We all want feel good about ourselves in both body and mind. We want to strut confidently in bathing suits when spring rolls around (yes boys, you too). But this all begins with the foods that you put into your mouth.

With the wide selection of food and snacks out there, it can be hard to stick to a healthy regimen. Try these simple swaps to improve health without sacrificing cravings.

1. Sugary cereal for oatmeal.


Photo by Hannah Lin

Yummmm cereal. A bowl of cinnamon toast crunch and milk can really lighten up your taste buds bright early in the morning.

Unfortunately, they’re loaded with tons of extra sugars that give you energy for a short spur of time, leaving you hungry and tired not long after. And no one stops at one bowl.

Fear not—steel-cut oatmeal with some healthy toppings offers the perfect substitute. Steel-cut oats are less processed and will keep you fuller for longer than other variants (old-fashioned, rolled, instant).


Photo by Diane Na

Sprinkling the signaturely nutty-flavored porridge with with dried fruit, pumpkin, or coconut, will give you sweetness without a crash. Add in some egg whites or superfood chia seeds for a protein twist.

2. Chips and dip for wholewheat crackers, veggies, and hummus.


Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

Chips are a favorite crunchy, salty nosh. Five turns into fifty real fast. And then there’s the creamy dips and nacho cheese. Fatty and unfulfilling, chips aren’t doing our bodies any good.

Instead, opt for wholewheat crackers and vegetable sticks with hummus. This combo will stave off hunger longer and give you that salty taste and crunchy bite you’ve been craving.


Photo by Keni Lin

You can purchase a whole tub of hummus with under a meal credit at Joe’s. More challenging than making the swap will be not finishing the whole tub in one sitting. Alternatively, whip up some homemade hummus.

3. Pasta for quinoa.


Photo by Daniel Schuleman

We love our carbs. Good thing because they’re supposed to make up a large part of diet. The right ones, that is.

In my Italian household, carbs are found in every meal from warm, Italian bread to liberally-sauced spaghetti. A plate of pasta on occasion won’t hurt, but daily consumption of this refined carb can prevent you from getting that body you want.

Instead, try quinoa (KEEN-wah). Quinoa has been the “it” dish for a while. And for good reason. It is not a grain like most think, but instead a complete seed with loads of protein.


Photo by Shivam Agarwal

Quinoa is versatile and can be prepared in a dish hot or cold. You can dress it up with roasted chicken au jus. Or keep it casual with some dried cranberries and pistachios. I promise you will not be disappointed.

4. Yogurt and granola for better yogurt and granola.


Photo by Bari Blanga

Yogurt and granola are a fast and easy combo or breakfast, especially when you’re running out the door for that 9 am, or just need a nice kickstart. But not all combos are the same. Some will add up to tons of unwanted refined sugar.

Avoid overly processed granolas and flavored yogurts − you might as well just wash down a few jelly donuts with a bottle of coke.

There is a solution and its name is Purely Elizabeth Granola. With only 140 calories and 6g of sugar, there is no going wrong with this baby. In case you weren’t already convinced, it’s also gluten-free, vegan, and refined-sugar-free. Or DIY.


Photo by Yonatan Soler

Sprinkle this on top of some plain greek yogurt with raw honey and fresh fruit, and you’re golden. The pumpkin fig flavor, sold all year ’round, will keep you in that seasonal mood.

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