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  • Lacey, Co-Founder + Brand Builder

Fears, food, and phytonutrients 😱

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

In the last post, I talked about how I used to hate kitchen tables, but that was just one barrier on the road to changing my relationship with food.

Yeah.. It all started during my first deployment to Iraq. Our base in northern Iraq was small, and there weren't many women there.

I remember it clearly.. Stepping into the dining facility and hundreds of eyes turning to me.

The noisy cafeteria suddenly became a deafening silence.

You didn't see many girls here.

My body stiffened in fear and my heart began to pound, making my cheeks flush. I felt like I went into a panic. If only I could have crawled under a rock. I tried to hide my discomfort as I walked the 500 feet to the main line.

People kept [interrupting my meal] trying to make conversation, but the [unwanted] attention triggered something inside me. It brought back those awful kitchen table feelings.

Yet something new grew inside of me.

It was when I was eating in that dining facility, that I found myself associating the unwanted attention I was receiving in public with public spaces in general. No longer did I feel comfortable venturing to public places like the cafeteria, movie theater, gym, or... the grocery store.

Megan Militello, CEO, Elevated Oats + Lacey Ernandes, COO, Elevated Oats  FaceTiming

A few years ago, Megan and I talked about making better food choices by eating the rainbow.

“I don’t do grocery shopping. It’s too overwhelming for me.” I told her.

The thought of going to the grocery store on top of not knowing what to buy crippled me.

"The easiest way to eat the rainbow is to stick to the outer edges of the grocery store, because that is where your essential food groups are."

I felt more in control of things than I had in a long time. Today, my family and I are able to go to the grocery store together and we are able to teach our son how to shop and eat the rainbow.

I'm a bit confused. What exactly is "eating the rainbow"?

Eating the rainbow means you take color into consideration when selecting your food. Consuming food based on color can help to ensure a balanced diet. The "eat the rainbow" philosophy advocates eating a wide variety of plant-based, nutrient-rich foods. You'll get more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet when you follow the rainbow.

The colors of fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods actually point to the presence of powerful and essential nutrients, called phytonutrients. These nutrients aid your body in healing and preventing disease.

It's easy to figure out how much phytonutrient you're getting by looking at the color of a fruit or vegetable. For instance, if you eat only red fruits and veggies, you'll only get phytonutrients that come from the red color. So the more colorful your plate or bowl is, the more nutrients you're getting!

Joyce Patterson, University of Michigan clinical dietitian, says the best way to get the benefits of phytonutrients is to eat fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors — at least five different colors every day. Watch more from Michigan Medicine ⬇️


Megan Militello, CEO, Elevated Oats + Lacey Ernandes, COO, Elevated Oats posing with Elevated Oats inside Kaladi Brother's Coffee

Speaking of eating rainbows..

Did you know that we PACK our gluten-free granola with bananas, carrots, and beets?! 🤩

Plus other good things 😉

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