5/26/11

Fruit Finds

I'm absolutely loving this Florida weather. I find is super easy to get out the door and train. Most of all...NO more looking at the ceiling while swimming!! I am often reminded of my high school swimming days where it seemed like I lived in the water. I swear I was born to be a fish.
Currently, I look forward to my afternoon/early evening swims every Tues, Thurs and Sunday and it feels so nice on my body and brain, especially after a morning workout and a full day of studying. I also decided to give my car a break this afternoon, so I took my road bike on a short spin as I biked to the Y for my recovery swim late this afternoon. I am all about keeping the body moving and not feeling the need to "train" every time I "work out". Sometimes I just want to run like a kid (without a garmin), swim for time (not yardage) and spin my legs (without a bike computer).

Speaking of summer, I think I am not alone when I mention my love for summer fruit. The colors, flavors and textures of fruit make me smile (and my tummy happy). I just finished off a beautiful Cantaloupe which was a perfect complement to my post workout smoothie, oatmeal or yogurt parfait. Strawberries are beautiful and I have a feeling that the price of blueberries will continue to drop as we approach July (peak season). If I had to pick a favorite fruit, I think blueberries would be at the top of my list, followed by pineapple and strawberries (tied) and then all of the melons and apricots. What's your favorite fruit?

In my latest issue of Nutrition Action June 2011 the article Fruit Finds really caught my eye. I just love the opening paragraph (written by Bonnie Liebman and Jayne Hurley):
The problem with fruit is that it's not forbidden. If fruit were loaded with calories, bad fat or salt, we might feel a more intense longing for the juicy sweetness of a ripe strawberry or the crisp crunch of a just-picked apple. "if I could only have another slice of watermelon," we might sigh. We take fruit for granted. That's partly because no big advertisers have an incentive to plug fresh fruit - except when it's an ingredient in a profitable brand-name item like McDonald's McCafe Real Fruit Smoothies.

For some reason many people fear fruit as if the natural "sugars" will cause weight gain. Too much of anything may encourage a fluctuation in weight but with fruit you receive a wonderful supply of vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and carotenoids.

As you know, I am not a proponent of counting calories but I do believe in being aware of what you are putting in your body. Use the following list as a guideline when preparing balanced meals so that you can consume a little of everything rather than a lot of one thing. You may surprised that a serving or two of a fruit is a lot more filling than the equivalent (in calories) of a processed snack.

(From pg 14 of Nutrition Action)
*Although the serving sizes are listed, it is not evident whether or not the fruit is large, medium or small so if you are interested CalorieKing.com is a helpful website for portions)
Fruit - Serving size: calories
Watermelon - 2 cups diced: 80 calories
Kiwi - 2: 90 calories
Grapefruit - 1/2: 70 calories
Orange - 1: 70 calories (Did you know that a 131 gram orange has 3 grams of fiber!!)
Cantaloupe - 1/4: 50 calories
Strawberries - 8: 50 calories
Mango - 1/2: 80 calories
Raspberries - 1 1/4 cup: 70 calories
Blackberries - 1 cup: 60 calories
Pineapple - 2 slices or 3/4 cup: 60 calories
Apricots - 4: 70 calories
Grapefruit (white) - 1/2: 50 calories
Pomegranate - 1/2: 120 calories
Apple - 1: 130 calories
Honeydew - 1/2: 50 calories
Banana - 1: 110 calories
Plums - 2: 70 calories
Blueberries - 1 cup: 80 calories
Pear - 1: 100 calories
Cherries - 1 cup: 90 calories
Figs - 2: 100 calories
Nectarine - 1: 60 calories
Peach - 1: 60 calories
Grapes - 3/4 cup: 90 calories
Prunes (dried) - 4: 100 calories
Dates (dried) - 6: 110 calories
Avocado - 1/4: 50 calories
Cranberries - 1/2 cup: 30 calories
Raisins - 1/4 cup: 120 calories
Applesauce, unsweetened - 1/2 cup: 50 calories