Things to think about // EWS 2019 – Rounds 1 and 2

5 Things to think about


  1. Wheelsizes – Business, party or full on orgy? Does anyone care? I think the answer is YES. But you must care for the right reasons. Isolating the diameter of wheels as a sole variable that will make or break your performance will most certainly just melt your head and break your brain. 97.5 is here to stay, at least medium term. Yes, a Class A ball ache for a privateer carrying different diameter tyres etc… but it’s gonna work as proven in both DH and EWS races. My hunch is that the mass of a rider and kit on a bicycle so greatly outweighs that of the bike and wheels that the 27.5/29 mis—match is negatable. On average a rider will be five times heavier than their bike. All that mass shifting to apply technique…. well you see my point. Last year 27.5” bikes dominated races, as did 29” bikes in both men’s and women’s racing. Now 2019 is here, fresh faced and fighting fit and the first two races where won by a variety of wheel diameters in all categories; the common denominator was a rider/bike/suspension/technique quadrant that was dialed in. Synergistic bliss allowing for optimal technique application under time and fatigue duress on stage. There’s a lot more to all that and a lot more time invested in preparations than the diameters of tyres.


  1. Ladies Racing – Big healing vibes to Mrs. Ravanel. Bon retablissement! Taking big leaps in thought from small data sets is dangerous, that said the gap between first and second for the ladies in 2017 in Rotorua was the same as the gap between first and seventeenth in 2019. Over three minutes. We know from more than a few seasons now that when Cecile is on it, she really is ON-IT! My experience tells me that a large chunk of this is to do with her very healthy focus on executing fast riding on demanding trails in training and far less hours devoted to “number crunching” chasing fickle physiological goals than her competition! Dare I say somewhat like her compatriot Morgan Charre;. a RAD rider! Cecile’s absence doesn’t detract from the other ladies racing though. All anyone can do on an individual sport is improve themselves. One trail, one rider, one clock. So, watching the battles unfold will be really exciting and with riders like Noga Korem, Bex Baroana, Katy Winton and ALN racking up experience the gaps will be closing across the board regardless of names missing from start-list!


  1. Tasmania Race Duration – curious geek stat – Tasmania 2017 and 2019 were nearly identical duration in-terms of minutes raced. For both men and women, I’ll let you go search out the details yourself, but 2019 had 6 stages, 2017 had 7 but the BIG BUT was that 2017 was a slog of a race, wet and wild. Anyways, Isabeau won both editions, there are some little details in that day of racing for the ladies that stand out but really, it’s the men’s racing that has some changes. 2017 saw Adrien Dailly take the win; three seconds ahead of third place and twenty-four ahead of tenth. 2019 saw Mr. Maes on a racing roll and with it putting twenty-three seconds into third place and over forty into tenth. So quite the change from 2017………. But this is where critical analysis of performance and not just results needs to be slammed down on the table with a fat SLAP. As I repeat ad nauseum when chatting reflection with athletes – the clock does not lie; but it never tells the full story! Not taking one ounce away from Martin’s stunning performance, a dry race allows for a far higher chance of a “perfect” race. Perfect? What I mean is a race where a rider executes each stage to their liking, executed with precision based off a plan and a strategy that then gets adapted to the race, bike and rider conditions to optimise speed from A to B. Along the same lines of thought a perfect race or excellent performance can leave you with a big winning margin. Judging by the time gaps down to tenth and twentieth, Martin had a stunning day. Likewise, simply comparing two data sets, i.e. 2017 and 2019 races isn’t enough to draw conclusions. Context matters in analysis, for example Greg Callaghan was on track for victory in the 2017 race in Tasmania, even after a crash on an early stage broke a bone in his hand. He threw the victory away with a slide out on the final stage, without both of those crashes he would have had a twenty second winning margin. Ifs and buts!


  1. Single Stage day – following on from above, Tasmania gave us a single practice, single timed stage Saturday; partially to fulfill EWS 80 scheduling but also to reduce the physical load on the racers and make the racing about bike riding and not training volume, this is something we will see more of at EWS racing. It is also something that Martin Maes got very right. Most likely because of a business as usual attitude. The damage done on this stage whether by Martin and Isabeau over others or by individuals poor performances inflicted on themselves was noticeable. A stunning Sunday performance could turn things a-round a little, but a ropey Saturday was suicide! What was learned – this is probably a practice and mindset “thing” that will need to be trained and thought about – reflecting on hard racing lessons learned!


