Food guide

1st Successful Rainbow Diet Workshop in Dalat, Vietnam

The first-ever rainbow diet workshop called “Rainbow on your plate, Smile on your face” was held last July 26 at the small house in Dalat, Vietnam.

This rainbow diet workshop is about “eating a colorful plate,” using natural ingredients that nourish the whole self: body, mind, and spirit. It focuses on bringing joy, color, creativity, and connection between people through food.

“Rainbow on your food, smile on your face” workshop


I (Jonah) and Health Coach Nam Phuong at her small house

I am a former Integrative nurse and a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner from the Philippines. Nam Phuong is a Vietnamese holistic health coach, yoga teacher, and macrobiotic practitioner.

We both are healthy food enthusiasts, eco-travelers, and passionate in helping people!

We run into each other one time at the Organic Farmer’s Market, and with our similarities, we team up together through a workshop by sharing our expertise and healing journey. Our goals were to:

  1. Share how to heal ourselves through eating rainbow foods
  2. Use natural food color to uplift our mood and help alleviate depression and anxiety
  3. Healthy alternatives to satisfy junk food cravings
  4. Bring joy and mindfulness to our daily meal


Mindfulness and self- introduction

We had:

  • A fantastic group of participants!
  • Welcome the day with mindfulness
  • Shared our healing journey
  • The following topics discussed were brain-gut connection, use of natural food color for creative cooking, food that boosts our mood, and facts on how a Mediterranean diet can significantly decrease depression symptoms
  • Q & A
  • Food demo of 2 easy recipes – sample of common food craving by turning it to a healthier version!
  • Enjoying human connection through food
  • Getting feedback from the participants
  • Conclude with a short guided relaxation practice


Mixing natural food colors can be fun and exciting! It makes you creative and increases your appetite too!

Discussing natural food color during Rainbow diet workshop
Samples of rainbow colors using natural ingredients

I presented 6 rainbow colors using natural ingredients: orange = carrot; blue = blue pea flower; red = roselle flower; yellow = turmeric; purple = blue pea + lemon; green = matcha powder which I used for the pancake!

For white base colors such as yogurt, coconut milk, or nut milk, it is easier to mix with other natural food colors. And turn them into bright colors such as pink (strawberry + nut milk), powder blue (coconut milk + oats + blue pea), or purple (purple yam/ ube + coconut milk).

This gives participants ideas on how to add food colors to their dishes. No artificial food color is needed. The best part is that each natural food color is rich in phytonutrient or healing properties. More examples of natural food colors below 👇


We divided 7 participants into two groups – one group prepares the pancake, and the other group prepares the burgers. These are samples of common food cravings turned into a healthier recipe with a touch of natural food colors!

1. Dragon fruit and Matcha Pancake

This pancake is highly nutritious, full of fiber, protein-rich, gluten-free, and uses only organic, seasonal, and whole-food ingredients. No refined sugar, flour, water, or any artificial food coloring added to it. Super healthy and delicious!

Base ingredients:

  • 4 small organic eggs
  • 2 over ripe banana
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp oil

Food color:

  • 1/8 dragon fruit – using this fruit, you don’t need to add water to the batter since it’s already watery.
  • 1 tsp matcha powder

Adds on:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Bee pollen
  • Edible flowers
  • Honey
  • Chia seeds
Dragon fruit and Matcha pancake prepared at the Rainbow diet workshop
A colorful pancake made by participants

2. Chickpea Burger Patties

This burger patty is 100% vegan-friendly, magnesium-rich, and low carb. By using whole-food, plant-based ingredients, and healing spices that satisfy the tummy without meat or burger buns.


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 300 g of chickpea
  • 1/4 cup white onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp tahini (home-made using sesame seeds, garlic and sesame oil)

Salad or Burger style:

  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Lettuce (Thuy tinh)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Chia seeds
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Homegrown broccoli microgreens

Mango Vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/2 cup ripe mango
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon or 2 small limes
Chick pea burger patty prepared during Rainbow diet workshop
Lettuce burger
Mango vinaigrette dressing used at the Rainbow diet workshop
Mango vinaigrette


Rainbow diet workshop
But first, let’s take a picture!
Tainbow diet workshop using organic vegetables and fruits
🌈Freshly picked organic fruits, tomatoes and edible flowers from Happy Gardens and Bui Farm
Rainbow diet food demo by Jonah and Nam Phuong
Rainbow diet food demo by Jonah and Nam Phuong
Rainbow food diet workshop
Participants preparing food using natural colors
Rainbow diet workshop food plating session
Participants creating a rainbow food plating after cooking!
The rainbow diet using natural food colors!


