Eating and nutrition

[Guest Post] Eat a Kaleidoscope of Plant Foods!

Remember looking through kaleidoscopes when we were kids and seeing all the gorgeous colors?

It’s important that eating healthy is fun and delicious too.

Incorporating all of the colors of the rainbow and beyond is an easy and fun way to make sure we are not missing vital nutrients in our diet. When it comes to cooking and planning your meals, incorporate these 10 principles whenever possible:

  1. Follow the fun. Make your healthy lifestyle fun and colorful.
  2. Get the family involved with colorful food selections. Everyone loves a kaleidoscope!
  3. Look inside your refrigerator and kitchen before you go shopping. What colors are missing?
  4. Look at your shopping cart or trolley while you are shopping. What colors are missing?
  5. Challenge yourself to find a color. Maybe blue is only found seasonally with blueberries? How about adding purple kale instead?
  6. Learn what nutrients are found with certain colors. For example, carotene, found in orange plant foods such as carrots is important to absorb vitamin A.
  7. Bring color into your potato recipes with herbs. Dill is lovely with red potatoes. 
  8. Observe and explore.  Look around the farmer’s market or produce section. Have you overlooked red bell peppers, green cucumbers, or yellow lemons? Did you know that purple sweet potatoes exist and are becoming more available? Don’t forget that beans, nuts and seeds are also plant foods!
  9. Mystery foods. What do I do with escarole, with its lovely green and yellow leaves, you might ask?  Find a cool recipe online!
  10. Enjoy the new tastes and new favorites that you will discover, many which may become new traditions!

We know all about smoothies, salad, soups, casseroles and grilling. Shopping and cooking can become quite mundane. Fun it up by remembering how plants grow in the sunshine and how amazing it is that all of these different colors are created from earth, sunlight and water.

By adding nature’s colors to our meals, we will bring more sunshine into our lives overall!  Sunny bon appétit with love from Michele the Trainer, Healthy Lifestyle Coach in Los Angeles and author of Top Twenty Secrets to Make a Boring Salad Sexy.