Eat-a-Rainbow Summer Fruit Salad

June 27th, 2017

A few days ago I used the term “Eat a Rainbow,” which I have seen in magazines that focus on healthy recipes. I like this idea because it reflects the much earlier suggestion in dietary guidelines from the USDA and American Cancer Society to eat a variety of foods. By focusing on a variety of colors, we tap into nutrients that are found in these foods. In “Color Me Healthy — Eating for a Rainbow of Benefits” by Juliann Schaeffer in Today’s Dietitian,  (www.today’sdietitian.com), the author talks about phytochemicals, which I posted in my Glossary. Here is the excerpted definition below:

Phytochemicals are plant-derived essential nutrients scientifically confirmed as important to human health. There is evidence from laboratory studies that phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer (Source: www.wikipedia.com).

The colors are indicators of nutrients and the darker the color, the denser the nutrients. For example, blackberries and blueberries contain the phytochemical anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are considered to be heart healthy. Green foods from chlorophyll (a natural plant pigment) are high in another phytochemical called isothiocyanate, which helps the liver deal with carcinogens that can lead to cancer. A subset of this is yellowishgreen foods that contain the phytochemical lutein, which is a nutrient for eye health. Reddish fruits & veggies contain lycopene, which is also associated with cancer reduction.

So, here is my rainbow fruit salad with several colors that could easily be a prime example of my motto, The Good Taste of Health. I used all organic fruits, but if you are unable to do so, check with the environmental group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen (ewg.org.) for their current list. I always buy organic when I cannot peel the fruit, even if it is not on the Dirty Dozen list.

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, strainer or colander, serving bowl
Prep. Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Vegan if using non-dairy topping, Gluten-Free

Ingredients [Total:  1/2 – 2 cups (organic) fruits]

strawberries or raspberries  (RED)
grapes (red and/or green) or green kiwi (GREEN)
mango or papaya or pineapple (YELLOW, ORANGE)
blueberries and/or blackberries(BLUE)
avocado slices (optional)*(GREEN)
Coconut or almond sugar-free yogurt
Chopped walnuts or pecans or unsweetened dried coconut
2 t. Maple syrup (optional)

*Avocado is actually a fruit and its a smooth texture goes nicely with the other fruits.

Directions

  1. Wash all the fruits well and drain.
  2. Peel (if using) the mango, papaya, kiwi, and avocado and cut into small pieces or thin slices.
  3. Place the fruits in a serving bowl and right before serving, top with maple syrup (if using), yogurt, and/or nut or dried coconut.Serves two to four, depending on whether this is your whole breakfast or a snack or a side dish/appetizer. Also, feel free to use other ripe, organic fruits in season: peaches, plums, apricots, etc.

 

P.S. The rainbow in the title reminded me that this month is also Gay Pride Month and that we need all the colors to make a rainbow, just as we need all kinds of people to make the world a place in which everyone can participate without fear of prejudice or reprisals for their chosen lifestyles.

Note: I am posting this in 2 places: Home Page, and Kitchen Nutrition

Earth Day Every Day: Organic Cotton

June 23rd, 2017

Many years ago, when our nuclear family was going to Israel to a kibbutz to learn Hebrew and perhaps remain, I started to purchase 100% cotton because I knew Israel was a hot place to live. We left the US in August, one of the hottest months here and there, and when we arrived I felt as if my head was in an oven! Cotton clothing was definitely necessary.

Then, after I moved here I started to shop at a local health food store and came across a piece of information that was new to me, which was that cotton was heavily sprayed with pesticides, so I started looking for affordable cotton clothing.

One of the sites I now frequent is PACT Organic, and the quote (below the photo) is from their website, wearpact.com. In addition, PACT’s philosophy, which I took from the cardboard that held my (free) knee sox says: “PACT is obsessed with a big idea: Clothes that make the world a better place. Up to 10% of the purchase goes to a non-profit partner that makes a positive impact. ”
You can go to their site wearpact.com/impact for more information.

Quote from PACT:  Conventional cotton is the world’s dirtiest crop.

Conventional cotton uses about 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides. In addition, the World Bank estimates that around 20% of industrial water pollution in the world comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. Not to mention the issues around forced labor, child labor, and factory collapses… it’s a dirty business (and we’re on a mission to change it).

(I shop at Mom’s Organic and they carry some of this company’s clothing.)

I also found a place in California that makes bamboo clothing called cariloha.com that manufactures clothing and bedding from bamboo. On their website they claim: “Since 2007, the brand has grown to become the only multi-store retailer in the world to provide an entire store experience that’s completely merchandised with products made from eco-friendly viscose from bamboo.”  I purchased two t-shirts at one of their shops in Boulder, CO when we visited friends in Denver.

I also found cotton t-shirts at H & M in King of Prussia Mall. I never expected to find organic there, so it was a pleasant surprise as were the prices. I now ask wherever I go if they carry organic. I have even found organic cotton fabric at a local fabric store as well as one when I visit my sister-in-law in Barrington, RI.

The clothes(and fabric)  from all these places are not out of sight financially, and in fact, a few items were less expensive than the 100% cotton I have been wearing. And sooo soft!

So consider making a difference in the world by shopping not only for organic foods but also for organic clothing. By wearing organic threads you will be celebrating Earth Day, Every Day when you wear these items. My personal goal is eventually to change over my wardrobe to 80% organic, over time, as I recycle items I no longer wear to a local thrift shop and replace them with organic cotton or bamboo.

 P.S. I am posting this on my Home Page and under my new category: Earth Day Every Day.

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