  1. Aim for 9-13 Servings of Plant Foods every day – It’s not overwhelming to prepare it by planning your food for the day. Here’s an example in one day: you can make a smoothie by combining 2-3 fruits, prepare a salad with 3-6 veggies. While cooking a dish with at least 3-4 veggies and spices in it. Doing this habitually will help prevent having a chronic illness.
  2. Know Your Phytonutrient Sources – You don’t have to memorize what’s the phytonutrients are since it’s endless! Just remember all plant-based food have phytonutrient sources including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. Incorporate them in your dishes and you are good to go!
  3. Eat the Rainbow of Colors – Make it a goal to get the full 7 colors every day with variety of foods. Not from the artificial or junk food but from whole-food plant-based ingredients.
  4. Vary Your Choices – There are thousands of phytonutrients in nature. One helpful tip is to try new food, especially seasonal fruits so we won’t be missing out with what our body needs!
  5. Maximize Combinations – sometimes, putting together certain foods can have a “synergistic” result. Examples are turmeric + black pepper + olive oil enhances the phytonutrients effects on our health or Lemon + spinach increases iron absorption in the body.
  6. Be Creative with Substitutions – just like in the food demo, think of a common food or food you crave and substitute it with nutrient-dense options.
    For example, you can substitute all-purpose flour to oats, chickpea, coconut, or almond flour. Or instead of using white rice, you can use quinoa, Adlai, black or brown rice. Instead of using water in pancake, use dragon fruit!


We ordered organic ingredients from these suppliers and would like to recommend them. If anyone wants to eat organic vegetables in Dalat, you can directly contact them, and they will deliver with a minimal fee.

🌱Bui Farm *Sponsored organic eggs, avocados, and bananas
Address: Thôn 7, Đức Trọng District, Lâm Đồng 670000
Phone: +84 333 510 279 – Mr. Bui Anh Tuan

🌱Happy Garden – Vườn hữu cơ Dã lật
Address: Phường 7, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng
Phone: +84 949 676 906 – Ms. Lê Kiều Chinh of Litterless

🌱Jolly Farm
Address: 2 Đường Trần Nhân Tông, Phường 8, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng
Phone: +84 938 507 579

🌱Xuan Truong Farm
Address: 21 Trần Lê, Đà Lạt
Phone: +84 816 998 585

🌱Litterless Refillery and Coffeethe first zero-waste bulk store in Dalat Address: D19 KQH Hoàng Diệu, Phường 5, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam
Time: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Phone: +84 949 676 906 – Ms. Lê Kiều Chinh


The participants went home with the knowledge on creative and intuitive eating, the joy of cooking, the power of yum, and the roles of rainbow colors on their plate! It was such a fun and interactive moment in the workshop!

For all the attendees, thank you for the incredible memories and feedback! It was our pleasure to have you in this workshop!



Health Coach Nam Phuong is truly an amazing person I met in Vietnam! Highly motivated, influential, and full of energy! I can’t thank her enough as my partner in this workshop!

Her sustainable lifestyle and living a simple life is awe-inspiring! She focuses on whole foods plant-based diets, yoga, mindfulness meditation, and natural healing. Her small house in Dalat is a hub for community gatherings and seed exchange.

👉Get to know more about her by following her social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, or listen to her podcast on Spotify.

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  1. I feel like I’ve said it many times already, but I’ll say it again – thank you again for spreading your positivity! It was really a special dining experience to enjoy. Looking at these pictures makes me happy too! I think my personal favorites were the chickpea patty + the mango vinaigrette 🙂 And there was almost no food left at the end!

    Your guide to natural food color & phytonutrient graphic is really interesting, too. I’ve never heard of “phytonutrient”s before – so different colors actually correspond to different nutrients? I like how you included a “suggested applications” list too – looks great for getting new ideas!

    • That’s so kind of you to say that. It means a lot to me! With the pinch of love we put in that food, make the food more satisfying! It’s proven!

      Phytonutrients – It was difficult to discuss and translate for them, that’s why we focus on mixing of natural colors and foods that boost our mood. But of course, those colorful compounds provide health and nutrition benefits. Just try to incorporate different colors of natural food, and surely you will benefit from it unknowingly! 😉

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Jonah Estanislao-Motati

Hey I’m Jonah, a nurse from the Philippines who has a unique passion for uncovering food origins while traveling. As a food enthusiast and eco-conscious traveler, I go deep into the culinary traditions of each destination, seeking out the stories behind the ingredients and dishes. Join me as I uncovers the rich tapestry of food origins, from local markets to sustainable farms, and share captivating discoveries. Be inspired to embark on a gastronomic adventure that connects you with the cultural heritage and sustainable practices of each place you visit.

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