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  1. #1
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    The Cyclist's Food Guide

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    I see many recommendations for this book by Nancy Clark. I went to Amazon and was reading the reviews, and this one came up...

    Unfortunately, this book is not evidence or research-based, and for the most part regurgitates tired, debunked dietary myths.

    The problems are too numerous to enumerate here. But a couple of examples are the authors' recommendation of fast-food joints as a source of nutritious meals, and their argument that organic food sources be avoided because they lack the nutritional content of processed foods.


    For those of you who have read this book, is there any truth to the comment? I avoid processed food like the plague so it would be pointless for me to purchase this book if she actually promotes processed food.
    Mary
    ~Strong and content, I travel the open road.~



    http://www.the3day.org/goto/mary.aguirre

  2. #2
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    That's weird. I don't remember any such recommendations (fast food) or critique of organic. etc. It has been a while since I read this, book but Nancy Clary is pretty solid. I recall nothing promoting processed food.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  3. #3
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    I thought it was really weird too. I wouldn't imagine that so many TE members would recommend the book if it promoted processed food.

    I am trying to formulate a plan to switch from eating purely for weightloss to eating for better cycling performance (and lose the last few pounds) and I thought this book might be a good place to start.

    Thanks!
    Mary
    ~Strong and content, I travel the open road.~



    http://www.the3day.org/goto/mary.aguirre

  4. #4
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    I haven't read it in a while and don't have time to start rereading it now. But I seem to recall that it is evidence based, and if there's anything about fast food it's in terms of if fast food is your only choice, choose this instead of that.

    She encourages things like whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables, low-fat yogurt.

  5. #5
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    Awesome! Thanks!
    Mary
    ~Strong and content, I travel the open road.~



    http://www.the3day.org/goto/mary.aguirre

  6. #6
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    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    To be a bit more specific, there are also a lot of anecdotes based on her experience with clients, but they're used to illustrate her points, not as evidence. Maybe that's part of what the reviewer was talking about.

    But she does also reference various studies.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    California
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    I don't know about this book, in particular; but, I did come across this article by Nancy Clark re organic foods -- looks like she is a fan:

    The Athlete’s Kitchen: Organic Foods for Athletes?
    Are organic products worth the extra cost? In terms of nutrition, some research suggests organic foods may have slightly more minerals and antioxidants than conventionally grown counterparts.

    Copyright: Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, Feb 2007

    Organic foods–are they better, safer, more nutritious? That's what many active people want to know. After all, when you are training hard to enhance your performance, you might as well enhance your health at the same time—and that means eating wisely and well. Questions arise: should eating organic foods be a part of your sports diet? This article addresses some questions athletes commonly ask about whether to go organic.

    The meaning of organic
    To start, what does “organic” actually mean? Organic refers to the way farmers grow and process fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Only foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled “organic.” (Note: The food label terms “natural,” “hormone free,” or “free-range” do not necessarily mean “organic.”) Organic farming practices are designed to conserve soil and water and to reduce pollution. For example, organic farmers do not use chemical fertilizers, insecticides, or weed killers on crops. Nor do they use growth hormones, antibiotics, or medications to enhance animal growth and prevent disease.

    Why go organic?
    Organic fruits and vegetables can cost about 30% more than standard produce, if not more. If you are a hungry athlete who requires a lot of food, you might be wondering: Are organic products worth the extra cost? In terms of taste, some athletes claim organic foods taste better. Taste is subjective and may relate to the fact that freshly grown foods have more flavor. In terms of nutrition, some research suggests organic foods may have slightly more minerals and antioxidants than conventionally grown counterparts, but the differences are insignificant. You could adjust for the difference by simply eating a larger portion of standard broccoli.


    One important reason to buy organic—preferably locally grown organic—is to help sustain the earth and replenish its resources. Buying locally grown foods supports the small farmers and helps them earn a better living from their farmland. Otherwise, farmers can easily be tempted to sell their land for house lots or industrial parks—and there goes more beautiful open green space.


    Yet, if you buy organic foods from a large grocery store chain, you should think about the whole picture. Because organic fruits, for example, are in big demand, they may need to be transported for thousands of miles, let’s say from California to Massachusetts. This transportation process consumes fuel, pollutes the air—and hinders the establishment of a better environment. Does this really fit the ideal vision of “organic”? The compromise is to buy locally grown produce whenever possible. To find the farm stands in your area, visit www.localharvest.com.


    A second potential reason to choose organic relates to reduce the pesticide content in your body and the potential risk of cancer and birth defects. The Environmental Protection Agency (www.EPA.gov) has established standards that require a 100- to 1,000-fold margin of safety for pesticide residues. They have set limits based on scientific data that indicates a pesticide will not cause “unreasonable risk to human health.” According to Richard Bonanno, Ph.D., agricultural expert at University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a farmer himself, 65% to 75% of conventionally grown produce has no detectible pesticides. (When used properly and applied at the right times, pesticides degrade and become inert.)



    Results of testing vegetables from farms in Massachusetts showed no pesticide residues in 100% of the samples. Bonanno reports only 0.5% of conventionally grown foods (but 3-4% of imported foods) are above EPA standards. A 2005 survey of 13,621 food samples revealed pesticide residue exceeding the tolerance by 0.2%. (1) Yet, watchdog groups such as www.beyondpesticides.org and www.foodnews.org wave red flags and remind us, for example, that small amounts of pesticides can accumulate in the body. This may be of particular concern during vulnerable periods of growth, such as with young children.

