For me, having grown up here in New England, apple picking is a ritual as iconic as country fairs, sugar on snow, cutting your own Christmas tree, and fishing opening day of trout season. Not I do any one of these things annually, exactly – though most, most years. But they mean enough to me, and say enough about where we grew up and what we hope the world is still like when the next generation is grown up, that I not only enjoy them but actually feel obliged to share them with my kids.
So a few weekends ago we went to Lull Farm down in Hollis and Kris’ mom treated the kids to apple picking. And I have to say, I eat apples constantly, all year long, but they never taste better than they do just a few minutes off the tree. Which is especially good news for us runners.
There’s another rite of fall to consider – the marathon season. It’s certainly not as venerable as apple picking, but there is a connection. Apples, I learned in this month’s issue of Runners World, can increase stamina. In a study documented in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, subjects were given 500 milligrams of the antioxidant quercetin daily for seven days and this gave test subject a 13% endurance boost. Among the foods that provide quercetin? Apples! So for those of you getting ready for your next marathon (mine’s two weeks from yesterday!), eat up!