Rainbow On Your Plate – Eating the right portions of the Australian Food Pyramid
I’m regularly talking to my patients about their diets and the concept of a rainbow on their plate.
But what does that actually mean and how can you turn it into a reality?
More often than not when I ask patients about their dietary habits, we discuss what a typical day’s food consumption consists of. Often there will be a great deal of highly refined, processed and packaged foods, high in sugar, artificial colours, flavours additives, preservatives and saturated fats. A diet like this is common these days, as it’s all about convenience foods for busy families but is deplete in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals required to fuel our bodies to maintain optimal health and wellbeing.
The Australian dietary guidelines recommend an intake of 2 fruit & 5 servings of vegetables, per person, per day. Which is easy to do when you know how. An easy way to increase the amount of fruit & vegetables each meal is by remembering to put a rainbow on your plate.
This simply means that if you think about all the amazing, vibrant colours in the rainbow and try to replicate that at each meal this will ensure you obtain all the essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements to help maintain optimal health and wellbeing. Variety is the key, both in colour and nutritional content.
Below is a little list of a few fruit and vegetables I’ve compiled to help you when shopping
but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s actually available at the market, fruit and veg shop or supermarket.
Hopefully it will help create some interest and awareness of the options you have available to you and when you combine this with eating seasonally fresh organic produce the options are endless.
White – garlic, onions, parsnip, cauliflower, potatoes, mushrooms,
Yellow – banana, corn, lemons, baby squash, star fruit, Yellow Capsicum
Orange – sweet potato, pumpkin, mandarins, oranges, pawpaw, carrots
Red – strawberries, tomato, watermelon, raspberries, guava, red capsicum
Purple/blue – eggplant, plums, grapes, blueberries, purple cabbage, radicchio
Green – spinach, broccoli, beans, peas, kale, brussel sprouts, kiwifruit, rocket
Brown – quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, chickpeas, Almonds, Walnuts
You can turn this into a bit of fun with the kids and get them to help you with the fruit and vegetable shop by challenging them to pick foods from each of the colours listed above.
You’ll be surprised how easy it can be and turns the weekly shop into a bit of fun for everyone.
How do you turn this into a quick, easy mid-week meal for the family? A colourful stir-fry of course!!
Chicken Stir Fry
What you’ll need:
1 chicken breast diced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons tamari
1 clove of crushed Garlic,
1 Red Chilli deseeded and finely chopped
2.5cm piece of fresh Ginger grated,
1 Red Onion diced
1 stick of Celery sliced,
½ Carrot sliced,
1 bunch of brocolini chopped in ½
½ Red Capsicum diced,
2 mushrooms diced
1 handful of snow peas diced
1-2 spring onions finely chopped
1 bunch of coriander roughly chopped
- Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a small bowl with 1/2 of the sesame oil & the tamari, set aside to marinate while chopping and preparing all other ingredients.
- Heat up a wok and add in remaining sesame oil, when hot, add in the chicken and stir fry for approx. 2 minutes until just cooked through. Remove from heat, place in a bowl and set aside.
- In the wok, add in the garlic, chilli, ginger and onion and fry for 30 seconds, add in each of the remaining ingredients, except for the spring onions and coriander, one at a time and cook for 30 seconds each time. Once all vegetables are in the wok, add the chicken back in to warm it through for 30 seconds.
- You can add in ¼ cup of water if need be to add in a little moisture to the stir fry so as not to burn the vegetables. Stir through and remove from heat.
What you’ll need:
½ fresh cauliflower head
1 teaspoon coconut oil
½ chilli finely diced and deseeded
½ bunch of chopped coriander
- Blitz up the raw cauliflower in a food processor for a few seconds until it resembles rice.
- Heat up a small frying pan or another wok the oil add in the chili and cauliflower and cook for 1 minute until warmed through and slightly soft. Remove from heat and stir in the coriander.
Serve the Stir Fry on a bed of Cauliflower rice and garnish with the spring onions and more coriander.
*Serves 2 people*
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