The Outside Blog

Climbing : Nutrition

Multicultural Backcountry Eating with the GSI Outdoor Kung Foon

KungfoonIf you know someone who thinks eating backcountry ramen with a fork seems culturally inauthentic, yet does not have the patience to finesse campsite mac and cheese from a bowl to mouth with chopsticks, GSI has the ultimate utensil for them. The titanium Kung Foon combines the elegance of chopsticks with the practicality of a spork.

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Beat Back the Holiday Bulge with Recipes from Allen Lim

Thanksgiving is almost a week gone, but if you're like me the massive pig out and the Macy's Day-worthy parade of leftovers won't soon be forgotten. I'm talking about extra girth, not warm fuzzy holiday feelings.

I ventured onto the scale for the first time in a week and confirmed that I probably should have opted for seconds on intervals, not pumpkin cheesecake. Meanwhile, I'm staring down the barrel of a host of Christmas parties addled with irresistibly iced sugar cookies, ButterBalls, and cholesterol-spiking eggnog. Glug! And the early sunsets this time of year make it even harder to get in a good workout and still feel inspired to cook.

FZC_72dpi_400pw
Enter The Feed Zone Cookbook, a recent release aimed at cyclists and other athletes that showed up on my doorstep a few weeks back. Co-authored by Biju Thomas, who has cooked for Lance Armstrong and a host of other notable cyclists, and Dr. Allen Lim, director of sport science for Garmin-Cervélo and Radioshack pro cycling teams over the past four seasons, this 315-page hardback is full of nutrition advice and simple, healthy recipes for athletes. A number of celebrity athletes have apparently benefited from the meals in this book, including Levi Leipheimer, who ends his foreward with this: "Not only did Biju and Allen help salvage a disastrous start to my 2011 season...they actually got me into the kitchen, cooking these recipes."

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Energy Food We Actually Enjoy Eating

Perusing the energy food aisle can be a bewildering experience. The sheer number of bars, chews, gels, granola-bar imposters, and lookalike Snicker's can cause you to bonk you before you even begin your next ride, run, or workout. Don't fret. Fortunately, we've tasted just about all of them. Every week, we get at least a few shipments of new flavors and formulations from just about every energy food purveyor on the planet. Here are four of our new faves.


ChocolateHazelnutPack1. Justin's Nut Butters:
Hazlenut chocolate butter, maple almond butter, honey peanut butter. Do you have any idea how good Justin's Nut Butters taste squeezed onto a banana? Try the two tablespoon packs for camping, but get a jar of each for home. And a spoon. Available now, $6-$10 for 10 single serving packs; justinsnutbutter.com.

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Outdoor Cooking on Steroids

EcoqueNo one backyard accessory will decrease your time in the kitchen more than Ecoque's outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven and Smoker.

Why?
1. You can now cook outside at anytime of the year.
2. You're cooking with wood, so everything you hot or cold smoke, roast, bake, braise, plank, or slow roast will have a delicious hardwood smoke flavor.
3. You will become a famous chef, at least on your own block, and become even more popular with the neighbors.

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From The Lean-To: Kendal Mint Cake

OUTSIDE KENDAL

Ah, Kendal Mint Cakes. Know them? Originating from Kendal in Cumbria, England, Edmund Hillary took the snack up to the top of Everest with him in 1953, cementing their place in the packs of hikers, climbers and adventureres for years to come. One member of that expedition wrote about Kendal Mint Cake, saying 'It was easily the most popular item on our high altitude ration – our only criticism was that we did not have enough of it."

In the late 70s, REI was even an agent for selling the mint cakes. Colin Fletcher wrote about them in his classic backpacking how-to, The Complete Walker.

First developed in 1869 by Joseph Wiper, who began producing it in his small Kendal factory, there are now three different companies, all in Kendal, that are still producing the high energy York Peppermint Patty-ish type bar. Romney's, Quiggin's, and Wilson's.

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