Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Heart Yams

Clearly it is time for a post. Holy cow it's been awhile!

This post is an ode to Yams, with a capital Y. They deserve to be capitalized.

A few months ago, I stopped ingesting anything with gluten in it, as well as rice, potatoes, oats, and anything else that had the ability to destroy my stomach upon entry (which is pretty much everything except fruits, veggies and most protein). I've been struggling for many years with a horrendous stomach, and I finally decided to take drastic measures. I quit my oatmeal habit as my main pre-ride/race fuel...but struggled to find a suitable replacement. So begins my love affair with yams.

It started off slowly at first. Pre and post-race at Jeff cup (my first-ever road race), I still tried to eat my usual almond butter bagel. On top of that, I was unprepared for food during the race (forgot my GU, disastrous) and had to bum an Optimum Nutrition bar and a gel off of Keck. I ate a little of the bar during the race and frigging dropped the gel. Sure enough, a few hours later, my innards once again retaliated against me. Back to the drawing board.

I had heard about the gloriousness of yams and their ability to fuel endurance athletes - and at Jeff Cup, I witnessed Keck downing a few pre-race. Apparently this is turning into an ode to Keck as well. Anywho, Keck is not alone. My trainer has consistently touted yams as THE best carbohydrate source for energy and recovery, and a number of the training/nutrition blogs I follow have suggested the same (Train with Nellie).

In any case, I finally decided to give Yams a whirl as a pre-race meal. While not entirely the best idea to test something new before a race, I knew that yams agreed with my stomach, and I figured they couldn't possibly hurt the tumtum moe than a bagel. So - I tested out a new breakfast the day of the Chantilly crit. I combined eggs, mashed yams and a little bit of avocado (plus some turkey bacon on the side). It was delicious! If you like that sort of thing.

And the results? Best I have EVER felt in a race stomach/gut-wise. I ate the same thing the next day before Dolan and once again felt phenomenal. I even followed it up with a post-race Yam recovery snack. I also have them (small amount) with my pre-race dinner to start building up carbs in my system. Works like a charm.

So, in summary...Yams are the bomb. And so is my team - congrats to the C's for their upgrades last weekend!


Anonymous said...

try sweet potatoes too. basically the same as yams, but have always seemed to me more "variable" in terms of what can be added for taste. a bit of olive oil, some cheese, and sea salt = mmmm

Margit said...

Good call! I recently have been partaking in sweet potatoes as well...they are actually a bit less starchy than yams, so sometimes make a less feeling accompaniment to dindin. Thanks for the note!