Jul 13, 2010

A Rainbow a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Forget the old apple saying; a colorful rainbow will keep you out of the doctor's office. The idea behind eating a rainbow a day is to make sure you get a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from fruits and vegetables. You can enjoy these fruits and vegetables fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or from 100% juice. 

What exactly are the colors of the rainbow? Below is a list of the color categories and some of my favorites within each one:
  • Red: strawberries, apples, cherries, pomegranate, watermelon, beets (!!), tomatoes
  • Orange/Yellow: cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, pineapples, carrots, corn, sweet potatoes
  • Dark Green: avocados, kiwi, limes, peas, arugula, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peas, spinach
  • Blue/Purple: blueberries, plums, purple asparagus, purple potatoes
  • White or Tan/Brown: bananas, dates, brown pears, garlic, ginger, parsnips, artichokes
For a full list of fruits and vegetables by category, please visit this site.

Easy ways to make a rainbow on your plate include:
  • blending fruits into a smoothie: strawberry, banana, blueberries, papaya
  • creating a fun, colorful salad: spinach, cranberries, mandarin oranges, peaches
  • mixing your favorite fruit into a summery fruit salad: watermelon, kiwi, mango, grapes, melon
  • chopping up a bunch of veggies to make a delicous salsa: tomatoes, corn, peppers, red onions, black beans
  • using your food processor to create your own hummus: chick peas, artichoke hearts, 
  • flipping an omelet full of veggies: tomatoes, peppers, spinach
On Sunday, I went back and looked at my biggest meals of the day to see how successful I was at eating a rainbow. For breakfast, my roommate and I made omelets. Well, Diana made an omelet and my disaster turned into a scramble.
My scramble = 1 egg + 2 egg whites + spinach + tomatoes:
Diana's omelet = 3 eggs + green peppers + red peppers.
For lunch I mixed up some Sesame noodles while we watched Spain win the World Cup! Noodles + sesame oil + soy sauce + carrots + ginger + garlic + cilantro + sesame seeds + crushed red pepper. Recipe soon!
For dinner, Brandon and I made Summery Salads with chicken + spinach + peaches + blueberries + a walnut encrusted goat cheese round.Our salads were topped with a homemade dressing of balsamic vinegar + olive oil + Dijon mustard + fresh garlic.

I was successful in eating something from each color category!
Red: tomatoes
Orange/Yellow: carrots, peaches
Dark Green: spinach x 2
Blue/Purple: blueberries
White or Tan/Brown: ginger, garlic

Do you follow this guide or any other eating guide to assist in your healthy eating habits? How do you make your rainbows on a plate? What is your favorite rainbow color category? I don't strictly follow this, but I do find it to be a great way to asses your diet each day and ensure that you are getting your vitamins! Also remember that this is only a guide for fruits + veggies. I do not recommend using carrot cake as a way to say you ate some of the Yellow/Orange category!

Hope you guys are having a great week! As always, I welcome your questions on any topic! :)


  1. Great post! I love getting all different colored veggies. I get way too excited about good colored produce. lol.

  2. Those noodles look so good!! I definitely try to get as many colours into my diet as possible.

  3. I love love love bright and colorful produce, I definitely try to focus on a rainbow per day.

  4. Wait, so carrots in carrot cake don't count? I don't know, I may have to argue with that! I am all about the colors of food! All food. This was a great post. I am still a firm believer in the apple a day...that is how I get away with eating a couple every day. I hope you are having a great week!

  5. does cake count as eating the rainbow? lol

    mmm i love making HUGE veggie stirfries and soups and eating up bright colored fruits. and the more orange a sweet potato the yummier it is!

  6. Amen on the colors! I try to be as colorful as I can. I'm usually lacking in the blue/purple category. Green and orange are my favorites <3 Beautiful dinner salad. Fruit always adds that right amount of sweet to a salad. Now THAT is one jammin cake

  7. I fully support the idea of using carrot cake as part of your daily veggie intake. i usually follow the rainbow because most of what I eat is produce!

