For some, the thought of eating healthfully brings to mind new-fangled foods and foreign practices that have nothing to do with the foods we’re used to. But, the truth is, there are super-simple changes that can be easily made in order to get better nutrition and a cleaner diet!

Our June Guests, James and Laurentine, have dialed in on a few keys to a healthy diet in their latest book, Hungry for Change. Just as their documentary, Food Matters, reveals the truth about natural health and healing, Hungry For Change (a documentary and accompanying book) breaks down the keys to healthy natural weight-loss and good nutrition.

Although there is a sea of information out there about healthy ways to maintain a balanced weight, we love this simple advice from James and Laurentine on swapping out pantry and fridge staples for a few healthier alternatives.

Note their easy tips below or do one better and enter to win their great new book on keeping you body slim and trim through natural means.

Try This, Not That: 12 Simple Swaps Up Your Daily Staples

Milking It:

TRY THIS: Organic milk, raw milk, nut milks like almond or macadamia

NOT THAT: Conventional milk

Loafing Around:

TRY THIS: Whole grain pumpernickel bread, organic whole sourdough or buckwheat crackers

NOT THAT: White bread and rolls

In A Bowl:

TRY THIS: Steel-cut oats, porridge, quinoa and buckwheat

NOT THAT: Processed boxes of cereal

Spread It On:

TRY THIS: Hummus or avocado mashed with apple cider vinegar and mustard

NOT THAT: Conventional mayonnaise

Use Your Noodle:

TRY THIS: Raw spiralized vegetables like zucchini, buckwheat soba noodles, rice noodles

NOT THAT: Bleached wheat pasta

Got Munchies:

TRY THIS: Nuts, flaxseed or buckwheat crackers with pesto, hummus, olive tapenade, guacamole, salsa verde or organic pate

NOT THAT: Chips and dips

Salt and Savor:

TRY THIS: Unrefined grey sea salt, dried seaweed flakes, miso paste, tamari sauce

NOT THAT: Table salt

Sweet Treats:

TRY THIS: Non-dairy coconut ice cream, avocado chocolate mousse, quick banana ice cream, quinoa or rice pudding

NOT THAT: Ice cream, cake and cookies

Sweeten The Deal:

TRY THIS: Stevia, coconut sugar, raw honey or pure maple syrup

NOT THAT: White sugar

Brewed Up:

TRY THIS: Green, roasted dandelion, chicory root, chamomile, jasmine, nettle or mint tea

NOT THAT: Coffee and tea

Shake It Up:

TRY THIS: Berry yogurt smoothie, superfood smoothie or freshly squeezed green juice

NOT THAT: Milkshakes and slushies

Fizzy Sparkle:

TRY THIS: Fresh juices, sparkling mineral water with lime, ginger and mint

NOT THAT: Soda and energy drinks

Get Fed: Win Hungry For Change!

Win a copy of James and Laurentine’s new book, Hungry For Change, by leaving your comment below! Tell us the simple swaps that make a big difference to you – may the best winner comment win! Good luck, readers…

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From our friends


  1. My biggest/best change is coffee for green tea. Less of a roller coster with green – keeps my mood in balance


    Natali | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  2. I’ve started making smoothies with mint extract and freezing them in popsicle molds. A refreshing summer treat without dairy.

    Meghan | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  3. DATES! I have such a sweet tooth and instead of using sugar and butter for baking recipes, I just substitute with dates; they give a sweet and creamy texture to everything. Or just have them by themselves, you will never miss conventional sugar again!

    Sarah | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  4. swapping soft drinks for water has made the biggest change for me, and i liven it up with fresh produce like lemons and cucumbers! i also drink green tea and substitute sugar for a bit of maple syrup.

    miriam andrade | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  5. Green Smoothies in the morning versus a conventional breakfast.
    Love the movie and would love a copy of the book. Thank you!

    sara | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  6. Steamed and roasted veg! Of all kinds!
    Its easier to digest, fills you up and tastes great when cooked in some coconut oil and sprinkled with coconut flakes.
    Makes veggies more appealing to eat when its not “just a salad”. You can also sneak them into weekend cooked breakfasts, use baked kale chips as an afternoon snack and sweet potato/beetroot chips for a dessert 🙂

    Erin | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  7. I drink a kale shake every monring. I add a combination of fruits/nuts/seeds, and change it up every day. It tastes and feels good!

