On Saturday I ran the GBRC 8 hour ultra marathon in Green Bay WI. This was a really fun and beautiful event. It was held at UWGB campus. We ran a 4.1 mile trail loop. The object is to get in as many loops in the 8 hours as you can. It was a gorgeous sunny Saturday in Green Bay. The race organizers and all the volunteers were amazing. I was able to get in 10 loops making it a total of 41 miles.
While there I had some great conversation with other athletes who are really taking a hard look at nutrition and what they put into their bodies. More and more ultra runners are turning away from the standard American diet and what we have been fed growing up regarding nutrition. Many endurance athletes are becoming “no meat athletes”. The foods we eat have to be natural, whole and pure. A good way to look at it is what God makes for us is natural. We cannot change what God made for us and make it better.
When we alter food, we reduce the food value. With processing, salting, bleaching, heating and preserving, we are altering foods so much that we need to really be thinking about the effects it has on our bodies. Much of the processed foods we eat lack the essential nutrients that were present in the food before processing. By eating whole food we built the whole body.
Think of the foods on the “dollar menu”, the companies that produce these foods do not care about your health. They care about money. There is so much illness in the world that is unnecessary. We need to rethink what foods we are feeding ourselves and our children. Eating processed foods leads to deficiencies and deficiencies lead to disease. Many Doctors are not going to talk to you about nutrition and exercise. Doctors were taught to treat symptoms and make you feel better. They will give you a prescription to treat the symptom. For many people, this is exactly what they want, a drug to make them feel better so they are able to continue the habits that cause their sickness. If we make the change to natural whole foods it will be the best change you can make in your life.
The second leading cause of death in America is cancer. Every year 100,000 American’s, such as my father, lose their life to colon cancer. The American Cancer Society has issued a statement now saying “Evidence in recent years suggests that most bowel cancer is caused by environmental agents. Some scientists believe that a diet high in beef and or low in fiber is the cause”. In the past Doctors who thought diet play a role in cancer were considered “quacks”. One of those “quacks” was Dr. Denis P Burkitt. Dr. Burkitt is a British Surgeon who spoke to a group of 200 American physicians telling them that problems such as obesity, diabetes, diverticulosis, colitis, polyps, and colon cancer are virtually unheard of among rural eastern Africans. In 1971 the British Medical Journal published his article “Diverticular Disease of the Colon: A Deficiency Disease of Western Civilization”. In 1974 he coauthored “Dietary Fiber and Disease”. The rural eastern African diet is made up of fresh fruit, vegetables and coarsely ground cereal grains. They do not eat white flour, white sugar or refined carbohydrates. He states that this type of diet is the key to preventing disease and needless surgery.