As a runner and a busy mom, what I fuel my body with is very important. Yes, I indulge in my fair share of salty chips (my biggest weakness) and other stuff I shouldn’t. But my goal is to eat as healthy as possible.
And that means packing in as many fruits and vegetables as possible into my daily diet. But I was struggling with a sustainable way to make this happen day after day.
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Then a lightbulb turned on for me when I checked out The Runner’s World Cookbook from the library, which encourages you to eat a rainbow of produce every day.
“There are 400-plus pigments that light up the supermarket produce aisle, and they each offer unique benefits. [They’ve] been shown to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s, while also improving your memory… [and] they can help reduce inflammation caused by disease or heavy exercise. But studies suggest that the pigments in produce need to interact with other color compounds in fruits or vegetables to produce their beneficial effects, which is why it’s important to eat a wide variety of colors every day.”The Runner’s World Cookbook
It suggests runners aim for NINE total servings of colorful fruits and vegetables each day from FIVE unique color groups… thus, making it a rainbow.
The groups are:
- Yellow and Orange
- Blue and Purple
I loved this idea so much, that I created a meal plan around the rainbow concept. It created a way for me to easily plan and track my daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Meal planning is already very important to my budget. And it has other benefits like saving time, avoiding food waste and being smarter about calories.
You can see my other article on meal planning with a printable resource pack here.
Using the Rainbow Meal Plan helps align my meal planning objectives with my goal of keeping my diet balanced with healthy and colorful fruits and vegetables.
The Rainbow Tracker also helps me hold myself accountable and make sure I’m on track, at a glance.
I love to pull recipes from cookbooks I check out at the library as well as recipes I find on Pinterest, so the printable recipe pages are the perfect way for me to keep it all in one place.
You can download the Rainbow Meal Plan bundle and print it at home. Just click here.
Easy Types Of Meals To Help You Get More Fruits & Vegetables In Your Diet
If it seems like a struggle to get nine servings each day, consider meals that pack in several color groups all at once.
Salads and smoothies can be chock full of all kinds of fruits and veggies. And stir fry dishes, soup, and omelets are great places to load up on vegetables.
And many of these meals don’t take much cooking talent or even recipes, just throw in the fruits and vegetables that you like.
Tips For Making Fruits & Vegetables A Daily Habit
The key to making a habit out of eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is to make it easy. When other, less healthy, higher-calorie snacks are easier, that’s what we reach for. Instead, put the good stuff at your fingertips.
- Set aside some meal prep time each week to cut up fruits and vegetables so they will be ready and easily accessible throughout the week.
- Roast large sheet pans of vegetables during your meal prep session or while cooking any meal. Leftovers will keep and taste great reheated with other meals.
- Stock up on healthy dips and other food that you can pair with fruits and vegetables to make an easy and appealing snack. Hummus is a great veggie dip and cheese sticks pair well with fruit.
Where To Find Recipes With Fruits & Vegetables
For recipe inspiration, Pinterest is a great place to go. You can check out these boards for great ideas:
Cookbooks are also great. I love to check out stacks of them from the library at a time and write down my favorite recipes. For ones I really like, I will buy them on Amazon to keep. Here are some of my favorites:
Some of my other favorite meal planning, recipe resources:
Here are recipes that will fit perfectly into your Rainbow Meal Plan because they are filled with a variety of colorful vegetables.
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