Monday, June 17, 2019

Bloom into Health Eat Color Rich Produce




This post shows you how eating tasty whole food plant based meals with plenty of color rich produce simplifies food planning tasks, improves mood, enhances wellness, and maintains vitality. 

Let me explain...

A whole food vegan eating plan is naturally low in calories and high in fiber. 

People like me who eat this way find they're able to eat large portions without gaining weight or feeling deprived, hungry, or stuffed.

Keep in mind, "whole food plant based/vegan" means recipes contain no animal products or highly processed foods, as well as no added oil, sugar, and salt. 

Nowadays most people understand it's wise to eat at least 5-9 servings of colorful fruits, veggies, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds, and whole grains each day

Those of us who eat both raw and cooked veggies and fruits daily get an ample supply of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients necessary to fuel our body, reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases, give us pep, and feel more joy in living.

Note: Source of the link to the post above I show as, "reduce inflammation," written by Lisa Truesdale on the blog,  Eclectic Evelyn.

Hang in with me, and I'll show you ways food including cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale are flavorful and raise the body's natural immunity to illness


Bloom into Health Eat Color Rich Produce




1. Eat all food with mindful awareness, both at home and away. This will help you make conscious food choices.

2. Remember, the human body runs most efficiently on food that is in its natural form, or very close to it. 

3. Visualize yourself preparing and eating at least one new whole food plant-based meal a week. Envisioning a positive outcome will increase the chance of your success. Read 10 Secrets for Eating Healthy on a Budget for information and motivation.

4. Before you head off to the market, check for specials and make a shopping list. 

5. Most whole food plant-based recipes are simple to make. Love  Veggie Chili? It's economical, delicious, and a one pot meal fit for your family or a crowd. For other colorful whole food plant-based ideas I enjoy using Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's cookbook, Color Me Vegan.

6. Once you're in the market, notice whether your list includes a range of colors like those in the rainbow. For example I love brightly colored red peppers, arugula, oranges, watermelon, collard greens, and ears of corn. How many of the veggies and fruits shown in the photo below do you know? 

Leave the store as soon as you find list items to avoid impulse shopping, but check out prep and recipe ideas for those you don't know much about. 



7. Don't overshop. Select those plant-based ingredients you know you will prepare or cook/freeze right away. Eating fresh fruits and veggies as close to the time when your food was harvested, makes good nutrition sense. 

Make double portions and freeze some to use later. This saves time and energy in the long run. It also cuts down on food spoilage and waste.

8. Purchase high soluble fiber foods including old fashioned and steel cut oatmeal, millet, barley, black beans, lentils and peas, bananas, oranges, pears, and prunes to keep all systems moving.

9. If you buy packaged, frozen, or canned foods, read every label. Here's how to do it

Nix those items with a long ingredient list. Products that are highly processed, usually contain additives, preservatives, and/or empty calories from too much salt, oil, or sugar.

10. Plant proteins are important elements of any healthy whole food plan, and these are good ones to know.


Organic Tofu Protein: 8 to 15 grams (depends on how it's made) per 3 oz. serving

Organic Edamame. Protein: 18 grams per 1-cup serving, cooked


Organic Tempeh. Protein: 3 oz. supply 15.77 grams cooked

Black Beans. Protein: 15 grams per cup, cooked

Mixed Salad Greens. Protein. 2 cups raw provides 2 grams

Spinach. Protein: 1-cup serving provides 1-3 grams, depending on whether it's raw or cooked.


Broccoli. Protein: 1-cup chopped serving provides 2.6 grams


Zucchini. Protein: 2.9 grams in one zucchini

Kale. Protein: 1 cup chopped kale has 2.9 grams

Split Green Peas. Protein: 16 grams per cup, cooked

Sweet Potatoes. Protein: 1 cup provides 2.1 grams

Almonds. Protein: 1 oz. of raw almonds provides 6 grams 


Brazil Nuts. Protein: 6 raw nuts or 1 oz. provides 4.1 grams


Pecans. Protein: 1 oz. raw provides 2.6 grams


Walnuts. Protein: 1 oz. raw walnuts provides 2.6 grams

Almond Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 7 grams


Cashew Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 6 grams


Peanut Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 8 grams ( I don't eat peanuts, but include this for your information)


Sunflower Seeds. Protein: 1/2 cup provides 14.5 grams

Flax meal. Protein: 1 oz. or about 2 Tablespoons provide 12 grams


11. Include fixings for at least one salad a day. Dark green and red/purple lettuces and salad ingredients including romaine, red leaf, watercress, kale, and red cabbage contain more nutrients and taste livelier than the paler colored ones.

