There seem to be cookbooks for everything today, from the most niche food allergies to bizarre diets. One genre that we have not seen that much of is cycling specific recipe books. Step forward Skratch Labs with the Feed Zone Cookbook.
The book itself is 315 pages of cycling and health specific recipes from Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim, both cyclists and chefs. There is an in depth explanation of who they are at the end of the book, where Biju Thomas explains how he has cooked for some of the world's most famous cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, a controversial figure to include in any cycling related product.
There is a foreword from Levi Leipheimer from the RadioShack team and Timmy Duggan from Liquigas Cannondale (the book was published in 2011 thus the old name).
It is divided into different meals, breakfast portables, ápres, dinner, dessert and basics. This makes it easy to find food for specific needs, but I feel that they have really missed a trick by not including pre-race, pre-training or week long plans for training camps and the like.
The recipes themselves are all simple to make and tasty, but they clearly have not amended the book for the UK market, as much of the phrasing can be confusing. I had no idea that molasses was treacle and I still don't know what Texas Toast is.
This phrasing should not take away from the recipes though, which as I mentioned, are all simple and quick to make whilst also tasting great.
Most of the ingredients are easy to source, in fact the hardest thing for me to find was quinoa, which says more about the quality of my local supermarkets rather than the complexity of the products.
Each recipe includes a useful breakdown of energy, fat, sodium, carbs, fibre and protein of the meal and at the end of the book there is a more detailed breakdown of all the foods within the book in a large table. This is useful for those who want to mix and match while staying healthy.
The end of the book also has a section that includes the basics of cooking some of the simpler things in the book, such as quinoa, romesco and various coleslaws, among many other foods.
The introduction to the book is also useful, with in depth look at much of the science behind eating right when cycling. It also includes the basics around creating the best drinks whilst you are out on the bike and even the science behind many of the ingredients that you find in some of the recipes later in the book.
In terms of the health or performance benefits, I can't give specific numbers. I felt good afterwards, but as a cyclist I try to eat healthily all the time, so the specifics of these recipes is hard to gauge.
Overall the book is useful for those looking to eat well and increase their performance on the bike. I was impressed with the simplicity and tastiness of many of the dishes. I think that more could have been done in terms of particular specific event preparations and if it is going to be truly successful in the UK they need to make sure it has UK phrasing to make it easier to find ingredients.
Oh, and it turns out Texas Toast is just really thickly sliced bread.
Useful book, full of good healthy recipes to improve performance
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Skratch Labs The Feed Zone Cookbook
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"If you train like a pro, why not eat like one? Skratch Labs The Feed Zone Cookbook enables you to do just this. A book packed with easy to follow, healthy and nutritious recipes, the cookbook will provide lots of tasty endurance boosting meals."
I would say that the meals are tasty (dependant on your prowess in the kitchen) and relatively easy to make. In terms of endurance boosting, I can't give any specific claims, but I didn't feel close to a bonk after making one of their
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Includes in depth foreword on the science behind many of the recipes as well as many nutritional values.
Hardback with well bound pages and built in bookmark.
Easy to make healthy recipes that taste good, what more do you need?
£18 for a 313 page recipe book with in depth analysis and nutritional info seems like a fairly good deal.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed well, good endurance boosting meals that are simple to make. Nutritional information is also good for those who count their intake.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The simplicity and tastiness of many of the recipes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
American phrasing throughout means extra research is needed to find some products.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 27 Height: 6 ft Weight:
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.