Seven Ways You Can Help Fort Collins in 2021

The year 2020 has brought many people many issues. Topping the list, of course, is the virus that killed thousands, infected millions, and affected the lives of nearly every American. As we move the clock forward and look ahead to the new year, it is a great time to view how we can help our community. Fort Collins has always been here for us; now is a great time to give back and support our beloved community. There are different ways we can accomplish this.

  1. You might consider becoming a “Virtual Volunteer.” If you have a heavy work schedule or if you have other reasons you would like to help from home, the door is wide open. Many businesses in Fort Collins will welcome you. For example, you might volunteer with a non-profit to help write a monthly newsletter. Another idea is that you offer to edit a local business video to help them promote their company. Just put on your thinking cap, evaluate your strong abilities, and offer your assistance.
  2. Fort Collins has many opportunities for you to become a mentor. You might check with a local school in your area and be assigned a child who needs just a little extra love and care to move up the ladder in his/her classroom. If you enjoy helping older people, you might visit a senior citizen community and find an elder who has no family and who could benefit from your attention. Invite the person to go out for a meal once in a while. Welcome the person to your home on special occasions. The possibilities are endless.
  3. If you enjoy working with youth, why not contact the Big Brother Big Sisters of Colorado, Inc. to volunteer your time. They have many children and youth in Fort Collins who need your attentiveness. Many of these young people live in a one-parent home, so your attention will not only brighten their life but also help them in many ways. Most of them improve in their classroom, while others improve with their behavior. All these youth needs is a little extra attention – and you can provide that for them.
  4. The residents of Fort Collins will love you if you organize a “Clean-Up Day.” You will need to plan a date, find a cause, and manage the volunteers. Although it sounds like a lot of work (which it is, but it’s well worth it), you can have several of the volunteers assist you in this project. You might find a park where you can clean up the debris or find a business that needs a storage room cleaned; you might find a school that requires the exterior painted. No matter what, there is always something that needs to be done in our community, and you can be the leader.
  5. If you have a group of friends who want to create a joint effort to help our community, why not organize a food or clothing drive. There are so many families in need. It can be offered at any time of the year. Food is always needed, and clothing is always so greatly appreciated. You will be surprised how many people in Fort Collins will join in volunteering to help in the drive, as well as donating food or clothing.
  6. You can include your entire family with a fun endeavor. It is quite simple. Find a large jar you have stored in your garage. Wash it, so it is clean and shines. Have a meeting with your family. Explain to them that everyone is going to contribute daily to fill that jar with coins. Each day, if several of you pitch in, the jar will be full in no time. Next, take your jar to a supermarket that offers a change machine to count your pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars (maybe even a dollar here and there). You will be shocked when you see the total and realize your hard work paid off. Now it is time to have another family meeting. This is the fun part, to determine to whom you want to donate the money.
  7. Find a niche that meets your interests. It should be one that will offer you pleasant rewards. For example, if you love dogs, a local dog shelter will welcome you with open arms. You might need to clean their pens, fill the water bowls, wash the pets, or various other projects. However, you will be greatly rewarded by the licking and kisses the animals provide you. If you enjoy working with special needs students, you might volunteer at one of the programs offering activities. You might be asked to feed a child, serve meals, play ball outdoors, be a dance partner, or a variety of other tasks. Whatever you enjoy doing, there is a need for you to fill.


At Rainbow Restaurantwe understand the significance of family, friends, and keeping everyone safe. Order a tasty, healthful take out today. Aside from serving delicious meals, it is our goal to support other local businesses. We are grateful to those who support us. In 2021, we hope that many of our friends in the community will put forth the effort to continue to make Fort Collins the great city it has always been.

5 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays Safely this Year

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on the holiday season, making it more difficult than ever to spend time with family and really enjoy the holidays and all of our favorite traditions. Christmas is around the corner, so you might be looking for creative, safe ways to get together with loved ones.

 Of course, not everyone will be adhering to social distancing guidelines. Maybe your family all work from home, or maybe you’ve all discussed the risks and are willing to take whatever precautions to be together for the holidays. Whatever you choose, just try to do it safely, and be respectful of those who have differing views.

If you’ve chosen to keep your immediate family distanced from any extended family, there are still plenty of ways to make the most of the season. We put together this list of fun alternatives to enjoy the festivities despite the lockdowns and social distancing precautions.

