Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Fling

Toss out old eating habits for new ones to refresh your meals—and your running.
By Liz Applegate Ph.D.
From the April 2009 issue of Runner's World (title linked above)

Change Your Breakfast
Eating the same meal every morning can limit the range of nutrients you get. Try something new, like a whole-grain cereal with complex carbs and protein, such as Kashi GoLean. Scramble eggs and serve on sprouted-wheat bread, which is slightly higher in protein than regular whole wheat.

Drink Something New
Studies show that by changing the flavor of a beverage, you'll be inclined to drink more. If you usually drink green tea, try white—it's higher in catechins that may reduce heart-disease risk. Switch from orange juice to pomegranate-cranberry for antioxidants that reduce inflammation.

Think Fresh
Spring brings lots of seasonal produce, like lettuces (which are high in magnesium, a mineral that helps release stored energy), asparagus (a good source of folate), and artichokes. Fresh veggies give your body much-needed vitamins and phytochemicals that stave off damage from hard runs.

Try a New Tool
Gadgets can help any busy cook save time and add flavor. A tool like the Garlic Zoom, for example, makes it easy to quickly chop fresh garlic—and get more of that vegetable's healthy, cholesterol-lowering compounds. is one of my favorite sites for kitchen aids.

Stroll the Aisles
Grocery stores get new products daily, so budget 15 extra minutes for your next trip to find healthy options. Check out whole-grain pastas made with added fiber or flaxseed. Look for tasty frozen fruit blends in the freezer aisle. Stock up on convenient 100-calorie packs of healthy snacks, such as nuts and pretzels.

Tend a Garden
Studies show you'll eat more vegetables on a daily basis if you grow your own. Pot a single tomato or herb plant in a container to keep on your patio; turn a small section of your backyard into a vegetable garden; or, if you want to plan a more substantial garden, consider enlisting the help of a neighbor so you can share the tasks of weeding and watering.

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