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February 28, 2006

the endurance diet

been working on figuring out what exactly are the targets we should be hitting.

the endurance diet:

PROTEIN, 12-20%.

CARBOHYDRATES, 50-60%: Ninety 90% of the carbohydrates are from complex whole food produce while less than -10% of the carbohydrates as processed simple sugar. Fiber intake ratio is minimally 30 grams soluble fiber to 10 grams insoluble fiber.

FATS, 15%: Fat intake is recommended at no more than 5% saturated fats to 10% poly-mono unsaturated fats, translating to the ratio to 1 saturated "bad" fat for every 3 "good" mono-polyunsaturated fats.

there's 5% missing in there. any ideas?

a couple of issues to weigh (no pun intended):

protein intake

the "endurance diet" specifies 12-20% calories from protein. another source specifies 1.2g/kg body weight for days of excercise lasting 1-1.5 hrs, 1.4g/kg for days with exercise lasting 2-4 hrs, 1.7g/kg for 4+ hrs (actually, they said 5 or more, leaving us to only guess at what to do for 4-5 hrs) and finally, 2.0g/kg for strength or short distance speed. too much protein is certainly a problem, so i expect that a person needs to consider their protein needs in those absolute terms, but keep in mind their daily totals and how it fits in. for me, at 170 lbs, i need a mere 92-109 grams as i rode only 2 hrs. for a total calorie count, i'd be 1840-3066 to keep my protein calories 12-20% (at 92g) or 2180-3633, so this seems reasonable.


first thing: calories from carbohydrate should only count net carbs right? that is, fiber doesn't contribute calories. i haven't seen anything to indicate otherwise. i almost never eat anything that isn't whole grain. its really the only way to go. for baking, consider whole wheat pastry flour. i find it in bulk at our local co-op and whole foods. i use that in cookies and pancakes and nobody has ever been the wiser.


man, the stuff is everywhere! i've seen recomendations for persons of my activity level to consume as much as 30% calories from fat. i don't know. i haven't traditionally been to afraid of fat, but i also have a higher body fat than most competitive cyclists. try to get mostly unsaturated fats from plants and nuts. choose non-fat dairy products and supplement with nut fats. look for omega fatty acids as well. i like flax meal. fish is the best.

chew your food.


hot tip from a broadmark/hagen berman teammates. links!
Big index of healthy foods, tons of info for all of them and recipes to match,1538,FO,00.html
Another nice database of foods with info, a bit more general but provides nice little snapshots of why you should eat a particular food.,1455,,00.html
same site, here they are some nice recipes

Will, rider at Tiaa-Cref
Nice set of links at the bottom of page.
Commentary on food
Massive index of links to other more specific types of food and stores.
General reference website, has good info on various varieties of items like say winter squash.
Interesting facts and reference on food.
a blog like website, sometimes has interesting links, generally not health oriented though.
Have a nice line of natural products, request a free catalogue and get some samples of their gourmet salt.

beans for breakfast

i love beans. especially because they come in a can and can be purchased quite inexpensively. of course beans prepared from their dry state taste better, but that isn't the issue. we want fast and easy.

  • dice and saute in 1 Tbs of olive oil 1/2 cup onion.
  • drain and rinse 1 15oz can of black (or kidney or pinto) beans
  • after about 5 minutes, add:
    • a clove or two of diced or pressed garlic
    • 1 Tbsp of cumin (i never actually measure)
    • a bay leaf (not critical)
  • let this saute for a minute or so longer and add rinsed beans and 1 14 oz can of tomatoes
  • cover and simmer over low heat. if there's a lot of water from the tomatos, don't cover
  • on the side (do for each serving):
    • fry one egg white and one whole egg
    • toast 1 english muffin (or two pieces of toast)

the beans and tomatos make two servings, so split it and save half for your lunch or tomorrow's breakfast or your post ride meal. i like the eggs on top of my beans and the toast underneath it all. salsa is good too. especially búfalo.

calories: 412:

  • 9 g (20%) fat

  • 74g (55%) net carb; 17 grams fiber

  • 25g (24%) protein

this recipe is reasonably lowfat. the olive oil adds 40 calories! potent stuff! taking the whole egg and replacing it with 1 egg white gets you down to 359 calories with 11% fat, 63% net carb and 26% protein. just depends on your needs: on days of long training, you might be burning up to 30% calories from fat. rest weeks and interval days have much lower fat requirements (but protein should stay up).

i'm not sure how complete this protein is. 14g are from beans, 6 from wheat and tomatos which when combined is complete. but what ratio is required to be complete? adding a vegetable protein would be ideal. collards is a good idea.

February 25, 2006

better eating = better performing

Athletes Diet: The triathletes who ate nearly twice as much, yet gained no weight, and improved their performance times by 8 per cent.

Most athletes say they are aware of the importance of good nutrition, but when they sit down to eat, their patterns of food intake are often considerably less than optimal. One key problem is that athletes often take in less energy than they really need to support strenuous training. Another is that they simply don't ingest enough carbohydrate.

dietary resources

a few good resources for starting out:

there are lots of places to get nutrition data, but this site is the best organised and most powerful. they don't have the whole wheat pastry flour that i typically use to back but you can enter that data and use it in your "pantry" to put into recipes. a great tool.

hammer nutrition's resource page

these guys know quality and they know the science. up to date advice based on the latest peer reviewed science. i also use their protein powders frequently in my cooking.

oatmeal breakfast

here's a solid and well balanced oatmeal breakfast. see the extended entry for the data and variations (like w/o protein powder):

  • boil 1.25 C water w/ 1/2 tsp salt
  • in a bowl, mix:
    • 3/4 C rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup apple, chopped
    • 18 grams Whey or Soy Protein (check your protein for the right measurement)
  • add mixed ingredients slowly while stirring to boiling water. stir sufficiently and turn burner to low.
  • toast an english muffin
  • fry one egg white and one whole egg (to keep the oil to a minimum, i use a misto oil sprayer)
  • transfer cooked oatmeal (probably 5 mins cooking time) to a bowl and add:
    • 1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
    • 2 Tsp (tablespoon) ground flax meal
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • top toasted english muffin with egg whites (salt and black pepper to taste)

calories: 694, 21% fat, 52% net carb, 27% protein

blackstrap molasses provides a whopping 20% of both your calcium and your iron in 1 Tbsp. if splitting this for two people (recommended for normal people) i'd do 1 Tbspn for both


w/o protein powder: 4 egg whites;

raisins instead of apples: 1/8 cup (raisins pack a lot of sugar).

lower calorie option (single serving):

  • skip the protein powder and toast.
  • reduce oats to 1/2 cup
  • stir into oats just as they start to simmer 2 egg whites (or serve them on the side)
  • calories: 303, 21% fat, 57% net carb, 22% protein