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

Avocados

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

Chocolate

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.

Simple Swaps to Shop Local More Often

The best way to support your local economy is to support the businesses and restaurants in your community, and one way to do that is to shop local! Here’s some ideas on how to do this.

Simple Swaps to Shop Local

Shopping locally helps create and secure jobs and keeps sales tax money in your area. However, we understand that shopping and eating local is easier said than done. We live in a world where so many of us are accustomed to ordering from Amazon and buying food and drinks from chain restaurants. We need to evaluate our spending habits to find ways to funnel more of our money to local establishments instead of these national chains. Today, we’ve shared a few simple swaps you can make in your regular spending habits to shop locally more often.

Drink Local: Coffee and Tea

Instead of getting your morning coffee or tea from Starbucks or Dunkin’, try getting it from a local café. Small coffee shops often have an assortment of baked goods and other treats that are locally made, so you might find something else to enjoy in addition to your latte. If you usually drink your coffee or tea at home, there’s still an opportunity for you to support local businesses. Look for coffee beans or grounds from local roasters and tea from local sellers at the grocery store. A lot of grocery stores mark items that are locally produced, making it easier to consciously buy local at the store.

Eat Local: Restaurants

We’re proud to be in such great company with other local restaurants in Fort Collins. Our loyal customers help keep us in business year after year. We encourage you to eat at local restaurant instead of at the nearest Chilli’s or Applebees. Usually you can find a locally-owned alternative to the chain restaurants you like. For example, if you like soups and salads from Panera, check out ours here at Rainbow Restaurant instead! If you love burritos and burrito bowls, look for Mexican restaurants in your area. Whatever it is that you like to eat, you can likely find a local alternative based on your price point and cuisine preferences.

Buy Local Food: Grocers and Farmers

Swapping a grocery chain for a small, locally-owned store can be a tougher change to make. Often times the prices might be a bit higher because a mom-and-pops grocer can’t buy products in the same volume as bigger stores; therefore, they don’t get the same wholesale discount. However, you can try to buy from your local grocer on a more regular basis. Another great way to eat and buy local is to shop at farmer’s markets. You’d be surprised to see that many times the price for produce is cheaper than what you can find at supermarkets.

Shop Local: Retail

Today lots of people prefer the convenience of online shopping for everything from clothes to furniture to household and personal care products over shopping in-store. We can’t deny that nothing is more convenient than ordering something on Amazon Prime on your phone when you’re at home in pjs. However, these online purchases aren’t helping to stimulate and maintain the economy in your community. Most of the things you buy online you can find in a locally-owned store nearby. For clothing, shoes, and home goods, you might find that the boutiques in your community carry items you’d otherwise never know about or find online. We know it’s not possible for everyone to drop Prime. A more realistic goal is to make a conscious effort to make more purchases from local stores.

We hope you find this blog post helpful so you can help support your local economy!

At Rainbow Restaurant we aim to shop local and support other small businesses as much as possible, and are thankful for those that help to support ours. Come in for a delicious breakfast today!

Five Ways to Support Your Local Small Businesses

Support Your Local Business – Rainbow Restaurant in Fort Collins

Small businesses are hurting with the current situation, and we should do what we can to help! So here are five ways to support your local small businesses.

How To Support Your Local Small Businesses

Everyday life has changed drastically for many this year, and that includes small businesses. One of the most devastating effects of COVID-19 has been the way it’s hurt small and local businesses. Many businesses have had to lay off employees or shut down altogether. Some are barely hanging on, hoping to make it through the next day. 

Small businesses are the backbone of this country. They’re part of what makes communities so special. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a big push to support local businesses as much as possible. It’s important to continue with that support now and in the following months. These are five easy ways to show your support to the local small businesses in your community.

Shop and eat local as often as possible

Make it a priority to buy from local sellers and eat at independently owned restaurants as often as you can. Operating with reduced hours and spending money on personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation products have cut into businesses’ profits. The best way you can help business owners offset these costs is to be a loyal, frequent customer.

Chances are you probably already buy from local establishments regularly – which is great. But try to think of how you can amp up your support. Is there something you buy from Amazon or a national chain that you could purchase from a local seller instead? Often the price difference between something sold at Target or on Amazon is only a few dollars cheaper than an independently-owned business.

Spending a few dollars more likely won’t make a huge difference to your finances but significantly impacts the business.

