Losing weight doesn’t have to be boring when you focus on bright, colorful meals. What does this mean? Simply by making sure your plate reflects a range of colors, you’ll naturally create more balanced and healthful menus. Not everyone has the time or the patience to count calories, but assessing the colors on your plate is something anyone can do – and it only takes a second!
Why is color important? Many fatty and caloric foods, such as dairy products and starchy carbs, are beige or brown. When there are too many of these drab colors on your plate, weight gain is almost certain.
That’s because these beige foods often are high in calories and can leave you feeling hungry later. A cup of beige or brown beans can be over 200 calories….but a cup of red or green vegetables is under a hundred! Add fresh greens, deep purple-reds, and bright yellow-orange to a meal, and water the nutrient content goes up, while calories go down! Plus, you’ll get more enjoyment from eating when there’s a variety of colors and flavors on your plate.
Although these ideas may sound whimsical, they’re grounded in scientific fact. Dr. David Heber, renowned nutritional expert from University of California, Los Angeles established the role of color in his book, “What Color is Your Diet?” So, next time you visit the refrigerator, think colorfully. And remember to mix, not match!
To get you started on the color plate here is a deliciously interesting salad: Avocado, Walnut & Crispy Bacon.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 8 minutes
7oz/200 g rindless bacon, chopped
1 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
cup fresh lime juice
sale and ground black pepper
6oz/150g baby spinach, trimmed and washed
3 ripe Roma (egg) tomatoes, diced
1 large ripe avocado, halved, peeled, seed removed and sliced
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1. Heat a non-stick frying pay over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside to cool.
2. Add walnuts to pan and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
3. Add oil and lime juice to pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
4. Combine spinach, tomatoes, avocado, onion, bacon, and walnuts in a large serving bowl. Pour warm lime dressing over salad and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.