Category Archives: Health

Eating To Heal

I have to say, as an active person, being sidelined with an injury blows. But there is a silver lining here. I hope because I am a healthy active person, my body will be able to recover better.

If you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about, I had an accident on Friday and needed reconstructive surgery on my elbow. Detailed recaps here and here.

There are two things I am worried about right now:
1) That one of the screws in my arm is coming loose and I’ll need more surgery to fix it. I’ll find out Friday for this one.
2) The piece of bone the screws are in was completely shattered. If this bone doesn’t heal properly, it will have to be replaced with a piece of prosthetic. More surgery. Only time will tell on this one.

So basically, I want to do anything I can to avoid more surgery. I want to make sure healthy cartilage is growing and the shattered pieces are healing. I want to take care of my joints to decrease the high risk of arthritis I now have.

There are a lot of ways to do this. My mind of course goes to one thing: FOOD.

Thus I present you…

Foods For Healthy Joints

This isn’t just for the injured. Being physically active is hard on your joints. Not being active is hard on them. Being human is hard on them!

My focus is on things that will help build healthy cartilage. That’s the flexible connective tissue in many areas of our bodies, including in joints.

Eggs

Whole eggs contain Vitamin A which help form and maintain tissue. They also have Vitamin D which helps with calcium absorption.

Dairy

I only really like yogurt, cottage cheese and regular cheese, so that’s what I’ll be sticking to. For the calcium – duh!

Oranges

The average sized orange has more than the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C. Most used for fighting off colds, Vitamin C is also essential for repairing cartilage. It’s also used in forming tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, you need to replace it every single day. Other foods high in Vitamin C include strawberries, cantaloupe, potatoes and leafy green vegetables.

Tofu

High in magnesium and calcium. Foods high in magnesium stimulate the production of calcitonin, which increases calcium in the bones.

Tuna + Salmon

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Check out this tuna, hummus and havarti pita I assembled today ALL BY MYSELF. I was quite proud of my one-handed masterpiece :) These fish are high in essential fatty acids, which lubricate the joints. Will definitely be key once I start my physiotherapy.

Protein

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Okay so, this isn’t really for joint health. But protein, B vitamins and iron keep me energetic and in good spirits. I like to think this helps my body heal. My sister’s delicious homemade chili made with local organic beef has been perfect.

Water

Water also helps lubricate the joints. I’m also paying close to my hydration levels seeing as I’m taking a lot of medications. I don’t want any kidney or liver damage!!

Last but not least, I would like to have a moment of silence for my budding biceps. Brah.

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Seeing as I won’t be able to do weighted movement with my elbow for several months, bicep and tricep exercises are a long way off. The only joint required in those moves is the elbow. Goodbye arm definition… I hope we someday get to meet again…

Pigs n’ Bunnies

Happy Easter.

Do bunny suits scare the crap out of anyone else?? When I was a kid, Easter used to scare me because I thought a man in a bunny suit was breaking into our house to hide things. Not a friendly man either. But the kind that stinks of bourbon and cigarettes, with furry eyebrows and deep growl for a voice. This was my innocent mind as a child. Thankfully, my parents were bad at pretending it was someone other than themselves hiding the chocolate behind the couch :P I will however say, they expertly put money under my pillow whenever I lost a tooth. That Tooth Fairy thing was a real shocker.

I loved hearing the diverse genres of music that everyone listens to while working out in my last post. Some fun ones:

Madeline admitted to listening to blasting the pop music, although she listens to indie the rest of the time.

chillel said classical music makes her feel powerful while working out.

Ellie is hooked on Glee because showtunes pump her up.

…and John ran 10 miles to NO music today. Whoa. I am thoroughly impressed.

 

Anyways! I was up at 6:50am today. Babysteps. Maybe I’ll crack 7am tomorrow. I know it’s Pancake Sunday and all, but I am not one to argue with the Waffle Monster.

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Two Nature’s Path Flax Plus waffles topped with a mix of cottage cheese, cashew butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and raisins. 

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That’s how you make freezer waffles filling :)

Actually, a little too filling! I had my two hour group exercise medley at 9:30, and I didn’t want to go without something extra in my tummy. I reached for a homemade apple cinnamon protein bar for that long-lasting energy.

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Thankfully, we didn’t start with Body Attack, or I would have thrown up :P

The breakdown went a little something like this:

30 minutes Body Pump – For a girl who loves weight lifting, I just can’t get into this class. Doing squats and chest presses for 5 minutes each is not fun, and my joints don’t like it.

