This morning, I was reading a post on Lifehacker.com on what it means to “Eat the Rainbow.” The general idea is that you need to be certain you are eating as many diverse foods as possible to ensure proper nutrition.
As someone with lots of nutritional “don’ts,” I have to be very careful that my restrictions don’t overlap into the fruit and vegetable world.
We are blessed that we live in a time of unparalleled availability. In times past, people were restricted by seasons and geography. Not anymore. Even common grocery stores are overflowing with exotic choices any time of the year. So use it to your advantage! Eat anything and everything.
While I may not be a huge fan of dark, bitter leafy greens, they contain huge amount of protein (yes, protein!) and nutrients. Hence my morning smoothie containing a daily dose of beautifully hidden spinach, chard and kale. I found that my bags of rather expensive greens were getting a little gross after 3 days, so I put the whole bag directly into the freezer when I get home from the store. Since the leaves are relatively dry, the freeze up perfectly, ready to be thrown in by the handful straight into the blender.
Other veggies have become easier for me. I keep assorted chopped veggies in the fridge with mini hummus cups, ready for a quick lunch on the go. I also buy lots of different veggies (even things I don’t necessarily like!) and throw them into anything and everything I am making. Many times, a small amount of something that is less than tasty can get lost in the shuffle.
Every 3 days or so I take stock of what I have left and either make a soup, stew or jambalaya to use up any leftovers. I invested in small, glass containers with snap on lids. I freeze individual portions and label them with sharpie on blue painter’s tape. I try not to let more than 2 or 3 frozen meals stack up. They tend to get lost (and then eventually wasted) in the back of the freezer.
I usually only eat fruit in the mornings. It gives me a quick burst of energy and allows my body a full day to work through the natural sugars. That’s not to say I don’t ever have fruit later. Occasionally, an apple with almond butter is exactly what I need to get me through a long afternoon.
Once again, the freezer is my best weapon against falling into food ruts. I buy lots of different frozen fruits (or buy fresh and freeze them myself) and keep them available for adding into smoothies, on top of oatmeal, or blending into “ice cream.”
Dont forget herbs and spices. They add so much flavor and most of them have wonderful health properties.
Come on then, get out there and eat the rainbow!