Jul 06 2011

Paleo (ish) article

Interesting article from T-Nation on low carb diets.

The Truth about Nutrition


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Jun 08 2011

The Natural Pain Reliever: Glucosamine

Over the years of riding, I have accumulated a few injuries.  Although, I have not broken anything (knock on wood), I have been knocked out one too many times and had plenty of hard get offs.  With these crashes and mishaps comes the painful morning after where every single bone and muscle fiber aches.  The abuse your joints and cartilage take each moto is more than you think.  The constant wear on these points will have you feeling the effects.  Sure you can pop an aspirin once in a while, but the chronic aches can’t be dealt with this method.

I am not one to get on medication easily, so I look for the natural way first.  One of the best pain “relievers” I have ever taken is glucosamine.  This little gem is an amino sugar that is related to ingredients in joint cartilage and synovial fluid.  Glucosamine is already in your body as it helps molecules that help repair the cartilage and other tissues throughout the body.  As you get older, you lose more and more of this molecule which leads to a decrease in resiliency in the connective tissue.  Often times, you will see the glucosamine supplements paired with chondroitin sulfate.  This draws water into the connective tissue, that the glucosamine is repairing, and gives it even more resiliency.

Often times you can find this at any grocery store or pharmacy.  It normally takes a day or two to kick in, but you will notice a difference.  I have had knee trouble since a first turn crash in 2007 and this has helped tremendously.  The capsules are usually in 1500mg.  With this dosage, I would recommend taking 2 or 3 daily.  This isn’t a miracle pill by any means, but the effects are definitely noticeable.  Like any other type of supplement, this requires you to stay consistent every day, every week.  When you miss a few days, you will start to feel those old aches coming back.

Buy a bottle, stick with it for a few days and I promise you won’t regret it.


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Jun 02 2011

Moto Superfoods

Like the old saying goes, you are what you eat.  Chugging a can of Rockstar and chowing down on funnel cake before the gate drops is not the best method of fueling your body.  Obviously, eating a balanced diet with frequent meals will ensure plenty of energy throughout the day.  However, by adding a few foods that have been dubbed “super foods” by many, you can further enhance recovery and be ready for your next moto.  You don’t need to load up and eat these foods constantly, just add them in to your normal diet.

Greek Yogurt

This is great at almost any time of the day and especially a few hours before riding.  You can throw some fruit and protein powder together and you have an awesome snack.  Greek yogurt is full of pro-biotics that keep your digestive system normal as well as higher calcium content than that of other dairy products.  This is also good for people who are sensitive to lactose and cannot handle milk.  Look for Greek yogurt that has been fortified with vitamin D as well.

Salmon

This fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, iron and protein.  Iron helps the body in the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the red blood cells.  A lack of iron has been known to cause a decrease in fatigue.  The omega-3 is considered to be a good fat that reduces inflammation in the body.   This fish isn’t too heavy on the stomach and is delicious when grilled.  Combine this lean fish with some greens and salsa to make a great salad for dinner.

Nuts

Go to Publix, or where ever you grocery shop, and pick up some assorted nuts.  These little guys are loaded with the “good” fats like the salmon and have plenty of antioxidents.  They are pretty calorie dense, so just grab a handful and you are set.  Munch on them between motos, at night or whenever you are hungry.  Again, like the other foods on here, you can add them to just about any meal for extra flavor and texture.

Blueberries

At my local Publix, these guys were on sale and grabbed 3 cartons.  I ended up eating a whole one in a day and went back for more.  Blueberries are one of the best berries because they are full of antioxidents, maintain blood sugar levels and some say they act as mild anti depressants.  This is a great food for those on the Paleo-Diet.  Look for cartons with darker berries; the darker, the better.

Kiwis

Dig in my friend.  One large kiwi contains your daily requirement for vitamin C, which is an immune system booster.  Not only does this fruit have vitamin C, but it also has potassium, fiber and vitamins A and E.  Just like the blueberries, this is a perfect fruit for you cave men dieters.  Mix some kiwis and bananas at the track for some cramping protection from the potassium.

 


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Apr 01 2011

Saturated Fat Acceptable?

So this is not an April Fool’s article.  If you have been following my post for the past few weeks, you would know that I am on a Paleo-diet kick.  If you don’t want to buy into, not a big deal.  However, you can’t ignore the role that fat plays into an athlete’s diet.  Everyone from the occasional racer to James “Jail Bird” Stewart needs fat in the diet (Yes. I am JS7 fan so it’s okay for me to say that).  After researching the Caveman diet to the max, I now understand how important it is.  This is not trying to convince you of this primal way of eating; it is merely shedding some light on common misconceptions.