Many of us love online shopping because of the convenience and because it keeps us out of crowds. Many brick-and-mortar businesses have added online shopping to their websites during the pandemic with local delivery and curbside pickup options. Remember to look into this option at locally owned stores before you place your next Amazon order. 

Tip service staff

COVID-19 has taken a big hit on people in the service industry. Many people in the food and restaurant industry (servers, bartenders, baristas, busboys, etc.) were unable to work for weeks and months when restaurants were closed or open for takeout only. The same goes for hairdressers, nail technicians, massage therapists, and estheticians who weren’t able to work until recently. Keep this in mind when you grab a coffee, go out to eat, or get a haircut.

Make it a goal to tip often and generously. Tips make up a considerable portion of service workers’ income. Again, this is another example of how spending a few extra dollars goes a long way. 

Follow the rules

It’s safe to say that most of us have been having a hard year. The stress of the pandemic and all the uncertainty have been weighing heavily on all of us. With that said, we need to remember that everyone is going through a hard time. It’s easy to get caught up in your own emotions and frustrations, but you need to remember to be gentle and patient with others.

If you go to a store or a restaurant, follow their rules and be kind to the staff. As customers, it’s frustrating that many places we like to shop and eat at have reduced their hours and that there’s a longer wait to be seated or enter the store. However, this doesn’t mean that you should take these frustrations out on the cashiers or servers. They’re just trying to do their job, stay safe, and keep us safe.

Small business and restaurant owners and their staff have a lot of things to stress about on their plates. Don’t make a big deal out of little things or make their lives harder than they already are.  

Spread the word

Another way to support your local small businesses is to spread the word. Businesses rely on word of mouth and testimonials. If there’s a store or restaurant that you like, help spread the word to get them more business. Recommend them to your friends and family, share their posts on social media, and take a moment to write positive reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor.

All of these things are completely free and take little time and effort. However, they can help stores and restaurants attract new clients when they need it most.

Donate to relief funds

Chambers of commerce and non-profits in cities and towns all across the country have been setting up relief funds to support local businesses. If you’re in a position to make a donation, consider contributing to a fund that benefits businesses in your community. Often these fundraisers offer microloans and grants to help businesses with rent/mortgage, payroll, and buying the necessary sanitation and protection equipment needed to follow COVID-19 protocols.

Even if you’re not in a financial position to make a big donation (or any contribution at all), you can still help by spreading the word about these fundraisers in your community.

The businesses in your community have always been there for you: the cafe where you get your coffee, the store where you buy holiday gifts, the restaurant you go to for celebrating your birthday, the bakery you go to for a cupcake after a hard day. These businesses have been in the backgrounds of our lives during life’s good and bad moments.

Now it’s time for us to be there for them in their time of need. Following these steps is a good start to support your local small businesses that you care.

At Rainbow Restaurant we aim to support other local small businesses around us as much possible, and are thankful for those that help to support ours. Come in for a delicious breakfast today!

The COVID-19 Crisis: 3 Things You Can Do To Help Get Through It

3 Things to Help YouGet Through the COVID19 Crisis

We think it’s safe to say that nobody envisioned a summer like this one. Back in March, most of us thought that COVID-19 would be long gone by now. And yet, here we are still wearing masks and social distancing, wondering when – and if – we’ll be able to resume our former lives.

Getting through this challenging time is hard but not impossible by any means. Here we’re sharing three things you can do to help make it manageable.

Take Care of Yourself Physically

The threat of catching it COVID-19 is still very real. You need to stay vigilant about protecting yourself. As you’ve heard a million times by now, wear a mask in public, keep your distance from others, and wash your hands.

With summer here, it’s tempting to loosen up on some of the social distancing rules. Lots of people love to entertain in the summertime, which you can still do in a socially distanced way. Instead of hosting indoors, keep social events outside and limit the number of people. If you have people over, make sure you have hand sanitizer, gloves, and antibacterial wipes handy for guests. If you’re attending a get-together, it’s good to bring gloves and hand sanitizer just to be safe.

Aside from taking those precautions, you should also focus on taking care of your immune system. Having a strong immune system can help make you less susceptible to contracting COVID-19. Eating healthy foods loaded with vitamins and minerals can help boost your body’s defense. Our blog has several articles with advice on how to eat healthier for you to check out for reference. Exercising and getting good sleep are also vital parts of protecting your immune system.

