We’ve talked at length about protein and how to fit it into your daily lifestyle, now it’s time we focus on the other side of your plate… let’s go to veggieland, y’all!


  1. The ISSA says, “Fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals that help support heart health. They are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help your clients cut back on higher-calorie foods.”
    • Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens offer a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also a great source of vitamin K which helps protect arteries and promote proper blood clotting. Leafy greens are high in dietary nitrates which have been shown to reduce blood pressure, decrease arterial stiffness, and improve the overall functioning of cells lining the blood vessels.
  2. Let’s talk about specifically B vitamins for a quick moment… they are very important. Why? Because you need them for everything from repairing your DNA to breaking down food for energy.
    • Folate is an important B vitamin for red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth and function. Homocysteine is an amino acid linked to the hardening of arteries. This is often the chief cause of coronary heart disease. B vitamins such as folate can help lower levels of homocysteine reducing overall risk for heart disease. Folate also reduces thickening of the arterial walls which can take some strain off the heart. The following foods are rich sources of folate:
      • Dark leafy greens like spinach and amaranth greens
      • Beans, peas, and nuts
    • Let’s not forget B6, which helps with your immune system, brain function, and metabolism. 
      • You can find them in foods like chickpeas, salmon, poultry, potatoes, fortified cereals, and organ meat if you’re into that kinda thing. 
    • B12 is also highly important. It plays a role in metabolism, brain function, DNA synthesis, and creation of red blood cells. 
      • B12 occurs naturally in animal protein like eggs, meat, milk, and cheese. Why are we talking about it then on an episode about vegetables? Because if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you should be taking a B12 supplement. 
    • Western cultures often have diets that are deficient in B-vitamins, so that’s something to keep on your radar, depending on where in the world you reside… when I was a vegetarian, I had to take B-vitamins daily to make sure I was getting what I needed.
  3. How many cups of vegetables should you be eating a day? Current guidelines say 2-3, but you can exceed that pretty easily if you’re eating for volume.

We LOVE eating for volume here at MTK. So much so, that it was the original concept behind the blog when Sadie started MTK back in the day. It’s a simple concept… you get to eat more food when you fill your plate with vegetables, because they’re nutrient-dense and contain fiber that will help keep you fuller longer… we’re gonna give you the 411 on fiber here in a hot second, so get ready for some real talk about poopin’, BUT volume eating is kind of a strange concept to wrap your head around at first… why?

  1. We’ve had the idea that “less is more” driven into our skulls by diet culture for decades. Nah, it ain’t like that. You can still eat that twinkie, or you can eat the equal caloric amount of broccoli, the choice is yours… just know that the twinkie will crush a craving and give you a sweet treat, while the broccoli will keep you satisfied for a longer period of time. 
    • Did you know that a cup of spinach has SEVEN calories? So does kale and romaine lettuce. They’re great vehicles for other foods, try to work them into your day if you don’t already.
  2. They’re stupid easy to prep. Most of them you just wash and eat. Some stuff comes pre-washed, so you just open the package and put food in mouth. Let’s talk about the wide world of steamer veggies! You have SO many options when it comes to the freezer section at the grocery store. 
    • I’m known to raid the freezer section when steamer bags are on sale for a buck each, because when Phil and I are on our nutrition game, we eat 3-4 bags of steamer veg a day.


  1. Did you know, fiber is not actually a nutrient? It does not provide the body with energy OR calories. However, it is super important for digestion, maintaining weight, satiety, glucose control, cholesterol reduction, cancer prevention, and gut health.
    • All those benefits are rad, right? But how much fiber should you be aiming for on a given day? The recommended daily fiber intake is 25-38grams. 25g for women, 38g for men.
  2. There are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble dissolves in water, insoluble does not. All plants contain a combination of both
    • Fiber’s solubility determines its benefits. 
      • Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber.
      • Soluble fiber: This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
    • Fiber helps you poop! Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
    • Helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Studies have also found that a high-fiber diet likely lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Some fiber is fermented in the colon. Researchers are looking at how this may play a role in preventing diseases of the colon.
  3. Ok, great, now that we have an idea what some of those benefits are and how much, how do we get our fiber intake up?
    • EAT YOUR VEGETABLES! (and fruit, and nuts, and legumes and beans and seeds) The best bet to increase your daily fiber intake is with whole foods versus supplements or processed foods.
  4. As time has gone on, processed and refined foods contain less fiber. The whole food equivalents also contain micronutrients that are important for overall health that you won’t get from the processed versions. 
  5. Research also shows that fiber supplements don’t offer the same satiety, or blood sugar and cholesterol management that whole foods do
  6. So, add some vegetables or fruit to each meal or snack. Add beans to soups and stuff. Load that sammich up with veggies. Eat a salad! 

    Eat your veggies if you know what’s good for you!









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