Rasa Foods and Pablove Across America
I am sitting on a plane en route to Seattle to embark upon a wonderful project. Rasa Foods has teamed up with The Pablove Foundation on this year’s 3 week Pablove Across America bike ride. The mission of The Pablove Foundation is to fund pediatric cancer research & advances in treatment, educate & empower cancer families, and improve the quality of life for children living with cancer through hospital play, music, and arts programs. I will be feeding the crew and cyclists (between 10-16 people, depending on the week) that are biking from Seattle to Los Angeles for the cause. It is a very special journey, and it is an honor to participate, not only for the cause, but because the nutrition required to feed the endurance athletes is crucial, and they embrace all-natural, organic meals, which is what I am ever so passionate about.
As I make my shopping list here on the plane, I’m feeling excitement, exhilaration, pride and nervousness all at the same time. The next 21 days are going to be a tremendous amount of work. I don’t have a kitchen assistant, so I am prepared to cook & clean during most of my waking hours. Exhaustion is to be expected, without a doubt. But it will be a rewarding exhaustion. First meal is dinner tomorrow evening (Oct. 1), and I have to shop & stock my pantry between now and then. I intend to share the experience, and blog along the way. The fact that I will be traveling down the Pacific Coast, in a different location each day across the great states of Washington, Oregon, and California is such a special opportunity, and it would be foolish not to document the experience in one way or another.
The cyclists are amazing. They will be riding roughly 100 miles each day. The nutrition required to sustain such a ride is very precise and fascinating to me. I met with our lead rider, Rick, and his wife, Jan, who is a sports nutritionist consultant, to ensure that I prepare meals, pocket foods, and recovery drinks that will enable the athletes to endure the ride. Endurance cyclists need a wealth of nutrients, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc for muscle contraction. If they are cramping, it is because they may not be getting enough of these. I’m learning many new things, like the fact that Brazil Nuts have the highest amount of selenium, which is crucial to increase antioxidant absorption. I will prepare alkaline forming foods, anti-inflammatory foods, and foods high in antioxidants. They are also going gluten free and need between 4000-6000 calories a day (that is A LOT of food). So, I’ve been researching. I paid a visit to the fabulous Santa Monica Public Library, and checked out way too many books to carry on a plane with me.. In the end, only 3 came along for the ride.
I will be posting photos and video throughout the trip, so stay tuned! I have a fantastic kitchen, in the back of a huge box truck. I’ll post pix soon.
Until then, have a delicious day.
Chef Cristina, Rasa Foods
September 30, 2010