Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Few More Thoughts on Food and Diet

America has become a food and diet obsessed country. You only have to turn on the television and you can watch the Food Network and cooking shows as well as dozens of infomercials that deal with food preparation,losing weight and getting fit. Take a trip to the local Barnes and Noble and you will see shelves upon shelves of books about those same subjects. As mentioned previously, surveys reveal that 60% of the U.S. population is significantly overweight. Although as runners we may be exempt from having weight problems, there are some things that we need to keep in mind. One, is that being thin or within your normal weight range is not a license to eat whatever you want. Another is that many of the ailments that plague us,especially later in life,arise from a chronically poor diet and eating habits. This is just one of many truths that were once dismissed as food faddism several decades ago. Something else,most of us eat too fast and too much. We should not feel "stuffed" after a meal because we ate more than we needed to. A book that was written awhile back, I believe it was called The China Study, confirmed what most health enthusiasts had long suspected, that eating less was conducive to a longer,ailment free life.It's important to remember that youth, or being relatively young, can cover a multitude of dietary sins for many,many years. Also, it's become a cliche but another point to keep in mind is that, "we are what we eat." I'd add,"and drink" to that quote. Cerutty wrote way back when: "I am certain neither nature or God,ever anticipated that man,after many centuries,would ever devise,manufacture and market the debased and denatured substances that pass for food." It only takes a stroll down a few aisles of your local 7-11 or supermarket to confirm this statement.Why as runners are we eating the same junk food that most other people do? A cliche that we should follow is: "Eat to live,not Live to eat." Now all of us may be aware as to the truth of what is written above, but, does it really influence how and what we eat? Do we still believe that the many miles we run a week make it OK to treat our bodies like a garbage can? Cerutty was right, optimal fitness,AND,feeling good mentally and physically, can only be achieved by attention to food and diet. As for those of us who live for the run,we must do more than just run to be truly healthy.

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