Take Care of Yourself Emotionally

We’re living through a very turbulent time, so it’s normal to feel anxious or stressed. It’s important to be mindful of your emotional and mental wellbeing because stress can take a toll on your immune system. Not only that, but going through the motions every day is that much harder if you’re feeling down. There are a lot of free and relatively simple ways to take care of your mental health. Many people find meditation, journaling, yoga, and exercise help reduce stress, improve their mood, and quell anxiety. It can also help to confide in a friend or family member to share what you’re feeling and experiencing.

Self-care has become a wellness buzzword, but don’t let that fool you to think it’s just a silly trend. Prioritize care for your emotional health the way you do your physical health. You don’t need to book a stay at an expensive wellness retreat to practice self-care. Practicing self-care means making yourself and your wellness a priority. This could be anything from taking a nap, watching a good movie, soaking in the tub, treating yourself to a favorite snack, or going for a walk on a beautiful trail. Really, it means doing something that will make you feel good emotionally and/or physically. You’ll be surprised to see how much better you feel and how much easier it is to manage stress when you do little things to care for yourself.

Take Care of Others

We’re all in this struggle together. Now more than before, we need to show up for people. Caring for others doesn’t mean you have to donate tons of time or money. Small, thoughtful gestures go a long way. Reach out to friends and family members to make sure they’re doing well and lend your ear to them if they’re having a hard time. Doing this means the world to someone struggling. If you have people in your life who aren’t doing well – either physically or emotionally – think of little things you can do to cheer them up and show your support. Offer to run an errand for them, surprise them with a homemade treat, or find another way to show them that you care.

Take your kindness outside of your inner circle and see how you can extend it to your community. A lot of small and local businesses have taken a significant financial hit; giving them your business is one of the nicest things you can do to support your community. In addition to your patronage, support businesses by being patient, kind, and expressing gratitude to employees.

Another way to care for your community is to help the most vulnerable. Donating time, money or goods to local non-profits can help support the people who have been most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Don’t think you can’t make a difference if you only have a small amount to contribute – every penny, minute, and item you can spare counts and add up over time.

Getting through this pandemic is a group effort. We’re all in the same boat, including us here at Rainbow Restaurant, just trying to do our best to stay positive and make it through. We hope this post was helpful for you. If you’ve found any handy tricks for navigating COVID-19, please comment to share with us.

The next time you are in the area, drop on by for some delicious curbside pickup foods.  Currently serving breakfast and dinner for limited hours.  Give us a call or simply order online!

HOW TO PROVIDE VALUE TO YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY WITH THOUGHTFUL DAILY CHANGES

Add Value to Your Community with – Rainbow Restaurant

Everyone is going through a lot right now. Between the devastation of the coronavirus outbreak, increasing unemployment and financial uncertainty, and the recent racial violence, so many of us are hurting. Instead of letting these ongoing challenges and hardships make us feel helpless and hopeless, we need to realize that we do have some power to enact change. At Rainbow Restaurant we feel strongly that we all have the potential to make our local communities better. Taking action doesn’t have to require a lot of time or donating tons of money. Small actions can build up to greater change over time. Here are a few easy ways that you can provide value to your local community each and every day.

1. Be kind to strangers

Small acts of kindness can brighten someone’s day and leave a lasting impact on their life. Show strangers kindness every day. Say hello to people, give compliments, let someone ahead of you in line – all of these little gestures are so easy but are thoughtful and meaningful.

2. Write positive reviews

Lots of small businesses have taken a big hit after being shut down for so long. Customers rely on reviews and ratings to help them decide on the stores they shop at and the restaurants where they eat. Writing positive reviews for your favorite locally owned businesses on Yelp, Google and Trip Advisor can help these establishments build up their customer base and it only takes a few minutes.

3. Clean up litter 

Try to make it a habit of picking up litter whenever you see it on the street. Carry disposable gloves or plastic bags with you when you go out to make it easier. Getting trash off of the street makes your community look nicer and also helps protect the environment and animals.

4. Recycle all the time

Landfills are overflowing and a lot of garbage ends up in oceans and other water sources, causing pollution and killing wildlife. Recycling is an easy, impactful habit to adopt. Every time you drink from a bottle or can or open a box or plastic container, make sure you recycle it afterward. 

