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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-21-12, 08:58 AM   #1
Don in Austin
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Chocolate as a health food--works for me!

Fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, healthy fats. I eat a LOT of chocolate. I read all these warnings about "chocolate is good, but don't eat too much." I ignore those warnings. One of the issues is weight gain due to the associated sugars and carbs, however, all the chocolate I eat is minimum 88% and all the way to 99%. I guess it would be different if I ate Hershey's milk chocolate, but when I want chocolate, I want chocolate and nothing else. I dump lots of organic high-fat cocoa -- non sweetened, of course -- into the protein smoothies I drink after going to the gym. I buy 5 lbs of quality cocoa powder at a time. I am hanging in OK with my weight, so I think I can tolerate the fat content.

Just stopped at a World Market yesterday and stocked up on 99% chocolate bars. I have a big bowl in the dining room with all different kinds of premium chocolate bars -- 88% up with no nuts, fruit, sea salt or any other adulterants, just plain chocolate minimally sweetened. Probably average 2-4 bars/week.

When I was a kid my mother tried everything -- bribes, punishment, hiding it, but could never keep me from eating the squares of unsweetened Baker's cooking chocolate she tried to keep in the pantry. More than once, she announced she had planned to make a chocolate cake, but somebody ate all the cooking chocolate.

When I quit smoking 5 packs/day 35+ years ago, I chewed on unsweetened Baker's chocolate as as diversion and it helped considerably.

As a reformed smoker and alcoholic I have to be strung out on something and I think chocolate is a benign choice!

Don in Austin
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Old 01-21-12, 09:13 PM   #2
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Don, I see you're in Austin
cycling stuff first--Our bike club leaves next Fri for a week in Marble Falls (from MN wintertime). I may not go as my 94 year old dad is having health issues. Last year was my first year at Texas Hell Week and hope to return. You ever ride that?? Maybe ride with you some time.
5 packs a day...did you have to smoke two at a time to burn thru 5 packs? congrats on quiting.

Dark chocolate......good. I'm more of a 70-75% guy. Are you aware of the superb chocolate imported by El Rey in Fredericksburg??? Single bean 100% Venezualen, at least the 70% Gran Saman and 73.5% Apamate. I wish they were local, prices aren't bad but shipping is pricey.
What brands do you like that are 88+% ? I've found the highest % to be kind of bitter from a lot of brands. Or what brands unsweetened cocoa powder? ...I mix a little in with cooked steel cut oats.
Bob in MN---winter sucks here

Bob

Last edited by MinnBobber; 01-21-12 at 09:14 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-21-12, 09:48 PM   #3
Don in Austin
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Don, I see you're in Austin
cycling stuff first--Our bike club leaves next Fri for a week in Marble Falls (from MN wintertime). I may not go as my 94 year old dad is having health issues. Last year was my first year at Texas Hell Week and hope to return. You ever ride that?? Maybe ride with you some time.
5 packs a day...did you have to smoke two at a time to burn thru 5 packs? congrats on quiting.

Dark chocolate......good. I'm more of a 70-75% guy. Are you aware of the superb chocolate imported by El Rey in Fredericksburg??? Single bean 100% Venezualen, at least the 70% Gran Saman and 73.5% Apamate. I wish they were local, prices aren't bad but shipping is pricey.
What brands do you like that are 88+% ? I've found the highest % to be kind of bitter from a lot of brands. Or what brands unsweetened cocoa powder? ...I mix a little in with cooked steel cut oats.
Bob in MN---winter sucks here

Bob
I have never ridden in Marble Falls. But it is a nice area, very pretty town, there will be rolling hills.

Not familiar with Texas Hell Week either. Do you mean the "hotter than hell 100?" I have not ridden that but understand it is one brutal mother!

I would be more than happy to take you on some of my local rides. I am semi-retired so my time is flexible. Let me know when you are in the area.

Eat your heart out re' weather! 50s, 60s, 70s here!

And in the chocolate bowl we have:

Ghiradelli 86%, Godiva "extra dark Santa Domingo" 85%,(How did that slip through??), Green & Black Organic 85%, (Dang! another just below spec!), Lindt 90%, Endangered Species "All-Natural Extreme Dark Chocolate" 88% (Don't be put pff by the tree-hugger hype, this one is REALLY good), and World Market 99%. Next time I am in Fredricksburg I will check out your connection. Here is the cocoa powder: http://www.cocoasupply.com/product_i...5ae9e6c60b8093 Excellent! Pure, not "dutched," very rich flavor with the high fat content. I don't mind chocolate being bitter.

