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Old 08-20-12, 06:08 PM   #1
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Food. What do you try to eat frequently that's changed your health for the better?

Preferably, something you make sure to eat regulary when touring.

For me, it's a daily dose of fortified oatmeal with 3 tbls raw honey. No more diverticulities or bronchitis. Make sure I've got both when touring. As a bonus, honey delivers a quick energy wallop when I feel a bonk coming on. Quicker than a Snicker bar.
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Old 08-20-12, 06:44 PM   #2
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I've been a strict vegetarian since 1988, when I was 26 years old. Had I kept on shoving greasy meat and cheese down my trap all these years, I don't think I'd be in the cycling shape I'm in as I approach 50.

One of the coolest things about being vegetarian is that I don't have to modify my diet at all when I am touring. Pasta, rice, beans, and veggies seem to work fine as fuel for pedaling.
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Old 08-20-12, 08:28 PM   #3
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Vegetarian diet doesn't work with all people, it didn't with me. I had a family friend who was strict vegetarian and certified dietitian with a masters in this sort of thing, my family did what she said to the letter, and my energy levels plummeted, we tried the diet for 8 or 9 months and she knew my energy levels plummeted and added more proteins into the diet to get me back up and nothing she did worked. Went back to meat and within a week I was back to normal. Funny thing is, well not so funny, she and couple of other people we knew that were all into this veggie diet are all dead from various cancers.

So I eat whatever strikes my fancy. And I haven't ever taken supplements even when I use to race. Although I did find out something interesting; I started drinking Espresso about 15 years or so ago, prior to drinking espresso I got an average of one cold a year, now I average one cold about every 4 to 5 years. And the colds now last an average of about 4 to 5 days whereas before they lasted about 7 to 8 days.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:52 PM   #4
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I started drinking Espresso about 15 years or so ago, prior to drinking espresso I got an average of one cold a year, now I average one cold about every 4 to 5 years. And the colds now last an average of about 4 to 5 days whereas before they lasted about 7 to 8 days.
Not into expresso myself, but coffee, which I am into, is getting a great press lately. Something about antioxidants. Hope honey doesn't get too popular. The price would sky rocket. High enough now.

I too eat whatever I fancy. Just not much of some of it. Think cheesecake, ice cream, etc.
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Old 08-21-12, 01:32 AM   #5
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Omnivour pure and simple. Restrictive diets have caused more problems than they fix. I cut out processed foods and soda type drinks and my health increased tremendously. My wife (and doctor) are sure I would have died two years ago if I didn't fix my intake. I still eat foods that are considered taboo to a healthy diet, bacon and others, but I choose them very carefully and follow a weekly nutritional balance. I could care less what my fats or salts are from day to day, I look at it on a week to monthly balance. If I eat to much fat on this meal I back off on a few meals to balance it out, same with protiens and carbs. That way I don't end up with cravings and end up binging on crap or quiting all together.

I work in a major healthfood chain and see more and more Ex-vegitarians/vegans that had to give up that lifestyle due to health reasons. I'm not saying vegetarian diets are bad I'm just saying that to follow such a restrictive diet one MUST do their homework and be diligent on their diet or your going to have problems later in life. Quiting processed foods doesn't cause any health risks, but you can now add salt when you like to
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Old 08-21-12, 05:41 AM   #6
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Vegetarian diet doesn't work with all people, it didn't with me. I had a family friend who was strict vegetarian and certified dietitian with a masters in this sort of thing, my family did what she said to the letter, and my energy levels plummeted, we tried the diet for 8 or 9 months and she knew my energy levels plummeted and added more proteins into the diet to get me back up and nothing she did worked. Went back to meat and within a week I was back to normal. Funny thing is, well not so funny, she and couple of other people we knew that were all into this veggie diet are all dead from various cancers.

