Join me for a moment in my shower. Don’t be nervous… I don’t just let anyone in here with me, but all are welcome!
Oh, get your heads out of the gutter! I’m talking about variety here. Who else likes variety in their lives? Variety can be good! Variety can keep things exciting! Variety can be healthy!
Let’s start with what is in my shower… To the right is an actual photo of my shower. [I SO hope there’s no sharp reflections in the tile!]
This morning, I saw all my soaps and started wondering about why I have so many. I mean, who really needs that many different soaps?! Well, I don’t NEED that many, but I LIKE that many. Look at all the fun colors and scents that wake me up in the morning or clean me after my workouts. I’ve got blue and white original Coast, the new florescent orange Dial for Men, bright green Irish Springs as well as the new light green Irish Springs “Gear” for men and gold Dove for Men. That’s five soaps! And I have at least that large a variety of deodorants.
Then I continued thinking about what other types of variety make me feel good in life. I have a variety of craft beer in my ‘fridge, I have a variety of shoes in my closet (3 running along with several pairs of black and brown shoes, ranging from casual to formal) and a variety of drinking glasses for every beverage or occasion in my cabinet. Could I get by with just one of each of those? Sure, but it’s not as fun or interesting!
I also like a variety of foods – I don’t like eating the same thing for breakfast every day (or any meal for that matter). Although, that would make life easier – not having to think about or plan different meals every day.
Furthermore, I like a variety of workouts. I get SOOOOOOOOO bored doing the same exercises all the time. This winter I have been doing video workouts at home instead of going to the gym. I’m presently on week 3 of Tony Horton’s P90X3. It is the newest generation of P90Xes, which takes the best of the previous plans and condenses them down to 30 minutes of “H-E-double L”! But this is the first video workout that I have lasted longer than 2 weeks without throwing a different video in. And that’s because of the great variety of exercises and movements in this program. Even though I am on the 3rd week of the same seven 30-minute workouts, I have only done each three times. And next week, he switches it up and swaps for some new workouts. [The workout I dread each week is the one he calls “The Challenge” – going back and forth between a large variety of pull-ups and push-ups. Ugh! It’s hard!!!]
Yes, Tony may have a silly sense of humor, but I enjoy him. So much so, that I just bought his new book on Kindle… “The Big Picture, 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life.” Ironically enough, one of his 11 Laws is his LAW 4, which is “Variety Is the Spice of . . . Everything.” I JUST began reading it, so I’m not sure what he says about it. But it is pretty funny that I thought about all this and then saw the name of that chapter. [I have a love-hate relationship for him… I love his workouts and sense of humor, but I often swear at him during the workouts.]
Wait a minute… this isn’t a blog review of P90X3, it’s a post on VARIETY! So, let’s get back to it…
All of this led me to think about the great variety and colors of vegetables and fruits. Did you ever stop to wonder how and why nature even created all those colors and varieties? [Maybe I think too much!] Fruits and vegetables are like a box of crayons – I’m not talking about the box of 8, I’m talking about the box of 120! They are all different.
According to the article “Eat the Rainbow: Health Benefits of Colorful Fruits & Veggies,” by Lisa Collier Cool, “Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables has amazing benefits, including improved memory, weight loss, and lower risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and several types of cancer, studies suggest. Eating certain vegetables is even linked to a longer life.”
Wow, that’s pretty amazing in itself! So, let’s take a quick look at what the variety of colors are all about.
Red tomatoes, watermelon, papayas and red carrots contain Lycopene, which may be a potential agent which reduces certain types of cancers, like breast, gastric, prostate, ovarian and pancreatic cancers.Grapes are also a great source of natural flavenoids as well as resveratrol, which has been shown to slow or even reverse some cancers.
Veggies, like kale, Brussels sprouts, arugula and cabbage are also found to have shown anti-cancer effects in studies. Many green vegetables may even lower the risk of colds, due to their high concentration of vitamin C. I also read that Broccoli has a large dose of vitamin A and K.
BLUE & PURPLE:
An article on Sparkpeople.com says, “The pigments that give berries their deep red, blue, black and purple hues are powerful, disease-fighting antioxidants. It is believed that antioxidant-rich foods offer protection against conditions such as heart disease and cancer.”
Orange & Yellow:
Citrus fruits, like oranges contain liminoids, “…that have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, stomach, and colon,” according to an article on Yahoo Health. Other yellow fruits have inflammation-reducing properties. Orange and yellow peppers (and even green and red ones) help with eyesight, immunity and certain cancers as well.
Do you see a pattern? The more variety of colors you eat, the better! And that is just barely scraping the surface.
Of course, TOO much variety can sometimes be a negative thing, by making it difficult to choose. But in the big scheme of life [well, mine at least], I will take variety over uniformity. As I said before, for me, variety makes things more interesting, fun and healthy!
[On a totally off-topic thing… as I write this post, I have Ghostbusters on TV in the background. I just wanted to pay homage to the great writer/producer/director Harold Ramis, who recently passed away. Thank you for some really enjoyable movies like some of my favorites: Stripes, Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation and even Animal House. At 69 years old, you were too young to leave us.]