Over the years, LA-based writer Anja Brydum has taught me a thing or two about friendship (and, I admit, the art of eyeliner). As the full-time creative director and editor of three (yes, three) local travel magazines, she’s a 60-hour-work-week gal, but at least she gets to do it from home! Lucky for Anja, her ‘office’ is just across the hall from her kitchen…meaning she spends her spare hours as the vegan-cuisine queen of her downtown loft. She can pare a purple fingerling potato faster than you can blink an eye, and it’s a genuine honor to get her dish on ‘Roy G. Biv.’ This acronym is her mnemonic device for eating a nutrient-rich, plant-based, whole-foods diet. It’s such a great concept that I just had to invite her to share. Anja’s article is a prelude to her Eating with Abs cooking show, premiered right here next Monday, February 14. Consider her my Valentine’s Day gift to you!
Yes, I’m a hot mess in my love affair with Roy G. Biv. Going vegan, for me, meant discovering as much diversity as possible in the plant-based foods I devour—and that just so happened to translate into consuming a literal rainbow of fruits and veggies. I embraced a really simple equation: Full array of colorful vegetables = Fully-nutrient diet.
(R)ed: I love lycopene. This rich, red antioxidant can be found in beets, cranberries, tomatoes, and red peppers, just to name a few. It’s known to be antifungal, antibacterial, antitoxic, and helps protects against cardiovascular disease.
(O)range and (Y)ellow: My kitchen is always stocked with a bevy of beta-carotene bad boys. The orange-and-yellow hue in carrots and squash is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy eyes and improves immune system function.
(G)reen: Leafy greens are by far my #1 food obsession. From emerald trees of broccoli to deep, dark leaves of spinach, chard and (swoon!) all kinds of kale, green means nerve-supportive and red-blood-cell-producing folates. As a digestive bonus, leafy greens tend to scrub you clean from the inside out.
(B)lue, (I)ndigo and (V)iolet: The prettiest of plant pigments, in my humble opinion, are the anthocyanins. These antioxidant flavonoids boast anti-inflammatory properties and protect blood vessels. That’s why I stock up on purple cabbage, eggplant, blueberries, and figs. I’m drawn to anything purplish in general, regardless of the nutritional properties….so, when purple fingerling potatoes are in their peak season, you better watch out for my grabby hands, because I adore grubbing on ‘em as a special, starchy treat.
And White: Don’t forget that you need white light (and a prism, of course) to reflect all of the colors of the rainbow. For my daily dose of white, I crave the cruciferous clamor of quality cauliflower. Why do I love my crucifers? Well, not only are they chock-full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, they’re also believed to help aid in reducing your risk of cancer.
Yes, you can! Living in “the big city,” as they say, I still manage to source my fruits and veggies from local, organic growers. Depending on the day of the week, you can find farmers’ markets throughout LA neighborhoods, and The Original Farmers Market is up-and-running 7 days a week.
Got a picky eater in your fam (or, like in my case, a 6’5” omnivore boyfriend who craves something a bit sweet to dress up his veggies)? Check out my step-by-step video, released on Valentine’s Day, where we get a little saucy with “Gandhi’s Curry,” a recipe lovingly adapted from The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook by Tanya Petrovna.
You can follow Ms. Brydum at twitter.com/anjamarie…you can also follow me, Abs, at twitter.com/abigailwick…just for fun!