5. Say please and thank you

A lot of people are so busy hustling and bustling through their own lives that they forget about manners. Always say please when you ask for things or order and remember to say thank you.

6. Use alternate forms of transportation

This may not be possible for you to do daily, but try using other forms of transportation that are green or help reduce carbon emissions as often as possible. Try biking, walking, or jogging instead of driving. If you’re traveling a longer distance or aren’t able to do those forms of physical activity, consider public transportation or carpooling. We unrolled our Bucks for Biking program in 2018 where we pay our staff members every time they bike (or walk, take the bus, carpool, etc. to work). It’s been a really effective program and our employees love it, and we love helping lower greenhouse gases.

7. Shop local

Shopping local helps stimulate your local economy. Try to shop local as often as possible. Get groceries at the local market instead of a chain supermarket, buy books from a small bookshop instead of Barnes & Noble, and get your morning coffee from a cafe instead of Starbucks.

8. Help seniors

Lend a helping hand to seniors in your community. Offer to pick up groceries or prescriptions for elderly neighbors so that they don’t have to go out, bring in their mail, or mow their lawn. When you’re out, let them cut in front of you in line at the store. 

9. Tip generously

Wage-earners like servers, bartenders, hairdressers, manicurists, etc. have been greatly affected by COVID-19 as many of them have been unable to work for months. Some still aren’t able to work now. When possible, leave as generous of a tip as you can. A few extra dollars can help make a difference and add up over time.

10. Educate yourself about local issues

What issues are going on in your local community? Make it a point to educate yourself on the problems at hand and learn how you can help. Be an ally to those in need and push yourself to have tough conversations about things like racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of injustice.

These acts don’t take significant time, effort, or money. If you and everyone around you were to adopt these into daily life, your community could transform quickly and significantly. Don’t think that your actions don’t have the power to create positive change and make sure that you continue looking for ways to make your community a better place.

EASY FOOD SWAPS FOR A HEALTHIER DIET

Simple Food Swaps for a Healthier Diet

Ever since we opened, our mission has been to squash the commonly held misconceptions that eating healthy is boring and difficult. These myths trap so many people in a habit of unhealthy living. We’re here to turn that around and show you that switching to a more nutritious diet isn’t so hard and can introduce you to a whole new world of flavors and textures.

Healthy diet changes don’t always have to be a complete 180° lifestyle change. You may be surprised to learn that there are a bunch of easy little food swaps that can set you on the path to better eating. Here are a few simple tweaks to your diet that over time can have a big impact on your health and wellness.

Craving potato chips? Opt for nuts

The one bad thing about snacking is that it can add hundreds of calories to your diet without you even realizing it. Potato chips are one of the most popular snack foods, and unfortunately, since they’re so salty they’re dangerously easy to binge. It starts with just a handful of chips and before you know it you’ve polished off an entire family-size bag! If you want a salty, crunchy snack, try salted nuts. They don’t have the same high sodium levels that potato chips have but they do share the yummy salty flavor. While potato chips are deep-fried and therefore bad for heart health, nuts are loaded with healthy fats and vitamins that keep your body and immune system strong.

Want a sandwich? Order a wrap

Sandwiches are a lunchtime staple because they’re easy to throw together and there are tons of different options. The drawback is that sandwiches are high in carbs, which is a problem for people with high blood sugar or those trying to watch their weight. Switching to a wrap is an easy way to cut down on carbs while still enjoying the deliciousness of your favorite sandwiches. We have several wraps on your lunch menu, and we promise that they’ll leave you feeling full and satisfied, and you won’t be missing your sandwich bread at all.

Are you a juice drinker? Eat the real thing instead

It’s easy to see why people love fruit juice. Juice is sweet, refreshing, and easy to drink. Fruits are an important part of our diet because of their vitamins and minerals, but these health benefits are overshadowed by added sugar that’s found in most processed, store-bought juices. The added sugar in juice makes it addictive, so it’s hard for most of us to only have one glass. You’re better off eating your fruits instead of buying juice. You’ll get to taste the same sweet, delicious flavors while avoiding unnecessary sugar. It’s best to stick with fresh, seasonal fruit, which is why we love our fruit platter appetizer. It makes it easy for you to enjoy a variety of the season’s freshest fruits.

