Thoughts on Diet and Clean Eating

Colby Pearce talks about his thoughts on wholesome clean eating and the role of nutrition in sports.

Cycling in Alignment Colby Pearce Diet
Photo: Ella Olsson

As an athlete, specifically a cyclist, you know that your diet greatly affects your performance on the bike. Your ability to go hard and long depends to some extent on what you’ve been fueling yourself with. Colby isn’t and doesn’t claim to be a dietitian or nutritionist; that said, this podcast is a collection of his thoughts on wholesome, clean eating.


Episode Transcript

Colby Pearce  00:02

The goal of diet is not perfection. No one needs to be perfect. This isn’t about living like a monk and only eating air and organic filets of New York strip and organic lettuce. That’s not the end goal. The end goal is for you to live your life on this planet and express what you love and do it with maximal health. I mean, if health isn’t one of your primary life goals, then I would argue you’ve got some priorities that aren’t quite in order, because health underlies everything, let’s be clear about that. the healthier you are, the more joy you can bring to life, the more love you can spread, the more you can actualize your own goals. Bring your gift to the world. That’s what we’re here to do. So that’s not where you’re at getting gear dude.



Welcome to the cycling and alignment podcast. An examination of cycling as a practice dialogue about the integration of sport and right relationship to your life.


Colby Pearce  01:07

Hello listeners greetings and salutations. Today we’re going to share some diet thoughts. I’d like to share with you some ideas on diet, I get a lot of people asking me, Well, what should I eat? And specifically questions about what to eat on the bike, but also what to eat off the bike. And I’m going to try to make things pretty simple because diet really is very simple. What obfuscates The matter is the fact that we live in 2020, where we have convenience stores and supermarkets with lots and lots of crappy food options. So we do need to dive a bit into the nature of food and how food has changed over a million years. And I’m not going to go down a giant wormhole on that. But what I’m saying is that we have to understand where food comes from and how it’s been processed and changed. First, a brief disclaimer, I want to say that I’m really not here to be a no at all or tell you about all the things that I know and the things that you don’t. That’s not the objective of this whole project. And this is inspired by a comment I did have on one of my reviews somewhere in some internet hole. And basically, the person was saying that I was kind of coming off as a no at all. And I can appreciate that perspective. But I want to be clear that my intent is to share what I’ve learned and provide a platform for discussion. In this case, the discussion happens to be myself because there’s going to be a solo episode. Sorry about that don’t have any brilliant intellect to bounce things off of. That format may change in the future, but for now, this is where it’s at. And I feel it’s important to get this information out. So I’m here to educate, discuss, illuminate, share, Spread the Love. If you have comments or you disagree with something specific I say via the photons you know where to hit me or if you don’t that’s cycling in alignment at Fast Talk Labs comm send me your comments. Second disclaimer. Since we’re on episode 11, now, my inbox has taken a significant Well, let’s just say the volume is increasing. So I’m doing the best I can to stay on top of it. Here with me, I appreciate your patience. Just one man as you know, I also take very seriously walking the walk, meaning if I’m telling you on my podcast that you need to have work life balance would make me quite a hypocrite if I were to be responding to emails at one in the morning and waking up with a 3% loop score. Not pointing any fingers Trevor but I don’t wear a whip anymore. Did for a while and move past that. learn the lessons I needed. Great tool. What I’m saying is I am mindful of my work life balance, and I make time to do my touchy every day because I know that it’s going to make me healthier and more effective in my work.


Colby Pearce  04:15

Okay, diet.


If it wasn’t here 500 years ago – don’t eat it

Colby Pearce  04:18

Here’s the bottom line. You should only put something in your mouth if it’s been or can be peeled, picked, caught or skinned. Another way to look at it is, if it wasn’t here, 500 years ago, don’t eat it. Twinkies were not here. 500 years ago. Microwave pizza is we’re not here 500 years ago. Some of the ingredients you find any microwave pizza you could maybe find in a forest. But that’s the way I think we need to think about it. Can you find it in a river? Can you find it in a forest? Can you find it on a farm? Is it edible? Just because you can find it there doesn’t mean you should eat it. But what I’m saying is that should be the form that the majority of your food takes Another way to think about that is moving away from the processing of foods or the process ization, which is probably not a word. The more processed of food is, the more things are done to it before it gets to your mouth. Generally speaking, the worse it is, the lower the nutrient value, and the less recognizable it is by your body. Our digestive tracts have developed over I don’t know how many really big number of years. And processed food has only appeared on this planet poof into our cupboards in the last 5100 years. We’re talking about things like well, a great example is a cracker. crackers are actually kind of made in molds, which is a really weird concept. If you think about it. We take all these grains and we boil them and process them and do them to things do things to them, to make them into a handy tasty shape. They don’t just come out looking like triscuit from some magical farm fairy, they are processed into that shape to make them into tiny squares. And what’s upsetting about that, to me, that kind of pisses me off. It’s like that bumper sticker. If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention. that upsets me because what that means to me is that someone in some food lab somewhere, did a survey or came up with an idea or decided that a certain mouth texture or mouthfeel the more refined food the more refined the food is, as a general rule, the worse it is for you and the less of it you should consume. Do you see croissants in a forest? No. Do you see donuts in a forest? Definitely not. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and probably already press stop because as soon as I say anything about donuts in a negative light, you’re going to freak out or bacon for that matter. Yeah, you can find bacon on a farm you have to do a bit of processing. You got to kill the pig and slice up the pig and then sure meat to some degree in some form or another and then of course cook it. Cooking is a form of processing and my raw food advocate, not necessarily but I think it makes up a component of our diet. So that gets down to some of the nuances, which we’ll get into. But I think some really important concepts are right now. Well, I’ll say in the last 3040 years, there’s been this big focus on the concept of macronutrients. When I say macronutrients, of course, I mean, carbohydrates, protein, and grams of fat. And we look at diets a lot of these diets that we see whether we’re talking about the Atkins diet or the keto diet or the Paleo diet. A lot of diets may be concerned with the counting of macronutrients. And for most people, in my experience, counting macronutrients isn’t really a useful metric. It’s not really the way to approach a diet. Counting macronutrients, I would prefer that you count quality score. The higher quality food you eat, the more nutrient dense it’s going to be, the healthier it’s going to be for you. And the macros will work themselves out for the most part, as long as we’re being sensible. Not saying you can ignore macros, you have to have a basic concept of what macronutrients are and what the elements of the food are that go on your plate. That’s important. For example, if you eat, you can eat really high quality organic, locally produced food, but if it’s 100%, starchy carbohydrates, you’re going to encounter some blood sugar issues doesn’t matter. A starch is a starch to a certain degree. There is a difference between eating a whole banana and eating, refined banana powder. Those will have different impacts on your blood sugar and on the nutrient density of the food.


Colby Pearce  09:02

That said, focusing on macronutrients is kind of in my opinion, the is not the optimal way to refine a diet. Something to keep in mind. The focus of a diet needs to be on whole natural foods in unprocessed form. And if you focusing on that with a secondary ion macros, then you’re going to be dialed. I realized that’s very broad. So don’t worry, we’re not stopping there. I’m going to unpack a bit more on how you might direct some of your nutrient oriented activities, otherwise known as food.