One thing that I have always been taught and learned is that saturated fat is bad for you.  In fact, it is supposed to be terrible for you.  It clogs the arteries and will cause your to heart basically stop beating.  Sound about right?  Well, that isn’t exactly the case.  Think about every fresh, natural protein source.  There’s a good chance that 80% of those foods you just thought of have a good amount of saturated fat.  Did nature make it that way for a reason?  Is it meant to be that way?  Maybe.

Diets that have a higher percentage of calories coming from saturated fat also have higher amounts of testosterone.  Typically, this hormone produces growth in muscles, strength, increased bone density, bone maturation; basically, good things that you want.  Higher levels of testosterone won’t make you go into a psychotic rage, so don’t worry.  Not only this, but think about the nervous system.  Every neurological pathway is surrounded by myelin sheaths made of fat; your brain operates on fat almost.  Interesting studies have shown that when people go on low fat diets, they often go into a depression like state.

With almost 9 calories per gram, fat contains twice as much energy as carbohydrates and protein.  That is a massive amount of energy.  This doesn’t give you permission to eat fast food.  Like I said before, this is just to shed some light on misconceived notions.  It is really food for thought…pun intended.


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Mar 18 2011

Breakfast for* Champions

After eating the last little bit of carbohydrates in my pantry, I have officially gone primal.  I have more meat, vegetables and fruit than any one caveman could eat.  After doing some research on the cave man, one important thing that kept popping up was the importance of breakfast.  This makes sense even if you aren’t on the Paleo diet.

At night when you are fast asleep, your body runs on idle, makes repairs and prepares for the next day.  Obviously you are not eating when this is happening.  So, when you wake and have your first meal you are breaking the fast.  Hence, breakfast.  Imagine having your breakfast at 8am, then not eating until 9pm.  When you skip breakfast, this is what you are essentially doing.

I don’t know about you, but I would not make it through the day.  You are not supplying the body with energy to operate at full efficiency.  A solid, conventional breakfast would include three things: a carbohydrate, protein and fat source.  This could be a cup of oatmeal with peanut butter and a couple of eggs.  This covers all of your needs until the next meal.

Having a bowl of Cocoa Puffs is better than nothing, but the insulin spike will have you dragging a few hours later.  Complex carbohydrates will help you maintain a steady rate of energy and avoiding any crashes.  However, if you are on the cave man diet as I am, you want to skip on the grains.  You can replace the oatmeal with fruit and a higher amount of fat.  For instance, a cup of blueberries with eggs and bacon will be sufficient.

Whatever your diet consists of, don’t skip breakfast.  It sets the stage for the rest of the day and helps get you through the morning.  Something is better than nothing, but stick to complex carbs (or higher fats) and protein.


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Mar 15 2011

Caveman Diet

For the past 40 years, our government and certain “associations” have engrained into our brains that fat is bad.  Especially saturated fat.  Always interested in nutrition and diet, I believed this and always thought of complex carbohydrates as your main source of energy.  However, this past weekend I watched a documentary on Netflix called “Fat Head.”  I almost shut it off because the first 30 minutes were somewhat slow, but needless to say, I continued watching.  The movie proves that a lower carb, high fat diet is superior to our current fat-phobia diets.

The man in the documentary actually lowered his LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and raised his HDL (“good” cholesterol) on this high saturated fat diet.  The key to this was to keep his carbohydrates under 100g per day.  When I saw this, I was thinking that would make no sense for motocross.  However, if you are not eating carbohydrates, the fat eaten throughout the day becomes your fuel.  Fat is easier to breakdown and has more caloric energy than carbohydrates.

Even more convincing is insulin resistance.  Every time you consume a carbohydrate (made of sugar), your body releases insulin.  In theory, carbo-loading constantly can result in massive spikes in blood sugar and insulin, which ultimately leads to said insulin resistance.  At this point, your pancreas has been run into the ground.  Imagine running your bike with little or no oil; you are going to burn your motor up.

The name caveman diet refers to the fact that our bodies have not adapted to the high amounts of grains we are now consuming.  In Paleolithic times, man consumed fatty animal protein, vegetables and fruits.   The food you consume through the day is provides you with energy, not the carbs eaten yesterday.  In addition to this, saturated fat has been shown in many studies to increase testosterone.  With an increase of this male hormone, subjects felt an increase in strength and energy.

After reading Coach Seiji’s blog about this diet and hearing Greg at Concept2 singing its praises, I have decided to plunge into the primal times!  I am setting up an appointment to get a blood test.  That way I will have a base line for my cholesterol, HDL and LDL levels.  I will keep updates coming weekly or daily if I feel any changes.


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