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Dr. Deanna Minich is a health educator, researcher, and author with more than twenty years of experience in nutrition, mind-body health, and functional medicine. Her passion is bringing forth a colorful whole-self approach to nourishment and bridging the gaps between science, soul, and art in medicine. Her most recent book is called The Rainbow Diet: A Holistic Approach to Radiant Health Through Foods and Supplements (Conari Press, 2018). See her website, www.deannaminich.com, and Facebook page, Deanna Minich, Ph.D. (https://www.facebook.com/deanna.minich), for more details.
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Reena Jadhav: Reena Jadhav here the founder of healthbootcamps and host of the podcast Healthier. If You were listening to this on soundcloud or itunes. Please note that it is also available as a video interview as I have here with me, the amazing Dr. Deanna Minich today. So Dr. Deanna is an internationally recognized teacher, author, scientist, speaker, and an artist. She is more than 20 years of diverse, well rounded experience in the fields of nutrition and functional medicine, including clinical practice research, prod formulation, writing, education, and of course she has written a couple of books, develop some great online certification programs, and most importantly, and the reason we have her here as our guest today is that she is the author of the book, the Rainbow Diet, a holistic approach to radiant health through foods and supplements. Deanna, welcome.
Dr. Deanna: Hi Reena. Great to be here with you.
Reena Jadhav: Thank you so much for joining us and of course we’re going to be doing this today as a book masterclass interview and I want to definitely thank you for taking the time. Let’s get started with why did you write this book?
Dr. Deanna: You know, I’ve always been connected to color in some way, whether it was through research and through my degrees, so one of the first things that I studied in graduate school was carotenoids and carotenoids are the plant pigments that we consume and that protect our bodies. They act as antioxidants and then I also personally had a, a sort of awakening that happened for me in my late twenties in which I was going through a pit of despair and I felt drawn to start painting and not just painting any old thing but really bright colors on really big pieces of paper and so I was tuned into color I think as a way of healing and then I realized that it all fits together. It’s not just colorful food, but it’s how we see our environment and thinking colorful thoughts wearing colorful clothes. It’s really how color impacts us psychologically and physiologically,
Reena Jadhav: Isn’t that the truth? And prior to the hitting the record button, you and I were chatting about how life is all about colors and so of course our diet has to be about colors too. Well, let’s get started with the book master class interviews with chapter one. What is the Rainbow Diet?
Dr. Deanna: The Rainbow Diet is actually not even a diet. I know that when people hear that term, they think, oh gosh, she’s going to tell me to eat certain things and uh, I have to have certain calories. It’s really a guidebook. It’s a way to navigate a colorful relationship with food. And part of that comes from even my own experience with being an emotional eater, binger. And so during my teens when I had a lot of restriction around food, I didn’t have a very colorful relationship with food. And so what I did within the Rainbow Diet book, especially talking about what is the rainbow diet, it is a way of life. It is how to connect to food in a colorful way in order to give you a more artful, colorful experience in your living. And I’ve actually seen this born out, so I’ve put people on 21 day programs where every three days they’re exposed to different colors of food and what inevitably happens is people are.
Dr. Deanna: They start dressing differently, some people start rearranging their space. Some people start thinking about their jobs and maybe they need to really live their life’s passion, kind of like you where you have to move away from something that’s not nourishing you to something that gives you vitality. So yeah, the Rainbow Diet is, is many different things, but it’s not a classical diet. It’s a way to connect to food in a way that is nourishing, colorful, and vital. I feel like so many people have lost the art of eating there up into the head. There are into analysis paralysis, so it’s almost like, you know, they’re thinking so much about the grams of fat, the grams of carbs. And do they have to fast now or did they allow for the 16 hours between the time they went to bed until the time they woke up to eat? It’s almost like the act of eating consumes us probably more than we consume food.
Dr. Deanna: And so why not make that a creative colorful process and create more of a right brain hemisphere approach. The right brain is all about being creative, being colorful, having the variety, having resilience and you know, we bring in things like story. We bring in things like, uh, you know, just colorful experiences. Whereas the left brain is much more about the analytical mind. It’s logical, it’s numbers oriented, it’s goal driven. And I think many of us in our society exalt the left brained activity. We exalt achievement and we exalt an honor and really appreciate people who, whether it’s they’ve achieved in their professional career, they’ve climbed the ladder or they’ve made a certain amount of money. But really and truly what I have found through my decades of working with food and food as a conduit to really who we are personally, it’s a path to personal growth. And what I found is that if we can connect into the other side, the side that isn’t so material connected, but more, I would say it spans the spectrum of physical to spiritual. What is spiritual, spiritual, spiritual to me is not religious. It is a sense of being connected to a plant, being connected to the sky, going outside and having appreciation for nature, being a part of nature, seeing yourself as part of the web rather than running the web.
Dr. Deanna: That that in a nutshell is what the rainbow diet is. It’s a step by step process to help you with questions, activities, and exposures into colors to help you get the most out of eating and eating. Again, if it’s representative of how we’re living, then really this is a way to live more colorfully too.
Reena Jadhav: You know, you are so Right? Today. Eating has become so stressful in terms of, you know, how many grams of carbs did I eat? Oh No, am I going to go out of ketosis now or you know, oh, that’s going to add weight or I can’t eat after this pm and I have to eat this morning. We’ve taken the joy out of what you meant to be the most nourishing part of our lives. You know, you go back a couple of hundred years ago, food was a rarity and it was cherished. It was something that you sat with your family together and you took your time and you eat it with your hands and It was a physical experience. It was an emotional experience. It’s a spiritual experience and now we’ve just kind of made it into this godawful tawdry number driven stress experience and so I love the fact that your mission with the Rainbow Diet is to bring fun and spirituality back into dining.