    I absolutely loved the documentary, Hungry For Change!

    Idet | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  8. After watching Hungry for Change I started making a lot of small changes which have led to a lot of
    BIG changes. The first change I made was switching from aspartame to stevia. What a difference that made! After 7 months I have changed to organic whenever available, locally grown, and minimally processed foods. I have even joined the board at our neighborhood community garden! The difference I feel is AMAZING! My energy level is 15X better, my skin glows, and I have begun loosing weight without dieting! Thank you for your life changing video! I have and will continue to spread the word! Together we can change the world! =)

    Katie | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  9. Easy peasy porridge with homemade almond milk and chia. Add spirulina, maca, nutritional yeast, flax meal for an even bigger nutritional boost, plus seasonal fruit for sweetness. Almond milk from the store has carrageenan, which is not the best choice. And it’s so easy to make yourself and tastes so much better. SuperFood yumminess!

    Morgan | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  10. Hot water or detox green tea with two spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar and one of honey. Makes a great substitute for coffee first thing in the morning.

    “Hungry For Change” the film has made a big difference in my life and several loved ones. Thank you!

    Tina B. | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  11. I am also a fan of raw spiralized vegetables and banana “ice cream”! Here are a few more ideas: Instead of butter or shortening, use avocado, banana or prune puree. As a substitute for buttermilk, mix one cup of almond milk with one tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let stand for 5-10 minutes. To get “cheesy” flavor without cheese, use nutritional yeast — it tastes like cheese and has lots of B vitamins as an added benefit. For eggs, you can use one tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds combined with three tablespoons of water. One of my favorites, especially for kids, is adding green leafy veggies (spinach, kale, etc) to fruit smoothies. They look and taste like regular fruit smoothies but you get all the goodness of greens (just don’t tell my 6-year-old niece!).

    Donna F. | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  12. Instead of eating ice cream or some equally bad thing I mix: 2-4 spoonfuls of peanut butter, 2 spoonfuls of nutella, 2 tablespoons flaxseeds, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and then add a freshly cut banana and about 5 large sliced strawberries. It’s super delicious and filling. Totally hits the spot. 🙂

    noelle | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  13. Vegan French Toast!
    Using almond milk and a banana and a pinch of cinnamon(blend them) instead of eggs. Adding protein powder also helps it stay together when dipping in your choice of bread! YUMMY!

    Norma S | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  14. For the last few years ~ I swapped out ALL shopping at regular grocery stores for ALL shopping at my local farmers market and a few items from Trader Joe’s & Sprouts. My frig and cabinets contain only true-tasting organic foods and no animal parts.
    Fruit, veg, nut and seed smoothies wake me up with a healthy, feel-good energy in the morning compared to coffee.
    Everything in glass jars that I recycle, including the freezer items. No plastic for me.
    In case of an emergency, I store water in glass bottles from the tap that is hooked up to a reverse-osmosis purifier.
    If I had the time and a larger yard I would have a huge garden. For now I have to settle for my wide variety of herbs and the five dwarf fruit trees that also supply great ruby-reds, lemons, kumquats, and mandarins.
    I’m loving experimenting with my ice cream machine, making unique creamy creations and sorbets without cow milk, hormones, pesticides, sugars and all the other scary additives.
    Love coconut water, steel cut oats, legumes, honey, cinnamon, vinegars, cacao………and all the new creations I’m discovering. And who needs poisonous candy when we have honey-dates.

    Rose | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  15. My best change has been swapping soda for tea or water. Still working on cutting caffeine out completely, but this is a big jump in the right direction. Additionally, fresh strawberries and raspberries from the garden are great for a sweet craving. And quinoa has become my new best friend, so easy to swap it out for standard white rice.

