Friday, March 21, 2014

Three Good Finds

Race season is right around the corner, and with that comes the return to race food, aka, Gus, packaged drink mixes, nutrition bars and all that good stuff.

In recent weeks I have found a few things that are working for me.  Here are a few of my favorites:

1.   Salted Caramel Gu
Yum is all I have to say about this GU.  And when has anyone ever said that about GU?  This energy gel is sweet with a hint of salt, one of my favorite combinations.  I took this gel on mile six of my long run this weekend and I was happy to take another one at mile 11.  The flavor tastes too good to be true.  I am sold. Easy energy in a convenient 100 calorie package.  Time to start buying these in bulk.

2.  Skratch Labs Apple Cinnamon Energy Hydration Drink Mix

 Another great find is this drink mix by Skratch Labs!  I initially started using the apple-cinnamon mix this winter, when I wanted a warm drink to fuel with, instead of a cold.  The boys at Bicycle Haus recommended this drink, and I have been a fan ever since.  Now that it's hit 80 when I ride, I can still use this drink for my extended Saturday rides.  And a secret trick but sort of a no-no, is I gulped a swig of my apple-cinnamon drink and then downed a salted caramel GU and the result: carmeled apple taste sensation in my mouth!  Lucky me!

3.  The Feed Zone
This cookbook has recipes for both "portable food" (bite sized portions you can package and take with you on a ride) or table dining.  What do I mean?  The author, Allen Lim, spent a few years as chef for a Tour de France cycling team.  He began experimenting with using REAL food for his cyclists while they were riding-- think rice cakes and homemade energy bars.

An exert from his book:  When Dr. Allen Lim left the lab to work with professional cyclists, he found a peloton weary of eating. For years the sport's elite athletes had been underperforming on bland fare and processed bars and gels. Science held few easy answers for nutrition in the real world, where hungry athletes must buy ingredients; make meals; and enjoy eating before, during, and after each workout, day after day.

So Lim set out to make eating delicious and practical. His journey began with his mom, took him inside the kitchens of the Tour de France, and delivered him to a dinner party where he met celebrated chef Biju Thomas.

Chef Biju and Dr. Lim vetted countless meals with the world's best endurance athletes in the most demanding test kitchens. In The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes, Thomas and Lim share their energy-packed, wholesome recipes to make meals easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and better for performance.

The Feed Zone Cookbook provides 150 delicious recipes that even the busiest athletes can prepare in less time than it takes to warm up for a workout. With simple recipes requiring just a handful of ingredients, Biju and Lim show how easy it is for athletes to prepare their own food, whether at home or on the go.

I bought this book and have been trying the recipes daily.  I like that there are no exotic ingredients needed.  The recipes are easy and basic and, delicious.  Packaged foods are easy, but these recipes are more delicious than the alternative and keep me topped off when I am hungry or fatigued.  Way to go, Skratch Labs!

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