Color Me Healthy


Here I am talking to a couple of the early birds at this week’s Wellness Center Food Demo

A few days ago I posted a review of The Color Code, the book I used for my food talk at The Wellness Community on Monday of this week. All the participants were women who are cancer survivors and all seemed very proactive in their desire to learn more about eating healthier.

The basis of the book is eating a variety fresh foods from each of the color groups: red, yelloworange, green, and bluepurple.  There are so many wonderful foods in the fruit, vegetable, herbs, and even grain and bean categories that this challenge is actually not that difficult. Color Code actually has a food plan with recipes to help you eat from all the colors every day.


Below is a list of many of the foods that have “pigment power,” that is, the colors are an indication of the antioxidants* that help fight illness and disease, including heart disease and cancer. I went through the book and copied down the names of the foods in each color category and made a chart .


RED

YELLOWORANGE

GREEN

BLUEPURPLE

strawberry

carrot

spinach

purple cabbage

cranberry

sweet potato

kale

blueberry

raspberry

yellow potato

collards

blackberry

cherry

orange

watercress

elderberry

red grapes

tangerine

parsley

Concord grapes

beet

white grapefruit

mustard greens

bilberry

red bell pepper

mango

okra

loganberry

tomato

cantaloupe

artichoke

boysenberry

watermelon

pumpkin

Romaine lettuce

raisins

pink grapefruit

squash

broccoli

eggplant

guava

apricot

Brussels sprouts

plum

papaya

corn

green cabbage

prune

pomegranate

banana

asparagus

lavender

apples

plantain

avocado

red onions

turmeric

alfalfa sprouts

persimmon

kiwi fruit

green tea

herbs:

rosemary

sage

thyme

oregano, etc.

“Every fruit & vegetable is a complex disease-fighting machine.” From The Color Code by Joseph, Nadeau, & Underwood, Hyperion Books, NY, 2002.

Long before I learned how important the color of foods is as an indication of  nutrients and antioxidant value, I liked the idea of cooking with color, because I think we eat with our eyes first. If something looks dull or dreary, I am less likely to try it. So I create dishes that look good and hopefully taste as good as they look. In fact, my motto for my classes is The Good Taste of Health.

For the demonstration I focused on fall colors (orange, green, yellow, purple) and winter colors (red, white, green). I made two fruit salads and two vegetable salads as well as raw veggies with dips. I used unsweetened, dried coconut for “snow” for the fruit salads and grated cauliflower for “snow” on the veggie salads. The director of The Wellness Community took some photos. Here is one of the dips with veggies.

The important point I want to make is that staying healthy can be made simpler by creating what I call Rainbow Recipes , drawing upon the four color categories.The handout that I printed above had a flip side of which foods the Environmental Working Group suggests buying organically.  I posted this list at least two years ago, so I am reprinting it now as part of the Color Me Healthy idea.  If you begin to be “color conscious” with your foods, you may want to know which foods are heavily sprayed and those which are less sprayed. My suggestion is to start eating organically those foods you eat almost every day.  For example, I eat grapes almost every day when they are in season, so I buy only organic grapes.

Source: The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org)

Least Contaminated Foods Foods w/ Most Pesticides

Asparagus                                                                                      Apples

Avocados                                                                                        Bell peppers

Bananas                                                                                           Celery

Broccoli                                                                                            Cherries

Cauliflower                                                                                      Grapes

Sweet Corn                                                                                      Nectarine

Kiwi                                                                                              Peaches

Mangoes                                                                                          Pears

Onions                                                                                          Potatoes

Papaya                                                                                       Red raspberries

Pineapple                                                                                        Spinach

Sweet Peas                                                                                   Strawberries

Please check the Environmental Working Group’s website for more information: www.ewg.org.

 

Here is an earlier photo I think I posted of fruit salad sprinkled with “snow” (unsweetened dried coconut)

As you plan your holiday meals, think color: pomegranates, apples, grapes, leafy greens, purple and green grapes, sweet potatoes, squash, eggplant, etc. and create your own Rainbow Recipes.

* Words in bold italics are found in the Glossary to the right of this text in the margin.

Note: Try as I might, my WordPress program doesn’t allow me to line up the foods and headings evenly. Sorry about that!

6 thoughts on “Color Me Healthy

  1. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this web site yourself or did you hire somebody to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own web page and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

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