Don’t Taste the Rainbow, Eat the Rainbow!

Don't Taste the Rainbow, Eat the Rainbow!I was recently going through some old bookmarks and found an interesting article that was posted on Lifehacker that slipped by me. It discusses the idea behind eating the colors of the rainbow. The idea behind it is that it’s a relatively easy way to ensure that you’re getting a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients from many different sources of food.

We’ve all heard about how it’s important to eat leafy green vegetables. Kale is especially trendy these days, likely because overall it has a great balance of the things our bodies need. For example, kale is high in fiber, has a decent amount of calcium, and contains vitamins A, C, and K. Broccoli, swiss chard, and spinach are other healthy, low calorie options for leafy green vegetables.

Blue and purple vegetables are rich with fiber and vitamin C along with the nutrients lutein, zeaxanthin, and resveratrol. Some examples include blueberries, eggplants, pomegranates, prunes, and blackberries.

Red, orange, and yellow fruits also contain an abundance of vitamins C and A, along with beta-carotene, lycopene, and other nutrients that can help lower blood pressure and promote healthy joints. Some examples of these fruits and vegetables include cranberries, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, carrots, grapefruits, pineapples, and peppers.

One of the easiest ways to eat the rainbow is with a smoothie each morning. You could toss in some green kale, some yellow pineapple, orange carrots, red strawberries, and a handful of blueberries to cover your bases. With your meals, include a side of veggies and you’ve just about covered every color of the rainbow for the day. Mix things up with different fruits and veggies each day to keep your body on its (healthy!) toes.

 

Is Too Much Fruit Bad for You?

Is Too Much Fruit Bad for You?When you’re trying to watch your weight and eat healthier you may choose to eat more fruits than you otherwise would. They’re great for a snack, make your smoothie taste better, and fruit is like nature’s candy. But a lot of people will tell you that you should limit the amount of fruit that you eat because it’s full of sugar. But is this really true? If you’re trying to lose weight should you avoid eating a lot of fruit?

Joey Diaz generally isn’t someone who I turn to for dieting advice, mainly because he’s 300 lbs. so he must have some issues with food and weight loss. But the other day on his podcast The Church of What’s Happening Now, he dropped a bit of knowledge that I thought was interesting. Joey said that you don’t see anyone who’s overweight say that the reason they’re fat is because they eat too much fruit. No one has ever said “I’m 300 lbs. because I can’t stop eating oranges!” so there’s definitely some truth to what he’s saying.

I think the key to eating fruit is why you’re eating the fruit. If you have a sweet tooth and you’re replacing your Jolly Ranchers or Skittles with blueberries or strawberries, that’s a a good thing! If you skip over the cinnamon buns at your hotel’s continental breakfast to grab an apple, good for you! It’s all about making healthier choices when it comes to your diet and losing weight.

The general rule of thumb for those who want to lead a healthy life is to eat seven to 10 servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day. It’s safe to say that most people aren’t eating that many servings, so if you’re switching out junk food for more fruit, you’re probably fine and don’t need to worry about eating too much fruit. The important thing is that you’re making the healthy choice.

Fresh vs. Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh vs. Frozen Fruits and VegetablesAhh, the age old debate: fresh vs. frozen fruits and vegetables.

Personally, I buy both. I’ll get a bag of frozen fruit (typically a frozen berry blend or straight blueberries) which I use in my smoothies. If it’s fruit that I plan on eating, then I buy fresh. The same goes for my vegetables as well. I have a general plan in my head about what I’m going to eat and on what days, and I buy my produce based on that.

It’s easy to think that frozen wouldn’t be as nutritious as fresh, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Generally fruit that’s frozen is picked when it’s at its peak ripeness. It’s then blanched to sterilize it, flash-frozen afterwards, and then packaged and shipped off to your local grocery store.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are a different story. Have you ever seen green bananas at your local supermarket? That’s because fresh produce is picked before it’s ripe. It’s then boxed up and shipped out on trucks where it starts to ripen on its journey to grocery stores around the globe. I say “around the globe” because the vast majority of the produce you’ll find at your supermarket isn’t grown locally. If it was, you probably wouldn’t have access to most of it during the winter months.