  1. The Future nowto talk briefly about training philosophy the “global” demands of a sport or event are broad, the universal or unifying themes of events; some sports like swimming or athletics have very straightforward distances or durations. Even soccer for all its stochastic wildness has two halves of forty-five minutes each. EWS has big days out on your bike, carrying some kit, shredding hard and aiming to recover fast (between stages & days), but things get muddled fast. One day or two-day races, prologues, one-or two-day practices, four to nine stages, sea-level, high altitude, mud bog or big alpine loam. I mean the aforementioned list could wrap around the world.  After two races characterised by fairly flat stages that required a lot of rider input to make, maintain and craft speed – round three in Madeira is going to dish out nine stages of what could very easily be steep, wild, loose and loamy racing. What is guaranteed is that none of the nine stages will be like anything raced in Rotorua or Tasmania and maybe even none of the nine will resemble each other at all! I can’t wait.


Freebies News Top Tip

Prospective Control of Action

This is a re-post from the Point1 Facebook page; because frankly Facebook is a horrible medium for longer, dribbling narrative! Enjoy.



So, to carry on from Friday’s yip-yap on Posture and Technique…

One of the relationships (some were trade-offs) listed was


The first term above being a misnomer – deliberate at the time. The correct term in fact would be, I think,

Prospective. Prospective control.

And as is becoming very clear in my own development as a coach, the relationship of qualities, traits and sub-systems within the athlete (rider) is of utmost importance, this must be respected & understood.

Relational thinking TRUMPS categorical thinking….always. When we speak about performance improvement at least.

“Prospective control refers to the means by which actors (read: rider in our case) adapt behaviour in advance to the constraints and behavioral opportunities afforded in/by the environment” ~ Fajen, Riley, Turvey; 2009

Prospective control is thus ESSENTIAL for the emergence of skilled actions. Without it all you would do is react to what the trail/race-track is giving you. But as we all know, reaction is after the fact, it is, no matter how “fast” too late. Too late for you the rider to successfully navigate each distinct section of trail in such a way as too link up distinct sections into fast, flowing, effective riding.

So when you see your favourite, rider, athlete or celebrity carry out some reactive “eye-hand” co-ordination drill in the gym, remember that reaction is too slow; and regardless most of the “reactions” we make, when riding an MTB well, are somatic reflexes, not reactions…and once that gym “drill” is learned then it would be the prospective control of posture, position that would allow for faster “reaction” to emerge. So again, full circle, relational thinking; reaction to a stimulus is much faster with better prospective control!

Greg Williamson performs at the UCI DH World Tour in Leogang on June 12, 2016

So in the immediate term what does this mean for you if the whole notion of prospective control is new too you?

– Posture = Prizes; the whole reason the “attack-position” bares so many hallmarks and similarities (attractors if you know Dynamical Systems) among good riders is. That that position/posture allows for joint angles, muscle length~tension relationships, peripheral nervous system function, afferent control & force production to operate within an optimal bandwidth to deliver the required technique on trail in the fastest way possible. Prospective control of posture given the trail affordances means “skill” emerges to perfectly match speed. This in essence is “trail efficiency”!

So what can we do to improve our potential to always display usable posture regardless of the trail demands? A shortlist only below….

1. Cultivate & Maintain adequate control, mobility, proprioception, strength and stability through all joints and movement patterns.

2. Develop adequate and ever evolving strength of your “hip hinge”; both eccentric and concentric muscle action, with a stable spine achieved through excellent function of all torso musculature from hip to shoulder (and likely more)!

3. Identify “rate-limiters” to postural maintenance and re-setting. These could be anything from foundational physiological qualities like aerobic metabolism to very specific characteristic qualities like your interaction with a particular size bike, with a certain tyre pressure on certain gradient of terrain!

4. Given the minute detail of the last point above it becomes clear that developing, year on year, season on season, a large physical/physiological buffer of foundational qualities that support good posture on trail will reduce the likely hood of poor mechanics or characteristic rate limiters cropping up under duress/fatigue or emotionally demanding situations.