    Jamie | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  16. I rarely buy bottled salad dressing anymore. Instead, I will use extra virgin olive oil, vinegar (type depends on the salad), citrus, and some spices to create my own dressing. It has more a tang and kick than any bottled dressing can provide, and people can always taste the immediate difference! For creamy caesar dressing, I use greek yogurt. Tastes even better than some restaurants!

    Emily | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  17. I have SUCH a liking (loving) for Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra, but believe it or not, this simple, food-preserving recipe is even BETTER!: Peel ripe bananas (the more ripe the better!), slice them and put away in freezer, making sure they have plenty of time to really freeze solid — a great way to make sure your fruit doesn’t go to waste. Then take a handful of dates, grab your frozen bananas and blend away! No need for a Vitamix, any conventional blender will do, and voila you have ice cream!! I promise you this will satisfy and beyond every sweet tooth and every late night craving you may have 🙂

    You can keep this yummy recipe simple or get more creative by adding nut milk for a creamier taste, cinnamon and nutmeg for a little kick, goji berries for a superfood boosts, vanilla, cacao… let your mind soar!! Hope you enjoy 🙂 xx

    Marisa | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  18. The biggest change is that I am thinking about the food I put into my body.
    …my husband thinks more about food choices, too.
    I buy more organic.
    I make more plant-based protein meals.
    We even bought a green juiced drink at our local co- op!
    Baby- steps, but on the road.

    Aunty | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  19. I have converted to coconut milk for all my milk needs. It sweetens all on its own, so I’m able to minimize any additional sweeteners, but when needed, I use fresh, raw honey from a local harvester.

    Stacy Keistet | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  20. my regular swap is green tea for soda. Proper planning prevents poor food choices. So having granola, oatmeal, salad stuff, etc help me make better choices.

    Elizabeth Fiorentino | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  21. If I’m craving pop with a meal or an alcoholic beverage I use a kombucha drink instead. My favourite brand is SYNERGY.

    Amanda | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  22. I buzz up a smoothie for my 3 kids every morning using fresh fruit, organic yogurt and honey. It keeps them full until lunch time and tastes great! I’m working on perfecting some baked goods recipes for them that omit refined sugar and white flour. So far they’re gobbling them up. My kids have their very own garden which is separate from mine and nowthat summer is here, my kids are loving picking fresh veggies from their “baby” garden, as we call it.

    melissa bell | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  23. In the past 3 months I have cut out meat, poultry and milk from my diet. I started to have at least 1-2 green smoothies every day. I have cut out coffee and started to drink more water and green tea. I have minimized my sugar intake and sugar cravings. I have incorporated more salads, beans and grains in my diet. I feel awesome and I have inspired others to get on the healthy bandwagon as well :).

    Chrissy | 06.25.2013 | Reply
  24. My favorite simple swaps that are in my opinion so easy but have such a big impact:
    1. Black Iced Coffee instead of a Latte (I swear iced coffee tastes even more flavorful)
    2. Water with fresh lemon over plain water (I find myself drinking way more water that way)
    3. Raw Vegi’s instead of Chips (I still dip them in salsa, hummus etc…)
    4. Fresh or frozen fruit over dried fruit (way less sugar per serving)

    Mackenzi | 06.26.2013 | Reply
  25. Community Supplied Agriculture (CSA) instead of store bought food.
    Pea protein Vegenaise, not mayonaise
    Lemon on practically everything
    Cilantro based pesto on top wild salmon

    Dave Becker | 06.26.2013 | Reply
  26. Those were some easy, smart ideas. Thanks.

    Kathleen Mazurowski | 06.27.2013 | Reply
  27. I started making air-popped popcorn instead of chips. It tastes incredibly fresh, is extremely low in calories, and I have 0 guilt eating a cup or so of it. Plus, I can add different spices to augment the taste.

