I’ve tried a lot of different diet trends. Between Meghan Markle’s diet and Ree Drummond’s Mushbuns, it’s been a fun challenge to experience food in new ways. However, there’s one particular trend floating around social media that I’m not completely sold on yet but find it entrancing to follow: Bell pepper sandwiches!
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The original idea came from Maggie Michalczyk, a registered dietician and the person behind the beautiful blog Once Upon a Pumpkin. She shares many healthy eating meal options for her followers on Instagram, including this clever bell pepper sandwich.
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Soon after, the idea was shared again by Rachel Paul, Ph.D. and the creator behind The College Nutritionist. In her caption, she expressed the sandwiches as “the coolest things ever” and gave an easy sandwich recipe to go with the sandwich.
“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and people have just tried it and posted pictures and shared it on their Instagram feeds,” said Rachel. “Of course, there are some negative comments, but definitely largely it’s been a very positive reaction.”
The concept of the bell pepper sandwich started to take the Internet by storm. Rachel’s photo post currently has over 16,000+ likes and hundreds of comments—all a mixture of liking and disliking the idea. Some people even took to Twitter to express their thoughts.
If I see one more “sandwich” with bell pepper halves instead of bread, I’m gonna lose my mind. pic.twitter.com/NzgzF5yKUm
— Rachel Ferrigno (Maleady) (@rachelferrigno) January 18, 2019
uhhhhhhhhh… sure pic.twitter.com/xexDA3yWsa
— danica 🌙 (@doncheadlefan1) January 9, 2019
Why this nutritionist loved the idea
Rachel Paul has made her mission to make healthy easy for her followers—which is why she absolutely loved the idea of the bell pepper sandwich. It’s an easy, cheap concept that keeps a meal low-carb.
“A lot of people think that if you eat healthier then you have to spend $500 on groceries, and you’re going to have to buy supplements and all of these weird ingredients and drink smoothies that you don’t like,” said Rachel. “So what I try to focus on is where we can make the biggest changes, the biggest most impactful changes, by just making small tweaks that have really big effects.”
Now, I love bell peppers, but I’m not 100 percent sold on the concept either. Eating an entire raw bell pepper like that in one sitting doesn’t sound exactly appealing to me. However, Rachel says that you don’t have to always like what others are doing and encourages others to figure out what works best for them—even if that means not agreeing on her specific teachings in nutrition and following someone else. Love peppers? Here are 45 ways to use ’em.
“Everyone is different, right? So different things work for different people,” said Rachel. “A lot of people might like what I’m doing, but some people might like what someone else is doing, it might resonate with them [more]. And I think that’s good! I think that this is kind of America, and everyone can have their place and be able to speak to their specific audience. I actually think it’s a good thing that there’s a lot of variety.”
Don’t like the idea? Here’s an easy way to get healthier
If you’re on the same page as me and would rather skip the bell pepper sandwich, Rachel still has a few tricks up her sleeve to make someone feel immediately healthier about what they’re eating.
“I do think trying to have two cups of vegetables at lunch and at dinner can be pretty easy way to do one thing, because that’s a lot of volume of food and then you’re getting a lot of water and getting a lot of fiber and getting a lot of different nutrients,” said Rachel.
Two cups of vegetables are pretty easy to do—even while eating out or right at home. She also recommends setting a limit on starchy foods a day. Her current mantra is to strive for one starchy food a day, which is the brainchild behind her popular Instagram hashtag #1StarchPerDay. If eating one serving sounds limiting to you, Rachel says setting a larger goal is still okay.
“Even if you didn’t want to do one and you wanted to do two or three or something, just kind of paying more attention where the starches are because carbohydrates are in every part of our diet,” said Paul. “I mean, they’re not bad at all, they are just very prevalent. So trying to decrease them a little bit can be helpful.”
Hence Rachel’s sheer joy of the bell pepper sandwich. It gives her an opportunity to stick to her one starch per day, while also enjoying the delicious combination of a sandwich. If you need some inspiration on what type of bell pepper sandwich you should make, try the fillings from these 40 best cold sandwich recipes.
But if you’re not the biggest fan of the bell pepper sandwich, no worries! Rachel’s simple formula for eating two cups of vegetables per meal may help you to eat healthier this year. You can also attempt eating a low carb diet with our 7-Day Keto-Friendly Meal Plan, or try one of these delicious low-carb recipes.