Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taste the Rainbow

I'm sure you've all heard that you should be getting at least 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and that the best way to get all of your nutrients and have a balanced diet is to eat a variety of colors each day. The darker the color, the better it is for you. I think today I did a pretty good job of eating the rainbow.

The morning started with Fiber One (original) cereal with sliced banana and skim milk. I then headed to the gym with Pat. Today was shoulders and legs day, but I'm not going to do any weight lifting on my legs until at least a week has passed since the half marathon (I don't want to hinder my recovery). So I did 4 different shoulder exercises (3 sets of each), and then did a low-impact cardio circuit (15 minutes elliptical, 30 minutes stationary bike, 15 minutes walking). Circuits are also a good way to boost your metabolism, since you're changing up the exercise before your body can get accustomed to it.

I had a couple clementines and hard boiled eggs (egg whites only) as a snack when I got back from the gym.

For lunch I had a meal that always makes me feel like a kid again. Peanut butter and jelly with banana slices (on oatmeal bread)! Side note - Trader Joe's has great low sugar jellies and jams that are so delicious. I used their strawberry jam.

I like mine to be a little toasted and warm, so I closed my sandwich and cooked it for about 5 minutes at 300 degrees. This makes the bread a little crispier and the peanut better gets melty. Yum!

I always recommend a glass of cold chocolate milk with a PB&J...can't beat that combination.

Dinner time is when the rest of my colors came out - some yellow/orange, deep red, and dark green.

Roasted butternut squash soup, beet chips and kale chips!

When I made the soup a couple weeks ago, I froze 2 servings to save for later. So I just took it out of the freezer and defrosted/heated it in the microwave.

Another side note: whenever possible I store and heat leftovers in glass Pyrex containers. Plastic containers contain BPA and other harmful chemicals and heating the containers transfers these chemicals to your food.

My beet chips were made by slicing one beet:

I used a very sharp paring knife for this. It would have been better if I'd used a mandoline (which I don't have) or the slice function on my food processor, but I was hungry and haven't yet learned to use the slice attachment, so I just sliced this as thinly as possible.

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (preferably olive oil or butter flavored), spread beets out and spray again, then sprinkle some sea salt on top. I baked them at 375 for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Before cooking:

After cooking:

Since these were a little bit thicker than if sliced with a mandoline, they required some extra bake time. I decided to finish them up in the microwave, and cooked for 2-3 minutes on high.

Beet chips can be cooked totally in the oven, or totally in the microwave. Its just up to what your personal preference is.

I used 4 stalks of kale. Rip into chip-sized pieces and wash.

Then place on cookie sheet and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on them (I used very little, but its up to you how much you want). I sprinkled sea salt on these as well, then cooked at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (careful not to let them get too crispy because these can burn easily).

And my colorful dinner was done!

This was every bit as good as it looks! The chips came out great, the soup was just as delicious as when I first made it, and the combination of all of the colors and flavors together was wonderful.

For dessert, I had something green (but I don't think this is what health experts have in mind when they tell you to eat a variety of colors):

I enjoyed my frogs while watching Modern Family!  Great night!

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