Color Me Red and Purple

Antioxidant_Anthocyanins_Natural_Purple_Red_Food_ColorColors are such important attributes associated with our sense of sight. Yet we generally give very little thought how colors that surround us affect our environment, mood and even life choices and what the particular energetic vibrations are that each color brings. As a mental health practitioner that uses colors along with symbols and developmental stages to delve into subconscious mind and find solutions that may not be that apparent on the conscious level, I recognize that there is a scientific approach to this issue that many consider “too out there / new age / weird science / quackery (insert your description here)” and dismiss it without exploring some possible validity on this statement.

In my practice I use MARI (Mandala Assessment Research Instrument) in addition to more standard psychosocial assessment to quickly uncover the potential issues that may be playing in for a client (on top of whatever legitimate concerns brought them in to begin with), and working with colors becomes part of therapy in itself.

According to MARI, color Red is governing over passion, life forces, vitality, ambition, possibly aggression and anger, strong sexual urges.

Color Purple is associated with feeling wounded or hurt, “wearing old wounds as a badge of honor”, or feeling superior, powerful, royal yet having a sense of responsibility (think either Purple Heart medal / wounded warrior or Purple Royal Coats / with a sense of power, there is also a burden of responsibility).

If you feel you are stuck in either Red or Purple stages, try working with or through colors to mediate the effects. Lavender candles and scent are wonderful for healing broken heart wounds. If you lack energy, ambition or just feeling blue, add some red in your environment, wear bright red clothes, light up red candles, state your intentions and write them down on a red piece of paper. If too much “fire” is your actual problem, add more “water” in your daily life to ease the aggression or anxiety, blue or turquoise colors represent nurturing, mediation of conflicts, with some added elements of green for healing, you may find that you’re calmer and more nurturing to yourself than before (add a bit of yellow  / mental energy if you also lost your focus and concentration and need to re-center and pay attention to something important).

Or if you feel like a Wounded Warrior on a Royal Mission to preside over your passions and anger, juice as much Red and Purple as you can out of the situation so that by the time you finally arrive at the Blue or Green stage, you feel completely “done” and ready to move on.

What’s Cooking This Week

Last month our neighborhood farmers market opened up for the season again. I was excited to see all the fresh produce that they had to offer and tried to be creative with whatever I purchased for that particular week. Beets are one of those vegetables that people usually have strong opinions about, you either love them or love to hate them. In my eyes beets are always the “stars”, full of juicy sweet flavor and potent vitamins, nothing is better than freshly roasted beet slices with some coarse salt and just a smear of mayo on top, simple yet absolutely delicious. The recipe below is my family’s favorite. I remember my mom making it over and over again for a holiday gathering or an everyday meal alike. Hope you join me on a trip down the childhood lane.

Beet Ratatouille


2 medium beets

4 medium carrots

2 small red onions

2 sweet peppers (I used 1 red and 1 yellow)

2-4 Tbspoons of fresh chopped herbs (depending how much greens you like in it)

1 tspoon of dry garlic powder

1 tspoon of herbs/blend you like (I used French Seasoning blend)

salt, pepper, oil (I used grape seed oil)


1 tspoon of raw sugar (optional)

Wash and place beets, skin intact, in a pot covered with water and boil until the knife runs through but not overly soft. Drain and let them cool off before removing the skin.

In a mean while heat up some oil, slice or chop the onions and saute until slightly golden, then add sliced carrots and peppers, season and add salt/pepper, cook until everything is almost done.


Cut the beets into small cubes and add to the veggie mixture, continue cooking until all is cooked through, add sugar if desired, and then chopped fresh herbs at the very end.


The dish can be served either warm or cold, as a side dish or an appetizer.

It makes an excellent healthy snack paired with some whole grain crackers.