Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Mmmm... a taste of the Pacific Northwest.

Hello from the GVRD, the Greater Vancouver Regional District

First Lookout, Cypress Mountain
Have you ever found yourself pre-occupied with thoughts of food, or is it just me? The other day I was down in Steveston


when the thought of an egg with ham and melted cheese on toast suddenly appeared from out of nowhere, persistent as fuck. I couldn't think of anything else for almost thirty kilometers until finally I got home and satisfied my craving. A few weeks ago I stepped on the scale, and the damned thing announced that I weighed 163 lbs. Holy crap. I am seriously dense. At that weight I should be six feet tall but instead of growing up, I'm already shrinking. I was surprised to see the number, but not really shocked. The clothes speak truth. If you've already guessed that I don't use the scale much, you're right. It's ancient, and it probably doesn't even tell the truth. Sometimes it gets stuck at zero and you have to jump on it a few times to get it to tell you anything at all. It babbles not. The only reason I stepped on it in the first place is that my clothes were feeling uncomfortably snug and I wanted to quantify how snug. It's bad. The last time I weighed anywhere north of 160 I'd not long ago born a babe.

But my shoulder is stabilized, and I've been riding again, blessed be. And suddenly I am not quite so fat. Yesterday that scale read 156 when I (literally!!) jumped on it. I don't feel much different yet, but it's encouraging, in any event.

#pinkgoesfaster
And everyone knows that getting rid of fat is to some extent a function of getting fit. For me the fitness is essential for all sorts of good reasons, and helping burn those pesky calories I so love to consume is just one of them. And I love to share my passion with other people. Road racing season is over. I miss riding with my fast friends. Many of them have switched to Cross Country, or CX. I would love to join in the fun, but it would probably take me about half an hour to dislocate or break something, so I'll have skip the whole cross thing. But damn. People are mad for the sport. Seriously. It does something to a person, something I would love to discover firsthand, but it isn't meant to be, not now, not ever. I intend to spend some time at the track this year, though it won't be a full training program, so you'll find me doing the #dawnpatrol,


and as often as not, looping Stanley Park first thing in the morning. Sometimes I even have company! There's a group of cyclists who meet weekday morningsfor a gentle SPloop or two before they stop at an interesting coffee shop or bakery. It's called IndieJavaFest, and if you're interested in joining, just shoot me an email and I will ask the administrator to add you to the mailing list. Ooooooor you can just come to Stanley Park at stoopid o'clock. Strava has a new feature that allows you to see where your friends are at the moment. I'll track my rides with my phone so you can find me. And please do, at least this month. Because company is good, and meeting other people who like to ride bikes always floats my boat.

Bikes and boats: an easy fit.
So food. Being fat sucks cause suddenly I start thinking about food at the strangest times. Does that ever happen to you? My little guy is always hungry, too, and sometimes it shocks me how much he can eat, but he's growing up leaps and bounds- he's a full six inches taller than he was a year ago!! He has an excuse, while I am just pre-occupied with food. I dunno about you, but I've noticed that when I eat too many carbs I put on weight. Sugar is especially bad, something to do with the insulin response. I need to eat more protein and fewer sugars and carbs in order to drop any weight. But sugar is an analgesic and I Love analgesics. Sugar makes babies feel better when given orally, and I can testify that it sure works a charm in prolotherapy injections. I love sugar, evil as it is to my waistline. But then I love all sorts of foods. The trick is to eat more of the good foods and fewer sugar infested treats. 'Cept when I'm riding hard. Then I do eat all of those yummy, sugary carbs and I enjoy them guilt free until my jeans get tight.

Steveston
I credit having lost a few pounds this month to my renewed morning rides, and to enjoying more of my favourite savoury foods, and fewer sweet ones. Oh, and I also avoided alcohol quite adamantly when I was unwell, but less so as my health improved. I tried to quit, but damned it, quitting is for quitters. Summer is all about salads, right? I have a quest in life which I truly indulge during the hottest months of the year. One day, I will discover the ultimate seafood salad. But the year is most definitely on the wane now. Summer is over.


Autumn heralds the beginning of soup season, and I have a definite favourite when it comes to making soup. We were at the Washington Avenue Grill the day after the memorial service for my uncle, and both my brother and I ordered the hot pots, he the vegetarian, and me the seafood version. After trying it, both my adult son and his girlfriend exclaimed that mine is much better. It probably speaks unsavoury things about my personality, but THAT bit was my favourite moment of the whole weekend. I keep meaning to record creating my favourite recipes for you, only damn!! It's complicated and time consuming creating those little YouTube movies, and time? Time is precious. Specially when I am riding enough to keep my serotonin levels where I need them.

But you really should try this. It's yummy.

