Well, we have finished up the last of the training phases (power endurance) and will be finally getting into our performance phase! The month of September is full of random days off work, to get outside as much as possible to climb. We had yesterday off and headed up to Squamish to take a look at some of the routes we want to climb.
For the entire duration of our training cycles, we’ve battled with hot, hot weather. As of last Friday? We had more rain in one weekend than we’ve had for the entire summer – perfect timing, hey?! We want the cooler temperatures, but we also need dry rock! We headed out to the crags, passing by water streaming down the banks, carefully traversing the wet, slippery trails. Not a good sign.
Most of the walls: totally wet! Or seeping in the cracks! Or soggy through the crux sections… Insert sad trombone sounds here.
So, we did what any frustrated climbers do – we headed back to Vancouver and made use of the climbing gym to get one last power endurance session in. Actually, we both had an enjoyable time, it felt good to make the most of an unfortunate start.
The weather is supposed to stay dry over the long weekend, so we’ll head up on Sunday and keep our fingers crossed that the rock dries out.
For the last few weeks, in preparation for our performance month, we’ve modified our diet a bit, trimming out a few niceties (ice cream! sponge cake!), and getting in 5 “clean days”, then indulging on the weekend a bit. This, combined with switching to walking from cycling is all it takes, easy really…
One of our favourite meals has been this Sweet Potato Coconut Soup. We call it our “Power Soup”, because every time we eat it, the slow-burning carbs from the sweet potatoes seem to give us an extra energy boost the following day – perfect for those long days at the crag! Soup is also easily digestible, low in calories and usually quite filling, so we’ve been loading up on it (often with a few slices of this on the side).
This soup is very easy to make and, for having so few ingredients, is unbelievably flavourful, highly recommended! Lime, ginger, lemongrass and shallots infuse into the coconut milk-based broth, and using a high-powered blender to purée, creates a velvety-smooth soup with no added cream. Feel free to use yams or sweet potatoes. We’ve used both (sometimes a combo) and either tastes great.
(Jonty added a swirl of beet purée to his, for a pop of colour, and it was unexpectedly tasty!)
With the fall temperatures approaching, and the nights drawing in, this is definitely a soup to should consider making.
- Serves: 8 - 10 bowls
- Serving size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 221
- Fat: 18.7 g
- Saturated fat: 1.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.7 g
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 63.3 mg
- Fiber: 1.4 g
- Protein: 4.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 shallot bulbs, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 3 stalks lemongrass, cut into large chunks
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed
- 4 - 5 cups low-sodium chicken (or veggie) stock
- In a large pot, briefly sauté the shallot and garlic in a small amount of oil. Add the ginger, lemongrass, lime zest and coconut milk (if you rinse out the cans of coconut milk, add that water to the pot) and bring the mixture to a boil. Partially cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Let the ingredients infuse into the broth for about 20 - 30 minutes (the longer you can wait, the better the flavour).
- Remove the lemongrass stalks from the coconut mixture and add the cubed sweet potatoes and enough chicken/veggie stock to fully cover the vegetables. On medium heat, simmer until the sweet potatoes are cooked and tender, about 15 minutes.
- In a blender, purée batches of the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add the lime juice, reheating if it's cooled below your preferred temperature. Taste the soup and add more salt, if necessary.