It’s an understatement to say that my mother is a creature of habit.  She eats oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast (probably at 7:12 a.m. on the dot) every day of the year. I gently tried to coax her into varying the fruit on top of her humble bowl of oats according to it’s seasonality. She chooses to stick with her blueberries year ’round, even though I explained to her that in January, they are flown in from far away places such as Chile and that most of freshness and nutritional value is lost by the time that they are picked, sorted, transported, stored, displayed and finally purchased and consumed.  Those berries earn some frequent flyer miles!

Farmer’s Market Bounty in Vancouver

We are on the cusp of autumn. In the food world, this means we are making the most of our last rounds of tomatoes, raspberries, corn and peaches. It also means that we are seeing the first crops of pears and apples.   The other week,  I enjoyed an exquisite, flavorful and fragrant pear at a farmers’ market in Vancouver.  This simple pear inspired me, so as I was making a bowl of oatmeal yesterday, I added a first-of-the-season pear and a sprinkle of vanilla powder (you could use vanilla extract) to it.  In my years as a pastry chef, I played around with many “pear and vanilla” combinations  Poached Pears in Vanilla Syrup?… betcha;  Pear, Vanilla and Hazelnut Cake?….divine.   Vanilla Bean-Roasted Pear Ice Cream?……amazing.  So why not vanilla and pears for breakfast?  In my singular Bowl of Health (thanks, Moodle, for coining that phrase), I threw in chia seeds, hemp seeds, lucuma powder, pears, cinnamon, vanilla and GF oats. It was delicious, but in hindsight I could have used a little bit of Vermont maple syrup (read: “cry for syrup” for all of you Vermonters).

Oatmeal in all its glory: Embellished with pears, vanilla powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds and cinnamon

I’m basically starting my off season from triathlon.  It’s beginning a little earlier that I had hoped for this year.  I’m going for some aggressive PRP treatment this month, so I’m hoping that the real training for 2014 will start end of October.  Until then, it will be one (insert “swim”, “bike”, “pilates”, “yoga” and “strength”) session at a time.  Unstructured for another 5-6 weeks.    If you look at my 2013 season on paper, it looks dismal (1 early season running race and 2 real triathlons on no run training), but the fact that I was able to bring my biking to another level helps take the sting out of it.  Here’s to getting healthy and a stellar 2014 season.