Skratch Labs to Provide Neutral Human Support for All Teams at AMGEN Tour of California

Cycling enthusiasts are familiar with MAVIC and its iconic yellow neutral support motorcycles and vehicles that patrol the peloton at the Tour de France providing mechanical support to stranded racers. In a first for the cycling world, the authors of The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables will provide “neutral human support” for those actual human beings racing bikes at the AMGEN Tour of California.

Both racers and staff will enjoy real food from The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables and Skratch Labs hydration drinks throughout the weeklong stage race. (Check out Skratch Labs official announcement.)Skratch Labs Neutral Human Support Tour of California

Skratch Labs and the Tour of California

Skratch Labs has a history with the Tour of California. In previous years, chef Biju Thomas drew from recipes found in The Feed Zone Cookbook to provide race hotels with the official Tour of California race menu. Next week, Skratch Labs will step up its commitment to nourishing performance with its new Skratch Labs Human Support Program.

The Skratch Labs Human Support Program

Skratch Labs will provide real food and hydrating beverages to all athletes and their staff throughout the Tour of California, rather than each team fending for itself. Skratch Labs will field a car and motorcycle within the race caravan that will offer support to any rider from any team at any time during the race.Skratch Labs Neutral Human Support Tour of California

So how much food and drink are we talking about?

Allen Lim, the company’s founder, and his team will prepare over 1,000 fresh food and beverage items each day to make sure everyone is healthy and happy.

“Our focus at the AMGEN Tour of California is to provide everyone involved with real food and drink so they can perform at their best. Simple as that,” said Lim. “Real food made from scratch is just better in every way than pre-packaged and processed stuff that can sit on a shelf for years.”

Biju making it for realz. Photo: Caroline Treadway

Chef Biju Thomas in the Skratch Labs Mobile Kitchen. | Photo: Caroline Treadway

 

I am Ted King.

From team meals at the hotels, to race portables and post-stage recovery meals made for all racers right in the company’s 20-foot custom food trailer, to a limitless supply of the Skratch’s all natural Exercise Hydration Drink Mix, riders and staff are expected to be more properly fed and hydrated than in years past.

Team Cannondale rider Ted King will be competing in his seventh Tour of California and has been a fan of Skratch Labs involvement since the beginning. He commented that, “Once Skratch took over all aspects of food at the Tour of California, there was just a tremendous sense of relief.”

Try the Feed Zone Approach

Ted King is not the only pro cyclist who enjoys the Feed Zone approach to real food. See what pro athletes are saying about The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables.

You can eat like the pros! Try some sample recipes from The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables at www.feedzonecookbook.com:

In the Feed Zone, the menu has changed and no one can argue with the results: real food is better. Real food tastes better, digests quickly, and helps you perform at your best.

FZC The Feed Zone Cookbook cover photoFeed zone Portables FZP 96dpi_400pw_strThe Feed Zone Cookbook includes 150 everyday recipes for athletes. Each breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to prepare.

Feed Zone Portables, offers portable performance snacks made of real food. Try out 75 all-new rice cakes, two-bite pies, waffles, and other tasty snacks.

Try these cookbooks today! Find The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables are published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books on cycling, triathlon, and running. Please see more VeloPress nutrition books at velopress.com/category/nutrition-and-diet

Lentine Alexis Zahler and Strawberry Rhubarb Two-Bite Pie

Lentine Alexis Zahler is a woman of many trades: elite athlete, journalist, and chef. She’s come up with a delightful twist on the Feed Zone Portables two-bite pie recipe: a Strawberry-Rhubarb flavor.

Lentine offers a beautiful how-to story that looks just as delicious as our cookbook. We hope you enjoy it!

Lentine AlexisIn the Feed Zone, the menu has changed and no one can argue with the results: real food is better. Real food tastes better, digests quickly, and helps you perform at your best.

FZC The Feed Zone Cookbook cover photoFeed zone Portables FZP 96dpi_400pw_strThe Feed Zone Cookbook includes 150 everyday recipes for athletes. Each breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to prepare.

Feed Zone Portables, offers portable performance snacks made of real food. Try out 75 all-new rice cakes, two-bite pies, waffles, and other tasty snacks.

Try these cookbooks today! Find The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables are published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books on cycling, triathlon, and running. Please see more VeloPress nutrition books at velopress.com/category/nutrition-and-diet

A Feed Zone Approach to High-Carb, Low-Carb, and Everything In Between

We at Feed Zone headquarters got an interesting question from an athlete who is shifting to an all-natural fueling system for training and racing.

