Want to improve your diet but don’t know where to begin? Let 7-Color Cuisine show you the way. This book’s four-step system—which motivates you to enjoy a new way of eating, guides you in shopping for top-quality ingredients, helps you prepare healthful meals, and encourages you to savor your foods—is as easy as counting your colors. If you’ve been searching for a way to pair smart nutrition with great taste, you’re sure to find 7-Color Cuisine the perfect addition to your kitchen.
Marcia Zimmerman, MEd, CN is an internationally known educator and an expert in the use of diet and supplements for achieving optimal health.
Creating Colorful Cuisine
1. Guiding Principles
2. Savor the Sweetness of Good, Colorful Food
3. The 7-Color Cuisine Plan
A New Way of Eating
4. Step One: Get Set
5. Step Two: Go Shopping
6. Step Three: Fix Your Meals
7. Step Four: Savor Your Food
A. Identifying What You Need to Change
B. How to Read Nutrition Fact Panels
C. Shopping Lists
E. Cooking Essentials
F. Measurement Conversions
7-Color Cuisine: Making Healthy, Colorful Foods a Lifestyle for Nutrition and Good Eating is for busy people who need to improve their diets but don’t know where to begin. Working with the book is like having a personal nutrition coach in your kitchen guiding you to new pleasure in your dining experience. I’ll help you unlock the keys to the treasures of good, healthy eating in four simple, easy-to-follow steps. My 7-Color Cuisine system is a complete course in eating for optimum wellness that includes shopping guides, menu plans, recipes and useful tips to make your meals not only feasts for your eyes and treats for your palate, but nourishing for your mind and body.
As a scientist and nutritionist, I’ve looked at how we eat and what we eat with a critical eye.
As a meal planner and family chef, I have also looked at how we eat and what we eat with a loving eye.
I know both ways of looking are necessary to making and eating meals, for ourselves and our families, to answer the psychological and physiological needs we bring to every table when we sit down to a meal. And that’s why I’ve developed the 7-Color Cuisine system.
Preparing a meal and enjoying it should be an enjoyable, satisfying culinary experience that engages your senses of smell, vision, and taste. The 7-Color plan guides you through the total experience. It is the perfect antidote for those who have viewed food as the enemy or have never known what it is like to feel fully satisfied by what they’ve just eaten. What we eat becomes part of us through digestive transformation, something many of us don’t want to think about. Yet food can also satisfy our deepest psychological, neurological, and social being—provided we choose a variety of high-quality and colorful foods. That’s what I’ll help you do with the 7-Color plan and its four easy steps: get set, go shopping, fix meals, and savor your food.
Step One: Get Set
Step One prepares you for a new way of eating by carefully examining what you’re currently eating and under what conditions. In this step you’ll identify dietary pitfalls that you’ll need to remove from your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. I give you lists of alternatives you can substitute for unhealthy foods and then help you make a new shopping list to stock your pantry from suggested replacements and staple items needed for the recipes in this book. The appendixes provide additional information, including resources for specific foods (Appendix D), a checklist of cookware and utensils you’ll use (Appendix E), and measurements conversion (Appendix F).
Step Two: Go Shopping
Step Two explains how to restock your pantry and purchase the fresh ingredients needed for the first week’s menus. You’ll choose foods by their colors, de-emphasizing the type of food you’re selecting. This section also includes helpful storage and shopping tips and shows how to clean and store fresh foods to save time in meal preparation.
Step Three: Fix Meals
Most of the dinner recipes in Step Three will take less than 30 minutes to prepare. I’ll point out where slow cooking in a crockpot and accelerated preparation using a pressure cooker can conserve preparation time. My weekly meal plans are simple but elegant and offer beautiful food presented to appeal to both the eye and the palate. The menu plans focus on eating 7 colors every day, and I’ll show you exactly how to ease into the system by making adjustments as you progress through each step. Preparing your meals at home using the freshest available ingredients is always my goal, and now yours, too.
