A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

High Protein, Low Carbon Diet

That's right, I said low carbon, not carb. In case you haven't heard, "low carbon" diets are all the rage with the food elitists -- those people who would starve half the world to death while insisting we should produce all food locally, organically and without the benefit of any modern technology.

Low carbon diets are based on the fanciful notion that the food we eat should have little or no impact on the environment. They blame agriculture, specifically livestock, for global climate change ("climate change" is the new term being substituted for global warming by the Chicken Little alarmists who aren't sure if the globe is warming or cooling...but are certain it's changing for the worse and human activity is to blame). They say cows are causing global warming. Really?

These nattering nabobs of negativism base their argument on a United Nations study that claims global livestock production contributes more to global warming than cars. What they won't tell you is that the same study says that deforestation in the Amazon accounts for one-third of the problem. News Flash: we are NOT deforesting to raise cattle or crops in the U.S. In fact, we have more forestland in the U.S. than we had a century ago. And we produce MORE food on LESS land today than ever before.

The hard truth is that all food production has an impact on the environment and unless we want to stop eating we need need to find a way to produce more food with less. And in the U.S. we are doing just that. But the truth is of little concern to the people spreading this propoganda because behind their veil of concern for the environment is their hidden agenda -- these are the same anti-fur, anti-leather, anti-meat, vegan activists who want you and me to stop eating meat entirely in favor of a tofu-laden, plant-based diet. By the way, much of the deforestation in the Amazon is to clear land to grow soybeans (used to make tofu). By the way, rice (a plant) is the number one agricultural contributor of methane to the environment.

As I prepare for Ride the Rockies I'm working hard at building lean muscle mass to power me and my bike over those 12,000+ ft. mountain passes. So I am eating plenty of lean protein -- beef, in particular -- as I train. Of course, I am also getting plenty of whole grains, eating lots of fruits and veggies and enjoying low and non-fat dairy products. It's a novel new diet called the Food Guide Pyramid based on the dietary guidelines for Americans.

Tonight's dinner is grilled beef tenderloin (one of the 29 lean cuts of beef) and sea bass (surf and turf!) with some red pepper and yellow squash (also grilled) and green beans. I just started the coals and put the tenderloin filet in a little Dale's. A little olive oil and sea salt on the sea bass and veggies and they'll go on the grill after I've seared the steak and moved it to the side (always sear steaks over direct heat for 3-5 mins per side to seal in the juices then move it off the coals and cook over indirect heat for 20-30 mins depending on thickness to get that perfect medium rare -- about 135F -- all the way through). In about 30 mins the whole meal will come of the grill just begging to be eaten. And it's low fat, high protein and high energy.

Oh, and by the way, this is also a low carbon meal. Beef has a very small carbon footprint, especially when you consider what you get -- a nutrient dense source of quality protein that helps fuel physical activity. It's nature's best tasting multivitamin!

Ride on!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ride the Rockies Training Update

I just got in from a beautiful 45-mile round trip to Larkspur, Colorado. What an awesome day for a ride. Sunny, blue skies, temps in the 70s. A classic spring day in Colorado (and it's only March 21!).

Above: Three miles from home I rode to the top of Tessa Mesa, a future housing development featuring 35 acre lots with amazing of the Front Range, including three 14,000 ft. peaks -- Long's Peak and Mt. Evans to the north (behind me) and Pikes Peak to the south.

My training for Ride the Rockies is right on pace with recommendations on the official RTR website. I'm up to about 70 miles per week and have logged 500 miles since January 1 -- about 300 on my CycleOps Fluid2 trainer and 200 on the road.

I'm well ahead of where I was last year at this time, which was...let's see...ZERO! Heck, I didn't even have a bike to ride. One year ago today my old Cannondale was sitting in the garage with a huge dent in the top tube and I was sitting on the couch watching March Madness with my shoulder in a sling following surgery  to repair my busted collarbone on March 18. I didn't get my new Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 (triple) until late March and took my first ride on the trainer March 30.

Speaking of my surgery, I had my one year followup appointment with Dr. Loucks yesterday morning and everything is looking pretty good. The x-ray (below) shows plenty of new bone growth (the "cloudy" mass below the titanium plate and screws).

As you can see in the x-ray below taken on March 28, 1008 (ten days after surgery), there was a large gap in the collarbone (below the hole with no screw).
I have a lingering issue with tingling up and down my right arm that he says I will likely have for the rest of my life. The nerve that runs along my right collarbone gone hung up on a bone spur after the accident and was causing big problems before the surgery (couldn't use my thumb to grip). It got better after the surgery but at this point he doesn't think it will get any better...fortunately he doesn't think it will get any worse either.

The bottomline is that I'm able to get back out on my bike and enjoy the amazing views. And for that I am thankful. Today's ride was a little windy, as you can tell in the following video I took along Hwy 105 (Perry Park Road).

From this point I rode south (into the wind) on Hwy. 105 to Fox Farm Road, where I turned east towards Larkspur. I stopped at the Larkspur Corner Market to load up on water and Power Bars before cutting back across to Hwy 105 and heading home.

The tailwind was indeed a welcome boost as my legs began to tire. It was my longest ride since last fall but I felt good. I'm looking forward to many more training rides in this area as I prepare for my strongest RTR ever!

Ride on...