Chef, Cyclist and Carnivore Chris Cosentino on Nutritious Balance


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Chef, Cyclist and Carnivore Chris Cosentino on Healthy Balance I first met chef Chris Cosentino riding bicycles through strawberry fields in Carmel Valley for Chefs Cycle. It was a brutally hot day and the heat radiating off the berries created an undeniable, overwhelming sweet smell as we spun. Biking and cooking have tugged Cosentino in different directions during various periods of his life, and at one point, he completely abandoned the bicycle altogether. But now, at 47, Cosentino has found a way to balance his passions. He’s opening a new restaurant in Houston and releasing a new energy bar, Pavé Bars.

Things changed several years ago when Cosentino joined Chefs Cycle, a group of kitchen pros who banded together to get healthy while raising money to feed kids in need. Chris Cosentino is a California-based chef and one that has been very open and honest about his battle with mental illness, especially in this video released last year, which we wanted to highlight, as part of the ongoing discussion around mental health in the kitchen.. To the outsider Cosentino seemed to have it all: his dream restaurant (Cockscomb in San Francisco), a successful TV career. Cosentino won season four of BRAVO’s “Top Chef Masters,” earning over $140,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, and he is a member of Chefs Cycle, a 300-mile annual bicycle ride that raises funds and awareness in support of No Kid Hungry.

‘Top Chef Masters’ Chris Cosentino Addresses Mental Health Issues. New Now joining the discussion is Chris Cosentino, chef/owner of Cockscomb here in San Francisco, Once I got a balance, I. Here are the five key strategies Chef Flood used to open the door to balance, health and whole-body well-being for good.

1. MAKE FITNESS A CAUSE LARGER THAN YOURSELF > Chef, Cyclist and Carnivore Chris Cosentino on Healthy Balance > NYC Chef Seamus Mullen on Food, RA and Getting Healthy. Serves: 2 | Serving Size: 1/2 recipe. In the heart of Napa Valley, the CampoVelo will pairs world-class cycling, mouth watering cuisine and libations, guaranteeing an undeniably unique and memorable weekend. Chef Chris Cosentino lives out his cobblestone dream. Jul 3, 2019.

Sep 1, 2019. Outside Magazine. Sep 1, 2019.

Honored to have Outside Magazine tell my story check it out. Chris Cosentino is the chef & co-owner of San Francisco’s celebrated Cockscomb restaurant; the newly-opened Jackrabbit in Portland, OR; and Acacia House at Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Napa Valley – alongside partner Oliver Wharton and parent company Delicious MFG & CO. Chris Cosentino was raised in Rhode Island and is a 1994 graduate of Johnson & Wales University.

In 2018, Cosentino gave a cooking demonstration to students at his alma mater, during which he offered students career advice to achieve their goals.

List of related literature:

He chatted with my personal nutritionist in Los Angeles and approved the daily meal plan we’d been using: lots of veggies, good fats, different sources of animal protein, and then we add carbs based on how much I’m riding.

“Ask a Pro: Deep Thoughts and Unreliable Advice from America's Foremost Cycling Sage” by Phil Gaimon
from Ask a Pro: Deep Thoughts and Unreliable Advice from America’s Foremost Cycling Sage
by Phil Gaimon
VeloPress, 2017

Matthew also built relationships with professional teams and events, and he’s applied his knowledge and experience of cooking and cycling to help improve the culinary options available to professional cyclists.

“The Time-Crunched Cyclist: Race-Winning Fitness in 6 Hours a Week, 3rd Ed.” by Chris Carmichael, Jim Rutberg
from The Time-Crunched Cyclist: Race-Winning Fitness in 6 Hours a Week, 3rd Ed.
by Chris Carmichael, Jim Rutberg
VeloPress, 2017

Cyclists, cross-country skiers, rowers, runners, swimmers, and triathletes have special dietary goals and nutritional needs that are not shared by their nonathlete friends.

“Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes” by Matt Fitzgerald, Georgie Fear
from Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes
by Matt Fitzgerald, Georgie Fear
VeloPress, 2014

For a while, he was an avid cyclist, which complemented his idea of his vegetarian fitness.

“Sins of the Flesh: A History of Ethical Vegetarian Thought” by Rod Preece
from Sins of the Flesh: A History of Ethical Vegetarian Thought
by Rod Preece
UBC Press, 2009

“It’s time we moved on and realized dieting is all about food quality, not calories,” the former triathlete turned guru says on his blockbuster blog.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

Through those relationships, Biju has cooked and shared his love of food with many top cyclists, including Lance Armstrong; Levi Leipheimer; Tommy Danielson; Christian Vande Velde; and a new generation of riders, including Ben King and Matt Busche.

