Didn’t see stage 15 of the Tour live yesterday, though I’m watching a replay now. No shame – not a drop. I was on the road yesterday morning laying down a very fun, gorgeously cool (for July) 25 mile ride on the Nashua River Trail in North Central Massachusetts with a darn good friend who’s recently gotten back to biking – and absolutely loves it! Terrific!
On the food side of life, I got a real thrill hearing recently retired Tour racer and now NBCSN announcer Christian Vande Velde talk yesterday about a typical Tour cyclist’s daily course of meals. One thing that caught my ear was his – and I’m sure other racer’s – particular love for rice pudding as a healthy dessert. All right!
Though I’m a fan, I’d never before made rice pudding myself. So, I checked out some recipes, figured out my own way – and laid it down in picture book format.
Whoa, the men of the Tour de France had a tough day yesterday from St. Etienne to Chamrousse with a numbing 3000 foot climb for the last 8 or so miles. Ouch! And, still, Vincenzo Nibali leads the way.
And, today – almost all uphill climbing from Grenoble to Risoul. Ow!
The men will need power. Here’s a great power meal – with a good shot of French: Microwave Cooked Power French Toast.
Nut butter. It’s great stuff for it’s energy packing protein and healthy fat content. It tastes great. And, it’s easy to make. What you see above is what I had after a good ride with excellent cycling bud Ken Kolbe to Wachusett Mountain in Central Massachusetts (below) – cherry pancake with nut butter and fresh peach and mango. Not too long ago, I posted a fresh almond butter step-by-step picture book recipe, which you can get by clicking this link. But, hey, the Tour’s on. It’s all about France, great cycling, incredible scenery, and terrific food and flavor. So, here’s how to make Almond Butter with Dried Cranberries, Flaxseed and Toasted Coconut. Read more »
Tony Gallopin crunched a mountain climbing first French win of the Tour de France on stage 11 from Besancon to Oyonnax while American Andrew Telansky courageously braved finishing the stage despite injuries from earlier crashes that put him far behind the field.
On the food side of life, sure, you can have fresh cherry pancake just the way it is. It has fruit, protein and complex carbohydrates all fantastically flavorfully packaged together. What you see here is just an example of an easy way to take that cherry pancake from simple to exciting by adding a shot of nut butter, laying down some fresh fruit, and topping it all off with a spoon of yogurt and, of course, fresh whipped cream.
I just saw this terrifically dead-on quote on the back of a special edition issue of Scientific American dedicated to cardiovascular disease.
Here’s how that quote applies to a slice of life while the Tour de France is underway. Like any sport that pits man – or woman – against tough obstacles, I look at cycling as a metaphor for life. Today, the men of the Tour de France head into the Alps from Besancon to Oyonnax. It’ll be tough – with lots of climbing and focused effort on winning. Yes, painful. But, at the same time, great!
Today, I’ll climb a different kind of mountain: visiting Massachusetts State Representatives to continue to advocate moving forward a unified effort among MASS (Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents), MASC (Massachusetts Association of School Committees) and MASBO (Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials) to effect positive change in education with precious little time remaining in the current legislative session that ends July 31st.
Here’s an outline of the situation.
The big picture:
- Today’s education = tomorrow’s economy
- 30% of our population is engaged in education
- A better educated workforce = stronger tax base
- Our schools are currently overwhelmed by mandated regulations and reporting requirements that distract attention and divert resources needed to provide students with the content and skills they need to succeed in a highly competitive global economy
- Massachusetts leads the nation in education but is ranked 4th in reading, 10th in math, and 7th in science internationally (PISA 2012)
- Excessive bureaucracy is driving valuably skilled teachers and administrators away from education
- Make sense of mandates and regulations to take a first positive step toward helping our schools provide the education our students need to compete globally
- We’re asking that state legislators make a specific bill, H.3722 (An Act to establish an education mandate task force), a priority for enactment this legislative session.
Just like the Tour, the effort above is not about one person at all. It’s about a team effort – and it will be fun!
Another gutsy come-from-behind win by Team Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali on stage 10 from Mulhouse to the top of La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges mountains. And, though the sun did come out after another incredibly wet day, the road and the weather took another leading contender, Alberto Contador, out of the race.
It’s a rude understatement to say the men of the Tour deserve a day’s rest. Here’s a cherry pancake to make that rest sweeter – or to add fantastically flavorful variety to your breakfast.
Here’s what a picture-perfect start to stage 10 of the Tour de France on Bastille Day – complete even with some kinda’ “smoke’s on!” fireworks on the side of the road – and a very fresh and flavorful breakfast looked like this morning.
The skies over the Tour have been whipped with rain. Here’s a much more flavorful cloud: fresh whipped cream – nothing better…and darn easy to make! Definitely going in my coffee as I watch stage 8 of the Tour after a quick ride on my own.