Variety is the spice of life and healthy eating. What do Rebel Dietitians mean when we say to eat a varied diet? As you may know, we are the authors of Taste the Sweet Rebellion and we like to put a rebellious spin on dieting. In fact, in the introduction to our workbook we encourage our clients to sign the Rebel Manifesto. As you can see below, variety is featured in #2 of our Rebel Manifesto.
The REBEL Manifesto:
Our philosophy on resisting diets while nourishing your mind, body, and soul.
- RESIST diets and boldly nourish your mind and body. This includes working through this workbook to learn the skills needed to fuel your body while resisting ALL diets and food rules. NO more good vs. bad foods.
EAT like a REBEL by embracing nutrition and learning how to nourish your body like a pro.
Nutrition knowledge is power. Embrace science-based nutrition facts and avoid harmful, trendy, sensationalized nutrition information. It means eating with nutrition principles in mind while enjoying a wide variety of foods. Eating like a REBEL means connecting with your mind, body, and soul in order to fine-tune your nutrition to meet your individual needs.
- BUILD confidence in your eating by increasing your awareness on when, why, where, and how you eat. Learn to trust your hunger and practice savoring your food. It means developing skills to stop using food to smother or distract from your emotions and understanding the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger by closely listening to your body.
- EMPOWER yourself by building a healthy relationship with food and developing a healthy relationship with your body. Set up your environment for success, and give yourself permission to practice self-care including making mindful food choices, embracing movement for joy, and practicing gratitude in daily life.
- LIVE joyfully by unleashing your inner REBEL, ceasing comparisons, appreciating your body as it is today, divorcing the dieting industry, and ditching diets forever.Break out of dieting prison and stay out. Embrace what is truly important in your life!
Why is it important to have more variety in your diet?
Variety is the spice of a REBELLIOUS life. Even the most balanced meals eaten in moderation may not provide optimal nutrition. For example, if you eat a picture perfect plate of chicken, broccoli, and brown rice every day, you will still not get the full complement of nutrients you need. Each color of fruit and vegetables have a unique color that represents a different nutrient profile.
Produce of similar colors represent a unique nutrient profile of vitamins and minerals, so variety is key. There really is science behind eat the colors of the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables are the main source of antioxidants, helping to repair cell damage and reduce a person s risk of cancer, cardiac disease, cataracts, and diabetes. The macronutrient present in fruit is carbohydrates. Vegetables contain some carbohydrates less than fruit or grains.
So eating a variety of foods will maximize the amount of nutrients in your diet. Eating a wide range of foods also appeals to all of your senses, satisfying unique textures, tastes, and smells to make mealtime adventurous.
For a great reminder of the nutrients and nutrient functions of a wide variety of food source, take a look at the Rebel Toolbox in the Appendix of our Taste the Sweet Rebellion workbook/cookbook.
Eating a wide variety of foods also allows you to practice portions and balance, so you can mix it up each day and not feel obligated to eat all of your favorite foods in one sitting. Alternating between two starches, i.e. pancakes and home fries at breakfast, allows you to enjoy two foods you love while still paying attention to your portions of carbohydrates as well as allowing room for food from other groups.
Simple recipes to include more variety in your diet
Templates to add variety to your diet using customizable charts to design your own stirfry or smoothie
Build Your Own Stir Fry
Get Creative On Pizza Night
Customize Your Own Smoothie To Add Variety To Breakfast
Challenge yourself to do one of the following:
- increase the variety of your diet by adding in one new food each day
- add new and unusual vegetables to your next stirfry or smoothie
Our dietitians are here to help you bring more variety into your diet! Click here or call 301-474-2499 to make an appointment with one of our nutrition professionals.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.