Climbing the food pyramid

The new Food Pyramid came out last week. Walt Handelsman drew an excellent cartoon for Newsday on Friday, April 22nd, 2005 in which an overweight Uncle Sam was lounging in a recliner with a super-sized soda. The Uncle said to the stair-climbing Food Pyramid guy: Yo, grab me something to eat while you are up. . .

Healthy living in America is an increasingly strange thing to me. Like the cartoon Uncle Sam, it seems that we try to convince ourselves that if we can do one thing (the diet of the month!), then all of the other things that are unhealthy in our lives will somehow be dissolved. If we truly want to perform and feel at our peak, we need to take a more holistic view of health, and it does not just apply to food.

In early 2005, there was an article in The New York Times in which the writer noted that people today are doing more than ever before in shorter amounts of time. The result is that adults are showing signs of developing Attention Deficit Disorder. This is troubling. How can we perform at our peak both mentally and physically and avoid burning out? I believe that taking stock of our lives in full is the first step to true health. Daily awareness of what we eat, how we work best, how and when we exercise and generally how we feel is important because it begins to help each person identify a program that will be tailored to their individual needs. Some of us are morning people; some work best later in the day. Some like to jog, others swim. I like to start my day with simple 15-minute stretching exercises, it puts me in the right mind and focus for the tasks ahead as well as forces me to think about how I am feeling and how I want to feel for the rest of the day. As a type-A personality, I am almost embarrassed to admit that I have found slowing down and breathing deeper keeps me mentally focused, and even eating smaller portions. (My grandmother would be so proud.) Deb Herlax, our nutritionist, has some great ideas on daily approaches to increasing healthy behavior in our busy lives. As spring arrives and turns now into summer, getting some much needed – but not too much – sun could be a first step.

Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt

Spring Sun

by Deborah Herlax, The FruitGuys nutritionist

Sunlight on your skin creates Vitamin D. Vitamin D is not easy to supplement through diet, so it is best to get “some” sun each day on your skin. Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in helping your body maintain strong bones and a healthy and functioning immune system. Your body likes to stockpile a supply of Vitamin D during the summer to help you stay healthy through a long and dark winter. It appears that as little as fifteen minutes on a small area of skin (arms) can be enough to give your body a good hit of Vitamin D. You can occasionally forgo the sunscreen, but it does not take long for your body to make the Vitamin D, so keep your sunscreen nearby.* *It is suggested that you check with your doctor before starting any new nutritional program.

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