Enjoy Traditions you Can Still Safely Do

Instead of focusing on everything you can’t do this season, think about all the things you normally do, and do them anyway. Even if your dearest family members can’t be there to participate, keeping traditions alive will make this holiday season feel just as real as every other year.

Don’t skimp on decorations. In fact, go all out this year to really spread some holiday cheer. Even if you can’t share it with the whole crew, you’ll be happier having it around you.

If you have traditional meals you or a family member always make, indulge anyway. If it’s your grandmother’s recipe, this is a perfect time to try your hand replicating it.

Send Christmas cards. If that’s something you’ve never done before, this is the best time to start. Plus, since everyone is missing their families this year, they’d certainly appreciate pictures of the ones they’re missing.

No matter what, don’t let the things you’ll be missing out on get you down. Focus on the positive, and make the most out of it!

Enjoy Local Festivities Inspired by the Pandemic

We’re all in this together, and communities everywhere have rallied to create safe alternatives to some our favorite seasonal events and traditions.

Driving through town and looking at Christmas lights is a classic for families every year, and it’s a well-suited tradition for 2020. If you have kids that still want to visit with Santa, look for virtual alternatives, like JingleRing.

Christmas caroling, tree lighting, and other holiday events can be done with safe, social distancing measures as well. If you do choose to participate in any in-person events, be sure to take all precautions, like keeping 6-feet apart, wearing a mask, and washing your hands frequently.

For safe and festive shopping, check out one of the many outdoor or virtual markets throughout Denver this year.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

We’re all used to video conferencing technology by now, and if you aren’t, this holiday season is the perfect time to try it out.

 Grandparents can watch kids open gifts on Zoom; families can even enjoy a holiday feast together with the help of video calling; and families can feel together without actually being together. Seeing family is the most important part of any holiday celebration, so utilizing the tools and technology we have available will allow us all to make the most out of a nontraditional year.

Board games can be played over Zoom as well. Just order a copy of the game for each party that’ll be on the Zoom call, and enjoy a virtual board game night. Of course, this makes it hard to keep an eye on any sneaky cheaters in your family, but it can still be a fun time.

Bake Your Heart Out

Sweet treats are the second most important part of the holidays, right? You have to have an assortment to munch on all month long. Whenever you’re feeling down, bake up some holiday cheer in the form of sugar cookies, holiday cake pops, or pies.

And you can get your whole family involved too! (This would be another fun Zoom opportunity to include the grandparents or other extended family members in the fun.) Decorating cookies is a great holiday tradition. Making gingerbread houses can give you a supercharged dose of festivities, because nothing screams “Christmas” like decorating a gingerbread house.

Be Sure to Set Guidelines

Possibly one of the most challenging parts of this new holiday normal will be defining guidelines with family members. Not everyone may think it’s necessary to stay distant this year. Or older family members might be hurt that you’re unwilling to spend the holidays with them.

Make sure you’re having these conversations early and often. It’s important that everyone is on the same page. If you’re the only one uncomfortable with gathering, ask to be a part of the festivities through Zoom. And if you’ve got a family member who just doesn’t want to be away, have a conversation about risks and safe ways to be together.

All that matters is that you’re open and honest with each other, so everyone can find a way forward.

Look for Any Opportunity to Celebrate

We know that it’s going to be a tough year, no matter what. And that’s why it’s so important that we channel as much energy into celebrating as we can. Will the year look a lot different? Of course. But it’s going to be back to normal in no time, and we can spend the next year making up for all the lost time.

A fun way to celebrate with family can be to plan out your next holiday vacation. It might help ease the sense of loss by looking forward.

Write letters to family, start new traditions, and find joy in all the little things.

At Rainbow Restaurant, we know the importance of family and togetherness, as well as keeping your loved ones safe. Order a delicious, healthy takeout meal to share with your loved ones today.

7 Mood-Boosting Foods to Help Fight Seasonal Depression

mood-boosting foods

With winter just around the corner, seasonal mood changes are upon many of us. The days are shorter and we have fewer opportunities to get outside and soak up that much-needed Vitamin D. Plus, the holiday season brings its own set of stressors. Add to it all the scary uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and we could all use a little pick-me-up.

