Loving the BITE: Balsamic Garlic Goodness for Cyclists


balsamic1I know I just posted about all the benefits of raw Apple Cider Vinegar, but I couldn’t keep this next recipe to myself any longer. It’s still vinegar, but used in a whole different way. There are still many health benefits to this one, and our 3-ingredient recipe is full of nourishing goodness.

It’s goes well with “light at night’ eating; just cook, bake, roast, grill (etc.) a protein source, prepare vegetables (raw in a salad, sauteed, grilled, or even pureed in a delicious soup like our broccoli pepper soup), and add a delicious, healthful, sauce and healthy fats. Easy as 1-2-3, and this week, you’ve got a great option for a fast dinner!

Recipe of the Week: Easy Balsamic Garlic Reduction Sauce


  • 6 oz. balsamic vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice


Place all ingredients in a skillet and cook on medium high until reduced by half.

Then, pour over meat, beans, organic tofu, etc, or add the protein to the pan and saute. Add salt and pepper, if desired, to taste.

And, don’t be afraid to eat the whole garlic cloves, they are sweet & delicious.


Does it get any easier than a 3-ingredient sauce for a 3-step, 20-minute dinner?  That was actually a rhetorical question, and the  answer in the real-food, healthy-eating, home-cooked world is: no, it does not. And not only is it easy, its nourishing beyond the calories, carbs, proteins, fats (which most real, whole-foods are). Here’s what a little balsamic can do for you:

  • Add powerful antioxidants and polyphenols to your body which can combat oxidative stress, cellular damage, and more.
  • Improve the activity of pepsin in the stomach, thereby improving digestion and metabolism.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity and gastric emptying which promotes better, more stable blood sugars with less swings.

And what’s with “light at night?”

Night after night, this is what I recommend my endurance athlete clients (and, really, most everybody) eat for dinner:

Protein: Even after consuming a recovery snack after any intense training during the day, protein at dinner can further decrease any muscle wasting, encourage muscle repair and rebuilding, and reduce spikes in blood sugar/insulin through the night.  During the night, your body is not made to deal with sugar.  Part of its natural rhythms tell it that it shouldn’t have to.  You’ll sleep better and feel better without the sugar (carbs) at dinner. Top protein (and vegetables) with a delicious, healthy sauce to keep it interesting.

Vegetables: The vegetables are a great source of antioxidants that supports cellular repair and decrease the oxidative stress that’s often high from training.  What’s more any garlic, onions, ginger, and spices you use to add flavor will add to the this antioxidant, anti-inflammation goodness.

Healthy Fats (organic coconut oils, avocados, unheated olive oil, etc): A healthy fat source promotes health with good hormone balance and moderated blood sugars.  They are also anti-inflammatory and provide satisfaction and flavor within a “carb-light” meal.

Bonus Balsamic Recipe: Mix 1 pint hulled and quartered strawberries, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 2 Tbsp local honey in a bowl. Mix well and allow to set 1 hour. Delish!

Another easy, delicious super sauce for a quick nourishing dinner? Cause who’s got time for labor-intensive meal prep with all the riding we’ve got to do? Not me! This week, keep eating the goods so you can cycle you’re best. And mostly, keep loving the bike!

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride
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2 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Balsamic Garlic Goodness for Cyclists ”

  1. Nate Jones on January 28, 2016 at 10:30 am

    This sounds great! Do you recommend tossing it with cooked chicken or like coating raw chicken and baking/roasting it? The image in the article looks delicious.

    • Kelli on January 28, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Nate,
      Thanks for the comment. Great idea – it would be great used as a marinade or baste on raw meat/protein before cooking…but I’ve only used it on cooked meat. For the 2nd pic in the post I made the reduction sauce and then tossed with cooked meat, sauting just to coat it all. It makes the meat really moist, too. Let us know what you think. I’m thinking it would be awesome over meat/veg in grilled foil packets this summer.;) Take care! Kelli, RD


    November 2023
    M T W T F S S


Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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