    Lauren | 06.27.2013 | Reply
  28. I grew up in a family that watched every cent, so boxed and processed meals were a daily staple. In my mid-twenties I started the process to a healthier lifestyle by going through Weight Watchers. Once I learned the basics of portion control and healthy alternatives, like carbonated water with fruit over sodas, I started caring a lot more about what I was putting into my body and not just the calorie intake. I was amazed to see that once I cut out so much of the processed, overly sweet and salty foods that I no longer craved them as badly. On top of all the physical benefits, I also noticed a change in mood and a desire to be more active. I’m still a work in progress with my daily cup of coffee and stevia (I LOVE it so much), but learning the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle (i.e. not a fad diet) has changed my entire family’s lives. We joined a fantastic CSA at a local farm this year. Not only have we been lucky to have a bounty of fruit and vegetables each week, we’ve actually been able to pick a lot of it ourselves. Having a new appreciation for where our food comes from, along with the love and effort going into so many of these small farms, has really put things into perspective and opened our eyes to how lucky we are. It makes passing up on that nagging sweet tooth a little bit easier… or we at least find a healthier substitution!

    Erin | 06.27.2013 | Reply
  29. I love to swap home made hummus or mustard instead of artificially sweetened tomato, BBQ or chilli sauces and relishes on steaks and burgers. It’s just a small thing, but I think it helps when you’re eating something dense and heavy like meat, which already requires the digestive system to work hard.

    Emma | 06.27.2013 | Reply
  30. I think the most important thing is to drink water. Many times I mistake thirst for hunger. So I always try to drink water before giving in to an urge to snack. Plus you can spice up your water with flavorful herbs and fruits like ginger, cucumber, and mint. Or you can have another one of my personal favorites – hot water with lemon!

    Kenz | 06.27.2013 | Reply
  31. I’m just starting out. We are trying a CSA this Summer.

    Melanie | 06.27.2013 | Reply
  32. The biggest difference I found was by adding a green smoothie everyday.
    Great nutritionally and gives me noticeably more energy.
    My favourite swaps are:
    Avocado instead of butter.
    Almond or other nut flour instead of wheat flour.
    and dates or pure maple syrup instead of refined sugar.
    Introducing new swaps often.

    Jenny | 06.27.2013 | Reply
  33. One of my biggest swaps is using nonfat plain Greek yogurt for any recipe that calls for a creamy condiment, such as when making mashed cauliflower.

    Stephanie Soricelli | 06.28.2013 | Reply
  34. I like to use almond milk in smoothies and oatmeal. I’ve just recently started making banana ice cream, also with a little almond milk. I’ve stopped drinking coffee but I still drink tea. I’ve been trying a few herbal and fruit teas to cut down the caffeine from tea.

    Lauren J. | 06.28.2013 | Reply
  35. Instead of bread moistened with milk in my moms meatloaf recipe, I grate carrot and mix that in to keep it moist and airy. It’s terrific.

    Allison | 06.29.2013 | Reply

    The Chalkboard | 07.01.2013 | Reply
  37. I have a salad made up of pumpkin, sweet potato, onion, fetta, sun dried tomatoes, baby spinach leaves and topped with walnuts with a sprinkle of himalayan salt on top. also do a sweet potato and turnip salad the same way. So filling and nutritious.

    roz matheson | 07.02.2013 | Reply
  38. Swapping out an after work beer with an after work Elixer of water with 2 Tbs of Raw apple cider vinegar has been so helpful for my entire digestive system. It was not 100% enjoyable at firts, but now I’ve also started to crave it!

    Lindsey | 07.22.2013 | Reply
  39. The biggest and BEST change is my breakfast swap…I soak old fashioned oatmeal, chia seeds, flaxseed, barley, oat bran and wheat germ with vanilla coconut unsweetened almond breeze overnight. The next morning I add walnuts or almonds, berries or apples. It’s soooooo good!!!

    Donna Thornton | 07.30.2013 | Reply
  40. Love roasted vegetables, sauté veggies with water. Drinking water instead of other beverages. Substituting beans for oil or shortening in recipes.

    Lisa | 11.02.2013 | Reply
  41. Using coconut oil in place of oil or butter for baking – added flavor and much healthier fat

    Natalie | 03.17.2014 | Reply
  42. I’m liking DandyBlend, instant herbal beverage with dandelion root, extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root and sugar beet. It is delicious!!

    Nelda R Cortez | 07.31.2018 | Reply

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