Simple and Satisfying Food Swaps

So you’ve started paying more attention to how food is making you feel, but you’re frustrated because you notice you still have to unbutton your pants from painful bloating. Here’s when I encourage my clients to put their “diet detective” hat on and get curious about what foods could be causing their symptoms. While every body is beautifully unique, there are a few foods that tend to be problematic for people. Know that you can enjoy flavourful and satisfying foods that won’t leave you tired or your tummy in turmoil. Try these simple and satisfying food swaps:


Dairy contains lactose (sugar) and casein (protein), both of which can be difficult to digest for some people. A few signs to be on the lookout for include gas, bloating, anxiety and fatigue.


  • Milk ⎯ try  non-dairy milk: almond, coconut, hemp or coconut kefir


  • Yogurt ⎯  try almond or coconut yogurt


  • Butter ⎯  coconut oil or avocado


  • Cheese ⎯  goat’s cheese (sometimes easier to digest) or cashew cheese


Gluten refers to the spongy proteins naturally found in certain grains. Gluten is actually composed of two different proteins: gliadin and glutenin. It’s important to understand that gluten reactions fall on a spectrum, from celiac disease (a serious immune response resulting in malabsorption of vital nutrients) to a sensitivity (that may show up as bloating, diarrhea and fatigue). With celiac disease ruled out, if you feel like you may be sensitive to gluten – try swapping it out with the following foods and notice if you feel any different.


  • Bread, buns, wraps ⎯ try high-fibre gluten-free bread, coconut wraps or romaine lettuce



  • Oats ⎯  try hemp hearts


Sugar – and artificial sweeteners can spike blood sugar, followed by an inevitable crash; leading to a dip in mood, energy and cravings for more sugar/ refined carbohydrates.


  • Sugar  ⎯  try spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to enhance flavour and balance blood sugar levels


  • in your recipes try using sweeteners in their whole forms like dates, bananas, and applesauce


  • Conventional chocolate ⎯  cacao powder or bars


Now, if you’re looking at this list and feel overwhelmed, pause and give yourself permission to start where you are. That could mean starting by swapping the one food or ingredient listed that you feel is the culprit behind your bloating. Or, choosing the swap that sounds the most delicious or do-able in your life right now. Practice patience and kindness in your diet detective work, gently reminding yourself that your body knows best.

Claire LeGresley is here to help you rediscover your relationship with food. No experience required, we start where you are. For more information, please visit

Categories: Nourished