Michael Pollan says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Our food is our medicine.
We are built of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats.
We need the fibers from green vegetables and roots.
All of the above are in plant foods, but some of us also need animal foods in order to get the protein we need. Each person has to find their way on that, and it may be different at different times of one’s life.
What we need to avoid are a lot of high glycemic foods, starchy grains, starchy vegetables, sugary foods (even natural sugars) and processed foods.
Knowing this, and knowing how many different diets there are out there and that every diet probably contains at least partial truth, I think we can simplify life and say that everyone needs to fill their plate each meal with about 75% vegetables, mostly non-starchy ones.
For proteins, we can choose from beans, nuts, seeds, organic eggs, wild-caught seafood, organic chicken or turkey, or grass fed beef or wild meats.
For fats, we can choose olives or olive oil, coconuts or coconut oil, avocadoes or avocado oil as well as nuts and seeds as mentioned for proteins.
A small amount of brightly colored fruits or starchy vegetables, as well as organically grown whole grains or seed grains, can be chosen wisely, depending on the person, their age, their activities, their digestive health, and their stress level.
A fun challenge is to eat a rainbow every day and to eat 30 different types of plants every week! For kids, it is fun to create a rainbow chart and put all the different fruits and vegetables by each color of the rainbow. Or you can use the list below and they can put down what they ate each day of the week on your calendar.
It is fun to put 3-4 colors of veggies and one color of fruit in a salad. Add some beans, chicken, or soaked and roasted nuts and a yummy dressing – this is so pretty, plus delicious and easy!
|Blue, Indigo, Violet
|Green bell peppers
|Purple bell peppers
|Yellow bell peppers
|Orange bell peppers
|Red bell peppers
|Rosemary and other herbs
White, though not part of the rainbow (except that all the colors together make white light), includes white potatoes, cauliflower, turnips, white onions, parsnips, kohlrabi, jicama, garlic, ginger, and mushrooms of many kinds. These are great also!
You can guide yourself and your children by your/their quantity of activity, your/their weight, and the glycemic load of a fruit or veggie through the week. When you are shopping for the week, go veggies-heavy, try new ways of making them, and if they aren’t getting used up, blend them into coconut creamy soups or smoothies. Make a game of trying new ways to make them.
In our Healthy Family Foods Class, coming up on March 28th, we will explore some ways to simplify making a menu for a week, which simplifies shopping and daily preparation.
We will also look at ways to give children some good choices and involvement so they can have fun with veggies and with the rainbow challenge. This is for children of all ages! We all can benefit from having fun with healthy foods!
Please share if and how you do the Rainbow Challenge!