We have just finished the first week of the energy bar tournament where we compare a home made treat to a store bought product. In the first challenge we had a traditional chocolate chip cookie face off against a chocolate chip Cliff Bar. By just 1 vote, the chocolate chip cookie advanced.
The next challenge was the SIS Blueberry Go Bar against the Chefy Tephi Energy Bar with the homemade bar winning; so it will face off against the cookie in the next round. These bars are so delicious that I think they might take the whole tournament!
The recipe can be found here in Get Out There Magazine. You can also see a video of Chef Stephanie Hiltz making the bars by clicking here.
So why are we doing a food face off? Well, besides being delicious, the idea behind it is to try different foods to see what you like and don't like in terms of texture and taste, as well as to see how your stomach reacts to different things. Different sweeteners have been used including brown sugar in the cookie, maple syrup and honey in the Chefy Tephi bars, cane syrup in the Cliff bar, agave in today's homemade granola bars, and glucose in the Kind bars.
Asking our friends and training partners what they like and what works for them is a great place to start doing research and narrow down a start list, but I believe it is only by trying different things that you really know what works, including changing up the fiber, protein, and carb contents. So try different things during training at race pace intensities to see how your stomach, taste buds, and brain react.
A rule of thumb, or starting point, in trying to figure out how many calories you should consume is to aim for 250 calories an hour. Start with that number then add more if you find you are bonking or running out of energy, try less if you find your stomach is upset.
Updates on our tournament and recipes will be posted on this blog, so stay tuned!