A healthy lifestyle is an important aid to fighting off seasonal depression, however, it can be difficult to maintain as the weather gets colder and the holidays are upon us.

But it doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are many mood-boosting foods that contain essential vitamins and nutrients known for regulating and improving mood and reducing stress and anxiety.

Key Mood-Boosting Nutrients

There are several nutrients that can affect your mood in different ways. So whether you’re suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or just feeling blue about the cold weather, it can be beneficial to incorporate foods rich in these compounds into your diet:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin B folates
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Tryptophan
  • Amino acids

Here we’ve rounded up the best sources of these essential mood-boosting nutrients. These 7 foods have been shown to ward off depression. They’re easy to incorporate into your daily diet, and they’re all delicious! 

Fatty fish

Salmon and tuna are well-known for their health benefits. Rich in essential Omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish can help reduce inflammation and blood pressure. But did you know they’ve also been shown to help fight depression and anxiety? In fact, studies have found that communities that generally consume more fatty fish have lower rates of depression.

In addition to the much-needed Omega-3s, fatty fish is also a great source of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, both of which are used to treat depression. 

Foods to eat:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Mackerel


Leafy greens

Kale, spinach, chard, and their many cousins are growing in popularity because they pack a nutritional punch. But adding a regular dose of leafy greens to your diet can also help your mood.

For starters, they boost brain activity with the help of Vitamin B folates. People suffering from depression are proven to have low levels of these folates. And folate deficiency can inhibit your ability to metabolize dopamine, serotonin, and other mood-regulating neurotransmitters. 

Foods to eat:

  • Spinach
  • Artichokes
  • Okra
  • Turnip greens
  • Broccoli
  • Kale


Avocado toast can officially be deemed a form of self-care. Because the addicting green fruit is another mood-boosting food that can help ward off depression. Full of essential vitamins, avocados promote the metabolism of key neurotransmitters that improve your mood and reduce stress. And with tons of fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, they’re a great, healthy addition to your daily diet.

Bell Peppers

These colorful peppers are loaded with Vitamin C, an antioxidant that’s been shown to help boost cognitive function and promote helpful neurotransmitters. Vitamin C can actually fight off depression and anxiety.

Fermented foods

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that helps your mood, and studies have found that the majority of it is produced in your digestive tract, not your brain! And probiotics, which promote gut health, are being found to actually fight depression.

Scientists are seeing a correlation between gut bacteria and mood, so load up on kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and dairy-free yogurt for those powerful probiotics.

Foods to eat:

  • Yogurt
  • Buttermilk
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Pickled veggies
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha 

Nuts and seeds

A great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, nuts and seeds are also mood-boosting foods, because they’re full of another key compound that can regulate your mood.

You’ve probably heard of tryptophan before – turkey is full of it. But nuts and seeds have it in abundance as well. Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces serotonin, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter.

In fact, a significant study over 10 years found that nut intake reduced the risk of depression by 23%.

Foods to eat:

  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Chia seeds


It shouldn’t be a surprise that chocolate contains several compounds that can boost your mood. The sugar certainly helps charge your brain, but chocolate also releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. N-acylethanolamine, for example, is a substance similar to cannabinoids that’s known to improve your mood.

Chocolate’s highly pleasurable taste, smell, and texture have been proven to have an impact on mood as well, with its high hedonic rating. For a healthier option, try more dark chocolate. 

Tips for Adding Mood-Boosting Food to Your Diet 

  • Meal prep: Save time during the week and whip up big batches of food you can freeze to use later. Planning out your meals for the week will make it easier to find ways to incorporate these mood-boosting foods into your daily diet.
  • Make it a family goal: Getting everyone at home involved in a healthy eating initiative is a win-win scenario. It’s easier for you to consistently eat these essential foods, and your family reaps the healthy benefits alongside you.
  • One-pot meals: It doesn’t need to be fancy to be healthy. Keeping things simple will make it easier to stay consistent and eat more of these mood-boosting foods. Slow cookers and instant pots will be your friend.

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

Taking care of your physical health is just as important as staying in shape mentally and emotionally. And what you put into your body matters. Don’t let the stress of the season get the best of you. Start adding these mood-boosting foods to your diet now to stay on track throughout the coming months, so you can start the new year off feeling great. 

Come enjoy a dish full of healthy, mood-boosting ingredients at Rainbow Restaurant today.