Dr. Deanna: That’s what I’m hoping for. I mean, I had this mantra which is how we eat is how we live and how we live is how we eat. So some of us feel like, wow, we need a life overhaul. We need to change our lives. We need to get a different job. One of the ways to get a different job is actually just to start eating colorful food because when we eat colorful fruits and vegetables, it will actually change our mood and our mood will drive our choices. There’s actually science on that. I mean, I’m not making that up. That is anybody can go to pub med and search for fruits and vegetables and mood and you will find a whole series of articles on food and mood and what navigates that relationship primarily fruits and vegetables. It’s like one of the most basic things I can say after decades of studying nutrition, um, it’s really the truth. Some of the things are that are most connected to truth are more simple.
Reena Jadhav: I, I couldn’t agree more. Chapter two, what does your inner rainbow look like? What’s the essence of that chapter?
Dr. Deanna: So I believe that we have within us very colorful pieces and every color represents a certain part of us. And so the red. And so I have a little chart here for the audio listeners. You can find this on my website, but for those of us who are looking at the video, you’re going to see them holding up a chart, so each of those colors, and as we go through each of the chapters in the book, we’re going to unpack these a little bit more, but each color represents a physiological system, something about your body. It represents something about your mind and who you are as a person. It also connects to your lifestyle and to food so you can imagine that red would connect to. I’ll just give you kind of the dots. Immune system, inflammation. You know the red of inflammation also connects to our sense of safety security tribe, which all really do form in some ways our sense of survival and our sense of immunity. And then I talk about red colored foods and in the rainbow diet I also bring in supplements and the reason why is because so many people use supplements and I do think that people need to perhaps think about supplements because our food supply is even properly fortified with the essential oils from the soil. The soils are so depleted, so the inner rainbow is really that all of us are colorful on the inside. It’s not even like you have to wear all the colors on the outside to show that you’re colorful because you already are. So what this chapter is doing is setting the stage for helping you to understand what all of the seven colors represent and how their manifest in you.
Dr. Deanna: And there’s also a questionnaire in the book and not only is it a, I wanted to make this available to everybody so it’s not just in the book, it’s on my website, one of my websites, whole-detox.com. You can just go and do it there for free. It’s quite a long though. So it’s got like 125 questions. So you have to allow for. Yeah, I mean to find out which color needs balance. So out of these seven colors with each of them representing something. What I’ve noticed statistically is that most people, 80 percent of people have an imbalance in the yellow and then a lot of people have another imbalance and the red. And so you’ll see as we go through each of the colors with these represent, but for you to know, the only way that you would know is by doing the questionnaire. Like I could meet you and kind of do an assessment and get just because I know the system so well, but for you to know and actually see on a graph where do all your color stack up.
Dr. Deanna: Sometimes there’s a color that’s way out there and it’s kind of the one pulling all the other ones. So when one of the colors is out of balance, it’s like it makes all the other ones really strained. Now other times there are two things that are out of balance that’s pretty common. Sometimes there are these relationships between the colors. Just like when artists learn about mixing colors and how you get different colors from mixing. Kind of the same thing with this. So you have to do the quiz. I mean it’s
Reena Jadhav: Of course you do. You do. How else are you going to figure out where the next piece of the information from the book is relevant to you? Right? You don’t listening to you the seven colors of the rainbow balance finding where the imbalances are. Sounds a little bit like the Chakra System, isn’t it?
Dr. Deanna: You know, it is based on the Chakra system. So back decades ago when I was studying science, I started to take classes on philosophy classes. I took my first yoga class when I was 19 and so that’s like 30 years ago when I was, you know, it was kind of a new thing back then and it made so much sense to me looking at it with scientific eyes that we have this balanced neuroendocrin web within us. So we’ve got our adrenal glands talking to our ovaries, talking with our pancreas, talking with our heart, talking with our thyroid, talking with our pituitary, talking with our pineal. In each of these, if you look at their function is connected to something else, something deeper. It has other meanings. So I started to see this even in practice. I’d meet people and I’d say, oh my gosh, through eating all these orange foods and they’re drawn to wearing, or like I started to see these patterns that would emerge with people or even a woman who had a lot of heart trauma who wasn’t eating a lot of green vegetables.
Dr. Deanna: And so having more green vegetables, opening up her, her blood vessels to help her feel like she had more circulating blood, you know, I mean, really the literal meaning of science is connected to the more symbolic aspects of the soul. And so the way that I look at all these patterns is kind of in a story like ways that every person has stories. And so we’ve been listening to your story and how you’ve gone through some pretty amazing health hurdles, you know, underneath all of that, there’s something deeper for the soul to kind of move towards. And so I look at all of it simultaneously. And that’s one of the beauties of looking at ancient systems of medicine is seeing how they did recognize the elements inside the body. Uh, even my husband who does traditional Chinese medicine looking at dampness, looking at heat, looking at water and how it collects in the body. Water is the emotional self, you know, so there’s, there’s symbolism underneath all of this.
Reena Jadhav: Isn’t that the truth? And I love that you’ve brought ancient wisdom and ancient science of healing into your book. So chapter three, eating for your inner rainbow. So tell us a little bit about how do we get about eating for our inner rainbow?
