Eating Healthy Is Colorful, Not Complicated
Don’t just eat your greenseat your reds, yellows, and blues too. In The Rainbow Diet, nutritionist and health expert Dr. Deanna Minich introduces a cutting-edge way to achieve an inner rainbow of optimal health.
A painted platter. Forget about bland, colorless diet foodsit’s time to taste the rainbow. Vibrant health begins when we add color to our diet with the right foods and supplements. Inside, find specific colorful foods, supplements, and recipes you can eat, as well as activities to help you heal and flourish. You’ll learn how to make a colorful plate, featuring a rainbow spread of natural foods that provide your body with the essential nutrients necessary for mental clarity, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual fulfillment.
Meals that heal. The Rainbow Diet combines ancient healing and eating practices with modern nutritional science. Unlike most fragmented nutrition paradigms that solely assess food intake, The Rainbow Diet puts body, psychology, eating, and living together into one view.
An artist’s palette, a foodie’s palate. Taking all aspects of your life into consideration, Dr. Minch gives readers an easy to follow transformational guide to attaining physical, mental, and spiritual health through colorful whole foods and natural supplements. Throughout, she uses the properties of color to help guide you, like:
- Yellow for the bright radiance of your intellect
- Red for the grounding, physical issues of your body
- Indigo for the deeper knowledge and intuition we all carry
Go beyond primary colors and take in the entire color spectrum. If you’re interested in natural eating, and enjoyed books like Whole Detox, Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine, What Color Is Your Diet? and Eat Your Colors, you’ll delight in The Rainbow Diet.
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About the Author
Dr. Deanna Minich is an author, scientist, speaker, teacher, and artist. She is an internationally recognized health expert with more than twenty years of experience in nutrition, mind-body health, and functional medicine. She has authored six books on health and over fifteen scientific publications, including Whole Detox: A 21-Day Personalized Program to Break Through Barriers in Every Area of Your Life (HarperOne, 2016). Currently, Dr. Minich teaches at the Institute for Functional Medicine and the University of Western States graduate program. Visit her at www.drdeannaminich.com.
Read an Excerpt
WHAT IS THE RAINBOW DIET?
Whole life is a search for beauty. But, when the beauty is found inside, the search ends and a beautiful journey begins.
We all contain the rainbow within. The Rainbow Diet will help you make sure that all your colors are shining brightly and in balance with each other. Before you take the Spectrum Quiz to find out about your rainbow, let me first describe to you each of the colors and what they represent. Each color has an overall meaning, as well as specific relationships to your body, nutrition, and life issues.
The color red represents the physical body and the boundaries you experience within the physical world in which you live. It also relates to feeling safe and secure in your identity. I call it the ROOT, because it is the anchor or "root" of your physical existence.
The ROOT gives you physical form and includes the following organs and systems:
Adrenal glands Blood Bones DNA (your ancestral identity)
It controls specific physiological activities:
Enzyme action Excretion of substances that we do not need (e.g., feces)
As you will learn in the chapters to come, the ROOT is associated with foods and supplements that add to the structure and defenses of the body, for example:
Dietary protein Immune-enhancing foods like medicinal mushrooms Insoluble fiber to help with elimination Mineral-rich foods to fortify the skeleton Red-colored foods that are high in vitamin C Root vegetables
The ROOT relates to important life issues as well, including:
Community/tribe Safety Survival
A Healthy Red/ROOT
People who are comfortable with their physical selves know that they can survive adequately in the world. They are able to receive from or provide support to a family or tribe. They are trustworthy and trust others. They accept themselves, especially their physical bodies and their earthly existence. They maintain healthy boundaries and believe they have a right to exist.
An Unhealthy Red/ROOT People who are uncomfortable with their physical selves are less able to accomplish these things. Here are some indications that your red/ROOT may need some help.
Do you feel at odds with your family of origin?
People with ROOT imbalances usually struggle with physical-world issues, especially things like acquiring a home or shelter, making a living, or carrying on family traditions. These individuals often find it difficult to bond with family members in a way that is meaningful and solidifies a feeling of unity and cohesion.
Do you expend internal resources to feel safe?