“The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes” by Biju K. Thomas, Allen Lim, PhD
from The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes
by Biju K. Thomas, Allen Lim, PhD
VeloPress, 2011

But Mark’s discipline on the bike hasn’t cured his propensity toward overeating or eating the wrong kinds of food, and that concerns him.

“Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul” by Gary Thomas
from Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul
by Gary Thomas
Zondervan, 2011

I first stumbled upon his website when I was starting my journey into really devoting my time to training hard in strength sports, as I was always looking for like­minded people who are vegan and share a passion for weight training.

“Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness” by Robert Cheeke
from Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness
by Robert Cheeke
Book Publishing Company, 2011

The OmniHeart study, which we describe in Chapter 2, took a DASH-style regimen and replaced just 10 percent of the daily calories originally assigned to carbs with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

“DASH Diet For Dummies” by Sarah Samaan, Rosanne Rust, Cynthia Kleckner
from DASH Diet For Dummies
by Sarah Samaan, Rosanne Rust, Cynthia Kleckner
Wiley, 2014

The work of many other people, such as Björn Falck Madsen, Søren Mavrogenis, Melissa Diane Smith, Ashton and Matt Embry, the late Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., and others, has also contributed to my views on eating habits and supplements.

“AARP The Inflammation Syndrome: Your Nutrition Plan for Great Health, Weight Loss, and Pain-Free Living” by Jack Challem
from AARP The Inflammation Syndrome: Your Nutrition Plan for Great Health, Weight Loss, and Pain-Free Living
by Jack Challem
Wiley, 2011

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • I shit bigger thing than Phil, pro cyclists r a different league they have peops saying when where n how. Fuck this shit if I had 5% body fat, I would look like an aids victim like 99% of amateur cyclists, go ride and enjoy the road is endless

  • Thanks Chris. Very sensible. I don’t eat carnivore (mainly due to my partner) but pretty much. Maybe an avo or blueberries and a small serving of veggies with dinner. Recently adding organs on a daily basis and I feel even better. Faster thinking, clear thoughts and more energy. So i can say thats sound advice

  • Better ending would’ve been: “the applesauce will make sure you don’t wake up in the middle of the night hungry while you are peeing”

  • Always ate eggs with a little cheese, found Aitkins in the 90s, went Keto…now a raw diary CARNIVORE…thank you Aitkins…….

  • Much great advice echoed from a Podcast I once heard with Phil Goglia and Gaimon. Tons of water, tons of fruit and veggies, greens, single ingredient carbs…and I totally remember the apple sauce with almond butter tip from that same podcast. BEST TIP: Focus on what you need to put in your mouth not what you need to avoid.

  • Thanks Phil thanks for justifying my nighttime snack! I’ve been exercising every day during lockdown… and also having a craving for ice cream just about every night. Good to hear it’s not just me! I also found this really helpful it explains ‘where does the weight actually go?’

  • It’s possible, yes, but in reality it’s not possible for everyone, no matter if you are “doing it right”. (Omg, that’s such a vegan phrase…��) You won’t believe how many ex carnivores there are! I stumble upon them everywhere! I was fooled too to believe that it works for everyone! Especially the vit C issue. I developed bleeding gums and poor wound healing for instance. And I was “doing it right”. That was not the only problem I developed though….Severe insomnia, hypothyroid symptoms with all that comes with that, loss of period and libido, and once again before you start questioning if I “managed my electrolytes, did you fast, did you eat nose to tail, did you eat enough calories, did you eat enough protein, did you eat too much protein, did you eat enough fat, did you eat enough salt” and so on..again..Yes, I did it “right”!!
    And I feel that it’s absolutely irresponsible for anyone in the carnivore community to keep on pushing liver as a good source of vit C (and more). Yes, it’s full of nutrients BUT now people are starting to have vit A and iron overload. YES, it’s a real thing!

    Carnivore can be VERY healing, I ABSOLUTELY AGREE!!!!! But a 100 percent carnivore without ANY exception for years and years and years… is not possible for most people. Yes, I know about the long time carnivores that are doing just fine (atleast seemingly) I’m not talking about them. (PS: This is not directed to Chris personally, he is trying to help, I get that, this is just directed to everyone who thinks it’s possible for everybody to do carnivore, if they just “do it right”.)