Food is not a race to the bottom

Eating is a complicated issue people eat for a lot of reasons. I mean, ostensibly, superficially, you might think that we just eat to survive or we eat because we’re hungry. But of course, people eat for many other reasons. Eating is associated with safety and home. Well, hopefully for most of it, most of us. It is. I mean, we can all i’m sure picture Nice holiday moment at home with their families. And there’s inevitably food associated with that. Food is associated with satiation and comfort, it’s associated with safety to a degree. If you can’t eat if you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, then it’s likely you’re going to have some pretty serious thoughts about your own mortality. Or at least your health. People can also learn to eat to fill emotional voids to distract from unsolvable or seemingly unsolvable problems. And you can of course, learn to eat to offset boredom. flavor is a thing and this is where one of our little modern food trappings starts to cause us big problems because we have foods that are so overloaded with flavors with stimulant stimulating flavors, whether that’s MSG are tons of sugar, lots of salt or lots of fats, that those foods can become Little addictive daily habits. And they produce they produce a specific series of chemical reactions that we find is pleasurable, and then you get hooked. That’s how you get hooked on a food and that food can be that can take the form of any number of things. But of course, that’s a problematic relationship with food. Really food fundamentally is it’s a source of energy and information. And when I say energy, I don’t necessarily just mean fuel, like you’re fueling your car with gasoline. to unpack that slightly to dissect. When you go to the gas station, let’s say you you’re driving down a big Street and there are 10 different gas stations on the strip. And they’ve all got the price of the fuel displayed. Now, there are probably subtle nuances in the differences of fuel and I’m not a motor sports person or a car person, I’m sure to someone who is really involved in this world, they could tell me that certain type of gasoline or fuel is going to do better with their engine or worse depending on the performance of their engine, etc. But for the purposes of this conversation, let’s just say that you’re driving your Honda Accord, all fuel is equal. The only difference is the octane right? at 890 92 or whatever.





Colby Pearce  12:28

When we apply the same concept to food and we go to the grocery store, what do we do we end up shopping for the cheapest fuel source available. This is a big flaw in logic. And I know a lot of people operate this way their whole lives. And there’s several problems with it. But food is all say, not the area to race to the bottom. Look, I mean, I’m sure we all know people who spend, you know $10,000 on the road bike and they won’t accept anything other than dirt. Can’t be record or you know, read a tab. And they spend $500 on an oversized pulley system, but at the same time they’re going to a supermarket and buying the cheapest food possible. And when you buy the cheapest food possible, you’re by definition, buying food that’s been scaled and scaled food will have lower nutrient content, and probably increased toxicity. Anytime you scale food or industrialized food, you’re going to increase things like glyphosate content, you’re going to, you’re going to increase by increasing profitability of food, you’re maximizing shelf life. And you’re also maximizing all the mainline channels of distribution. What am I saying? I’m saying that foods been on in a warehouse on a truck and in a warehouse and on a shelf for a long period of time because when you scale food, you have to make it last a long time. cheap food is food that can be on a shelf for six months and still sell. So the longer the expiration date of a food, the worse it is for you. There’s another good guideline So when you’re buying cheap food, you’re buying industrialized, scaled food by definition, and that means that you’re sacrificing nutrient density, which is always a basic goal of nutrition and freshness. And the longer the food sits on the shelf, the lower the energy of the food. This is gonna sound pretty esoteric, but it’s kind of less chewy. Like what everything’s made of stardust and sunlight, man. Well, here’s a goofy way to look at food, like, pick up that granola bar that’s been on a shelf for eight months. Look at it, how much sunlight is in that granola bar. Now pick up a fresh apple. I’m not talking about an apple that’s been in cold storage for a year and wax to death. I’m talking about an organic apple that you pick from a tree in the fall during Apple season. How much sunlights in that apple? See what I’m getting at. So ask yourself that before you take your next bite. How much sunlights in this food.


Colby Pearce  14:57

told you I was a hippie


Colby Pearce  15:01

Different micro macronutrients. Different macronutrients have been, we’ll say in fashion or out of fashion in the last about 30 years. Right? Again, we’re talking about proteins, carbohydrates and fats. So, in the 80s, fat was demonized fat was a bad thing. Everything was low fat, low fat pizza, no fat pizza we had which is a contradiction in terms. It’s like fresh frozen, right? I mean, come on. We had fat free cheese, fat and people thought erroneously in case you’re still thinking this way. And look, we’ve all been programmed by diet and diet guidelines and diet articles and magazines and media. I mean, we stand in line at the supermarket and you look at the magazine covers, and in 1984 it said it had a picture of a super hot chick with a tape measure around her waist that said some ridiculous number and she had the perfect hourglass figure that had been airbrushed to death. And it said, Do you want to lose weight now? 10 zero fat foods, right? And just reading that message reinforces our belief system or tries to enforce build and enforce a belief system that fat is bad. This is what happened in the 80s. Then in the 90s, it was red meat. Red meat will give you heart disease. And there are still people I have heated, visceral debates with about this topic, even today, in the last year. There are people who believe that red meat will give you heart disease and this is not true. However, there is some nuance to that discussion. So I will unpack that in a moment. Now, moving forward with the concept. In 2020 carbs are the villain. carbs, carbs, carbs. carbs are bad carbs will make you fat. cars will make you slow cars will give you brain fog. Carbohydrates will ruin your ketogenic figure. And keto is the thing or carnivores the thing, right? Okay. Can we just recognize that humans eat lots of variety of different foods and we’re capable of it? And yes, we do have incisors and molars. So based on that alone, we’ve got grinding teeth that can chew up vegetables, and we’ve got cutting teeth that can bite into meat, right? We’re not ruminants, you don’t have tall stomachs. So if we eat only grass, chances are things might not work out. Well. Likewise, we are not carnivores, although Paul Saladino would disagree. And we do not only have incisors, we don’t hunt and eat raw deer, most of us, okay. So, what I’m recognizing here and I think it’s important for us to witness is that macronutrients go through a cycle of demonization just like jeans, and I don’t wear denim. But there was a time when I did and there was a time when I wore skinny jeans because I’m a bike rider. I never really went through a bell bottom phase maybe had a couple pair of stovepipes. But jeans go in and out of fashion. And so two macronutrients and right now carbs are added protein is the cool thing. And fats are the cool thing. We’ll probably go through another cycle of that and another 10 years. I’m just saying be aware of it.

I mean, this is another example of polarized thinking, which I’m sure you agree. We can apply to many aspects of our lives right now. This is good, this is bad. So what do you do?

Metabolic Typing Diet

All right, I’m going to give you a framework from which you can help have an intuition on how your macronutrients should play out in your diet. And this is a powerful tool. It’s just a starting point. And it is called the metabolic typing diet.

Wait a minute Pierce. You just said that diets don’t work for people.

Wait, did I say that? I’m gonna say it now, all these diets? These are based on central generalization logic errs. What does that mean? It means that one person had great success with a diet and they applied to a few of their friends. And then they wrote a book about it, or they open a practice and they applied it to their clients, and they had great success. And then they started seeing this wonderful outcome of the diet, insert any diet that you can think of in this paradigm, and it’s more or less the same. And I’m not bashing these people, like their experience is valid. They helped people, some people maybe were eating, you know, all pasta and refined carbohydrates, and then they discovered the carnivore diet and their health skyrocketed, or they went vegetarian and their health got much better.


