Eat the Rainbow

Happy Hump Day!

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While my blog is a healthy lifestyle blog and I am a big fan of holistic health and wellness, I realized that I don’t talk about nutrition/healthy eating nearly as much as I talk about fitness, activity, peanut butter eggs, and my obsession with New Girl gifs. Today, I am finally going to talk about healthy eating again! (Applause)

Since the beginning of March, the Registered Dietitian at my company has been running weekly nutrition challenges. So far, the challenges have been:

  • Eating on the Clock: Eat a healthy meal or snack every three or four hours
  • Eliminate added sugar from your diet
  • Track your food and beverage intake for the entire week using a food journal or smartphone app

What I really enjoy about these challenges is that it challenges you to focus on small goals rather than trying to incorporate every healthy eating tactic into your life at once. It also gives you exposure to how one small goal and behavior change can positively impact your life. For instance, during week 2, in which the challenge was to eliminate added sugar, I noticed that this caused me to think twice about what I ate before I put it in my mouth to make sure that I wasn’t consuming something with added sugar. This caused me to snack less, which is good because I tend to over-snack. That simple challenge helped me to become much more mindful about my eating, even if I did sometimes forget–at least I was trying and noticing a difference!

This week’s challenge is to Eat the Rainbow. Whenever posing the company with a challenge, Ashley (the RD) makes sure to accompany the challenge with a short explanation as to why the behavior change she is proposing is healthy. For this one, she said “There are hundreds of varieties of nutritious fruits and vegetables. To vary your produce intake, eat at least 3 different colored fruits and vegetables each day. Different fruits and veggies contain a variety of nutritious vitamins and minerals, and the best way to maximize your nutrient is by mixing it up. Here is a list of colorful fruits and vegetables to try.”

Ashley also provided the chart below. I loved this chart from first glance because I am a visual learner. This chart also provided me with a ton of fruit and veggie ideas that I always forget about–I tend to gravitate right toward the tomatoes, peppers, onions, asparagus–and forget all the other tasty ways to switch it up that are out there. In parentheses behind each color, I have added the special nutrients that are typically associated and found in certain color fruits and vegetables. I found this information here. I hope you enjoy this chart and eat your rainbow today!

 

Color Fruit/Vegetable
Red (lycopene; anthocyanins) Apples, Cherries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Red grapes, Watermelon, Pomegranate, Cranberries,Red/pink grapefruit, Beets, Red peppers, Radishes, Red onions, Red potatoes, Tomatoes, Rhubarb
Orange (carotenoids, such as Beta-carotene, which can be converted into Vitamin A; Vitamin C; folate) Apricot, Kumquat, Mango, Nectarine, Orange, Peach, Persimmon, Tangerine, Sweet potato,Pumpkin, Orange bell pepper
Yellow (carotenoids; Vitamin A; Vitamin C; folate) Corn, Lemon, Passion fruit, Pears, Pineapple, Plantains,  White grapefruit, Yellow apples, Yellow onion, Yellow squash
Blue/Purple (anthocyanins) Acai, Boysenberries, Eggplant, Fig, Purple grapes,Plums, Radicchio, Shallots, Turnip, Blueberries
White (anthoxanthins; allicin; potassium) Asian pear, Banana, Cauliflower, Coconut, Garlic, Ginger, Jicama, Lychee, Mushrooms, Onion, Parsnips, Potato, Soy beans, White corn, White peaches
Black Blackberries, Dates, Mushrooms, Truffles, Black currents, Black grapes, Black olives, Black plums
Green (chlorophyll; lutein; indoles; folate) Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocados, Basil, Bell Pepper, Bok choy, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe,  Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Chayote squash, Cilantro, Collard greens, Cucumbers, Edamame, Endive, Escarole, Fennel, Green apples, Green beans, Green cabbage, Green grapes, Green olives, Green onion, Green pearsGreen peppers, Honeydew, Jalapeno, Kale, Kiwifruit, Leafy greens, Leeks, Lettuce, Limes, Okra, Parsley, Peas, Poblano Pepper, Snap Peas

Snow Peas, Spinach, Sprouts, Tomatillo, Watercress, Zucchini, other leafy greens, assorted green herbs

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