For a few years now, on and off, I’ve been following a paleo primal diet, after reading an interview with Mark Sisson in the Rivendell Reader.
Since then I’ve followed the diet, in a far from religious fashion and managed to lose my spare poundage and keep control of my trademark raging appetite.
I won’t bore you with the details here but the diet basically shuns the four main sources of carbohydrates; wheat, rice, potatoes and refined sugars. I’m grossly oversimplifying here but Sisson and others argue that a diet with much reduced carbs and a higher level of protein and fats more closely approximates that of our hunter gatherer ancestors. Perhaps more relevant to us modern folk is the stabilizing and lowering effect the diet has on blood sugar and the consequent effect on fat burning and fat storage.
For full details on the diet Google mark’s daily apple and prepare to put aside some preconceptions on diet, exercise and health.
Of even greater significance for loping cyclers like me is how well a lowish carb diet fits in with steady, plodding exercise. Conventional wisdom says that you need to carb up for cycling. Heck, there’s a whole bogus energy drink business built around it. The truth is, you only need to carb up for long hard rides of two hours or more. For my kind of riding; steady conversational pace I can survive quite happily, even on day rides, on my regular primal diet, a typical day of which usually consists of:
Breakfast – scrambled eggs, Bacon, coffee with cream
Lunch – salad with chicken, tuna, cheese, nuts
Dinner – meat or fish with lots of vegetables
Snacks – nuts, 70 % dark chocolate, berries
All tasty, normal and unimpoverished tucker I think you’ll agree, which allows me to stay relatively slim and allows me to ride my bike in my kind of way, taking in the surroundings, stopping and starting, occasionally sprinting and climbing, expending energy in much the same way as our hunter gatherer genes intended.