What was that old Lucky Charms Commercial tag line... "Taste the Rainbow".. Well instead of crushing your GUT microbiome with inflammatory processed grains, lets talk about the rainbow of colors that your vegetables provide and the associated health benefits of each. Our Mother Nature is incredibly diverse and in this diversity we have the ability to fill the entire spectrum of daily nutritional needs. The color of our veggies tell us what phytochecmicals lie inside and peeling this information back, we can target our menu to help us become the healthiest possible version of ourselves.
Phytochemicals are defined as; "The biologically active compounds found in plants". Many of these phytochemical commands we know well as they are plastered on health food marketing at every turn. Haven't you heard of; antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids, catechizes, sulfides, polyphenols? These powerhouses of nutrient gains are necessary for battling damage to cells and tissues from training and the environmental stress our bodies endure on a daily basis.
Organic, locally sourced, non-GMO vegetables are better sources of phytochemicals than most store bought veggies. Heat, travel time, GMO, have an effect on the nutrient density of the vegetable and the associated effect on your body. Now lets dive into the rainbow and the good that lies beneath!!
Red fruits and veggies draw you in and make you love them on sight. Usually this color is prominent during the summer months when heat is high and sunshine is prevalent. Mother Nature has allowed for these veggies to darken their skins to protect themselves and boost nutrient density.
Key nutrients in red fruits and veggies are Reversatrol, Anthocyanins, Vitamin C, and Lycopene. Anti-inflammatory agents like these have been linked to everything from cellular protection to diabetes. Your heart loves these nutrients as well because of the healing properties they bring to blood vessels throughout the circulatory system. Vitamin C is also a big piece to having a healthy immune system.
Great Red Veggies include: Red Bell Pepper, Pomegranates, Strawberries, Red Chili Pepper, Radishes, Tomatoes, Red Grapes and Red Apples.
Purple (and Blue) Vegetables.
Nothing says high nutrient value like a deep purple vegetable. As well, they dress up your plate with vibrant color which can bring your eyes to the table as fast as your stomach. Available in both warm and cold climates, in summer and winter, these vegetables and fruits provide year round cancer fighting compounds as well as lowering cholesterol and heart disease.
Key nutrients in Purple and Blue veggies include Quercitin, Kaempferol, Anthocyanins, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Sulforaphane and a host of Magnesium. Protecting Cells from environmental stress like pollution and bacteria are just the beginning of the benefits. As an athlete this shade of vegetable is important because it has been reported to 'activate' certain proteins that are associated with muscle and bone health. Because you can find this color vegetable year round, this should be a mandatory shopping list item.
Great Purple and Blue veggies include; Purple Cabbage, Purple Kale, Purple Asparagus, Blueberries, Currants, Endive, Romanesco, Eggplant, and purple grapes.
Yellow and Orange Vegetables.
Classically the Orange vegetable has been touted because of their high Vitamin C content and Carotenoids (beta-carotene) but the benefits are much more broad than once thought. While many of these vegetables are naturally sweet (think sweet potato and carrot) , they actually have been found to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics and provide 3X your daily value of Vitamin A.
Key nutrients include Vitamin A , Vitamin C, Carotenoids, Choline, Potassium, Magnesium, and Reversatrol. Diabetes and Blood Pressure benefits are obvious because of its effect on your metabolism but this color is highly associated with fighting cancer causing damage to cells. If inflammation is the root cause of most degenerative disease then you need to make sure there is plenty of orange and yellow good ness in your diet. As an athlete Vitamin C and Carotene are essential for immune system health. Your recovery from training is tied directly to how well your immune system is functioning.
Excellent sources of Yellow and Orange Vegetables include; Carrots, Organges, Butternut Squash, Winter Squash, Yellow Pepper, Corn, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Lemons and tangerines.
Green Vegetables and Fruits.
Your salad better have more green than anything else. Unless you have been living on another planet and not reading my blog for the past 8 years you know that it is imperative that you consume a high amount of green leafy vegetables. And they are everywhere in your grocery store and farmers market!! Green vegetables are about as prevalent as the chip isle is in your local store.
Sulfurous veggies are natural detoxifiers and provide excellent food for your healthy GUT bacteria. Fiber is non digestible plant material that helps clear the digestive system and provide a great buffet for healthy bacteria in your GUT. Healthy GUT bacteria means that your tissue lining the intestines is not susceptible to perforations that cause inflammation and disease. Other nutrients include Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and folate.
Great Green Veggies include; Asparagus, Zucchini, Kale (all types), Arugula, Parsley, Okra, Seaweed, Broccoli, Cabbage, Collard Greens, the list could go on and on.. Literally if you cant find 10 green veggies at your local farmers market that you can prepare, push yourself in the face and wake up!! Choices are everywhere!!
While I could go on and on about the nutrients in your rainbow, I digress. Eating a diet high in fiber, loaded with healthy vegetables is backed by not only me but the ENTIRE Science community. Genetics deals us the cards but we can support and often mitigate degradation of our DNA by the fuel we put in our bodies. Giving yourself the gift of health takes conscious dedication but can also be fun. Looking at your food as a rainbow is a great objective tool to accomplish your goal.
Eat and Thrive my friends. I will be here to support you in the process!
Programming Notes 3/12-3/16
25 Walking Lunge Steps
20 Med Ball Squats
15 Med ball Toe Touches
10 Lateral Med Ball Hops
Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Roll Outs, Boot Straps, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Rotation
*set of 3 Should be at or above 85%
20 Min Partner AMRAP
A- 10 Wall Ball Shots/ 5 Burpee box Jump Overs
B - Rest
50’ Banded Lateral Walks
20 Banded Good Mornings
20 Banded Squats
15 Anchored Broad Jump (band attached to rig, around waist, load and explode)
15 Deadbug Ipsalateral Reach (each Side)
*spend 5 Minutes Warming Up the Chest To bar Pull Up
-jumping pull up
-australian pull ups
*spend 6 Minutes on the barbell movements and scaling
-hip hinge on deadlift and snatch
-no stutter steps on the lunges
-scaling the weight
EMOM until Finished with all reps
Odd Minutes- 5 Chest to bar Pull Ups
40 Deadlift 155/115
30 Front Rack Lunges 115/75
20 Hang Power Snatch 95/65
*pick up work where you left off from previous minute.
*hard cap of 20 minutes on this one
5 Minutes Easy Bike
12 Banded Glute Bridges
50’ Banded Monster Walk (forward and backward)
12 Bird Dogs
12 Divebomber push Ups
1:00 Hard Bike
*spend 3 Minutes rolling out calves and upper back
Handstand Push Up Progression: (8 Minutes)
-Seated Dumbbell Press (establish ROM for all movement options)
-Piked Handstand Push Up
-Box Handstand Push Ups
-Banded Handstand Push Ups
-Nose to Wall Handstand Push Ups
-Deficit handstand Push Ups
*have athletes practice on each iteration to find what works or them
6 Deficit 4/2”/ Strict/ Handstand Push Ups
*Rest 1;00 Between Rounds
50’ Bear Crawl
12 Squat Therapy
12 V Ups
12 Side Plank Knee To Elbow (each Side)
12 Med Ball Chest Pass >>>
*chest pass should originate by hinging at waist, loading backside, and then powerful press to the wall in front of athlete
-Elbow To Instep+ Reach
EMOM 3 X 5
1:00 Bike For Cals
:30 American Kettlebell Swings
-Rest Remaining Time