Archive for July, 2011

I remember doing a stint of bike racing in Belgium back in 2003. I was in a friends bike shop and David Zabriskie had his Tour De France team bike there. He wasnt there but the bike was. It was the first bike I had seen with the new 7800 Dura Ace ensemble so I was interested to say the least. When I was sent a link about David’s Zabriskie’s recent shift to a vegan lifestyle last year, I was also as interested.

Going vegan as a roadie is like using TT bars for the first time. When Greg Lemond pulled them on the last stage in the 1989 Tour De France to win by 50 seconds in the final TT, aero bars BOOMED and just a year later your team would not let you ride with out them on the average TT course. You can imagine how much ridicule Greg and his team would have got for going against the herd mentality. I can just imagine what others would have said ‘oh thats not traditional, you will lose speed, your back will cramp, you look like an idiot, this is the Tour De France not Kona buddy..’. Its a bit like David Zabriskie. He won this years US TT championship as a vegan. Being a vegan and a pro cyclist is like using aero bars in 1989: ‘its not the done thing..’ lol!

So recently Zabriskie has been told he needs to eat salmon a few times a week to get enough iron. WTF? Ok, lets do some Grade 2 maths shall we. According to cronometer’s USDA data, a half fillet of wild raw salmon contains around 1.6mg of iron. HALF a Clif Bar (Team Garmin Sponsor) contains around 2mg of iron. So risking the chance of food poisoning in a GRAND TOUR as a professional cyclist to get a few mg of iron that you could get from chowing down some of your sponsors energy bars is like giving your team bike to a backyard mechanic that has been known for dodgy work VS giving your team bike to the team mechanic that gets the job done effectively with no known risk.

Fish is the dodgy mechanic.
Your Clif bar is the team mechanic.
I race but my income doesnt depend on my race results and even I know which one Id use lol!

This berg aint over yet. He is some more data. Basic data to get my point across.

1. Here is DZ’s daily food intake. The average TDF rider eats around 8000cals a day. Here is where DZ is getting his cals from during the TDF.
Zabriskie’s Vegan Menu

Here’s what the cyclist plans to eat on race days during the Tour.


Oatmeal with black strap molasses; whole food optimizer; cacao nibs; nuts; cinnamon; two tablespoons of coconut butter; an apple; hemp seeds and flax seeds

On-the-Bike Snacks:

Six Clif bars (vegan); two Clif Bar shot blocks (vegan); two Clif Bar gels (vegan); dates; six to eight bottles of special team race drink

On the Bus, Post-Race:

White rice with maple syrup and cinnamon; vegan protein shake;

two bottles of special team recovery protein drink; goji berries

Before Dinner:

Vegan protein shake


White rice or pasta; salad with leafy greens; vegetables β€”including broccoli, spinach, carrots and beets.


Fresh fruit and a vegan protein shake before bed

Using chronometer and its USDA nutritional data, I took a short cut and just pumped in a 1000cals from OATS. Thats a big bowl of oats. I left out the molasses, nuts and seeds which also contain iron. So for a 925cals of quakers oatmeal we get 27mg of iron. So what Durianrider? What does that mean? How much Iron do we need anyway man?!

Well lets see what the med’s say.

What is the recommended intake for iron?

Recommendations for iron are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences [1].

Table 3: Recommended Dietary Allowances for Iron for Infants (7 to 12 months), Children, and Adults [1]
Age Males
(mg/day) Females
(mg/day) Pregnancy
(mg/day) Lactation
7 to 12 months 11 11 N/A N/A
1 to 3 years 7 7 N/A N/A
4 to 8 years 10 10 N/A N/A
9 to 13 years 8 8 N/A N/A
14 to 18 years 11 15 27 10
19 to 50 years 8 18 27 9
51+ years 8 8 N/A N/A

US RDA for iron is 8mg for 19-50 year old males.

