Features from the newsletters of other area bike clubs. This month from the North Florida Bicycle Club Cycling News.
"Burn fat faster" claimed an energy bar manufacturer in a recent magazine advertisement. The ad described me to a tee - living on a low-fat, high carb diet, and typically "bonking" about 80 miles into a century ride, even though I had been gulping bananas and fig bars throughout, and loaded up on pasta the night before. An 800 number appeared at the end of the ad, so I called.
What was described to me by the gentleman on the other end of the phone was a diet containing 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat - the 40/30/30 plan. By eating two of their energy bars daily and maintaining the 40/30/30 ratio with every meal and snack, one could train his or her body to use body fat rather than carbohydrates as fuel.
We next discussed two problems that I saw with the diet - number one, as vegetarians, it appeared that it might be difficult to get 30% of our calories from protein, and number two - the energy bars were outrageously expensive at $40 for a one-week supply.
The first problem was solved easily enough, with Mike and I finding plenty of meatless high protein foods - tofu, beans, and peanut butter to name a few. Knowing that the energy bars would not fit into my budget, and using a little math and chemistry (it is my profession), I determined the amounts of the various ingredients, which are listed on the wrapper, required to make an energy bar that is 40% carb, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
Before I reveal the secret recipe, I will tell you that the "40/30/30" plan works! Mike lost several pounds of body fat, and gained muscle mass. Beth the bonker has ridden several centuries eating only two of these 250-calorie bars per ride - one before and one during - with energy to spare at the end. We also recently set a "PR" (personal record), riding the Endless Summer Watermelon Century in 4.5 hours, each bettering our previous best time by nearly 30 minutes! And now, here's the recipe (this makes 30 bars):
Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in protein powder until the mixture becomes too stiff, then use your hands to mix. Add in oats; at this point upper body strength is required. The dough will be VERY stiff. After mixing, spread onto a 11.5" X 15" jelly roll pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Refrigerate for at least one hour; cut into 30 bars, and place each into a Ziploc bag or store them somehow. They will remain fresh longer if refrigerated. Happy eating!