Food Power! (and my big bonk)

The BEST salad ever! Frenchy's Tropical Chicken Salad w. Banana Walnut Bread

Denny's Birthday Dessert

I bonked pretty severely today.  I woke up at 6:08, burned approximately 200 calories then had coffee and protein shake for breakfast, approximately 350 calories, 9 protein.  My next bite came at 2:40 p.m.  BONK!!!!  I was literally shaking as I grabbed for anything in my refrigerator.  Chugged milk, grabbed a MIX 1 shake, had PB&J on sandwich thins and a greek yogurt.  BUZZ… and crash.  Luckily, I pulled it together for my Wed. night ride and was able to enjoy that.  I was then pleasantly surprised by my neighbor with a healthy buffalo chicken sandwich and whole grain rice.  Throw in some of my spinach salad and I feel like Popeye The Sailor Man, or Courtney the Biker Chic again.  Aww, BALANCE!

The noise from the over saturation of our culture and food is enough to confuse a person.  It makes me crazy sometimes.  Fast food commercials with millions spent in research and food presentation to push our buttons.  The news with the latest data linking food to some ailment.  The Doctors on TV who preach a different do or don’t everyday.  ENOUGH!  Tune it out, turn it off and start listening to your body.  Not your mind or maybe a broken heart, but your body.  My evolution as an athlete, beginning with gymnastics at age four, has been closely related to my nutrition.  This is largely a result of my Mom’s dedication when I was living at home.  I am realizing what a drastic correlation my relationship with food has with my current sport cycling.  The lessons from my past are relevant too.

You should know, by nature, I am NOT a morning person.  I make Oscar the Grouch look like a ray of sunshine if I haven’t had my coffee.  But I need breakfast.  My Mom knew I needed it, no matter how resistant or belligerent (high school year) I was in the morning, she made me breakfast.  There was a phase, the Instant Breakfast phase, where it was on the verge of force feeding when I had basketball practice before school.  I am thankful for that act of nurturing now.  I crave breakfast, even if I don’t have an appetite.

I would be doing a huge disservice to my team, my riding partners and my sport if I didn’t balance my nutrition as part of my riding.  I have been eating “clean”, partially organic for the past week.  I am eating every three hours from 7am to 10pm or five meals a day.  My testing suggests I burn 1700-2000 calories just living my life.  Throw in a 1,200 calorie ride and that is a wildfire.  Now I know where the 13 pounds went.  I feel great.  I feel balanced.  I have a specific plan for the ride this weekend.  Food for the night before, my shake and coffee to start the day, Hammer gels** (100 calorie packs of readily absorbable carbohydrates), Perpetuem powder**, a mix of protein carbs and fat, Clif Bars, and Recoverite** shakes to restore the glutamine, the potent antioxidant l-carnosine, and a full-spectrum electrolyte profile.  There is a very fine balance to it.  Too much and I get really severe stomach cramps.  Too little, or forgetting to eat for the first two hours of the ride (2009) and BONK!

There is my lesson on the power of food and how I will be converting calories into energy to run the Trek 150 miles this weekend.  When all is said and done, I will have burned about 5,000 calories and will be ready for another round of Salad and Brownie Blast sundae at Frenchy’s.  Stand back, people.

Listen to your body, think of it as a fine-tuned machine and don’t let it BONK on you!

**All Hammer Products can be purchased at Chainwheel Drive.  See link!

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