Friday, July 27, 2012

Seeing red. Do health factors impact our color passions?

It started innocently, with an appreciation for Hispanic and Native American art work: bold images, rendered with voluptuous brush strokes by artists like Diego Reveria had suddenly caught my eye.
Soon, however, hubby and I were using comforting terra cotta tones to showcase the biggest accent wall in our home.
Next, we covered the hardwood floors in our living space with enormous area rugs that subtly picked up the rich, red tones from the wall and inspired complimentary pillows and artwork.
Furniture choices – warm cherry wood of course -- reflected our chosen, color family.
Even soup pots began to whisper – and sometimes shout -- "red!" 
Meanwhile, I was busy fueling my love affair with strawberries, tomatoes, apples -- old-fashioned red barns, pumpkin patches, autumn leaves and red, white and blue Americana decor.
Which begs the question: Who? Who is so completely and helplessly attracted to the color RED?
Dracula? Hitler? Ruby the Clown? 
Well, my husband Bruce, for one.
Red is and was his favorite color growing up. Until now, I had always assumed it was because he was Canadian -- and an enormous Red Wings fan to boot.
Then there’s my son, Jack, who choses red clothing, bedroom accents and school supplies - etc.! -- every chance he gets. 
Of course he's an Aries, Aries the Ram. So, with these astrological influences in mind, red makes sense. 
Can you see where this is going?   
Soon, even my super sweet – well, mostly -- daughter Annie was putting reddish “oranges” and orangey “yellows” on her favorites' list.
Still, I felt compelled to fight the tendency towards red, because, as bluntly described in a CARE2 article: “’Red’ people are abrupt at times, determined to get all they can out of life, quick to judge people and take sides… restless… not at all introspective… they find it hard to be objective and may blame others for any mishaps.’”
Dislike. Strongly.
The mere thought of yielding to these pressures makes me er, well .....see red.     
Then, earlier this summer, I received a phone call from my doctor's office that shed new light on the trend: my hemoglobin level had dropped once again, this time to a staggering 6.9. The standard rate for women is 12.
As in the past, my doc started threatening "blood transfusion" if my numbers didn’t go up. I had received similar prognoses shortly after college graduation college, and again, after giving birth to both my children.
So far, however, we haven't been able to come up with a long-term, solution that works for me --- with “for me” being the operative phrase.
Soon afterward, I stumbled upon the following reasoning for red-loving, and begin to feel a bit better: “Red is the color of strength, health, and vitality. It is often the color chosen by someone outgoing, aggressive, vigorous and impulsive -- or someone who would like to be. Quiet people with a preference for red may feel the need for the warmth, strength and the color’s, life-giving qualities.”
Here, here.
Now that’s a theory I can cuddle up with.
Not that anyone’s ever called me "quiet" before. 
This time, the doc has an entirely new plan, one I'm embracing whole-heartedly and crossing my fingers will work.
But with the prospect of healing brighter than ever, I’m starting to wonder:
If this works and my hemoglobin levels spike permanently -- I am once again allowed to donate blood and my constant and voracious craving for ice comes to a halt – will I still want to keep all those delicious, red influences in my life?
Will I continue to sprinkle cinnamon on top of my coffee grounds for a warmer, richer brew?
Will I still want to catch, no chase! -- Michigan's spectacular, red-tinged sunsets? 

Will I change the color of the red door on my house to green? Or blue? or purple?
Will I become a different person?
I don’t know.
But I'm looking forward to finding out.      
What does your favorite color say about you?
Did you know that up to 10% or more of adolescent and adult women under the age of 49 are iron deficient? Hispanic American and African-American women have double the rate for anemia.
For more information, visit:
I recently learned that the grain quinoa, particularly when soaked overnight, is an excellent source of iron.
With that in mind, looking forward to testing the following recipe:


  1. Well written. I love mating the two subjects together. Good writing.

  2. thank you! :) glad it made sense to someone other than myself :)