Food Substitutions to Gently Ease You Into Healthier Choices

Welcome to Eat Real Food Nutrition, where I, Molly, a certified nutritionist, consultant, educator and coach, invite you to embark on a culinary adventure that celebrates the beauty of real food and empowers you to make better food choices. We believe that there’s always a better version of something that not only tastes delicious but also nourishes your body from within.

Picture this: your husband (truth be told, this is about my husband) is a big fan of a popular restaurant chain’s chicken wings. They are undeniably tasty, but when you stop to consider the ingredients and the cooking methods used, you realize they may not be the healthiest option. That’s where our “Real Food Recipes” come in.

When you took matters into your own hands and made chicken wings at home, something magical happened. Your husband declared that they were his second best, second only to a truly exceptional place in Cincinnati, Ohio—his hometown. This moment was an eye-opener, confirming that homemade meals have the potential to rival, or even surpass, restaurant favorites.

As a nutritionist, I want to encourage you to explore the possibilities of choosing or making your own healthy options using wholesome ingredients. By choosing to cook at home, you have control over the quality of the ingredients, the cooking methods, and the overall nutritional value of the dishes you prepare.

My “Real Food Recipes” are carefully crafted to not only satisfy your taste buds but also provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to thrive. I understand that making better food choices can be challenging, especially in a world filled with tempting convenience foods. That’s why I’m here to guide you and provide you with an array of delicious recipes that prioritize both flavor and nutrition.

Through my collection, you’ll discover that nourishing your body doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. You’ll learn how to use whole, unprocessed ingredients to create mouthwatering meals that rival your favorite restaurant dishes. By cooking at home, you have the power to tailor recipes to suit your dietary preferences and restrictions while ensuring that you’re consuming the best possible version of each dish.

So, embrace the joy of homemade goodness and join us on a journey towards better food choices. Let my “Real Food Recipes” inspire you to take control of your health and well-being, one delectable meal at a time. Your taste buds and your body will thank you. Happy cooking!

Below, I’ve shared a link to my chicken wing recipe that knocked my husbands socks off…or at least received second place!

And , I also have some “nutritionist upgrades” to some common foods to help you make healthy changes without sacrificing taste!

Check out: Molly’s Chicken Wings

Making Healthier Choices That Still Taste Great: Delicious Food Swaps to Try

As a nutritionist I empathize with clients who are constantly faced with making decisions about what to eat in a world filled with tempting snacks and convenient fast food options. It can be challenging to make healthy choices that nourish our bodies.

However, with a little creativity and some simple food swaps, we can enjoy delicious alternatives that not only taste great but also contribute to our overall well-being. As a nutritionist, these are my take on food swaps that will satisfy your cravings while keeping you on track with your health goals.

Corn Chips ➜ Corn:

Love snacking on corn chips? Opt for the real deal instead! Fresh corn kernels can be a nutritious and satisfying alternative. Enjoy them grilled, boiled, or sautéed for a crunchy and flavorful snack. Don’t forget to add Molly’s Salt!

If you are worried about added salt, sprinkling salt on fresh corn will be far less salt than that included on the chips. Furthermore, adults have a daily sodium requirement that equals about 1 teaspoon per day.

Potato Chips ➜ Potatoes:

Swap out greasy potato chips for homemade baked potato slices. Slice potatoes thinly, lightly coat them in avocado oil, sprinkle with your favorite herbs, spices and Molly’s Salt, and bake until crispy. You’ll get the same satisfying crunch with fewer unhealthy fats.

Soda ➜ Fruit Infused Water:

Quench your thirst with a refreshing and healthier option by swapping soda for fruit-infused water. Simply infuse water with slices of your favorite fruits, such as lemon, berries, or cucumber, for a naturally flavored beverage. Make this with still or sparkling, your preference.

Apple Juice ➜ Apple:

Instead of reaching for processed apple juice, go for a fresh apple. Not only will you enjoy the natural sweetness and fiber of the fruit, but you’ll also benefit from its vitamins and minerals. Apple juice has most of it’s benefits cooked/boiled out of it and you are left with only sugar.

Watermelon Candy ➜ Watermelon:

Craving something sweet? Choose the real fruit instead of watermelon candy. Watermelon is not only deliciously hydrating but also provides essential nutrients and antioxidants. In this nutritionist’s humble opinion, I watermelon tastes so much better!

Anything That Comes in a Bag ➜ Chopped Vegetables (Carrot Sticks, Celery, Peppers):

Replace pre-packaged snacks with nutritious chopped vegetables. Carrot sticks, celery, and bell pepper slices are not only convenient but also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Or…(because being a nutritionist doesn’t make me immune to the love of crunchy snacks in a bag) opt for a high protein chip these or these.

Store-Bought Salad Dressing ➜ Olive Oil, Salt, and Lemon Juice:

Ditch store-bought dressings filled with preservatives and unhealthy fats. Create a simple and flavorful dressing using olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. It’s a healthier option that doesn’t compromise on taste.

Boxed Crackers ➜ Raw Nuts:

Trade processed crackers for a handful of raw nuts. Almonds, walnuts, or cashews provide a satisfying crunch, along with healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients.

Pudding Cups ➜ Spoonful of Nut Butter:

Instead of indulging in sugary pudding cups made with “flavors”, enjoy a spoonful of nut butter. Whether it’s almond, peanut, or cashew butter, it offers a creamy, nutrient-rich alternative that satisfies your sweet tooth.

Frappuccino ➜ Homemade Smoothie:

Swap high-sugar, calorie-laden frapuccinos with homemade smoothies. Blend your favorite fruits, leafy greens, and a liquid of your choice, like almond milk or coconut water, for a refreshing and nutritious beverage. Again, being a nutritionist, does not make me a lover of greens in everything! Leave the greens out and/or add a high quality protein powder like this one.

Chicken Nuggets ➜ Baked Chicken:

Skip the processed chicken nuggets and opt for homemade baked chicken strips. Coat lean chicken breast in organic breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes, bake until golden and crispy, and enjoy a healthier version of this beloved dish.

Fast Food ➜ Homemade Hamburger:

Instead of relying on fast food for a quick meal, prepare your own homemade hamburgers. Choose grass fed meat, load up on fresh veggies, and enjoy a delicious, healthier alternative.

French Fries ➜ Fresh Cut Potatoes Baked in Avocado Oil:

Craving fries? Make your own healthier version by cutting fresh potatoes into wedges, tossing them in avocado oil, and baking until golden brown. You’ll still get that satisfying crispness without the overused oil and low quality potatoes.

Fast Food Chicken Wings ➜ Homemade Chicken Wings:

Indulge in homemade chicken wings instead of opting for the fast-food version. Marinate chicken wings in your favorite spices, bake until crispy, and enjoy them with a homemade sauce or dip for a flavorful and healthier treat.


Making healthier choices doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. By swapping out processed snacks, sugary drinks, and fast food favorites with real, wholesome alternatives, you can enjoy delicious meals and snacks that nourish your body. Give these food swaps a try and experience the satisfaction of making healthier choices that still taste great. Your body and taste buds will thank you!