So if David Zabriskie JUST ate a plain 925cal bowl of oatmeal he would get 27mg of Iron. Now REMEMBER that the average TDF rider needs to consume around 8000cals a day. If we look at the fact that DZ eats on average 6 Clif Bars that have around 4mg of iron in each bar (6x4mg=24mg)

So add the oats iron (27mg) to the Clif Bars iron (24mg) and we have 51mg of iron. The RDA in the USA (hey thats rhymes!) is 8mg for an adult male. So if David Zabriskie STARVED himself on 2100cals a day of oats and Clif bars he would stil be eating around 645% of the RDA for iron.

So how much iron would DZ be getting if I included all the fruit, nuts, seeds, veg, rice, protein drinks, special team drinks, supps etc that he takes on top of that? Now the question is: David Zabriskie is getting TOO MUCH iron as a vegan and how can we lower it as we know that too much iron is NOT healthy.

So who is the moron that says ‘DZ needs to eat fish to get iron’? πŸ˜‰

Ive been vegan for over 10 years and Ive cycled over 190 000km as a vegan. Today I rode 197k in NYC. Here are my iron profiles and hematocrit and hemoglobin levels.

The only supp I take is a vitamin b12 injection that I give myself every month or so and its due to a genetic issue I have with producing enough intrinsic factor. I still get a few gym rat friends that shoot up b12 once a week and eat a few kg of red meat each week say ‘you wont get enough b12 as a vegan so you have to shoot up..’ Im like ‘but you use b12 injections around 400% more than me, dont have any lack of intrinsic factor that your aware of and you’s eat more meat than anyone I know, what gives lol!?’

Some people just dont ‘get it’. πŸ˜‰

I’d put money on it that there is not a single TDF rider out there that doesnt take an iron or b12 supp yet ‘experts’ claim DZ needs to eat fish to get enough b12 and iron? Thats like saying in June 1999 that you can’t win the TDF on a carbon bike cos they are too light and flexy..

So whats my tip for any pro athlete out there looking to naturally increase athletic performance via a vegan lifestyle?: Sack the nutritionist and look at what your fav carb rich plant foods are and get your 8 year old cousin to work out how many grams a day you need to eat of them to get sufficient amount of iron, carbs etc.

You asked for a comprehensive video on travelling as a fruit head in Thailand. Here it is. πŸ™‚

2 part interview. Go get some water, get some carbs and kick back and enjoy. πŸ™‚

In 2006 I cycled from Seattle down to LA and had a blast. This trip am doing some talks on the east coast and spending most of that in NYC. I really enjoy cycling and running here. The city traffic is VERY conducive to cycle commuting in that its easy to navigate, traffic is pretty slow and friendly compared to Sydney Australia and there is LOTS of bike lanes/cyclists and driver awareness of cyclists.

How’s the food? Well its as good as you get. Even the conventional melons, mangoes, bananas and dates taste as good as any organic in Australia. Dont get me started on how CHEAP stuff is in NYC!

Do I always take my bike with me? You bet! This is how I pack it. Easy! Ive only travelled once overseas with no bike and that SUCKED lol! I love just being able to get up and go, for free, be more eco (we use enough oil as it is anyways), meet more locals, experience more and stay lean, fit and strong.

Its all the rage of late. People that have been eating crap and living a sedentary lifestyle looking for yet another quick fix fad solution to their long term bad habits.

So what is HIIT? It means ‘high intensity interval training’. I will tell you something, HIGH intensity should not be given to out of shape peeps! Even if you have an extensive base you want to ease into it. Its like working as a furniture removalist. Doing HIIT is like getting a job picking up pianos to lose fat. The likely of you getting SERIOUS injury/burn out is like playing baseball in a glasshouse and breaking something.

If you have been picking up piano’s and have had some time off, should you go back into full heavy lifting from the get go? NO WAY! Same with HIIT if you have extensive exercise history.

