Monday, March 22, 2010

Eat a Rainbow Every Day.

Sorry for the lack of posts, it was Spring Break so we did a little relaxing around here. I didn't get to leave town on the account that my oldest is not allowed to leave town for spring break because he is on the baseball team for his high school, and no break for them. How ridiculous is that? I mean, isn't he my child? Can't I decide if he can leave town for a week. Ridiculous. We managed to have some fun regardless and a break is always nice.

But back to nutrition. If you live in my house or are even a cute neighbor child who eats regularly at my house, you will know what it means when I ask if you have eaten a rainbow today. And no, fruit loops don't count. As you can see by the picture above, we are talking real food - real beautiful, bright, natural foods that feed the body and mind. You see, the Lord created a color code, if you will for food to let us know what goodness lies within each beautiful created specimen of nourishment. The color of a food will give you clues into what vitamins are contained within. By eating all different colors, you will be getting different kinds of vitamins. If you are stuck on let's say, the yellow group, you are depriving your body of important vitamins. If you live within the white group, well, you're in trouble.

Produce that are in the yellow, red and orange group are usually loaded with Vitamin A and C. They help with vision, skin health, immunity, heart health , cancer prevention,healing and pregnancy health, to name a few.

Dark Leafy greens are loaded with nutrients like Vitamin K which aide in bone health and the production of proteins in the body, Vitamin E which is a rich antioxidant, Riboflavin which helps to release energy from foods, Folate which is extremely important for the health of a baby in the womb and for the health of the mother, Calcium for our bone health and the binding of other important minerals and Iron; just to name a few.

Beside the vitamins that lie within produce, there are very important disease-fighting chemicals that help the body to fight toxins and wastes that we accumulate from being a part of this world. The orange and yellow varieties contain carotenoids and the green varieties contain carotenoids along with anthocyanins. To get the maximum benefit of phytochemicals to boost our immune systems, we need to get both of these. By eating a variety of veggies and fruit , we can make sure that we are feeding our body the nutrients it needs.

Now, I hear over and over that "my child won't eat veggies" and it makes my toes curl. We pretty much come to this world wanting sugar and all things that resemble it. Our tastes are developed. Very few children start off wanting broccoli straight from the womb, although I had a niece who would eat my broccoli straight from my garden like a grazing cow at the age of two. However, most of the time it is a forced habit. We need to offer a variety all the time and insist that they eat it. Insist, not suggest. It should not be an option. You are the mother. You make the rules. If you don't insist on it now, they may never develop the taste and never eat it as they get older. I take dinner to my grandparents and my grandpa won't even eat a salad. The habit needs to be learned while at a young age.

Try to eat produce as undercooked or raw as possible. Season like crazy. There are so many delicious spice mixes out there. The photo above was our dinner one night. Since we are for the most part meatless, fajitas are a little different now. Those beautiful veggies were stir fried leaving a still crisp texture and seasoned fully with a great fajita seasoning. I seasoned them the same way I would meat just with veggies only. I then made some homemade Spelt tortillas and then grilled them right on the BBQ with a little cheese and tossed the veggies on top. We folded them Quesadilla style and gobbled them up. You would never miss the meat. We ate our rainbows and ended it with some sweet, colorful fruit. A perfect meal served up on our picnic table outside in the perfect Arizona weather. Scrumptious.

If you are the type that cooks up a separate meal of chicken nuggets or mac and cheese for your picky little ones, stop it now. They will only eat that if you keep feeding that habit. Dinner is what you make. Period. No other options. I had a 4 year struggle with my extremely picky autistic child who would live only on chips and muffins. I had to pry his mouth open, shove in the food and make him keep it in. Four years later, he will eat everything I give him. Onions, raw peppers, raw broccoli, whatever. It was a long battle but what a pay off. He will thank me one day. It can be done. Persistence is key.

Eat your rainbow everyday. Get your vitamins naturally. Do your body a favor.