Babble's Hot Pot

3-4 generous tbs butter or coconut oil
1 jumbo sweet onion diced
3 sticks of celery diced
4-6  med potatoes diced
3-4 large carrots, grated
2+ tbs cilantro (coriander) leaf paste - (Gormet Garden is great) or one bunch of fresh
2+ tbs lemon grass (Gormet Garden again) or a big handful of fresh, 1" pieces
juice of one lemon
1 can coconut milk
4 cubes organic chicken stock and water to taste
1-2 lbs protien of choice (I prefer a combination of prawns, scallops, and cod, but you can use any fish you like, or even chicken if you prefer)
* a few slices bacon (cut into small strips with kitchen scissors) is optional, especially if you are using chicken. If you choose this route, I recommend skipping the shredded carrots and adding sweetlet peas a few minutes before serving.
pinch of cayenne pepper

Sautee the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots, (and the bacon bits and chicken now if you are going that route) and add the herbs and spices, the lemon and finally, when it is hot hot hot, add the stock. Cook the soup till the potatoes are soft, and then add the fish and the coconut milk (and the peas if you are doing chicken) for the final few minutes, so that it is just gently cooked.

Sooooo good.  Mmmm. And good for you, too. Did you know that coconut oil is very good for your cardiovascular systems, despite its being a saturated fat? Very cool. And it tastes great, too.

Do you have a go-to recipe, a favourite food? I have a few. People tell me that they're yummy, so you should try them. I love love love an almond or cashew milk matcha latte in the morning, almost every morning. Again it's so good, and so good for you. McDonalds is damned, because the very best tasting foods are always full of tasty fresh ingredients. The fresher the better. Maybe one day soon I will turn my phone's camera on the proceedings so you can try it, too. Ha. Ok, so true confession time. The Sound Check video makes me cringe, so I am reluctant to capture anything else. Sigh. But then I used to be afraid to cross the Lions Gate Bridge, too, only I've done it so many times now that I don't even think about it, except to curse all of that damned fat as I crawl up the incline slow as molasses in a Moscow January. #Icandothis


It has been absolutely gorgeous here in Vancouver of late. Perfect riding weather, the best ever. Everything is quiet at the club for some reason. Used to be we had a Tuesday night ride and a Saturday ride, too. That, a stoopid o'clock or few and the Vets on Sunday and Bob's yer uncle. My #dailygrind sorted. I really should be at the track, working on my #legspeed. Oops. Sorry bout that. I get #carriedaway sometimes. I have a bad case of #hashtagitis.#Ihavespentwaytoomuchtimeonline  #OMG!!! #ohhelpIcan'tstop!!!


Oh thank God. I did it, #atleastfornow.We had a mini holiday on the Sunshine Coast last weekend, riding from Kits to Horseshoe Bay, and then ferrying to Langdale before finally stopping in Gibsons. We spent the night out on the water. The next morning we explored the town for a little while, too. We stopped at a few places, but my favourite was Gospel Rock.


There is nothing quite so deeply blue as the reflection of the sky in the waters of the mighty Pacific ocean. It was the perfect day to ride. So what do you think? Would you care to join me? I love that so many of you, my one hundred readers, are situated all over the planet. If ever you find yourself here in Vancouver, please do look me up, so that I can share with you the city I love so dearly.

Iona Beach
I can't wait to show you my favourite rides. I am going to push the lot of you to come here next August for sure, but really I would love to see you any time. Oh here we go. Oh Help... I can't ... stop... #cometovancouver! #joinme  #babblerides #friendsdontletfriendsgetfat #ridewithme #rideyourworriesaway #letsplay


40 comments:

  1. il Pirata est Mort1 October 2015 at 08:26

    We are in the "Jockey" world of cycling where to take a pound off of our bikes costs us $1,000 (US) worth of titanium but a pound off the body costs nothing. I'll opt for keeping the cash in my fat wallet. I tell those that ask to look out for FBS content on the label and if it's on there: eat if rarely. FBS = Fucking BullShit. If PFBS is on the label: NEVER EAT IT. PFBS= Pure Fucking BullShit. Following this simple guide worked for me. Carry on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, absolutely. Anything with more than two ingredients on the lable should by rights be made from scratch, and that way you can easily avoid the worse of the BS ingredients. I try to avoid the aisles when I'm shopping, and that usually does the trick.

      Delete
  2. I deliberately lost about 10% of my body weight this year, in preparation for PBP. Basically, I stopped eating stuff like cookies and ice cream after dinner. Also switched to whole milk. I think people have the fat thing backwards. It helps to ride a lot, of course. 80-100 miles per week, and after every randonnée I was a few pounds lighter, so by the time I qualified I was good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Riding 80-100 miles a week helps everything. Wait... what??? You qualified for the PBP? Wow! Color me impressed. How was your race?

      Delete
    2. I completed in 88 1/2 hours. I had a great time. The French people handing out coffee, chocolate, etc. all across the countryside are awesome. Anybody with the ability to do this should do it; it's an incredible experience.

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The best thing about stoopid oçlock rides is how good breakfast tastes when you get home. Thinking about your favourite food when you turn for home on a growling tum, that resonates so much. August in Vancouver sounds like a great prospect too, just need to be fit enough to keep up with you !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can do it! I'm not actually that fast, specially when there's a hill involved... :)

      Delete
  5. Vancouver looks like such a beautiful place to ride. I'd sure like to get up there one of these days. I've been there a few times, but never for a ride. I'm a PNW native myself (from Everett, WA), though currently living in exile in Northern CA. There is a lot of good riding here, but I do miss the views of channels and islands, and the tall evergreens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You sure wound up in a good spot! There is something so nourishing, so soul sustaining about the lush, forested coastal lands of the PNW, but as a cyclist, it's hard to find fault with all of that lovely California sunshine...

