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'I'd rather lick a toad than eat that!' Dietitian's hack for making healthy, low-cal sandwiches by using PEPPERS instead of bread sparks confusion - and even outrage - on social media

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 1/11/2019 Carly Stern For Dailymail.com

a close up of a sandwich: Not for everyone! Others think the idea is disgusting and horrifying © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Not for everyone! Others think the idea is disgusting and horrifying A "healthy" sandwich alternative has sparked some very mixed opinions on social media. 

Dr. Rachel Paul, a registered dietitian based in San Francisco, California, shares a lot of nutritional meal plan and recipes ideas with her 285,000 Instagram followers.

But this week, she earned particular attention for suggesting that health-conscious followers tweak their sandwiches by replacing bread with a sliced bell pepper — a substitution that's left commenters divided.

a sandwich with meat and vegetables: Healthy: Dr. Rachel Paul, a registered dietitian based in San Francisco, California, posted pictures of these pepper 'sandwiches' on Instagram 

Healthy: Dr. Rachel Paul, a registered dietitian based in San Francisco, California, posted pictures of these pepper 'sandwiches' on Instagram 
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

"GUYS are these not the coolest things ever?? Bell pepper sandwiches!" she wrote on Tuesday.

She then included two pictures of the "sandwiches," which are made with bell peppers that have been sliced in half with the seeds removed.

Between the two pieces, she's put tomato, a slice of cheese, and sliced deli turkey.  

She also shared her formula for one serving, which is two sandwiches: two cups of vegetables (in this case, the two sliced peppers and a slice of tomato on each), 100-200 calories of fats (the two slices of cheese), and four to five ounces of protein (turkey).

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, she also explained how to make the veggies more sandwich-like.

"You can cut down the size of the bell peppers by cutting off bits of the sides — so the 'pieces of bread' become more flat," she said. 

"Save the extra pepper pieces for a snack to dip in guac or salsa later in the day, or at the same meal."

Since she posted, her photos have been liked over 12,000 times, and dozens of commenters have left supportive comments — some adding smiling emojis or tagging friends who'd be interested in the dish.

They've called it "so creative," a "great idea," "awesome," and even a "game changer."

But the reactions have mostly been split right down the middle, with half of the commenters expressing horror over the idea.  

"Umm when the food idea goes overboard just so it looks pretty I think this is weird," wrote one.

"I'm not vegan enough for this," quipped another, while others called it "nasty" and insisted it must be a joke. 

"Y’all are drunk if you think this looks good," wrote one.

"Urgh... sad thing to think about. Just have a real sandwich. Or half of it and a salad at the side if you wanna lose weight," added another.

"I'd rather lick a toad than eat that," wrote one rather dramatic commenter. 

While the post has earned a lot of attention, making a "sandwich" with a pepper instead of bread is hardly a new idea.

Many people have been eating the dish for years — but with so many people going on low-carb diets or eliminating gluten from their diets due to celiac disease or gluten intolerance, the swap is finding an even bigger audience.

Others healthy eaters have shared similar snaps on Instagram as well. In fact, Dr. Paul credited  another dietitian, Maggie Michalczyk, for the idea.

Michalczyk posted her own 'sandwich' made with an orange pepper last week, writing: "Don’t get me wrong I love a good sandwich on sourdough but this veggie alternative TURNS UP the nutrition!"

While both of these women made theirs with turkey and cheese, several other people stuff the dish with tuna.

Other popular ingredients include spinach, arugula, avocado, ham, cucumber, and mayo.

Some find that it fits right in with certain restrictive diets, like Paleo, Whole 30, and Keto. 

And Paul said there are other benefits, too: "The water in veggies is actually very hydrating. Many people think you need to drink water to keep yourself hydrated — but water from non-starchy vegetables is very beneficial as well. 

"Also, the pepper is much lower in carbs and calories than bread, so you can save calories while staying full and satisfied, which makes it easier to manage your weight."

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