Tony H. asked, “For the past few months, I’ve adopted a more low-carb approach. I don’t mean a ketogenic diet, but I am limiting my carbs. Several of the sample recipes on feedzonecookbook.com show around 30-40g of carbs per serving, which is more than double my goal carb intake. Are there recipes in your cookbooks that are targeted toward low-carb athletes?”

So we asked Biju and Allen what they thought.

Seared Ahi Tuna Feed Zone Cookbook

Seared Ahi Tuna from The Feed Zone Cookbook

Biju: We don’t advocate any particular type of diet in the Feed Zone cookbooks. Instead, we want to offer our readers ideas and inspiration to cook and enjoy food that suits whatever diet they pursue.

Most of the recipes can be adjusted to any carb-fat-protein ratio and still taste great. The flavors and ideas behind each recipe are based on real-world success at the highest levels of sport – and you can bet those athletes have their own preferences about carbs, fats, and proteins. Use the Feed Zone recipes as a starting point.

Personally, I find that fewer carbs helps keep my middle-aged Indian man-belly in check!

Allen: I agree with Biju. We don’t endorse one particular diet over another. We want to inspire people to get in the kitchen and cook real food. I recommend people increase or decrease carbs, fats, and proteins according to their own needs. In the end, science isn’t just a set of facts or knowledge, nor a debate between right and wrong. Science is ultimately a process for discovering answers. When it comes to diet, exercise, and life as a whole, each person is their own living experiment.

Personally, I find any form of extremism revolting. I’m even revolted by my own extreme disdain at extreme stances on diet!

That said, I don’t know many endurance athletes who have been competitive on a low-carb diet. For those who aren’t training or competing full time, it certainly helps to cut out excess calories, especially for those who spend much of their day sitting in a desk chair. For some, that might mean reducing calories from carbs. Still, there are plenty of diet plans that are plant-based or completely opposite a paleo approach. In the end, calories matter and while a paleo-style diet can work during training, I find that most athletes on this diet need to increase their carbohydrate intake during or leading up to competition. The bottom line: diet is all about context.

Eating food keeps people alive. Whether eating a certain type or group of foods works better depends on what those people want to do with their energy. Clearly, the evidence shows that a high-carb diet is optimal for acute endurance exercise. There is other evidence that shows reducing carb intake during training (not racing) can improve fat utilization and performance. There is other evidence, too: diets high in animal proteins present increased risk for cancer and heart disease. There is evidence that diets void of animal proteins can lead to chronic fatigue and immune disorders.

In the end, the only evidence that matters is how someone feels and how they perform. I encourage people to decide for themselves and to be methodical about understanding how they feel and perform. It’s a deeply personal issue for many, just like religion and politics.

In fact, This American Life episode #511 argues that food is one of The Seven Things You’re Not Supposed to Talk About.

In the Feed Zone, the menu has changed and no one can argue with the results: real food is better. Real food tastes better, digests quickly, and helps you perform at your best.

FZC The Feed Zone Cookbook cover photoFeed zone Portables FZP 96dpi_400pw_strThe Feed Zone Cookbook includes 150 everyday recipes for athletes. Each breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to prepare.

Feed Zone Portables, offers portable performance snacks made of real food. Try out 75 all-new rice cakes, two-bite pies, waffles, and other tasty snacks.

Try these cookbooks today! Find The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables are published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books on cycling, triathlon, and running. Please see more VeloPress nutrition books at velopress.com/category/nutrition-and-diet

Juicing for Athletes: All the Nutrients, Little Fiber

Feed Zone Cookbook Allen Lim beet juice

Allen Lim pours beet juice

Using a juicer improves the nutrient density of athletes’ diets by significantly increasing the quantity of fruits and vegetables they can handle without the worry of an unbearable amount of fiber load in their GI tract.

(You can imagine why too much fiber would be an issue for athletes eating several thousand more calories per day than the average person!)

Drinking juice is especially beneficial before and after training.

Beet juice, in particular, is high in dietary nitrates. Recent studies have shown that it can actually improve economy, or gross mechanical efficiency, meaning more power is being produced for a given amount of oxygen consumed or energy burned. The ability to produce more power without using more energy can have huge ramifications over a day of hard racing or several hard days of racing. And for this to occur with a simple glass of beet juice a day is pretty amazing.

So try a beet juice recipe yourself and see if it works for you. The Feed Zone Cookbook Beet Juice recipe.