Dr. Deanna: Yeah. So one of the first places to start to bring out our inner spectrum is to focus on the colors of food. And what I have found is that people are eating the brown, yellow and white foods diet over and over again. And what is that? That is an inflammatory aging, a glycol, oscillating. It’s, it’s, it’s just doing all these things within our bodies that are just prematurely aging us and leading us down the path of chronic disease. And food is powerful. You know, the idea that we take in so much in the way of the substance of food and the impact, the magnitude of food to really shift somebody is phenomenal. So in that chapter, I talk more about the basics of eating for your spectrum and to start with that as a foundation of food first.
Reena Jadhav: Where does meat and fish fit into your rainbow, if at all?
Dr. Deanna: So when I talk about. Thank you. That’s a good question. The rainbow when I talk about it is I’m talking about plant foods. Okay? So typically when I’m talking about red, I’m talking about Red Colored Foods like cherries and raspberries and watermelon, orange foods, cantaloupe may.
Reena Jadhav: Not bleeding a lamb and cow. Okay?
Dr. Deanna: Well, and I, one thing, uh, I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I don’t subscribe to any dietary dogma. So I’m not Vegan or I’m not Keto, I’m not Paleo. I believe that all paths are welcome because we’re a very diverse universe with many different people. And so personalization is key. So is there a place for me to, within a Rainbow Diet? Absolutely. And so that’s looking more. That’s aside from the colors of food and looking at the energetics of food, like meat would connect to the root system, which is red, which is more about stabilization, our immune system feeling grounded.
Dr. Deanna: It’s protein. Oh, do so if we can imagine a circle where the middle of the circle, the rainbow diet is really about the colors of food and then around that would be the energetics. What are the properties of food and how do they add to each of those seven systems at seven colors. So one of the things with protein is when you see people eating meat, that gives us concentrated protein to create more stabilization in the body too. Little protein regardless of source can lead to a kind of that instability. We need protein because otherwise if we have so much in the way of carbohydrate and sugar, we feel kind of almost a fragmented from our bodies. Yeah. And so, uh, but people who eat too much in the way of protein, whether meat or other sources, they can also be b. I have noticed this, there’s no science on this, but I’ve noticed that a while there is some science on them being inflamed, you can easily get inflammation with too much protein and not enough of other things to compliment that protein like plants so we can get, you can get more redness and inflammation in the body.
Dr. Deanna: And I also think that there’s a personality type that can evolve too. It’s kind of like, um, you know, I’m from the midwest of the United States, and so, uh, it’s kind of that classic meat and potatoes. It’s like, you know, we’re stuck. We like our routines, we like our habits. We like, uh, and that’s kind of like the connection with, um, with lots of amount of animal protein, no judgment by the way on people that eat animals. Again, I think that all eating paths fit, um, I view meat as medicine very similar to how it’s viewed in the TCM model. And Eva air. Oh, I think that for some people it’s quite honestly a contains cofactors and nutrients that they simply need.
Reena Jadhav: I also think there’s a stage of life or you need meat and I’ve shared this in some of the other podcasts and interviews that I’ve done where I’ve born vegetarian and just never had a taste for me or fish, especially not for fish and and then when I started going through menopause it seemed like if I wasn’t eating meat or if I didn’t have fish or meat on a particular day, I would just feel so much more tired. I would have my hot flashes, but if I had just a little bit of meat, it’s almost like it would keep me well. And I mentioned this to a couple of doctors and they said, no, it’s probably not nothing to do with meat. Just try adding more fat. And I did that. I added some more nuts and tried all kinds of things that, nope, there’s something that happened to me that where my body was saying no, but at this stage in life I need this additional kicker and it needs to come from real food. Not the protein powders and not the vegan protein powders because none of those work. You know, I tried a whole bunch of things and this is one of the reasons I tell people, keep a health journal because that’s the only way you’ll figure out, uh, what works and what doesn’t work, so
Dr. Deanna: you know, and, and two, I think that we’ve lost way with listening to our bodies, especially for women throughout their cycle, for those women who are having a menstrual period, it’s amazing how your cravings and how if we’re really honoring the body and where we’re at, even antioxidants cycle through the blood, like our vitamin C or vitamin A or vitamin e levels changed throughout the month and there are correlations with hormones and so if we are in proper regulation with our, with our body and where we’re at from a very healthy place and I think that we can honor those, those signs and signals and act on them.
Reena Jadhav: Absolutely. Okay. Chapter four supplements. So tell us a little bit about what’s the essence of this chapter? What supplements do you recommend?
Dr. Deanna: So I talk more globally about supplements. What are they, what are the different formats? I worked for 10 years in the supplement industry and I also worked at a functional medicine clinic in which we used a lot of food and supplements to look at people’s results. And what was amazing to me, even though I studied nutritional biochemistry, is that not everybody got well with just nutrition. They needed something more. And so, um, gosh, there’s so many different kinds of supplements that I recommend different supplements for the different colors. So the red is more the protein powders and minerals, things that stabilize us. The orange is more the fats and flowing parts of us and the carotinoids, the orange carotinoids like Beta carotene, the yellow is more digestive support, the yellow, the. So I kind of break it out per the color. What supplements might be advised, and I teach a whole course on this to practitioners so that they can better understand because I think that most practitioners, we’re not taught about how to use supplements. How do you look for quality in a supplement? I mean, Gosh, there’s so many supplements out there and there’s a spectrum. Some of them really go through the extra mile to do research or to do quality control. I’m not so much. And so we have to be really discerning about that.
