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Zone in on health with cookbook authors at The Bookworm of Edwards

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From their personal experiences as athletes, family men and foodies, Biju Thomas and Allen Lim have crafted recipes that will fuel the most grueling workout but are still approachable for home chefs and can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of athletic proclivity.
VeloPress | Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: “Feed Zone Table,” with Biju Thomas and Allen Lim.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, April 28.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk at Edwards.

Cost: $15; includes a tasting of recipes from the book.

More information: Call 970-926-7323, or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.

EDWARDS — Dinnertime in Colorado looks different for many families, especially if a family member is an athlete. Training regimes and sports nutrition entertain non-athletes for only so long and can often lead to isolation for the athlete. If this sounds familiar, you are in luck: Colorado residents Biju Thomas and Allen Lim have released their latest cookbook, “Feed Zone Table: Family-Style Meals to Nourish Life and Sport,” geared for optimal sports nutrition in a family-friendly way.

On Thursday, The Bookworm of Edwards will welcome the authors to discuss what inspired the book, the latest science in sports nutrition and the importance of family support in a competitive sport environment. Their presentation will cover everything from favorite recipes to stories from the road touring with professional cycling groups.

Lim, a former sport scientist for the Pro Cycling Tour and a coach for several professional cycling teams, writes, “Team dinners reinforced … that food isn’t just a source of fuel, as it often seems to be during training and competition. It’s also a source of belonging.” Thomas, a Denver celebrity chef at his restaurant Little Curry Shop, has also worked with the cycling scene, providing meals for some of the sport’s top athletes.

Both are acutely aware of how food not only energizes the body but also can feed interpersonal relationships.

“Although our need for food is a given, social fuel may very well be as important as chemical fuel,” the book states.

Non-isolationist recipes

From their personal experiences as athletes, family men and foodies, they have crafted recipes that will fuel the most grueling workout but are still approachable for home chefs and families and can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of athletic proclivity.

They also hope to mitigate the isolation that many athletes face and encourage a closer connection between athletes and their families to help manage competition stress.

“This book is a resource to help bolster the fragile line separating athletic drive from isolation,” the preface states.

Lim and Thomas accomplish this goal by creating recipes that fuel athletes and appeal to anyone who likes good food. Recipes use fresh ingredients, which are important for everyone to eat to maintain general health. They argue that there is no specific “way that athletes eat for performance that is somehow different from how non-athletes eat for health and well-being.”

Flavors to appeal

The recipes span from classics, such as hummus and guacamole, to more unusual, including tuna-mushroom salad with lemon tarragon dressing, for appetizers. Thomas’ Indian background comes to the fore in several recipes, adding much-needed flavor to healthy eating. His masala chicken wrap with cabbage slaw and red chicken with baked biriyani rice are two examples of flavorful and easy-to-make entrees.

Cultural variation

The book doesn’t neglect other cultures — the authors have included a pad Thai recipe and pay homage to the South with their jambalaya — and they don’t skimp on the dessert, as some sports nutrition books do. Baklava, baked granola crisps and almond cornbread with stone fruit will please diners with more sophisticated tastes. The kids will be thrilled with the addition of peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies and dark chocolate bark with spiced pumpkin seeds.

The book can end here for non-athlete diners who are content with eating good, wholesome foods. But for those wishing to learn more about what they eat and for athletes who are counting calories and other information, there are detailed nutritional facts in the back of the book. This section makes it easy for athletes to ensure they are receiving optimal nutrition, and can simplify meal planning for the home-cook.

“Feed Zone Table” is about “using fresh, whole ingredients, tasting, modifying and having fun” that can be altered according to taste and preference. So don’t drag out the dusty carb counter. Personalize this cookbook to your family’s needs and enjoy the company around your table eating good food.


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