Do you love pasta? Switch to whole wheat

Let’s face it – sometimes we need to treat ourselves and indulge in the foods we love. It’s okay to do this from time to time! Life is too short to eat junk all the time, but it’s also too short to deprive yourself of your favorite treats. If you’re craving pasta, opt for whole wheat instead. Regular noodles made from white flour are a carb and calorie bomb with few nutritional benefits. Whole wheat pasta, on the other hand, is higher in fiber and has fewer carbs and calories. When you cook up your favorite pasta dish, go for whole wheat noodles instead for a tasty, guilt-free meal.

Hopefully sharing these easy food swaps has shown you that eating healthy is possible and doesn’t have to be complicated. These changes are easy to adopt in your daily life and make into daily habits. Keep following our blog to learn more about healthy eating and wellness.

Please be sure to like us on Facebook to keep up with all the latest happenings around the restaurant.

Bucks for Biking: Keeping Cars off the Road in Fort Collins

Keeping Cars Off-road With the Bucks for Biking Program

For years, we’ve been known as Fort Collins’s go-to spot for tasty, nutritious food. But did you also know that in addition to keeping the city healthy, we’re also committed to making it greener?

We believe that it’s important to do our part in fighting the battle against climate change, which is why we unrolled our Bucks for Biking program in 2018. We pay Rainbow staff members every time they bike – or walk, take the bus, carpool, skateboard, etc. – to work. Our goal for this initiative is three-pronged. For one, it lowers the city’s carbon footprint. Most of our employees live within a few miles of the restaurant, but we estimate that Bucks for Biking can eliminate around 1500 miles from Fort Collins roads per year for each person who utilizes the program. This just goes to show that making small daily changes can create a lasting impact and that living a more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated or inconvenient. 

Secondly, we love that the program provides our team with a healthy incentive not to drive and rewards them for their sustainability efforts. Positive reinforcement is an incredibly effective way to initiate change. The proof lies in the fact that about one-third of our staff participates in Bucks for Biking each month. And lastly, the initiative benefits our customers. We encourage everyone to take public transportation, carpool, or use a C02-free form of transportation like walking or biking. However, we also understand that’s not possible for all. Driving is the only option for some people, like those with physical handicaps or seniors. Bucks for Biking leaves more room in our parking lot for our customers who need the space.

We’re proud that sustainability is central to our restaurant’s mission. Many people are under the misconception that going green requires drastic changes or is complicated. We hope that by sharing this story, people realize that caring for the environment can be as simple as biking to work, carrying a reusable water bottle, or bringing a tote bag to the grocery store. Remember, every little contribution to taking care of the planet adds up to create an impact larger than just yourself. Hopefully, more businesses in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the world follow in suit to make their communities greener.

At Rainbow Restaurant, we make it a priority to better our environment. The next time you are out on your bike stop in and say hi. Our patio will be opening soon and our Garden Harvest omelette is calling your name. See you soon…

5 IMMUNE-BOOSTING FOODS TO AVOID COLDS AND THE FLU

5 Immunity Boosting Foods To Avoid Colds

It’s that time of year again where it seems like everywhere you turn, people are coughing and sneezing. Coming down with a cold or catching the flu is no fun and can set you back in your already busy schedule. Frequently washing your hands, disinfecting shared surfaces, and limiting contact with people you know are sick can help keep you healthy. For added immune system protection, you should take a holistic approach – healing yourself from the inside out. Certain foods, and diets like the Rainbow Diet can strengthen your immune system to prevent you from catching colds or the flu. Here are some of the best foods to stay healthy this cold/flu season. 

Citrus fruits  

Vitamin C is a go-to supplement that many people reach for when they feel like they’re coming down with something – and for a good reason. It can help increase the production of white blood cells, which helps ward off infections. Citrus fruits are chock full of vitamin C and are easy to add to your diet. To stop a cold in its track and prevent getting sick altogether, try eating more oranges, clementines, and grapefruit. Rainbow tip: Order a glass of OJ with your breakfast or ask your server to bring you a few lemon slices to add to your water.

Garlic

Garlic is more than just a pungent, flavorful herb. For centuries, people have used garlic for healing purposes. The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic can help your white blood cells fight off viruses. Garlic also has powerful antibacterial properties, which further help keep your immune system strong. Rainbow tip: We use garlic to season many of our dishes. Ask your server to recommend a few options for you to order.