    By the way, peaches in a salad sounds deee-vine.

  8. My mom was always a strong advocate for a colorful plate... growing up she wouldn't let me count green m&ms though... bummer.


  9. Your summery salad sounds amaaaaazing.

  10. I always make sure that I have some type of produce at each meal. Fruit with breakfast, veg at lunch, fruit for a snack, more veg at dinner. Really makes it easy to get it all in!

  11. wow everything looks amazing and i love you rainbow a day!


  12. Yumm I love all your colorful food! And I would like to point out that carrot cake should definitely be included in the yellow/orange!! =P

  13. Your eats look so good! I always try to eat as many fruits and veggies as possible daily, but I always seem to gravitate to the fruits far more than the veggies. Definitely something I need to work on lol

  14. I definitely try to keep my meals colorful - not only is it good for ya, but it just makes things prettier to look at too! :)
    I'm so jealous that you can actually type your posts out with colored words!! ;)

  15. I love colorful dishes! It definitely makes eating more enjoyable. I am a huge fan of the reds and greens myself.

    I try to make sure I always have protein, fats, and carbs at each meal.

    And you look so pretty with the cake!

  16. I love rainbow foods!! And I've never seen/heard of purple asparagus..that's so cool!

  17. love the rainbow foods! makes me happy eating colorful foods :) they def taste better too.. just saying. YOU ARE SO PRETTY! are you still dating that guy? love you! you, me , alexa, izzy and and all the chucktown gals need to meet up!

  18. Two rules that ensure an enjoyable meal: 1) good food 2) pretty plate! A pretty plate must include lots of colors, so I try to make mine look like the rainbow as much as possible!

    I am most excited by purple foods, because they only make occasional appearances in my diet. Some of my favorites include eggplant and purple potatoes!

  19. I love this! I do enjoy some good color on my plate! Looking forward to your sesame noodle recipe. :)

  20. I love your blog! Just came across it :-) I love big, summery salads this time of year. I saw on your previous post that you said that beets taste just like candy...so true! I love them, especially as salad toppers :-)

  21. The more colors the better---who doesn't like food thats good for you and colorful?

    PS--I totally recommend carrot cake as getting your yellow and orange in lol

  22. I was just saying this to my mom! I told her to just eat food of every color in order to be healthy. :-)

    My favorite color will have to be orange, though. I love sweet potatoes, kabocha, orange...

  23. I love eating many different colours of fruits/veggies in a day, but I never really have to think about it.

    My favourite colour is probably yellow/orange for the bananas, sweet potatoes, peaches and pineapple!

    Ok, so carrot cake doesn't count... what about key lime pie? :P

  24. i will gladly eat the rainbow all day everyday :)
    faves: red bell peppers, apples, cantaloupe,carrots, pineapple, asparagus,,blackberries, artichokes!

  25. Great post! I think the color I eat the most is green! I am a spinach freak!!!

  26. that is an amazing day of food! I am very impressed with your skills :)

  27. The good news is I eat half of the rainbow in my morning smoothie. :)

  28. I need to do this rainbow deal, because I always need more veggies (green) in my life. Good thinking and great post. I like the colors.

  29. Yellow is delicious! Bananas, Banana peppers, yellow peppers, spanish rice ... the list is endless :)

  30. This is a great idea! I definitely don't get enough of the rainbow every day, and I think this is a good way to think about what I'm eating. I've definitely got the yellow/white/brown thing going on - I need some color!

  31. I LOVE you rainbow theory! I really just sat here for a good 3 minutes recalling everything to see how well I cover the rainbow! I think I am definitely covered in the blue, red and green category! I love blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, all things green! hmmm.. I love your post!

  32. yum!! I had a colorful dinner and it was so good!!

  33. Those sesame noodles would be awesome using soba noodles and maybe some red pepper for extra color :-)