Reena Jadhav: Which is your favorite supplement brand or which are your favorite supplement brands?
Dr. Deanna: I have a variety quite honestly. Um, I think that there are two paths of supplements that are sold. One is through the retail channel where you can go up to a store like whole foods and you can buy supplements there or you can also buy from your healthcare practitioner and usually those are going to be a little bit more pricey. But the reason why is because those practitioners are buying from companies that do a lot in the way of quality control. So some of my favorites, I mean are more of that health practitioner brand line. So ones like metagenics pure encapsulations, thorn designs for health. I mean, there are, there’s a whole bunch of them. Uh, and I think that, um, you know, the proof is in the pudding. So when you actually try out some of these, and I notice, I mean even I eat really well, but there are times where you have increased nutrient needs, so maybe you go traveling, you’re in an airplane for eight hours or you travel overseas. Can you possibly think that the food that you’re getting during your travel is really doing the additional stress in your body? Any good? That’s what I take the most supplements as before I travel during my travel and after my travel.
Reena Jadhav: And do you do a liquid multivitamin? What do you, what are your thoughts on multivitamins versus kind of hardcore specific supplements? Like, okay, I know I’m going to do the asked exactly know where I’m going to do the krill versus liquid and um, yeah. What do you recommend?
Dr. Deanna: Closer to food is better. So to your point, if it’s a powder or if it’s a liquid, I prefer that rather than a tablet or capsule. I prefer instead of high doses of nutrients, I prefer small amounts of many different nutrients. So one of my favorite multivitamin minerals is a, it’s called phytomulti and it has 13 different plants in it, in addition plant extracts in addition to the vitamins and the minerals and it’s not super high level, so the minerals or the vitamin so that if you want it to layer in other things and you needed more vitamin C than you could do it without feeling like you were in an unsafe zone. But I, I always think it’s best to really work with a practitioner who knows what they’re doing on that realm of supplements because if I see this all the time, in fact I just had somebody last week where they brought me a spreadsheet of 15 different supplements that they were taking since, uh, you know, 2014.
Dr. Deanna: So I think we need to. One of my principals with supplements is rotation, rotation, rotation. I think that the body in order to build resilience needs variety. And that means with food. So that’s why even with my whole detox program, every three days we do a new color. So the first few days we do read. Then the days four through six, we do orange, then days seven through nine, we do yellow foods, so everything is rotation, rotation, rotation, and then I think that that builds the microbiome and it creates a new influx of fighter nutrients which can embed into our skin and help with skin and hydration. It can change so many different functions in our body just by variety alone. Those are my three principals with people. If you were to catch me on the street and you said, hey deanna, what’s like your. Your takeaway?
Dr. Deanna: I would say color, creativity and variety. If you can focus on those things which are food, I would be ecstatic because those are really core simple principles, but yet very effective when they’re properly applied.
Reena Jadhav: And when’s the right time to eat supplements should you eat with or without food
Dr. Deanna: It depends on the supplement a, if it contains minerals than it should definitely be taken with food. Most supplements fare better with food because if you think of it, that’s how we get vitamins and minerals through food, so we would want to consume it in a very similar way. It’s a good question.
Reena Jadhav: Yes, I almost think like that’s to me that makes sense because it’s like you’re fooling your body, your body thinks it’s real food
Dr. Deanna: Studies very beautiful studies in which they look at taking a certain supplements, even some basic ones like vitamin C and vitamin E with a meal that’s perhaps not so healthy and blunting some of the effects of that unhealthy meal. Now that doesn’t give us justification to go out and eat unhealthy, but what that told me was that those vitamins, they look like they’re so small, but they are having significant potent impact in the body in that combination with food.
Reena Jadhav: All right, let’s move on to chapter five, which is the red groups, and we’re going to from now on be talking about the different colors. Let’s talk about the red root. What is this chapter?
Dr. Deanna: Oh, I love the root. So this is the color red. Let me just unpack it for you. So the color red, as you can see on this chart, connects to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are connected to our sense of fight or flight, our ability to survive, and so in the body we’re thinking of stability, structure, what makes us really physical and grounded. So when the Rainbow Diet I talk about red is the physical color. It alerts us. I mean look at a stop sign, a stop sign is red and we’re getting a reaction. There’s a reason why that stop sign is red. There’s a lot of market research that goes into colors and how they’re used in the environment to sell things. All of that, so red is about our immune system. It’s about our ability to be physical and so many people actually need more red because or they have too much red. They have too much inflammation, so they’re on that spectrum with red and so in the Rainbow Diet I talk about overactive, which would be inflammation underactive, which would be immune system is not working as well and we don’t have a good sense of our boundaries and as a result we can’t properly mount a stress response like this happens with people. And sometimes even in Chinese medicine, they talk about how Yin and Yang work together we are so young and then all of a sudden we can’t do that anymore.
Dr. Deanna: So we become Yin and, and so it’s very similar with the color spectrums. So, um, all things protein, like when you’re seeing me, you’re seeing my route because it’s my skin, it’s my hair, it’s my nails. That’s why I don’t paint my nails because I always want to see what is my skin doing, you know, and keep things clear on the skin so that you can see what’s constantly changing in your immune system. Uh, you spoke about hives before we jumped on. I mean, that’s such a root type issue. It’s like an alert. Your body’s responding and read through your skin. We need to be vigilant. There’s something in our environment that we have that we’re responding to, right? It’s like the body speaks in red. It lets us know, and I love it for that reason. I mean, I had a client tell me one, she said, all illness, all symptoms are a call to, to really something bigger, right?
