Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do You Have to Eat More to Get Full on Good Real Food?

A question from GRF reader Michelle:

Do you find that you have to eat more to get full when you're eating 'good real' food?  
Sometimes I find myself making a relatively healthy meal and then adding stuff like Stove Top as a filler. Maybe I just need to add another vegetable instead.

Answer: No and Yes

No, I do not find myself eating more calories.  But Yes, definitely I am eating a lot more vegetables than what I used to think was a normal serving. 

For example, a salad to me was a small bowl with some iceberg lettuce and a few tomato wedges and shredded carrots.  Who would want to eat that with all that other stuff on my plate to choose from?  When I say salad now, I mean a LARGE salad.  I’m talking, get out the Tupperware and fill it up with spinach, lettuce, berries, nuts, and cheese or meat or beans for protein.

Brett, my husband, said to me last week. “You know, that used to be a salad for the whole family.” Now I make two big salads- one is for the rest of the family to share and one is all mine. (I promise I'm not being selfish, I'd make theirs bigger if they'd actually eat it.)  If my meal is going to be just a salad, I make sure it has some protein in it to keep me full (chicken, beans, cheese, nuts) or I'll eat it with a large slice of whole wheat bread or Cowboy Caviar.  I look forward to my salad.  Getting hungry just typing this!

While planning and preparing dinner I have to chop a lot more vegetables than I used to.  I make enough to fill half our plates with vegetables, so we can easily eat an entire head of cauliflower at dinner.  I have found though, that my family will eat more vegetables if there is a variety instead of just one type.  You know, because they’ll serve themselves some of each.  So that’s a good strategy for getting more veggies in.

Instead of Stove Top, you could try some wild rice pilaf (Winco has some in bulk that you make with a can of broth), a baked sweet potato, whole wheat rolls, something with beans like Cowboy Caviar, or just add another vegetable like you said, or a fruit. It’s a good idea to have both raw and steamed veggies on the menu, even if you just add carrot sticks or cut up some apples.  Keep it simple!

Other posts you might find helpful: Which Lettuce is Healthiest?


  1. Thanks! That makes sense. This week I'll do two vegetables at dinner instead of just one. I need to add a LARGE salad to our menu too. I'll try the pilaf too, which leads me to my next question...
    Which broth do i choose? Low fat, Low sodium, bullion packets, bullion cubes? What's best?

  2. That is a good question! I got some canned vegetable broth and then found out it has HFCS in it. If you find a good one let me know.

  3. Thanks for writing this Vennesa! You are so inspiring. I definitely need to eat more raw vegetables at every meal. i can sure talk the talk, but have a hard time actually doing it.

  4. Ok, now I have a couple of questions. Do you do all fresh veggies or do you use canned or frozen veggies, too? And when you make your giant salad, what do you dress it with so it's not so dry? That can make or break a salad for me.

  5. Mostly fresh veggies, then frozen. Canned have lost a lot of nutrients but I have them on hand (like corn and green beans) in the food storage. (They come in handy for picky children who don't like the vegetable I'm serving. They can grab a carrot or a can of vegetables and heat it up.)
    We also have a lot of canned beans to save time on soaking and cooking.
    My current favorite dressing is Maple Grove Fat Free Vinaigrette. I don't use much dressing, just over a tablespoon. So I use whatever I like. It doesn't have to be fat free.

  6. Venessa, thanks for your comment today. I fixed the problem. Thanks.

    I was wondering the same thing another commenter asked. What salad dressing do you use for your big salads. Never heard of the maple grove brand? Is it common?

    I'm really enjoying your blog. It is giving my lots of motivation and I put some of the books you recommended on hold at the library.


  7. These are great tips. I'm really enjoying your blog. :) For reals!

  8. We just got a Winco here in the past year. Their bulk section is fabulous!