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Cubes of chicken stock". As in from an ice cube tray?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some people put stock in an ice cube tray. Mostly people mean the cubes you can buy at the shops. A bit like a sugar cube but dry powered salty stock instead of sugar.
      Nobody admits to using them, but they seem to sell a lot of them....

      Delete
    2. Yep. It's like Harry sez. I should have said boullion cubes. Or you can use any other sort of chicken stock equally successfully.

      Delete
  8. I'll ponder than invitation for a while, thank you.
    I've never been overseas before and it sounds very scary but at least you lot seem fairly civilised which is a start.
    Speaking of civilised, we had a public holiday here last Friday so people could go to the Grand Final Parade... So some mates and I went to Central Victoria for some road cycling. Who wants to stand in a crown to see a bunch of blokes drive past? After getting used to my road bike with its twitchy steering and drop bars it was a good weekend. Fairly quiet roads with not many hills. I was pleased with our 160km over 3 days.
    Love your blogs, keep it upright !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? Them thar road bieks are perfect for piling on the miles!! Ponder and plan... ponder and plan and then we'll see you next summer, mmmmmkay?

      Delete
  9. bad boy of the north13 October 2015 at 12:44

    ms.babble...beautiful photography.one photo that you had posted..the one with the bridge in the background.what is its'name and where is it?having never been in Vancouver(yet),i'm awed by that shot.it reminds me of the one I live not too far from...the bear mountain bridge,glad you're feeling better.keep up the good work.....:)>

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, I am relieved to be back on the bike again, too! And in an odd turn of events, I actually took all but one of the photos in this post. I took that shot of the Lions' Gate Bridge from the back side of Stanley Park. And methinks now might be just the time to plan a trip to Vancouver next summer. Just sayin' is all... :)

      Delete
    2. bad boy of the north15 October 2015 at 16:17

      thanks for that information,ms.babble.methinks you might be right.wifey has mentioned about visiting there.

      Delete
  10. Hey Babble, I know it's wildly off topic but good luck with the elections today. I saw John Oliver last night throwing money around with Mike Meyers and thought of you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I want to know what Ms. B thinks about this election and also how we can get the same thing to happen down here, in Canada's support group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right??! It's a whole new world out there in Canadian politics. It really does feel as if we finally have our home and native land back in hand, blessed be!

      And a few weeks on, the man is determined to keep his election promises!! It's almost unheard of. I fear for his safety, truth be told, because the forces of evil won't like this young man, not one little bit. But every day as I watch the progress he is making and I take hope. Perhaps we stand a chance after all.

      Dunno how it happened, though, except we were united in that Harper's corrupt regime Had. To. Go. As a nation we collectively agreed that we had hit rock bottom and had to make a significant change. I expected a swing further to the left, so hated was the harperman, but Mulcaire isn't as charismatic, and Mr Trudeau is a born statesman, after all. I am so very happy to have him at the helm. :)

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Babble, How are you doing. Miss you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey sweetness. I am hurting a little after my run in with a car the other week, and working so very hard to establish a career in a new field so that I can find some financial security moving forward. These not even a little bit professional babblelogs are a work of true love, but they don't pay the bills. I miss you, too. :'(

      Delete
    2. Good luck in the new field. Stay cool.

      Delete
  14. Hey, where are you? Always checkin', but no news. Hope, you are ok.
    Gimme some truth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  15. Hi,
    good to hear from you. Sounds like good reasons, not to write here. Adorable.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Like your stuff. Um, the social media/facebook link doesnt seem to be working… How can i tell the world about your blog? All the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for trying to share spokeNscene with the world, Matthew!!!

      I don't know what's happening! There don't appear to be any error messages on my end. Blogger is constantly updating, though, so errors do appear intermittently, but they tend to disappear again sooner than later, too. Did you try it again, or on a different appliance? Thanks again! :)

      Delete
  17. Something to do with "Social Plugins" Sounds promising… Maybe its my system.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Come back. The world misses you

    ReplyDelete
  19. Seriously Babble, it's well into summer and we haven't even had any shots of the beach ! Is everything alright, you haven't been riding much ?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your cosmetics is a definitive creative expression and you ought to sparkle your best as well, Vancouver Wedding Hair and Make-up. Be Bridal Makeup and Hair - Vancouver makeup artist• Be Bridal Makeup and Hair.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nice blog, Prime Daiquiri‬ is located 9mins from ‪‎Houstongalleria‬ mall make it easy for everyone to get to first stand alone Daiquir shoppe in Houston first daiquiri shoppe with 15 daiquiri forest remote machine give you the best drink. Drive thru for daiquiris & margaritas to-go bar. Prime Daiquiri damn good daiquiri.

    ReplyDelete