Dr. Deanna: It’s almost like the western form of meditation. So anyway, to honor our root, I’m moving along that if we look at what does this mean deeper, it means it’s connected to our sense of tribe. It’s a very tribal blood. Think of blood, you know, are you my blood relative, you know, uh, there is that sense of, are you part of me, my dna and how that connects. That’s whether I think that there’s so much of a resurgence into things like ancestral nutrition are looking for the root. I mean, looking at Americans, they’re always looking, where’s my, where am I relative? Because they don’t feel like that sense of anchoring. So protein anchors us a red foods contain, you know, I talk about the color code and how each of the colors of food connect to something so red colored foods helping to reduce the rate of inflammation. And I, whenever I give you the Rainbow Diet presentation, I talk about the studies of, of all of those things, but in the interest of time we probably have to speed up through the colors.
Reena Jadhav: No, I want to get this great information out. And by the way, for those of you who are listening or watching, you know, check out the book, we’re going to be putting it in the show notes because there is just such great information here. It can truly be the foundation of your health going forward in a fun way. Um, so what are your favorite red foods before we dive into the next color?
Dr. Deanna: Yeah. Um, goodness, I, it’s always changing, but lately it’s actually just pomegranate. There’s so many good studies on pomegranate juice, like 50 milliliters, like a small shot for helping with inflammatory markers. Strawberries, strawberries are in season now. It’s summertime. So strawberries are rich and a number of different fighter nutrients which help with inflammation. Um, tomatoes are also out there. They’re not my favorite. Uh, I know for some people they do really well with tomatoes. I don’t personally. Um, they’ve always been a food I’ve been reactive to and I get, I become a tomato if I eat to me that one,
Reena Jadhav: It might be the nightshade effect, right?
Dr. Deanna: It might be the what effect?
Reena Jadhav: The nightshade effect?
Dr. Deanna: It might be something that I’m reacting to, but I don’t react to other night shades in that way. Yeah. So if I eat potatoes or Eggplant, I’m, I’m pretty good.
Dr. Deanna: But to me those, maybe it’s the acidity. I don’t know. From red foods to choose from. And by the way, I’m. One of the things that I have, I need to give this to you, Rena, is um, I created a color wheel because one of the things that I believe is that out of sight, out of mind. So, but if we do see it, we remember it. And when we know better, we do better. So I’ve created a color pinwheel with some red foods, so when you go shopping to look at this and say, Oh yeah, that’s right, I could be getting pink grapefruit, I can be getting watermelon, I could be getting red carrots. I actually saw a red carrots in my supermarket some, uh, some weeks ago. So I think if we don’t explore them, we’re just running in and buying our groceries and running out.
Dr. Deanna: We miss kind of the, again, making sure that we’re getting the variety. And so using this as a way to. And I have this in the Rainbow Diet, I have shopping lists of the defender foam and just reminding people what some red foods are just like you asked me.
Reena Jadhav: Oh, wonderful. That’s great. We’ll see if you can put a link in there as well on the show notes. All right. Chapter six, the orange flow. What’s the essence of that chapter?
Dr. Deanna: So orange is all, as you mentioned, it’s the flow and it’s a watery, playful parts of us. It connects to fertility and to the reproductive system. Every cell in our body is bathed in fluid. And if you look at it, statistically, we’re more water than anything else, but yet we overlook the importance of water and hydration. So when we’re properly hydrated, we’re flowing, we’re moving things in and out of the cell.
Dr. Deanna: And when we’re not flowing, we’re stagnant, we get stuck, we started having symptoms. So orange foods for this, uh, would be things that are high in carotinoids, things like Beta carotene, carrots and persimmons. You know, one of the things that I wrestled with personally was, um, I had endometriosis, which is an inflammatory condition of the uterine tissue and the reproductive organs. And, um, so I monitor the literature and endometriosis and it’s quite interesting because I found a study that I think was released in April 2018, which showed that women that had more citrus fruits, especially citrus fruits high in a carotinoids called Beta crip does. Anthony had a 22 percent lower risk of endometriosis. So, um, and there was another study looking at orange foods, things like mango persimmon, um, helped to reduce ovarian decline by a little bit more than a year. And so if we can hang onto our ovaries longer, what we want to do that so that orange is really important for our reproductive health.
Reena Jadhav: Wow, that’s interesting to know because I have endometriosis as well. And of course it didn’t get picked up on until I went in for my colon cancer surgery and had suffered for decades with the worst pain every month. And of course it was eventually been diagnosed as part of the endometriosis. So it’s interesting. I’ve always craved a lemon and lime and oranges and I think sometimes their body tells us to our cravings, right? What’s the right thing to do? So that’s orange. All right, Chapter Seven. The yellow fire. What’s the essence of that?
Dr. Deanna: Yeah. So this is all about digestion. This is all about the fire, the heat of us. So, um, the, the red route was about earth. The, the orange flow was about water and now we have fire. And uh, of course we have fire in the body that helps us to spark digestion and digestive processes. And some of the, the yellow foods are, are acid foods. And so they create and catalyze some of those reactions for us. So I’m thinking about things like lemon and citrus, like you mentioned a also, I think of whether it’s, this is also the center of carbohydrate and sweetness. And so I think of honey, I think of sustainable complex carbohydrates like lentils and summer squash and often we move onto the other side of the spectrum which is unhealthy yellow foods. So things like breads, pastas, uh, you know, just having lots of these, these unhealthy yellow foods that aren’t serving our digestive capacity.
