Older couple delighting in fresh fruits

Part One: Lift Your Spirit — Color Your Plate! Support Healthy Aging With Orange Powerhouses

How can we harness the energy of nature, draw it into our daily lives, and become one with it as we age?

Make every cell in your body glow with the divine energy offered by fresh fruits and vegetables.

Produce is chock-full of essential nutrients and comes in a rainbow of colors to support your health goals. Aim for the accepted general consumption range of at least five one-cup servings — that’s at least two servings of fruits and at least three servings of vegetables. (To reduce your sugar consumption, try to go for more veggies.)

“Vegetables are food of the earth but fruits taste of the heavens.” — Terri Guillemets

Are you getting enough orange in your diet?
Today, as part of our ongoing Purposeful Nutrition Series, let’s focus on the healing energy of the orange powerhouses. These include:

Fruits: Orange, apricot, peach, cantaloupe, papaya, tangerine, persimmon, Crenshaw melon, nectarine, kumquat, guava.

Vegetables: Carrot, pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato, yam, orange bell pepper, acorn squash.

Technically, peppers and squash are fruits, since they contain seeds. However, because they are not as sweet as most fruits, they are placed in the vegetable category for culinary purposes.

The beautiful rich colors of your orange fruits and veggies indicate that they’re bursting with flavonoids, which provide cell-protecting properties.

Top benefits of orange fruits and vegetables:
• Support eye health
• Support skin health
• Lower risks of cancer
• Contain lycopene and carotenoids — potent antioxidants that generate the orange color
• Provide beta-carotene (precursor of Vitamin A) that strengthens the immune system
• Supply vitamin C — powerful antioxidant that helps prevent chronic diseases

Feature Focus: Navel Orange
Oranges are delicious eaten alone, but with a little creativity you can use them to add interest to salads and beverages. Freshen up your drinking water with your favorite herbs and sliced oranges.

Also, did you know that you can feast on the orange peel? The peel is packed with fiber and a plethora of key nutrients. And get this: There is more vitamin C in the peel than in the fruit! But before indulging, reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals — choose organic oranges and wash them thoroughly before eating. I like to add one fourth of the peel to my morning smoothie. Or chew on it — a small piece of orange peel is a great breath freshener!

What are your favorite orange fruits and vegetables? How can you add more lycopene and carotenoids to your meals? A conscious meal plan should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

When planning your meals and before you take that first bite, ask yourself these three questions:

What’s the value or benefit?
Do I like it?
How will it make me feel?

Remember: Health is an action — we must practice mindful living in order to reach mastery.

Many people mindlessly reach for quick and convenient food because they’re hungry or because it temporarily satisfies a craving. While hunger and flavors influence our munching behavior, consider shifting your mindset so you’re eating to support your higher purpose in life.

I’d like to encourage you to establish a deeper spiritual connection with your food. Nature offers a huge selection of delicious orange-colored goodness for you to delight in. Know the nutritional value of nature’s fresh bounty. And notice how you feel after enjoying your favorites. Eat well — age beautifully! Love yourself enough to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Consider This
From where I stand, that bright, beautiful orange looks pretty a-peel-ing. Ha! Orange you glad I said that?

Four Steps to Nourish, Transform and Flourish
• Set a loving intention to add fresh orange fruits and vegetables to your plate this week.
• Begin by selecting orange produce you like.
• How will including more colorful choices to your menu improve the quality of your life?
• Close your eyes and visualize how this lifestyle change can prepare you for your amazing second half.  

Need help with meal planning?

It can be challenging to maintain momentum on your own. My Sprout Your New Life™ course will give you the tools and the strong spiritual foundation to make lasting change in your life.  Click here for more.

In love, peace and health--
Your feminine glow guide,

T. Kari Mitchell, M.Ed.
Motivational Speaker
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Lifestyle120.com

When your spirit is nourished, your inner light produces an outer glow reflecting your beauty and truth.