After running several of his countrymen ragged in Sydney and Melbourne last week the world's fastest miler leaped on a plane bound for the U.S. and a quick sprint through the banquet circuit.
There was nothing very surprising in this; feeding famed athletes and giving them awards is the favorite pastime of U.S. sports fans at this season. But the banquet managers in charge of planning a menu for Australia's Spartan self-disciplinarian Herbert Elliott may well find something to surprise them in the food that delights him most. Shown below in all its savory goodness is Herb's daily diet. It consists of:
Breakfast—one and a half cups of uncooked rolled oats, a handful of raisins or sultanas, one sliced banana and two chopped walnuts, two potatoes (French fried), two eggs (fried in peanut or, sometimes, olive oil), one or two glasses of milk, an occasional orange or apple.
Lunch—a salad compounded of lettuce, cabbage, banana, orange, carrots, celery, tomatoes and, sometimes, a little canned fish, washed down with one glass of milk and accompanied by two or three slices of rye bread spread with margarine.
Dinner—cabbage, spinach, lettuce, string beans and carrots (all lightly boiled and jumbled together) with two potatoes fried in peanut oil, one or two slices of fish (also fried in peanut oil) and more milk.
Once or twice a week, the miler replaces the fish on his dinner menu with lean meat fried in peanut oil. "Animal fats," he says, "clog the arteries."
Day in and day out, Elliott's diet remains as unchanged as the diet of gas and oil that is fed to a racing car. Last Christmas day, it was suspended long enough to permit Herb to eat some roast turkey, but "I like my diet," says Herb, "and I went right back to it."
Like most of his training regimen—long, daily hours of torturous road-work often uphill and in soft sand—Herb's diet was the brain child of his intuitive trainer and mentor Percy Cerutty. It involves no elaborate caloric reckoning. Indeed, Herb himself has no idea how many calories he takes in (approximately 3,000 daily), but it is, he insists, "scientifically balanced." In any case, Elliott feels no call to apologize for his fare. "Once in a while," he says, "it gets monotonous, but it generally appeals to my sense of taste." As a matter of fact, he adds, "anyone with any sense might eat the same."