Sugar high! – Bike Magazine Australia

Lentine Alexis knows from personal experience that you should eat things that make you happy and healthy. In college, Alexis was a powerhouse rower who walked on as a freshman and landed in a varsity boat. But then she started suffering from the female athlete triad, a condition in which undernourished athletes develop energy and bone-mass deficiencies.

After college, Alexis transitioned to triathlon and moved to Okinawa, Japan, where her then-husband was stationed with the US Army. Suddenly she couldn’t find any of the packaged bars and gels she’d previously relied on in training. So she started packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for rides.

“The more real food I ate, the stronger I became,” she says. The extra calories and healthy fats helped her performance. Homesickness plagued her too, and she found herself craving and making her mother’s banana bread, cookies, and muffins. “Emotionally, I needed something that made me feel satiated.”

This got her into baking, and after returning to the US, Alexis ended up attending Le Cordon Bleu’s pastry school and then working for Skratch Labs, a nutrition brand in Boulder, Colorado. Alexis helped Skratch develop its cookie mix.

She wants to spread a simple message to cyclists everywhere: Food is not just fuel. “It should be emotionally satisfying,” she says. “No one has ever said, ‘I can’t wait to eat that delicious bar in my back pocket. But a cookie or a pastry? That’s something you’ll look forward to your whole ride. And it’s going to bring you joy when you eat it, which is the whole reason you’re on your bike.”

Want to make out-of-this-world cookies? Mix up your dough and then put it in the fridge to rest overnight, Alexis says. This allows the flour to fully hydrate, so you get a more even and flavourful cookie. And use baking time guidelines as loose parameters, since ovens can vary. She says, “Cook them until they’re golden, which is also my favorite life advice. Do everything until it’s golden – until it feels good and right to you.” 

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