Top a salad with a heaping spoonful of Vegan Bean, Garlic, and Ginger Salad Dressing for tangy goodness without the fat. While you're checking out the recipe, discover what tempeh is and how to cook it.





12. If you are at a healthy weight now, your weight will remain stable, if you follow this eating plan, exercise, and refrain from eating junk food/fast food. If you're overweight, sticking with a whole food plant based diet will help you shed pounds and keep them off.

13. Have only a little time to cook? Most markets today sell pre-chopped produce items and salad fixings. Purchasing cut up or spiralized veggies and fruit is a better choice for wellness than eating in a ho-hum restaurant or fast food joint.

14. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. It adds digestion, elimination, and keeps you hydrated.

15. Keep a supply of prepped raw carrots, bean and veggie salad, and celery on hand in the refrigerator for times when you have an urge to snack. Scoop out an avocado and mash the green delicious part into a paste. Use it as a taste-tempting, nutritious spread on whole grain bread or as a veggie dip. If you like, season with fresh squeezed lime juice and salt and pepper.




16. Prepare and carry along a small container of pistachio nuts or pumpkin seeds to munch on, for low energy moments on the job or at home. 

Another idea for snacking is to slice a pink lady apple crosswise, and spread full of peanut or almond butter. Eat this refreshing treat at your desk or after your workout at the gym. 

17. Brown bag your lunch. Save time and prep a few days' worth of veggies, fruits, whole grains for lunches on the go or lunches you eat at home. 

Planning ahead saves time and helps curb eating on the run.

18. Rather than the same old same old, try a rotation plan or find recipes for "new to you veggies" like bok choy, Napa cabbage, asparagus, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, and greens like chard or mustard greens.

19. Lightly steam veggies to retain flavor and nutrients. Season with lemon or orange juice or zest to heighten flavor without calories. 

20. Another way to add interest to home cooked meals is to sprinkle on fresh dill, basil, rosemary, and sage from the garden.  Oregano, mustard seeds, ginger, and thyme are herbs and spices that add zip to the taste of your veggies. 

21. If your budget is tight or you live in a place without a garden, dried herbs and spices are convenient. Store the herb or spice in a tightly sealed glass jar (out of light) for no longer than 1 year to keep quality up. 

Dried herbs are more potent than fresh. Use 1 teaspoon of dried to 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs or a 1 to 3 ratio.

22. Add garlic and/or shallots, leeks, scallions, black pepper, and onion to veggie casseroles, sandwiches, stews, soup, and sauces. Spices provide a sweet, spicy, or savory note and also contain nutrients to help us stay healthy.

23. Another healthful way to cook vegetables to bring out their natural flavor is to roast them. See this easy to prepare recipe for oil free roasted vegetables.

24. Fruits and vegetables are complex carbohydrates. Most are low in calories and loaded with nutrients. Fruit contains natural sugar. When strawberries, grapefruit, and cherries are eaten in moderation, they don't cause abrupt fluctuations in your blood sugar level.

25. Shop for produce with your senses and look, sniff, and touch for freshness and ripeness. Take your time selecting quality over quantity.

26. Mix it up by eating cooked and raw veggies. You'll start to discern a deeper level of aromas, textures, tastes, and sense which color and flavor combinations compliment each other. 

27. Some veggies or fruits like tomatoes, carrots, and peppers are more easily digested by the body when cooked. Beans need to be cooked thoroughly or else sprouted. 

Other things like onion, parsley, cucumber, and celery can be eaten raw. See NutritionFacts.org, an online resource founded by Michael Greger M.D. for sound advice about how the food you eat impacts your health. 

28. Read additional food ideas from previously published posts on this blog by clicking on the links below. 

To live well and feel healthy, experience the pleasures and benefits of eating as close to nature as possible. 

Then, attract attention and praise from family and friends by preparing delicious whole food plant-based meals that supply the nutrient dense foods that help you and your family work and play at peak efficiency.
Are you willing to add at least one new plant-based whole food meal to your cooking repertoire each week? Why or why not? Answer below.




Which of the 28 tips I offer above helps you most and why?

Do you think a whole food plant-based eating plan saves bucks? 