5. True sport form and improvement in Prime Postures can only be viewed, refined, quantified and understood if enough training takes place in the environments you race that means shredding your bike like fuck in the mountains, up the mountains, down the mountains etc… sounds like fun!

To wrap up a quite abstract post; prospective posture allows for prospective position on trail and that allows for fast, smooth, efficient technique application on trail; which will look to the observer like skill. This is basically all we want as a rider – as skillful navigation of long sections of trail reward us with a sensory and neuro-endocrine response that trumps many experiences in life.

Do this often enough and you get that “flow” feeling…and that leads to intrinsic motivation to shred, removing the space for strange extrinsic motivators like health, weight-loss or victory and in there you find endless drive to improve and a near total lack of anxiety.

So as I said above – relationships of qualities; not categories of qualities please!

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Point1: Snack Shot

As a fan of alliteration (unknown as to why) I was gonna call these wee gems – Point1 Power-Balls. But, emm, well…I won’t!

So here you go, the Snack Shots, one simple base recipe, that you can add in all sorts of flavours, tastes and textures too to get what you want or need.


Base Recipe

  • 500g Dates (medjool or if not then deglet or similar variety soaked for 3-5 hrs!)
  • 3/4 Cup of Oats
  • 1/2 Cup of Mixed nuts of Choice (almonds, cashew, walnuts, hazelnuts in this case)
  • 1 tsp oil of choice (walnut or coconut work best)
  • Flavourful Add-Ins

1. Chocolate & Coconut

Add in 2 tbs cocoa power and 2 tbs coconut flakes or dessicated coconut! Simple

2. Ginger and Cinnamon – Spice Bomb!

Add in as much grated fresh ginger as you dare to the base recipe and sprinkle on 2 tsp cinnamon powder!


How To

The easiest way to get the textures needed for a rad snack shot experience is a hand held blender and/or upright blender. The key is getting the dates nice and liquid! so soak if needed. Then blitz to a creamy texture

Drop your oats and nuts into a blender and mix until you get a pretty fine “powder”, leave some left over un blitzed oat and nuts for texture if wanted.

Mix all the dry ingredients of your base and flavor recipes together

Add the oil and dates

Slowly mix until they are all combined – this may take a while so just chill and be patient!

Once you have a texture that still has some moisture but doesn’t stick readily to your hands you can roll up your mixture into the finest wee snack shots you’ll ever have!

Store in an air tight container or in the freezer!

Snack away on a nutrient dense tasty bomb, goes very well with crisp espresso!

Freebies News Recipes

Smart Nutritional Choices during DH and Enduro Training

I often sit down with the best intentions to right clear, useful and succinct blog posts about a variety of topics! But often, they sit in the “draft” folder, why? Well mainly because I have more than a few lines of thought on more than a few topics, which often leads me down a rabbit hole of additional research and thinking…and before long I’ve chosen to work with or update programs, gather feedback or catch up with the full time Point1 athletes instead of finishing a blog post!

I suppose there are both positive and negatives in that! But I’ve decided to aim for shorter, more concise blogging for this summer. Useful, less wordy but hopefully just as useful!

Less of this and more blogging........right?
Less of this and more blogging……..right? – Photo: Sean Rowe

So here it goes…the first in what will hopefully be a long line of “snappy” blogs!

Nutrition is without doubt the one area I get the most questions in, from athletes to riders on the trials of Morzine, to guys and girls in coffee shops, or on Facebook, people want nutritional info…but they also want the “secret” to eating success. Well there isn’t any secrets. But there is a stack of bull 4m deep, dogma, over-zealous lunatics, fads, supplement companies more interested in marketing than manufacturing and many other pit-falls.

So while the very first port of call of any rider or athlete is a very consistent, well planned and tasty daily meals and snacks…there are a few key areas of focus for the rider engaging in training.