Colby Pearce  19:49

I’m not discounting these experiences, these are valid. The rule the only rule of diet is that people are individuals or as Paul would say, Paul, check one of my teachers God is a novelty generator, meaning everybody’s an individual. That means that what Colby can have for breakfast is not the same as what Janet can have for breakfast, we won’t be able to eat the same breakfast, but she might feel like crap Two hours later, she might have brain fog, she might have bad energy or not be able to connect all her amazing cognitive abilities to make sentences and do the work that she has to do. On the other hand, I might thrive on a given diet given breakfast. And if we changed chairs the next day, and ate what she eats for breakfast, I might feel horrible on the bike, or in my strength workout. So we have to dial in and figure out what works for us and this metabolic typing diet. The primary premise of it is that you have to figure out what works for you and this is also part of Paul’s teachings that ultimately you have to very carefully and intentionally select foods that work for you and food that do not and the longer I’ve been on this planet Earth, the better I’ve gotten at that and this is one reason why when people Say, oh man getting old sucks, I have to vehemently disagree, because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing when I was 22. And this is only one of 1000 examples of that paradigm. So I can get up almost every day and nail the diet and feel like I’m performing at my best. And I don’t just mean on the bike. I mean, in life, it’s not balanced blood sugar, okay, cognitive ability, I can hopefully most the time make the words come out of my brain to my mouth hole and say good sentence. So as someone who talks to a microphone now pretty regularly, that’s pretty important. When you use the metabolic typing diet, by the way, you can find this questionnaire online. We’ll put a link in the old show notes. And we’ll put a link to the main website for this resource. It’s metabolic typing online COMM But if you’re not, you can just click a link don’t have to remake If you don’t want to, and there’s a questionnaire you take, and it gives you an idea, and it’s gonna put you in three broad categories initially, as you research more about it on the site, you can further refine what that means for you and learn more about your own metabolism and how you respond to food. And once you have this insight, then it can help you ultimately refine your own personal choices in diet and start to optimize them. So this is a very useful tool, but broadly speaking, it’ll put you into one of three categories. an equatorial, a polar or a mixed. An equitorial type is probably someone who lives in or whose ancestry is from an equatorial climate zone, ie a warmer summery or hotter climate zone and what happens, think about the way that your ancestors lived in that type of environment. It’s a really hot so you’re going to gravitate over weigh from heavier foods, this is higher fat foods, heavier protein foods probably going to gravitate towards more carbohydrate foods, starchy foods. And that’s, I hope that’s sort of somewhat intuitively obvious based on the environment that the people are living in. Also, you have to look at what foods are available to the people who live in that part of the world. Talking about before we could buy strawberries from Brazil, and before we could buy apples 12 months a year, by the way, apples don’t grow on trees 12 months a year, so having a clue about some seasonality of food is an important part of this equation. We shouldn’t necessarily be eating apples year round, you’re eating them now. For example, you’re about as far from Apple season as you got. And that means your Apple sat on a truck or in a warehouse and was probably sprayed with something to help it stay that perfect ruby red color. You’d be shocked if you want to dig into the food industry and find out what they do to your food to keep it shelf stable, even fruits and vegetables again, If you’re not paying attention, then you’re not pissed off. So


Colby Pearce  24:06

when you’re an equatorial type you your diet should be skewed a little bit more or shifted, we’ll say more towards the carbohydrate end of the spectrum. And away from the fat end spectrum. Does that mean you eat no fat? No. I would argue that no human on Earth should eat a zero or low fat diet. Why? Because we’ve got lots and lots of cells in our body, trillions specifically, and every single cell membrane is made up of fat and guess what your brain is made of? Mostly fat. So do you want to starve your brain and disable the ability of your cells to repair themselves? I don’t think that sounds like a good idea, a good way to inhabit your biological spacesuit, this vessel that we’ve been giving this bag of stardust so that’s equitorial. a polar type as you might imagine, gravitate towards the other end of the spectrum. Have your purpose. Teens heavier fats, a higher content of healthy fat healthy being the operative word there. Although we can apply that to all three macronutrients, and I’ll unpack that too. So when you lit let’s take our textbook classic example. If you’re an Eskimo and you live in the Arctic Circle somewhere, you don’t have a lot of green vegetables growing. On plants above ground, you’ve got starchy tubers probably. And so you’re going to eat some of those. And you’ve got, you’re going to gravitate towards fattier meats that give you more assessments and a little more digestive heat to endure cold temperatures, especially during the winter. That’s the other type. So those are the two main polarities of type and then in the middle, we have a mixed type and depending on your ancestry, and also some other lifestyle factors. You can end up in the middle the pole Type tends to burn carbohydrates very quickly. So when someone has a polar disposition and polar dietary typing, and they have too many carbs in their diet, especially refined carbs that will spike blood sugar, they can have a lot of health issues, it’s quite easy for them to have weight gain, and blood sugar swings, and a lot of other issues that go down the chain from there. Likewise, if someone’s from, if someone is really inclined towards an equatorial type, and they’re eating lots of heavy proteins, lots of red meats, a lot of fattier cuts of meat, that can cause them issues because their body doesn’t have the capacity to digest that heavier meal. So they’re just not going to do as well. So this is a really basic framework from which to start to refine your dietary choices. And if you realize, Hey, I’m my I’m quite it’s quite likely my ancestors are from Northern Scotland and I’m trying to be a vegetarian. Well, that could be step one, to figuring out why things maybe aren’t working for you. Backing up vegetarianism What I’m saying is figure out your own type. This can be quite insightful. Some other points, think about your vegetables in different ways you can categorize them broadly above ground and below ground below ground vegetables, vegetables that grow in the earth like carrots, yams, tubers, parsnips, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes. These types of vegetables tend to be starchy and good sources of carbohydrates. I use the word good there. I try not to glorify or demonize foods in general. But I say good because I feel like most people can get away with eating these when they do need some carbohydrates. And they’re relatively benign, meaning they’ve got good nutrient density. We’re not talking about russet potatoes. That’s one of my last choices. Anything but colorful below ground vegetables. That’s a good way to phrase it. These are my first choice. For fueling up for a hard day of training, I do believe there is some value in sparing carbohydrate for the right time. And for me personally and I think for a lot of endurance athletes, when I consume an excess of carbs, it’s easy for me to put on a kilogram or two. And this is not really desirable for me. Weight isn’t a focus of my training at this point in my life, but it is something I keep an eye on. So


Colby Pearce  28:30

how I phrase it is had hard training with carbohydrates. And this is something that I learned in part from Dr. Alan Lim, whom I did a podcast with already years ago. He taught me this is an athlete. But the rules pretty simple. You got a really hard day coming up the night before, she’d probably have some carbs with dinner. The morning of if you’re eating breakfast, which I usually recommend for most people, you should have some carbs. Now, I am actually quite polar in my metabolic typing profile, very polar. So that means I’m quite sensitive to carbohydrates. so sensitive that if I were to have only a bowl of oatmeal before a long ride, it would be about 42 minutes in before I would have a colossal blood sugar crash and probably get quite dizzy. And then you don’t want to see that suddenly. So I have to offset carbohydrates with something that stabilizes blood sugar and that thing is healthy fat. I’m using the word healthy fat because right now fat, there’s still some concern about fat in the diet. And the simple equation is that people see that if they eat fat on their plate, it becomes fat on their body and that is not how things work. The food we eat has an impact on our bodies, hormonally. And also biochemically in the sense that it influences blood sugar. So when we go when we need to offset carbohydrate consumption or make sure that we do not have a blood sugar crash a subsequent crash from the Rise, right? So just in case, people are confused on this issue, really simply put, when you eat a high carbohydrate meal, and it spikes your blood sugar, your body responds to that spike in blood sugar because it doesn’t really want things to get too out of balance. The blood in particular is an equalizer, it wants things to be in a somewhat narrow range. This is why when the blood starts to become a little bit acidic, it will find minerals to alkalize the blood and it’s a very narrow range that your blood can stand in terms of acid and alkaline. But same thing goes for blood sugar only probably the range becomes less sensitive over time, the more refined carbohydrates are the more processed foods you eat. This is insulin insensitivity. And this is not an ideal scenario. We actually want ourselves to be quite insulin sensitive. We want our bodies to be strong and capable of keeping insulin in a very narrow range. So when we eat a crap ton of refining stuff of intimates doughnuts all the time. Eventually your body starts to become less sensitive to those blood sugar swings, and you have more and more bigger blood sugar swings, blood sugar rises higher after you eat the doughnuts. And then your body finally produces insulin, which lowers blood sugar and that cycle every time you go through that extreme cycle that causes downstream problems in health, one of which frequently is weight gain, or even adult onset diabetes, potentially. for endurance athletes, I recommend that you pad your hard training with carbohydrates. So that means before a really hard ride, you’re going to have carbs, the dinner or the breakfast. During the ride, you can have some carbs, and after the ride, you have to refill your glycogen tank. If you empty the tank of carbohydrates. I mean, remember, anytime you’re above threshold, you’re burning a certain percentage of carbohydrates. And in particular, for cycling when you need explosive short efforts. I don’t care what you read about keto. From everything I’ve learned the science quite clear above threshold and particular for anaerobic glycolysis. You need carbohydrates to go that fast. It’s just straight up. So if you’re talking about doing a 1000 kilometer, three volcanoes sprint race in Italy, that’s a race you could potentially go ketogenic for, but anything under 150 miles, you need carbs in some amount, and the shorter and more intense the race, the more you need carbohydrate. So, if you’re trying to go keto and do four kilometer individual pursuits on the track, I think you are ice skating up a really steep hill. So baseline rule is we can fill our plate first with vegetables. Then with protein of choice, add healthy fats. If desired, and it works well for you. You can then add another starch I say another because if you choose below ground vegetables, you’re choosing vegetables and a starch already. So that means your meal could consist of a sweet potato with olive oil or good butter as a hypothetical example. And a protein, a piece of stick or a piece of fish. And that would be an A small salad, greens. This is a basic, very basic and simple actionable meal formula


