Features from the newsletters of other area bike clubs. This month from the North Florida Bicycle Club Cycling News.


by Beth Boomer

"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!

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