Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Eat The Rainbow

Today was a rainy, grey day. 

Not that I am complaining whatsoever. I love rain - the cool crisp air, the smell of rain, jumping in puddles. Plus, with all of the wildfires we were LONG overdue for some rain to calm the smoke down.

It was beautiful on Sunday, however. I did enjoy some time strolling around Prosperous Lake with a very cute someone...

Look at that face!!

Awwww Mocha *love*

- - -

I've been very fortunate that my Mom, Aunty, and friends have been sharing their fresh summer produce with me. I have a crisper full of kale, beets, beans, raspberries, potatoes, lettuce, carrots...

There is a general recommendation to eat a variety of foods in various colors. This is because differently colored natural foods house different phytonutrients, carotenoids, and antioxidants. This is essential in ensuring optimal healthy and slowing aging. 
I try my best to have this variety, but I admit I am not always perfect. Especially during the winter months, when seasonal fresh produce is limited.

Each color has their own potent (and delicious) benefit:

Red: Tons of phytochemicals such as lycopene, anthocyanins,  Vitamin D, folate. These have significant roles in prostate health and cardiovascular health. 
My favorite sources: Cherries, beets, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries.

Yellow/Orange: Very high in antioxidants! Full of beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and vitamin A+D. They are excellent for eyesight, immune function, bone health, healthy skin, and the heart. 
My favorite sources: Carrots, yellow bell peppers, oranges, sweet potatoes, mangos, cantaloupe.

Green: This is the most common color I incorporate into my sources of produce. LOTS of delicious chlorophyll! Which is fantastic, as greens are full of phytonutrients, minerals, and tons of nutrition! There is lutein, calcium, iron, Vitamin K, folate, glutathione, indoles, and sulforaphane. All helpful in detoxifying the liver, keeping a healthy blood pressure, keeps skin and bones healthy, and has some anticancer properties.
My favorite sources: Kale, spinach, beet greens, spirulina, broccoli, brussels sprouts, avocados, celery, cucumbers, green apples ...

Blue/Purple: My second favorite color - always something blue or purple in my morning smoothies! These rich colors are full of anti-aging and antioxidant nutrients. This includes anthocyanins, Vitamin C+E+K, and many other fantastic antioxidants. The richer and darker the color - the more health benefits! It is great for your  immune system, circulation, skin, heart health, urinary tract health, brain function, improved cholesterol, and anti-cancer properties.
My favorite sources: Blueberries, blackberries, raisins, plums, pomegranates.

White: This does not mean processed white foods - think fruits and vegetables! White produce has anti-microbial properties (due to it's sulfur content), flavenoids, vitamin C, and manganese. They are also great for your immune system, heart health, cellular recovery, and has anti-cancer properties.
My favorite sources: Mushrooms, garlic, onions.

My example of a colorful food day. First stop: Breakfast.

A green smoothie. It's full of spinach, blueberries, strawberries, spirulina, banana, coconut water, and Vega protein powder!

Hydration is also very important. So, I have been drinking lots of water with mint and cucumber. Flavored water is more enticing and delicious to drink - and the new jug makes it visually more appealing!

Lunch was some leftover Borscht that my Mom had prepared. The Ukrainian part of me is very pleased! I had to wear a makeshift bib to prevent myself from getting red beet broth all over my work clothes!
I threw in some organic black beans to increase the protein and fiber quotient.

So delicious. It went well with some organic raspberries.

I snacked on a Taste of Nature bar throughout the day. It's easy to pack during a busy shift, and even eating half a bar in the morning and the afternoon can sustain me. Oh, and it's organic, gluten-free, and vegan. Canadian, too!
I chose the Quebec Cherry Carnival, which was full of dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds.

These are so delicious. I can't wait to try more flavors!

After a wee walk, a delicious dinner:

Panfried trout with fresh sage, basil, and thyme. Sauteed beet greens with  garlic.

Delicious side of sweet potato fries - mildly burnt. Oops.

More delicious than just processed white and beige food. Significantly healthier as well!

Tell me, how much of the rainbow do you devour in a regular day?

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