Listening to your body

Colby Pearce  33:30

where the variables change is based on your metabolic profile and your tastes and how you tolerate different types of foods. So, back to thinking about why people eat. We eat for different reasons, and one of those reasons is flavor. Food is yummy. We’d like to eat food. So when you eat food and you pick food based on flavor, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, I will say that It can cause problems because we have so many highly addictive foods and foods that have been so highly manipulated, available to us today. A great example of this is barbecue. Barbecue takes a perfectly good piece of meat and annihilates it with a crap ton of sugar and salt. And I know lots of men in particular who are just in love with barbecue. Same with bacon, it’s really the same concept. Bacon is a really fatty cut of meat that’s been salted to death and most of the time sugar to death. So, yeah, Bacon’s delicious. I like bacon as much as everybody but I have learned that I do not do well with more than about three bites of bacon. And that lesson has been presented to me many times. And as the saying goes, give you the lesson until you pass it and when you pass it you move on to the next lesson, but until you pass it the lesson will be repeated. And to me if you repeat that they can because it’s good. Now I know it’s it’s not rocket science, if I eat more than one and a half have pieces of bacon, even the highest quality bacon I can possibly find. things don’t go well for me specifically, I get, I get dizzy. And I think it’s the combination of that particular cut of fat with the salt and the sugar. Even if I go sugar free, I can still about two pieces of bacon is about my maximum I can do and that’s about once a week tops. Okay, so that brings you back to why I eat the food I eat. And people can struggle with this. And it really it just comes down to attachment. People love their experiences. And look, I’m not bashing anybody here. I love to experience certain things do it’s okay to go through life with preferences. And I’m not saying that anyone should be perfect. The goal of diet is not perfection. No one needs to be perfect. This isn’t about living like a monk and only eating air and, you know, organic filets of New York strip and organic lettuce. That’s not the end goal. The end goal is for you to live your life on this planet and express what you love and do it with maximal health. I mean, if health isn’t one of your primary life goals, then I would argue you’ve got some priorities that aren’t quite in order. Because health underlies everything. Let’s be clear on that. The healthier you are, the more joy you can bring to life, the more love you can spread, the more you can actualize your own goals and bring your gift to the world. That’s what we’re here to do. So if that’s not where you’re at getting gear, dude, maybe you know, back to Paul’s teachings about listening to your soul. Or we could say, listening, really listening to the way your body responds to food. I think that’s a really important takeaway from this entire conversation. Because ultimately, there’s so many aspects of our society that take us away from connection with our body, and you’ve heard my If you’ve heard my podcasts on metrics and how I think they can distract us from the exercise of being present in your body while writing, being present in your body while lifting a weight or running up a mountain or whatever you’re doing, swimming in the water. I think presence in your body and listening connection with self is one of the primary goals of exercise. And while if we extend that same philosophy to eating, listening to your body is a really, really, ostensibly or not even excessively, but potentially subtle act, but it’s really not. When you tune in and turn your ear towards your body after you eat. You can really decipher what works and what doesn’t. And this is something in the last few years that I’ve really started to refine. I’ve always been sensitive to foods that didn’t work for me. But again, the further I go in this life journey, the better I get at it. So I’ve known for a long time that for example, a bowl of oatmeal won’t work for me before right on its own. I’ve got to have a couple of eggs or a source of fun To offset those carbohydrates to curb the blood sugar response, but now I’m starting to figure out much more subtle aspects of foods that don’t work for me. And,


Colby Pearce  38:13

again, everyone’s an individual you’re responsible vary based on who you are. For me, it’s even one bite of a food that doesn’t agree with me and I’ll just have that the stomach will just tighten. It’s like a sensation of tension. It’s not pain, it’s not nausea. It’s just tension. It’s like, as soon as that that food goes into my stomach, as soon as that food goes into my stomach, there’s just a subtle I’ll say contraction. And when I’m listening for it, it’s really clear. But in 2020, it’s so easy to be doing five things at once. You know, feeding the cat and putting on Spotify and texting this person who just texted me about their workout and thinking about what I’m going to wear to work when I leave in 10 minutes, etc, etc. So this is a practice that I’ve refined and developed over the years, which is being present with your food. And this is so important for cyclists in particular, because we have a culture I manifested this so well when I was 25 years old, we have a culture of fast eating. I mean, first of all you eat on the bike while you’re riding and racing all the time, so it’s get the food in your mouth hole as fast as possible. But then also, since cyclists train so much, and endurance athletes in general have such high metabolisms, it’s so common for us to sit down to a table to eat a meal and just be absolutely ravenous that we just shovel food, you know, it’s like the Simpsons. Rice echo bra, you know, and that is not a healthy relationship to have with your food for a bunch of reasons. First of all, taxes your digestion. digestion begins the moment the food goes in your mouth, so when you chew and masticate your food, physical enzymes come into your saliva that start to pre digest The food so that when it hits a stomach, things go easier. So the heavier The food is, the better you have to be chewing it. But also there is a process of just moving slowly and accepting the food and listening to the body, listening to what it needs. When you eat a huge plate of food, you over serve yourself slightly, and then you eat it all really quickly. Of course your body doesn’t have time to register how full it is. And then afterwards you go, Oh, that was like a little too much. I had like 12 bites too much. I didn’t need to eat that much. When you slow down. This helps to enable you to understand where the natural sort of stopping point in a meal is for me that satiation not fullness. I don’t need to have stuffed. The exception being if I know that I’m going to ride you know, eight hours the next day, and I sat down to the table quite hungry. So it’s always about context to a degree. But when I know that I’m not writing the next day, I don’t need to stuff myself at dinner even if the food tastes really good. Let’s be I’m always searching for that balance that ideal sort of push and pull between eating too much and too little.


