Sunday, October 28, 2012


If you think you might like to do a bike tour in the Colorado Rockies, but logistics have stymied you in the past, this may be the tour for you. The Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour runs from August 4th-10th, 2013 over 469 miles of beautiful scenery. And next summer the tour starts and ends in the Fort Collins/ Loveland area. The proximity to Denver will make it an easy place to reach from anywhere. And even with a century ride planned for the last day, travel arrangements will be simpler with the airport and several Interstate highways close by. And, if you sign up before the end of October, you can save some cash with their early-bird discount.

I haven't been on the bike much lately due to a lot of really handy excuses. But today I'm layering up and heading out for a spin. One of my favorite trails has been closed due to road work, but a friend told me it's not a bad hike-a-bike to get across the construction area on weekends. The forecast is kind of cool for my tastes, but sunny and calm. I'll take it!

And, finally, my foray into the world of the Vegan diet took a hit on Friday night when I went out to dinner with a friend, to Oklahoma Joe's BBQ! I think the only vegan item on the menu was french fries. So I ate the better part of a pig. But, yesterday I got back at it. I tried a couple recipes featuring sweet potatoes. The hash was really good, the stew not bad, I think I just need to adjust the spices a little. Today I'm going to try my hand at a tofu dish, and a healthy granola bar.

Since being introduced to Forks Over Knives I've been kicking around the idea of a whole food, plant-based diet. I haven't made a big declaration about my intentions because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, or what I was capable of doing. But, since I altered my diet a couple years ago to avoid medication for my cholesterol, my diet has been mostly fruits and vegetables anyway. Oklahoma Joe's notwithstanding, I don't really eat much meat anymore. So I don't think it will be a drastic change, and I think it's something I want to try. So I'm going to try to eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

vegan baby steps

I haven't been riding much lately. Some days have been filled with driving to North Dakota to visit in-laws, some have been filled with brutal winds. The last time I rode I headed straight west into the wind and when I turned around to go home I made the same distance in about half the time. I'm hopeful that the fall will offer some mild weather to get in some good, long rides.

There have been some workouts, though. I learned that a sore shoulder, which I feared was a torn rotator cuff, was not yet torn, but aggravated from less than perfect posture. Several sessions with the physical therapist have given me stretches and exercises to improve posture and strengthen my core. I've already noticed an improvement in how my shoulder feels after a ride.

Finally I've been perusing The Engine 2 Diet, and The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook. I'm not following the E2 diet, but the book is helpful in stocking a kitchen and planning meals for someone wanting to go vegan. And the Get Healthy cookbook has 125 recipes to help you enjoy eating a plant-based, whole food diet. I've also found a few good blogs offering recipes and tips. I haven't totally eliminated animal protein yet, but it's been surprisingly easy to drastically reduce it. I've got a grocery list and a few recipes I'm anxious to try, so this weekend I'll take another baby step on the road to eating vegan.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

forks over knives

In early September I wrote a rambling post that mentioned a "healthy heart" class and reading labels to see what's in the food I'm eating. On a guys camping weekend at the end of the month, we discussed eating habits and trying to make healthy choices. One of my friends from St Louis mentioned a documentary called "Forks Over Knives". Last weekend I found it on Netflix and found it very interesting. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in a healthy lifestyle. Basically, it makes the case for a whole-food, plant based diet. As for giving up meat, dairy, and all animal-based protein, I'm not ready to go cold-turkey.  ;)

But I am seriously considering this dietary lifestyle. I know several people who are vegetarians or vegans. Some made the choice for moral reasons, others for improved athletic performance. Forks Over Knives makes the case that a plant-based diet can help prevent , and even reverse some devastating physical ailments that plague our nation. Cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension can all be linked to diet, not to mention the obesity we hear so much about, even in our children.

I'm on a quest to find out more about a plant-based diet, what to eat, how to prepare it, etc. Until I have all the information I need to take the plunge, I plan on trying to make good choices. I hope that I can share my journey as I look to combine a healthy diet with cycling and workouts that can keep me riding well into my rapidly approaching old age. I found a quote from Michael Pollan that sums up what I think I need to do:
"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants".