Planning this diet is making me think more about eating during long, strenuous rides. I am not very good at minding my nutritional intake while cycling and have not yet figured out a system that works perfectly for me. For one thing, I simply don't feel hungry when riding strenuously, and I've learned that forcing down random food just to prevent bonking will only make me feel sick. Heavy and sweet foods, such as the pastries cyclists like to eat in cafes, make me nauseous. Dense crunchy things such as energy bars get stuck in my throat and then come back up no matter how hard I try to wash them down with water. Through trial and error, I've learned that I need to stick to soft foods that are easy to swallow, are not too sweet, and are nutritionally dense. Generous bites of a banana every now and again. V8 juice in one of my water bottles. And those soft chewy fruit cubes that are sold in health food stores. If I stick to foods like that, I can eat without breaking my stride and feel good.
A friend who is a runner and occasional cyclist recommended some soft chews and natural gels, which she says come the closest to feeling like eating normal food while keeping her energy levels stable. I bought a couple of samples, but haven't tried them yet.
I guess what I really want to hear is that even when doing long and strenuous rides I don't have to resort to any of that stuff, that there is some magical combination of regular foods I can make do with instead. Can one ride a randonnée on bananas, V8 juice and peanut butter? Most serious cyclists I talk to think that's a terrible idea and believe scientifically-formulated nutritional supplements are a must. I am still deciding whether to take that plunge. But for now I will stick to the soft diet and will continue to be the girl with a mangled banana sticking out of her jersey pocket. Once I am back on the bike that is!