52 Weeks of Healthy Eating: No Such Thing as an Empty Calorie

It was a busy weekend. I had my first event for 2021, a 45 mile gravel race over in Ohio’s Amish country. It was a beautiful, sunny day across windswept farm land, buggys, horse drawn farm machinery and Amish children smiling and waving. Oh and it was cold, mid 20’s with a max wind gust of 15 mph making the real feel in the teens. I knocked out the ride in 3:45, and I am not sure how people did it in 2:16. I still have a lot to learn about bike riding and I have been riding for the better part of 30 years. My summer 40 miler got cancelled, so I signed up for a mountain 50k, this will make two mountain events this year, the other is a mountain 28 miler.

Lost Turkey Trail 50k: https://www.facebook.com/groups/685728304891561/

Boulder Beast: https://www.patraildogs.com/boulderbeast

This week, I want to look at the myth of zero calories. This is a very complicated subject, one that I found to have many white papers written on. It is true that some calories have more oomph than others, but every food calorie counts. As I have written in other posts, it is what you eat that fuels the machine. Just like in a car, if you put garbage gas in, you are going to get garbage performance. Eat more fat and more protein and when it comes to carbs, make sure they are not processed and are going to be used for the fuel. The wrong carbs can be high on the glycemic index and can convert quickly to sugar, think of a NOS system in a car, that quick boost of fuel are how the foods high on the glycemic index work. Empty calores are those calories that come from solid fats and added sugars. All of these have some nutrient value and indeed, many of the affordable foods people buy in the grocery stores have some sort of combination of these two types of calories. These two types of calories do provide the body with energy. The main problem with a lot of these foods is the processing and the added salts, sugars and preservatives and form of fat used, all of which can lead to long term health problems. A better way to approach this to come at your food by looking at caloric density and balance Eating foods liek fruits, vegetables, whole grans, nuts, seeds, lean protein, seeds and healthy fats is a more balanced approach and an approach that will add to satiety.

This week, I was busy, so my meals are pretty simple.

For meal 1, I have a sheet pan roasted veggie and smoked sausage, I made this a few weeks ago and was a good meal. For Meal 2, I have a Bolognese Sauce with Banza Pasta.

My breakfasts are going to be the same for a few more weeks, Oatmeal, Muesli, Eggs and Toast.

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