Ive raced and trained with some of the fittest men and women on the planet. Household names. Doping superstars. Ive always appreciated the time and advice they gave me freely. What Ive learnt is that RECOVERY is more important than INTENSITY. That ANYBODY can train harder than they can recover. That training CONSISTENTLY is the more important than training HARDER. That its about training SMARTER vs training harder. Think about it.

I remember going for a few rides with Lance Armstrong and his team. I told a mate to come along and he didnt bother. He said ‘no way I will keep up with those guys!’. But the reality was different than my friends assumption. Lance and his team actually rode the SLOWEST of all the teams I had tacked on the back with that fortnight. Lance got 3rd that July in the Tour De France. Those guys know all about hard and easy training vs trying to go hard all the time and in the end your just going moderately.

I remember riding with Oscar Peiero and his team. They asked me to show em some of the course. I remember OP telling the guys up front to ease up constantly on the climbs. He actually yelled a few times. OP won the TDF in 2006 when Floyd Landis was DQ’d.

So what are you getting at Harley? What are you trying to say?

Well its been my experience talking, training with some of the fittest men and women and coaches on the planet that HIIT style workouts just burn you out REALLY quickly. That you’re WAY better off in your goal of obtaining/maintaining a lean, fit and strong body, to just focus on consistent training, smart training, FUN training and RECOVERY vs trying to train HARDER than Lance Armstrong AND with LESS fitness.

Another thing that is popular in this HIIT fad world is IF (Intermitant fasting aka starving) PLUS trying to keep your body in ketosis by eating a low carb, low calorie diet (Mark Sisson & co). So now we have a fat person training HARDER than Lance Armstrong and on LESS carb calories LOL! I mean thats like a sumo trying to do a backflip onto a crystal table. NOT going to happen! So what we end up with is yet another desperate person looking for another quick fix and spending money with the weight loss hucksters that lay waiting in the google search bar. Just browse forums and you will see 300lb’ers training like crazy and wondering why they are fainting, hating, starving,binging, depressed, feeling sick and in the end, just not reaching their goals. Some even get into steroids/stimulants to keep going.

So what do I recommend?

What I teach/do is WAY more fun than starving yourself, using steroids and stimulants and not being able to relax and eat as MUCH as you want. That sort of lifestyle SUCKS big time.

Im into all you can eat of the RIGHT stuff, using your body in daily activities like cycling to work, walking/playing/wrestling with the kids, running with a group, using the stairs, carrying heavy boxes of fruit, cleaning etc. Im into early nights and smart training so we dont need to rely on stimulants.

What is smart training? Its doing your fav activity and following a programme from a good coach. If one is new to exercise then dont do anything that leaves you out of puff. Just stop for a few seconds and catch your breath and continue at a low intensity.

Newbies should NEVER do hardcore intensity. Its too much shock. Better off with low intensity easy stuff of higher volume. Its more fun and you can incorporate it into daily life. Like walking, jogging, cycling to the shops, walking up stairs instead of the lift, gardening etc.

If you have a history of running then focus on getting your 10k time down under 45mins. Thats a realistic goal for anyone with 2 legs and is under 70 years of age. If you dont have a history of running then start TODAY with by building up your legs by walking. After a few months you can do a few 10 second jogs and build it over the months. KEY POINT: NEVER huff and puff as a newbie. Just MOVE your body and modify to how you feel in the moment. You can huff and puff as you get fitter over the next few years. Hey this works 1000% of the time.

Give it a year of light cardio before we do any max heart rate stuff like HIIT. Like I said before, I train with some of the fittest, most drugged up athletes on the planet and dont know any of them that hit max heart rate more than once a month. HIIT training says that you should ‘sprint as long as you can (that means hitting Max HR) and then do that as many times as you can’. WTF??!!

I cant think of a FASTER way to burn out even a top level doped up olympic athlete let alone an absolute newbie that is so low in fitness that they are out of shape and attracted to quick fix fad programmes to cure their long term bad diet and activity habits.

So whats the moral of the story?

