Eating Rainbow for National Nutrition Month

Eating Rainbow
You know how we were doing that Oatmeal Project? Wait, how could you not have known — we were throwing oatmeal at your face every which way every single day.

Well, the project is actually part of a grander scheme of healthy things here on TasteSpotting. What started with an innocent bowl of oatmeal for National Heart Health Month has exploded like a bag of skittles into a rainbow of fruit flavors. And vegetable flavors. And whole grain flavors.

We’re talking about the Eating Rainbow — kind of like Reading Rainbow, but with a lot less Levar-hosted literacy, much more Rainbow Brite skipping through cabbage patch looking for the healthiest leafy greens.

Greens! That’s green for the G in “Roy G Biv,” exactly the acro-name that inspired us to eat each of the seven colors of the true rainbow over the course of seven weeks, but just as there is no “I” in “team,” there is no indigo in food. At least not real indigo (nor violet for that matter). Or maybe there is, but we’ve never heard of indigo cabbage and candied violets won’t last for a week, so we’re combining indigo and violet into “purple.”

Is this making sense? Are we blogging too fast? We’re just really excited.

Let us slow down and break it down.

We’re food people highly driven by all things visually gorgeous, so color is not just important, but really really interesting to us, whether it’s through the lens of a food pornographer, from the food marketer’s study of color psychology, or as is the case right now, from a nutritional standpoint. When we skipped over to the website for National Nutrition Month to make sure it was all legit for our March food holiday calendar, we were tickled pink to see that their motto is “Eat Right with Color.” It makes the month of March a fun opportunity for us to finally act on our adult-life obsession with the culinary color palette beyond just trying to figure out how to naturally dye Easter eggs with beets and turmeric, or collecting photos like the one above.

So, just as we ate in February — obsessively posting a single thing every day for a given period — we’re using the rainbow as our guide during Nutrition Month to obsessively eat a single color of the rainbow for an entire week until we get through the spectrum. We’re starting with red this week. Next week, we’re eating orange. We might be eating an orange, too, but is that too easy? The third week will be yellow, then green, and finishing up five weeks with a combination of blue and purple.

The above image includes packaged foods (it was a design/photo project, not food nutrition), but obviously, our project is about healthy foods, not the color of packaging…though it sure would make things easier for the blue week.

We know that the nutritional moral of the rainbow story is to eat a colorful variety of whole, natural foods each day, not blueberries for an entire week. But doing it this way allows for a few different things. Diving deep on a given color forces us to seek out foods that might be outside our normal diet. Also, it’s easier to learn and remember general nutritional benefits of certain colored food group, e.g. orange = beta-carotene, when we only have to think about a few of them every day for a week, rather than a whole slew of them every single day. But don’t worry. Though we’ll see red (or orange, or … ) here for a week, we’re definitely eating (and posting) other things, too.

Oatmeal, as you know, is brown (which, along with white, are somehow going to make it into our rainbow…)

You are, of course, welcome to join us at any time. Especially when we have a color-coordinated giveaway ;) Just don’t try to tell us that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos count as “red.”

Stay tuned for our first red post…

(We are not associated with the official National Nutrition Month, the American Dietetic Association, or the Eat Right with Color campaign. We’re just associated, you know, with ourselves.)

by Sarah J. Gim on March 6, 2011 · 5 comments

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