So I eat whatever strikes my fancy. And I haven't ever taken supplements even when I use to race. Although I did find out something interesting; I started drinking Espresso about 15 years or so ago, prior to drinking espresso I got an average of one cold a year, now I average one cold about every 4 to 5 years. And the colds now last an average of about 4 to 5 days whereas before they lasted about 7 to 8 days.
So espresso prevents the common cold and a vegetarian diet can cause cancer. Wow, I'm sure glad I come to bike forums to get my medical and nutritional information because all those medical journals must be hiding something. Surely all those studies they've done over the years have confirmed the same thing. Why don't they want us to know the truth about vegetarian diets and espresso.

If you follow a vegetarian diet and eat the processed junk from the center of the store you will have problems. If you mostly confine any diet to the crap found in the middle of the store you are in for trouble. Eat from the perimeter of the store. Eat fresh food and monitor your macro-nutrients until you get a feel for how to get what you need.

The one food for a healthy life? I'd go with oatmeal with a little whey protein, flax seed meal and blueberries.

Wanna know the truth? Actuarial tables used by life insurance companies. Wanna know some BS? Listen to some guy on the internet tell you what happened to someone once while inferring a cause and effect.

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Old 08-21-12, 06:57 AM   #7
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I'm a moderate by nature and that's how I approached diet when I considered it important. I read a lot, I found many very different views each buttressed by a plethora of facts to support each dietary tactic. Pretty darn confusing! I turned some of the information around and made a diet that worked for my body. No more 'fast food' except as a rare treat, I'm still an omnivore and weighted about 70% vegetarian. Food preparation makes a difference. Taking into account one's activity rate makes a difference, some weeks we can be very active, some weeks not so much.

Shopping the walls of a grocery store works, but there are good veggies and fruits in the frozen foods section. A diet change can't bring on an illness all on it's own, IMHO. I do know two people that developed diabetes (type 1 and type 2), but there was the possibility of diabetes already for one and the other crash dieted. Cancer cause is hereditary and environmental and aside from what man-made chemicals that maybe on the food, I don't think is triggered often, if at all by a change in diet.

I'm regular Joe, not a professional in medicine or a dietician so like everything else on the 'net...

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Old 08-21-12, 07:16 AM   #8
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I'm a carb fan too. Rice, pasta, couscous (the other pasta), beans, and whole grains are a main source of energy. I add some veggies for nutrition. By way of animal protein I eat tuna, salmon, and sardines. Also PB & J, nuts & seeds. When I stop at a stand or market I'll eat bananas, apples, milk, and cheese. Those are all what I would consider the good foods I eat while touring. As far as "bad food" I scarf down a cheeseburger here and there too
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Old 08-21-12, 08:25 AM   #9
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Omnivour pure and simple. Restrictive diets have caused more problems than they fix. I cut out processed foods and soda type drinks and my health increased tremendously. My wife (and doctor) are sure I would have died two years ago if I didn't fix my intake. I still eat foods that are considered taboo to a healthy diet, bacon and others, but I choose them very carefully and follow a weekly nutritional balance. I could care less what my fats or salts are from day to day, I look at it on a week to monthly balance. If I eat to much fat on this meal I back off on a few meals to balance it out, same with protiens and carbs. That way I don't end up with cravings and end up binging on crap or quiting all together.
+1, especially on avoiding processed foods as someone else notes. It's all about moderation and making smart choices over time. Burgers, pizza and bacon are fine once in a while. I had a burger, the infamous double pork chop sandwich from Pork Chop John's in Butte and a steak on a 10-day tour lasy year. I also cooked a several meals of pasta with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, spinach and asparagus and grilled some salmon accompanied by a black bean salad with onions, peppers and fresh cilantro.

Olive oil is a staple on the road and at home. Creations like this are the norm, not the exception, when I cook on tour:

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Old 08-21-12, 08:42 AM   #10
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So espresso prevents the common cold and a vegetarian diet can cause cancer. Wow, I'm sure glad I come to bike forums to get my medical and nutritional information because all those medical journals must be hiding something. Surely all those studies they've done over the years have confirmed the same thing. Why don't they want us to know the truth about vegetarian diets and espresso.

