This is the time of year I begin to panic. I know, with my bike on the verge of getting locked away, that I have a limited amount of time to make amends for my nine months of energetic eating excess. I eat more, because I ride a lot. It makes sense . . . until November, when I’m standing before the scales of judgement and I’ve been found wanting.
The trouble is, I love food. Really love food. And I make great decisions regarding what fuels my rides with an organic CSA share from Picadilly Farm in Winchester, Massachusetts. I shop, almost daily, at the Monadnock Food Cooperative in Keene, New Hampshire loading up my panniers with a bounty of organic, fresh and local. But I also have a weakness that borders on clinical for the naughty list. Namely cheese, bread, chocolate and wine.
A new day dawns with enough green juice to fuel my morning eight miles and then I stagger my grazing every two hours or so with endless variations on my CSA harvest. And in between, in my pockets and purse and pannier, are these little chocolate bites from Italy and Germany and Switzerland and L.A. Burdicks in Walpole, New Hampshire. I finish most days with a generous glass of wine, and I sneak in slices of bread with Irish butter anytime and everytime I think about it. I have three blocks of Parmigiano-Reggiano in my fridge right now chilling with twelve other types of cheese. And the balance of all these “naughty and nice” dining habits has kept me about the same size and weight as when I started the riding season. More heart healthy and athletic for sure, but still . . .
So, with the holiday season pending, and most people gearing up for their stomach-stretching four-hour family grazing, I tend to tighten my belt down. Because I know I will be soon without my excuse for excess. I also know that the buck stops short of a whole new wardrobe. I look back on the calories that fueled 3000 miles and I love them. Icelandic fried fish, Belgium beer, Italian Prosecco, German bratwurst, frites in the Netherlands, and hundreds of memorable meals stateside. I love you excess. And I”ll return to you in the spring with wild abandon.