What Should I Eat? Why I Created FuelFood.io
Like many people in spring 2020, I discovered the bike. It was just meant to be a way to explore the local bike paths in Northampton, MA, and listen to podcasts. Each day on the path, I went a bit farther, longer, and faster. The obsession grew a bit more each day, until I couldn’t imagine a day without getting out.
Over the months that followed, my training became more advanced. I upgraded from a speedometer to a bike computer, then found a secondhand power meter. Once that level of data entered the room, there was no going back.
Once I had the power meter, I started loading structured training sessions into my head unit, and completely ignored any sort of recovery or periodization. It didn’t take long for my structured training to absolutely hit the wall. Shortly after failing my second workout, I researched a coach and found one, FuelFood’s Chief Science Officer Jim Peterman, PhD.
The first time I realized the power of a plan in training was two weeks into my first training block that my new coach put together. I couldn’t believe how little I had to think about each day: it was so easy to just fire up my head unit, swing my leg over the saddle, and go. Over those first couple of blocks, my Functional Threshold Power (FTP) increased substantially, but it felt so sustainable. The priority in training was consistency, and it created an environment where I started prioritizing sleep, nutrition, and learning about my newfound sport, instead of being crushed all of the time from over training.
As training plan compliance and consistency became the priority, my interest in nutrition grew. I started seeing differences in how both nutrition on the bike and off the bike impacted my performance and recovery. I started spending hours researching, planning, shopping for food. It wasn’t always right, but in the beginning, it was fun and felt like time well spent.
That lasted until it stopped being fun. Like any other problem or question in the world of endurance sports, I figured there was an app or website that could help me do what I figured would be a simple task: give me a meal plan based on my training plan. My research turned up fruitless, if anything I found more ways to spend hours doing the same planning, but while paying various software applications.
During the height of the pandemic, in all the shortages and crazy grocery store experiences, my partner and I started frequenting farm stands all over our area to get our food. We quickly started reaping the benefits of a whole food diet.
As the need for a plan converged with my growing belief in a whole food, plant centric (not necessarily “vegan”) diet, it became clear that I would need to solve this problem for myself.
I didn’t set out to build a company, I genuinely thought a couple weeks of learning some new computer programming skills would bear me a solution I could use to augment my training. Instead, 18 months later I am proud to share my solution to the “What should I eat” question.
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