August 2010


Thanks to my wife for this delicious dinner! Chicken Provençal on a bed of spinach with some sour cream:

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Alas, her version was served on a bed of wheat pasta. Forgot to take a picture of that or I could have featured a "Paleo dos and don'ts” column.

This is a really tasty way to do cauliflower rice. After grating, I fried it up in ghee with bacon, onions, and mushrooms, then put some cheese on top. Served with boiled kale, and a pork chop.

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Many have long seen in the Garden of Eden story an allegory for the transition that occurred in the Fertile Crescent when humans shifted from hundreds of thousands of years of living and dying as hunter gathers, with relative abundance of food and leisure time, to the toil and drudgery associated with early agriculture.

Here’s a fascinating article about Gobekli Tepe, a temple in eastern Turkey that appears to have been built starting around 12,000 BC, making it by far the oldest such structure discovered in the world, and one built by hunter gatherers. Whether or not this area is the basis for parts of the Genesis folkstory, it an amazing part of human history and is of, pardon the pun, monumental archeological importance. Until this site was discovered, the view was that hunter gather groups were not capable of the level of social organization necessary to build something of this magnitude.

Also a good Smithsonian article about it here.

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This all does raise a question though: if the Paleo diet could be re-branded the “Garden of Eden Diet,” maybe we might make some headway in reducing bible-belt obesity?

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It is interesting looking at the speech that God gives Adam and Eve when he is kicking them out of the Garden. Genesis, chapter 3:

17 [Because you broke my commandment] cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground . . .
23 Therefore the LORD GOD sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Cursed to eat a neolithic diet forevermore?

Ground elk cooked up with garlic, ginger, onions, and water chestnuts. A little mango chutney and a few mandarin orange slices as condiments (too much and these can easily make the meal too sugary; in moderation, they add fantastic taste).

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With a 5-hour ride coming up the next day, I like to increase my potato consumption just a bit to top off those glycogen stores. In this case, sweet potato and butter, topped by a whole lot of pacific salmon.

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Otay Mountain is a large chunk of federal wilderness just east of San Diego on the Mexican border. With a summit above 3500 feet, it offers spectacular views of San Diego and Tijuana. Though it’s wilderness, which usually means “no bikes,” it’s crossed by a couple of dirt roads used primarily by Immigration officials patrolling for migrants. I’d never ridden to the top, and I decided to make a 30ish-mile loop of it.

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With the heat of my ride up Mother Grundy the day before fresh in my mind, I decided to get an early start on this one, rolling out at 6:30. There were no takers for this 4+ hour fireroad grunt, which meant I did the whole thing solo. I like riding with company, but solo riding is just fine. Helps to clear the cobwebs out and improve my singing voice at least! The early start also meant that the marine layer would still be thick, and I spent the first 1.5 hours obscured by the clouds. This isn’t a black and white photo, just thick clouds:

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But when I finally did break above the marine layer, there were some nice, cloudswept views.

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Self portrait via one of the many blind-corner mirrors:

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The obligatory glamor shot of the bike:

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Towers at the summit:

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And for those who just can’t ride anymore, here’s the fastest way down:

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All told, it was 29 miles, and 4100 feet of climbing in 4:25 total time, 3:47 moving time. Glad I got the early start as the weather was fine the whole time. Not sure I’ll be doing this one again soon–it’s quite a grunt–but the views are fantastic.

Did some short but fun exploring today connecting up some dirt and forest roads I’ve been wanting to see. 22.5 miles and 3000 feet of climbing, about 60% dirt. This is rural east country San Diego at its finest, and hottest! (Temps were well into the 90s for much of the ride). There are so many little used dirt roads out there, but it’s just too hot to explore as much as I would like.

This ride did at least give me me some ideas for connecting up longer multi-surace rides once the weather cools down a bit . . .

The Route:

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The Pics:

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The Weapon of Choice:

Rambling Kirk

The dirt sections of this would have been faster with a hardtail mountain bike. On the other hand, sure was nice having my “road” bike for the paved sections.

It never gets old.

Shreaded elk chuck roast cooked 8 hours in a crock pot:

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Elk skirt steak with feta, potatoes fried in ghee, and two eggs:

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At this year’s Tour de France, team Garmin swore off pasta and other wheat products as part of their “anti-inflammatory” diet. For generations, pasta has been THE fuel of choice for pro racers, so it’s great to see a team willing to challenge this tradition and do a little experimentation. Even if you don’t have celiac disease, it’s worth experimenting with giving up wheat to see if you don’t in fact feel better.

Of course, they also seem to think red meat has an inflammatory effect, which I haven’t noticed in my own eating.

Wheat, on the other hand, definitely makes you puffy.

Thanks to Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes for alerting me to this nefarious plot.

Is it too late to dump the tea party activists into Boston harbor?

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