Reena Jadhav: Got It. And what, what is your favorite food? What’s your favorite yellow food?
Dr. Deanna: Know? I do like lemons. I like lemons a lot because they always seem to pull out things that have smoothies. Um, even when you have like berries, there’s something magical about lemons I think. Uh, and I liked the rind as much as I liked the lemon itself and pineapple, pineapple, which is great for digestion because it’s filling a number of different enzymes that help with breaking down proteins. So yes, I make the pineapple
Reena Jadhav: Great gluten free upside down pineapple cake.
Dr. Deanna: Oh, that sounds great.
Reena Jadhav: And it’s healthy and it’s a treat and pineapple, some of my favorites. I’m getting a lot is with the coconut, which I guess we’ll get to at some point. All right. Next chapter, Chapter Eight. The green love. Tell us a little bit about that.
Dr. Deanna: Green correlates to the cardiovascular system, so this is all about opening up our blood vessels. Green as one of my favorite color is actually I’m. I’m a little partial to Greek.
Reena Jadhav: You’re wearing it.
Dr. Deanna: I’m wearing it. I know I’m so. When we eat a lot of the green leafy vegetables, they contain a number of nutrients that actually help our cardiovascular system and so these leafy greens, things like arugula and spinach contain what’s called nitrates and usually people are thinking of nitrates is a bad thing because then they think of processed meat. This is a different kind of this is a naturally occurring nitrate that when we take it into our body, it converts into nitric oxide to open up our blood vessels. So leafy Greens for the heart also filled with vitamin K, otherwise known as Phylo Quinoa, and a lot of the different full lates which we need for helping with keeping homocysteine levels in check.
Reena Jadhav: And what’s your favorite green food?
Dr. Deanna: Oh my, I have to pick one. I love. I’m a huge fan. In fact, I just bought some from trader Joe’s. I’m a huge fan of microgreens. Microgreens tend to be more nutrient dense and so they have more nutrients per gram. They’re the small leaflets that form, uh, after about seven days, so they’re not like a sprout there beyond a sprout. But before an actual leaf has formed like a big leaf on a, on a head of lettuce. So I love micro Greens.
Reena Jadhav: I do too. And it’s like you said, it’s such a brilliant way to short gut and cheap. A lot of nutrients in a tiny little portion. I’ll just pop them, like I’ll make a opinion Colada, so to speak with a fresh coconut and pineapple algae to produce some micro Greens in there. And Boom, there’s your high dosage of, of nutrition.
Dr. Deanna: They’re relatively tasteless. You can they’re kind of neutral so you can add them to smoothies without a lot of problem.
Reena Jadhav: Exactly. I love a Broccoli sprouts. Actually. I loved the, the Broccoli.
Dr. Deanna: Oh yeah. Definitely.
Reena Jadhav: Good. Okay. Chapter nine. The aquamarine truth. Now I don’t even know that there were aqua marine food, so you’re going to have to tell us about those
Dr. Deanna: aren’t that many. Um, and so what I talk about here is nutrients for the thyroid and I get into um, different blue, green foods like blue green sea plants that contain iodine and selenium thing, different minerals. That’s a thyroid gland, Spirulina, chlorella. Yeah. There are different lgs that might be useful for us in terms of metabolism. Uh, I know that there’s some research on Fucoidan which comes from sea plants, um, but really and truly in this chapter, the Rainbow Diet, I focus on the how of eating. It’s not just the thyroid, but it’s how we so often focus on the what, that we don’t focus on slowing down through the how. And so that’s where I talk about the truth of eating and really getting into that more mindful space of eating.
Reena Jadhav: All right, let’s get to chapter 10. The indigo insight. Deanna what is that all about?
Dr. Deanna: The insights on about the brain. And so here we’ve moved up with all the colors up into now the brain area, and so when we think of the insight, it’s not just the insight into something but also perspectives and intellect and imagination and intuition. So this is the place where we create moods and we’re, uh, I focused on sleep and so even herbs and things to help us to relax. And, you know, right now I’m drinking some green tea and one of the things I do talk about in this chapter is green tea and green tea is really interesting because it has this restful alertness feel provides to people because of the different agents that are in it, not because of the caffeine but because of other things. So the insight is all about our cognitive process, but it’s also about our imaginative process as it combines with our intellect and the synthesis of those two things that oftentimes comes together in the realm of sleep through the conduit of dreams.
Reena Jadhav: What an interesting topic because one of the things that I’ve learned is that it’s the imbalance in our bodies that gets us to lean towards one side or the other. You see some people getting just to logical, to rational to critical, and they lose that creative side or some go end up being overly creative, but then indulging that side and so that Yang Yang imbalance. And Are you saying that by having certain kinds of foods you could naturally create balance in the body?
Dr. Deanna: Yes, indeed. Many people are imbalanced in one direction or the other, whether it’s too much analytical activity or it’s too much creative chaos. And so what we’re trying to do in the brain is to be harmony between that Yin and that young. And so one of the things that I talked about and the Rainbow Diet is how to optimize the brain so that people don’t feel anxious so that they don’t feel depressed so that they don’t feel cognitively in disarray. That they really feel like they’re in the zone and they can do that with foods. I’m just like, I was um, well I was alluding to this in previous chapters too about how the different colors of food leads to different changes in mood, especially the blue purple or the indigo colored fruits and vegetables. In fact, there’ve been a number of studies on blueberries, blackberries, purple grape juice, all showing the connection with modulating mood and even cognitive activity as it relates to learning and memory. So truly there is some, some effect that food has on a set. It’s modulating our mood and who we are cognitively and how we’re thinking
Reena Jadhav: and what a simple way to bring alignment in the body if you know, we’re not into things like meditation and acupuncture and Yoga. So I love that. Alright, let’s go to chapter 11, which is the white spirit. That sounds so pretty and poetic. What is that chapter about?
