1.26.2014

I Eat, A LOT.

Being a cyclist something that I am constantly trying to remind myself is to eat while I am out on a pedal. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a summit where Chris Carmichael spoke. Several times he mentioned how important it was to make sure that you eat during and after a ride longer than an hour and a half. This is something I have struggled with since I actually hopped on a bike and started to take it mildly-serious - I always forget to eat (I forget to drink water too, this was an issue I had to deal with back when I was racing mountain bikes - I would get to the feed station and toss a completely full bottle. Being the little hippy that I have turned into that is EXTREMELY wasteful).

When the weekend rolls around, unless I have some fabulous 48-hour adventure planed (which hasn't happened lately) I wake up, eat, and head out on my bike for an un-determinded amount of time. Sometimes with fellow pedal-pushers - most of the time solo aka no one to reminded me that we should be eating. For the rides that I do push-out with pals, they normally laugh at what I decide to snack on. When I leave I toss some type of bar/carb/sweet in my jersey and fill-up a water bottle. Then, out the door. Somedays, I just depend on remembering to grab some cash prior to leaving my house to stop at one of the uber convenient gas stations all over SoCal. Those stations are great until you buy more crap than you can fit in your jersey - most being unhealthy. 

Within the last year of riding I have realized that on most rides I tend to eat less than my body tells me it needs - thus meaning not always grabbing a Clif Bar (although they are soooops delicious!), Hammer Nutrition Bars, or whatever else if floating around is going to fill me up even though I think it will. Lately, I have been concerned about the wait that sits on my lower-back (hi, I am getting old), so much so that I have started to ride with a saddle pack. I try to stay away from gels and other stuff that leaves a weird a film in my mouth - you know what I am talking about? Believe it or not I chew a lot of gum while I am riding on a soft pedal during the weekends…weird… I know… 

So, here are a few recipes that I have gravitated towards. These little treats are all jersey-friendly sizes, and really delicious - plus you can really play around withe the ingredients and make sure they suite your diet and cravings while you are our pounding out some miles. 

Protein Bites by Vega - I have recently grown fond of the Vega. It is a plant based protein mix (I have morphed into an 80/20 vegetarian within the last 7 months - without even really trying). When I have gone on my crazy 3-day juice benders I have to have one of these protein drinks daily in order to get the protein I need to still ride. So, these protein bites? They are awesome! They remind me of these little peanut butter balls my mom used to make in Vermont when I was little, sans powders sugar. A few of them fit perfectly in your pocket - plus they make a yummy mid-day desk jockey snack. I like this recipe because you can really adjust it per your needs - like adding natural sugars, salts, etc. and you can make them in a jiffy. 

Power Hungry is the ultimate blog for easy, healthy bars. If you hunt around you will see that the author has a plethora of recipes, almost all based around the raw diet. Of course, I am a sucker for super dark chocolate, so every time I make these more than enough chocolate goodness end up in them. You can buy all the ingredients for these bars in the bulk isle of your health food store (which FYI today I discovered Beet Chips, HOLY MACKEREL! How have I missed out on these for so long - clearly I love beets, which is only a recently acquired taste).

I haven't had a chance to make these Dark Chocolate Energy Bites yet, but, they seem like they would be great for a little snack. As for riding with them…probably not the best idea because in this SoCal heat - I'd imagine they would melt quickly. Made a post-ride/dessert? 

Okay, so really - what are my three favorite ride snacks? Don't laugh…

1) Waffles with Peanut Butter & Nutella - I recently decided to treat myself to a waffle iron since this ride snack was getting so out of hand. I make a slew of waffles over the weekend (I use all natural ingredients - duh!) , and toss them in the freezer in individual zip-locks. Right before I head out, I toss it in the microwave and top it with my fav toppings. Honestly, at about mile 70 this is the best treat evvvver. They saved me during the Rapha Gentlemen's Race

2) I don't care how bad you may think this next snack is….Starbursts. I never leave home without a few. Are you thinking "oh my gosh, little Miss 'I eat so healthy' is saying to ride with this crap.." yes, that is exactly what I am saying. First off, they don't take up much room. Secondly, they provide the perfect little jolt of sugar. Third, you can literally buy them anywhere and they don't make you mouth feel all yucky. Like I said, I always have these little sweet treats with me - ask the guys I ride with if there is any better treat after a long, hard climb than a Starburst (warning: I only share the red ones. The pink, orange and yellow ones I keep for myself). 

3) So, Trader Joe's makes these little to-die for Belgian butter waffle cookies. They have a ga-zillion calories in them, but, ohhhhh-man they are so great on a long ride. Plus, if you are out pushing 100 it doesn't really matter that you just consumed 300 cals in 6 cookies (ughhh). These are a treat that you don't have to guzzle down a bunch of water in order to enjoy, and they again do not take up much room. Although these do not have protein in them, they do a great job at keeping you going. Honeystinger makes their own version of these morsels, if you feel like going with a more bike-centric label. 

So, laugh if you want - but - my three little go-to snacks have yet to prove me wrong. Drink water. Eat Food. Replenish your body with adequate rest, hydration and food after a long ride. Take the time to stretch…

Sending Love from SoCal, 

Xx

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