Choose You Blog
I love colors, especially in the summertime. Something about the sun makes every shade seem to POP! But, I have a confession to make and I don’t think I’m the only guilty party. My diet often hovers in the no-color zone. You know…breads, burgers, fries, meats, coffee, etc. Of course, I include veggies on my sub sandwiches or in my occasional burrito delight, but that’s definitely not enough and I need to do better! Eating colorful foods is about more than having a pretty plate. According to the American Dietitian Association, eating a rainbow of foods is key to consuming important nutrients that we need for maximum health and energy.
Orange - Sweet potatoes and carrots contain beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Red - Red peppers and tomatos contain lycopene, a nutrient with some antioxidant properties.
Purple - Red cabbage is a good source of dietary fiber and disease-fighting polyphenols.
What’s funny is that I went on a raw food eating plan for 7 weeks a couple of years ago and you would think that I would have been tired and hungry from the switch to eating “God know what” to eating only fruits and veggies. But, the truth was that I never had so much energy. My skin looked better, my thinking was more clear, and I felt more fit. I’ve made the executive decision to get more colorful veggies into my diet on a daily basis.
Starting tomorrow, I’m going to challenge myself to have at least two servings of NON-green veggies each day. You’ll notice that I haven’t really talked much about fruit in this post. Well, I don’t really have too much of a problem eating a variety of fruits. Berries, cherries, oranges, kiwi, pomegranates, etc…You name it, I’m eating it especially in the summertime! So, this personal challenge is all about vegetables. If you need a reason to join in the challenge (other than the health ones), how’s this? A January study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior found that eating a caretenoid-rich diet gave individuals a glow that were deemed more attractive than suntans.
Beauty in a carrot? I think I can handle that! To jump start my challenge, I found this great salad recipe on FruitsandVeggiesMatter.gov for a Colorful Edamame Salad. It’s a very simple recipe that is a quick way to get two cups of veggies in my diet!
|4 cups romaine lettuce, washed|
|1 cup shredded carrots|
|2 cups cherry tomatoes|
|1 cup sliced cucumber|
|1/2 cup chopped red onion|
|1-1/2 cups shelled edamame, cooked|
Directions: To cook edamame, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add shelled edamame and cook 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold running water to cool. Prepare all other ingredients and combine with the edamame in a large salad bowl. If desired, toss with a low or non-fat dressing of your choice.
What are some ways that you incorporate vegetables in your daily diet? The more creative, the better!