1. Do your favourite activities on a daily basis.

2. If you’re new to fitness, dont huff n puff. Have a 30second break or more to lower your heart rate and then get back into. Wear comfy clothing and footwear so its more fun.

3. Get early nights consistently. Early nights help us recover faster.

4. Eat 10g of carbs per kg of bodyweight per day. That way you fill up on carbs and eat less fat. The fat you eat is the fat you wear. The carbs you eat becomes the glycogen you get to live passionately with. A life of passion AUTOMATICALLY turns you into a lean, fit and strong person over time.

5. Drink enough water so that you’re urinating at least 10 times a day and ALWAYS clear. Use a pee pot/bottle at night. Hydration is KEY in burning the fat/getting fitter/increasing digestive fire and having better skin/looking younger. Not to mention FEELING BETTER! Dehydration can take WEEKS before it really hits you. NEVER wait for thirst to drink. Drink a liter of water every morning you wake up. Even if your having fruit or juice for breakfast.

6. After a year of doing low intensity stuff, your fitness is going to improve out of sight. Now its time to start training with people fitter than you MAXIMUM once a week. If you are super fit then up that to a MAXIMUM of twice a week. The rest of the time you just go easy/moderate. You should be able to talk easily. When your going hard, you CANT talk as its just too hard.

7. Get a Garmin 310xt as these are the BEST training tool for walkers/runners. You can really see your improvements over time. They have let me run 35:55 on just 14km a week average running. How? Well it shows me how to run easy/fast and how to pace myself properly to avoid going out too hard and slowing down after a few km like most people do.

8. FORGET quick fix fad diets/training gimmicks. There are NO gimmicks when it comes to longterm health and fitness. Be patient, persistant and consistent.

9. Low fat, high carb, high calorie raw/vegan works best for human health and performance. Read “80/10/10” by Doug Graham and ‘Reversing Heart Disease’ by Dr Esselstyn.

10. 10 is for 10% increase each week MAXIMUM if your a newbie or coming back from a break. So if you do 10miles this week, add 1mile (10%) for next week IF you want to increase the volume. People might say ‘10%?? Thats not enough! Im fat, I gotta blast it man!’ and thats the EXACT mentality that has kept you from NOT exercising consistently. You just go too hardcore and your body will NEVER be able to maintain that pace. So lets train smart like a pro and use the 10% a week MAXIMUM increases. By the end of the year 10% weekly increase would turn a 10mile a week into around 60miles a week. So can you see the patterns forming? We allow the body TIME to adapt vs just thrashing around like the newbies you see every morning and night at the track,stair master etc.

11. SMILE! When we make something fun, we take care of motivation.

For the month of July Im offering an inner circle deal for my special friensds. That means YOU!

Yesterday I rode 220km here in Chantaburi Provence in Thailand and found an EXCLUSIVE contact that can offer TRULY raw, sundried, rain water infused Mangosteen rind extract with BONUS of added ant extract all ready attached to the rinds. (See photo below)

In TCM both mangosteen and ant extract is considered ALCHEMICAL magic and now YOU can have this LUCKY moment to save big $ on this VITAL SUPER FOOD, SUPER INSECT product.

Be quick though! Offer is expiring soon and if you miss out then you will have to rely on healthy eating and an active lifestyle to become lean fit and strong naturally.

Stay tuned for more of my lightweight expensive products that originate as industrial wasteproducts and end up as ‘superfoods/superherbs’. πŸ˜‰

Here are the current prices for Mangosteen rind extract.

Here are the current prices for Ant Extract.

(This looks like mangosteen rinds dumped on the side of the road with ants crawling around but its just an optical illusion created by a deficiency in ant extract and crushed mangosteen peels from the bin of the Thai Mangosteen canning factory)

David Wolfe talks more about the importance of buying industrial waste products from him. NEVER eat a diet based on fruits and vegetables cos then you wouldnt need to buy the packaged crap from hucksters like these guys. Fruits and veg? NAH!! Bad for business! πŸ˜‰