Colby Pearce  41:13

Which is not to say that I


Colby Pearce  41:16

strive to reach satiation point exactly at every meal. I also practice and have practice for several months now, a once a week about it ends up being about a 22 hour fast. And that’s typically on Mondays, I eat dinner Sunday night, I try to button it up a little on the early side, so I’m not having some snack. Sometimes after dinner, I’ll have a peach or something like that. Right now it’s peaches and so they’re pretty good. Or some berries, a little bit of berries or something as a dessert, maybe a square dark chocolate now and again, and eating a lot less of that recently. I’ll try and button that up by six 7pm and then I won’t have anything to eat except black coffee and water. until dinner The following night on Monday. So it ends up being not quite 24 hours. And I found this practice really helped me regulate blood sugar. Blood Sugar issues are very common for endurance athletes. Because why? because we’re so carbohydrate focused and we’re juggling so many carbs in our mouth so quickly all the time. So when I sit down for my meal, I’ll take a moment and just look at the food. And I’ll say a short prayer. I will just recognize the fact that it doesn’t have to be anything super esoteric or spiritual. But I just want to recognize the fact that I have this beautiful meal in front of me that I’m grateful for it because not everyone right now has it that some people are really stressing about where their next meal is gonna come from. So I don’t want to take for granted that about this plate of food. And then I’m going to take my time when I eat it. And the simple way for me to do that is take One bite and put the fork down in between every bite. That’s a really easy way for me to monitor how quickly the food comes in. Jonathan Vaughters and I have shared a lot of meals together, and especially as young writers and I remember him marveling and how I could put a bite in my mouth, and then get another bite loaded on the fork and be chewing the first bite and then insert another bite at the same time. So it’s like constant rotation, food conveyor. And he can’t really do that for whatever reason he needs much more slowly than I do. Which is a good habit to have. And I remember him pointing that out to me. I was completely unconscious of it until he noticed it. And we talked about it and then I thought about it. I was like, this is kind of weird, actually. How does this work? How did I get this habit? I don’t know. But I think it’s just I do a lot of things very quickly. And as a cyclist that gets reinforced. You know, it’s also reinforced by the early race start because you get up and immediately got to eat something if you’re the type who eats before early race starts. So I really encourage people to slow down when they’re eating their food. It is very common as I was just saying, for endurance athletes to have blood sugar challenges later in their, in their lives, especially once they stop racing because you’re used to burning and using so many carbs. And look, I’ll just say this point blank. I’ll hope to get into this with a future episode with Dr. Scott story when he comes on. But what I want to talk about is the fact that athletes can have actually pretty severe blood sugar regulation issues, but they’re camouflaged by exercise. They’re obfuscated by your activity. So bike racers love to justify carbs and then they sit down for breakfast and it’s this giant pile pancakes with a gallon of maple syrup on top right and then or French toast or whatever, or donuts and I’m going to burn it off on the bike. Okay. And then they do They go ride their bike for five hours and they go, look, I was fine. I never had a blood sugar crash, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t have to take a nap in the middle of my two hour of my five hour ride two hours in, okay. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that that meal was really an optimal choice for you. And also exercise curbs the insulin response. That doesn’t mean that you don’t get a blood sugar spike, and it doesn’t mean that the blood sugar, the high insulin load meal was optimal for you. Now, during a bike race, you could argue that it is provided that it’s sustainable, and that you don’t eventually fall off the cliff. And this is why God made pasta. Pasta in particular is it is rocket fuel, it is compressed rocket fuel, literally, it is carbohydrates that have been hardened into like a little brick. I mean, take dry pasta out of a box and feel it and bite some of it. You’ll see what I mean. It’s got this texture, it’s carbohydrate that’s just been completed. And molded and smashed into this little nucleus of power. And if you look at blood sugar studies of people who eat pasta, what it does is it Jacks your blood sugar sky high and your blood sugar stays really high for a long period of time.


Colby Pearce  46:18

So, based on that I figured this out years ago, having pasta the night before race is actually kind of a not a great choice. In my opinion. Why do you want a high blood sugar while you’re in bed all night? Right? Actually, you don’t. You want high blood sugar during your race. So pasta is. I’ll say this very carefully. pasta is a very, very good choice as a pre race meal. That’s assuming a bunch of different things. If you’re really sensitive to gluten, you don’t do well in gluten, which I’m one of those people. Then you want to have something that gives you good blood sugar but also raises inflammation rates when you’re doing a very inflammatory activity. Well, maybe you decide to do it. Just understand that there will be consequences for all that inflammation. violations like a sliding scale, the more you make choices that increase inflammation, the more you got to deal with it in some form down the road. So okay, maybe you make that trade for this criterion, because you really want to win it. Maybe you do that once a month for a bike race for a gravel race or whatever you’re doing, or hill climb. I know there aren’t a lot of races right now. So about once a month is pretty normal. But in a in a more traditional season when you’re racing Saturday and Sunday for several weeks of the of the season, 2025 weeks of the year, if you’re eating possible for every single race and causing all that inflammation and then adding an inflammatory activity on top of it over time that can cause subtle but non trivial implications in your health in your form. So this is one way in which it’s really useful to be clued into how your body responds to food. I know that when I eat a bunch of gluten I get a little bit more swollen, a little more inflamed. I put on a little bit of weight, which is a sign that a food isn’t really great for you when you’re eating according to your metabolic type and you’ve got things dialed weight gain doesn’t really happen unless you’re just eating excessive excessive amounts of food. calories in calories out only applies and extremes. Don’t count macros do not count calories. Don’t diet don’t restrict calories as a general rule. For most people who aren’t really heavy or really like counting calories is not the way to go. We’re talking about extremes if you’re way underweight or way overweight, that’s a different discussion. That doesn’t apply but I’m talking if you’re within plus or minus, we’ll say five kilograms of your ideal weight or what you perceive to be your ideal weight. counting calories and calories. calories out is not the focus. The focus is timing and refinement of dietary choices, food choices for your body type, your specific metabolic type and your individual type. And once you get that dialed and you have an authentic relationship with food, weight will come off and you will find your natural weight your ID Wait optimally, I honestly believe that disclaimer, that’s assuming you do not have other underlying health challenges that are far more that will outweigh this equation. Example, intestinal parasite,big fungal infection, these will obfuscate these results. So if you really feel that you’re dialed in on your metabolic type and your individual type and you’re eating like an angel, and your only sweetener is honey and you are doing all the right things, you’re eating local organic, then, and you’re still having a lot of challenges losing weight, then you need to dig and you got to find someone local. Or go find a Czech practitioner or anyone who’s qualified to help you with advanced diet and is thinking outside the box a little bit. Not inside the conventional box of grams of protein.

So now, what should you eat?

So eating is not a formula. As I said, if you know how I feel about formulas, and they have their value and they can be instructive and learning. But we need to think about food in terms of what nutrients it can give you and how much sunlight is in it is the way to phrase it. Food is a source of energy and information and do you want bad information? Do you want low energy or would you like high energy? So to simplify things greatly The answer is almost always the same. Obtain and consume the highest quality food you possibly can. And the answer to where the heck do I find that is almost always local, organic. I know this is not what you want to hear. I know you want me to tell you to go to the supermarket and buy Brand X and buy beef that says grass fed on it. I know that this isn’t the formulaic answer you were hoping for which is eat this buy that go to this grocery store. that rhymes with mole nudes. And as the weirdest word that just came out of my mouth and buy x y&z brand or, that checklist, but unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Or is it? Because we have this thing called a search engine. And I don’t necessarily recommend the one that rhymes with Google. There are many other search engines you can use, but look locally and find your local farmer. This Look, I know COVID has heard a lot of people and many people have died and people have lost their jobs. And it’s caused a lot of suffering. But there is medicine in every lesson and one of the greatest medicines of this lesson is that local farmers everywhere have opened more channels to direct consumer sales, instead of selling only to restaurants or other sources. So this is a thing now you can go online and say local organic farm put into your search engine, find the person find the site and make a purchase. When you do the math and you make an effort to change over to local organic initially the the setup can be a bit cost prohibitive for some people I recognize that but the simple solution, get an extra freezer, put it in your basement or insulated garage. Go to your local farmer with a cooler, give them a bunch of cash and come home with a freezer full of meat. This is by far one of the most simple and actionable ways to improve your health. Always choose the highest quality food you can. This almost always means local organic means Know Your Farmer, go to them, look at them watch the cows sitting on the grass and eating grass and being cows or the pigs or the goats or whatever you’re getting. Choose a variety of meat rotate your proteins rotate your vegetable Figure out what works for you. The same goes for vegetables in farms CSA. Purchase local when you can buy local goat cheese. Get local fresh, ideally raw dairy if you can, it’s a lot healthier for you disclaimer. There’s a reason why dairy is homogenized. But homogenize means by definition that the enzymes are dead. One of the best benefits of consuming dairy products from an animal is that it has enzymes in it. When you when you pasteurize or homogenized milk or dairy, you kill the enzymes. That’s what you’re doing. So you’re you’re getting a safer product. Well, yeah, it’s been sterilized to a degree, but you’re taking away the enzymatic benefits of it. Just know what’s happening. Here’s another really powerful resource for people that we’ll put in the show notes as well. One of my colleagues and classmates in my Chuck education system right now is a guy named Eugene trumpkin. And he has a really A great resource out in book form. It’s called anti factory farm shopping guide, I believe, so that the author’s name is on the book as you have Guinea trumpkin. He goes by Eugene.