PS. Don't forget to place your BEE Box order. A rainbow in a box!

***Tortilla recipe per request:

recipe swiped off Kara Bagley's blog. Check out her link to the right or take her class to learn to make these great tortillas.

1 1/2 cup white flour
1 c. whole grain flour
1/3 cup Spectrum shortening, coconut oil or whatever you have
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder or cumin (opt.)
1 cup hot water

Place flours, fat and seasoning(s) into mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with wire whips. Change to dough hook, start mixer and add water until dough pulls together. Add more white flour if dough is too wet. Let dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into rounds. Roll out each round with plenty of flour or press in a tortilla press. Cook 45 seconds each side on high heat (450 degrees). Use a nice pan that holds heat so that you don't have to wait for it to come back up to temperature between cooking each one. Wrap in towel to keep warm and moist. Of coarse you can make any size you'd like, just make sure your pan is the right size to accommodate. Can make by hand if needed.


Tiffany said...

Thank you Shari!! Once again your post just puts a smile on my face! I haven't totally changed my ways...but you have planted some real deep seeds within me!! anytime I hear of anyone with some type of issue i either offer suggestions (ones that I have read from your blog) or just send them directly to your amazes me how different people can think-- don't see how so many people just want more and more meds instead of looking at the real issues--how they can make the causes be everything ELSE BUT what they are putting inside them. You have really opened my eyes--I am constantly looking for food without hydrogenated oils or HFCS, etc--this weekend we went camping and the wonderful people we went with decided to color all of the food for fun (pancakes, eggs, etc.)-- I just cringed thinking how unnecessary and unhealthy--but they don't even know--and I had to laugh at your "rainbow" post today--because that's probably what they think a rainbow is!
anyway-thank you so much!

Leiah said...

K - where is the splet tortilla recipe. I have a bunch of spelt I'm trying to figure out how to use!

Shari Goodman said...

I have added the tortilla recipe. I love spelt with these. Soft white is also great and when I use soft white , I use little or no white flour. All spelt is too heavy. Keep the dough moist, almost sticky for best results.

Shari Goodman said...

FYI, spelt makes the best blender waffles that rise sky high. I also love this for bread. Use it like wheat in any recipe. Just grind it up and keep it as a staple.

Linda Merrill said...

amen to teaching kids to like vegetables!!! If the kids don't like it, it's because they haven't been given the opportunity to learn to like it!!!

Cindy Sage said...

Shari- is spelt gluten free? I have been getting mixed reviews...I think it has gluten...

Shari Goodman said...

It has lots of gluten, sorry.

M&N said...

I was just wondering how to make tortillas. Thanks for the recipe.

Terri Burges Hirning said...

Loved this post. I also cringe when people say their child wouldn't possibly eat what my kids eat. My kids will also eat broccoli straight from the garden, wished I had videoed that last month when they were doing it saying "this broccoli is darn stinkin' good!". Yes, we are the moms, we control dinner and their food, what a WONDERFUL and yet very important responsibility!

Kara said...

Yes, yes, yes! Where do you find organic peppers. They are on the "dirty dozen" list - we love them, but have a hard time finding organic. Can't wait for them to start growing in th garden!

DK said...

You constantly amaze me!

Shari Goodman said...


Peppers are hard to find. I did find these at Sprouts a week ago. The yellow one is not organic, the others are. I also can't wait for them to grow in my garden!

Annabeth said...

It's amazing to me that if I just check around, I can often find organic produce the same price as conventional! I followed your lead, Shari, and checked out the bell peppers at Sprouts. I can't do 4.79/lb for red peppers, but the green bell peppers were 2.69/lb. I got 2 medium, and I paid a total of 2.24. So, 1.12 each, and the conventional green pepprs were 1.29 each!
Avocados (at Sprouts) are the same price at .88 each, organic or not. And apples are almost the same. I love supporting organic farmers!