Feed Zone Cookbook beet juice

beet juice from The Feed Zone Cookbook

The Feed Zone Cookbook offers 150 athlete-friendly recipes that are simple, delicious, and easy to prepare. Find The Feed Zone Cookbook in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or order from these booksellers:

Mushroom Pecan Stuffing, Pate, Spread, Dressing

Story, recipe, and photos by Chef Biju Thomas

During the colder months, this Mushroom Pecan Pate is one of my favorite, most versatile recipes.

You can make a vegetarian pate that can double as a stuffing; a quick salad dressing; a spread on sandwiches, toast or bagels; or as a topping for seafood, chicken, pork, and many other dishes.Chef Biju Thomas Mushroom Pecan Pate Spread Stuffing

I like to use potato peels to add some extra nutrients and flavor.

Here we go:

  • 1 cup potato peels (sweet or regular potatoes), cooked until tender in salted water, drained
  • 1 lbs sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • Half an onion, diced
  • 5 or 6 oz baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup bread cut into cubes (gluten-free and seed breaks work great)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • At least 1 tablespoon herbs: fresh thyme, sage, or tarragon
  • For pate: ¼ cup goat cheese or cream cheese

Seasonings to taste:

  • celery salt
  • ground pepper
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • grated parmesan cheese
  1. Bring a large saucepan, wok, or skillet medium-high heat. Do not add oil.
  2. Add the mushrooms, pecans, onion. Saute until the mushroom edges begin to brown.
  3. Add the spinach, potato skins, bread, olive oil, herbs. Saute thoroughly.
  4. Add the seasonings to taste. At this point, you can use this as a stuffing. Continue to make it a pate, spread, or dressing.

To make pate, fold in the goat or cream cheese. Cook on low heat, stirring to incorporate. Add to a food processor and chop until creamy. Spread over toast, bread, or crackers.Chef Biju Thomas Mushroom Pecan Pate Spread Stuffing

Chef Biju Thomas is a professional chef known for light, simple dishes bursting with bold flavors. He has designed the menus of many successful restaurants in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. With Dr. Allen Lim, Biju is co-author of The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables.

In the Feed Zone, the menu has changed and no one can argue with the results: real food is better. Real food tastes better, digests quickly, and helps you perform at your best.

FZC The Feed Zone Cookbook cover photoFeed zone Portables FZP 96dpi_400pw_strThe Feed Zone Cookbook includes 150 everyday recipes for athletes. Each breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to prepare.

Feed Zone Portables, offers portable performance snacks made of real food. Try out 75 all-new rice cakes, two-bite pies, waffles, and other tasty snacks.

Try these cookbooks today! Find The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables are published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books on cycling, triathlon, and running. Please see more VeloPress nutrition books at velopress.com/category/nutrition-and-diet

A Feed Zone Valentine’s Dinner for Two

This Valentine’s Day, we hope you enjoy a romantic run or ride with your special someone! After you impress on the road or trail, go back for seconds in the kitchen with these two delicious dishes from The Feed Zone Cookbook!

Try these recipes yourself!

Feed Zone Cookbook Valentines Day Meal: Strawberry Chicken Salad and Flourless Chocolate Cake (pdf 350kb) 

FZC The Feed Zone Cookbook cover photoIn the Feed Zone, the menu has changed and no one can argue with the results: real food is better. Real food tastes better, digests quickly, and helps you perform at your best.

The Feed Zone Cookbook includes 150 everyday recipes for athletes. Each breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to prepare.

Feed zone Portables FZP 96dpi_400pw_strFeed Zone Portables, offers portable performance snacks made of real food. Try out 75 all-new rice cakes, two-bite pies, waffles, and other tasty snacks.

Try these cookbooks today! Find The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables are published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books on cycling, triathlon, and running. Please see more VeloPress nutrition books at velopress.com/category/nutrition-and-diet

Meet Dr. Allen Lim, Chef Biju at Events in 2014

All events are subject to change, of course, so please check in with us if you want to make sure you’ll run into the guys at a race or event near you.

Red Rocks Rendezvous, Las Vegas, March 28-31
Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, California, April 10-13
Rapha Women’s Prestige, San Francisco, May 3
Rapha Gents Race, Denver, Colorado, July 26
Tour of California, May 10-18
Interbike, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 8-13

 

Other events: Check back for more events with Allen, Biju, and the Skratch Labs food truck throughout the year at events like Ironman, cyclocross, and mountain bike races, and gran fondos.