Before we get going…no, I’m not going to ask you to leap off the top of the Superdome while eating a bunch of fruits and vegetables. As righteously awesome as that might be, I’m not into dangerous stunts.
What I AM really into, is helping gals (who are trying to get healthier) feel EXCITED about eating the little guys from these food groups.
Why? Well…if you have ever done a diet program or done any reading, anywhere… EVER…you know that fruits and vegetables are good for ya. As in, they are excellent sources of fiber (which helps fill you up), are low calorie, high volume foods (again, helps with fill up) and just plain taste good (well…most of them do). Research has proven that increased intake of fruits and vegetables has a positive correlation to WEIGHT LOSS.
So it goes without saying, that you know to eat your fruits and vegetables.
That being said, eating is fun. It’s awesome. Life’s better because of it. That’s why I want to get a little excited about everything that I put in my mouth…including these foods! So how can do that? Follow the Lady Gaga Approach. Eat by color. ALL the colors. The diversity your plate can display, the more rainbow-esque it is…the more attracted you will be to that plate.
And when you are attracted to something?
It’s more exciting!
SO let’s talk a bit about the colors, and now only how they can make your plate more fabulous…but the HEALTH BENEFITS that go along with each color.
The Red Group
Examples: Tomatoes and tomato based products, guava, watermelon, raspberries, beets, red apples (skin included), red cabbage, red onions, kidney beans, red beans, beets, strawberries
Antioxidants: Lycopene and Anthocyanins.
Health Benefits: Reduce the risk of prostate, breast and skin cancer, decreased risk for heart disease and high blood pressure, reduced diabetic complications, decreased Alzheimer’s risk
The Orange/Yellow Group
Examples: carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pineapple, tangerine, apricots, yellow peppers, pumpkin, mango, peaches, cantaloupe etc
Antioxidants: Beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, vitamin A, C and E
Health Benefits: Boosts immunity, maintain good vision, support strong bones, teeth and skin, reduced risk for cancer and heart disease
The Green Group
Examples: Greens (like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, turnip, collard etc), kiwifruit, honeydew melon, Swiss chard, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, turnips
Antioxidants: Beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, vitamin A, C and E, indoles, luecin
Health Benefits: Reduced risk for cancer (particularly breast and prostate), reduced tumor growth in cancer patients, maintain good vision, decreased risk for cataracts
The Blue/Purple Group
Examples: Blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, black currants, elderberries, prunes, plums, eggplant
Antioxidants: Anthocyanins, vitamin C, folate, polyphenols
Health Benefits: May slow the effects of aging, reduced risk for cancer, reduced age related memory loss, decreased diabetes complications, heart attack and alzheimer’s disease, decreased risk for high blood pressure
The White/Brown Group
Examples: Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, mushrooms, bananas, potatoes, white beans, dates, pears
Antioxidants: Indoles, allocins, sulfaphoraphanes, phytonutrients
Health Benefits: Boost immunity, reduce cholesterol, control high blood pressure, decreased risk for heart attack
The Take Away:
Do whatever you can to get as many colors on your plate. In addition to doing something GOOD for your body, you will also be reaping the benefits of an increased fiber intake (good for feeling full, digestive health etc). The more colors…the more fabulous you will feel. Not just physically…but mentally as well
Ideas for Implementation:
(Stay with me here…I know you’re sick of them)
Below I have included a FANTASTIC download for you on how to build a new and exciting salad.
It’s SO SO easy to hide fruits and vegetables with your cooking. If you are a cookbook type of gal, you’ve GOT to check out Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious. This is a great book if you cook for kids, btu the recipes are really great for any age. Here’s a link (I have no affiliation with this book – I’ve just used it and loved it! Click HERE.
If you are more of a Pinterest gal – head over to my page and check out my board called “Hide Your Fruits and Veggies” It’s FULL of awesome ideas for getting fruits and vegetables into your every day cooking
In any case – I’m going to leave you with that tonight. My final take away from this post is this:
Fruits and vegetables are amazing for your health and for your physical weight loss process. You and I both know this.
However, I encourage you to consider ways to include more of these in your diet for another reason – your mental strength. The weight loss process at times can be discouraging. However, by making concerted, exciting efforts to include more nutritious foods in you diet, you can take heart in knowing that you are doing something GOOD for yourself. If you allow yourself to celebrate these little victories, your morale and just “give a damn” function will improve. One small victory can only lead to another small victory…and another…and then another.
You got this girl.
Be fabulous. Be colorful. Be healthy.
Looking for some more reading on how to make weight loss easier and less stressful? CLICK HERE to check out our blog on how to lose weight WITHOUT counting calories!