1. Eating enough quality calories

2. Getting the right Macronutrient balance based off of energy expenditure demands and training goals

3. Having tasty, colourful food with good texture variety

4. Having a good idea what you’ll be eating each meal/snack at least 10hrs in advance! (this is KEY)

5. Hydrating regularly and enough 

6. Eating lots of vegetables, a little fruit, various protein sources and a good amount of fat!

Now while the above is just a short list of some areas to focus on when planning out your approach to “healthful” eating. The average rider often asks about supplements long before they address anything like the above! You’d think that the coach in me would say “sort of the basics” change your behaviours and attitudes to food and then we’ll talk before even entertaining the idea of adding in supplements to a diet and you’d be right…but having said that “supplementing” a good diet is becoming a whole lot more difficult because, luckily for people like me, it seems that smart, simple, relaxed approach to nutrition and diet are becoming very much the “norm”!

Have your nutritional sh*t in a pile before you worry about the supps! - This is a Neil Stewart feed!
Have your nutritional sh*t in a pile before you worry about the supps! – This is a Neil Stewart feed!

With that in mind – there are two key areas where I look to supplement with Gravity athletes who get themselves set up on a Point1 Coaching Partnership.

During and After Training – Why, because the high intensity, intermittent nature of DH and Enduro practice, riding or racing means significant exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD), glycogen depletion, mild dehydration and possible reductions in adaptation too or performance in a given session. So while we look to have some of the above to provide an adaptive stimulus for our bodies after training, we also need consistent application of the minimal worth while load over a long period of time to actually, ya know, get dem GAINZZZ!

So that’s why we look to supplement (not always) with some sort of specially prepared beverage during DH runs, Enduro laps or anything of that nature!

With a pretty solid body of evidence in the research to support the idea, a Carbohydrate – Protein blend beverage consumed at a rate of about 35 -45 g of carbs and 5 to 10g of protein in 500ml to 750ml of water per 2 to 3 runs or over 45min to 1hour seems to work spot on!

So what does it actually work on? 

  • Reductions in acute fatigue that manifest itself as both central (ability of your brain and CNS to control/create /drive movement) and peripheral (ability of metabolic and mechanical systems to power and fuel those movements)
  • Reductions in muscle damage and soreness during and after sessions meaning you can train sooner or to a higher quality in the next session – so that means more quality and/or quantity of good tech or physical ridning.
  • Better quality training during the session, less likely to make mistakes caused by the above fatigue discussed. More likely to execute lines and be able to overload the mechanical and metabolic systems in the exact movement patterns demanded by the sport! Therefore more likely to directly improve your “sport characteristic performance”.
  • Peripheral fatigue will cause reduced impulse, central motor drive and alterations in ideal motor unit (read muscle movement) recruitment patterns that will mean you’ll soon be using less than optimal technique and bleeding even more energy…this is the feeling of “not being able to ride” we all have gotten when riding and not snacking!

So, basically do more, do it better and arguable safer if you supplement a DH, Enduro or similar “intermittent” session with a Carbohydrate – Protein based beverage. Why beverage…well some studies have used gels…but the simplicity of a drink, coupled with the fact that you can easily get your required H2O, electrolytes and other minerals in the one package a drink based CHO -PRO supplement is a no-brainer!

The best and often recommend one to Point1ers is the High 5 4:1 product – it’s tasty, has Whey protein and not soy or some other sub-average protein source, tastes good, comes with the needed electrolytes in there already and not only is the mix in a research backed 4:1 mix of Carbs to Protein, it also is made with a variety of carb sources dubbed “multi-transportable” by Scientist meaning your gonna get a better delivery of energy and less stomach issues than if they used sugar, maltodextrin etc… alone!

High5 4:1
High5 4:1 – natural stuff for the most part

Now you may think I’m pedaling supps here with my marketing cap on! But I have made a variety of “home-brew” versions of a 4:1 intra riding drinks and invariable I come back to using the High5 4:1 as it’s on the money out of the box. Although that’s not to say I’ve not recommended some changes! 😉

However feel free to recommend in the comments the other brands or mixes you have tried if you have tried any!

Likewise questions below are welcomed!

A few Gravity Enduro lap essentials!
A few Gravity Enduro lap essentials!


A full day of timed DH runs needs more than a drink mix, but the 4:1 is still an integral part! As is pen and paper.
A full day of timed DH runs needs more than a drink mix, but the 4:1 is still an integral part! As is pen and paper.

Finally here’s a link to some of the research mentioned in this article – 4:1 mix used in Alpine Skiing a sport with many similarities to ours! – cho 4;1 gel skiing study

And finally part two – more research supporting the above claims for those interested!

