Over the past year, as I have gone primal in my eating, exercise and lifestyle habits, my wife has come along with me in most regards. In an effort to help step up our combined efforts at transforming our bodies and our lifestyle, we have been looking into this plan called Whole 30. You can read more details about this plan here, but in a nutshell it is a 30 day reset for your body. The plan aligns pretty well with paleo and primal teachings, but is a little on the extreme side, asking you to completely cut out several major food groups for 30 days to allow your body to reset, then slowly adding things back in to see how your body reacts. In this way, you can identify what kind of fuel your body works best on.
For the month of April, Patty and I are committed to following the Whole 30 plan. So, during this month we will mostly be eating primal, with a couple of additional restrictions. No grains (including corn), no dairy, no added sugar (including Splenda and sugar substitutes). Basically our goal is to eat quality food, lots of vegetables, meats of all kinds, a little bit of fruit and healthy oils. Since I have been on a primal bent for quite some time, not much has changed except for the 80/20 rule (stick to the plan 80% of the time, and allow no more than 20% of your meals to have a little ‘bad’ food in them) and a restriction against any dairy.
With any change comes resistance, and even though this challenge for April that we are doing isn’t a large change for me, there are still some changes I need to make. One will be giving up dairy for the month, I don’t consume a lot of dairy anymore, but I do like to have some cream in my coffee when I am out. At home, I have been using canned coconut milk to flavor coffee, so I just need to get used to taking some along with me when I will be grabbing coffee at work, or meeting friends at Starbucks. Another change by sticking to a 100% plan will be removing the little bit of ‘cheat grains’ that I usually allow myself in the form of corn tortillas or corn chips with Mexican food. I love Mexican food, and while a large portion of the food is primal, you have to be careful how & what you order. Go big on the fajita type dishes (meat & veggies) and avoid the taco/enchilada/burrito dishes (too much corn, or worse flour tortillas), but I usually allow some indulgence of corn chips with salsa. For this month though, I can avoid the corn chips completely and just stick with the meat & veggies, smothered in good salsa.
The Endurance Impact
Where this style of eating will probably give me the biggest challenge will be in the impact to endurance biking. Short bike rides, less than 2 hours or less than 30 miles, nothing really changes, and I’ll just grab a water bottle or 2 and head out. For the longer training rides, and then the MS 150 event in the beginning of May, I’ll need to look into some better methods of refueling than most of the traditional fare. I have been trying to avoid the sugared sports drinks, gel packets and the grain heavy snacks (like Clif bars, Oreos, pretzels and other things you usually see at rest stops on big events), but I will definitely stay completely away during this month. Over the course of this month, I’ll be researching and looking into different ways that I can carry fuel with me, so that I can be smart and not be caught without any energy, but that I can stay true to my primal lifestyle and the new challenge of this Whole 30 during April.
Stay tuned to this blog, as I will provide updates to how things are going with this challenge, and reviewing my options of fuel. As I come up with anything interesting related to bike fuel and the primal lifestyle, I’ll definitely share the recipe or source on this blog. Until next time, happy biking!