Eat the Rainbow: Fill your body with colorful foods

TDB Fitness Newsletter 2/28/2021

How much time do you spend thinking about the color of the food you eat? When it comes to selecting fruits and vegetables for your diet, use the rainbow as your guide!

Tip of the Week:

Eat the Rainbow

I’ve spoken in previous newsletters about the state of my diet when my partner Vinnie met me in college. Despite my mother’s best efforts to bond over her favorite hobby growing up, I don’t cook. I’m just not patient enough, and have too severe of ADHD to derive joy out of standing, watching, stirring, experimenting with flavors, etc. So, as an adult before Vinnie, I ate mostly food that came out of a box. And ice cream. I ate a lot of ice cream.

Vinnie obviously changed my entire diet. I don’t underestimate my privilege in that my partner does almost 100% of the cooking in our household. And, I have to admit that one of my toxic traits is becoming very pouty if I ever have to cook for myself.

However, I have also found in adulthood that one cannot fully avoid the responsibility of feeding themselves. Therefore, Vinnie has given me a few tips for creating healthy enough dishes to pass his standards of approval, while also meeting my criteria for simplicity and convenience:

  • Fruits and veggies first: fresh food is typically better for you than processed food. Fruits and veggies are a wonderful snack option. When considering which fruits and veggies you select, the American Heart Association suggests eating as wide a variety of colors as possible. Why? The colors in fruits and vegetables indicate different nutrients and vitamins the food contains. The whiter/clearer the food is, the less nutritional value (think potatoes v. sweet potatoes).
Renea’s famous sweet potato fries.
  • Cook using healthy fats: if you’re not into munching raw veggies all the time, you can steam, roast, bake, or sauté them and still create something healthy. Just make sure any cooking oils you use contain the kind of healthy fat that helps lower cholesterol (see the recipe below/video above for an example!)
  • Consider your sugar intake: we live in a food industry that markets “fat free” and “low cal” as the magic bullets for selecting healthy food. In reality, we should be paying more attention to our sugar intake. Sugar is the real villain of our diets. It is addicting, it’s bad for your teeth, and unchecked sugar intake can lead to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes; all potentially terminal diseases. Sugar is tricky because the language of nutrition labels often hides its presence. Any syrups or corn-based ingredients you see, though, are just code names for sugar. Check the “Food for Thought” section in this copy of our newsletter for more about how toxic marketing may influence your diet.

With these tips in mind, Vinnie and I have created recipes I will actually cook for myself. One of those recipes is Sweet Potato Fries! I love sweet potatoes, and they’re actually good for you. I know “fries” may not seem healthy, but bake instead of fry and use a cooking oil with healthy fat and, voila! A filling snack that passes even Vinnie’s high standards.

Check out the video above where I demonstrate how to make my sweet potato fries!

Food for Thought:

Sweet Potato Fries – the recipe

First of all, I just want to say how excited I am to be sharing one of MY recipes with you all. My abysmal cooking skills have become somewhat of a family joke — albeit one that I embrace whole-heartedly. However, this recipe is basically my Titanic (the movie not the ship). This recipe is one of my few claims to cooking greatness, one of my few opportunities to really shine. And better yet, it’s the only thing I can make that Vinnie and I both agree I make better than he does. The following recipe is enough of a snack for one person.

  • either two small sweet potatoes, or one big mama sweet potato, depending on what you can find
  • olive oil (or other preferred cooking oil containing healthy fat)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

Wash the outside of your sweet potatoes. Peel if you want, but I leave the peel on (you get a crunchier fry and more minerals from the peel!). Chop sweet potatoes into “fry” shapes — this is more of an art than a science. I typically try to chop mine down to roughly 2 inches x 1 inch. The bigger your fries are, the longer they will take in the oven.

Cover a baking sheet with foil (optional — easier cleanup). Spread the fries out in one layer on the baking sheet.

Coat lightly with oil. Add salt, pepper, and paprika to preference. Toss with your hands, massaging the oil and spices into each fry. Repeat this process a second time.

Place baking sheet in oven. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and use a spatula to turn the fries over in the pan. Place baking sheet back in oven for 8-10 more minutes.

Fries are “done” when when you can poke through the thickest one with a fork, without resistance.

Allow time to cool and enjoy! And comment on our Facebook Group to let us know how they tasted!

Team Announcements

Join us for Happy Hour!

Check our Facebook Group for a “Happy Hour Survey”. After last week’s newsletter, many of you expressed interest in joining us for periodic evening classes with a cocktail hour following (21+ only). Fill out the survey we posted on Facebook today so we can look at scheduling our first event!

Referral Program

Refer your friends to TDB Fitness and receive a week of training 50% off.

All they have to do is give us your name when signing up for a new training package. (Receive one week of training at 50% off for each referral).

Dreams for the future

It’s the last day of February, and the sun has been shining for a few days. Our minds are on spring, and with spring comes gardening season! Vinnie has an epic vegetable and fruit garden in our backyard. We can’t wait to share our abundance with the Team this year! Any suggestions on what he should grow this season?

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