Today’s challenge for Friday, March 11: Audition a diet. From vegetarian to DASH, spice up your daily menu with these ideas.

By Mallory Creveling

One of the best ways to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy is to switch up the foods you eat. (Not to mention trying different recipes busts healthy-food boredom and could help you discover a new fave ingredient.) Of course there are tons of diets out there—some of them good for you and others not so much—but these three provide a template for how to cook fresh, hearty meals. Check out the pros and cons from Kim Larson, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, then pick one to try today.


The pros: The pro-protein Paleo diet promotes whole, fresh foods as well as lean meats, fish, fruits, veggies and healthy fats, and it eliminates processed ingredients and salt.

The cons: It also restricts entire food groups like dairy, whole grains and legumes, which are important for heart and digestive health.

Try: Spaghetti squash and salmon


The pros: This plant-centered diet omits all meat and fish, using more nuts, seeds, grains and soy for protein—which makes it low in saturated fat and heart protective.

The cons: You must love plants! If you’re buying vegetarian foods, check labels to make sure they don’t have sky-high calorie or fat content.

Try: Vegetarian Lasagna


The pros: Studies show it lowers blood pressure and can help with weight loss. DASH is low in saturated fat and sodium and high in fiber.

The cons: Because it requires 10 servings of fruits and veggies a day, some can find this diet hard to follow.

Try: Chimichurri Vegetable Skewer

Family Circle tapped the Partnership for a Healthier America to help bring you this easy—and fun—wellness challenge. Post a pic of your lunch and the type of diet you’re testing today, March 11, 2016 on our Facebook pages or Twitter feeds with the hashtag #14DayChallenge and you could win a prize! No purchase necessary. Open to legal U.S. residents, 18+. See rules for complete details.

Photo Credit: Jason Donnelly