April’s Tiny Change: Eat More Color

This month, our #tinychange is to add more color to our plates. There are lots of reasons to load up on deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables, but for me, one the best reason is that it makes me happy! We feel invigorated and energized just looking at brightly colored meals (not to mention all the health benefits our bodies get from eating them!)

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Consider this the food version of tucking away your black winter sweaters and dull wool coats and pulling out your bright, colorful sundresses and fun tops: we all look better and shine brighter with a pop of color, even our meals. Here are my five favorite reasons to add more color to your plate:

1. Count colors!
Counting carbs, weighing food, and tracking calories can be effective for some, but they’re surefire ways to suck the joy and fun out of eating. The act of measuring and counting also reinforces the beliefs that healthy living is hard, time consuming, and unenjoyable. Not true!

Healthy foods are colorful foods. Think about it: Black wild rice and brown rice are healthier than white rice; orange sweet potatoes are filled with more phytonutrients than white potatoes; dark green spinach is better for us than light iceberg lettuce; freshly spiralized green zucchini noodles are more nutritious than white noodles. When you choose your foods based on color, making healthy choices is as easy (and fun!) as stocking your fridge with the vibrant colors of the rainbow.

2. Color Crowds Out Clutter
Balance over (hence the name Kale & Chocolate!) but the reality is: we have limited space on our plates and in our stomachs. When we add more color to our meals, there is less room for the not-so-healthy colorless clutter.

Rather than telling yourself that you can never eat pasta again, what if you made yourself a big green salad and tossed your pasta with colorful grilled vegetables? You’d need a lot less pasta to feel satisfied, your plate would be filled with nutritious, colorful foods…and you’d still get to eat the pasta that you love! It’s not about taking away food, it’s about adding color!

Swap your plain store-bought hummus (most likely chemical ridden) for this pretty Beet & Basil Hummus with a rainbow of chopped veggies!

3. More Color = More Nutrients
I’m fascinated by the science of healthy eating; it’s one of the reasons that I studied plant-based nutrition. When we eat colorful foods, we consume more micronutrients (the vitamins and minerals that are vital to development, disease prevention, and well-being).

If you want to make sure you’re getting sufficient nutrients, but you’re not particularly interested in reading labels or researching which foods are high in which vitamins and minerals, simply add a variety of colorful produce to your plate. When you eat all the hues of the rainbow, you’re naturally eating a micronutrient-rich diet. It’s that easy!

Swap bland protein shakes for a beautiful vibrant smoothie bowl with fun toppings.

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4. Food Love is Self-Love
Think about plain old beige oatmeal versus gorgeous, colorful, creative, and nutrient-dense carrot cake oatmeal. Which meal has more love? Like the vibrant hues of spring, color brings warmth and comfort to your plate. Show yourself love by preparing beautiful, colorful meals.

Swap a simple salad for a Super Summer Salad for more colors, flavors, and nutrients!

5. No Season is More Colorful than Spring
As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, more and more amazing foods appear at the farmers’ market: spears of tender asparagus, creamy avocados, red beets, green broccoli, and gorgeous strawberries are coming into season right now. There is no better, easier, more delicious, and more affordable time to add color to your meals!

*This post is part of Kale and Chocolate’s year-long #12tinychanges challenge, implementing one monthly small, super doable change-over a year it really adds up! Read about all changes here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges tagging @kaleandchocolate and @hamptonskiley! Yes, there are prizes involved!

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One Healthy Breakdown: Here’s to eating the colors of the rainbow and a bright, vibrant spring!

IntenSati: The Love Your Life Workout

Love your life workout? That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? You want in? Yes, you want in to IntenSati. IntenSati is best described as “a transformational workout that will motivate you to live a life you love in a body you love NOW.” So, what does that mean? It’s aerobics, on crack. No no, not crack. Happy pills. Lots and lots of happy pills. Enticing, right? Totally. Once I took my first IntenSati class, with IntenSati founder herself, Patricia Moreno at Spirit Junkie Sati, I had to go back for more. I was instantly hooked on IntenSati, so, I attended my second class with the fabulous Natalia Petrzela at B-East Fitness Studio in Amagansett.

photo 1To start off the class, we center ourselves by simply inhaling and exhaling, eyes closed, preparing for an intense 55 minutes of empowerment. This is the only moment of stillness and silence the entire class. Suddenly, music is blasting and we’re moving, grooving, and screaming. Yes, screaming. Screaming mantras which rapidly raise much more than the heart rate, but also mood If you’re down in the dumps walking into this class, you’ll instantly be in a better place. If you’re happy as a clam, that happiness will quadruple, it’s impossible not to. (Happy pills, remember.)

IntenSati is a cardio workout utilizing nothing but the body and the voice. It can be done anywhere, anytime. Regardless of the location, the atmosphere fills with light, warmth, energy, and power because of the dynamics of the workout. The room, which is just a normal fitness studio transforms into a place of absolute bliss. Judgement, negativity, and exhaustion just don’t enter the door during IntenSati, there ain’t no space for that crap. It doesn’t matter who has the cutest Lululemons, the longest legs, prettiest ponytail, or the best arms. IntenSati is about embracing you: your life, your body, and your dreams. This class makes you not want to ever be anyone other than yourself.

Imagine punching, jumping, and kicking while yelling the words “I am stronger today. I am better in every way. I am inspired to be the very best that I can be.” Yup, that’s powerful. It’s one thing to yell that and feel like a complete wacko, I know it’s a totally weird concept to be self-exclaiming how awesome you are during a workout class, along with lots of people you’ve never met before. Natalia’s the first to admit that, but just capturing her huge smile and zest for life, you’ll want in. Natalia is a totally down-to-earth fireball, who not only exudes energy, positivity, and light, but she also brings everyone else in class right UP there with her. At the end of the 55 minutes, we’re all better because of Natalia. Hell, even after the first few minutes.

IntenSati is just as much of a workout for your brain (and vocal cords, I lost my voice) as it is for the body. Remembering the combinations and verbiage takes immense focus and concentration. The added benefit of working the muscle of the mind is not only good for a positive outlook, but actually enhances health of the brain, preventing memory loss and age-related decline.

Look for IntenSati around the The Hamptons, NYC, or other states across the nation! Lastly, I should just spell this out: if you’re interested in being stuck in a rut and staying there, this workout is not for you.

One Healthy Breakdown: I’ll be damned if I’m not back in that class as soon as humanly possible…I believe I can!