  • Thanks for the video! Here is a commet:
    Carbs should only be cut for weight-loss or performancetiny minority. The vast majority of people eat way too much protein and fat, so that´s the place to start. Carbs should only be reduced if one is taking sth like 0.8 0.9 g/kg of protein per body mass and taking very little fat. In addition saturated fats and animal protein cause loads of diseases (for example, too much animal protein causes kidney disease, and saturated fat cause diabetes and heart disease). Please check NutritionFacts.Org!
    Ah, and I don´t think you need to eat any fat before going to bed. Your body has loads of fats stored, so that makes no difference. The body can perfectly burn fat even you one does not consume none at all. It would be better to carb up, so that your glycogen stores are full. Waking up early (or feeling hungry in general) is a sign of depleted glycogen stores, not of low fat (otherwise overweight people would never be hungry). Furthermore, addign fat to your meals causes insulin resistence… In the long term, eating too much fat leads to high insulin levels, and since insulin is anabolic, one tends to gain weight eating fat. This is most type-2 diabetics gain weight. Please check NutritionFacts.Org!

  • Phil, what do you think about fasted training? I usually do 3 fasted training per week around 1 hour in bike indoor. Currently with Zwift hahaha

  • In order for mee to loose weight I need someone that Buys and coocks all that healthy food. When I go out shopping with my wife its basicaly just meat and suggar. No greens in our diet ��

  • Copper and potassium were really hard ones to get. I usually just use a bit of blackstrap molasses for minerals and carbohydrate.

  • Give up sugar and processed foods. By about 3-6 weeks you will feel so much better that you won’t want to touch that stuff ever again. Phil is right about the body fat. You can be healthy at 5-7%, but going lower is not going to work out well from my experience.

  • Wow! When was it last that to have a healthy eating habit you need to know the level of sugar in your blood? What a bunch of bulls. Eat real food, have an active life and that is all that matters. What times are we livin` in?

  • Great Video Chris, magnesium needs are important and many “experts” have said everyone should take a Mg supp, including Chris Kresser in The Paleo Cure. Fish and shellfish are important and early man evolved around the oceans so are also very important for everyone.(thyroid). I have been eating only animal foods for 7 mths but make sure I get these things, especially Liver, twice a week and pasture raised chicken eggs. My muscles got harder without working out, but I’m 64.

  • Water lots of it, force veg salad down lots of it, weight everyday for data, glycemic index learn low, high. Post workout shake 30mins after ride, fat n sugar before bed applesauce almond butter. Thanks Phil great advice

  • On the topic of slamming water, I understand the principle but where do you pee on rides? I have been having the issue lately with an increased water intake I don’t really know what to do if I have to pee every say 20 or 40 minutes

  • Lots of raw butter, (organ)meats, fish and eggs. Pineo water. Some raw honey. No grains, vegetables and fruits. Thats what increased my performance to the max.

  • This is an average at best video on nutrition for athletes but people will listen because it’s coming from a likable former pro cyclist. Here’s one issue to take advantage of the glycogen (stored carbohydrate in the muscle) window Phil says “when you finish a ride slam a protein drink with some carbs in it” What everyone heard I need a protein drink. FYI Your muscles can store upwards of 500g of glycogen. Specifically he recommends Muscle Monster (presumably one of his sponsors) which contains a whopping 10g of carbohydrate. That’s not going to get the job done. If you want to take advantage of the glycogen window I suggest 1-1.5 g of carbohydrate per kg of bodyweight.

  • Good stuff but the nutrient timing/”glycogen window” stuff has been found to not really matter much unless you’re training in a fasted state. Most of the current research also shows that you are better off not training in a fasted state so… meh.

  • You said to keep the insulin not so high thru middle gi food, but then said to consume some sugary and fat before bed, isn’t it fattening to rise insulin just before going to bed?

  • Hey Phil, all the info is spot on except for the eggs and bacon. I’m not a nutritionist either but to watch oatmeal portions and keep eggs and bacon in your diet seems totally wrong if your trying to loose weight, maintain weight or even keep a healthy diet. Keep going after those KOMs. Cheers!

  • Great points. Just thinking now that the Olympics will be postponed again maybe you can still qualify? Would love to see you back in action �� after your crash

  • For anybody who likes ice cream: Halo Top is somewhere around 300-400 calories for the entire pint. Not that you have to eat it all in one sitting, but it’s pretty good and lower on the calories!

  • I always eat big bowl of oatmeal before a ride. It’s worked great as a pre-ride meal for me. It’s funny, I’ve learned more about nutrition just from taking up cycling than I ever did in school…

    Thanks for sharing, Phil!

