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Food Basics
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by Bill Bejeck

This month we will cover a very important topic for all active people: food! What follows are some sound basic guidelines to help your cycling performance as well as to keep you healthy.

1. EAT BREAKFAST. We have heard it before and it is true; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Get up a few minutes earlier or prepare something the night before you go to bed. It does not have to be a gourmet meal; some yogurt and a banana, or cereal with low fat milk and a glass of juice will do the trick. Sorry, but 2 cups of coffee do not count, either.

2. PACK YOUR LUNCH. Eating can be 1) expensive, 2) very high in fat and 3) usually the portion you are given is larger than you would give yourself. Now I am aware that business dictates that sometimes you meet over lunch. If it is inappropriate to "brown bag it" then try to order something from the light fare selection that most restaurants have these days. Again, nothing fancy here, just a turkey sandwich on wheat bread and a piece of fruit.

3. TAKE SNACKS. Most people want to eat healthier, but after not eating much all day, they go home and devour whatever is in sight. If this sounds familiar, then having a snack in-between meals can be a great help! Fresh fruit like bananas, apples and oranges are convenient as well as very nutritious. Graham crackers and fig Newton are good choices also. What ever you snack on, try to make it wholesome, not a candy bar or a bag of chips, etc.

4. BALANCE YOUR MEALS. What I mean by this is don't fall into the "carbo trap" of having nothing but a bagel and pasta diet. You need protein and some fat. Most of your sources of protein have some fat in them and that's OK. Good examples are skinless chicken breasts, extra lean ground beef or tuna fish. Dairy products such as skim or 1% milk, low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese are good sources of protein also. Vegetarian sources of protein could consist of tofu or combining beans and rice. Watch out for foods with a high saturated fat content the most. A good rule of thumb is to always include a source of protein when eating one of your main meals. Having a small snack of just carbohydrate between meals is OK; just make sure you balance your main meals.

5. DRINK WATER. Keep a bottle with you all the time. Your urine should be clear to pale yellow (and odorless). Dehydration may also contribute to feelings of hunger.

6. EAT 5 FRUITS OR VEGETABLES A DAY. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients and fiber, both of which we need on a daily basis. Choose from a variety in your grocery store. Try to stick with fresh fruits and vegetables, with frozen being a second option.

7. PORTION SIZE. Remember, total calories count. So don't load up on food just because it is low fat. If you are eating a steak or chicken breasts, stick with a portion about the size of your fist.

Bill Bejeck is a full time personal trainer and avid cyclist with his own company called HealthSport. Bill can be reached at Hsport at with questions or comments. To receive a free newsletter, send your name and address to the above e-mail.

more Ride Schedule

4/28/2017 » 4/30/2017
Lewes Delaware Weekend 2017

Women * D * 17 * DC * 9 AM * Slow BRC Training Ride * Georgetown Waterfront park

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Linda B. KolkoLinda is the C Ride Coordinator for MD & DC.