Monday, November 29, 2010

What Colour is Your Food?

I was watching Oprah the other day where she was featuring celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who has a new show in the US called Food Revolution - not sure if this show will hit our shores any time soon. This show aims to help people understand the importance of eating healthy and staying healthy and he goes around educating people how to make simple yet healthy foods in their own homes. Food Revolution is a spin off from Jamie's previous show in UK which aimed at getting school cafeterias to start serving healthier foods to the school children in UK. After all, a healthy lifestyle is best cultivated when you are younger.

I honestly think Food Revolution is such a brilliant idea and i hope someone in Malaysia will do the same. Anyway, from watching some of the little snippets of the show, i picked up this really cool and important tip from Jamie, which i want to share with all of you.

During one of the snippets, he visits this family which is already obese. The father, the mother the kids, everyone is just way overweight. So Jamie Oliver goes in to find out what their diet is like and its mainly frozen foods such as fries, corn dogs, TV Dinners, Frozen pizza, fried chicken etc. The reason for this poor choice in nutrition is the usual excuse - we have no time to prepare proper food. Basically, their children have been brought up eating nothing but frozen food. Yikes.

So then Jamie heads to their freezer and takes out everything they have stored in there. He opens up the boxes / packets and starts pouring everything out onto the dining table (see picture below). He then asked the mother, what colour do you see in all these foods. With tears in her eyes, the mother answers "golden brown". Which is so true. Everything on the table is just one colour. Golden brown.This is when Jamie Oliver tells her that their family is seriously missing out on many essential nutrients which is vital for a healthy life. Ideally, the food they eat should be multi coloured. You need to have your greens, your oranges, reds and purples. The different colours in fruits and vegetables gives us different nutrients that we need which also has different functions, so its best to eat foods which have as many different colours as possible. Yes, golden brown is permitted, but it should not be golden brown all the way.

So what are you putting on your plate? Just take a quick glance and see if you have many colours or is all just predominantly one colour. Lets take a look at some of our local favourites and see if it is multi coloured or just one colour.

Hmmm....As you can see, its quite easy to fall into the same trap as the family i mentioned above. If you eat out most of the time, then its quite easy to miss out on all the different colours that we need and just eat one colour. If i were to eat without thinking and just follow my taste buds, yeah, i would do the same. Its called eating on auto pilot.

So how do we prevent this from happening? Simple. The next meal you have, just a take a quick glance and see what colours you are eating. If you are pre-dominantly only eating one colour for all your meals, then you know you know you need to throw in some vegetables here and there. If your meal already looks colourful, then, bravo... you are doing good. Keep it up. I am not a big fan of vegetables and have a limited choice of veges that i do like to eat. So i make it a point to prepare meals that uses these vegetables as much as possible. Or sometimes i make it a point to gulp down a good serving of the veges i do like first, before indulging into my main meal. I also eat lot of fruits to balance out my diet. So again, there are ways to work around this to ensure that you do get in all the various nutrients that you need. The overused excuse of no time has no place here. If you can't be diligent with your meals, then make it a point to eat the different colours during your snack time.

So, what colour is your food? Golden brown or multi coloured. Take a glance at your next meal and see what you are eating. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.


anfield devotee said...

Watched his school's project when it was on the food channel some time back. It was revealed that the authorities spent MORE on prison inmates (food per head) than students in school . . .

But wot was really disturbing was how brainwashed the young had become. At one school, a group of teenage girls picketed fer the return of junk food.

They thought Jamie's menu was "disgusting". They wanted oil-soaked chips instead of fresh roasted chicken. Mystery meat nuggets instead of fresh pasta.


Me is so banning me kiddo from McShite etc.

Rajan said...

AD: wow... some shocking facts. spending more on prison inmates compared to students in school is crazy.

sickening indeed.