  • Correction, you were not completely off on pastas.
    Take the usual regular plain flour pasta, the GI of it will depend on the way you cook it. Al Dente pasta will be of lower GI than the overcooked ones.
    If slightly overcooked (shit happens) putting them in the fridge to consume long afterwards (as part of a cold salad the next day for instance) will partially reassemble the chain of carbohydrates, hence lowering the glycemic index once again.

  • I hear ya there brother! I was so isolated from all the good eating and after my mothers death from causes of Type2 diabetes I started to educate myself in the last year and now have started to go Carnivor. Kinda fallen off the wagon yesterday with sugar do to family and Christmas and the sugar drug! Well 24 more hours and then back on board and enjoy the ride to better health with meat and meat products, feeling a little sugar sickness today though! I eat all meat and do nose to tail and will be glad to head home and get real food only again. Thanks for the morning pep talk as the sugar has my arthritis giving me some shit this morning. any way the new year will be awesome! have a great New Year!

  • I think it was legendary Wolverine cycling coach Mike Walden who said many years ago that if you don’t have to get up during the night to pee, you aren’t properly hydrated. ��‍♂️

  • The thing I would add is that, in my opinion, cyclist, especially amateur, shouldn’t start a training program with weight loss in mind, first you need a certain amount of strenght and cardivascular condition, after that you can start a weight loss phase, it’s about building your form slowly and smart. Often people with 250w ftp for example will try to lose weight to improve w/kg, but that starting point is just too low, and trying to lose weight and gain strenght and fitness at the same time is a no win situation. I think almost every cyclist would benefit if they add 3 or 4 pounds of muscle mass in the right places, at all levels, and I think, as the sport cleans or tries at least, we are starting to see this strategies winning more and more, cyclist adding a little more mass in key parts, enough to improve performance but not to affect w/kg that much, with the added health and metabolic benefits

  • Phil taking out any possible sponsor-jaded answers, do you feel that taking vitamins/supplements are necessary? Multivitamins or any other individual vitamins, or do you just eat and let your body do the rest?

  • I listened to your interview with Paul Saladino and you came off very well. One question both my wife and I had was why all the microparsing of nutrient levels of foods? Why not just take a supplement? It’s kind of crazy in an angel on a head of the pin sort of way to endlessly argue what has how much of what.

  • You look skeletal, can you even lift 50 pounds without getting out of breath. See John Howard on being disgustingly weak doing anything else besides turning crank arms. You also don’t really say anything of any real use nutritionally. Why do Pro, Ex-Pro racers always think they know everything about nutrition exercise physiology.

  • Thank you very much for this Phil and I truly appreciate how easy you make it. Question though if I may; is slamming water okay? I’ve been told to sip throughout the day. Put a better way; do I slam in the morning and then sip the rest throughout the day? Thanks so much in advance.

  • With ORGAN meats, and FISH, and EGGS….maybe, but you will still be in deficiency with POTASSIUM, unless you drink FRESH BLOOD as true carnivore!

  • pro tip about losing weight, come from a 6 hour ride, eat 3 slices of watermelon and drop some sleeping pills, repeat 5x a week and you will be lean af

  • me being considered a people who knows a lot about nutrition, just learn that i should prolly thanks myself for the good habits instead of blaming myself for my bad habits

  • Phil Regarding #1 (hydrate) What is your thought/guidance on when to STOP hydrating before medium to long rides? Can’t pee over a 35-50-75 mile ride too much…. do you stop drinking 2 hours before; 4 hours before; when?

  • Seriously, love all this good content and advice. We all have trouble with keeping things, such as weight, in perspective. Eat healthy, eat enough.

  • Great stuff Phil, you’re a true hero. I’m confused with the fat and sugar before bed. I do 16hour fasting and don’t eat between 8pm an noon. I don’t have problems with waking up hungry at night or in the morning. It’s just the last 2-3h of the 16h where i notice it. The cookies before bed is something i do on my binge days. Shall i stick to this? Also i do most of my fasting dry, that is also with no drinking. No coffee no water no nothing. Most people are shocked when they hear that. But it’s really easy for me. I’ll dring at least 2L in the rest of the day (more on a hot day and when working out). That goes very against you’re rule #1. Should I rethink that? Loved your bowl of health video. That was a kickstart for a great improvement in food quality for me. It’s not revolutionary, nothing I’ve never heared, but how you said it really made it stick with me! Thanks so much

  • Thanks for the great resource on the glycemic index. I’ve been a type 1 diabetic for 21 years and this website explained why my blood sugar spikes better than many dieticians.

