Yesterday marked my long ride ever, coming in at approximately 139 miles as a part of the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race. We headed out to the beach (Lincoln City) on Friday evening and stayed in a suite at the Inn at Spanish Head thanks to team president Jim who served as sugar daddy for the evening. [...]
Archive for March, 2010
Chris DuBois posted a great report on this one, so I’ll let him do the storytelling this week.
This one could be of some use to all you cyclists wanting to improve nutrition or generally eat well.
It has come to my attention recently that I eat nutritiously. Very nutritiously. It’s been an interesting progression, but thinking back I gained some insight into how that has come about – mostly relating to the series of events shaping my life over the last two years. It can be broken down into some distinct phases:
College: Broke collegiate cyclist. Most of my diet consisted of staples like pasta, rice, grains, and vegetables. I usually managed to eat on less than $100 a month. For the most part it was healthy eating, but with that kind of food budget there were compromises nutritionally, and I while I was managing to fuel myself well, I was definitely lacking the proper amounts of some key nutrients.
Life on the Road: My full-time traveling marketing gig in the 2nd half of 2008 really reintroduced me to the concept of good eating through the form of hotel continental breakfasts and a daily meal stipend. However, when I say good eating, I’m referring primarily to taste (see here, here, and here for some examples). Thanks to a good amount of running and working out, somehow I actually lost weight while basically eating out three times a day for that long. Don’t try that one at home.
Job? What Job?: A bad economy put a damper on the job search following the contract travel job ending, but for five months I lived with a very gracious aunt and uncle and ate mostly whatever they were eating. This consisted of a fairly typical diet of a Midwesterner who migrated to the Pacific Northwest – hearty foods like meat and potatoes, pasta and rice dishes, and salads.
On My Own: A new job and living completely on my own for the first time ever gave me a blank slate as far as eating goes. Combined with a more flexible budget than my college scrimping, I now spend a bit over $200 a month on food, and that generally goes a long way.
Here’s what you’ll find in my cupboards/fridge these days. Note the categorizations:
Bananas, apples, applesauce, orange juice, grapes/raisins, frozen blueberries, squash, beans (black, pinto, kidney, re-fried, red), green beans, broccoli, spinach, corn, zucchini, onion, green pepper, garlic
Cheerios/whole grain cereal, oats, pancake mix, granola, jasmine rice, pasta, tortillas, wheat bread, bagels
Protein Sources & Good Fats
Avacados, peanut butter, roasted unsalted nuts, fish oil, chicken breasts, turkey lunchmeat, milk, tuna, whey protein powder, eggs, yogurt
Saffola mayo, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, stir fry sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard, soy sauce, parmesan cheese, cream cheese, salsa
Dill pickles, corn tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, microbrews, red wine
Note what’s lacking – specifically pretty much any sort of processed food, as well as much of anything with added sugars. The impact has been really interesting. My tastes have changed to some extent, with processed foods now tasting “processed”, if that makes any sense. Raw and plain foods taste better, and by cutting out most added sugars, now when I do eat something with high sugar content, the sweetness can almost be too much. You body definitely likes this sort of diet.
As far as cycling goes, your body REALLY likes this sort of diet. I’ve never felt this good training, I recover quickly, and I pay particular attention to eating foods with lots of proteins. I still eat a ton – probably twice what your normal person would (should) be eating, but I’ve still cut some weight/fat and added muscle mass in the last year. I think in addition to a great training regimen and getting good rest, one of my secret weapons to being strong on the bike this year is how I’ve been eating. And when I do eat sugary/high glucose foods intentionally while riding, the kick my body gets from it is huge- to the point that it’s very noticeable.
While I’m pretty happy where things are at currently, I have some minor upcoming changes to make:
1 – I plan to switch to brown rice from white rice. More nutritious, and while I currently don’t like the taste/texture as well as white rice, I think I’ll get used to it.
2 – I’m going to cut some glutens out. While I don’t think I have gluten intolerance (which does run in my family to some extent), humans just aren’t genetically programmed to digest gluten very well. I definitely notice that my body doesn’t process it as well. While I don’t plan to cut it out entirely, I think I’m going to eat more substitutes like quinoa, rice pasta, etc.
3 – This one should be a fun one. I’m always tempted by things like hummus, pesto, and salsa at the store, but the fact of the matter is that they’re all ridiculously overpriced given the manufacturing costs. So instead, I’m going to get myself a decent food processor and make them. Hummus is the first experiment. I’ve already got the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and other ingredients. That $4.99 2 cup tub of hummus you find at the grocery store? I can make that same quantity for a little over a dollar. The food processor will pay for itself in a hurry.
Speaking of food, it’s now 7PM the evening before a bike race. Time to go make myself a nice big stir fry.