How to eat well--a primer for helping you keep your new year's resolutions

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Author: Nancy Clark
Date: Winter 2005
From: Palaestra(Vol. 21, Issue 1)
Publisher: Sagamore Publishing
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,390 words

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Eat well. Believe it or not, that's what most athletes--be they able-bodied or physically challenged, as well as fitness exercisers and most Americans, in general--need to learn to do. Eat for performance. Eat for health. I am surrounded by active people who exercise for health but do not know how to eat well. They know how to skip breakfast and lunch, how to stay away from carbohydrates, how to blow their diets. These folks would not only perform better but also be healthier down the road if they could eat better on a daily basis, eat at the right times to optimize energy, eat the best foods to promote future good health, and eat wisely to manage weight.

For some athletes, eating well seems a trivial concern. They joke about overdosing on Vitamin C-3 (Chocolate Chip Cookies). Others are influenced by these prevailing beliefs: Food is fattening; I don't have time to eat," or I don't have time to eat well. A survey of 50 collegiate football players reports they averaged 59% of their calories from sugars and fats. Yes, that is a lot of junk food!

The daily intake of those football players contrasts sharply with the daily diet of Diana Dyer, a three-time her eating and acquired remarkable benefits. After having been diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time (11 years after her first breast cancer diagnosis and several years after a childhood neuroblastoma), Diana decided she would put only protective foods in her body. This means a soy-shake with fruit, flax, and berries for breakfast, and lunches and dinners abundant with fresh fruit, colorful salads, beans, nuts, fish, soy and other wholesome foods. Being a dietitian, Diana also recognizes the need for soul foods (birthday cake, chocolate chip cookies). She eats them on occasions when she wishes to nourish her soul.

So, has all this healthy eating done any good? Diana believes her optimal diet is largely responsible for the increase in her white blood cell count. It rose from the too low 2,500 cells/cubic millimeter it had been for 11 years after...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A130211689