So, which is better: fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables?

Well, they’re both about the same, according to the FDA. The Food and Drug Administration found in a 1998 study that in terms of nutrition, fresh and frozen produce are about the same. Sure, some nutrients are lost during the blanching and freezing process for frozen produce, but fresh produce can also lose some nutrients during its journey from the farm to your grocery store where it will sit in boxes exposed to both warm and cold temperatures.

Which one is right for you really depends on your needs. If you like having vegetables with your dinner occasionally, pick up a bag of frozen corn or even canned peas packed in water. If you like berries on your cereal or banana cut on your oatmeal, fresh is probably the way to go.

The Healthiest Alcoholic Drinks

The Healthiest Alcoholic DrinksI’ll admit it, I like to drink. I go out occasionally, drink way too many pints, get bad food on the way home, and wake up the next day hungover. Of course that day becomes a write off as well, mainly because I’m too hungover to get out of bed and do anything, so I mainly lie around and eat even more bad food. As you can see, one night of drinking can lead to days of overindulging and thousands of extra calories consumed that you otherwise wouldn’t have ingested.

With this in mind, there are a few things you can do to bring down the total amount of calories you’ll take in during a night of drinking, or at the very least make some healthier choices. One of my favorite blogs, Gizmodo, put together a list of the nine “healthiest” alcoholic drinks that you can have when you’re going to tie one on. I put healthiest in quotes because there aren’t really (m)any alcoholic drinks that will have a positive effect on your health–especially when you’re drinking a lot of them at one time–but there are definitely ones that aren’t as bad as others.

The standard for anyone who’s watching their weight is the vodka soda. Vodka is a spirit with a low amount of calories (relatively speaking) and the soda has no calories. In my opinion, this is boring and only recommended if you are looking to get drunk quickly. You don’t really sit around sipping and enjoying a vodka soda.

As I said, Gizmodo has compiled a list of other drinks in addition to the vodka soda that will appeal to anyone who’s looking to take a healthier approach to drinking, opting for drinks made with fruits and vegetables–or just straight alcohol–rather than ones made with sugary fruit juice cocktails and soda. Check out the list complete with recipes at the link below.

Via: Gizmodo

Mike Dolce’s Breakfast Bowl Recipe

Mike Dolce's Breakfast Bowl RecipeMike Dolce has a great book called Living Lean that is packed with great recipes, but also a lot of information about eating healthy coupled with stories that will motivate you to lead a cleaner lifestyle. Lately I’ve been trying to eat as much Dolce-approved foods whenever possible, and using his recipes as well. One of my personal favorites is the breakfast bowl.

If you follow Mike Dolce on Twitter, you’ll see he retweets a lot of people who are “Dolce Disciples” (my term) who also love the breakfast bowl! It does take a bit of time to prepare, but the end result is definitely worth the prep time it takes. The breakfast bowl is filled with healthy ingredients that will satisfy your hunger until your next meal or snack, and it tastes really good too.

The ingredients you’ll need for the breakfast bowl are as follows: oat bran or buckwheat; blueberries; strawberries; raisins; banana; peanut or almond butter; flax seeds; cinnamon; water. I won’t get into toe specifics of making the breakfast bowl, but with that list of ingredients you can probably figure out what to do. I’d suggest picking up Living Lean or The Living Lean Cookbook if you want to learn exactly how to make the breakfast bowl along with many other healthy recipes.

The one part of the breakfast bowl that always trips me up is making the oats on the stove with a sauce pan. I’m so used to nuking a packet of oats in the microwave that standing over the stove each morning is definitely taking some getting used to. That being said, when the breakfast bowl is made and I sit down to eat it, the extra little bit of effort definitely feels and tastes like it paid off.

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