Seifert, J.G., Kipp, R.W., Amann, M. and Gazal, O. (2005) Muscle
Damage, Fluid Ingestion, and energy supplementation during
Recreational Alpine Skiing. International Journal of Sport Nutrition
and Exercise Metabolism 15, 528-536.
Saunders, M.J., Luden, N.D. and Herrick, J.E. (2007) Consumption of
an oral carbohydrate-protein gel improves cycling endurance
and prevents postexercise muscle damage. Journal of Strength
and Conditioning Research 21, 678-684.
Ivy, J.L., Res, P.T., Sprague, R.C. and Widzer, M.O. (2003) Effect of a
carbohydrate-protein supplement on endurance performance
during exercise of varying intensity. International Journal of
Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 13, 382-395.
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Quick Fire 5 – Scotty Laughland

Our second round of quick fire 5 questions is with another Scot, Scotty Laughland. One of the newest athletes on the Point1 roster of weapons; he’s just come off his best ever EWS result (33rd) at Tweedlove.
Mature in word,  fresh in the face, downhiller turned Enduro shredder Scotty Laughland has, at 25 years young, bags of experience on a push bike, an undergraduate degree in Engineering and some serious coconut sugar based baking skills!
© – Claus Wachsmann
1) Favourite meal after a tough day of training gainzzz
Quick and easy soy sauce stir-fry with chicken or beef, rice and veg
2) The training sessions you are most and least happy to see on the weekly plan?
Most: 4 hour epic enduro session
Least: none – It’all about the gainzzz and process
3) Favourite race track/s? 
Finale. Nevados de Chilean and Peebles
© – Claus Wachsmann
4) Number 1 interest away from the world of bike riding and racing?
Travel and exploration
5) Happiest when…….?
Sat at the top of a rad, loamy 1000m + descent, froth fest!!!
© – Scotty himself!
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High5 RP Chocolate Mousse

Tough day in the saddle or better yet standing on the pedals slappin’ turns and berms? – Feeling like a treat straight after riding or something sweet after your main meal but don’t want to stop the Gainzzz (yes 3 Z’s) train?

Well here’s the simplest tastiest treat going and “functional” to boot.

Chocolate Mousse that helps you Recover! – Voodoo magic surely!?





200g of Fromage Frais – (why Fromage Frais – because it’s “alive” with cultures and a nutritional

40g of High 5 Recovery Protein Powder (I used chocolate flavour)

1 Egg White – whisked

Optional Vanilla Essence to taste


How To

1. Whisk the Egg White so she’s “peaky”!

2. In a separate bowl mix together your two scoops (more if you’ve had a wild day) of High5  RP

3. Slowly combine your egg whites with your Fromage Frais/RP mix and boooom you’re done

Optional extras: Add some vanilla essence, dark chocolate flakes/shavings, coconut pieces or top with frozen or fresh berries! All depends on your nutritional needs and energy expenditure for the day not to mention your current goals!





The Finished Priduct
The Finished Product

Here’s the exact nutritional breakdown of a 100g Serving! – Multiple by 2 if you eat the whole lot in one – easy do!

Final Top Tip: If you are looking for or are in need of a lower calorie option then use the same recipe but just add a Whey Protein Isolate powder in whatever flavor you want! Similar taste, less calories per serving! But if you have genuinely had a tough day behind the bars or barbell then the “RP” Verison is your best bet!

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Recovery Ice-Cream – High5 Special

Sounds to good to be true I suppose – Ice-Cream that helps you recover from hard training and racing?

Well fear not sometimes in life the “to good” stuff comes true! This is about the simplest Point1 recipe yet and kicks off a series of blogs I’ll be doing using the awesome products from the folks at High 5.



So here it goes


1 Sachet of High 5 Banana Vanilla Flavour Protein Recovery Powder

2-3 Medium, ripe, Bananas

1 pot of Natural Yogurt – (I used a full fat one, makes nutritional “density” sense!)

1 tsp of Vanilla Essence

Small pinch of sea-salt

How To

Place all ingredients in a bowl – I used a Tupperware with lid so I could transfer direct to freezer, no waste, no messing!


Mix with a blender until smooth

Freeze for a few hours – DONE!