Dr. Deanna: That? The chapter on white is all about clarity, purification and clarification. So it’s the process where we get clean, clear, we’ve wiped this lady, we reset. And oftentimes when we talk about that in nutrition, we think of detoxification or we think of path and we think of like moving away from food and into that place of really are nonphysical body, which is, you know, it’s interesting because so many people are moving away from food and doing intermittent fasting and the benefits and that’s where I put nerve within the Rainbow Diet is within the whole chapter and the white spirit, the nerve wiring through our body is very fine white and the spirit is all about the finer systems of the body. The electromagnetic fields that we carry, the very small, delicate nervous wiring at we have throughout our whole body. The Meridian is the entire energy field.
Dr. Deanna: And so what we’re doing here is removing what gets in the way of that. So that could be things like electromagnetic fields that come from our computer or phone. In fact, we just finished a blog on that. All the things that you can do from a nutritional standpoint. So when we think of white foods, we often, while we might think of things that are not as good for us, so things like white bread, white flour, white salt, white sugar, white rice, that’s another good one to mention. So each of these colors has their own spectrum with yes, the wonderful healing benefits and then the other side where more the depleting processed effects and what I just mentioned will be on the process of pleading the health. What would be the, the clarifying white, the things that are pungent or that, um, allow our body to release whether it’s garlic or it’s coconut, coconut, different aspects of coconut, whether it’s coconut oil or coconut fiber, coconut, a meal in some way that all of these different things are adding to the body in ways that can be healing and beneficial.
Reena Jadhav: What are your thoughts on white rice? It’s such a highly debated topic in the West and yet, you know, you’ve got several billion people, both India, China, and most of Asia that have lived for thousands of years on white rice.
Dr. Deanna: Yeah, it’s really good question. Often food in and of themselves aren’t typically bad or good. You have to look at the context in which it’s being eaten and so if you’re just having lots of white rice and a plate with some vegetables that are coated in a syrup made of corn starch and sugar and some salt and a an msg infused sauce, them some type. I mean obviously it’s not really additive. It just depends on the amount. It depends on the person. White Rice in of itself can be higher glycemic, which means that it can provoke more of a blood sugar response. So in people who have blood sugar issues, if you don’t have protein or fat together with that white rice, it may spike blood sugar, so food is so much about the context in which we eat it. So I would say to look at the larger picture, the bigger palate.
Reena Jadhav: Glad to hear you say that because I think we get a lot of our data without context. One, you know, crazy attention grabbing headline after another. So thank you for clarifying that. It’s all about what is that food being eaten in context of. Okay, next chapter, chapter 12, which is how to personalize the Rainbow Diet. So for those of us who are fascinated in are very interested, what do you recommend, how could we personalize it?
Dr. Deanna: You know, there are so many ways that you can slice and dice the rainbow diet and I like to give some suggestions in the book as to how you can do that because there’s not just one way for everybody. I do believe that everybody is so different, their needs are different. So one of the easy ways of what people can do, and this is nice because it’s kind of like touring through every color so you can do a seven day rainbow diet where the first day you focus on red and you really make a focus on those red colored foods that I mentioned in the book. Second Day orange, third day yellow, fourth day green, fifth day aqua marine or blue green, six day indigo and then seventh day whites. So you could do kind of a nice long week emergent. I’ve done it with my community several times where we dive right into the different colors and it really makes you aware even what you’re wearing, where you’re by colors, you know, for that day, really just going deep into those heather’s, it’s very what colors can do for us.
Dr. Deanna: And then separate from that, you could even just do a, a one day where you focus on what are the rainbow colors that you’re getting throughout the day and in a very easy way, you can write down the foods that you go and then what I often recommend that you take markers or crayons and you just make a line of color through that food. So my green tea, so I usually have people just do plant foods. So because that’s where the pigments are from nature that are protective. So like my green tea had put up a light green line through it. Uh, for lunch, right before I got on the call with you, I had some asparagus, radicchio and did another vegetable. Yeah. I had a little bit of Broccoli and that was heavy on a little bit of red from the ridiculous. So I would put green, green and a little bit of red or like burgundy color. So at that day if I looked at that and said, oh my gosh, I’ve got so much green, I need to start getting some blue purple, I need some healthy white foods and use some reds, some orange and yellow. So it’s a good sign for people to move through and see what they’re taking in as they go through their day.
Reena Jadhav: I think it’s such a fabulous way to get kids involved in health and eating and meal planning. By the way, I’m definitely planning on getting my 13 year old who’s having her very rebellious, you know, I want to eat pizza and chocolate milk phase and seeing maybe I can incorporate this into her where we can start using yellow stickies to say, okay, what colors have you had today? What are you missing? And that’s what we’re going to do for dinner. I just absolutely love what you’ve done with the concept of colors by the way. Now Clarification
Dr. Deanna: just to gamify it, right? So kids like more, you know, you have something on the refrigerator with circles and I’ve already created something like this and so, you know, there’s kind of like the checking off and even for her with her pizza, there’s a way to make a rainbow pizza. So making sure we get the red, the red bell pepper, the orange, you know, whatever she likes to
Reena Jadhav: Great idea.
