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There's loads of great stuff out there to enhance your physical and spiritual health. Every two weeks, All Spirit Fitness brings you something we've found useful. Sometimes it's a brand new fitness tool, sometimes it's an everyday item that you can find at the store. Whatever it is, rest assured that if it's on this page, we think it's great!


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One of summer's best gifts is its crop of exquisitely ripe, flavorful plums. There's nothing like a Japanese or European plum at the height of its season — bursting and juicy, tempering its ambrosia-sweet insides with a mildly bitter skin. While they are available all summer, plums are at their best for only a brief period of time (July through August), so take advantage!

In addition to their enchanting flavor, plums are loaded with nutrients — antioxidants such as Vitamin C and phytonutrients, potassium and fiber. And your average plum is just 36 calories, so you can have two or three as a snack.

When shopping for plums, pick out round, even fruit that yield just a bit under pressure (they can finish ripening at home at room temperature, but if they're too hard, they won't taste as good when they do ripen). The best plums will retain the powdery, dusty-looking "bloom" — this indicates they have not been over-handled.

Ripe plums can be refrigerated for up to four days. They can also be made into jams and jellies, cooked into cobblers or added to meat dishes, but really, they're best all on their own. A naked, unadorned plum that's achieved its peak ripeness is an unforgettable experience.

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