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    UNSWEETMAMA   43,026
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red orange and green

Monday, January 27, 2014

Did you know that our brains are programmed to eat the rainbow?

I've read this over and over again. Not only do our bodies need the nutrition from a variety of fruits and veggies, but our brains are attracted to colorful foods to help us get those varied nutrients.

Back in November, when I was knee deep in an addiction to M&M's, I even read about a study where a bowl full of all the colors of M&M's was left out next to a bowl full of a single color of M&M's and people preferred to eat from the multi-colored bowl.

And Skittles? Taste the rainbow, indeed. Brilliant marketing. And kind of evil.

It took my brain a while to really absorb these things - the need for color/variety and the manipulative nature of these candy companies. And I started to be more mindful about it. When I thought I wanted M&M's, I paused and considered eating colorful fruits instead.

It actually worked.

More recently I read an article that listed easy tips for weight loss. Things like getting enough sleep, not skipping breakfast - nothing we all haven't heard before. But the tip I liked the most was to try to eat something red, orange or green at every meal. It occurred to me that I am already pretty good at this, but thinking about it makes it a little like a game. The article said to get one of those colors at each meal, but I would rather get all of them at each meal. This is easiest for me at lunch and dinner. At breakfast I tend to get just one of those colors.

I wanted to add purple to that list, but it occurred to me that the things I think of as purple are called red (red cabbage, red grapes, plums/prunes, etc.) So same-same.

Right now I'm getting a lot of orange - carrots, oranges, a sweet potato last night. But in a couple months it will be strawberry season here.
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I am counting the weeks until the strawberry stand I go to opens. Stephanie will be a happy mama!!!

The last few days I can't seem to get enough veggies. We're talking a pound of cauliflower in one sitting, 12 oz. of stir fry veggies and shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw all in the same day.

It's getting to point that I am ridiculously hungry and can't get full if I don't have a lot of bulky veggies with my lunch and dinner and sometimes my snack too.

I am still getting plenty of protein along with all this, so if this is what works for me now - I guess I just have to stay stocked up on veggies.
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The real challenge for me now? Getting my kids off the candy and Lucky Charms type junk. Tasty red balloons? Seriously?!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADED_CHICK19 1/28/2014 7:23AM

    What a great blog! This is something that I need to work on myself. I usually only get one color in per meal and they seam to be all around the same colors. Great job on loving your veggies!

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ADF1981 1/28/2014 6:45AM

    Read this yesterday while eating and meant to come back when I didn't have sticky fingers LOL. Thought about it last night and realized I didn't comment. This blog is awesome! And I kept thinking about it yesterday and it makes total sense to me. And you're right about the candy being sort of evil.

This makes me realize that I have a few colors missing day to day. I eat a lot of green and purple, and lately I've been eating orange and yellow, but rarely get red! Maybe that's an excuse to buy more berries even though they are expensive. I'm looking forward to berry season too. They always taste sweeter then!

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ICEDEMETER 1/27/2014 3:13PM

    As usual, your blog has made me look at something in a different light...

I'm deathly allergic to peppers, yet I always seem to be "drawn" to them in the market --- I end up standing beside the display of yellow and orange and green and red, and wishing that I could eat them. The funny thing is that I don't like the taste of them at all (and can tell from 20 feet away when someone has cut one), and I could never understand why I would have any reason to end up beside the pepper display.

After reading your blog, I can finally tell the Man that it's "brain programming" to want the rainbow, and not really a secret death-wish...

I'm with ya on needing lots and lots of veggies to feel satisfied, but find it helps to get some fat in there along with the veggies and protein. Olive oil based dressings with lots of spice and flavour, or full-fat yoghurt based dips with lots of spices, seem to do the trick for me. You might find that your young'uns are more open to the "fruit and veggies as snacks" idea if you make some fun dips for them to have with them.

Not too much longer 'til those strawberries are out!

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FINCHFEEDER80 1/27/2014 2:51PM

    Great blog, thanks for sharing! I'm always on the hubby to try new things. His primary veggies are broccoli, asparagus and brussels sprouts. And he'll eat strawberries on occasion. I told him he's not allowed to comment and pass his weird food aversions on hypothetical kid. Have a great day!

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LILMISSRED79 1/27/2014 1:21PM

    Your blogs are always so interesting- thanks for sharing this one with us! I took a course in college on Stress Management and that was the first time the idea of "eating the rainbow" was introduced to me. My mind was kind of blown when I considered how beige fast food is and how vibrant healthier foods are, and ever since then I've tried to be mindful of how colorful my meals are.

Veggies are great for you, so there's nothing wrong with craving lots of 'em! Good for you!

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    I would recommend eating several bananas when you feel your hunger isn't quenched. Fruit is what our bodies need for fuel, so you won't be endangering your program. As long as you aren't hyper critical on "calories". I'm hyper critical on nutrition myself.

Great blog. And, yes, I eat the rainbow several times a day. My V8 juice is to for.

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STEFIGURL 1/27/2014 12:10PM

Thanks for sharing...and ohhhhh, how lovely all those colored veggies look :-)
This is a GREAT suggestion...especially now that I am doing no flour, no sugar! Thanks a bunch, Steph :-)


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