Fruit Til Noon

In 1992, I decided to take on the challenge of running my first marathon.
I forget the exact reason I signed up for it, but I do remember that none of my friends wanted to join me. It was a solo mission.
And as I prepared for the big race, I knew I needed to find an edge that would give me an advantage over my competition. And that competition was the finish line. Plain and simple: I just wanted to finish.
You see, I wasn’t a runner, not really; I was an aspiring runner with six months of training under my belt.
My running career started after a breakup with my girlfriend of five years and some serious Grade-A boredom. I’d been living on my friend Jon’s couch in Los Angeles without a job and nothing to do. And when he and his roommates went to work every day, I had nowhere to go because I didn’t have a car.
Breakup + Boredom = New hobby.
On day one, I had a goal of jogging for 20 minutes, but I couldn't even do that. I would run some and then walk some. Run some, walk some. Run some, walk some.
Twenty minutes later, I was dead, or I should say wished I was dead. It was brutal. Valley heat and high-top sneakers are not in the runner’s starter kit. I interlocked my fingers, placed them on my head, and keeled over. People run on purpose?
But I was determined. The next day I planned my run before the blazing sun came out. It was more of the same... inhumanly hard.
A week later, though, I bought real running sneakers, which helped, but I still needed to walk some. Regardless, little by little, I made improvements; I was actually getting better, walking less, and almost looking forward to my daily runs. Months later, I moved back east to New York City and signed up for the marathon. Again, I’m not exactly sure why; it wasn’t really well thought out.
Although I was improving, I was still looking for a jumpstart, something to catapult me to that finish line.
“Have you ever read Fit for Life,” my friend Peter Milrose asked me as I arrived at his studio.
“No. Should I?”
“It might give you that edge you’ve been looking for,” he said. “It can help you with your diet.”
“My diet? What’s wrong with my diet?”
Up until that point, I had been eating without any particular plan or strategy. I mean, I was 23 years old and didn’t have many cares in the world. I would and could eat anything and everything I wanted, at any time of the day, it didn’t matter, and in any combination or amount.
Although I considered myself to be a moderate-energy guy, I knew I wasn't performing at my very best. Sure, I wasn't overweight, but I wasn't in the best shape of my life either. The wheels inside my head started turning—my diet...
“What’s the name of that book again?”
The next day I made my way over to Borders on the upper west side. And rather than spend an inordinate amount of time searching for the book, I asked the smiling salesperson who greeted me as I entered. Hi there, I said.
Do you have the book Fit for Lif—
“We sure do,” she said. “Follow me.”
I struggled to keep up. Clearly, she had read the book because she had a ton of energy.
“Fit for Life is written by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond,” she said as she zigged and zagged in and out of the aisles.
“It was first published in 1985, and the book became a best-seller. It gained popularity throughout the late 80s, and it’s still going strong. It presents a new approach to healthy eating based on combining food and consuming more fruits and vegetables. Do you like fruits and vegetables?”
“Ah. Um. They’re okay, I guess.”
Finally, we arrived at our destination, and she pulled out a copy. But before handing it over, she became much more serious, like my ex-girlfriend looked right before our breakup.
“I need to tell you something. The book has received mixed reviews and has been criticized by some for its lack of scientific evidence to support its claims,” she said. “Are you okay with that?”
As soon as I got home, I jumped right in. The book promised to teach me how to combine food properly and how to eat in a way that would optimize my digestion and nutrient absorption.
Some of it felt like I was back in science class, but most of it was based on logic and common sense. I kept reading. It encouraged me to adopt a diet primarily composed of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and suggested avoiding processed foods and refined carbohydrates.
Okay, but what’s a carbohydrate? I wondered as I popped a few salt & vinegar chips into my mouth and kept reading.
But then I saw the dealbreaker, Harvey Diamond, wanted me only to eat fruit every morning.
I could consume nothing else until noon every day. That wasn’t going to work. My regular diet was a combination of every breakfast food on the market, like pancakes, cereal, bagels, bacon, whatever; it didn’t matter. Now I was supposed to eat only fruit? No way. I wanted that edge, but this was too much.
I set the book down and thought about it. What’re ten days?
Nothing in the grand scheme of things. And I can do anything for ten days. Right?
So, after I finished the book, I decided to try it and committed to 10 days of only fruit until noon.
It was hard at first, but soon I found my rhythm. Having my supplies right in front of me when I entered the kitchen every morning made it more accessible. I’d grab the fruit and go. The book also suggested that I go back to my regular diet when I completed the ten days to see if I noticed a difference. And on day 11, I went back to my pancakes, bagels, and bacon. Boy, that was a mistake.
I felt ill.
I dragged the next few hours.
It was like carrying around a bowling ball in my belly all morning.
On day 12, I returned to fruit and haven’t gone back in 33 years.
Fruit ‘til Noon changed my life. And it can change your life too.
But I’m not a rocket scientist, a food scientist, or even a licensed nutritionist. I’m just a 55-year-old guy who has boundless energy. I’ve had the energy of a kid at a summer camp on his first day. I’m ready to go.
So, I don’t know if eating fruit every day until noon is spiking my glucose. I don’t know what’s going on, and maybe I’ll wake up one day, and everything will hit me all at once.
The only thing I know of is that I have been able to achieve unbelievable results.
Everyone else my age has lost a few steps except three of my friends. And coincidentally or not-so-coincidentally, they’re all eating like me. 
Over the years, I’ve had plenty of doubters; they think it’s genetics, maybe, but my mom’s overweight, and my dad had a heart attack at 52. I’ve never seen either of them walk a mile in their whole life. Even my brother and sisters were never in sick shape with endless energy. So, I don’t think it has anything to do with genetics. So, the only difference between my three friends and me and the rest of my friends, I think, is our diet, but who knows?
Thirty-two years later, I never went back to my old breakfast, and in the course of those 33 years, I completed 52 marathons, was an Ultraman, rode my bike cross-country this year, and had boundless energy while missing just four days of work.

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