Whole food nutrition a better way to fuel up before, during and after a workout | VailDaily.com

Whole food nutrition a better way to fuel up before, during and after a workout

If you are preparing for a mountain bike race or the 57-mile Whistle Pig Gravel Fondo on your road or cyclocross bike, then training not only includes time on the bike, but also the proper nutrition.

There are plenty of energy drinks and bars, gels and blocks to fuel you, but why grab something that is engineered when you can get a boost from nutritious whole foods?

That's the idea behind the "Feed Zone" series of cookbooks by Dr. Allen Lim and professional chef Biju Thomas. Together, they have revolutionized the way bikers, triathletes and runners think about food and sports nutrition.

"The 'Feed Zone Cookbook' was a natural by product of the cooking that chef Biju and I were doing for professional cyclists. Early in my career as a sport scientist, I learned that too many young but talented athletes didn't have the basic life skills, like cooking, to take good care of themselves," Lim said. "So I started teaching athletes basic recipes and eventually teamed up with Biju to help create simple, nutritious and wholesome meals for athletes."

'The Whole Equation'

Competitive cyclist and former member of the men's U.S. Ski Team, Michael Friedberg noticed he felt better on and off the trail after adopting the "Feed Zone" recipes.

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"I've been an athlete my whole life. When I was on the U.S. Ski Team, we were so convinced that bars, shakes and supplements were what we needed and we often replaced meals with them. I wish I knew then what we know now," Friedberg said.

"You can build strength, endurance and flexibility but if you just eat junk, you're not rounding out the whole equation. Proper nutrition is crucial to all aspects of training," Friedberg said.

Dr. Lim makes the case for real food as a more easily digestible, higher-performance source of energy than prepackaged fuel products. From savory to sweet, there's something that is easy to make and ready to go when you are.

Watch the video to learn how quickly we made rice cakes with eggs and bacon (they're delicious) for your next ride. Try making it at home and discover why real food tastes better, digests easily and helps you achieve your best. For more information, visit http://www.feedzonecookbook.com.