  • this is the right type of diet advice. i think something important that i heard not too long ago is that your diet should reflect the type of activity/lifestyle you’re living. there are weeks where i’m doing a bunch of miles, and there are other weeks where i’m mostly gym focused. my diet is different in each of those scenarios, and if you happen to not be doing much exercise at all, your diet definitely needs to reflect that. i find that i have the worst cravings when i’m not exercising, so i always stay active.

  • The place to calorie restrict is FATS first, protein next and carbs not at all. That’s the reverse order of what we need = we need carbs most whether active or not 😉

  • Phil is hilarious and so honest. So grateful for him. Can relate to his journey of being vegetarian/vegan/fruitarian etc in attempts to heal. Last Stop Carnivore 100%.. when all else has failed. So grateful for this interview. Thankyou!��������

  • a lot of very personal advice there and not entirely accurate, and surprising coming from an athlete. To lose weight, the equation is always calories out/burned > calories consumed. Low carbs vs low fat or low protein is a myth (see first pint re: calories in vs out) you need good protein to maintain muscles, you need carbs to fun your body, especially your brain which uses carbs/glucose and your body doesn’t differentiate between carbs or fat when looking at the calories in vs out and therefore you could split your calorie macros between fat or carbs and it have next to no impact. Always work out your BMR and how much protein you need and then you can focus on fat vs carbs (body doesn’t care if you use fat or carbs to make up the rest as long as you burn more than you eat, tough fatigue kicks in with low carbs). And eating a salad vs a macro balanced meal is not healthy. I did though appreciate the tips on the glycogen window helpful. P.S. too much water will over work your kidneys.

  • I agree with most of what you say here, with one drastic exception. Having lost 160 pounds myself from cycling and changing my diet of course, I can tell you that getting on the scale every day is not good advice. Once a week, same day each week, first thing in the morning is the way to do it. And even then the number on the scale isn’t as important as the way your clothes are fitting. You can gain muscle if you’re new to any athletic activity, and that can throw the number off, but your clothes will never lie. I also don’t agree with the late night snack. Sure, if you can have a very small handful (about 20) raw almonds, that’s great. But I think it’s best to just eat your last meal and call it good. I ride fasted all the time, and as long as the effort isn’t insane and it’s not longer than 90 minutes, you’ll be good until after your workout. I do agree with the rest of the advice and I wish everyone the very best of luck.

  • You seem to have some knowledge about nutrition, but bruh… Why you look like you just got out of Auschwitz?
    You seriously need to gain some muscle, you’ll fonction and feel better.
    Good luck

  • Please do all of your audio like this. Just have a still frame of a cookie or something.
    Sounds like I’m listening to a cassette tape played over a phone and it’s glorious.
    Huge love from the woods in Canada where we still use coffee cans with strings to talk to each other.

  • IT IS SOOOO GOOD TO HEAR YOU SAY those things about water. That is me… and I knew it was right… but you help me know it is MOST right… for you and me!

  • Check out Chris on his opening night of his new restaurant Cockscomb love this guy. I remember when he quit cooking to race bicycles! He deserves the publicity he has received. Solid dude all the way.

  • I got to try this place out since my office is a half a block away. I’ve gone there when it was another restaurant. I forgot the name, but they had an awesome wild mushroom pizza. My brother and his family recently dined there and he said it was awesome and that the roasted pig’s head was off the chain delicious.

  • I’m eating a bowl of ice cream while watching this. Did a hammerfest today, so this vid with a bowl of ice cream,…:) good way to
    end a nice day.

  • I must say that tip 2 is one of the best bits of nutrition advice I have heard. Nutrition is essentially simple, everyone knows what to eat and what not to eat, but the problem comes with restrictions as then the cravings come, or you are underfed which leads to binging. So thanks Phil!

  • Great video once again. The glycogen window has been a great time for me to eat the stuff that I shouldn’t be eating, so if I get back from a 3+ hour ride, and I want to eat ice cream because I’m just starving, I do it then. Strangely, I don’t really crave anything outside of that little 30 minute window. So I walk in the door, eat something as a treat then, go stretch and shower, then eat a real meal after with normal (healthy) options. Seems to keep cravings down, and also doesn’t mess up weight loss/gains. It’s almost like a free time to eat, but of course, don’t be careless and eat an entire cake.

  • The nerves, the reviews, the judgement, taking out the effing garbage. We take you inside chef Chris Cosentino’s #OpeningNight of Cockscomb in #SF  to see what it really takes to run a smooth first service.

  • Thanks for the upload, keep up the good work! I think that you deserve way more views. Did you ever think of using zmsocial “dot” com??? You should use it, it will help you get the views that you deserve!