Tuesday, June 17, 2014

COLORS OF SUMMER

As runners, we are constantly concerned about achieving our peak performances. In order to achieve that elusive personal best, we need to be cognizant of the fuel we use to keep our high-powered furnace going.

I am a great believer in the "everything in moderation" approach to nutrition. I applaud those who aspire to a meatless or a vegan dietary plan, but it's just not for me.

There's no disputing the fact, however, that a diet heavy on red meat, salt and sugar, is a recipe for disaster, and seems to be why we are in the midst of a worldwide obesity epidemic.

So, here's in my humble, non-medical opinion, the other half of the ticket stub that we runners need to punch. Obviously, we have the exercise thing down pat. Few humans burn more calories than we. But what about our dietary component?

On a daily basis, a simple formula is to eat food, not products, and to enjoy those beautiful colors.

During the summer, those brilliant colors manifest themselves in a magnificent array of fruits and vegetables.

I could barely recognize my Honey Nut Cheerios this morning, as they were blanketed in by a slew of deep-blue local blueberries. I already have strawberries scheduled on my lunch menu.

At dinner, we will begin with a salad made from fresh romaine lettuce, which has grown in my garden since April. Added to it will be a healthy dose of scallions, otherwise known as spring onions. In a couple of weeks, I'll be able to add cucumbers, peppers tomatoes, and snow peas, which will be ready for harvest from the garden. Cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage are also on their way.

And, if the bugs don't have their way, fresh peaches will be available from the peach trees in the yard.

For years, the American Cancer Society has recommended a diet consisting of nine fruits and vegetables daily. During the summer, at countless grocery stores, farmers' markets, and at roadside stands across the country, an array of fruits and vegetables are available at very reasonable prices.

Make your diet as colorful as possible this summer. You'll feel better and run better as well.