One of the problems with protein supplements is quite often they taste foul. In a store in Ireland I was limited to a selection of basically one type, Body Fortress, and it's so grim I can barely drink it. In a desperate attempt to make it more palatable I ended up mixing it with various juices, apple, cranberry, and about anything else I could get my hands on in the Google fridge. The best I can say happened was "taking the edge off it". The worst however, in the case of fresh squeezed orange juice, was some bizarre fermentation process that made me feel queasy for about six hours.
America, being the Land of Plenty and far better skilled retails sales people, provided me the chance to sample a few protein products before I made my purchase. I ended up with Max Muscle's vanilla caramel swirl Gourmet Protein. I love the hubris of "gourmet". But anyway, it actually tastes fine and I have no immediate drive to mask its taste with household drain cleaner.
In preparing to hit the town tonight however, I discovered something that really fleshes out its bouquet and depth: two scoops protein, one scoop Jack Daniels. That Tennesse magic put to the task of building a better body. Mmm, delicious!
Whoa. According to the gym scales here I weigh 84kg / 186lb / 13st 3lb. This is the heaviest I've been in my life, and that was when I was training and eating like a freak at Gold's in California in '01-'02 (and I definitely don't have the body I did then). I haven't really done any aerobic work since my accident last year, and no strength work for a few months. Coupled with the free & decent food in google.ie this weight gain is looking like it has some solid foundations...
The food here in Google Mountain View is exceedingly good. It's mid-range restaurant quality, sometimes better, and there's a strong emphasis on using organic produce. The cartons you can use to take food away are recycled cardboard. I've come away from meal times feeling stuffed, which is very rare as apart from the occasional fried breakfast in London I tend to eat small meals.
So combined with the gym here and free, excellent meals I think I'll train for size & strength and leave the slimming to somewhere where the food's not as good :-) Ireland, for example.
As a random aside, I dropped by a local supplements shop and I was reminded the stuff you can buy in America is pretty amazing: over the counter hormones, powerful stimulants, and a range of "ordinary" supplements that boggles the mind. I stuck to a tub of blended protein and some glutamine (a particularly "good" protein). Leave the endocrine experiments to the freaks...
It's 4am and I'm wide awake; not sure if that's jet lag or the advantage of polyphasic sleep...
So, arrived earlier yesterday, after a mostly painless 11hr flight. After being in London for four years and basically happy to have left the States (hi, Bush!) I'm struck how much I'm glad to be back - I've such a catalog of great memories and experiences even just driving up 101 into town felt good. Although I'd've preferred to have been on a motorbike... That said, I'm driving such a nice car, a Honda Elantra, I tried to start it when it was already on, and even when I paid attention in what was quite a quiet underground car park I still couldn't hear the engine ticking over.
Anyway, the other aspect of being back is the panoply of smells is so familiar from the background of damp grass on Fell nr Golden Gate park to the woody aroma of being in a restaurant to the "fingerprint" of Karen's house. It's quite bizarre, in four years it's all exactly the same and all entirely uniquely identifiable. Very reassuring.
So tomorrow is first day training at Googleplex. I have to be out of SF by 8am as my car's parked in a street cleaning zone and besides I don't feel like inadvertently terrifying other drivers in rush hour traffic with my unpracticed right-hand-side-of-the-road skills :-)