Week 2:  Taste the Rainbow


"Taste the Rainbow?", you excitedly say to yourself as your heart skips a beat.  "Yea!  Amy's going to suggest ADDING Skittles and Lucky Charms to our new habits!"  <happy dance and dreaming of Skittles falling from the sky and a little leprechaun skipping towards you>  And then the bubble bursts.  No. No no no.  It's not about Skittles or colored marshmallows.  Sorry.   

BUT . . . . . . wait for it . . . . . . this week is all about a delicious new habit.  Really, it is.  I'm talking about ADDING wonderful, mouth watering, satisfying, fresh and clean fruits and vegetables to your diet this week!  

You just stopped reading this blog, didn't you.      


First off let me say that you don't have to subtract anything from your current eating habits.  Deprivation sucks.  And it's rarely successful for the long term.  So I give you permission to still have that Chick Fil A or that burger.  Please tell me you are drinking water at least, right?  Stop this very second and go get a glass and reread (or read for the first time) my previous blog on H2O.  Anyway, remember that the deal is all about ADDING.  We are just feeling out new habits and revisiting them week to week.  But soon, very soon, let me tell you - you are going to be a fruit and veggie eating machine and I want you to start playing with this new idea now.  


I am constantly and wonderfully surprised at the makeup of our RUNaway group and how many of us know about nutrition and strive to incorporate it.  This blog will not even come close to addressing all of the info that this topic demands, but then that's what our long runs are for, right?!  You've got smart mammas running right by you to chat about nutrition.  So do that.  Ask questions.  Give tips.  What works for someone might be just what you've been looking for or even open a door that you didn't even know about.  Facebook and email communication work too for questions and recipes.  It's all here for the taking!


In addition, our Woodlands community is really interesting in the fact that we have a fast food joint at every corner.  Take a look.  We really do.  But we also have organic grocery stores, farmers markets and clean food restaurants all over the place too.  You just have to steer your car in the right direction.  I personally have learned that clean eating and incorporating fruits and veggies is surprisingly easy, especially where we live.  And if this is a ridiculous idea for you, I promise, you will be a believer after 2 days of fruit and veggie eating.  No, not a vegetarian or vegan diet - simply adding more fruits and veggies on that plate.  It will make you feel crazy wonderfully different.




Just like your body gets along just fine being dehydrated, it also survives just fine with your non veggie and fruit diet.  (And I'm saying "fine" with the tone that a 15 year old girl says when she's apathetic.  Fine.)  Your current nutrition plan is what your body knows so your body adapts to what you give it.  But also know that you are operating at about 50-70% of your potential - as in energy potential, good sleep potential, exercise potential, mood potential, even weight control potential.  I'm not judging, I'm just sayin'.  Your body doesn't want you to search for the sugar kick at 3:00 pm.  You've just taught it to search for sugar at 3:00 pm.  Your body isn't designed to wake up and crave caffeine, you've trained it to.  Your body doesn't want that late bowl of buttered microwave popcorn; your bored, tv watching mind does.  Guess what?!  You can also train your body to crave the nutrients that fruits and veggies give you.  And it's awesome what they give you!  


Here's the dealio . . . 

Fruits and veggies were given to us to find and eat.  This is the original design.  Our hunting and gathering ancestors in search for sustenance.  Food that is beautiful in color initially appealing to our sense of sight.  Little treasures found on plants, in trees and right under the ground - all fed from our source of life and energy, the sun.  We don't have to dive in deep oceans, we don't need sharp knives or arrows, we definitely don't need some manufactured or chemical wash process.  Fruits and vegetables are food ready for our bodies to eat!  Yes, it really is that simple.  We've just gone and messed it up with trying to make every food the color white.  Seriously, what in the world?!


These colorful treasures encase the vitamins and minerals that is required for health.  Fiber to keep our heart pumping, folate to keep our brain thinking, potassium to keep our blood flowing through open channels, vitamin A to ward off infection, vitamin C to heal wounds, calcium to grow and preserve bones, iron to fortify blood, magnesium to feed muscles.  Read that again.  It's the food that is our medicine.  Whaaattt??!!  Yep!  And that's just a little bit of the great stuff.  Natural vitamins and minerals keep our body in balance.  They literally shape our bodies from the cellular level and up.  When your body is treated better, your body looks better, performs better, feels better.  It is not a myth that diets high in fruits and vegetables can actually HEAL chronic conditions and pain from arthritis to mild depression.  I'm going to tell you personally that I substantially reduced my 25 year IBS symptoms from recently incorporating a major fruit and veggie diet. (Please do not misread this as an insult to modern medicine and pharmaceuticals.  I think our pediatrician has funded a beach house thanks to the Wyricks, and without Claritin, my son's head would need to be enclosed in a glass fishbowl.)  All I'm reporting is that fruits and vegetables rock.  You've just got to have them; no ifs, ands, or buts.




