Fuel for Cyclists
For the past 40 years, I’ve treated my mouth as a mobile garbage disposal, and I’ve got the body to prove it. That recently changed when I finally felt the difference between working out after a few days of eating crap vs. working out after a few days of eating healthy.
I think the reason I’ve never noticed this before because I’ve probably never eaten enough consecutive healthy meals in a row to make a difference. But it’s never too late to make a change — particularly when it is so helpful for cycling (more energy and less body weight are good things).
Now that I have had this experience, I’m finding that there actually are healthy meals that genuinely taste good. Here are a few of my discoveries.
1) Oatmeal — actually, this isn’t much of a discovery. This is one food I already knew was good fuel for cycling.
2) Perfect Foods Bars — The first time I tried a Perfect Foods Bar I actually had to call my food and fitness guru friend, Shannon, to help reassure me they were healthy — seriously, they taste that good. They make a much more pleasant alternative to Power Bars or even a good meal replacement.
3) Ken’s Race Day Waffles — I’ve yet to try these as we have no waffle iron, but, when it comes to cycling, my pal, Ken, knows his stuff. Politics is another matter, but that’s a different topic for a different blog. Recipe below.
4) Coconut Water — This stuff is now packaged by a few different companies. Basically, it is the liquid found inside young, green coconuts. You find it at hippie health food stores. It is an awesome natural thirst-quencher and is LOADED with electrolytes. For some it is an acquired taste, but a taste worth acquiring. I crave it.
5) Rokit Fuel — Rokit Fuel is a cereal designed for sports performance. And it does work as advertised. I have to be truthful — this stuff can sometimes be a little hard to choke down. It tastes a bit like bird seed (or at least what I imagine bird seed might taste like) and has a similar texture. I think this is because it pretty much is bird seed. Regardless, I will continue eating it because it works.
6) Horizon Guest House Wild Rice Cereal — The Horizon Guest House is an awesome place to stay on the island of Hawaii near Kona (home of the Iron Man Triathlon). I’m sitting on the back porch overlooking the ocean and the pool as I type this. It is a ridiculously pleasant place to blog. The owner serves what seems to be a healthy cereal made of complex carbs. It does have butter and sugar in it, which is probably why it tastes so good. Definitely nicer than Rokit Fuel. I look forward to making it at home and testing its effectiveness as a cycling fuel. The recipe is below.
Ken’s Race Day Waffles
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup barley flour
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4-tbsp flax seed meal
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2-tbsp brown sugar
2 cups soy milk (or regular milk, or a cup of each)
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs separated
In a medium bowl mix all the dry ingredients except for the pecans. In a large bowl beat the egg yolks, milk, oil and vanilla until blended. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. Stir in the pecans. In a small bowl beat the egg whites to soft peaks (I do this by hand with a whisk but you can use a mixer). Fold the egg whites gently into the batter. Bake using your waffle irons directions. Serve with a sliced banana on top and warm maple syrup. Add bacon or eggs on the side if you’d like some protein. You can also simplify by not separating the eggs but the waffles won’t be as light.
Horizon Guest House Wild Rice Cereal
8 c water
1/2 c wild rice
1/2 c pearl barley
1/2 c steel-cut oats
1/2 c bulgar wheat
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped pitted dates
1/4 c dark brown sugar
3 tbs butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter 2 1/2 qt ovenproof dish. In prepared dish, mix wild rice with remaining ingredients. Add water [I use boiling water to shorten the bake time]. Cover with foil and bake until grains are tender, water is absorbed and cereal is creamy [about 1 1/2 hours]. *About mid-way through, I usually take it out and add more water if needed & also stir. Store in refrigerator when cool and reheat servings as needed. May be frozen.