REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps to Make Now!

REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps to Make Now brings 13 super easy ideas based on my everyday experience for a few healthier choices.

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13 REALISTIC Healthy Food Swaps

Givin’ it to ya straight, kids. Your girl’s brain is often in a wicked foggy haze as life dishes up more uncertainty. For corn’s sake. What season is it? Why does it feel like midnight some nights when we’re eating dinner?

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I do like to roast my chickens in a bundt – see how here.

What the heck am I even gonna make for dinner tonight? Why am I so starved at 9 p.m.? (Probably too much sugar and carbs…great when you wanna gain a few pounds like me…not good for an anti-inflammatory diet or extra pounds!).

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I’m not suggesting anything earth shattering. Just simple food swap ideas for real people to get closer to our wellness goals.

13 Realistic healthy food swaps to make now - come explore these smart ideas for everyday healthier eating - Hello Lovely.
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1. Ditch Mayo for Mustard

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

Winco 24 Oz. Yellow Squeeze Bottle (PSB24Y)

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

Made in Sweden Spreaders Are So Happy in the Kitchen!

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2. Say Hello to a Grill Pan

I have shared this a zillion times, but I use a 12″ cast iron nonstick grill pan almost every single night for grilling rather than frying.

It does not wear out and is probably the single most important weapon in my healthy cooking arsenal.

If you want to spend a little less and don’t think you’ll need the handle to be stainless (allows me to also use grill pan in oven), here’s a less expensive option by Calphalon:

3. Say Hello to Lovely Lemon Water

Here’s a most important healthy swap for me personally since I still need to eliminate Diet Coke. Ditching it whenever possible for lemon water is likely to increase energy, decrease cravings for carbs, and improve complexion.

Limoncello ingredients assembled on white countertop (Viatera Minuet) - Hello Lovely Studio.

Attractive water goblets for your lemon water, darling? You just can’t beat the price and quality of these:

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

4. Trade Baked Potato for Fries

French fries are beyond delicious and hard to resist, but go for the baked potato and go to bed skinnier! For seasoning the potatoes and beyond…

When eating out, ask for this substitution as well – who knows how many fatty calories those restaurant fries contain!

For More Even Cooking…Potato Nails

Potato Nails

Make the Best Baked Potato!

5. Eat One Slice, Not Two

Whether dining out or making toast at home, consume one slice not two. Making a sandwich? Leave it skinnier, one-sliced and open-faced!

Yes, indeed this Jesusfreak owns a holy mother toast stamp…and she thinks Jesus of Nazareth might laugh too.

Madonna Toast Stamp

6. Sub Fresh Herbs for Cheese

While I’m not suggesting an herb substitute for all of the cheese in your grilled cheeses, think of all the casseroles, tacos, sandwiches and recipes where cheese is mindlessly sprinkled when the thing could be brightened and lightened with clean, lean, fresh green.

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

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. Green Up That Pizza

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

Inredients for a luscious winter potpourri to simmer on the stove. Hello Lovely Studio.

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

9. Instead of Sweetened Breakfast Cereal…

Eat a bowl of oatmeal like gram always insisted! 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.

I eat my oatmeal in bistro bowls like this:

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

10. Skinnier Pasta

Any green beans fans in the house? I do love me some green beans (please don’t sprinkle saute them with sugar like my Southern daddy does…not a fan here!). I discovered long ago I could make a pasta dish a whole lot healthier by subbing French cut green beans for half of the pasta.

These days, my diet includes lots of spinach (every single day, y’all), and here’s a yummy way to add it:

11. Thin Over Deep Dish

Oh this one is such a challenge for a ChiTown deep dish girl. Even though I have a restricted fat diet, I still love a mile high pan pizza crust. But let’s try to indulge our bodies with self-kindness and less dough (lest our tummies begin to resemble that dough).

If you MUST have pan pizza, then make a small pan, and if you like lazy make ahead recipes, I have made this a million times (with just a little cheese since fat is a problem for me) and am always awed by the airy, impossibly fluffy results:

One of my dream house amentities? A pizza oven like this:

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. If you have yet to discover my favorite no-flour, no-knead, g-free healthy bread, FIND IT HERE.

This healthy bread I make is packed with good for you seeds and nuts and contains no flour! #hellolovelystudio #healthybread #noflourbread
Hello Lovely Studio

It is based on the method and recipe from the bread recipe developed by My New Roots which you can see demonstrated here:

Read those labels on bread at the grocery store carefully. I found a wholegrain oat bread I like with triple the fiber of everything else. Here’s a genius design for a bread basket (or fruit basket or any number of things!).

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

13. Trade Fatty Meats for Lean

If you aren’t cutting out red meat entirely, begin replacing half of your normal consumption with lean cuts and fish.

Bonus: Move Over Marg

…and make room for Merlot. Red wine offers a few 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 elevates flavors.

I may not be as fit or young like Mimi, but I can eat healthy like her…baby steps.

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

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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16 Comments

  1. January 11, 2019 / 5:32 am

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

    • michele
      Author
      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
      Author
      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
      Author
      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

    Michele,
    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.
    Hugs,
    Bev

    • michele
      Author
      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
      Author
      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
      Author
      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!

  7. Mumbai
    February 24, 2021 / 10:30 am

    I have a healthy eating plan which I write down for every week. Includes most of your tips. Ref. Oatbowl, in
    Spain we call it Avena and it is part of my daily breakfast. I soak the oats together with some mixed graines
    over night and cook it for 7 min. next morning refilled with milk or water, so it isn’t sticky but rather creamy and
    soft. Some berries, pears, bananas etc. make a nice deco and are also healthy. Never heard of a glass herb preserver because I wrap my herbs in a wet kitchentowel where they keep fresh for 1 week. Throwing any food in the garbage is a no go for me because it is a gift for us from nature and if you are a bit reasoning you can make some delicious
    little starters from it.

    • Michele
      Author
      February 24, 2021 / 11:02 am

      Writing it all down is such an important tip that I should add to this list because it is only when I am very intentional and plan ahead, that I can stick to a smarter, healthier diet. If I wait until I am starved to think about meals, I will definitely overeat (a disaster for me and my GI issues) or choose poorly. I tend to be a minimalist with my oatmeal – especially now since I still can’t taste (an unfortunate post-covid thing I have hope will someday resolve). Now if I could only drink my coffee black with no flavoring! 🙂

  8. amy
    February 25, 2021 / 12:39 pm

    Great info on easy swaps to make!! And I totally understand/agree about trying to drink black coffee! One thing I have tried that seems to help some is adding collagen to my black coffee…it seems to take away some of the bitter/stronger taste of black coffee for me. It’s kinda like adding plain creamer, but it doesn’t change of color of the coffee as much! ha! Try it & let me know what you think! But remember…it’s def not the same as a flavored creamer!

    • Michele
      Author
      February 25, 2021 / 8:26 pm

      Haven’t ever heard that – thank you, Amy. Guurrrrrl, I could use some collagen. 🙂

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Kubu Basket Set
Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
French Country Settee
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Linen Slipcovered Chairs
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black or Bronze Accent Table
30″ French Storage Basket
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
French Country Wall Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Distressed White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
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White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing