The Mighty Cooked Tomato and Bicycle Commuting

Tomatoes lose some of their vitamin C when they’re cooked, but heating, processing, or crushing boost their antioxidant power. Cooked tomatoes are a good source of a carotenoid called lycopene – a strong antioxidant that may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease,  some types of cancer and macular degeneration. It’s the lycopenes in tomatoes that gives them their bright red color. You won’t get as many of them if you eat sliced tomatoes. A drawback of eating canned or jarred tomato products is getting a high dose of sodium. To avoid the additional salt try cooking your own tomatoes or buying a low sodium version.

I’m absolutely thrilled that cycling season is in full swing here in the north east! I even bicycled to work one day this week! I’ve promised myself that, weather permitting and a with warm enough temperature in the AM, I will ride to work three times a week. Monday morning I set out for the 15 mile trek at 6:45 and arrived at my place of employ with a few minutes to spare. The rack and commuter bag worked well but I’m going to be leaving the laptop at work as often as possible. That weight along with my lunch and change of clothing made the back of the bike a bit heavy.

The Monday morning ride plus 23 miles after work today gives me 54 miles so far for the week. Bicycling with my husband this weekend will put me over 100 miles. I should be hitting my 100+ miles per week goal now though the summer months.

I am passionate about cycling and consider myself in training for my yearly trek across the state of Massachusetts during the first weekend in August; the Pan Massachusetts Challenge. The PMC is a challenging two day 192 mile ride beginning in the south central Massachusetts town of Sturbridge. Saturday morning at 5:30 AM we start by traversing 40 miles of grueling hills right from the start. The route then flattens out considerably for the remaining 72 miles and ends in Buzzards Bay, at the western entrance of the Cape Cod Canal, where we spend the night at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.


Day 1 Sturbridge to Buzzards Bay 112 miles

Off to an early start Sunday morning beginning with the long climb over the Bourne Bridge at sunrise. The view of the rising sun reflecting off the ribbon of the Cape Cod Canal is a sight to behold and well worth the early wake up call.



The Bourne Bourne Bridge spanning the Cape Cod Canal

But is it ever hard to sit on that seat the next day. Our route takes us down the length of scenic Cape Cod. Through quaint towns, along fishing inlets and over dunes. We will witness many breathtaking ocean views. Still, that 80 miles does NOT go quick. Cape Cod is hilly. Long rolling hills winding along highways, back roads and bike paths and finally through a five mile stretch through the sand dunes of Provincetown signaling the finish is near. At last we arrive at the Provincetown Inn. The bike goes on a truck. I pick up my backpack and head to the shower tent. Clean and refreshed and wearing something other than spandex, I join some friends for lunch in the food tent. After a bite to eat we stroll the mile long Commercial Street of Provincetown, which is mainly pedestrian traffic, to the wharf. There we will board a ferry for the 3 hour trip to Boston where my bicycle, my backpack and my ride await me. I live for this weekend every year.



Day two Buzzards Bay to Provincetrown 80 miles

This year will mark my 11th ride with the PMC. Over the last 11 years, to date, I have raised $51,345 for cancer research and care at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute. My goal this year is to raise 10K. I join 5,500+ other cyclists who, like me, are dedicated to funding a cure for cancer. Together our goal for this year is to raise 40 million dollars. If you would like to consider sponsoring me, this link will take you to my fundraising page.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great weekend!

Ride on!


More on Protein – Have You Tried Quinoa?

I have to admit I was a bit of a slacker in the exercise department today. I spent last night at the home of my middle child and who happens to be the mom of the world’s most darling grandson. We did have a nice walk and fun exploring part of Borderland State Forest. Quality time with him trumped and big workout today! I’ll make it up this week.

While most adults get adequate amounts of protein from their diets, vegetarians and vegans may have trouble eating enough protein rich foods to meet minimum daily requirements. Protein is found in the following foods;

  • meats, poultry, and fish
  • legumes (dry beans and peas)
  • tofu
  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds
  • milk and milk products
  • grains, some vegetables, and some fruits (provide only small amounts of protein relative to other sources)

What is quinoa? Pronounced keen-wah, quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain, but is actually a seed. Of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Cholesterol-free and a low-fat source of protein, one cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein. To put that in reference, the recommended daily protein intake is about 56 grams for most men and 46 for most women. That same cup of this super food also packs;

  •  220 calories (70 percent carbs, 15 percent fat, 15 percent protein)
  • 40 grams of carbohydrates (13 percent daily value)
  • 3.5 grams of fat (5 percent daily value with no saturated fat
  • 5 grams of fiber (20 percent of daily value)
  • 20 percent of daily value of folate (various forms of Vitamin B)
  • 30 percent of magnesium daily value (beneficial for people with migraine headaches); 28 percent daily value of phosphorous; iron (15 percent); copper (18 percent); and manganese (almost 60 percent)
  • All eight essential amino acids


Vegetarians would do well to incorporate quinoa into their diet often. It’s difficult for vegetarians to get all eight essential amino acids and an adequate source of protein from one food source. Usually, vegetarians and vegans need to combine foods like beans and rice to acquire all the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

There are a lot of recipes out there for quinoa. This link will take you to a site that has some very interesting sounding breakfast recipes for quinoa.

I haven’t made any any of them yet but they are on my list of recipes to try!

I’m really itching for spring weather to give me more opportunities to spend time on my bicyle and start training for my 11th ride with the Pan Massachusetts Challenge. This 192 mile, 2 day bike a thon takes place every year on the first weekend in August. Our goal this year is to raise $40 million for cancer care and research at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute through it’s Jimmy Fund. One hundred percent of the money raised by riders goes straight to DFCI. I personally have set a goal to raise $10,000. I feel confidant that I can attain this goal. Would you consider helping me? Online donations can be made here You can also text to give by texting JS0126 to 20222. You’ll get a confirmation text to which you will have to reply to in order for the donation to be processed. A $10 donation will be added to your cell phone bill. You can do this up to 5 times from the same phone. If you’d like to know more about the PMC and it’s work, check it out at

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great week!