The secret to staying ‘slim’

The only thing better than a 4-hour outdoor ride in February? The second breakfast after the 4-hour outdoor ride in February!

More often than not, it seems that people interested in cycling are also interested in food. In some cases, it’s a deep appreciation of new recipes and exotic flavor profiles. For others, it is more about the science of fueling a human body for optimum athletic performance. Common to both, however, is the great anticipation for the post-ride meal, the snack we look forward to most when our bellies are empty and muscles fatigued nearing the end of a long ride.

Some people crave smoothies or pancakes or pasta or burritos. Each LPV team member has her own favorite: Mia craves chocolate almond milk and sourdough toast with avocado. Jannette likes hummus piled with veggies when it’s warm out and a baked sweet potato in colder weather. Liz favors a particular breakfast sandwich from Z+H, named ‘Tenzig Norgay’ and black coffee. Me, I particularly like to eat eggs.

For nearly as long as I’ve been able to ride my bike more than 2 hours at a stretch, I’ve been eating eggs afterwards. Sometimes with bacon on the side or scrambled with chorizo, but usually I have one egg, over-easy with toast (to mop up a perfectly runny yolk, of course).

If you know about the hens in my backyard, you might already see where this is going. You see that cycling and chickens are closely related. At least, for me they are.

I’m no nutritionist, (that would be JRho) but I believe eggs must be up there with chocolate milk on the list of best recovery foods for athletes. Whenever I eat one of those tasty little orbs of nutrients and proteins after really tough rides, I feel amazingly satisfied and replenished. That effect is likely what makes my thoughts invariably turn to eggs when I’m a few miles from home.

Some cholesterol-conscious folks might take issue with my theory, but that’s where the chicken comes in–specifically, having your own chickens. Compared to eggs from confined hens, pasture-raised eggs have been found to contain:

1/3 less cholesterol*
¼ less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more betacarotene

Despite my affinity for eggs, I actually didn’t know these things when we decided to get the baby chicks last spring. I just thought raising chickens would be fun and rewarding, like having a pet that pays rent. So far, I have not been disappointed. Even though coop-building trumped bike-racing on a couple occasions last summer, the hens have given back many times over, providing a new form of entertainment we like to call Farm TV in addition to delicious eggs that I look forward to eating whenever I ride my bike.

*These impressive numbers come from an analysis of eggs from 14 pasture-raised flocks by Mother Earth News, October 2007. Read the whole article at motherearthnews.com/eggs.aspx

 

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