The Feed Zone Cookbook
Review: The Feed Zone CookbookBy Elaine Bothe | Published May 18, 2013
Food is such an important part of our lives, whether we are world class bicycle racers or not. I consider myself a foodie and a decent cook, and I learned a lot by reading The Feed Zone Cookbook by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim, and published in 2011 by Velo Press. This is a cookbook intended to improve the eating habits and health of top pro athletes, but guess what? You'll enjoy it, even if you're not pro!
The recipes are extremely tasty, very healthy and educational. And, actually, the research that went into the recipes and the introductory chapters came from the trials and tribulations of feeding cyclists during the Tour de France. Biju Thomas is a natural born chef with a passion for bicycling. Dr. Allen Lim is also passionate about food and cycling. The two met working with famous professional cyclists including Levi Leipheimer and many others, Biju Thomas as a chef and Dr. Lim as a physiologist.
I love how easy to understand the information is. My first thought when I picked this book up was, "Wow, there's a lot of white rice and pasta in here. Hmmm!" But they explain. This is the part for athletes in an intensive part of their training. The recipes are about balanced protein and carbohydrates based on what you need. And substitutions, like brown rice for white. You can dial in the recipes for your own needs. Just like athletes do! If you're hungry, eat more. If you're not, eat less, all the while enjoying fresh flavor combinations, wholesome foods and satisfying recipes.
In the middle of your racing season? You are going to need more carbs. Back off in the off season. Timing is everything and The Feed Zone Cookbook helps explain it all!
I also like the emphasis on easy. Many recipes call for cooked chicken or pasta. In other words, leftovers! Things you can cook extra so that you'll have on hand for later in the week. The "Pasta Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese" is a great example, and so yummy. I tossed in some leftover grilled chicken and it became a whole meal. And I used whole-wheat pasta.
The Feed Zone Cookbook includes many refreshing ideas for breakfasts, snacks, and handheld lunches! All athletes are busy, and finding time to cook is hard. The tips in this book are realistic and very helpful. I've eaten out of this book for two whole weeks so far and I'm loving it!
I also have fun reading the stories about Thomas and Lim amidst the Tour de France, cooking for their team. Some of their ideas weren't so good... those recipes didn't make it into the book but it's entertaining to read! See more information and sample recipes at their website.
We Didn't Like
I don't like that I didn't have a copy of The Feed Zone Cookbook earlier!
The Final Say
Buy this book. Eat the food, and have fun learning a ton about cooking, nutrition and how all that affects your riding in the process! If you are sick of your diet, want to learn how to cook fresher and more interesting foods and are in need of inspiration, dig in with gusto. At a certain point, eating to race is mechanical, more "nutrition" than "cuisine" or a "dining experience."
The Feed Zone Cookbook brings a delightful variety of flavors and real food back into our nutrition plans. It's a lot more satisfying that way. And, we'll be healthier for it.
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- The Feed Zone Cookbook by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim
- Velo Press