Is What’s On Your Plate Protecting You?


  • How many thousands of dollars have you spent on doctor bills, therapy bills, medications, laboratory work, lotions, potions?
  • How many hours have you spent stressing over your child’s eczema flare ups that seem to recur, zits that continuously pop up despite surpassing adolescence, your wrinkles, to name a few skin issues.
  • How about the constant worry over your child’s lack of attention in school, focus issues, memory issues, impulsivity, anxiety, depression?
  • Do I dare mention constipation, recurring abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome??
  • Shall we count up the hours you have spent researching on line the answers to all these questions, treatment, and fixes?

We are made of cells.  Cells form together and make blood, hormones, body fluids, immune defenses, and create organs. Organs and all these things get together and create the body.  SOOOOOO back to the cell.  Stay with me people……….


Take a moment to review the Phytonutrient Spectrum Chart Created by the Institute of Functional Medicine.  This chart makes much more sense if you did not skip the cell lecture from above.


What am I saying?  No, you don’t have to become vegetarians.  But, you have to eat Fruits and Vegetables.  You cannot get all the Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, Proteins, and Carbs from one fruit or veggie.  You need the Rainbow.  You cannot get the building blocks for your Cell House from soda, sugar, packaged foods, fast food, gatorade, pop-tarts, captain crunch, lunchables, and  juice and expect it to work.  (I did not see food coloring, sugar, preservatives, trans fats, and ingredients I can’t pronounce in the cell lecture above, did you?) It’s like building your house out of hay because its cheaper, or glow sticks because it’s more fun, or tree branches because it’s easier.  Yes, bricks are more expensive and time consuming, but they will withstand disasters.  Beware the storms, fires, earthquakes, and floods, will come ( aka – viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, toxins, pollution, inflammation, etc).  How ready is your house to withstand these natural and man-made disasters?

Here is what I am saying:

  • spend more money on the food on your plate,
  • spend more hours shopping for fruits and veggies,
  • worry more about combining rainbow colors on your plate, then medicines
  • spend more hours cooking real food.

Where can you get all this time?  Replace 1-5 from above, with food gathering and prep.  

You eat pretty healthy, you say?  Ok, well here is how it really plays out. In my clinical practice, most families feel that they eat “pretty healthy”. During the Well Child Exams in my office, every patient has to fill out a diet questionnaire.

Here are my observations:

  • 80% of my patients eat 2-3 servings of fruits/veggies every day.
  • 15% eat 2 or less every day.
  • ONLY 5% of my patient population consumes 5+ servings of fruits and veggies a day (regardless of education or socioeconomic status)

This correlates with the findings of adults studied by Harvard School of Public Health, where they uncovered that majority of the population (80%) consumes 2-3 servings of fruits or vegetables per day or less.

The Recommended amount of  Fruits and Vegetables as per Harvard and the Institute of Functional Medicine is 8-13 Servings Each Day!

It’s your turn to do the diet questionnaire.  I created a simple, straight forward Fruit and Veggie Journal that you can print and use.  It has serving sizes for all ages on the PDF format:



How about the kids, how are they doing?  Use the above Journal for them as well.  Serving sizes and instructions are on the handout.  If you are not getting the serving sizes, are you at least getting close to the rainbow in a day?  How about per meal?

If you are not getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, what are the obstacles?  Please place comments below and we can have a group discussion on how to help one another achieve this goal.  I would love to hear from BOTH those who struggle and those who succeed.

In Good Health, Ana-Maria Temple, MD

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