Some of the best advice I ever received for staying healthy with a plant-rich diet was to “shop for the rainbow.” Buying your food this way helps to ensure that you get everything you need nutritionally, without thinking too hard about nutrients and meal plans.
What does it mean to shop for the rainbow?
When you go to the grocery store or the farmers market, look for what’s fresh and colorful. Pick a purple to go with a red, or an orange to go with a green. Think more in terms of color variety than ingredient list. Then get creative when you go home, and try a new recipe for your plant-rich basket of rainbow. Or, substitute whatever fruit or vegetable you now have on hand, for one of a similar texture in an old recipe.
For instance, I recently made a roasted purple cabbage, with carrots, that was out of this world. I don’t even like cabbage that much. But I knew that I like roasted vegetables, so I got creative and added a touch of fig jam and balsamic vinegar to the mix, and it was scrumptious—almost candy-like!
A quick note about two purple vegetables, by the way, that I picked up from the awesome book Eating on the Wild Side:
• purple carrots have been shown to reduce body weight, quell chronic inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels (at least in rat studies), even with no additional changes to a SAD food lifestyle
• beets are being used to enhance performance in Olympic hopefuls, because they do the amazing work of increasing blood flow to our muscles and reducing the amount of oxygen our muscles need! The result? Runners can run faster and exercisers can keep going 15 percent longer! One Olympian who tried the newly-discovered beet-up method took the gold for the men’s five- and ten-kilometer races
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
—Gerard Manley Hopkins
Write a poem that gives glory to farmer, field, market, kitchen tool, or even the Divine (as Hopkins did), celebrating a rainbow of vegetables and fruits. Try out Hopkins’ style if you like, and load up on alliteration. Consonant repetition can sometimes make for a humorous poem, while Hopkins’ poem manages to steer free of humor because of its hard stops. So, whatever your mood, there’s an alliterative choice to go with it!