Back in my hay day…ok I am not that old, but seriously like say pre teens kinda time, I remember considering the toppings on my cheese burger (tomato and lettuce ) part of my 5 a day… obviously with seeking advice from a top notch naturopath mid teens he thought this is preposterous when I told him my diet at the time; although my mum was actually quite good at making sure we had fruit as snacks, and veggies at dinner, banned any sort of fruit loops, children cereals boxes… and soda pop.. well that was a big NO NO in the house. 

As you get older, become more say “independent”; you are out with friends more often for lunches, dinners or “play dates” which usually revolves around food and not really “good food. Anyways my point here is that, the S.A.D (standard american diet) is popular amongst many western style cultures, and fruit and veggies consumption is extremely low in their diet.

The S.A.D looks a bit like this, cereal or bagel or both for breakfast with concentrated juice; lunch: a sandwich, bag of crisps and can of coke; afternoon: chocolate bar, Dinner: lasagne and cake, not to mention, huge portions. Whenever I go home to Canada and eat out, I’m always shocked on how huge the portions are for a main dish, I swear it would feed 3 people here for dinner in Europe. As you can see, very white/starchy based, with little colour.

I want to point out the fact that eating the rainbow has so many fun flavours. Five a day is typically a standard minimal level on several food guide lines, but honestly your body only really ends up absorbing not even 50% of what you eat. So for me, I say between 9-12 servings a day. Now this number may seem a little ludicrous to some of you reading, like, “really ash? how do I have time do eat that much fruit and veg in my day!” but wait before you go off on a rant, oh this can’t be possible, it really is and can be as you develop a habit of adding them to all your meals. By doing so you are not only getting an abundance of fruit and veg in your diet, but a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants  which boost your immune system, give you energy, aid digestion, better mood, memory and sleep, as well naturally help to shed unwanted weight – especially around the tummy area, not to mention give you glowing youthful skin, lustrous hair, and strong nails.

Eating the rainbow has amazing healing powers to help prevent, and combat ageing and illness. Many illnesses in todays age are food related diseases. The people whose diet is dominated by plant based foods are known to live longer, feel better and look younger.

So now you are thinking ok so how do I do this? Well, here for example is a typical look at Ashfab feasting and how I get a whole lot of colour in my every day living.

Morning: warm water with juice of lemon(1), turmeric and ginger, Breakfast smoothie (1-2 greens, 2 fruits) Morning= 3-4 servings, F.Y.I a serving is around 1/2 cup. Lunch: Big salad, or fresh soup or 2 veggies as a side, Lunch= 2-3 servings. Snack: A fresh green juice (kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, celery, lemon) and an apple with almond butter Snack= 4-5 servings. Dinner: Sautéed veggies or side salad ingredients with protein or gluten free grain. Dinner= 2-3 servings. On a lower level, I could consume around 8 servings and higher around 12.

So how do you add the rainbow to your diet? To achieve amazing health and beauty benefits… through smoothies, salads, soups, large sides, fresh juices and snacks.

I have compiled a list of the 5 food colour categories. You don’t need to like all of the fruit and veg, but there are so many, and it’s a good to experiment! Recently I have been loving radishes, and fennel something I didn’t even think twice about, a year ago. Try something new, get creative in the kitchen and fill your plates with beautiful plants!

Your health will thank you for it today, and in the future.

Red/pink: these pretty plants are rich in phytochemicals lypocene and anthocyanns that improve heart health, and help prevent certain types of cancers. Pink grapefruit, tomatoes, watermelon, raspberries, pomegranates, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, blood oranges, beets, radishes, red peppers, red apples.

Blue/purple: Are coloured by natural plant pigments called anthocyanins which act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage which cause ageing, bad moods memory loss and ageing. Purple grapes, blackberries purple plums, prunes, blueberries, black currants, black olives, aubergine.

Yellow/Orange: are colored by beta-carotene, which is vitamin A, which helps fight free radicals from smoke, toxins, chemicals and pollution and amazing for skin and immune health.  Apricots, gooseberries, cantaloupe, carrots, yellow figs, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, yellow pears, pineapples, tangerines, yellow beets, sweet corn, sweet potato, yellow peppers, butternut squash.

Green: are coloured by natural plant pigment called chlorophyll which helps cleanse and purify the blood, especially leafy greens great for skin, heart, gut and immune health. Avocados, green apples, green grapes, green olives, kiwi fruit, limes, green pears, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, broccoli, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, green beans, celery, cucumbers, kale, spiniach, collards, mustard greens, leeks, lettuce, green onion, fresh peas, green beans, water cress, courgette, lettuce.

White are coloured by pigments called anthoxanthins which help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce the risk of certain type of cancers and heart related diseases: garlic, onions, parsnips, shallots, turnips, cauliflower, ginger, mushrooms, banana, dates, peaches, brown pears.

So head over to your super market today, and opt for organic and local for more flavour and nutrients.

Eat the rainbow to reap the benefits to feel and look fab today!

Ashley xoxo

IMG_0618( A popular appetizer on the menu at restaurants here in South of France serving a big portion of seasonal summer veggies with delicious dip, fab to give you a burst of nutrients, energy and curb cravings before a big meal)