TLS #117: 11 Healthy Cooking & Baking Swaps Beyond the Coconut with Monique Volz


Today I’ve got a special Tuesday edition of The Lively Show for you with one of my favorite food bloggers when it comes to cooking or baking healthy, delicious comfort food, Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen.

In January, many of us oftentimes start to think about small, healthful adjustments we’d like to make to our eating habits. So I’ve asked Monique to share 11 easy ways we can start to eat more nutritiously without sacrificing flavor aside from the (in)famous coconut.

This episode is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about some fun, easy cooking + baking swaps that will naturally infuse more nutrition into our favorite comfort foods, or loves food blogs.








  • Monique tells us how Ambitious Kitchen started from her days in college and how she wanted a place to share the things she was making.
  • She tells us how eating “unhealthy” and her college weight gain pushed her to discover the better ways to cook and eat right.
  • Monique reviews with us the things we can do in the kitchen to start having more nutritional and balanced choices by using mindful food “swaps.”
  • She shares with us her favorite food swaps and recipes.
  • Monique tells us how important it is to incorporate more veggies in every meal and how to do so.
  • She tells us her opinion using coconut oil and how we can cook with avocado oil instead of olive oil for cleaner cooking.




The Lively Show episode with Alisa Vitti

Monique’s favorite spiralizer

Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci

2016 the International Year of Pulses

A Guide to 8 Natural Unrefined Sweeteners

The Minimalist Baker

Recipe: Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes

Recipe: Paleo Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe: Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes over Spaghetti Squash








PSLife With Intention Online registration is now open! Register + learn more here.

PPS – Join me in next week’s live, free + online Fireside Chat talking about the 5 Joyful + Fulfilling Pleasure Practices that can help you enjoy your life in a greater way. : )

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. ijulee

    Is there anyway I can find out what Monique Volz is wearing? The pretty flowery blouse? Thank you.

    1. Great question, Julee!

      I’d suggest messaging Monique on Twitter or IG to find out. I’m not sure she’ll be checking this post for comments. : )

      1. ijulee

        Thank you so much! Also I can’t wait to make coconut flour pancakes!

  2. SEM

    Loving the Lively Show. Just wondered, do you envision yourself ever writing the occasional home decor, “exfoliation,” life hack blog posts of yore? Perhaps it’s not where your life with intention journey is headed, but I sure enjoyed those. I was organizing this weekend and remembered the “end of the week exfoliation” project and it got me curious. 🙂

    1. Oh the end of the week exfoliation! Good times. : ) To be honest now that I’m into the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up approach, things aren’t really evolving to share here in posts. But I would imagine if they did pop up, they would likely appear now in podcast episodes or in the new vlogs as they get ramped up. : )

  3. D_double_you!

    I’m really feeling the additional Tuesday podcast Jess!! Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to the fireside chat on Wednesday.

    1. That’s wonderful to hear! I’m planning to add more of them as time is willing. : )

      See you in the chat tomorrow!


  4. Emily D. Hawkins

    I am also enjoying the Tuesday shows, Jess! This was a neat focus. Thank you for offering interesting content on various subjects. 🙂

    1. Thank YOU for your sweet note, Emily! It’s wonderful to hear you are enjoying the Tuesday episodes!

  5. JBC London

    Hi Jess! Continue to love your podcasts and your guests! Thanks for sharing them every week. I get your email notifications about the podcasts and wonder if you would consider adding show notes into the emails, even if it is a link to the website? This would eliminate the need to go over to the website show notes to find relevant links. May be a bridge too far for you, however thought I would ask in case it is possible! Thanks for all you do!! Best, JBC x

    1. Thank you, JBC!

      I really appreciate your suggestion to add show notes to the emails. I do plan to continue to keep the show notes all in one central location on the show notes page for a few reasons including: keeping the emails as short and to the point as possible, and the fact that we are hoping to get show production to a point where I can write the intros + emails far in advance of the production of the actual show editing, when the show notes are created. : )

      I hope something wonderful happens to you today!


  6. Michelle P

    I always love a food episode!! But I was very disappointed with some inaccurate suggestions/info about eggs and which are best to buy. Cage free isn’t as great as it sounds (they may not have cages, but still live in crowded barns) and omega-3 means flax is often added to an otherwise all/mostly corn feed. Pasture-raised is actually the choice that ensures more outdoor time and the most natural lifestyle. That’s why I love my farmers market eggs! just an FYI – the egg labels can be so confusing!

    this is a great article that lays out the info in an easy to understand way 🙂

    1. Monique

      You are entirely correct, Michelle. Appreciate your suggestions, I suppose my thoughts were for some of us that live in the cities, farmers markets eggs are hard to come by! Cage free would be the better choice, and pasture raised if it is available, although I live in Chicago and haven’t seen many. Here’s another great resource:

      1. Michelle P

        Of course, the ideal isn’t always possible. It’s great that you’re bringing up the conversation. Thanks for your reply! (and that article is really helpful as well!)

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