Why Denise Richards Quit Her Vegetarian Diet: ‘It Actually Felt Good’

Susan S. Johnson
<span class="caption">Denise Richards</span> <span class="credit">Broadimage/Shutterstock</span>
Denise Richards Broadimage/Shutterstock

Making a big change! After years of sticking to a strictly vegetarian diet, Denise Richards confirmed she now consumes meat and fish on a regular basis and feels “good” after the alteration to her eating regimen.

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“I would say 90 percent of my diet is gluten-free and I definitely do notice the difference,” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 49, recently told Women’s Health. “I grew up in the Midwest and we ate meat, potatoes and pasta, so I enjoy all of that.”

Richards, who noted that she reintroduced meat to her diet in 2019 after “years” of vegetarianism, said her lunch each day typically includes plenty of protein. “Sometimes I don’t get to eat lunch when I’m working. If I do, I like to have a big salad and some protein, like grilled salmon or chicken,” she explained. “I was a vegetarian for years and one day not that long ago I started eating a little more like protein and it actually felt good. I felt like I was full in a healthy way.”


The Wild Things star also adds hearty ingredients to her salads. “I love fresh shaved Parmesan and tons of vegetables,” she said. “I’ll do even steamed potatoes to make it more of a full meal.”

<span class="caption">Denise Richards and family.</span> <span class="credit">Courtesy of Denise Richards/Instagram</span>
Denise Richards and family. Courtesy of Denise Richards/Instagram

While Richards loves to snack on healthy favorites like mango and pineapple during the day, meat or poultry often makes a reappearance at dinner, which the star typically prepares for her husband, Aaron Phypers, and their 9-year-old daughter Eloise. Richards also shares daughters Sam, 16, and Lola, 15, with ex-husband Charlie Sheen.

“I love to cook. I’ll roast a chicken and yellow potatoes with carrots,” she told the outlet. “I also love artichokes. I’ll steam them, bake them, and drizzle balsamic on top.” The veggies don’t end there: The clan’s dinner usually involves a big salad, steamed asparagus, or sautéed Brussels sprouts, which are a hit with the kids.

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“We like good meat, good steaks,” the Illinois native continued. “I actually have had some shipped from New York for us. I love salmon and halibut too.”

Though Richards has been gluten-free for about a year, she’s still struggling to find a pasta that satisfies her carb cravings. “I love pasta and it is definitely hard finding a gluten-free one that tastes like real pasta and not gross,” she quipped.

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Earlier this month, the Bold and the Beautiful star gave her social media followers an inside look at what a trip to the grocery store is like for her when she shared a photo of Phypers, 47, pushing a cart filled to the brim with food and snacks.

“We just stopped to get me half n half for my coffee tomorrow,” she joked in the caption. The couple’s purchases included rice, cereal, cheese, pretzel rods potato chips and more.

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