Sunday, February 13, 2011

Healthy Fuel for Your Body

A few weeks ago I made a big decision to cycle 100 miles around Lake Tahoe in early June.  The event is sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for blood cancers - leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma.  It's a pretty big commitment - waking up at the crack of dawn every Saturday to ride with my teammates, fundraising, gym workouts and rides during the week.   

Our first ride was last Saturday which was followed by a clinic on nutrition.  Having never participated in this kind of athletic event before, I was eager to learn some great healthy tips on how to fuel my body when riding long distances.  To my surprise, the products they were recommending were full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings, evaporated cane juice, soy lecithin, and the list goes on.   In a room of about 50 people, I was one of two that asked about alternatives to foods with refined sugars.  Nuts and dried fruit were about the extent of my answer.  I asked whether something like a LaraBar would be a good alternative and no one knew what I was talking about. 

LaraBars are nutritional bars made from whole, simple foods, containing no more than 2-9 ingredients.  They are gluten, dairy, and soy free, non-GMO, vegan, and delicious!  Take a look at a Power Bar and you will find a long list of ingredients with words you can hardly pronounce.  My theory, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it.

Since my nutritional clinic, I have learned that there seems to be a detachment from how athletes train to what they put into their bodies.  Doesn't quite make sense to me since the two seem to go hand in hand, but perhaps it's just a different mindset.  So during my training over the next few months, I'll be fueling my body with healthy snacks like LaraBars, kale and flaxseed chips, dried fruits (apricots, apples, bananas), nuts, energy balls (*see recipe below), and coconut water, to name a few.  

Energy Balls
This recipe was made up by my kitchen creative sister.  You can play with the measurements - they are not exact.

Almonds - about 1/4 cup
Cashews - about 1/4 cup
Flax seeds - 1-2 tblsp
Shredded coconut - about 1/4 cup
Dates and/or Honey - 2 tblsp
Almond butter - about 1/2 cup
Cacao powder - 1 tblsp
Maca powder- 1 tblsp
Vitamineral Green* (for an extra boost) - 1 tblsp

Chop the nuts, flax seeds, and coconut in a Cuisinart to a crunchy consistency - not fine.  Add the almond butter and dates pulsing a few times Add the cacao, maca and vitamineral green powders and pulse a few more times until the consistency is binding to form into balls.
*Vitamineral Green is a superfood powder that can be found at health food stores

Remember, you are what you eat!

*If you would like to donate to a great cause and help me reach my fundraising goal, please visit my website:

1 comment:

  1. Larabars are so good! They're my fave as far as quick bars go. I like the apple pie kind!