Strong 6: R Is for Rainbow, Balance Your Diet with Colorful Whole Foods
My parents almost named me Rainbow. Rainbow!
Yup. Whilst on a pub crawl in England (during which my mom was pregnant with me, so of course she didn’t partake <insert judgmental smirk>) my parents decided they should definitely name me after a fish....specifically Rainbow Trout.
I’m not upset about their game-time decision to go with boring ol' Lauren, for Lauren Bacall, instead.
See to me, the name "Rainbow" is best reserved for adults who legally change their name to more appropriately fit their alternative lifestyle. A new name for Sally who feels out of place at a nudist meet-up full of Starr's, Astrid's, and Summer's. But I digress- name your kid Tulip for all I care. This is just a nonsensical segue.
This segment of the Strong 6 Tenets is actually about eating the rainbow. All about making sure we get the nutrients we need to thrive. Specifically, potassium, fiber, choline, magnesium, calcium, Vitamins A, D, E, & C, and Iron (for women) are commonly under-consumed as stated in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Vitamins & Minerals:
For a comprehensive list of the recommendations for Vitamins and Minerals, please see the handy dandy chart at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/InteractiveNutritionFactsLabel/factsheets/Vitamin_and_Mineral_Chart.pdf
I think it sounds positively hellish to meticulously record your intake of each Vitamin and Mineral every. single. day.
Instead, take a look at the “Where it is Found” column of that chart I linked. Are you including a lot of these foods in your diet? If not, vary it up a little! Try something new. Seafood, grains, vegetables, legumes, dairy, offal- all in there! If that sounds simple, that's because it is.
If you use the MyFitnessPal app to record your food intake (the use of which I will be going over in a future post!), most of the foods in the app are labeled with these values. Not a bad idea to check in once in a while at the end of a normal day of eating and see where you stand.
As a safety net (as in NOT a replacement for nutrient dense food, picky eaters :P) I do take a daily multivitamin. If you’re female, check to make sure your multivitamin has a decent (~18g) dose of Iron.
I also take Cod Liver Oil (in a gel tablet form) because it’s a great source of Omega-3's and Vitamin D.
Hydration, hydration, hydration! According to the Institute of Medicine, adequate intake of water for adult females is 2.7L or 91oz/day! Carrying a water bottle has been a game changer for me. Mine is 32oz- fill it and drink it three times, and VOILA! I've met my daily requirement. I never leave the house without my “baba” and I’m proud to have almost-perfectly-clear urine 95% of the time (because coffee).
The same Institute of Medicine chart lists adequate intake of fiber for females ages 19-50 at 25g/day. Theoretically, if you’re eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, this is easily achievable. I may not drive a fancy car, but I DO get 40g fiber/day, so who’s winning, y’all? Constipation ain’t sexy.
If you have dietary restrictions/allergies that prevent you from meeting target fiber intake with whole foods, you might consider using a fiber supplement like Metamucil or Citrucel. I'll also add that most Quest Protein Bars offer ~14g of fiber along with 20+g protein.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got for you today, folks! As always, I try to keep things simple around here. I’ve listed sources below and if you’d like to dig deeper, I highly encourage you to click around!
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium. “- Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D - NCBI Bookshelf.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56068/table/summarytables.t4/?report=objectonly.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/