"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Going Bananas

I eat a lot of fruit. A lot of fruit. My wife is kind of a health nut (in a good way--love you sweetie) and we've made some pretty major changes to our diets over the last few years. As poor college students our diet consisted of refried bean/cheese/salsa quesadillas made on our George Foreman Grill, ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese. I'll spare you the details of the evolution of our diet and skip right to the present. As a family we eat very little meat, hardly any dairy, only whole grains, fruits and vegetables (organic when possible). We use/eat very little added sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, and try to stay away from processed foods and artificial preservatives as much as possible. She and the kids are a little more strict about it than I am, but this is basically what we buy when we go grocery shopping (I stray a little bit when at a restaurant, my parents' house or some other social gathering with food).

My wife has been extremely supportive of my running. I wouldn't do it without her support as it means a little less time with me around the house to help out. She has also sent me to various websites, blogs and online videos talking about nutrition--specifically the diets of elite runners. She's filling the role of nutritionist on my team (making it a team of 2 now). She's been pushing more fruits throughout the day and whatever I want for dinner (taco salad, some sort of pasta dish, rice, millet, stir-fry, etc). Enter the Rule of 10. 10 fruits before I eat anything else that day.

I've been doing it this week and I feel pretty good. Usually I eat dinner and then again later on in the evening, but after eating fruit all day (10 fruits is going to be roughly 1000 calories) I'm pretty satisfied after dinner and haven't needed to eat later. This has subsequently made me feel better in the mornings.

My typical day will consist of 6-7 bananas, 1 or 2 apples and maybe an orange or something else (hooray for on-sale strawberries this week). Very often many of these things will be combined into a smoothie (which is much preferred).

For my long run this morning, I started my day with a #5 smoothie. It consisted of 5 of my daily 10 fruits: 1 orange, 2 bananas, 2 servings of strawberries and some lemon water. 32 ounces of goodness. After my run I had another #5 smoothie (green smoothie) consisting of 2 bananas, 1 pear, and 2 green apples as well as some romaine lettuce. Looks disgusting, but not too bad of a taste. That's 64 ounces of smoothie and 10 fruits consumed in about 3 hours.

We buy bananas by the case, apples by the bushel and pears by the boxful--weekly. But they're simple to eat, my system feels clean and my body feels good. And my pace has been dropping for the last two weeks. So maybe there's something to it...


Annalise said...

p.s. The high-fruit, low-fat diet is from the book "The 80/10/10 Diet" by Dr. Douglas Graham, who has been training elite athletes for decades. There are articles and interviews with olympic athletes on his website, www.foodnsport.com.

Check out Michael Arnstein, who runs marathons several times a month as training for his longer races. He recovers in as little as 24-48 hours, because his machine is clean. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXCeM82rqMM

Laura said...

Love it! I'm the 'fruit pusher' in my family and also the runner. I have experienced the same w/ my speed and distance as an 811 athlete. Keep up the good work. And good job to your wife the family 'fruit pusher'. :)