Mastering the Links

 I've heard it's less frustrating if you don't use a ball. [Photo by  Igor Ovsyannykov  on  Unsplash ]

I've heard it's less frustrating if you don't use a ball. [Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash]

The entry bar to some sports is higher than others, with golf and skiing ranking up there in the "time-consuming" and "expensive-to-participate" categories.  And though I can struggle my way down a snowy slope with boards clamped to my feet, I never did get beyond the mini-golf stage when it came to the links. (Just typing that sentence made me wonder why "links" meant "golf course." Thank heavens for Wikipedia, which explains that, "The word 'links' comes via the Scots language from the Old English word hlinc : 'rising ground, ridge' and refers to an area of coastal sand dunes and sometimes to open parkland.)

However you manage on the "hlincs," I do have a few food-and-nutrition links for you. Because we all know that the best athletes mind what they eat.

First off, apparently we continue to gain weight. This New York Times article sounds all the usual alarm bells, but after reading Formerly Known as Food (which I talked about in this post), I'm not sure what we can all do about it, or, going with the golf-is-expensive thinking, how many can afford to do anything about it. I guess the bottom line for now is, if you're one of the lucky ones who can afford to, eat whole foods and try to cook when you can.

There's also this interesting Forbes article on our meat-loving ways in America. In a nutshell, despite hearing that we should eat more vegetables, we still love our meat, especially now that the grumbling about natural fats has subsided. (Surprise! Processed trans fats and all those nut oils we fry in are tough on our bodies, and eating lowfat doesn't make us lowfat.) I love a good Katsu Burger as much (and possibly more than) the next person, but I also loved a good baked sweet potato with all the toppings.

1GJEW5CWP7ZBR-1GJEW5CWP7ZBR-item.JPG

Speaking of eating more vegetables, did you know that, "thanks to mild, dry summers and long summer days, western Washington and Oregon is the only U.S. region with a suitable climate for spinach seed production"? I didn't. Unfortunately, we're also increasingly falling prey to a "fungus called Fusarium oxysporum thrives in the Northwest’s acid soils." Being a spinach-lover, I hate to think of the stuff being in danger, but luckily WSU's Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center is on the job, researching fungus-resistant spinach varieties. Let's hope they find our survivors before scarcity drives the prices too high.

 The good stuff [Photo by  chiara conti  on  Unsplash

The good stuff [Photo by chiara conti on Unsplash

Moving on, we'll need something to wash down all that food, but as we reach into the fridge for the milk carton, we notice it's past its stamped date. Uh-oh...to drink or not to drink? Mental Floss tackles that question in this link, along with tips on keeping your milk good longer. Spoilers: buy whole milk and don't store it in the door. I frequently buy milk that's marked down because it's nearing its date because our family guzzles the stuff, and the milk never has time to even think of going bad. But it did amaze me that the article leaves out the number-one way to know if your milk is good: smell it! Still unsure? Taste a bit. It won't kill you, but you'll know if it's a little off even before you pour it over your cereal.

Now, for those of you who've read this far, hoping I say something more about the real links--golf--I'll throw in this last tidbit. Mark your calendars for Eastside Academy's 13th annual Golf Tournament on June 11! Eastside Academy is a great local alternative high school serving kids and their families facing "addiction, learning challenges, academic failure, trauma, and social and/or psychological challenges." EA works wonders, and you can do a little golfing, at whatever skill level, and make sure these wonders continue to happen in our community.