Doing it better

A block of fruity jelly
This evening, my wife and I made about a hundred blocks of sports food, squidgy lumps of energy to quaff while out running. I’ve been buying Clif Blox (which taste a bit chemical) and Gu Chomps (which, the Bon Jovi of sport food, taste exactly like bad medicine) but it’s hard to get Clif Blox in Singapore and they’re expensive and probably not the best thing in the world to eat. My wife found a recipe on the internet, we bought some agar and some frozen orange juice, and set about making them.

Well, I say we made them. My wife did all the measurement and preparation and cooking, and I turned up and stirred the mixture for three minutes.

We filled up a baking pan with the squidgy, jam like mix that the recipe made, and left it for three hours to set, before tipping out the rich, purple lump onto a chopping board and slicing it up into approximate cubes of about 2 centimetre width and depth.

From the small taste I’ve had of one of the scraps, they taste delicious, much better than what I’m used to. I need to try them out in the field though and see if they work as well as commercial alternatives. The only problem I can think of is dispensing them while on the run: Clif Blox in particular come in a convenient, squeezable tube which makes them easier to eat than plucking them out of a bag. At worst, I’ll have a disgusting mess of delicious chia seeds and boiled fruit stuck all over the inside of the pocket of my shorts.

Actually, that is pretty horrible.

I got up this morning and ran 10k, feeling atrocious. Then I went out to breakfast (another twenty minutes of carrying La Serpiente Negra on my back), which was good, but then I had some allergic reaction to Singapore and sneezed constantly for four hours, until I could get home, crawl onto the sofa and pass out. When I woke up, ironically enough, my daughter had crawled round to the sofa herself, and then pulled all the tissues out of their box and scattered them on the floor in front of me. And then I kept on sneezing.

Adjusting to carrying almost 10 kilograms of baby on your back is quite hard, and other parts of my body like my ankles and my shoulders are protesting this sudden load. I think when I come to write part two of my guide to parenting, I will have to emphasise how important it is to start early and keep regular, at everything; if I’d been carrying my daughter around six months ago, when she was strong enough to keep her neck up and look around, I wouldn’t have this sudden and painful adjustment to make now. But then I wouldn’t have a perfectly good, half price second hand baby carrier, and it would have been a bit odd to carry her around in a hypothetical backpack.


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