When you are preoccupied with the stress of continually being on guard, you may ultimately tap into the inner adrenal and immune reserves you need to protect yourself from physical invaders like micro-organisms, viruses, excess inflammatory compounds, and toxins. Lower internal (immune) defenses may eventually lead to symptoms of bodily fatigue, frequent cold or flu, or inflammatory or autoimmune conditions.
Do you struggle with your daily survival?
Those with a ROOT imbalance may feel everyday life is difficult and not worth the effort. They can lack motivation and appear lazy to others, and may enter a deep depression. As a result, they can appear spacey, flighty, or not present. In fact, it may seem that they are not really "in their bodies." Without being fully present, you will have trouble living life fully and manifesting your dreams into physical reality.
Larry: No Boundaries
Larry has poor boundaries with others. He can easily start to take on other people's behaviors and emotions. When he sees someone crying, his eyes well up with tears. If someone is angry, he feels rage swelling from within. As a result, Larry finds himself confused around others. As a taxi driver who is around a wide variety of people, he often comes home at the end of the day feeling "spaced out." Many times, his body collapses in fatigue; he gets colds easily. He spends most of his free time in isolation so his life feels less complicated, which only adds to the problem of not having supportive social networks to engage him. Larry forgets to eat and, when he does, finds he is eating the same things over and over. He thinks he should avoid certain foods because he gets joint pain after eating them.
It is clear that Larry has an imbalance in his red/ROOT. He is not rooted in his own identity and doesn't have good boundaries to keep him feeling safe and secure in his core. He also seems to be losing his energy to others and through his food choices.
The color orange represents your emotions and creativity. It is referred to as the FLOW, mainly because emotions are meant to do just that — be flowing and in motion!
The FLOW parts of us are fluid and flowing, including:
Bladder Hips Kidneys Large intestine (colon)
The FLOW oversees these physiological activities:
Cell growth Fat storage Reproduction Water balance
The FLOW is associated with foods and supplements that encourage fluidity in the body, including:
Dietary fats and oils Fermented foods Fish and seafood Nuts and seeds Orange-colored foods Tropical foods Water
The FLOW regulates these life issues:
Creativity Emotions Relationships
A Healthy Orange/FLOW
Those who are comfortable with their emotional, creative selves can tap into their creative potential. They are comfortable expressing emotions. They "go with the flow" of life and live their life's dreams. They maintain healthy relationships with others, yet honor their own uniqueness. They have fun by engaging in pleasurable activities.
An Unhealthy Orange/FLOW
Here are some indications that your orange/FLOW may need some motion.
Do you feel unable to express emotions and creativity?
A sure sign of a FLOW imbalance is feeling "stuck" or stagnant and unable to move to action in your life. When your FLOW is blocked, you can't create or emote. You tend to be more prone to emotional eating, since you do not feel your feelings — you literally stuff them down with foods and constant eating. Your body may tend to be either too swollen or too dehydrated, indicating an impairment in the control of bodily fluids.
Do you feel unsatisfied in your relationships with others?
Have you been in relationships that are not equal, or that contain a degree of uncertainty or instability? Do you allow yourself to be abused emotionally? Is commitment to a relationship or a creative project an ongoing struggle? Follow-through is often difficult for individuals who aren't "flowing." Typically, they are good at coming up with ideas or starting a relationship, living in the high of the initial creative burst or romantic flair, but they find that things soon fail. They succumb to the eventual "I am not a creative person" or "I'd rather be alone"— which leaves them unable to come full circle with any aspect of life other than the repetition of this debilitating pattern.
Do you experience dysfunction in your sexuality?
Medical issues with your reproductive organs (for example, your uterus, ovaries, or testes) may indicate a problem with your FLOW. Imbalanced FLOW may also appear as meaningless sexual encounters, or as abstinence and fear concerning sexuality, stemming from experience or from family patterns that have been passed on.
Sasha: All Sparkle, No Substance
Sasha adorns herself with bright, colorful clothes. She thrives on the drama occurring at the retail store she works in and fills her spare time watching entertainment channels to find out the latest in Hollywood. Her friends see her as a creative person who is in a state of constant emotional flux. On the surface, Sasha appears extremely friendly, making conversation with everyone she meets. She involves herself in a number of relationships, although she is unable to commit to any of them fully. As a result, intimate connections start out very intensely for Sasha, but are often ended by her because of her inability to commit emotionally. Finally, Sasha has a history of recurring ovarian cysts. Her diet is filled with processed foods, which she relies on for comfort when she is feeling emotional.