30 minutes Body Step – I was not expecting there to be a step block! I got all excited when I saw the crazy step instructor there today. Favourite part of the day. She even referred to me as one of the “seasoned steppers” for all the newbies to follow :)

30 minutes Body Attack – Ever do “high knees?” Well it’s all that, all the time. Except, we did one song from the Hairspray soundtrack where we jumped side to side and waved our hands in the the air like we just didn’t care.

30 minutes Body Flow – I was SO sweaty and tired by this point I was ready to collapse into the pool of sweat that gathered on my mat. I don’t think the instructor for this one adequately planned, as she had us doing a lot of challenging warriors, when we really just needed to chill and streeeetch.

Overall, a fun day of exercising!! I wish they offered these medleys more often, they typically only do it on holidays when they don’t do the regular class schedule. Two hours may sound like a lot, but it’s all about pacing yourself and knowing when not to push too hard so you don’t crash.

After this I went straight to the after hours medical clinic. I don’t have a doctor in town, so I can’t just schedule an appointment with one (there’s a waiting list). So I have to go to the drop-in clinic. I finally broke down and went, because my arms are essentially covered in rashes, and I can’t put up with it anymore!!

After a three-hour wait, I walked out with some cream and pills.

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The cream is a type of cortisone cream for my arms, which the doctor said looked like eczema. The pills however are for my legs. I’ve had skin problems there for well over a year now. The doc said it looked like it might be a bacterial infection in the hair follicles, so he prescribed a form of antibiotic. I’ve got to go back in a month to see if it helps. I really hope my arms clear up – the itching is driving me batty.

Oh. I ate a ham sandwich during the wait. And studied. Then I came home and had more ham. It’s freakin’ Easter!!

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For the veggies, I tossed broccoli and butternut squash in bacon peanut butter and maple syrup and roasted them.

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Since I did maple syrup for the veggies, I skipped it for the ham. Instead I pan-fried it and topped it with sauteed onions and a sauce made from laughing cow cheese, almond milk, dill and garlic powder.

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Excellent, excellent meal. Not a bad Easter dinner for one if I do say so myself :) After dinner I called my Nana who is also home alone today. Kicking myself I didn’t just go stay with her instead!

 

I’ve read a billion blogs today, here’s a couple you should check out:

Lisa wrote a great post about control issues with food and body image.

Tam made the prettiest waffles I’ve ever seen.

 

Happy Easter!! Don’t let the man in the bunny suit get you!!

Question of the Day: Did you believe in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause as a kid? As for Santa, I found out he didn’t exist by matching “his” handwriting on the presents to my mother’s. It was much too girly ;)

Pineapple? Pine-evil.

Boys oh boys, I’m watching the Olympic Canada-US game right now and it’s already action packed! I’m not a huge team sports fan, but as a Canadian, I can appreciate a good game of hockey ;)

Anyways, I did not have the best of days today. It started well, with a bowl of custard oatmeal.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (stirred in while simmering)
  • cinnamon, vanilla, stevia
  • 2 chopped sates
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

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I don’t get to make stove-top oats at home during the week since it takes so long (it’s all about the slow simmer ;) ) so they make for an extra-special weekend treat!

Except, it kicked my sweet-tooth into gear, so I enjoyed a Lindt Fleur de Sel with my morning pot of coffee.

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Just a splash of almond milk in the coffee. Mostly to cool it down.

Then, the trouble started. I opted for a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar as my pre-workout snack. The sugar from the dates always gives me lots of energy.
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I’ve never tried this flavour before, but didn’t think much of it. Even when I took this photo of the ingredients!

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It was small as always. Larabars are not for volume eaters.

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As I was chowing down on the bar, I looked at the wrapper again and noticed pineapple was listed a the second ingredient. I’m allergic to pineapple!! I didn’t worry too much though, as I’ve eaten crystallized pineapple in the past with no incident. I figured it would be dried pineapple in the bar… right??

Well, whatever it was, it made me sick, real sick. I’ve gone for tests, but apparently vomiting upon consumption of anything pineapple related isn’t a common problem. I ate this at 10:30am and the pain/sickness didn’t subside until 3pm. It’s the kind of pain where I can’t do anything but shrivel up in a ball and moan. I couldn’t even stand the sound of the television. I think I may have drifted in and out of sleep a little, but who knows.

Aaaanyways. I’ve learned my lesson. Absolutely NO pineapple is entering this belly EVER again!

Sometime during the tummy episode, I hoped a settling sandwich might help things along.