If you follow a vegetarian diet and eat the processed junk from the center of the store you will have problems. If you mostly confine any diet to the crap found in the middle of the store you are in for trouble. Eat from the perimeter of the store. Eat fresh food and monitor your macro-nutrients until you get a feel for how to get what you need.

The one food for a healthy life? I'd go with oatmeal with a little whey protein, flax seed meal and blueberries.

Wanna know the truth? Actuarial tables used by life insurance companies. Wanna know some BS? Listen to some guy on the internet tell you what happened to someone once while inferring a cause and effect.
Please go back and show me where I said eating a veggie diet causes cancer or that Espresso prevents colds? You read a lot more into that then there was. I said was all those Vegan friends that I had all died of cancer, I never said the vegies caused their deaths, I said I thought it was funny, though not really funny, they they all died of cancer and the rest of my friends who didn't do that sort of diet are mostly still alive except for a couple who died of heart attacks because they were overweight.

Then you come back and say the same crap!! If you eat from the middle of the store you'll have problems, please prove that. And the actuary tables do not show someone living longer who ate oatmeal, blueberrys, flax seed and blah blah blah nonsense. Actuary tables go by smokers and non smokers, overweight and not overweight, and the probably of death depending on the year of birth, and other current health issues that could lead to premature death, they don't report on what food you eat will determine your age of death.

It appears you just like to make a mountain out of a molehill.

I eat whatever I want, I'm on this earth but once and I intend to enjoy it, and eating only veggies is not all that enjoyable for me. Before you blow that out of proportion, I said "for me"!!
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Old 08-21-12, 10:41 AM   #11
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I'm afraid I can't contribute my health or health issues to any single food or action in my life. Smoking and heaving drinking coupled with years of processed food and being overweight can definitely be contributors to any health issues I have, but I don't know if what order or to what degree.

The biggest things I've done to improve my health is to lose weight and decrease my processed food consumption and increase my fat production. My blood sugar and emotional issues are much improved, and by association improved the overall quality of my life.

I don't think anyone knows enough about how the human body works to tell us what we should or shouldn't be eating. I believe that what works for one individual won't work for another, because we are all slightly different.

If I had to pick a single food that's changed my life for the better, I would have to say eggs. Just because I love them for breakfast and they keep me going all morning. Before that, my breakfast of oatmeal has me crashing by 8:00 or 9:00 AM.
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Old 08-21-12, 11:34 AM   #12
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Preferably, something you make sure to eat regulary when touring.

For me, it's a daily dose of fortified oatmeal with 3 tbls raw honey. No more diverticulities or bronchitis. Make sure I've got both when touring. As a bonus, honey delivers a quick energy wallop when I feel a bonk coming on. Quicker than a Snicker bar.
About the only thing I've eaten anything like "regularly" on this tour has been ice cream. The benefits of ice cream ... cold, delicious, dairy product, calories/energy, and eating copious quantities of ice cream prevents me from gaining any weight.


But aside from ice cream, I like variety when I'm not on a tour and when I am on a tour. The last thing I'd want to do is to carry a bag of oatmeal with me on a tour with the intent of consuming a bowl of oatmeal every day. Boring! The only way I'd do something like that is if I were touring very remotely and there weren't other options, or if I were on an extremely tight budget.

One of the best parts of touring is trying out the food we find along the way ... Rowan ordered haggis in Scotland, for example, and I even tried a little bit of that. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. But then I discovered Millionaire Bars in Scotland ... WOW are those ever good! When I toured Queensland, Australia, I ate a lot of the fresh fruit available there ... ripe mangos from right off the tree, freshly picked bananas and lychee. In Germany, we ate a lot of meat ... sausages and veal.

