Eat the Rainbow

I know what you are thinking, no not we are not going to talk about Skittles.

What does it mean to "Eat the Rainbow?"

Simply aim to eat as many “colorful foods” as you can throughout the day; real food - think fruits and vegetables, not Skittles. Eat green, purple, red, yellow, blue and orange.

Kind of sounds like advice for a child right? That's good, it should be that simple!

Why Color is Important

Whenever you are about to eat a meal, look down at your plate and ask yourself “where is the color here?” You want to be able to easily spot 2-3 different colors every time you eat. This is an indication that you’re eating foods that contain many different nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.

Nature has a very simple way of letting us know which foods are really healthy and full of nutrients - color.

Close your eyes for a second and try to visualize this: the strong blue/purple color of fresh blueberries, the deep red hue of tomatoes, the bright orange of carrots.

These colors indicate nutrient content and and also the presence of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other free radical fighting ninjas which are important in slowing the aging process and helping our body deal with inflammation.

Think Lots of Color

The different colors in fruits and vegetables indicate the different types of antioxidants. There are many types of helpful antioxidants, so you want to make sure you are exposing yourself to a variety by including different colors on your plate. You don’t want to consume only orange and red fruits and veggies while ignoring the greens and yellows. You want a wide variety.

Branch out, eat the rainbow.

Avoiding White-and-Beige-Only Meals

A standard unhealthy diet is going to be made up of many white, brown, and beige foods. As you can tell, this means colors (antioxidants) are lacking. If you notice that a lot of the foods on your plate are white (potatoes, rice, cereal, bread, pasta), brown (beef, pork, sausages, heavy sauces) and beige (cheese, processed carbs, low quality chicken and turkey), then it’s time to add some color to your plate in the form of fruits and vegetables.

Remember, every single meal you consume should have noticeable colors in it. Aim to get 2-3 different colors into every meal and you will be on the right track. Once you get the hang of that, think about your day/week as a whole and figure out which colors you might be ignoring (greens? Reds? Orange? purples?), then start adding more of those kinds in too.

Need some help to get you started? Try this recipe for Rainbow Chicken.

Rainbow Chicken

This chicken is a fiesta of rainbow colors, and is quick and easy to prep and bake – give it a try tonight!

  • 4-6 skinless boneless chicken breast (thin cut)
  • 2 cups no salt added chicken broth
  • 1 small purple onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small orange pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Goya Adobo seasoning

Preheat oven to 425

Pour chicken broth into 9×13 pan and lay in chicken seasoned with 2 Tbsp of Goya Adobo.

Slice onion, peppers and tomato and arrange on top of chicken, and sprinkle an additional 2 Tbsp of seasoning.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until chicken cooked through.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

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