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Fuel for the Road
Posted By Brendan Brazier On February 18, 2007 @ 9:49 am In Fitness/Diet | 3 Comments
I just got back home to Vancouver from 3 ½ weeks on the road. One week in Toronto and 2 ½ in LA. It was a great trip. During my time in Toronto I spoke at the Holistic World Expo. Held at the convention center, as expected it produced a good turn out. Then, on to Anaheim for the official US launch of VEGA. Expo West is the largest natural products expo in the world, held in Anaheim each year. The rest of the trip was spent in the LA area, visiting friends, working on projects and helping to get VEGA established. I did a few demos at Erewhon, a large well-know health food store in LA.
I’m off again on April 26th, this time for at least a month. Washington DC, Toronto, Chicago and likely other parts of Ontario.
Since my diet is based purely on plants and about 80% raw, I’m often asked how I maintain it while I’m on the road. In fact, one of the reasons I eat the way I do is because it requires the least amount of effort and provides the most energy a great combo for travel. Also, since I’m training for the up-coming racing season (I have the Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Championships on May 6th in Toronto), I have to pay close attention to my diet.
Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred fuel source. Without sufficient carbohydrate in the diet the body will not have the energy required for high performance sport. My primary carbohydrate source is fruit. Fruit is known as a simple carbohydrate meaning that is made up of primarily sugar. Sugar from fruit is very easy for the body to burn as fuel. In contrast, many processed grains commonly eaten have to be broken down from complex carbohydrates into simple sugar since the body cannot burn complex carbohydrate, therefore an extra step is created, making it’s utilization less efficient.
To ensure my body is properly fueled, I graze on fruit for most of the morning and afternoon.
Bananas are easily digestible and are easy to find in most any corner store in North America, making them a reliable source. Other good options are dates which are high in a quick absorbing sugar called glucose. They’re idea right before a workout to fuel up on. I also eat lots of mango and papaya. They are both easily digestible, plus papaya has an enzyme in it that helps the digestion of other foods eaten with it. Pears, apples and oranges are more of my staples. I often gnaw on a bit of ginger as well to help speed digestion even more.
One of the things I like most about raw foods is that there’s no preparation required, I just eat the fruit as is. It frees up a lot of extra time in the day for other things.
Next installment I’ll talk about protein.
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