Allright…Our mandate here at Thumbshift might have started with Cycling and the Art of Maintaining Zen, but it soon spread out into all sorts of multi-modal transport ranging from Commuter Transit to piggy-backing on the TTC…and of course some of the messy politics and civics that go along with all that. So since it’s been a long road already, I’d like to pause to reflect and refresh ourselves abit with some healthy outlooks on fast foods and fluids. Ironically enough, before we consider the subtle details of healthy fast-food, let’s start with a quick review of a great little spot for French-Canadian style poutine right here in Toronto…A quick ride across Queen West.
As some of you (Beer Drinkers) may have already heard, a new(ish) study suggests that beer is a significant source of dietary silicon, a key nutrient for increasing bone mineral density. Researchers from the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California studied commercial beer production to determine the relationship between beer production methods and the resulting silicon (silica) content, concluding that beer is a rich source of dietary silicon…The trick here is to actually dig up the results, without spending a fortune on Science Journal subscriptions!
Cyclists are always in search of that tricky combination of good AND fast when it comes to topping up our fuel tanks. If we listed out our most self-satisfying sources of energy, then surely Poutine would be up there near the top of the heap. Be warned however, that putting Poutine on your regular list of fuel-stops can lead to a slippery slope where the risks start to outweigh the benefits. In a nutshell, making a habit of such a high-fat fuel will most definitely get your gear all gunky, unless you consider a few preventative maintenance tricks…
It’s not just WHAT you eat…But HOW you eat it !
There has been a great deal of study into the “French Paradox” which seeks explanations for how a French diet so rich in cholesterol and fats could still produce up to 400% less nationwide heart disease than comparable populations…Even with so much more smoking factored in! It seems that the previous explanations tried to ascribe this to garlic’s formidable curative powers, and the omega driven benefits off olive oil, but these have since been largely negated. Also it seems that it’s not necessarily red wine that offers healthy benefits, but rather moderate alcohol consumption that reduces the incidence of cardio-vascular breakdown. Yet the French Paradox obviously can’t be explained solely on the basis of alcohol consumption… So what gives?
As a Cyclist, you already know the many positive effects of exercise and a well managed state of mind as you move through your day. Anyone who’s ever noticed how much more smoothly, quickly, and efficiently we cycle when we’re in the right headspace can attest to the fact that how we think about our activities, makes an enormous difference on the quality that we derive out of them.
As it turns out, this philosophy is also finding some scientific basis in explaining the French Paradox. You see, the French don’t treat eating as a re-fueling exercise, but rather as a form of relaxation and social leisure. By hormonally signaling our bodies that we are pleased to be eating, and contented by the process, we’re in fact creating the conditions which allow the “French Paradox” to exist. If you’re curious about the damaging hormonal conflict that can be created by eating under stress, and the enormous benefits of pleasureful eating, feel free to skim the details here. Otherwise, I’m sure we’ll be revisiting this premise often through the “Fuel Windows” here at ThumbShift.com
So in short, not only can you feel good about making poutine a moderate part of your diet, as you exercise your free-will as a Cyclist to get to any number of different purveyors here in the downtown core, but you can also take great pleasure in your indulgence knowing that your mind and body will be optimized to convert your satisfaction into high-octane energy. Of course, you can add to this peace of mind by assuring that you support local producers, and you’re leaving absolutely no waste behind that can’t be bio-degraded and metabolized right back into the natural environment that it came from to begin with…Santé