How to help improve your diet with one simple trick

Recently Smaggle caught up with Bupa dietitian Gemma for some helpful tips about healthy eating. Here's what she found out. 

I recently spoke to Gemma, a dietitian who works at Bupa, and she gave me some useful tips about eating better. 

She said it really helps to eat 5 cups of vegetables every day. If you make the effort to fill your meals with vegetables, there’s less room for anything else. The trick is to make sure you have a full cup of vegetables every time you eat - breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. 

If you’re not used to eating a lot of vegetables, I’ve got a few ideas to help you out. I deliberately kept these recipes simple and flexible. It’s really difficult to stick to intense and specific meal plans so these are just a guide for what you could be eating for each meal. 

The rules

  1. Start with a cup of vegetables.
  2. Add 100 to 150 grams of lean protein.
  3. Add half a cup of carbs like rice or quinoa or a serving of wholegrain bread.


Veggie omelette 

Whisk two eggs in a bowl. Then throw a cup of spinach and mushrooms into a fry pan, add the eggs and cook for three minutes. Flip and cook for a further minute. Season your omelette with herbs like rosemary or thyme. 

Veggie smoothie
Green smoothie recipes
Veggie breakfast bowl 

Stir fry a cup of broccoli and green beans in a pan, add half a cup of quinoa and place in a bowl. Poach an egg and add it to the quinoa bowl. 


Veggie wraps 

Place lettuce, sliced tomato, cucumber, sprouts and shredded chicken or tuna in wholegrain bread or tortilla wrap.  

Veggie lunch bowl 

Place spinach, grated carrot, corn, 1/4 of an avocado and a tablespoon of finely chopped red onion in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice and 100 grams of finely shredded roast beef. Add a few coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime juice. 

Veggie snack plate 

Place the following items on your plate 

1 carrot cut into sticks
1 cucumber cut into sticks
1 boiled egg 
6 olives
50 grams of sliced chicken breast (skin off)
1 tablespoon of hommus
6 small wholegrain crackers  
Vegetable Fritter


Veggie Fritters
Grate two potatoes, a carrot and two zucchini into a bowl. Add two eggs, two tablespoons of chopped parsley and salt and pepper. Heat a fry pan and add tablespoon full of your fritter mixture to the pan. Cook for three minutes on each side. Serve on a plate with a side salad. 
Veggie chilli 
Place 500gms of minced beef in a large saucepan on medium heat with a diced brown onion and one tablespoon of olive oil. Sear for about five minutes until the meat is brown and the onion is soft. Add a finely chopped carrot, zucchini and red chilli pepper and cook for a further three minutes. Add one tin of chopped tomatoes, one tin of kidney beans and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Serve on brown rice. 
Vegetable bake 
Choose any vegetables you like - zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot - and cut them into small pieces or finely dice them. Place them in the following layers in a large baking dish.
Layer 1 - vegetables
Layer 2 - 500gms of low fat ricotta cheese mixed with 2 eggs
Layer 3 - vegetables 
Layer 4 - 500ml chopped tomatoes  
Layer 5 - vegetables 
Layer 6 - sprinkle 250gms of mozzarella cheese on top. 
Bake in a 200 degree Celsius oven for about 40 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with a side salad. 
Tip: This recipe is great to make on a Sunday as the leftovers will keep in the fridge. You can take individual portions to work for a yummy hot lunch. 


Veggie sticks

A carrot and cucumber sliced served with a tablespoon of hommus.

Roast broccoli 

Cut a head of broccoli into small florets and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. 

Kale chips 

Grab a bunch of kale and rip the leaves into bite sized pieces. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite herb or spice. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started - it’s such a simple concept you only need a little bit of inspiration before you can start making up your vegetable based meals.

Are you a natural veggie eater? Or do you struggle to get your serves in every day? 

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