Most people who follow this plan don't have to take cholesterol lowering drugs or blood pressure medications. They also lower the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, or having a stroke. 

In addition, we as a society could cut down on out of pocket medical insurance costs, doctor visit copay expenses, and medication bills if more people followed this plan.

Before you go, please comment below. I appreciate and read every comment, but do not publish them, if you add links. Thanks for understanding. 

Spread the word by re-sharing on social media, and please credit me with a link back to this post. 💗


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21 comments:

  1. Hi Nancy,
    I have tried in the past to have an animal product free day, but that feel to the wayside. While I am not real good about eating fruits and vegetables every day I do love zucchini noodles. Pinned and shared.

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    1. Microsteps are a great way to make the change, and zucchini noodles are an excellent start. I saw carrot, beet, and butternut squash noodles in my market. Why not try them out? Thanks for the visit and comment and be well dear Joyce.

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  2. Hi Nancy, lots of great advice here for anyone who is leaning toward a plant based diet. I'm not there yet but as you said, have been working hard to eat foods that are natural or have just a few ingredients. It really does make a difference!

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    1. Thanks Candi for the visit and comment. Every step we take counts and you're headed in the right direction so keep up the good work.

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  3. Wow Nancy what a comprehensive list! I still enjoy meat so probably won't give it up entirely although we have cut back and been more creative with meatless meals. I love vegetables and we eat little processed foods. I just think fresh food can look so much more enticing than bland packaged options. Thank you for sharing at #MLSTL and I know that all of us can take away valuable information from your list. xx

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    1. Thanks Sue for the visit and hosting MLSTL. Glad you mentioned "fresh food can look so much more enticing than bland packaged options." That sure is a BIG PLUS. Be well and lead a colorful life!

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  4. I'm a big fan of balance in my meals. I still love a piece of meat, chicken or fish in the evenings, but along with that there's always lots of fresh vegetables in winter and salad in summer. I admire vegetarians and vegans, but it's not for me - but that doesn't mean I can't choose to eat the rainbow every day :)
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM :)

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    1. Thanks for the visit and comment Leanne. Happy to have the opportunity to hear what works for you. Thanks for hosting MLSTL blog party. Have a terrific day.

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  5. Hi Nancy,
    This is a lot of good information in this article. Truthfully I don't believe in the Vegan diet as a lifestyle diet, but I do respect others opinion and if it works for you than that is great. I do eat a lot of vegetables and fruits as many as my food allergies allow. I try to keep my diet as balanced, healthy and organic as possible.
    I believe everyone has to find what works best for them and their body. Eating the rainbow is very important and do follow that as much as possible. Sharing on social media.

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    1. Thanks Marla for your comment and social media shares. I too believe everyone has to find what works best for them and their body. Wishing you a blessed day.

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  6. This is an awesome post Nancy!! Looks like you've covered everything! I read an article recently that said you cannot survive on this type of diet but I disagree. I've always felt like eating animal products was bad for us and of course we know processed foods are bad for us. Why not bring this post over to my 2 open link parties (if you haven't already) the new UNLIMITED Monthly and the Wednesday AIM. Shared x 3 ♥

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    1. Took your advice and visited Wednesday AIM. Thanks for tipping me off and have a great weekend. And thanks for the social shares.

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  7. Thanks so much for linking up at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 39! Pinned ♥

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    1. Thanks Dee. Fun to visit this swell blog party and thanks for hosting.

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  8. Since my daughter is vegan, I have started making more vegan meals and it isn't as hard as people might think. My current fave is marinara sauce made from my home grown tomatoes and basil. My daughter loves it too!

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  9. Thanks for the visit Helen and way to go. I love fresh marinara sauce and think I'll make some this weekend. Be well and lead a colorful life!

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  10. Such great info graces your blog. I get hungry reading it. I’ll look forward to the next one like I look forward to my next meal.

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    1. LOL. Thanks so much for the visit and comment Steven. Just love that you took the time out of your busy life to do it. Have a great morning and lunch is at 12n.

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  11. Thanks for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 2!

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  12. Wonderful advice Nancy. I would add that legumes are our best protein source and there are so many wonderful beans, lentils and split peas that we can choose from. No shortage of protein for us plant-eaters. I invite your readers to check out our YouTube channel, Happy Vegan Couple, for step-by-step cooking directions for the healthy plant food we make in our home. We have lots of great recipes.

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    1. Thanks so much for the comment and visit. Have a healthy, happy, plant-filled day.

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