But overall, we try to maintain a fairly well-balanced diet including the food groups: veggies & fruit, grains, dairy, and protein.

Here is Canada's Food Guide for reference:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-gu.../index-eng.php


As for honey ... it causes me to bonk. I eat honey on toast before a ride, and within 20 km I can hardly ride in a straight line. I'd recommend being very careful with honey ... it tastes great and can provide some quick energy initially, but it can also bring your blood sugar levels down to an all-time low in the post-energy-boost crash. Be sure to have several granola bars with you when you ride if you opt to use honey to stabilize your blood sugar levels when you start the honey bonk.
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Old 08-21-12, 02:35 PM   #13
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Pork ribs.....I hated eating food that was supposedly good for me.....didn't work anyways,still got old.Pork ribs make me smile....

When I'm out touring,I try to buy cherries.I don't know why my body likes cherries but it does.

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Old 08-21-12, 02:49 PM   #14
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Rolled oats are my favorite on tour. At home too, for that matter. Instead of honey I add raisins and walnuts. The raisins are good to eat out of a bag for a quick sugar boost at any time, even in the rain. Good carbs, low glycemic index, with natural fruit sugar and pretty good fat from the tree nuts. It's the best breakfast I've found. I'll have some after dinner, too, if I need a little top-off. The ingredients are easy to find at a grocery store almost anywhere.

I'm also an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I have nothing against meat, I just don't like it. I keep telling myself I'll eat meat when I crave it, but that hasn't happened for 30 years.

My diet on tour is not the greatest--high carb and high fat from cheese, nuts, and oils. I try to carry fresh fruit and veggies every day, but it doesn't always work that way.
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Old 08-21-12, 03:14 PM   #15
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Rolled oats are my favorite on tour. At home too, for that matter. Instead of honey I add raisins and walnuts. The raisins are good to eat out of a bag for a quick sugar boost at any time, even in the rain. Good carbs, low glycemic index, with natural fruit sugar and pretty good fat from the tree nuts. It's the best breakfast I've found. I'll have some after dinner, too, if I need a little top-off. The ingredients are easy to find at a grocery store almost anywhere.

I'm also an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I have nothing against meat, I just don't like it. I keep telling myself I'll eat meat when I crave it, but that hasn't happened for 30 years.

My diet on tour is not the greatest--high carb and high fat from cheese, nuts, and oils. I try to carry fresh fruit and veggies every day, but it doesn't always work that way.
That's what I'm talking about. For you meat doesn't either work for you or it just is not needed for your body to perform. There are some pro racers that are strict vegans and suffer from no performance problems doing so, but there are many reports of pro riders and other athletes who tried vegan diets and their energy levels plummeted, like me. Everyone is different, everyone's body reacts differently to different foods, some people even have violent (allergic) reaction to certain foods. Everyone is different.

When I go on a weekend tour I'll go to some lake camp there and do some fishing, I love eating fresh fish...cooked of course (I won't do sushi, something about uncooked fish worries me). But when I ride a long distance I have no problem stopping at a fast food place and getting burger and fries, or a quicky mart and getting a whatever sandwich they have. And yes, pork ribs make me smile too!!!
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Old 08-21-12, 03:35 PM   #16
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Veg here, I will if needed, have dairy products. Oatmeal and lentils on tour are easy. I eat this stuff both on and off tour. Lots of energy.
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Old 08-21-12, 03:45 PM   #17
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Whole grains. Lots of fruit. Lots of veggies. Light on the red meat, heavier on skinless chicken and fish. Rare binges of Mexican, Chinese, Italian, or good 'ol steak or hamburger. But then again my girlfriend makes a mean Portabello mushroom burger. Every bit as good as any hamburger I've ever had.

