Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Did You Eat a Rainbow Today?

What is that supposed to mean?

Think of it as a visual reminder to eat a healthy variety of fruits and vegetables. Every day.

Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Violet.

Daily, we should eat a variety of colors. This is something I am learning, working towards each day, paying attention to the colors I choose to eat, and choosing colors other than brown - dark brown for chocolate and lighter brown for the breads and grains I love to eat. The health benefits, especially if we replace less healthy choices, are many.
"The nutrients that studies show have anti-aging, disease-fighting, and skin-protecting properties number in the thousands, and the colorful fruits and vegetables found in the grocery store contain combinations of them all. Building your daily menu around these nutrient dense foods will earn you a health trifecta: whittling off unwanted weight, staving off the diseases of aging, and rejuvenating your complexion."
                                        -7 Years Younger, The Anti-Aging Breakthrough Diet
                                                        by the editors of Good Housekeeping
I was surprised how many of the colors I had in the garden and the refrigerator. Sorting them, thinking of them by rainbow color gave me a fresh perspective of the better choices I can make.

An innovative company where a daughter works sets up a health challenge for their employees each summer, challenging them with exercise or nutritional competitions. This summer, they designed a program monitoring the colors and categories of daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Each employee entered their daily servings of the color varieties on their computers. She shared her charts with me. Each day, they marked the rainbow chart for R, O, Y/W, G, B/V. (The W is for white, including apples, pears, onions, jicama, potatoes, etc). Beans are also included because of their health benefits: pinto, kidney for red; lentils, wax for yellow; black beans for blue/violet. The key is to find the flexibility and the beauty in the challenge. A colorful plate makes eating interesting and pretty. I admit, I have a long way to go. Brown seems so much more appealing and yummy and satisfying to me. But I am learning to choose red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet instead.

Learning. In process, not there yet.

What colors of the rainbow did you eat today?


  1. Hi Maureen! Great photos here! Makes vegetables actually look inviting. That's the problem with me...I have a narrow palate for veggies, but I do love a salad. So plenty of green!

    I do fruits much better. Cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas, apples, grapes. Love summer!

    1. I know what you mean - I may or may not have a teeny problem with chocolate - maybe if I dipped the fruit in chocolate? But it does help to think about variety and color - an imaginative approach.

  2. Thank you for this encouragement, Maureen, both verbal and visual. When other healthy eating advice grows dim at the back of my mind, during the busy day-to-day, it is the healthy color scheme that manages to guide me - and now with your rainbow post it will be a much brighter and reminder.
    I had a peach for breakfast and on the farm table is my "lunch prep" - a pile of grated zucchini, green onion, and fresh cilantro, awaiting the transformation into "zucchini squares" a little later. Since reading this post I think I'll chop up some red pepper for "color" and serve the casserole squares with raw carrot sticks and olives.
    Karen A.

    1. That's why I wanted to share this rainbow concept - no formulas or measurements, just a simple visual - good for us visual learners. It is very challenging for me, but helpful. How do you make your zucchini squares? Sounds interesting.