Dr. Deanna: Yellow. Yeah. So there’s a way. And even with her chocolate shake, you know, there are ways to embed into a chocolate shake. You can make a healthy shake like with coconut milk, you can take a cow powder and I’ve done it. I even did this this morning, rock cow nibs. But then underneath you can also have things like spinach, which are, she doesn’t even have to know with spinach, just very neutral in their new blender. It and it, it just blends in with all the other fibers and whatever else you’ve got in there. I actually did this at a high school about two years ago with my dad. Uh, we did rank these with the kids. And so as long as you have things that taste good, like you’ve got a banana or you’ve got some. Yeah. You’ve got to bring in things that, that kids will be receptive to, then you can start to put the other things in there and make it rainbow.
Reena Jadhav: What a brilliant idea. Just to clarify, if we were to do the seven days one dominant color at a time, does that mean that that’s the only color or what percentage of the food needs to be read? So it was an 80, 20, 90 10. Talk a little bit about the percentages.
Dr. Deanna: Yeah. I try not to make to analytical. So what I try to do is just say, you know, just focus on red foods for that day. Um, so for breakfast, if you can get a red food for lunch, if you can get a red food and then for dinner, some kind of red food too. So, um, you know, again, I don’t want people to get to Meyer down. I do have recipes that coincide with the color. So if they say, what can I have for my red root? And then you can go to the recipe section of the book and then look for the recipe. So if they’re at a loss of what can I do in those days, you can easily find some ideas or you know, if you’re making an omelet or scrambled eggs for breakfast as an idea, just tossing in some red, having a little bit raspberry this morning I had strawberries is my red.
Dr. Deanna: You can also go a bit deeper and if you say, you know, I really want to do the rainbow diet in a very intense way where I’m getting into these phyto nutrients and especially around the change of seasons when our immune system is changing, what our bodies are changing when the produce the gardens and the food supply is changing. I also offering the book of Seven Week Plan. So you can do that from even like in August to September or September into October or in a spring, like a February to march or march into April. Those are nice. Those are usually when I do detoxes and we focus on those different colors. We do three days for every color. So then it takes us to 21 days. You can also do that, it’s almost like a wild and just figure out what is best for you and don’t block yourself in too much with you know, having to be so rigid, the goal of the Rainbow Diet, redefine your relationship with food in such a way that it’s creative, it’s flowing, but yet it provides a little bit of a plan so that you can input it into the color.
Reena Jadhav: I love that and in fact that leads us into the next chapter, chapter 13. So if you’re watching this or listening to this and interested in recipes, make sure you tune in to that chapter because that’s all about recipes, right? My favorite chapter of all the chapter 13 recipes. Thank you Deanna for putting together recipes because I know how hard it can be to figure out how to create this rainbow diet. So tell us a little bit about how many recipes, what kind of recipes, and of course I want to know your favorite recipes.
Dr. Deanna: The recipes are laid out like the chapters and so you got the red root, recipes, you’ve got the orange flow, the yellow fire, et cetera. And so each of those recipes is geared towards the physical and energetic properties of those foods that come together in those meals. So there’s about, I would say five to eight recipes for color, so you can choose from things, salads, breakfasts, or lunches. There’s really a gamut of different things. And so you were mentioning that you really like desserts. And uh, one of my favorite is in the insight to the indigo insight chapter. This is something I make on a regular basis and it’s because most people do not get enough blue, purple. And so I try to sneak it in there for dessert. And so in the insight part of the recipes, what you’ll find there is the, the wisdom seeker Berry Cobbler.
Dr. Deanna: So it’s where you take blueberries and blackberries and uh, essentially you’re mixing them up and then there’s a crumble on top and these recipes aren’t ultra restrictive either. I want people to modify them as they see necessary. So if there are certain things that people feel, I don’t eat butter or I don’t have a, you know, there are ways that you can override that. So one of the things that I really believe in is personalized to eating, so I’m not wedded to any dietary dogma and so people will find that the recipes are very open and I’m again not tethered to a certain way of eating and they’re not all Vegan, they’re not Paleo, they’re not. There’s, there’s a mix of many different kinds. And so you can pick and choose or you can make substitutions that should go
Reena Jadhav: wonderful. And you have breakfast, lunch and dinner options in there, I’m assuming.
Dr. Deanna: I do, I do.
Reena Jadhav: Wonderful. Wonderful. Deanna, I want to thank you so much for writing this book, for sharing your wisdom, for inspiring us all to eat healthier. And for the rest of you definitely check out Deanna’s book we’re going to be putting the link down below in the show notes and of course make sure you’ve listened to all of the other interviews, sections of this book Master Class. Deanna, You’re amazing. Thank you so much. Any last word of advice for someone who wants to embark on the Rainbow Diet?
Dr. Deanna: I would say when you start eating colorfully, you start living colorfully and so expect a really beautiful rainbow journey as you start making your way in. When you start opening your eyes to many different colors, you’ll start seeing them everywhere and so many people have been eating in a more colorful way and I just see that their lives transform. So start small, don’t stress, and um, just start with the rainbow, wearing the rainbow and then eating it
Reena Jadhav: and living the rainbow life. Thank you so much for the rest of you. Stay smiling. I’m looking forward to seeing you on our next podcast and share the love. Let everybody do the Rainbow Diet together. So tell your friends and family about it. I’ll see you soon.
Deanna Minich, Ph.D.
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