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Coach's Column with Namrita O'Dea

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |October 11, 2011 1:08 AM

This week our question goes to Namrita O'Dea. A licensed dietician and member of the Topeak/Ergon racing team, O'Dea helps riders fine tune their bodies for maximum performance through her business 55 Nine Performance Nutrition.



 

Question: I travel a lot after races and end up eating fast food or grabbing what I can at gas stations along the way. What are the best choices for eating decent fast food and give me 5 things I can safely eat at a gas station.

Answer:

Fast food tips:

1) When possible, order hot rather than cold sandwiches to minimize the chance of eating something contaminated with bacteria

2) Avoid salad bars (again, the bacteria...)

3) Pick a healthier side. Many fast food joints now offer fruit or yogurt as a side instead of fries 

4) If you are at a sit-down place you can often order off the "Lite" menu which should come with a healthier side such as fruit or a salad

5) Decent options for fast food include: Grilled chicken sandwiches, Roast turkey or beef or ham sandwiches (order hot when possible), soft tacos or burritos, breakfast sandwiches with egg and ham, smoothies, and even Starbucks has "real" food options such as oatmeal, breakfast wraps, sandwiches, and fruit & cheese plates. 

 

Top 5 gas station picks:

1) PowerBar (i.e. Harvest Bar, ProteinPlus, or Triple Threat Energy Bar) or Clif Bar (Original, or Builder Bar)

2) Sea Salted Almonds or Cashews (single serve packages) and fruit with a peel (i.e. banana or orange)

3) Beef jerky and fruit (banana or orange) or OJ

4) Fig Newtons or trail mix and low-fat milk or chocolate milk

5) Turkey, ham, or roast beef sandwich

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