    Conflicting values
    Clearly, the decision to buy organic foods becomes a matter of personal values. Bonanno sees “organic,” in part, as a marketing ploy, with organic foods portrayed as being safer and better. He argues that we do not have a two-tier food system in the US--with wealthier people who can afford to buy organic foods being the recipients of safer foods.

    Options
    So what's a hungry but poor athlete to do?

    Eat a variety of foods to minimize exposure to a specific pesticide residue.


    Carefully wash and rinse fruits and vegetables under running water; this can remove 99% of any pesticide residue (depending on the food and the pesticide).


    Peel fruits, such as apples, potatoes, carrots and pears (but then, you also peel off important nutrients).


    Remove the tops and outer portions of celery, lettuce and cabbage.


    Buy organic versions of the foods you eat most often, such as organic apples, if you are a five-a-day apple eater.


    Sometimes (if not all the time), buy organic versions of the fruits and veggies that are known to have the highest pesticide residue, even after having been washed. According to the Environmental Working Group (www.foodnews.org), the “Dirty Dozen” includes these fruits: apples, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, strawberries, and red raspberries; and these vegetables: potatoes, bell peppers, celery, and spinach.


    Save money by choosing conventionally grown versions of the “Clean Dozen” (with little or no pesticide residue): bananas, kiwis, pineapples, mangoes, papayas (note that foods like papaya, mango and banana have their own protective shell, so this reduces pesticide exposure on the flesh of the fruit); asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, sweet corn, and green peas. (For a complete list of 43 fruits and veggies, see www.foodnews.org.)

    When all is said and done, whether to make the extra shopping trip and pay the higher price is an individual decision. But for athletes who are concerned about the environment, there’s no question that buying organic foods help save the small farms—and the future of our planet.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD (board Certified Specialist in Sports
    Dietetics) counsels casual & competitive athletes at Healthworks (617-383-6100), the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill MA. Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Food Guide for Marathoners and Cyclist’s Food Guide are available via www.nancyclarkrd.com.

    Reference
    1.USDA Pesticide Data Program, Annual Summary for Calendar Year 2005, page 31
    http://www.ams.usda.gov/SCIENCE/pdp/Summary2005.pdf (pdf download)

    For additional information
    Agricultural Marketing Service of the US Department of Agriculture
    Pesticide Data Program
    http://www.ams.usda.gov/science/pdp/Index.htm


    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    www.EPA.gov/pesticides

    Environmental Working Group
    www.ewg.org
    www.foodnews.org

    Beyond Pesticides (formerly the National Commission Against the Misuse of Pesticides)

  8. #8
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    Sep 2009
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    I just got the sports nutrition book by Nancy Clark, and ordered the cycling book from her website. So far, I'm impressed by her understandable style of presenting information, and it looks quite reasonable to me.

  9. #9
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    Do you think it is worth buying the sports nutrition book and the cycling nutrition book? i kind of thought that it would be the same info.
    Mary
    ~Strong and content, I travel the open road.~



    http://www.the3day.org/goto/mary.aguirre

  10. #10
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    I guess I'll find out... the description on the web site had more cycling specific info, and the nutrition book seems to be more general.

    We got the first book for 40% off so it won't be too bad if they overlap. On the web site there was a discount for purchasing both, so it looks like the author thinks they are complementary.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    494
    I had my copy of The Cyclist's Food Guide handy when I read this post so looked through it to refresh my memory. I couldn't find a reference to organic vegetables, and it wasn't listed in the index. That doesn't mean it isn't there, but I don't remember it, and it doesn't sound like something she would say. If anyone finds it, please post the page number.

    As far as the fast food thing, she includes a section of what the healthiest choices would be at various fast food restaurants recognizing that sometimes, a fast food joint is going to be the only option. Not all of us are going to prepare a healthy lunch and snacks to take with us on the road.

    She also has a lot of quick,healthy meals that require little to no cooking. Sure, it would be healthier to prepare something from scratch, but for many of us, some frozen veggies and pasta would be far healthier than going out to eat because we don't want to take the time to shop and cook that day. She strikes me as being very practical in helping people to make the best choices within the circumstances they find themselves. It sounds like the reviewer did not read the book very carefully.


    Grits

    2010 Trek 5.2 Madone WSD, SI Diva Gel Flow
    2002 Terry Classic, Terry Liberator

  12. #12
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    I read Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook while we were driving to my parents' house. I really liked it. I couldn't find the cyclist's food guide at the library, so I ordered it. Should be waiting for me at my house when i get home. I really like her idea of front loading your eat at the beginning of the day to avoid binging later in the day.

    mary
    Mary
    ~Strong and content, I travel the open road.~



    http://www.the3day.org/goto/mary.aguirre

  13. #13
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    Sep 2009
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    I just got my copy of the Cyclist's Food Guide in the mail, and it came with a handwritten note from Nancy inside!

    It looks there is a some overlap with the sports nutrition book, but a lot of cycling specific tips - I'm looking forward to spending some time with it. Sharon

 

 

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