The “5 a Day – The Color Way” eat-more-veg initiative made a big splash a number of years ago, and I instantly liked it. Different color fruits and veg contain different vitamins and minerals, and have different healthy effects, based on their color. Red fruits and veggies contain a certain group of nutrients, and green, and orange, and blue/purple, and so on. It’s remarkably simple. Every time you go to eat a fruit or a vegetable, choose a different color. This way you can make sure you’re getting the widest selection of nutrients. And some experts will tell you that because eating is also a visual process, the more brightly colored and varied the contents of our plates are, the more excited and satisfied we will be by our meal!
As part of my Goal #3 — Making Healthful Choices, I’m starting to record what I eat in a $4 weekly planner I got at the drug store. I’ve been tracking my food “points” online as part of my weight loss journey, and because I want to stop paying for the privilege of using some other company’s website, I need to make the switch to old-skool tracking — pencil and paper. I say pencil, because that makes it easier to make changes or fix errors as the day goes. I’ve also decided to take this opportunity to record the colors of my fruits and veggies. My goal is to eat at least 3 different colors a day to start with.
In my journal, I circle the fruits and vegetables to draw attention to them, so I can mentally and visually check them off. Then, in the margin, I make a note of the color of each fruit or vegetable, so I can see at a glance which colors and how many colors I’ve tasted each day.
Yesterday: BANANA, leftover barley ASPARAGUS risotto, GRAPES, APPLE cheddar quiche, Caesar SALAD with TOMATOES, and a fruit cup consisting of PINEAPPLE, CANTALOUPE, HONEYDEW MELON, and GRAPES.*
Color groups consumed: White, Green, Purple, Red, Green/Red, and Purple/Green/Orange-Yellow.
Hurrah! On Challenge Day 1, I had all 5 colors! I should get a packet of gold-star stickers and put a gold star on every day I meet or exceed my challenge goal of 3 colors per day. I may be in my late 20s, but I do like a gold-star sticker.
For today so far, I have only had a banana. But I plan to have leftover apple quiche for lunch with carrots & spinach-artichoke hummus, and for dinner we’re having barbecued chicken and naan, and I think I might toss some halved peaches on the grill with the chicken. Grilled peaches, yum. That gets me three colors, and if I happen to pick at the bowl of grapes, that’s 4.
PS. Yes, the banana is a white fruit, not a yellow fruit. The attractive peel is yellow, but the part you eat is actually white. And yet green apples and red apples count as green and red, respectively, because the color is also the edible part. And now you know.
*The traditional we-had-to-work-late, we-deserve-a-fruit-cup, billing-night fruit cup with my BFF Meghan, of MeghanMakesIt.com fame.