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Fruit and vegetable rainbow as healthy eating concept

January 28th, 2020

Words of Wellness: Colour Your Way to Winter Energy

We love to team up with our friendly neighbourhood dieticians and nutritionists to talk about wholesome food. Today, Sheree Nicholson, joins us to talk about eating colourfully in the wintertime, and how you can amp up your energy with a plant-based diet.

 Vegetables are nature’s vitamins, they come in a wide range of great colors, and we all know that they are good for us. This winter, it’s important to eat “colorful” and steam or roast those veggies for side dishes, salads or Buddha bowls. I eat a whole food plant-based diet, which means I eat no animal products, so I know the benefits of plant-based eating. I also know that winter can be a kind of blah time of the year and that by February, many people are experiencing low energy and are reaching for comfort foods that don’t have enough micronutrients in them. This creates a cycle of feeling tired and eating less nutrient-dense foods, which contributes to lower energy.

According to Web MD, feeling cold triggers a self-preservation mode that sends the body a message to heat up fast. And that message is often played out as a craving for carbohydrate-rich foods — the sugars and starches that provide the instant “heat” boost your body is longing for.

Colorful composition of assorted vegetables: tomato, lettuce, cabbage, onions, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, corn and mushroom among others. Full frame. High angle view. Horizontal. Studio photography. No people. Healthy eating concept. Organic and fresh food concept.

Eating vegetables has many benefits. They are nutrient-dense, lower in calories, and are super versatile. Leafy greens are by far the healthiest. Kale, for example, is often hailed as the king of vegetables as it contains a long list of nutrients.

Brightly coloured vegetables and fruits offer a variety of health benefits. Most are antioxidants, and they provide tons of vitamins and minerals too long to list. If you want to eat healthily and cover all your “nutritional bases” think about eating a rainbow which means to eat a wide variety and colours of fruits and veggies

In the summer, I marinate and BBQ, Portobello mushrooms, red, green and yellow peppers, and asparagus and then arrange them on a tray as a side dish or toss them into pasta. In the winter, I roast the same vegetables in the oven at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes and get excellent results. There are lots of ways to marinate veggies, but I highly recommend just buying your favorite Farmboy salad dressing (not creamy) and using that. It’s simple and high quality.

Oatmeal porridge with blueberries, almonds and banana on marble table

Tips for eating the rainbow in your day.

  1. Breakfast smoothies are exceptional, and you can add kale and berries to them I also freeze bananas and pineapples chunks for smoothies.
  2. Oatmeal is terrific for breakfast, and I top my oatmeal with Farmboy frozen wild blueberries and a tbsp of Manitoba hemp seeds or other seeds such as chia or pumpkin.
  3. At lunch, eat your greens, try super salads that start with a base of Baby Kale or Spinach, then toss in roasted sweet potatoes (or other veggies), chickpeas, and some seeds. Both pumpkin and hemp seeds are complete proteins.
  4. At dinner, eat at least two different vegetables such as carrots, and peas one night, then asparagus and mushrooms another. Diversifying your veggies ensures you are getting a wide variety of nutrients.
  5. Stir-fries are another great way to get tons of vegetables in your meal, double the recipe, and take a left over’s for lunch.
  6. Fresh fruit is your anytime snack, to prevent blood sugar highs and lows pair fruit with a handful of nuts.

Thanks, Sheree! Sounds like we’ll be heading to the produce section, stat.

Sheree Nicholson has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell, is a regular columnist on the topic of Plant-Based Eating for the Brooklin Town Crier, and is the owner of a Live With Spirit Yoga & Fitness Studio

Images sent to us courtesy of Sheree Nicholson. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Farm Boy. 


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