Friday, September 7, 2012
More testing and more training. Ran across an interesting hypothesis last night in John Douillard's Body, Mind and Sport. Mr Douillard suggests that we, the we in this usage refers to athletes in training, might be on the receiving end of additional energy, and especially endurance energy, if we change our fuel clock to more resemble that of nature. Simply put, our largest, or main meal, should be at mid-day instead of in the evening. From the historical standpoint this makes a lot of sense. Many cultures have been doing just this for centuries. I can tell you that my time in Italy required a dramatic timing reset as I acclimatized to the local eating customs. We enjoyed communal meals at 1300, pranzo, lunch, daily prepared by a rotating staff. Dinner, la cena, was light unless there was a festival or celebration, and then the fare was magnificent, elegant and squizito. I wasn't doing a lot of cross training at the time, mostly running, so it would be difficult to look back and see the training effects. I CAN tell you that I enjoyed every minute of my time there. Just to fill the gap, every morning the day started with a cafe doppio and brioche.
Fast forward to the present moment and the daily opportunity we all have to eat healthy and properly fuel our training, riding, racing and running. It isn't easy. There are elements of science, geography, finance, timing, preparation and availability. The easy way out is insidious. Cheap, processed and now. Fill 'er up. The deck is stacked against us. We have little time to shop, prepare, cook, and properly digest healthy foods. Worse, our society and culture rewards work and profit at the expense of health and happiness. It's OK to grab a McMufin on the way to the office, ram some fat-filled K-cals at lunch, snack on crap throughout the day and then wash a starchy, carbohydrate laden dinner down with alcohol and desert late in the evening. Does that sound remotely familiar? Hello America.
After yesterday's two, twenty minute seminars on the value of indoor cycling, I was amazed at how many of the attendees seemed perplexed that I would mention proper nutrition and dietary habits in the same monologue with high intensity spinning. They are connected. As day is to night. As water to air. As man to woman. I don't care if you spend all day spinning, if you don't follow it up with proper nutrition, sooner or later your doctor is going to recommend that you do. Your health will be on a fierily descent into you-know-where in a you-know-what.
As your self appointed (senior) Lab Rat, starting Monday (it will take some planning), and throughout September and October, my main meal will, once again, be between noon and one. It will be plant based, with branch chain amino acids, at about a 70-20-10 CHO, protein and fat ratio. Breakfast will be coffee and some fruit and dinner will be light. I will also include water with each meal and snack only on fruit.
I will miss the big dinner, another glass of wine and leaving room (right) for dessert. But I want to try this. It resonates, reminds me of something I know, but have forgotten.
The pic is of Frankie and Pat's place. They have been my wonderful neighbors for thirty years. It was a very sad moment yesterday when the realtor sunk the for sale sign in front. $299,000 if you're interested in paying a third of it for a million dollar view.