Going to the grocery store is for me this time of year, is like sending a kid to the candy store. There aren’t enough days in the week to eat the abundance of gorgeous fruits reaching their season’s peak of perfection! They are one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts. I wait all year for them to be in season and then one day I hit the grocery store and there they are in all their glory. Yesterday was that day. As Mitch and I did our weekly shop, the wagon was nearly empty until we got to the produce department. First I spotted the cherries, blueberries and gorgeous red raspberries hanging out together.
How could I chose one over the other, when each was so tempting as they flirted with my senses. With only 8oish calories in a cup of blueberries and cherries, they are a near perfect snack. The red raspberries, though, they are really perfect. With only about 65 calories in a cup, they give us over 50% of our vitamin C for the day and pack a whopping 8 grams of fiber and less than 6 grams of sugar. Consider this if you are choosing just one type of berry for your wagon. I LOVE BERRIES in my oatmeal or atop my cold cereal. YUM. Continuing our journey through fruit-land, the aroma of peaches and melons called us, so we got a huge, ripe cantaloupe and a few peaches, as well. Bananas are a staple–the berries need a little company with the cereal, they are great in a shake, and what better place to spread some highly nutritious peanut-butter? Can’t forget the lemons for my morning water and my daily made salad dressing. Finally, I broke down and got a mango, though they just aren’t at their peak yet. I always find them sweetest in August. Here in Florida, mango trees get fruit in the spring and then again in the late summer. I hear if you pull off the spring fruit, it makes way for very sweet summer fruit. That’s when my neighbor and students start sharing in abundance (maybe this year my tree will have babies, too!) and I treasure that time as nothing beats a ripe mango…as is or cut in half and grilled on the bbq for just a few minutes (absolutely heavenly).
Many people worry about the sugar in fruit. IF you are watching your sugar because you are a diabetic, it’s always best to follow the advise of a professional. With 18 grams of sugar in a cup of cherries, one does need to be mindlful to how much total sugar they are allowed in a day. If you are watching your sugar because you are on a weight LOSS program, you’ll want to keep careful track of your sugar intake and also watch for the insulin spikes that come from too much of it. That said, there is much debate about natural sugar vs. ADDED sugar. Most dieticians and experts agree it is the ADDED sugar that is making us fat (and killing us!) I just can’t think of one person who has ever told me they gained a lot of weight eating too much fruit. You?
Of course it is also easy to load up on season veggies, too, and load up I did. That, however, is a topic for another day.
On a very sad note, I must let my Tamarac Fitness people know that Ron’s dad, Howard passed away the night before last. Carol, thanks for the message yesterday. I hadn’t checked my morning email yet, but did after I heard from you and found an email from Wendie. I called the gym and spoke with Wendie and Ron and we all agreed that Howard was supposed to live forever. For those of you who don’t know him, he was a man who knew about organics before most others did. A bit quirky, but committed to a healthy lifestyle, the story goes that he removed the stove from his house years ago and was eating raw foods, avoiding animal fats and exercising daily when others were not yet on the bandwagon. Though he was a tough guy, he was certainly unique and a staple at TFC for so many years. None of us would be there if he hadn’t found and purchased the gym some 23ish years ago. I first met him when I had just given birth to Kyle and he referred to me as the “chubby” one. I can remember that like it was a minute ago. How many years did he come stand at the back of my class on Tuesday nights, crossing his arms and surveying the group wondering what a bunch of woman were doing lifting weights?? Remember? It made me crazy, but he was Howard and he will be missed. The funeral is tomorrow morning at 10:30 at Star of David. Given that it is father’s day, I will be sure to give love to my dad and yours, too, Carole. My heart does break for Ron, who lost his mom just 6 short months ago.
So, as Lisa pointed out so well the other day, if you get on the scale today and it moves (in either direction) at least you can celebrate that you are alive. Do your very best to be both healthy and happy. Balance. It might be more important than anything else. As I am about to hit the publish key, I am thinking back to the days my dad would bring home 2 huge brown bags filled with summer fruits. He owned a gas station in the Bronx, and as I recall a truck would come to his station filled with fruit to peddle. A traditional father of those times, he didn’t participate in the grocery shopping, but when he would walk through the door with those bags, he was THE man. Thanks for the memory, Dad. It’s so appropriate that my thoughts spin towards you on this father’s day weekend.
So load up on the gifts from mother nature…both the fruits and this very day. Life is the greatest of all her gifts. Get out there and live it!