Colby Pearce  54:12

It’s available on Amazon. And when you buy the book, either the electronic copy or the physical copy, you get a link that helps you go to a page with a bunch of videos where Eugene walks you through a store. This book is a very quick and easy read. It’s super actionable. You could even take it with you to the store. But he decodes the labels you see in grocery stores. And when I say decode, you’ll know what I mean when you read the book. This is just such a simple actionable guide. It helps you figure out what what the label actually means. What does organic mean? What does grass fed mean? What does pasture raised meat? What does a pasture egg mean? What does that mean? Eugene breaks all this down in really easy, clear detail, and I hate to tell you, but you’re going to be bummed out when you read it because There is so much sleight of hand and trickery going on in grocery store labels that it’s sad. I’ll give you one brief example. In the last 10 years, we’ve seen an explosion now you go to the deli counter and there is you know, beef and then there’s grass fed beef and the grass fed beef is 234 or $5. More a pound. As Eugene explains, and he knows this inside out, this is insider baseball, he worked in the industry for years on a regenerative farm. And regenerative agriculture is a whole fascinating concept. If you don’t know what it is, you want to look into it, go nuts, go forth and make a search. But Eugene’s worked on it on a couple different regenerative farms for a few years and he’s learned all this stuff from the inside. When you go to the butcher counter, you see steak and then you see grass fed steak for more dollars. The assumption is, of course that I want the grass fed steak assuming you can afford it and you believe in everything I’m saying. You’re going to get the grass fed steak So you put down your extra $4 a pound for the grass fed skirt steak. Here’s the challenge. Here’s the problem. All cows are grass fed. If you try to green feed a cow from the time it’s born, it will die. grass. cows eat grass. It’s only in the last few months of their lives that they are fed corn or greens in usually in pellet form to fatten them up for slaughter. Now here’s the challenge. I think some of you know this already. But if you do just bear with me while I explain it, please. A cow is a ruminant. It’s got 12 stomachs, 14 stomachs on an O 88 stomachs. It’s meant to eat grass and digest this grass and that gives the cow assuming the grass is normal healthy grass is not covered with gloss, glide phosphate and other things. A cow’s rumen and it’s got 12 or 14 stomachs or some huge number of stomachs. And its cows are meant to eat grass. And when they do that they have a particular composition to their fat, and that fat is quite healthy for humans to consume. The fat composition changes when the animal is fed grass or corn or GMO grain pellets in the last few months of its life to fatten up for slaughter. And if it’s a industrialized operation with 10s of thousands of heads of cattle, then they’re also injected with antibiotics to keep them safe because they’re fed in such close quarters that if one cow gets sick, they all get sick. And so they’re just protecting their investment. So now you’re getting trace amounts of weed killer on the grass and antibiotics and who knows what else they put in those. But those are those are concerns. But the other concern is the content, the nutrient content of the fat, the fat now becomes problematic. This is why, at least in part, people began to believe that consuming red meat would cause heart disease because when you consume industrialized, farmed red meat that is on cattle that has Made in the huge, enormous operations, it can give you heart disease because the fat content is filled with a bunch of garbage that does not have a place in a human body. Do not eat that. This is why the answer is always local organic, know your local farmer source the highest quality meat you can. This drives a lot of people to vegetarianism. Because they see a documentary they draw a weird boundary around a certain food. They see a documentary about how industrialized chicken farms are horrible, horrible things and they say, Well, I’m not eating chicken anymore. Well, you’re right. I don’t eat that either. If that’s your definition of vegetarian, that I’m a vegetarian because I don’t eat that chicken. I fly in an airplane. I don’t eat a chicken sandwich I buy at the kiosk before I get on the plane. I’ll just not eat. Call me a food snob. I get it. Not everyone can afford this. This is affluent person’s problems. I’m not insensitive to this issue. I’m just explaining the way it is. You should strive to always eat the best food. You can So Eugene breaks all this down. Here’s the problem when the beef says grass fed at the market.


Colby Pearce  59:09

If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention. There are some duplicitous people out there. And what they do is they labeled the beef grass fed. And what they’re doing is they’re still fattening the cows and the final three months of their life with pellets that contain GMO corn, and GMO soy, and GMO who knows what else and they put grass in the pellets. So this is how they get around the labeling.


Colby Pearce  59:40

You guys are dicks. I’m just gonna say it. This is really frustrating because we live in the United States of America and we should be free to do things and one of those freedoms should be to walk into a market and buy something healthy. What When dollars are at stake and marketing is a powerful force in our lives, we have to unfortunately be critical consumers and accept the fact that there are people want to take advantage of us. And then you get into the debate of government and how much regulation there should be. And that is a holy mess that I want nothing to do with. So, I highly recommend Eugene’s book as a resource. It’s really informative. It’s simple. And the videos are great. He goes through a lot of the same stuff. So if you prefer video content, honestly, it’s worth it to buy the book. I don’t think it costs very much. And then just watch the videos. I gave this book to some of my family members. And they were these are people who don’t think the way I think about food and they were pretty impressed and they read it and it was easy, and these are people who aren’t normally open to that kind of thing. So it’s a powerful tool for you, but also maybe for your loved ones or your friends who are a little bit resistant to some of these ideas perhaps. Okay, I realize again, That what I’m saying is, it might rub some people the wrong way. I’m not trying to be insensitive to someone’s economic status, I realized that everyone can afford to go buy a $14 grass fed steak. And so there are some ways around this. If you can buy local in bulk and buy a freezer, then you buy greater quantities and then you save money. When you buy direct from your farmer, you’re cutting out the middleman. It’s cheaper to buy for directly from the farmer than it is from the supermarket. But of course, you have to have the cash up front to buy a new freezer potentially. And that’s not without risk. if the power goes out for two days, you lose a grand worth of meat and be pretty bumped. Knock on wood, so far, so good for us.

Balance between healthy eating and stress

But also, I want to make a really important point, which is that when we make an active choice to step forward and be empowered about our diet, and we decide I’m going to optimize things I’m going to only eat I’m gonna have to eat I must eat As soon as we apply those boxes around our ideology, we set up the potential for suffering or stress and the objective of what is the point of eating healthy, it’s to increase health. So if I take two steps forward by saying are three steps, let’s say I’m going to, I’m going to order from my local CSA step number one, great, I’m going to order from my local farmer and get meet there. Step number two. When I go to the store, I’m only going to buy organic step number three, okay, those are three really big steps. But now let’s say that your local farmers out of meet when you go to buy and you have no choice but to go to the store. Or let’s say you go to the store and you just don’t have the money that we to buy the organic strawberries, or they don’t have organic strawberries in stock, or organic, whatever vegetables, whatever you need to get for this recipe or whatever food you want to buy. They don’t have purple potatoes, all they have a russets and pasta. Okay, now you’re in this point where Potentially your health choices are going to cause you stress because you’ve made a commitment or a promise to yourself to eat better. But now you can’t get that stuff. Or you go out to eat with friends and they choose the Olive Garden. And I guarantee you there’s no organic food being sold at the Olive Garden, or if it is, it’s being greenwashed not bashing anybody works the Olive Garden. Well, maybe I am. But whatever. My point is, you put yourself in a situation where you want to hang with your friends do the right thing, or you go over to your mother in law’s house for dinner, and she makes a casserole and you’re going, what is in this thing, none of this works in my diet. So we can take three steps backwards quite easily when we become very attached or rigid about our dietary beliefs. There’s a balance in there. There has to be a balance because if your first primary goal is to increase health for yourself, and you’re walking through the world with so much stress and anxiety about the food you’re going to eat because you’re clamping down so hard and you’re so boundaries around what you’re going to eat then you’re undoing all the benefit of making those positive choices potentially. And that doesn’t make sense. So we have to work with the universe we have to we have to have a little bit of flow and understanding that it’s going to be okay. And ultimately, you know, we all ate pizza bagels when we were 12. Or at least I did. And, man, I’m still paying the price for pizza bagels and ice cream sandwiches at lunch. Honestly, I am. To this day, my adult health has been compromised by hostess fruit pies that I ate when I was in eighth grade. Man. If you’ve never had a hostess fruit pie, I don’t recommend it. But you want to talk about a child’s


