The Pulse

Express Train with Chris Carmichael

The bell pepper may be one of the best foods you can eat—that is, if you munch on the yellow, orange, and red ones. Compared with the younger green bells, the riper, vibrantly colored ones provide eight times more disease- and infection-fighting vitamin A and beta-carotene and more than twice as much vitamin C. Put them in a salad, grill them, or try the recipe below. It's a perfect meal for two to three hours after your workouts, providing carbohydrates for energy replenishment, fluids for hydration, and fiber to fill you up quickly so you don't overeat.

Mellow Jean's Yellow Pepper Soup
6 small yellow peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth
4 cups water
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup sour cream
(regular or nonfat)
3/4 tsp curry powder (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place peppers, onion, carrot, olive oil, broth, curry, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in a food processor until smooth. In a bowl, blend the sour cream, honey, and half a cup of the soup with a whisk, then heat the rest of the soup over medium-high heat for ten minutes, stirring in the sour-cream-and-honey mix. Season to taste. Makes four servings.

Chris Carmichael coached Lance Armstrong to seven straight Tour de France wins.

When facing a predator in the wild, don't get scared; get angry. You might improve your chances of avoiding harm. In a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, students attempted to answer math problems while being verbally harassed for making wrong answers and for not working quickly. Those who visibly expressed anger scored higher and experienced less stress, based on blood pressure and hormone levels, than those who showed signs of fear. "This isn't to say you should attack a bear," says study co-author Shelley Taylor, of UCLA. "But anger may better enable you to make the right decisions in a stressful situation."

Climbers have long known that high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)—a potentially fatal condition in which the lungs fill with fluid at altitudes above 10,000 feet—can occur if they ascend too high, too fast. But a study published last October in The Journal of Applied Physiology documented how any intense exercise performed by, say, weekend visitors to Vail or a mountain biker at 10,000 feet can also induce HAPE-like conditions, even if they're not gaining altitude. Researchers took lung-fluid samples from eight elite triathletes and cyclists who cranked through short intervals on stationary bikes at both sea level and then, after acclimatizing for 24 hours, at 12,500 feet. The samples taken at altitude showed that bursting capillaries inside the subjects' lungs—early evidence of HAPE—had increased tenfold from the amount at sea level. To lessen the risk, study author Dr. Marlowe Eldridge, of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, recommends acclimatizing for a minimum of three days before pushing your body to the max.

Want to lose weight? Try having someone tell you that sugar makes you sick. It may work, says psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, a memory specialist at the University of California at Irvine. In a study, Loftus pretended to analyze the diets of 228 college students, then delivered the same lie to each subject—that, as youngsters, they had become ill from eating fattening foods like ice cream or cookies—to see what would happen. The fib was swallowed by nearly half of the participants, most of whom were less inclined to eat those foods.

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