Book Review: Feed Zone Portables

Thomas and Lim work with professional cyclists. Their food is made for endurance sporting at high heart rates in hot weather. That’s perfect for summer paddle training!

Feed Zone Specs

  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • Published by Velo Press

The first 50 pages or so go over the science of how they developed the recipes.

Key takeaways:

  • Making your own food with fewer ingredients results in easier digestion.
  • Most pre-packaged food is so dehydrated that you have to drink massive amounts of water to digest it.
  • Many athletes don’t eat enough carbohydrates.
  • Fiber is not your friend if you’re exercising for 4+ hours. (No bathrooms on the water, people!)
  • Proper hydration, including proper electrolyte consumption in relation to percentage of carbohydrates is an important thing to pay attention to, and many don’t pay attention to it.
  • Too much sugar without enough water and sodium can cause “gut rot” (cramping, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Digestive tract overview: you can learn about stomach emptying rates. Really.

Taking Feed Zone for a Spin

I decided to make some of the rice cakes (which are really kind of like rice bars) to take for a spin during Saturday adventures. First issue: making them waterproof. The cyclists can wrap them in foil. I tend to fall in a lot. I used snack-sized plastic bags, but I’m looking for a durable, reusable, waterproof alternative.

I sort of followed directions to make a rice cake “sandwich.”

1. I assembled my ingredients.

  • Cooked sushi rice
  • Salt
  • Almond milk
  • Chocolate almond butter
  • Apricot jam
  • Dried cherries

Feed Zone Portables

2. I mixed the almond milk (eyeballed it) with the rice, threw in some salt, and spread the rice in the pan.

Feed Zone Portables

3. Then I put more rice in the pan and spread the toppings. Chocolate almond butter over one whole half and 1/3 of that covered with dried cherries, and 1/3 of the other side covered with apricot jam.

Feed Zone Portables

4. Then I attempted to fold the apricot side over to the chocolate side. It was very gooey. Then I read the directions that said I was supposed to put all toppings on one side and then fold the other side over. THAT WOULD HAVE WORKED MUCH BETTER. Maybe I should read directions more thoroughly next time!

Feed Zone Portables

5. Because they were so gooey, I put them in the fridge to chill before cutting them.

Feed Zone Portables

6. But I had to go to bed, so I got them out 15 minutes later and cut them up into little squares about 2×2 inches. Or more. I’m not precise. CAN YOU TELL?

7. I baggied them up and put them in the fridge. I put some in the freezer, which I will take out next week to test.

Feed Zone Portables

This is what they look like if you have a professional photographer:

Feed Zone Portables

FZP in Action

I took the bars with me for Saturday paddles on flatwater and in the ocean.

The verdict: They were very easy to eat! They also tasted pretty good after a lot of paddling. I liked the chocolate/cherry version better than the chocolate/apricot preserves one, which I found to be too sweet. Next go around, I’m going to try to make a more savory version. The higher water content of the rice proved easier for me to chew and swallow. My friends (that I made eat some) also agreed that they were tasty and easy to eat.

Some of those people prefer gels and bars–I just don’t. But we all agreed that they went down the hatch easily!

The plastic baggies did keep everything waterproof, and it was easy to eat even the gooiest of the bars from the baggies. Now I need to find something equally as convenient that is waterproof! Suggestions?

Have you tried Feed Zone Portables? What do you think?


Also, if you order the book from Skratch Labs (the creators), you can get a free pound of drink mix, which MUCH outweighs the cost savings of ordering from Amazon! The drink mix is awesome. Review on that coming soon!

How to get away from bars and start eating your own food while training