Sasha is topsy-turvy in her orange FLOW. She is highly emotional, but hasn't found a way to express herself so that she feels balanced in relationships. Her rollercoaster moods lead her to emotional eating and food cravings.
The color yellow stands for the bright radiance of your thinking self and the energy that fuels your busy world of activities. It is referred to as the FIRE, since it connects to how we harness our energy and transform our lives, whether it's our thoughts or food.
The FIRE in your body sparks those parts that relate to energy and transformation, including:
Gallbladder Liver Pancreas Small intestine Stomach
It organizes these physiological activities:
Assimilation of nutrients from food Blood-sugar balance Digestion Transformation of food into energy
The FIRE is associated with foods and supplements that assist with transformation and energy balance, including:
Dietary carbohydrates Healthy sweeteners Legumes Soluble fiber (including those found in moist fruits, psyllium, and flaxseed meal)
The FIRE regulates these life issues:
Balance Energy Power
A Healthy Yellow/FIRE
Those who sit within their powerful, fiery selves keep their work/life balance. They wield their personal power in the world and transform thoughts from the outer world with internal beliefs and opinions. They think logically and and use their life experiences to give them energy.
An Unhealthy Yellow/FIRE
Here are some indications that your yellow/FIRE may need either rekindling or healing from burnout.
Do you feel stressed by the responsibilities of life?
Do situations, no matter how small or large, seem to tax your internal reserves? Is your life drained of any "sweetness" and beset by burdens? Are you tired all the time? Do you remain unsatisfied from eating? When your inner FIRE is "burnt out," there is a drain on your entire being, preventing it from interacting with the outside world in ways that are nourishing. Mental stress or fatigue typically result. Eating becomes erratic and your appetite may become insatiable due to a lack of fulfillment from daily experience. Life feels like drudgery when you are without FIRE energy.
Are you overweight, particularly in the abdomen?
Do you suffer from digestive complaints like indigestion, acid reflux, or bloating? When there is excessive, unprocessed fuel in your digestive tract and in your body overall, it may result in too much belly fat, too much acid, too much gas, and/or too much undigested food.
Do you lack self-confidence, or are you egotistical?
Do you analyze your achievements to the extent that you discount them or inflate them out of proportion? Are you a perfectionist or obsessive with details? Are you driven to the point of excess, trying to "do it all," believing that you can do everything on your own? The FIRE is an action-oriented aspect, but sometimes ambition and motivation shift into high gear and go on auto-pilot or into overdrive. These states are clearly unhealthy and unbalanced. They can ultimately lead to exhaustion and the "never enough" syndrome, in which no object, event, or accomplishment is satisfying.
Tom: On the Brink of Burnout
Tom has a "can-do" attitude. He became the CEO of his startup company at age twenty-five, and a self-made multi-millionaire by the age of forty-two. His nature is to forge through situations fiercely and competitively, with an edge of anger, often leaving others emotionally bruised and battered in his wake. The people who work for him find him inspiring at times, but mostly overbearing and self-righteous.
Tom lives a fast life, eating on the run between meetings or during travel — if he remembers to eat at all. His digestion has progressively worsened, and he experiences belching and acid in his stomach after eating. These symptoms do not stop him from pursuing his incessant activity, and he continues to push himself to do more. Lately, he has found himself oversleeping on the weekends, feeling so fatigued that he cannot push himself out of bed. However, he still pushes himself in order to keep his business profitable. Throughout the years, Tom's weight has been increasing and, recently, his doctor told him that his cholesterol is high and that he is heading in the direction of becoming diabetic.
From the outside, you could say that Tom's FIRE is burning bright. He appears to be a successful man in that he has wielded his power to become financially secure and own his own business. Although Tom may be the CEO, however, he is not a leader in his core. Rather, he operates from a place of inflated self-esteem and ego so that he can mask the insecurity he feels about his self and abilities. He uses force and competition as a means to get what he wants. His addiction to keeping busy prevents him from looking at the real issues in his life that need evaluation. Instead, he busies his mind with excessive analytical and logical thoughts ("analysis paralysis"), squashing his inherent intuitive sense.
