Since I started cycling, I have always had an issue with proper nutrition both on and off the bike. I used to never eat before or during my rides and always gorged on food afterwards. Needless to say this is a terrible method for 2 reasons. First, I was running on basically nothing throughout my rides resulting in huge energy crashes during and after my rides. Second, I would overeat afterwards to compensate for all the calories I had burned, resulting in more weight gained than lost. I will never forget my first century ride (100+ miles) from Boston to Provincetown running on nothing but energy gels and a PB and J. Biggest mistake of my life. It was the absolute worst. Not only was I completely exhausted half way through, I could feel my body literally shutting down towards the end of the trip. Never again.
So moving forward, I began to force myself to eat before and during rides. However, the portable food options commercially available are just not my favorite. I’ve tried all sorts of powerbars, clifbars, energy gels and drink mixes but nothing really seemed to work for me. Everything was either too sweet or too dry so I started doing some research and found this amazing book through Skratch Labs. The book is chock-full of amazing recipes for portable foods for athletes. Every recipe has a nutritional fact breakdown so you can tailor each serving according to your needs. They even teach you how to wrap your food for easy storage and access while on the go! Something that I’ve learned from both Crossfit and cycling is that real food always beats processed foods. Knowing exactly what goes into your body not only allows you to control your diet better, but also results in faster and greater performance gains.
You can get Feed Zone Portables and The Feed Zone Cookbook on Amazon for much cheaper than their website. The authors Allen Lim and Biju Thomas have worked with pro cycling teams for awhile and developed their recipes based on what has worked for their teams. I’ve only skimmed through this book but I am already excited to make a bunch of these recipes for my rides.
Yesterday, I decided to make my first batch of rice cakes for my long ride to Concord. The Blueberry & Chocolate Coconut Rice Cakes called out to me. I simply couldn’t say no. I got my ingredients together and got to work.
After the rice is done cooking, mix the rice with coconut milk, sugar, and lemon juice.
Lay down the first layer of rice in the pan. I cut the recipe in half because I didn’t need all 15 servings to myself. Although I could eat these all day long.
After the rice has cooled off, sprinkle on blueberries, chocolate chips, and coconut shavings.
Lay down top layer of rice and let it sit for a few minutes in the fridge.
Portion into little squares and wrap away.
They recommend that you use pan lining paper for the wrappers. Its foil on one side and parchment paper on the other. This stuff is actually awesome because even after 2+ hours sitting in my back pocket, the foil kept them dry and cool. Watch this video on how to make your little wrapping squares.
Super easy to make and take with you on rides. Store in the fridge to make them last longer.
Mmmmm tasty. I ended up eating 4 of these during my ride. I clearly have self-control issues.
And of course I had to get some iced coffee at the turnaround point…
And the best part about all of this is that I actually felt much better than I have on my previous rides. I didn’t get nearly as tired and felt much much better afterwards.
Here is the recipe I used:
- 3 cups of uncooked rice
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Coconut shavings (sweetened)
Again, I cut this recipe in half because I didn’t need 15 servings.