Colby Pearce  1:04:40

box of cocaine for kids. I mean, it I don’t know. If I had to make it up right now. It’s probably 24 grams of saturated fat. It’s fried. It’s like a doughnut with a sugar coating with fruit in the middle but it’s air quotes fruit. It’s like processed gelatinous fruit. Let’s go every filler and process chemical. You get everything you have in there. You literally Can’t eat a worse food. I’m gonna make a no list and the top of it is hostess fruit pies. And number two, by the way is fake sugar. This includes Splenda. nutrasweet do not put that shit in your body. It is toxic poison. If you’re eating if you’re drinking diet soda, man, stop it. I’m just sorry, I’m getting kind of fired up right now. That stuff has no place in the human body do not eat that stuff. It’s toxic poison. You’re welcome. So where was I? Oh yes. toxic poison of hostess reprising my body. Look, there’s there’s got to be a line that you draw but that line needs to be a pretty a very straight and thick line. That is if you know that you’re going to have a really bad reaction to a food. Then just say thank you so much for cooking this meal for me grandma but I can cannot eat this food. It will make me sick. I really appreciate your love and effort. But we got to find a way to take the asparagus out of this burrito because I every time I eat asparagus, I throw up, whatever. That’s a legitimate line. Don’t throw up because grandma made you a burrito with asparagus in it. I know it’s a really obtuse example. But if you’re allergic to food, that’s an easy one. But it’s also easy for you to tell people that you are allergic to a food if you really don’t want to eat it, because you know, it’s going to cause an upset stomach, you know, it’s going to cause inflammation, you know, it’s going to give you a mudslide in the toilet next day. Right? These are not things you should put yourself through to appease other people. So let’s be clear about that. But the balance is that when you go out to dinner with friends, and you are faced with many choices that are not real, you know, none of them are ideal. It’s like Well, I don’t know voting in the next election. You’re looking for the lesser of the evils. We’re not at the dinner table so I can talk politics, right? I’ll just leave it at that. So you know that this menu is filled with some really nasty foods, you know, Monte Cristo sandwiches, for example, or Fettuccine Alfredo, which for me would be an absolute disaster. What is diet about it’s not about perfection. It’s not about flogging yourself. It’s not about suffering. It’s not about sacrifice. It’s about making better choices. It’s about optimizing food choices for yourself. So you do the best you can and you get a little creative and you don’t worry about the fact that the kitchen is cooking with canola oil. You just say I’d like a Caesar salad. Can you put a chicken breast on there for it for me and you enjoy your salad and bless it and shoot slowly and enjoy some water and maybe a nice glass of red with it or whatever your deal is. And then accept it and enjoy your company. And less the food is it comes to you, which also sounds esoteric and weird, but it’s a thing people do it. So, don’t flog yourself this isn’t a mission to become a diet. zealot, this isn’t an instruction for you to walk through the world rigidly with dogmatic beliefs about what you can and can’t eat. This is a recommendation for you to refine your relationship with food. This is a philosophy about embracing healthy food and bringing food to gives you good energy into your life. And then that enables you to express your highest potential. I hope that makes sense. There is a fine line there and I’ve seen people go both ways on it and I’ve had those moments myself. When you’re at the Redlands stage race in California or some random restaurant and breakfast is, you know, industrialized eggs and oatmeal and pancakes. So you just make the best choice you can just make the best choice you can and know your body and you’ll be okay. You’re not gonna die from one meal unless you choke on out, but obtuse example.

The “never” list

A few last bits that hold are actionable on a micro level “colbys never list”. I already went into this a little bit, but I’ll just give you the quick and dirty foods I never eat. I never eat fake sugar. I do not ever drink diet soda. I don’t really drink soda. rarely, if ever, if I do some more long bike races, I’m showing up with a coconut feed zone or something. That’s okay, he’s gonna die from a couple cokes. We don’t buy soda or soda pop from the Midwest and put it in our fridge. It’s just not a thing.


Colby Pearce  1:09:39

fried foods, I don’t eat fried foods. fried foods I’ve learned the hard way. They just the fat content of fried food and if you want to dig into this, I’ll let you be free. But when you fry food, it changes the fat into a form that is really not doesn’t do great with the human body and my body in particular really doesn’t not react well to any fried food I don’t doesn’t matter what we’re talking about. French fries, fried ice cream fried anything onions, nothing. Ice cream, even not fried ice cream I, I do not do well with ice cream. It’s the it’s the dairy and I’ll just unpack this very briefly. There’s a difference between dairy, cow dairy and all other animal dairy. Cow dairy is a one. All other dairy is a two. These are the types of proteins in the milk. And it is pretty common for people to be reactive to a one dairy. Now, the milk board has done a wonderful job of telling us how healthy milk is for you, especially cow’s milk so a lot of us grew up drinking giant glasses of milk with our dinner to get our vitamin D and our calcium. And I’ll tell you that’s a load of crap. And that a one dairy does irritate a lot of people’s guts. It causes chronic inflammation some people can do just fine on it again You need to figure out what works for you, you can go get a crazy biome test that cost $1,000 and do this analysis. And that might give you some insight. You can also just stop drinking cow’s milk for three weeks straight, have no cow dairy at all, and then sit down and have a glass of milk one night, and just see what happens. Listen to your body. And there’s a really good chance you’ll figure it out. If you hear nothing. You don’t get any gas, no bloating, you don’t have the shifts. You don’t verb a lot. You don’t feel sluggish. Your stomach doesn’t feel like you swallowed a rock. You don’t wake up the next day and have to blow your nose five times. Right? A wonder is associated with increased mucus production. For some people, if you don’t have any of those symptoms, or anything else really negative. I mean, it can be anything because it’ll manifest in your weak link. When you challenge the system, the body system, it’ll show up wherever your weak link is, and you have to figure out what those links are what your own little levers are that your little shiny red lights If you don’t have those, then you’re probably okay with a one dairy and if you like it, then go forth and drink the organic, full fat, the healthiest milk you can find and enjoy it and have goat, cow cheese. Enjoy it on your pizza. Good for you. Me, I’m an A two type not an A one meaning I can have goat dairy or sheep cheese. I have goat’s milk, I’ll use coconut milk in my coffee. cow’s milk does not do well with me. I can consume small amounts of that and be okay. So if I’m out with someone and we have a pizza, I can have a slice maybe two at the most. But a lot of that refined wheat and dairy and I’m in a bad shape. So I can have limited amounts of it. I’m not going to die from one slice of pizza. These are bits that you can figure out about yourself and hopefully lead you to some insight but again, you just have to listen to them. Another point Paul checks for white devils. These are foods that I avoid in my daily life and they once you’re aware of them and you avoid them, they can help you out quite a bit. You want to ideally avoid completely or minimize these in your diet and they are white sugar, white salt, that’s table salt, white flour and white cow dairy, a one dairy. These are some of the most commonly sort of foods on the planet and they are all processed to death when they’re in their white form. You don’t find white foods in nature very often and I don’t find any white sugar in a forest. Cow dairy homogenized, processed pasteurized cow’s dairy, it’s a pretty dead food. So and salt you’re going what’s wrong with salt? Well, there’s nothing wrong with salt when it’s salt in its natural form, ie sea salt. White salt is highly processed, so it’s devoid of micronutrients. Just people We’ll probably want to debate me on this. The most natural form of food is always the best. It’s what your body is used to. genealogically, it is what your system will work best with Whole Foods is always the preferential form. It’s always better to have a whole vegetable, a whole piece of fruit rather than some refined form powdered form. I’m not saying I don’t ever eat powdered, powdered vegetables. I do use occasionally I’ll use some of those mixes, but my standards are pretty high on what I put in those on which ones all consumed for sure.