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This is my favourite sandwich combo at the moment – PB + protein powder. I took half a scoop of chocolate whey powder and mixed it with water until it formed a goo, then spread it on one side of the bread. PB went on the other side. Delicious.

I actually briefly considered going to the gym once I was able to move again. I had a stellar upper-body sesh planned that I was sad to have to skip. But my mom always says things like this are the universe’s way of telling me to sloooow doooown. So I took the hint, and went to the grocery store instead.

Holly asked if I could show my grocery haul and what’s in my pantry/fridge. So for today’s Q&A I’ll show ya what’s in my grocery bag! (pantry/fridge coming soon!)

First off, I wanted to show you the protein powders I bought after my protein post yesterday.

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By coincidence, I ran out of both chocolate and vanilla today, so I went to GNC to find naturally sweetened powders. On the left is Iso Natural in vanilla flavour and Kaizen Whey Isolate Protein in chocolate flavour on the right. Both are sweetened with stevia.

Produce!

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  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • bag of onions
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 bartlett pears
  • bag of carrots
  • baby spinach
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • bag of green beans
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • bag of mixed fresh veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
  • sliced mushrooms
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 zucchini

Meat and Dairy:

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  • dozen eggs
  • Western Creamery 1% plain yogurt (never tried this kind before!)
  • Laughing Cow light cheese wedges
  • Scotsburn 50% less sodium 1% cottage cheese
  • Compliments egg whites
  • Maple Leaf light swiss cheese
  • Yves veggie roast beef slices
  • 1 lb salmon
  • 2 chicken breasts

Random stuff:

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  • Panko bread crumbs (on special!)
  • can diced tomatoes
  • Nestle lime carbonated water
  • cantaloupe
  • Bick’s garlic dill pickles
  • cinnamon
  • lemon juice
  • butternut squash
  • E.D. Smith sugar-free syrup

More random stuff:

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  • unsweetened vanilla  Almond Breeze
  • dates
  • butternut squash baby food
  • Bob’s Red Mill quinoa
  • Thompson raisins
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Finn Crisp rye crackers (new-to-me food!)
  • Mini Eggs
  • Beemster single-serving cheese
  • Eden Organic garbanzo beans

Phew! That’s a lot! And it’s all for ME!! I eat every last crumb that I buy. I do buy some higher-end food products, but food is one of the few things I splurge on. I don’t spend anything on clothes and I never eat out, so it fits into my budget :) Tour of my fridge and pantry will come this week!

I was starving by the time I got home, my belly was in working order again. Luckily, I had leftover potato tofu salad.

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I’ve got to pat myself on the back for this salad. Adding cottage cheese, eggs, and tofu is a great way to get protein in a potato salad, and it’s delicious!!

After dinner, I whipped up a batch of my homemade protein bars for the week.

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops vanilla whey powder
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • one applesauce cup
  • 1/4 cup water

Mixed until crumbly, then flattened into a 9×9 pan and stuck in the fridge to harden.

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Makes 8 servings, at 210 calories, 9g fat, 4g fibre, 23g carbs, 16g protein.

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I think these may be one of my best batches yet!!

Then it was on to the more decadent stufff…

Mini Egg cookies!! 

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I took the recipe from here. Only changes were that I cut the recipe in half and left out the macadamia nuts. Essentially a chocolate chip cookie recipe with the world’s best chocolate chips ;)

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I made these specifically to bring into work for “Treat Monday.” Something we decided was necessary to start doing. I am proud to say that not only did I not eat my weight in cookie dough while preparing these – but I also didn’t try one when they were done!!! First time ever. I think telling myself that I’d have one with my coworkers tomorrow was enough to keep me from giving in to the temptation.

Plus, I also promised myself another kind of sweet treat once I was done baking.

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Protein cookie batter ;) Made with my new Kaizen chocolate whey powder and a few dashes of almond milk. Topped with peanut butter, chocolate chips and spinkles… of course. Protein powder gets a BIG thumbs up. One of the best ones I’ve tried yet!!

Well that’s all from me tonight. Despite spending half the day in bed, I’m exhausted. My Monday morning spin class is more important than hockey, sorry sports fans! :P

 

Question of the Day: Do you have any food allergies/intolerances? I thought I was such a weirdo until I started reading food blogs and realized almost everyone has some food issue. Pineapple is by far the worst for me, but raw spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, bananas, kiwis, avocadoes, mangoes, and many more have all given me an upset tummy. Same goes with cooking oils.

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