What I don't eat anymore may have had as good of an effect as what I do. Namely, the daily Butterfinger bar I used to eat at work. Gave up the job, and the candy. Still eat desserts, but not on a regular basis. Moderation.
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Old 08-21-12, 05:56 PM   #18
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My diet on tour is not the greatest--high carb and high fat from cheese, nuts, and oils. I try to carry fresh fruit and veggies every day, but it doesn't always work that way.
A daily dose of V-8 will balance all that out nicely, and supply needed minerals and salt.

As for your fortified oatmeal, have you tried eating it uncooked? It's a great snack food and I was surprised to find it sorta melts in your mouth. Mine is a mix of rolled oats, cinnamon, milled flax seed, protein powder, and dried fruit. When eating it dry, on tour only, I add brown sugar.
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Old 08-21-12, 06:24 PM   #19
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It's more about what I don't eat on tour: fast food, packaged processed food. Don't eat it at home, don't eat it on tour. I'm mostly vegetarian on tour, as I don't know where the meat comes from when I buy it in the local store. I think over all I eat better at home, because I have more good stuff available, but try to do the same on tour.
On the last trip we took oatmeal for breakfast, rice, quinoa, lentils, orzo, various spices and dried herbs and bought fresh veggies and fruit for making dinners. Lunches ate more tricky as we stop along the way and eat what's available at a local diner or restaurant.

Cyclebum, when you buy your honey look for the unpasteurized one, otherwise it's just sugar.
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Old 08-21-12, 06:41 PM   #20
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Trying to stay on topic - the only thing that fits the description is ice cream. I eat a lot of different stuff though I wouldn't say any of it, other than the ice cream, has had some positive effect on my health. And the ice cream I wouldn't even make any health claims for, unless having a regular dose of a complete cycling food counts. For sure it makes me feel good.

I do wish we wouldn't lump all sorts of vegetable-based diets together. There's vegan and then there are all sorts of "vegetarian" diets which incorporate various animal protein and fat sources in various ways. The main thing I notice about the diet of various people is that those who are pragmatists - who eat what makes them feel good - generally seem healthier than those who are ideologues - who eat in pursuit of some ideal or follow someone else's plan. I think that rates a "duh!"
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Old 08-21-12, 07:58 PM   #21
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Cyclebum, when you buy your honey look for the unpasteurized one, otherwise it's just sugar.
Exactly. Switched couple of months ago to local source of raw. Oddly, some home processed honey doesn't disclose on the label. Lot of time, there'll be a phone # you can call.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:12 PM   #22
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Eating a diet more similar to the SEA/South/East Asians. It more out of preferring lower fat/fried food than the fatter Western type food. I find my energy level is a bit higher and the food is cheaper The only flaw to it is I'm forced to eat an extra meal per day, rice/rice noodles goes through my system very quickly.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:37 PM   #23
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It's more about what I don't eat on tour: fast food, packaged processed food. Don't eat it at home, don't eat it on tour. I'm mostly vegetarian on tour, as I don't know where the meat comes from when I buy it in the local store. I think over all I eat better at home, because I have more good stuff available, but try to do the same on tour.
On the last trip we took oatmeal for breakfast, rice, quinoa, lentils, orzo, various spices and dried herbs and bought fresh veggies and fruit for making dinners. Lunches ate more tricky as we stop along the way and eat what's available at a local diner or restaurant.

Cyclebum, when you buy your honey look for the unpasteurized one, otherwise it's just sugar.
Actually, it's not just sugar. In chemical composition it is almost indistinguishable from HFCS. Whether that's bad or good obviously depends on one's ideology, not on nutritional science.
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Old 08-21-12, 10:32 PM   #24
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Rice, beans, fresh salsa, decent tortillas, and two (and I mean ONLY 2!) microbrews.
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Old 08-22-12, 06:05 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Actually, it's not just sugar. In chemical composition it is almost indistinguishable from HFCS. Whether that's bad or good obviously depends on one's ideology, not on nutritional science.
Do you mean honey in general or pasturized honey? HFCS is seriously bad stuff.
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