It’s that time of the year again, when sleigh bells ring, Santa is showing up where you least expect it, and while we’re dodging that obese role model, brightly-colored, sugary-fatty treats scream HOW CAN YOU SHOW YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRIT IF YOU DON’T EAT A LITTLE?
So, we indulge a little, and suddenly that goodie-two shoes friend shows up wafting a salad before our noses like a sneaky little spy bringing great tidings of coal by the truckload. What’s a calorie-conscious holiday celebrator to do?
Here’s a little secret: There is nothing new this year. We’ve tasted everything already in winter seasons past. No matter how beautifully decorated, that little morsel is just not the same as when we were kids and new tastes were as much of an adventure as fighting with our siblings over who got to lick the cake bowl.
In an adult search for holiday festivity in foods, one morsel may lead to another, and yet another, in that elusive quest to rediscover the mysteries of the season in a time where there is absolutely nothing mysterious anymore. The treats may be cuter and more creative than ever this year, and chocolate still tastes like chocolate, caramel like caramel and coconut like coconut. The mystery is gone forever; never to return.
Are we fated to just watch while others, the less insightful, indulge as we valiantly wave our own salads around and bemoan our savvy yet jaded experience while repeating that tired old mantra “being cute and festive is more fun than eating something cute and festive”? Isn’t there a way we can have our cake, treats, and holiday smells … and eat cute too?
Maybe it’s time to go back to that childhood innocence and do as Grammy-nominated, Parent’s Choice-award-winning recording artist Jay Mankita suggests, to “eat like a rainbow“.
Eating a rainbow of colors as found in fruits and vegetables, meaning red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-purple, may seem a daunting task to keep ahead of during the holidays. How to get all those in? Do we need all the colors every day and, if so, what’s going to keep us from grabbing a packet of peanut M&Ms when the holiday going gets tough?
My answer: plan to prepare foods that come from colors in the rainbow, and navigate the labyrinth of holiday treats by eating like a psychic.
What do I mean by this? Well, every good psychic worth her salt knows that every day of the week is associated with a different color. If we focus on having at least one meal per day which focuses on the color of the day, then by the end of the week, we’ve indeed eaten like a rainbow.
And, because each day is a different color, this technique not only keeps our mind occupied with a new and healthier eating game during the holidays, it also has the possible benefit of increasing our awareness of metaphysics.
So, what are these psychic daily colors, and what types of fruits or vegetables might we include or feature in our daily psychic meal?
Monday, the day of the moon, is white. Think cauliflower, mushrooms, white onions, nuts that are white or light colored, and fruits with white flesh, like apples, pears and bananas.
Tuesday, the day of Mars, is red. Think tomatoes, tomato sauce, strawberries, cranberries and cherries.
Wednesday, the day of Mercury, is orange. Think carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, oranges, and persimmons.
Thursday, the day of Jupiter, is blue, indigo and purple. Think purple cabbage, purple onions, eggplant, purple grapes and blueberries.
Friday, the day of Venus, is green. Think of all those leafy greens that have been covered by more flamboyant fruits and veggies all week, and let them show their stuff! Think brussels sprouts, green beans, peas, salad and cooking greens, lime, green grapes, green figs, and fuji apples.
Saturday, the day of Saturn, is dark brown and black. Think dark leafy greens, ground pepper, nuts, nut butters, figs, raisins and dates.
Sunday, the day of the Sun, is yellow. Think yellow squash, yellow onions, lemons, bananas, golden apples and pears.
Let’s try to shop at a farmer’s market for what’s in season or, if we go to the supermarket, concentrate on the produce aisles first. If all the colors aren’t available in fresh produce, realize that ice and snow have been part of the winter season since time immemorial; ’tis the season of frozen fruits and veggies. Yes, even the ones that aren’t in season right now.
Shop and hunt around for at least one fruit and one vegetable for each of the daily colors every week, and remember this is not only about health, antioxidants and flavenoids. It’s also a game!
If we’re not careful, we may just find ourselves smiling and whistling little holiday tunes while we’re blissfully perusing nutritional botanicals and releasing our awareness of the baked goods of the season. Instead of cringing at the thought of salad and worrying about bothersome old Kris Kringle, we’ll be navigating the maze of holiday fare with a happy tummy, and eating like experienced psychics.