When I smoked, I was lighting the next one as the first one was almost used up. I used to be a hippie mobile mechanic, (have owned a legitimate shop for 32 years now) and I would smoke while working on a creeper under a car with all kinds of liquids dripping and on my hands. I smoked cigarettes that were soaked in 90w gear oil and everything else. The nastiest was the brake fluid cigarette, but I would smoke it anyway.

Don't you dare come to Austin without getting in touch with me!

Don in Austin
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Old 01-25-12, 06:21 PM   #4
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Don,
Texas Hell Week is March 10-17 in Fred. Net search will show the details. Started many years ago as heavy duty training week for us northerners. Probably about 300 riders with maps for each day with ride options. Fun time.
I won't be going to Marble Falls as my dad still needs help.

That choc website had some interesting items. I should try the 22% BF powder you suggested. I may also try some of your super % bars. That 99% bar must be pretty extreme .
Bob bsmutka@gmail.com
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Old 01-26-12, 06:54 AM   #5
Don in Austin
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Don,
Texas Hell Week is March 10-17 in Fred. Net search will show the details. Started many years ago as heavy duty training week for us northerners. Probably about 300 riders with maps for each day with ride options. Fun time.
I won't be going to Marble Falls as my dad still needs help.

That choc website had some interesting items. I should try the 22% BF powder you suggested. I may also try some of your super % bars. That 99% bar must be pretty extreme .
Bob bsmutka@gmail.com
I bought several of the "99%" bars recently. I think they are mis-labeled because they taste pretty sweet. Or maybe they have an artificial sweetener, but none was listed on the wrapper. Can not endorse at this time.

Yes, one of my fellow riders told me about "hell week." I am not quite sure I would be up for 100 miles/day day after day.

Let me know if you are in the area.

Don
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Old 01-26-12, 07:22 AM   #6
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I eat a LOT of chocolate..................

......... Probably average 2-4 bars/week.
2-4 bars/week is not a lot of chocolate.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:37 AM   #7
Don in Austin
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2-4 bars/week is not a lot of chocolate.
I also pour buttloads of sugar-free high fat cocoa into my protein shakes.

Don in Austin
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Old 01-26-12, 07:25 PM   #8
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For inexpensive chocolate, I like Lindt 85 and 90. Michel Cluizel makes a nice 99 but it's expensive. In between there's lots to choose from, but Scharffen-Berger 82 is a current favorite. Almost anything by Michel Cluizel is excellent. I generally avoid the super expensive bars because in my opinion the point of diminishing returns has set in at those prices, but once in a while I'll try one in that category just to be sure I'm not missing something. I eat about 20-30 grams per day, which is not too much.
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Old 01-27-12, 02:59 PM   #9
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2-4 bars/week is not a lot of chocolate.
But remember, 2-4 90% bars is like 20-40 Hershey bars
Also note that the site Don lists sells some 5 lb bars
Bob
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Old 01-27-12, 03:58 PM   #10
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Chocolate is very high in calories because it is high in fat. Fat is very concentrated calories. I have a riding buddy who tried putting pieces of pure chocolate in one of his water bottles for energy on long rides. Didn't work: too hard to digest. He's fairly fast, though - 600k in 24 hours fast. Might work for a slower rider.
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Old 02-03-12, 08:37 PM   #11
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Does it matter what % chocolate it is? I would assume the higher the better? I'm not too knowledgeable on this subject. Thanks!
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Old 02-04-12, 08:10 AM   #12
Don in Austin
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Does it matter what % chocolate it is? I would assume the higher the better? I'm not too knowledgeable on this subject. Thanks!
It matters to me. I don't want to eat something that's half or more sugar. Something like Hershey's "Special Dark," is not "dark" to me, it over 50% sugar. To me the higher the better, but for many the taste gets too bitter.

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Old 02-04-12, 02:56 PM   #13
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Does it matter what % chocolate it is? I would assume the higher the better? I'm not too knowledgeable on this subject. Thanks!
Most of the nutrients that are in chocolate are found in the cocoa portion. So the more cocoa solids the better.
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Old 02-04-12, 03:00 PM   #14
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And try Callebaut sometime, especially their cocoa. I've ordered from these guys and was happy:

http://worldwidechocolate.com/shop_callebaut.html
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Old 02-04-12, 04:52 PM   #15
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Try to buy chocolate that's labeled "Fair Trade" and organic. Most Fair Trade chocolate is organic, but not all. It means the farmer/picker got a fair deal from the buyer. Coffee is another product where this is a big issue.
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Old 02-04-12, 08:49 PM   #16
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Try to buy chocolate that's labeled "Fair Trade" and organic. Most Fair Trade chocolate is organic, but not all. It means the farmer/picker got a fair deal from the buyer. Coffee is another product where this is a big issue.
I do try. Unfortunately, much of the fair trade coffee that I've had sucked.
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