Through the excess acid and fatigue that he feels, Tom's body has been signaling to him that he is in overdrive and needs to slow down. Tom ignores these signals, denying that there is a problem. This is symbolic of his belief that he is ultimately "calling the shots." His greatest healing would involve removing old thought patterns so that he can move confidently in the direction that promotes the highest good for him and others.
The color green represents the healing qualities of love. It is referred to as the LOVE, signifying our compassion and devotion to ourselves and others.
The LOVE in your body nourishes systems of expansion, opening, and giving. These include:
Armpits Arms Blood vessels Breasts Hands Heart Lungs Lymphatic system Shoulders Wrists
The LOVE is connected to these physiological activities:
Breathing Circulation Oxygenation
The LOVE is associated with foods and supplements rich in nutrients that open up the circulation and increase oxygenation, for example:
Leafy vegetables (e.g., salad greens)
The LOVE regulates these life issues:
Compassion Expansion Healing
A Healthy Green/LOVE
Those who are nurtured by their loving selves express love, give thanks, and are grateful. They embrace love as the underlying foundation for everything they do. They love themselves and others, and are able to give and receive in equal measure.
An Unhealthy Green/LOVE
Here are some indications that your green/LOVE may need some caretaking.
Do you over-give to or over-receive from others?
Do you feel it is difficult to say "no" to others and are you resentful when you don't say "no"? Does over-nurturing lead you to feel exhausted and bitter? Keeping the LOVE in balance by having a healthy mix of receiving and giving is essential. Over-giving is often encouraged in modern society, but it can deplete your heart in the long-term. Giving the LOVE inside you permission to receive can be liberating. And in the end, it can allow you to be better at giving to others.
Do you suffer from heart or breathing difficulties?
Do you have difficulty eating healthily or taking care of yourself? Constriction and lack of energy flow in the heart area can contribute to heart and circulatory problems. Heart disease is the number-one killer in most industrialized societies. What is causing this restriction and pain in the heart? Stress, lack of passion, or lack of love may all be contributing to the heart-disease epidemic.
Has your heart suffered deep, emotional trauma?
Have you had emotional wounds that have impaired your ability to give and receive love? Wounds that cannot be resolved? Are you unable to forgive others? A wounded heart can lead to a belief that life is full of sadness and grief. Being closed off from your deepest feelings results in a numb feeling about life. Those with a LOVE imbalance may not be able to cry or to touch and be touched by others.
Melanie: A Loss of Heart
At the age of six, Melanie lost her father to pancreatic cancer. It was a tragic, quick death that left Melanie reeling with mixed emotions. Her mother was grief-stricken and not able to give Melanie the comfort or attention that she needed at the time. Instead, she chose to ignore her hurt and to enter into a new relationship with an abusive man. Melanie was frightened by her mother's new lover and spent much time tucked away in her small bedroom on her own. In the years that followed, Melanie became more of a loner, spending time away from home whenever possible. She found ways to keep herself busy and distracted, usually by staying late after school and by losing herself in fiction at the local library.
Excerpted from "The Rainbow Diet"
Copyright © 2018 Deanna Minich, PhD.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
How to Use This Book xv
Chapter 1 What Is the Rainbow Diet? 1
Chapter 2 What Does Your Inner Rainbow Look Like? 21
Chapter 3 Eating for Your Inner Rainbow 33
Chapter 4 Supplements 41
Chapter 5 The Red ROOT 47
Chapter 6 The Orange FLOW 75
Chapter 7 The Yellow FIRE 99
Chapter 8 The Green LOVE 131
Chapter 9 The Aquamarine TRUTH 151
Chapter 10 The Indigo INSIGHT 169
Chapter 11 The White SPIRIT 193
Chapter 12 How to Personalize Your Rainbow Diet 209
Chapter 13 Recipes for Your Seven Systems of Health 213
Appendix A The Seven Systems of Full-Spectrum Health 241
Appendix B Reference Guide to Health Conditions for the Seven Systems of Health 243
Appendix C Herbs and Supplements for the Seven Systems of Health 245
Appendix D Spectrum Quiz Score Tracker 251