Eating a colorful rainbow of foods can be a fun challenge, for both adults and kids, to eat healthier and to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into meals.
The challenge, or goal, is to eat all colors of the rainbow each day. For example, for purple and blue, you could eat plums, blackberries, blueberries, purple cabbage, dark beans, or eggplants. Yellow and orange could include carrots, mangoes, bananas, peaches, lemons, pineapple, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe. Red includes tomatoes, sweet or hot peppers, apples, strawberries, cranberries and watermelon. And, there are so many options for green, such as fresh herbs, lettuces, kale, spinach, kiwi, peas, celery, grapes, broccoli and cucumber. Lastly, imagine white light around the rainbow and include jicama, garlic, onions, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes or turnips.
Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants that help the body on a cellular level, and along with integrative heathy lifestyle practices, may help reduce the risk of disease. When we eat food with a variety of colors, we get more essential nutrients into our bodies.
Before you start this challenge, you may want to clean out your refrigerator to create extra space to store some of the perishable produce. It may be low on the list of things you want to spend your time doing, but this gives you a good reason and once you see all the colorful food, you won’t regret it! Keeping fresh herbs in the refrigerator door is also a good way to remember to use them. Parsley and cilantro (or coriander) are 2 of the most powerful detoxing herbs and can be puréed into salad dressing and add bright flavor to so many recipes! Unprocessed or unpackaged foods are best, and creating simple meals with these whole, “clean” foods can be done in the same time or less than ordering and waiting for food delivery service.
It’s also interesting to experience new ingredients. For example, have you tried bok choy? It’s a Chinese leafy cabbage that is delicious steamed or sauteed with a little soy sauce, garlic and ginger, for 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Did you know it can be also be eaten raw? Give it a try, thinly sliced, and add a lovely crunchiness to your salads. Local farmers markets often provide the freshest and most flavorful produce, and you can help support and meet people in your community as well.
Have fun with this and eat well, be well, live well!
Written by Kim Baur. She is a Certified Integrative Health Coach at http://www.steppingstone-wellness.com. Email: Kim@steppingstone-wellness.com