Find Your Health
28. May 2011
As a health reporter for nearly 30 years, I learned a lot about healthy eating. But believe me, there’s a big difference between “knowing” and “doing.”
For years, I blamed a hectic schedule for my atrocious eating habits. Too busy for breakfast and too late for lunch, I’d find myself surprisingly hungry after the 5 ‘clock news. So I’d dash down the hall to the vending machines… load up on M&M’s and coffee… work the night shift until after the late news at 11, drive home exhausted and wired, and have a couple of glasses of cheap wine to relax. And I wondered why I wasn’t feeling good! After all, I was getting nutrients from the four major food groups… sugar, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol!
Seriously, I was treating my car better than the body I needed to get me through the rest of my life! I should have paid attention to my own reports. I knew what to do. It was time to just do it.
Oh, it didn’t happen overnight, but as I began to make simple changes in my eating habits, I began to experience major changes in my life. Turns out, a diet rich in lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains and a colorful collection of fruits and vegetables not only makes me feel better… it helps me perform better!
Skip breakfast? No more! When I start my day with a bowl of whole grain cereal swimming in almond milk with wheat germ, ground flax seed and whey protein, I can swim as long and (almost!) as hard as I did 20 years ago!
And on long days, a bed of greens with a nice salmon fillet helps me stay focused for hours! And when I start to fade, instead of M&M’s… a big handful of almonds gives me the staying power I need!
Even my skin looks better, and I’m not getting any younger! It’s got to be the added fruits and veggies and gallons of water I’m drinking!
I encourage you to find your best health by simply eating a rainbow of foods – eating right with color! This creates a palette of nutrients, each with a different bundle of potential benefits for a healthful eating plan. You can “Eat Right with Color” by choosing these foods daily:
Red indicates produce that may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce cancer risks.
• Fruits: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes and watermelon
• Vegetables: beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, and tomatoes
Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks.
• Fruits: avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi and lime
• Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers, leafy greens and spinach
Purple and blue foods may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks.
• Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins
• Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato
Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity, and reduce the risk of some cancers.
• Fruits: apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach and pineapple
• Vegetables: carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn and sweet potatoes
White, tan and brown foods sometimes contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.
• Fruits: banana, brown pear, dates and white peaches
• Vegetables: cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potato and white corn
If you want more personalized help, or if you want to learn more about managing diabetes, connect with a registered dietician from Palomar Health’s Diabetes Program at: 760.510.7377
Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.