Oh and make sure to enjoy it with some dark chocolate shavings, dried coconut flakes or just on it’s own! I’ll update this post ASAP with the full nutritional breakdown from once they add the High5 Protein Recovery Powder to their database.

Like always this recipe can be modified as needed and to be honest using the Chocolate flavour powder with raspberries tastes even better!




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Point1 Chilli

Winter’s on it’s way! Nothing better than a massive bowl of ohh so very nutritious chilli to fuel you up after training and keep the immune system rocking.

Honestly there is so much awesome in this pot it’s mind-blowing. You’ve got some pics below and then the recipe with full nutritional breakdown in PDF form for you guys to download, print, share, save and use!

This chilli can be served anyway you like – I usually go for “lettuce-wraps” with homemade buckwheat and seed crackers for pretty much the most tasty nutrient dense feed any man, women, man-child or wee-man could ask for.

Enjoy! Sorry about winter.


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Point1 Granola – GNAROLA™!

Gnarly Granola! This is taste central. “Shop Bought” granola and muesli will often have plenty of additives, preservatives and generally a huge amount of grain and not much of the good stuff you want, i.e. – nuts, seeds, fruits, quality honey and no added sugar!

So step in the simple as chips Point1 Gnarola™, like granola only gnarlier!!!

This is simple enough to make even for those who burn water in the kitchen, all you need to do is buy good qaulity ingredients, drop the smartphone for 8 minutes and you are set.



150g Mixed Nuts (I used Walnuts and Hazelnuts but whatever nuts you want, brazil-nuts taste amazing and are packed with selenium!)

250g  or about 2 Cups of raw rolled Oats

35g Pumpkin Seeds

50g Ground Flaxseed/Linseed/Chia Seed…any seed!

25g chopped/dried coconut

2 tsp or more of Cinnamon


15-20ml Walnut oil

150g or 4-5 TBSP of decent Honey (Maple Syrup works fine too)

AFTER BAKING – ***optional***

150g Chopped dried fruits of choice – I used fig, sultanas and prunes – re-hydrate if you wish


How To:

Pre-Heat the oven to 155c (fan oven) – Line a decent size baking tray with parchment/baking paper.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl – you can play with exact quantities of each type of ingredient.


Combine your oil and honey in a small bowl and heat until real runny over a bain-marie or at worst in the microwave.


Pour wet stuff into dry, give it a good mix (it should coat but not overwhelm the dry ingredients); spread out all of the Gnarola mixture thinly onto the baking tray, place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until she is golden and crispy! Make sure to keep an eye on the oven as it burns easily and burnt food ain’t ever good for you! EVER!


Once out of the oven, you should have a dry, light and crispy granola. Add in your chopped mixed fruit, let cool and store in an airtight container.


It can be enjoyed with the milk of your choice, but my favourite is with yogurt as part of a pre-ride breakfast. A big sprinkle on some good porridge made from well soaked steel-cut oats is amazing also, especially with more cinnamon and apple compote on top!



Basic Nutritional stuff:

Obviously with all the fruit, honey and oats this is not the kind of thing to be eaten 5 times a day in huge quantities if you want to stay, lets say, in race shape. Enjoy it in moderation as part of an overall savage diet and you’ll be well….a savage!

The oats are packed with fibre and carbohydrate, the honey is a wild mix of a variety of sugars. Nuts like hazelnuts and walnuts are packed with thiamine (B1), Vitamin B6, protein, quality fats and very importantly for any bike rider minerals like magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron all of which are very important for proper CNS function, cell health and muscular contraction.

Likewise sunflower seeds and flax-seed both pack a mega nutritional punch with high amounts of fibre and trace minerals!

Finally the dried fruits (dates, figs and sultanas in this case) add to the carbohydrate content which is important on a riding or training day or for recovery but they also, unknown to many people, are full to their sweet wee gills with important minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium! Add in the cinnamon and all the yogurt, “veggie milks” or whatever else you eat with the Gnarola and you’ve got yourself a serious snack!

Wrap Up: Point1 Gnarola™ – Tastes the business, is packed with quality carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and provides a great crunchy texture in a moderate GI package that’s packed with fibre! Enjoy it anyway you want.

Feel free to comment with any additional ingredients you add.