Step Four: Savor Your Food
Step Four shows you how to enjoy your meals, emphasizing every bite with suggestions for controlling portion size and choosing the best menu items when dining out or at home. I’ll also suggest ways to reduce the potentially harmful effects of eating unhealthful foods, because sometimes we all do.
Why Choose Foods by Color?
Nature’s healing colors abound in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy oils. The colors are actually pigments that come from a special class of chemicals known as phytonutrients. When you eat foods of a particular color, you access their particular healing powers. Scientists are just now beginning to understand the medicinal impacts of phytonutrients and why eating fruits and vegetables may be our greatest preventative tool against conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. For many centuries traditional healers have taught color-coded eating as essential for maintaining health, vitality, and long life. From this foundation in traditional medicine and modern scientific investigation, 7-Color Cuisine has emerged.
Eat 7 Colors a Day
The five bright fruit and vegetable colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue-violet-purple, plus the tan earth tones of grains and legumes, reveal the phytonutrient pedigrees of those foods. Animal foods, including dairy, eggs, fish, and poultry, are creamy white in color and contain healing nutrients called zoonutrients. 7-Color Cuisine guides you to select foods based on their colors, which yield an array of phytonutrients and zoonutrients that research shows may help fight disease, help you lose weight, derail the aging process, and sharpen your wits. The cookbook integrates planning, buying, storing, and preparing brightly colored foods that heal. And the 7-Color system aims to heighten your awareness of how delicious and satisfying well-prepared food really can be.
Most nutrition and diet regiments emphasize the composition of food, enumerating how many calories a particular food or recipe contains and its carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and protein content. Although these numbers are important and are included in every recipe in this cookbook, the emphasis in the 7-Color system is on eating the right foods and enjoying them. By unlocking the keys to the 7-Color plan, you’ll accomplish your dietary goals without having to play the numbers game.
The plan begins with basics on how phytonutrients protect you and why brightly colored foods are the best food choices to help you look and feel your best. Each color has its own category of protective phytonutrients, and the health benefits of each category are fully explained. Foods making up the category are listed as top picks, and you are encouraged to eat as many different selections as possible. The amount of each color you should eat is also given in detailed, thirty-day meal plans, shopping tips, and recipes for both warm and cool weather. You’ll also find a pantry management section to help you track staples and eliminate high-calorie and less-nutritious items. Once you learn the 7-Color plan, you’ll be able to mix and match recipes for an endless variety of delicious meals.
Eat Less, Maintain Optimal Weight, and Feel Better
7-Color Cuisine features foods that are fresh and seasonal. They’re also nutrient-dense, meaning that they come packaged as nature intended, with hundreds of different beneficial nutrients. Nothing has been removed or processed out of these foods, so they retain natural digestive enzymes, which can help maintain an optimum body balance of acid and alkaline (pH). Learning which foods to avoid and why their consumption can sabotage weight loss and accelerate aging, you’ll also feel more satisfied and less inclined to snack. With this system, follower s have reported drastic improvements to digestive problems, bloating, and water retention. Many say they have great success maintaining optimal weight and that such maladies as aching joints, skin problems, fatigue, low sex drive, and reduced cognitive function have improved.
This plan is high in protein, much of it from vegetables and legumes, and naturally low in processed carbohydrates and saturated fat, because the emphasis is on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, lean protein, and healthy oils. As we grow older, we need more protein-rich foods to meet the body’s maintenance and repair needs. We also need to choose friendly oils rather than saturated fats to maintain normal cellular and brain function. The 7-Color plan is so easy to follow that you don’t have to wonder about how to implement a healthier dietary regimen. It is a healthier regimen, although it doesn’t feel like one. And yet the plan will be unique to you because you will be learning a system that you can adjust to meet your personal goals.
All of the menus and recipes here have been analyzed carefully to make sure they adhere to the latest nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines. My plan is based on and supported by the latest scientific findings, not the latest food fads. I know the sound nutritional information contained in 7-Color Cuisine: Making Healthy, Colorful Foods a Lifestyle for Nutrition and Good Eating will endure for a lifetime of more enjoyable and nutritious meals.