! I’m relieved all of the excessive eating, drinking, and holiday obligations have quieted.
Not that I ate many goodies (a few vegan, g-free cookies) or drank (3 drinks in 6 weeks). I was mostly the baker and the spectator. To stay alive as a BRCA2+woman living an anti-cancer lifestyle while battling Crohn’s disease and EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency), my diet is restricted, and my plate looks like a rainbow. But we all have our weak spots and can improve upon our eating habits.
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14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps in 2020!
I hope these swaps help.
Swap No. 1: Swap Bread for Something Healthier
Let’s get right down to business and discuss those carbs and sugar. You already know the white foods (except for cauliflower) are not your friend if you’re overweight or desire to get into better shape.
Maybe say goodbye to just half your bread. One slice and not two. Or slim down your sandwiches half the time, by making them wraps (wrapped in a lettuce leaf rather than bread).
In case you didn’t know, my soul is a deep dish Chicago pizza-lovin’ chubby soul and not a waify fairy munching carrot sticks soul. I love my baguettes, layer cakes, and cinnamon toast. But they don’t love me back. Do they love you? It was necessary to find a healthy, vegan, and g-free daily bread to toast daily, and I found it. Here’s my bread recipe to SEEDS THE DAY!
I slice the loaf into 15 slices, and they aren’t particularly low-cal (approx 200 calories per slice) or even low fat (9 grams per slice), yet I can tolerate these good for us fats. For months, my daily fat intake stayed under 15 grams, and I felt famished around the clock. Fats help you feel satiated and do so much good such as balancing blood sugar levels. Coconut oil in the bread does not require bile to break it down…so, in spite of a gnarly pancreas, this bread helps me feel full and satisfied.
BTW, my husband isn’t on board yet…he says this is a bread imposter so he continues to occasionally reach for g-free white bread. But I say BABY, it’s not just bread…it’s a gut friendly and miraculously BEAUTIFUL BREAD.
Swap No. 2: Ditch Mayo for Mustard
I adore mayo (omg, those white foods!!!). Oh, mercy, my childhood in the 70s found me swigging Mountain Dew and schmearing Miracle Whip on Wonder bread layered with processed cheese slices. As an adult, the Martha-wannabe I was would make my own mayo.
This trade is a fairly easy one that eliminates an animal product, reduces fat intake, and adds calcium/fiber/iron/minerals.
And if you’re counting calories? Zero.
Made in Sweden Cheerful Spreaders!
Swap No. 3: Maybe You Need This Pan
I rely upon a 12″ cast iron nonstick grill pan almost every night to grill protein* for dinner, and I don’t miss frying one bit. There are nifty air fryers on the market I have yet to try.
My grill pan has stood up to constant use for years and is easily the most important weapon in my healthy cooking arsenal.
*I eat a little meat – about 4 oz. of fish or chicken breast three times per week.
Swap No. 4: Citrusy Water
Here’s why we all could benefit from trading in our coffee and soda for water with lemon: it will likely increase energy, decrease cravings for carbs, and even improve the complexion.
Do we desire those things, or don’t we?
Attractive water goblets for your lemon water, darling?
Swap No. 5: Baked Over Fried
French fries are beyond delicious and hard to resist, but bake potato wedges instead. When dining out, opt for the fresh fruit or roasted veges as a substitution as well – who knows how much lard those restaurant fries contain!?
For Baked Potatoes With Even Cooking…Potato Nails
Who wouldn’t be inspired to cook everyday in this kitchen by Dreamy Whites Atelier!?!
Swap No. 6: Fresh Spinach & Herbs for Cheese
While I’m not suggesting y’all substitute herbs for all of the cheese in y’all’s grilled cheeses, think of all the sandwiches, noodle dish casseroles, lasagnes, and enchilada recipes we pile cheeses upon when we could brighten and lighten with clean, lean, fresh green yum instead.
I keep forgetting to buy one of these to prevent the wilting mess I confront in the frig all the time!
Swap No. 7: One Toast Slice Over Two
Whether brunching in a restaurant or toasting at home, consume one less slice of toast. And here I go again with my sandwich modifications…fall in love with open-faced, eating it with knife and fork if it’s too cumbersome.
Speaking of toast…
Madonna Toast Stamp
We interrupt these smart swaps for beautiful glimpses of healthy meal prep:
Swap No. 8: Add Green to the Pie
Stick with me now, pizza pie lovin’ peeps. We need not strip our whole pizza naked of low-fat mozzarella cheese entirely. But since you probably already occasionally top your pizza with fresh spinach or lettuces, let’s just do it more regularly!
Another favorite green pizza topping I love? Good green olives!
Here are my favorite over-sized restaurant style dinner bowls for pasta and all sorts of other dishes that I have been buying for years and years (they ship free!):
I also love oversized oval restaurant style platters as an alternative to plain old round dinner plates.
Here’s how I used oval platters at Thanksgiving:
Plenty of other salad bowl options right here:
Swap No. 9: Poach & Hard-boil Those Eggs
Skip the fat associated with fried for a slimmed down version.
Also cute egg cups…how very civilized.
Swap No. 10: Smells for Slimmer Hips
BONUS SECRET: I have been simmering deliciousness on the stove instead of baking something fattening (which would probably not be smart for your waistline and would likely require days of GI discomfort and more weight loss for me). Find my wintry simmer recipe that gives me those olfactory hygge feels.
Swap No. 11: Upgrade Your Cereal
Trade your sugary cereal for a healthier porridge or oatmeal Have you added millet to your diet? It’s new for me. Here’s a recipe to consider:
I’m an oatmeal girl, and there are plenty of oats in my flour-less bread I discussed toward the beginning of this post. When I’m short on time, I prepare my oatmeal in the microwave with this bowl:
Swap No. 12: Pasta Imposter
If you love green beans, you’ll appreciate this swap. I occasionally eat g-free pasta and make it healthier by swapping French cut green beans for half of the pasta in my bowl. It truly works to help you feel like you’re consuming a large portion.
Swap No. 13: Think Thin
This Chicago girl’s pizza portions formerly resembled a defensive lineman’s! Opt for a thin crust instead of thick when you’re indulging in pizza. And whenever possible, let’s flood our arteries with deep kindness rather than mud blood from deep dish pizza.
Presentation is sort of everything when you’re making all these healthier substitutions so think more intentionally about serving pieces that will make it all a little more tasty looking.
Is there any dish that wouldn’t look tantalizing on a sweet little serving island like this one!?!?
Swap No. 14: Merlot for Margs
Red wine packs some awesome 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!
While I may not have Mimi’s abs or youth, at least I can eat healthy like her!
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Peace to you right where you are.
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