Lim and Thomas first met a few years back at a dinner party hosted by Garmin team boss Jonathan Vaughters. Thomas had been brought in to prepare food, and Lim was blown away by both the meal’s taste and simplicity. It was just the kind of food that made sense for cyclists: healthy and easy to prepare.
“We are both Boulder [Colorado] people, so we’ve been around the cycling community here for a while,” said Thomas, an accomplished chef who has helped draw up menus for some of Colorado’s most prominent restaurants, and has himself worked closely with the likes of Leipheimer, Lance Armstrong and numerous other pro cyclists. “Allen and I were both involved with Garmin a few years back and got to be good friends. That’s when we started our conversation on how we could get people more involved in the whole cooking process. Thinking about food as a participant more than just something that shows up at your table.”
And that’s the overriding theme of “The Feed Zone Cookbook.” Unless your kitchen is truly an unabashed caveman-bachelor zone, you likely already have everything you need to start cooking, save a rice cooker. “And you can get one of those for $15,” says Thomas. “Basically all the photos in the book are of things we cooked at my house using two sauté pans, an electric stove, and a rice cooker. You really don’t need a lot of fancy stuff. Just very basic equipment and more than anything the desire to do it for yourself.”
That desire mated with a little curiosity, and perhaps fatigue from the more mainstream food offerings, is what Lim hopes will drive people to give the book a try.
“More than anything, it will inspire people to actually cook their own meals,” he says. “The biggest problem we have — maybe it’s a mistake, maybe it’s just a consequence of the lifestyles we lead — but the biggest mistake I see athletes make is that they are constantly eating out. Or they are constantly eating pre-packaged foods. They are not making anything from scratch, and taking the time to actually prepare themselves meals. A lot of that is driven by the fact that we are always on the road and not at home, and these guys are tired at the end of the day. Well the fact of the matter is that being an athlete is hard, and taking the extra step to cook for yourself can be hard as well. But it’s well worth the effort.”
Check back Friday for the first of a six-part video series featuring Dr. Allen Lim, chef Biju Thomas, and recipes from The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes.