It’s 90 degrees out, not a cloud in the sky and the long, uphill stretch of Music Mountain Road looms ahead of me and my Felt road bike. When we began the incline, I was at the front of our small group, but a mere 100 yards or so in, everyone has passed me and disappeared beyond sight. I see only Bertrand, a small dot on the edge of the heated horizon, mercifully pedaling back down to mentally scoop me up and provide wordless encouragement.
This happens on every steep pitch we’ve encountered. The rest of the group waiting at the top, drinking from their water bottles and catching up as they periodically glance back to see how much further I’ve got to go. As I near, one shouts, “Almost there!” Then another says “Great job!” when I reach them. I may be a lazy shit, but I’m also competitive, so hearing “You did it!” does not make me smile appreciatively. It makes me cringe. I shake my head in disgust with myself and make some stupid self-deprecating joke. Grrrr…
It’s my own fault. I have no core; never have. Fairly strong arms, okay legs, but sit-ups hurt my lower back and I don’t do yoga because I don’t like yoga. Last week, I had my second bone density test, the first having been two years ago. When my gynecologist called with the results, she said, “It’s not as good as your first one three years ago, but your first one was off the charts.”
Okay. I’m listening…
“I’m just saying if I’d never seen your first one, I’d say this one was good. But your numbers have slipped, so here’s what I need you to do.”
I wrote down her suggestions and this is what I’m supposed to eat more of. Along with these additions, I vow to do at least 10-20 arm dips and sit-ups each morning. Whatever it takes to bring the numbers up, not to mention getting my bike up the hill faster. But no yoga. Let’s not go crazy here…
Nuts: This concerns me a bit. I go through at least a cup of nuts a day already. If I eat more than I already do, I may well become one. At least I like the ones I ingest: Curried cashews from Guido’s Fresh Marketplace and my new favorites, Barbecue Almonds (left) from Gourmet Garage. If you’ve never tasted them, do yourself a favor and run to your nearest Gourmet Garage now.
More dairy: Well, that’s easy since I basically eat no dairy. Greek yogurt, blueberries and honey, here I come. I’m particularly psyched to try it with the new eucalyptus honey we found in Sweden.
Up the dark greens intake: I enjoy the occasional kale salad in our company cafeteria, but too often, I get lazy and grab soup instead. No more. Feel blah about kale? Look how Bertrand sexes kale up. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 bunch curly kale, finely chopped
- 1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- Optional: 1 lemon, juiced (to store apple in in case there’s a wait, so it doesn’t brown.)
- Grated Parmesan for garnish
- Dressing: 2/3 extra virgin olive oil to 1/3 aged balsamic vinegar.
Mix kale, apple and hazelnuts in large salad bowl. Stir in dressing and cheese before serving. Enjoy!