Sweet Potatoes

These tasty tubers are loaded with beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of the best things you can consume for strengthening the immune system and preventing sickness. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin C, which we already know is a potent immunity booster. Rainbow tip: Order our Ultimate Latkes or Sweet Potato Burrito to get your daily fill of vitamins A and C.

Ginger

Ginger is another well-known medicinal food. A great anti-inflammatory, ginger can reduce the swelling and irritation of a sore throat. The vitamins in ginger, including iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium, are also effective at combating cold and flu symptoms. Rainbow tip: Try our house-made ginger ale.

Chicken

There’s a legitimate reason for why many of us want a bowl of chicken soup when we’re feeling under the weather. The vitamin B-6 in chicken helps your body generate new red blood cells, which help keep your system in fighting shape during cold and flu season. Additionally, chicken bone broth is beneficial for gut health. Many doctors believe that a healthy gut is the foundation for a robust immune system – so all the more reason to eat more chicken soup! Rainbow tip: Order our Mandarin Salad with grilled chicken to load up on vitamins C and B-6.

At Rainbow Restaurant, our goal is to serve our customers food that nourishes the body while satisfying cravings. You’ll find that our menu has delicious meals made with healthy ingredients. If you’re looking for a spot to grab a bite to eat where you can know that you’re fueling your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy, you’ve found the right place.

FIVE SUPERFOODS YOU SHOULD BE EATING

Five Superfoods for Your Diet

It’s no secret that our diets play a major role in our health, and that some foods are more nutritious than others.  In fact, some foods are so superior that they’re referred to as superfoods. What makes them super? The fact that they’re chock-full of some of the best vitamins, minerals, and proteins.  You may think that only a small group of foods are worthy of the superfood title, but there are actually many to eat and choose from. With that said, here are five of our favorites that you should be eating as often as possible.

Spinach

Popeye was onto something.  Spinach tops our list because it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods, with Vitamins A, K1, C, and B6, as well as iron, folic acid, and calcium – just to name a few.  Additionally, it’s a bountiful source of antioxidants. If you didn’t know, antioxidants attack free radicals in the body which can help slow down the aging process as well as ward off cancers.  Many of us don’t get enough magnesium and potassium in our diets, and spinach has these minerals as well. Spinach isn’t just for salad and dip. You can find it in several of our dishes, including our Tempeh Sauté, Green Eggs & Ham, and Garden Fresh Quesadilla. 

Blueberries

Yup, the berries you grew up eating in your pancakes are indeed a superfood.  As we already said, antioxidants are important for delaying physical and visible signs of aging in addition to preventing diseases.  Blueberries happen to have one of the highest levels of antioxidants, making them extremely healthy. The antioxidants found in blueberries help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of heart disease.  Another benefit of blueberries is their sweet taste which makes eating them feel like a treat. Despite their sweetness, they have less sugar than many other fruits. When blueberries are in season, you can find them on our fruit garnishes, Groatmeal, and Seasonal Fruit Plate.     

Quinoa

You may be surprised to see a grain on this list.  Today’s diet culture has trained us to assume that all carbs are the enemy.  While it’s true that some carbs (like refined white grains) are unhealthy, quinoa isn’t one of them.  Unlike white rice or pasta which are simple carbohydrates with less nutritional value, quinoa has fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  And not only is quinoa a source of protein, but it’s a complete protein, meaning that it has all nine essential amino acids. Many carbs are high on the glycemic index, which means that they quickly cause blood sugar levels to spike.  Because of its low glycemic index, quinoa is great for diabetics or anyone concerned about their blood sugar levels. Want to give quinoa a try? Our Hot Quinoa & Wild Rice Salad and Guacamole Veggie Burger are two yummy options! You can also sub it for a starchy side dish in most of our meals. 

Green Tea

Not only does green tea look cool in your coffee cup, but it also has tons of medicinal benefits.  Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which are micronutrients packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.  If you’re a coffee drinker, you may want to consider trading your daily cup of joe for a green tea instead. It has less caffeine than coffee, so it won’t make you as jittery.  Paired with the amino acid L-theanine – which is also in green tea – you’ll have better mental focus. For anyone looking to lose weight, green tea helps increase fat burning and boost metabolism.  It’s a tasty addition to any breakfast meal and a great way to start your day.