Ah yes, the Centrum Tree.  That amazing tree that grows deep in the rainforests of Borneo and supplies us with those cute little daily multivitamins.  And the smaller and sweeter Gummy Vitamin tree that provides our kids with their veggie quota.  Um, not so.  

Multivitamins are okay, but they are SUPPLEMENTS, not SUBSTITUTES.  Multivitamins can't even touch the vitamin and mineral potential and properties that good ol' food provides.  And our daily horse pills are also devoid of fiber (very important to our heart and digestion) and full of extra synthetic compounds that have to now be sorted and disposed of through your liver just to find and route the healthy stuff to your cells.  Vitamins are not bad; they are just not the complete picture.  Yes, when we were pregnant, a folic acid supplement was definitely needed.  Running long distances?  You'll probably need an extra dose of vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.  But (spoiler alert!) the vitamin topic is for next week.  Just focus on the week at hand.  Add some fruits and vegetables.




If vegetables conjure up the visual of frozen kernel corn in butter sauce or a loaded baked potato, then you've got some more cookbooks to go through after this.  Fresh fruits and veggies in their natural state are DELICIOUS!  I'm serious, you will find something that you love that doesn't have to be deep fried or covered in salt and butter or even microwaved for that matter.  (The radiation in microwaves nukes some of the precious enzymes in our food.  I'm not giving up my microwave, but I do heat things on the stove more after learning that data.)  Back to the topic though.  In their natural state, fruits and veggies are incredibly low in calories and fat and provide us both carbohydrates (for energy and running!) and protein (yes, they also have protein! for cell and muscle generation).


You've got to just be open to trying some things.  Salads are a great start - both fruit salad and veggie salads.  Easy on that dressing.  Avocados and toasted pecans or almonds or seeds or dried fruits are all healthy additions to a salad.  Himalayan salt and ground pepper are the bomb on salads as well.  Iceburg lettuce is boring.  It's got a nice high water content, but all it wants is a ton of ranch dressing.  You are more creative than this.  Bond with your produce section.  If it looks good or interesting, try it!  Pick fun colors!  Organic produce is just that much better for you because your body doesn't have to filter the fertilizers and pesticides through your liver from within that food after you've consumed it, but that is a personal and financial decision that you've got to make.  Baby steps, right.      


My current faves:

  • Make a stir fry with broccoli, carrots, onions, peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, green beans, asparagus, etc.  Toss these in a hot skillet with a little coconut and sesame oil.  Shake on some toasted sesame seeds.  Serve over a cup of brown rice and drizzle with Braggs Amino Acid (like soy sauce less the sodium - delicious!).  That is my "go to dinner".  I probably eat it once a week and am having it tonight.
  • A sweet potato with a little olive oil, stevia and cinnamon.  You think there is no way this could be a meal.  Think again.  It just takes a little habit change.  Sweet potatoes are really filling and they can be giant veggies.
  • Sauté spinach leaves in a little bit of olive oil and dash with Himalayan salt.  I could eat a ton of this.  It's a wonder food.
  • Veggie kabobs - zucchini, squash, broccoli, onion, shrooms.  Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill.  You can eat a ton of it and don't need a starch to go with it.  No, you really don't.
  • Roast root veggies like sweet potatoes, beets and carrots in a little olive oil for an hour at 400 degrees.  The flavors are really comfy and it is crazy filling.
  • Add veggies in brown rice, pasta, and eggs!  
  • And don't forget - Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy.  Those Wiggles weren't kidding.  It's sweet, it's portable, it's hydrating!  A gigantic fruit salad is a great breakfast.  



So what color are you going to add today?  Change can be hard.  Just give it a chance and add something.  No subtracting.  Only happy adding.  And you can always wash it down with a burger :)