14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020

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.

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14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.

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 to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.


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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).

Gluten free bread with no need to fuss or knead! My Easy Healthy Flourless Bread Recipe to Seeds the Day in case you love nutritious yum! #hellolovelystudio #breadrecipe #glutenfreebread #flourlessbread #healthyrecipe
14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.

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!

Gluten free bread with no need to fuss or knead! My Easy Healthy Flourless Bread Recipe to Seeds the Day in case you love nutritious yum! 14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year!

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.

Ingredients for my healthy daily bread - Hello Lovely Studio.
Dry ingredients for my Healthy 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!

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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?

Water Goblets - 14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.
Water Goblet Set

Attractive water goblets for your lemon water, darling?

Ingredients for fresh mint tea in my white kitchen - Hello Lovely Studio. 14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.
Hello Lovely Studio

In winter, I like a simple tea with mint and ginger – see it HERE, and this book elevates the comfort!

Ingredients for fresh mint tea in my white kitchen - Hello Lovely Studio. 14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.
Hello Lovely Studio
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

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

Potato nails for baked potatoes. 14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.
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

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 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!):

Restaurant 12" Bowl - 14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.
Restaurant 12″ Bowl

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:

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

Inredients for a luscious winter potpourri to simmer on the stove. Hello Lovely Studio. 14 Easy Healthy Food Swaps to Make in 2020 as well as ideas for Smart Tweaks in the New Year.

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:

Inspiring quote. MAYBE TRY A DIFFERENT APPROACH EVEN IF IT SORT OF SCARES YOU. #hellolovelystudio #inspiration #quote
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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!?!?

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
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

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!

PIN THIS POST FOR FUTURE REFERENCE AND see THIS STORY for encouragement to eat more plants!

p.s. if you have a business, brand, or blog and you’re struggling to learn to grow an audience for social media, DO NOT MISS THIS WEBINAR!

Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. January 3, 2020 / 12:32 pm

    You have a lot of health challenges. I have talked with several Americans who have to be gluten-free in the U.S. but who have no problem eating bread here in France…which leads them to suspect the problem is the preservatives and level of processing, and not the wheat flour/gluten itself. But there are still people who are gluten sensitive, and even more who don’t have access to good bread, made fresh from simple ingredients. I just try to stay reasonable, but with absolutely heavenly bread from our new bakery, it is difficult.

    • Michele
      January 3, 2020 / 8:32 pm

      Interesting. There’s nothing like bread in France! I do think processed storebought bread is an issue. And who can say how pesticides may contribute to the pervasive issue? What I have learned in my struggle to gain weight is that carbs matter. Without them, I am in trouble! I’m so lucky to have learned to cook and bake without gluten since my husband has been intolerant for years. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about your 30 day journey!

  2. January 13, 2020 / 4:03 pm

    I love reading your posts, they are always inspiring. I try to get rid of bread and use lettuce leaves. Looking at adding more plant based meals. Your home is so lovely.
    Have a great week.

    • Michele
      January 13, 2020 / 4:07 pm

      You are always a ray of encouraging sunshine to me, Bev. Thank you for reading this and sharing your strategy. Peace to you, friend.

  3. January 15, 2020 / 7:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing at #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

    • Michele
      January 15, 2020 / 9:55 pm

      I appreciate it, Marilyn. See you there!

  4. January 15, 2020 / 9:29 pm

    Ah, such great tips that I am needing right now! I have been working so hard to cut my bread intake to half, and so far, so good. But I prefer a whole sandwich! And, I am really really wanting (needing) that grill pan! And those darling egg cups! I have to say, I enjoy a glass of red wine, so that has been a calorie issue for me. Thanks, friend, for sharing your helpful and entertaining stuff, as always!! I’ll be featuring this post tomorrow at Thursday Favorite Things!

    • Michele
      January 15, 2020 / 9:54 pm

      Awwww, thanks, Pam! Girl, I want a whole sandwich as well. I’m a pipsqueak, but I was born with a healthy appetite and appreciate quantity. That now means I eat quantities of plants since my diet is so wacky. The grill pan is EVERYTHING and used everyday around here. See you at the shindig, and enjoy that red!

  5. January 16, 2020 / 2:23 pm

    We are so much like my sweet friend, oh how I wish we lived closer. I often say my diet consists of water and air…ugh..so many things I can’t eat. Can I tell you a little secret? Sometimes I pop over to your blog just to watch your happy video xo

    • Michele
      January 16, 2020 / 6:45 pm

      You’re such a light, Katherine. Thank you so much for reading, encouraging me, and joining me. I’m so sorry you are also so restricted – boo! I am craving chocolate at the moment, and cannot afford to eat any more fat today! I need to make you a new video! 🙂

  6. January 19, 2020 / 11:34 am

    Sorry to hear your weather is not being kind. This chair has been a huge challenge but I keep plugging away at it. if this turns out, I might try another one. I have been trying to stop eating the “white” stuff and doing more plant based meals. I have some stomach problems and I am trying to get it under control. It is hard at times, but will be worth it I am sure.
    Thanks for all of your sweet words, lovely lady.

    • Michele
      January 19, 2020 / 12:24 pm

      What a challenging project! I think it is tricky to come to the realization that certain things we have been eating for decades are no longer a friend to our gut. I’m not even sure how much of it is that our bodies have changed, but that the quality of ingredients and toxins involved in agriculture have changed and are making us ill. Gluten was not a problem for me until 2012, and even though I was able to add it back in moderation, I am now convinced I feel much better without it. That eliminates all kinds of white foods! Peace to you, Bev. Wishing you a blessed week and sending you hugs across the miles. xox

  7. Beverly
    January 22, 2020 / 8:06 pm

    I find that sometimes gluten doesn’t like me and at other times, it is OK. I try to control it as much as possible. As I age, my body changes what it can tolerate and it changes. I try not to eat white bread at all. There are times that I eat so well and then I’ll want something bad for me and I wish I hadn’t.
    I love your posts and all of your wonderful sayings.
    Congratulations, you are being featured on Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you stop by.

    • Michele
      January 23, 2020 / 11:12 am

      Thanks so much for the feature, Bev. See you there soon! 🙂

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