Foods for on-the-bike

Colby Pearce  1:14:42

All these rules that I’m talking about as far as Whole Foods apply to on the bike as well. There’s nothing more refined than cake frosting. Or, actually the most refined food I can think of is a gel a gel is cake frosting with a fancy wrapper And amino acids. And oh, it’s $3. Okay, crossing a lot cheaper, by the way. And most bars that we eat on the bike are basically like crackers they’re molded. They’re cooked in this giant vat of goop, and then they spit them out with a little spigot and mold them into bars. I mean, when you think about that, to me, that’s kind of disgusting. Why do we need to take foods and change them so much? Oh, I know why it’s because someone thinks that mouthfeel is better. mouthfeel seriously, hell is that someone wants to add a bunch of preservatives and crap to it. So it stays on a shelf for a long time. And we also want to put it into a rectangle because rectangles fit in boxes and boxes fit on trucks, and on airplanes and on boats. And if you put them on the slow boat, then you need even more preservatives. Because if it takes a month to ship here from a factory in a different country, and then it has to go on trucks on either end. That’s six weeks, eight weeks by the time it gets to your grocery store. And then when the stock boys stock it they put the new box At the back of the shelf and pull the old ones to the front. So when you’re buying a bar that’s been in a shelf for two months in the store, or in the back storeroom, and in a fridge, that food is really old. There’s not a lot of sunlight in that. So when you’re on the bike, what should you eat about a banana? Remember JV story about rigo eating like seven bananas a day at the Tour de France. Well, he didn’t win, but he got second. I To me, the banana is one of the most perfect energy foods for on the bike. The only challenge with a banana is that you can have in your pocket for more than about six hours without turning brown on a hot day. That’s the challenging banana. But bananas are brilliant. Whole Foods are brilliant. There are a few bars that I like that do quite well that are basically minimally processed. They have real foods in them. One of them is enduro bites. They’re out of Colorado Springs. It’s a fig base bar. Super simple. ingredients list. Another is Dr. Lim scratch bars, those have great simple ingredients lists. They have a miso bar that’s got kind of a funky flavor. I love the fact that they did a savory bar. That one’s a little too much black pepper for me personally, but it’s like so many bars are so sickeningly sweet. And when you do a state race or along even a single day road race, and you’re eating gels and bars and gels and bars is just sugar overload, just even taste wise, let alone blood sugar wise. So I’m way into the savory bars. I do well on my training rides with bars that are more nut oriented. I can’t eat endless amounts of nuts but I can have a fair amount of them and do find one is called the pattern bar pa TT er, that one’s I found to be quite quite good recently. So there’s some options out there. I mean, for me when I’m choosing a bar People ask me all the time what I should eat. These are some good choices. A bang Ben Greenfield makes a bar a Qian bar. That’s not bad. It’s good in hot weather, because it does Melt too much. It’s a little dry. The ingredients list is okay. It gives me reasonable energy. And I think his his ingredients are pretty well sourced. So there’s some ideas if you’re looking for bars on the bike that you want to eat. But, you know, also there’s this thing called cooking and Allen’s got a great scratch labs cookbook out where he talks about making edibles, which is literally cooking your own making your own granola bars and rice bars with egg and little bits of shooto in there. That’s food. That’s real food that you can eat on the bike. And this is a movement that Alan mpg started years ago when they wrote those those cookbooks is to get away from processed bars. So if you’re if you must pick a bar to go on the bike, I recommend something that has the simplest ingredients list possible. And you should know what all those ingredients are. All those greens should be found in a forest or on a farm ingredients like almonds, figs, chocolate chips, that’s stretching a bit but not the end of the world. And gels are man, nothing breaks My heart more than when someone’s like, Oh, I went out for a fiver right and I had six gels. Are you kidding me? Don’t eat gels on a training ride, please just stop it. gels are race food. They’re like pasta. They’re there for when you’re in a crosswind at 54 can our inches from riding off into the gutter hanging on for dear life and you’re starting to feel your blood sugar go down, that is a time for a gel their gels are for when you’re cross, cresting the summit of an eight minute climb in the middle of a cross country mountain bike race. And you’ve got a descent coming where if you don’t have both hands on the bars, you will die. That’s the time for a gel and unique calories. This is what gels are for people.


Colby Pearce  1:19:39

You can eat a banana almost as quickly but you’d have to unwrap it. And banana peels weren’t really made to come off that quick. Especially modern ones which are now bred to be more weather resistant. So gels are for race moments. If you gotta have one on a training ride, maybe one is possibly I can give you a hall pass. on that, train rides, what are you doing? Come on. make better choices people. That’s my message. I invite you to explore your diet, explore your own metabolic type. Consider that a starting point. It’s not a caste system of rigid levers or boundaries that you have to subscribe to in your life. It’s just an idea for you to ultimately turn inward and have connection with your own body and discover what foods work well for you. That’s the goal. Go forth and enjoy healthy food. If you have questions about stuff that I missed or a specific dietary thing you’d like to bring up, hit me back cycling in alignment at Fast Talk Labs comm standard disclaimer applies. do the best I can to stay on top of the email landslide but don’t be shy reach out and we will fire the photons on all of my questions as best I can. You probably figured out I’m not a registered dietitian hadn’t been trained in nutrition. This is just stuff I’ve learned over the course of my Adventure on this beautiful globe we have spinning through the earth through the galaxy is amazing. Thank you gravity for not letting me be flung helplessly off into space and thank you for listening to my ramblings I hope you enjoyed it. Hi, everyone. Thanks for listening to my thoughts. I hope you found them insightful was a lot of information. And I may have wandered a bit, my brain does not always upon on a linear track. So I wanted to leave you with a few brief bullet points on my overarching concepts. One, eat real food. This means something that can be or has been picked, peeled, skinned or caught to the default is always to choose local organic food whenever possible. Another way to think about this is always choose the highest quality ingredients. You can That way if organic or Demeter certified food isn’t available, you operate under the assumption that the best choice you can make is the one to make in any given situation.


Colby Pearce  1:22:13



Colby Pearce  1:22:15

I think it’s best to avoid overly rigid or dogmatic thinking when you’re considering diet, or when you’re choosing foods. The point of living in a conscious way in which you try to maximize health is to approach life in a fashion that maximizes enjoyment and minimises negative stress. So, when we think about food or when we’re, we’re making food choices. If we’re rigid and dogmatic and inflexible, that’s going to add stress. It’s going to invite us an undercurrent of stress into our lives. And that’s contrary to the objective of living life in a joyful and happy way. If we have too many shoulds, about food, this is what I should eat, this is what I have to eat, then that fixation can cause us stress. And this is something to be avoided. So, keep this in mind. It’s a bit of a paradox. But the idea is to always make better choices about food. And that brings me right into point number four, these two sort of bleed together, but I think they have some independent elements. Perfection is not the goal. This isn’t a situation where you’re grading yourself constantly and feeling as though you’re failing if you don’t make a perfect choice or a better choice. Living life is about being a human and food is part of living a life food should be a joyful experience. Food should add positive energy and information to your human existence. So when we grade ourselves constant And we see other people as scoring higher than us or in a comparative mindset or we compare ourselves to our own model of perfection. That can be a situation where we put ourselves in a less than position. That’s not the objective again, the idea is to eat consciously and carefully consider the foods that you want to have in your body. The best time to have control over your foods is when you’re eating by yourself or when you’re at the store. There are other times in your life where we accept that we’ll have less control over what we eat. That shouldn’t be a showstopper or a stress causing situation. The ultimate goal is dietary flexibility and durability, meaning your organism can handle a variety of foods and not fall down not have consequences. feedback, questions, comments, cycling in alignment at Fast Talk I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for listening. Eat smart