Winter Vegetarian Salad and “Ask Mia” Series


Happy Monday, all! The beginning of the week always have me craving more nutrients (am I alone on this?). I am still partaking in Veestro’s 21 day plant-based meal challenge, incorporating at least one meal per day. However, that wasn’t going to exclude my other meatless Monday cravings.

This salad is packed with all the winter goodies including my favorite pesto, avocado and pomegranate arils. Typically I say the smaller the fruit, the higher the antioxidants and pomegranate arils are no exception!

I am excited to announce that I will be starting a new series this week on called: “Ask Mia”. This week I am addressing a question I get asked often from clients and on social media…

“If I eat “this” will I lose/gain weight? (insert food of choice)”

The simple answer is no.

Weight loss and gain are dependent on a multitude of things but mostly a picture of your PO intake (what you are eating and drinking), day to day activities (energy expenditure) and current health state.

Something we hear very often is the “calories in versus calories out” dogma. As a nutritional scientist, this makes sense to me from a thermodynamics standpoint – energy cannot be created or destroyed, just converted from one form to another. However, research shows that there is some variation on an individual basis.

For example, one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates resulted in greater weight loss in individuals than a control group fed a standard diet. This study simply suggests that there is more to the picture than calories in versus calories out and perhaps other mechanisms we aren’t yet aware of that can explain this different. (Just a reminder that nutritional science is a fairly new science!)

As a dietitian and nutrition professional, this is the best advice I can give… If you are looking to gain weight, you should focus on healthy, energy dense foods like healthy-fat sources (think nuts and hearty healthy oils) while still embracing light exercise. For those looking to lose weight, focus on a realistic calorie deficit (about 250-500 calories per day), a balanced diet and regular exercise both a combination of cardio and strength training.

Send your “Ask Mia” questions to, I look forward to answering them!

Winter Vegetarian Salad
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 3 cups leafy greens
  2. 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  3. 1/4 avocado, sliced
  4. 1 cup sweet potato, cubed
  5. 2 tbsp pomegranate arils
  6. 4 oz tofu, cut into cubes
  7. 1 tbsp avocado oil
  8. 1/4 cup pesto
  1. In a small sauce pan, boil sweet potato cubes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. In medium pan, sauté mushrooms and tofu until cooked throughly.
  3. Add leafy greens to a salad bowl or plate and top with cooked tofu, mushrooms and sweet potato.
  4. Top with avocado, pomegranate arils and pesto.
  1. *Search broccoli walnut pesto on the blog
Nutrition By Mia

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