Avocado

Who doesn’t love avocado?  Avocados have gotten a lot of buzz over the past few years, and rightfully so.  They have omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, E, K, and several minerals. Plus, they’re low in carbs for anyone who is on a ketogenic or low-carb diet.  Outdated diets have demonized fats, but people are finally coming to realize that healthy fats exist – and avocado is one of them. The fats in avocados are good for heart health and are anti-inflammatory.  Avocados also contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which benefit eye health and decreases risk of cataracts. Our Garden Harvest omelette and Pesto BLT are just two of our dishes that have avocado.

Healthy food is central to our mission at the Rainbow Restaurant in Fort Collins, which is why you can find all five of these superfoods – and many others! – on our menu.  Nutritious meals don’t have to be boring and bland. Nourishing fruits, veggies, grains, and meats can be turned into flavorful, delicious meals. In fact, we do it every day.  

HOW TO SNEAK MORE VEGGIES INTO YOUR DIET

4 Ways to Sneak More Veggies in Your Diet

In a perfect world, vegetables would taste as delicious as sweets and junk food. We’d all be healthier and happier with stronger immune systems. Sadly, we don’t live in that world. Instead, we live in one in which many of us don’t eat enough veggies. A 2017 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 90% of Americans don’t eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables and fruits.

It can be hard to get yourself to eat enough produce. Veggies expire faster than processed foods do, can be more expensive, and don’t taste like your favorite dessert. However, our bodies need some plant-based sustenance each day to ensure that we get an adequate amount of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables also have tons of health benefits such as boosting the immune system, regulating blood pressure, and maintaining digestive health. And while a bowl of ice cream may feel like it’s making you feel better in the moment, it won’t prevent the risk of strokes and heart attacks or ward off certain cancers.

Eating healthier doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. You can eat more than just salad. Here are some easy ways to boost your veggie intake.

Make nutritious breakfast smoothies

Many doctors recommend starting the day with a serving of greens, which is where smoothies come in handy. You can add healthy greens like kale, spinach, and celery to your shake. Adding in fruits will sweeten the drink, and you won’t taste the bitterness of the vegetables. Apples, bananas, berries, and pineapples are great fruit add-ins for some sweetness. The best thing about smoothies is that there are endless combinations of fruits and veggies to cater to your taste.  

Swap carbs for cauliflower

Cauliflower has become increasingly popular in recent years. It can be a substitute for some of our favorite starches like rice, bread, pizza, and potatoes. Most supermarkets carry riced cauliflower and cauli crusts to save you the time of making your own. Since cauliflower has become such a massive trend, you can find tons of easy recipes online. Plus, it’s a low-calorie food which makes it a good option for weight loss.       

Add more veggies to every meal

Making a 180° diet change can be hard to maintain. Most people end up feeling bummed that they have to eliminate their favorite foods, which is ultimately why a lot of diets fail. If you’re creative, you can add vegetables to the go-to meals that you know and love. If you love pasta, toss it with a tomato sauce loaded with onions, zucchini, and carrots. Or, make a pasta primavera with squash, peppers, broccoli, and other fresh veggies. Bonus points if you replace wheat pasta for zucchini or carrot noodles! For breakfast, add diced veggies to your egg scrambles or omelets. The possibilities are endless and you’ll find that adding vegetables to every meal is easier than you think. Try following the rainbow food diet to add lots of variety.

Load up on vegetable-based soups

Who doesn’t love a thick, creamy soup? They’re absolutely delicious but usually lack any nutritional value. You can make them healthier by using veggies instead of milk or cream. Try roasting and sautéing butternut squash or sweet potato for the soup’s base. The soup will have the same flavor and lusciousness as the dairy-based original, but with vitamins and fiber.

Eating a healthier diet with a hearty amount of vegetables is easier than you think. As you incorporate more produce into your daily diet, you’ll find that your taste buds can change and find veggies to be tastier than ever before. Bell peppers and carrots will eventually taste sweeter, and over time you won’t crave sweets and starches as much. Try eating vegetables with every meal every day. Your body will thank you.

The next time you are looking for more veggies try our Fresh Squeezed Carrot Juice. Looking for something with a little more substance? Ask for our Strawberry Banana Smoothie with a carrot added…yeah we can do that! At the Rainbow Restaurant we serve healthy meals and drink options. Come on by and taste the difference.