Don’t Forget the Green Leaves!

Okay, so by now you are probably wondering if there is any truth to the rumor started by Carl Lewis about the 2012 Jamaican Olympics Team.  You know, the one about whether or not they have a really strict drug testing program or not.  Somehow he finds it hard to believe how fast these runners (specifically Usain Bolt) really are.  I just thought I’d take the time to point out a few key factors that may or may not be influencing their winnings and Bolt’s record-breaking achievements in particular.

1. Yam:  Usain Bolt’s father explained back when he first set the 100m world record in Beijing, that “It is definitely the Trelawny yam” that makes Usain so fast.  Trelawny is the parish in Jamaica where Usain grew up and a huge producer/exporter of yam.

2.  Peace of Mind:  Nothing robs the fruits of one’s labor quite like the bandits called Stress & Worry.  These two usually roll together and can be found shortening the life spans of viable, talented athletes, artists, and joe-schmoes alike worldwide.  To these bandits, Usain says this: “Worrying gets you nowhere. If you turn up worrying about how you’re going to perform, you’ve already lost. Train hard, turn up, run your best, and the rest will take care of itself.”

3. Maroon Lineage: Although in recent years, Jamaica has been popularized for its tourist areas, being the birhtplace of reggae music, and its abundant “herbs”, the island’s Maroon history is quite noteworthy.  I was just guessing that Usain Bolt must be a descendant from those brave men and women who escaped slavery in the 1700s through rebellions, and yes, RUNNING to the hills.  A quick Internet search proved that, in fact, “Trelawny was also home to the largest group of Maroons in the island.”  It just gets better!

Gotta love a man who eats yam most mornings for breakfast, doesn’t worry, and is from a proud ancestry like the Maroons.

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Wikipedia even goes on to state that: “A 1739 treaty between the Maroons and the English gave the Maroons freedom and land, which effectively put a stop to their raids on the plantations. However, a second Maroon uprising in 1795, led to over 600 Maroons being exiled to Nova Scotia, Canada and later to Sierra Leone in Africa in 1800.”

In my opinion, Usain and the Jamaican Olympic Track & Field Team just paid homage to their Maroon ancestors by returning to the British empire of imperialism and conquest, and running away with SO MUCH GOLD!

Perhaps the unsung heroes of the Olympics are the rest of the cast of the Caribbean diet, of which green leafy vegetables like callaloo are a staple.  I would be willing to bet that Usain ate his fair share of those veggies as well, a great source of iron and calcium.  Not to mention coconut milk and other fresh fruits.

Check out this quote from the London Evening Standard:

“Olympic officials believe they have thought of everything to cater for the 16,000 village residents, but additional items may be necessary when the  world’s fastest man Usain Bolt and his Jamaican team mates arrive next week.
At their Birmingham base, chefs have had to seek out a goats head for the athletes,but after failing, settled for diced goat meat to prepare a curry for the Caribbean visitors.
Team member Yohan Blake, who is Bolt’s great rival for the 100m and 200, gold medals, is also known to consume a huge bunch of bananas a day.
“I eat 16 ripe bananas every day. Naturally I tend to lose potassium so I have to build it all back. For me it works and provides more energy” he said.
The team also have a taste for callaloo, a type of cabbage and an advance party is already seeking out the right ingredients to ensure the Olympic guests’ every taste is sufficiently catered for.”
And to think, Usain Bolt is a guy who actually ate chicken nuggets before both his Beijing and IAFF wins! Yikes.  P.S. Callaloo is NOT a type of cabbage!

Well there you have it, when Carl Lewis wants to understand how these records are being broken (including his), he should look to the diet, mindset, and ancestry of the Jamaican team for his answers.  Go Team Jamaica!



26 thoughts on “Don’t Forget the Green Leaves!

  1. This is a great blog.Its wonderful how you showed the delicious aray of veggies eaten in the caribbean,that is so health and good tasting at the same time.Also how it may very well be a big part of these great athlete’s accomplishments.Great job!!!

  2. just loving the direction,taught process and final resolution. We know who we are. Carl needs to find who he is. truly inspirational keep it up. Caribbean .

  3. Thanks for getting the word out to folk on the benefits of ground food. From the Moors to Moriscos, to the Maroonns. The yam has been our super-food. All this talk of ancestral food has got me hungry. Mia gon run market fi pick up a aki and salt-fish now. : )

    • Brother Kazi, you always drop it real easy and smooth. Superfood. I never thought to dub it as such. In fact, some of us even have heard that it is not an indigenous food, a food that was created and not good for us. I go with what works for me, long as you eat some greens, okra, etc., to keep the constipation at bay, that ground food is pumping!

  4. This is definitely the type of motivation I needed…a mental and physical detox are definitely in order!! The seasons are changing, I am growing spiritually ..what better time than now to make power moves toward increased energy and improved health?! Thank you for the inspiration, I look forward to reading more on this subject in the days to come!!

    • And thank you for reminding me to prepare for my own seasonal detox. This time, I’m feeling like its time for “the docks” (yellow dock, burdock root). Writing this post made me think of the ground food so much, and the ground herbs (roots) are where its at!

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