Bicycles and Food: A Love Story

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Dr. Allen Lim

Born in the Philippines by way of China, Dr. Allen Lim immigrated to the United States as a child with his parents, who were following the proverbial American dream.

While growing up in Los Angeles, Dr. Lim remembers being sucker-punched after participating in the annual Cinco de Mayo parade. He was caught between cultures—an angst that led him to ride his bicycle for hours at a time through the City of Angels. Those simple rides turned into a love affair with cycling that led him to study the one subject that could improve his riding—exercise physiology. Dr. Lim eventually earned his PhD through the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

He began working on the pro cycling tour, hoping to use his knowledge to help others improve their riding. There he came to know firsthand the complexity of sport—an arena where ambition, emotion, and culture can both fuel and oppose the practice of science, innovation, and fair play.

Dr. Lim worked on the pro cycling tour for about a decade. At one point, his team was stuck at a race in Ireland and his shipment of pre-packaged sports nutrition didn’t arrive. At that point, Allen was at a loss of how to feed the athletes – and one of the athletes jokingly said, “we’re in Ireland, why don’t we just start eating potatoes?” The next day, Dr. Lim found a bunch of petite potatoes – he boiled them in the hotel kitchen, cut them in half, dressed them with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and salt, made them super delicious and savory, then wrapped each potato in paper foil and gave them to the athletes to eat during the race. His team ended up winning the race, with no complaints of gastrointestinal distress.

This simple potato started Dr. Lim on the idea of making everything from scratch and keeping recipes very simple. Dr. Lim describes it as an epiphany that started him on a real food kick when it comes to fueling athletes.

With this, Dr. Lim started Skratch Labs (, a sports performance food and beverage company with a mission to provide people with the inspiration, life skills, and products to take better care of themselves and their families. The Feed Zone series of cookbooks, including The Feed Zone Cookbook, Feed Zone Portables, and Feed Zone Table, is an important part of that mission, helping to give people the basic skills and knowledge to prepare real food from scratch as part of an active lifestyle.

Through it all, Dr. Lim’s love for cycling and food continually emerge as essential ingredients to healthy, happy living—a conversation he is eager to discuss on a ride or at the dinner table.

Get Dr. Allen Lim’s best-selling cookbook, Feed Zone Portables >>

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