Exercise

Another Knee Update

I didn’t mean to leave you hanging last week with just one post, I swear. Right now I’m running out of image space on my site, which sucks, so I’m figuring out what I want to do about that. Posts without pictures are devastatingly boring. But, I couldn’t stay away for too long because here I am, obvi. With real news, too!

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Back in June I started the process of figuring out what exactly was wrong with my knee. If you remember, I was put on one month of anti-inflammatory medication for supposed runner’s knee. Well, that didn’t work. I haven’t run more than two miles for about 9 months now, and I tested my knee out on the medication on one of the last days I was taking it. I still had pain. It wasn’t as prevalent; however, my knee still wasn’t well enough to run on.

I went back to the doctor in mid-July, and he suggested I get an MRI. He wanted to make sure no ligaments or tendons were tearing before he decided on the next course of action. I figured that if anything was tearing, I’d feel it when I was just normally walking, too, but nonetheless I got the MRI. This is where I discovered I am slightly claustrophobic.

Seriously. It was even a mostly open MRI! Most of my body was covered by the machine, except for my head, but in my mind I was freaking out. I was trying to control my breath and heart rate (which was sky-high) by breathing like I do in yoga. It helped minimally. And then a Kelly Clarkson song came on the radio in the room, and I immediately fell into tears.

Kidding about that Kelly Clarkson thing. I was upset for a little while when I got home, and it took a bit for the shakes to go away. Definitely not what I was expecting to happen!

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Anyway, the doctor called me a few days later and told me I had mild arthritis under my knee cap. Didn’t see that one coming. He told me that it got enflamed when I ran. I was simply happy to finally, finally have a real diagnosis. Next step: steroid shot in the knee.

Tell a girl who doesn’t like shots that she’s getting a shot IN HER KNEE, and she will inevitably have a little anxiety. Last Monday, I went to the offices to get the shot. My wonderful brother came with me, which I was so grateful for, because afterward my knee felt incredibly strange and I wouldn’t have been comfortable driving.

That night, I had a little bit of a major freakout. About two hours after the shot, I couldn’t fully straighten or fully bend my knee without major pain. I was so worried – the doctor hadn’t said anything about this happening, only that he wanted a follow-up in a month. The pain continued all day. When it was finally time for bed, my knee still hurt, and I finally broke down.

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What if I had made the wrong choice getting this shot? What if something went haywire by accident and now my knee would be messed up forever? I have a mom’s mind, meaning I worry very easily, and I wasn’t exactly super happy about the steroid shot to begin with. I don’t love putting medicine in my body – I don’t. I don’t try to eat well and exercise and do things as naturally as I can for nothing. Steroids aren’t a joke; I know this because the doctor said this shot was a one-time thing. He wouldn’t give another because they’re so strong. I made the decision to get the shot because I knew it was the only logical next step. My knee wasn’t healing the natural way (rest, strength exercise, and stretching). So the fact that it felt worse than it ever did that night after the shot really scared me. I did the big girl thing, though: put on some compression socks, dried my eyes, and went to bed, hoping for the best.

Ah yes, of course I had no reason to worry. I woke up the next day and my knee felt ten times better. I still had some pain trying to straighten and bend it, but that dissipated over the next few days. Now, it feels completely normal. I have yet to test it on a run – I wanted to give it about a week to let the steroids do their thang.

Actually, I’m testing it today. Like maybe as you’re reading this. Wish me luck!

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever had a steroid shot?
>> Ever had an MRI? Did you have a good experience?
>> What have you been doing for exercise lately?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

An Anniversary Dinner [Recent Eats + Fitness]

Lately I’ve been trying to get my family to eat a little healthier. Sure, I always encouraged them to, but now that I’m home with some extra time on my hands, I’ve been making dinner for them most nights. Mom and Dad have been on board, which I’m truly thankful for… Adam, not so much. I’m still holding out that I’ll eventually get him to eat more than seven baby carrots with his chicken patties.

I’ve been testing out one or two new-to-them and/or -me recipes per week, filling in the rest of the days will other staples. Breakfasts and lunches are still an individual thing, but hopefully I can start to help my mom meal plan her lunches, too. My parents have pretty much loved everything I’ve made for them so far, and, not surprisingly, I source most of my recipes from blogs I read. Yay blogs!

Recent Eats

I’ve tried this one out prior to this week, but The Hummusapien’s Chickpea, Brown Rice and Broccoli Crockpot Casserole has been and continued to be a big hit. I actually added too much water to this batch, so I soaked up the extra liquid by adding some quinoa, too. It’s not pretty, but it’s SO good.

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My mom and I munched on these Southwest Quinoa Burgers from Eat Yourself Skinny last night. They were really tasty! I made the whole recipe, but I found that six patties was more reasonable than the recommended eight. My mom agreed – but she also agreed they were delicious and “tasted like chili on a bun.” We used TJ’s whole wheat buns, for the record. Also very good. I topped mine with tomato and ketchup. #ketchupfreak

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On Sunday night, my entire family plus extended family on my dad’s side went out to dinner at Bravo! to celebrate my grandparents’ 55th wedding anniversary (!!!!! congrats! I love you both!). The food was pretty good – I ordered the Light Chicken and Vegetable Pasta – but the company was better.

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And check out these cookies my grandma got for dessert! Aren’t they the coolest? And talk about a good looking couple. They were actually married on the 4th of July, so that’s why the cookies are outlined in patriotic colors.

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As for breakfast, I rocked some pancakes on both Saturday and Sunday morning. The ones pictured here are made with spinach; the pancakes from Saturday were made with zucchini. They essentially looked the same, except the zuke ones completely broke up. Pancake fail. They still tasted amazing. I’ll credit the blueberries and maple syrup for that.

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I don’t remember what day I had this breakfast, but those strawberries were seriously on point. I put two over easy eggs atop some spinach and had a banana with Nuttzo on the side.

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And then of course I had to have my good old standby of avocado toast with Vegenaise, eggs, and carrots. And those cherries? PHENOMENAL. I could have eaten the entire bag (I know it looks like the entire bag there, but it was maybe 1/4 of it 😉 ).

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I also had this yummy concoction for lunch one day: my Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait. Super tasty and healthy!

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Recent Fitness

Last week’s workouts included yoga (of course), ellipticalling, a run, and this deck of cards workout.

I actually only made it to yoga once, but it was a 90 minute class I definitely needed before the weekend. I went the morning of the 4th, and it was incredibly crowded. Like an inch between mats crowded. It was a little more stressful of a class than I wanted, but it turned out to be a great sweaty workout despite the strange woman next to me who was staring right into my eyes during one of our final twists on the floor.

And, yes, that does say I went for a run. On Wednesday, I headed down to a trail with my friend to test out the ‘ol knee. Unfortunately, there was still pain even after basically taking the anti-inflammatories for a month. I went to the specialist yesterday, and I’m scheduled to get an MRI to make sure I don’t have any torn ligaments. The doctor wants to be sure before he gives me a cortisone shot, which is the next step if the MRI shows no out-of-the-ordinary ailments. It’s my first MRI, and I’m kind of nervous! I’ve never had to have anything more than an x-ray, knock on wood.

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever had an MRI or anything of the like? I’ve had x-rays for my scoliosis and wisdom teeth, but that’s about it.
>> What is your strangest yoga experience?
>> Three things you ate this week! & go. 

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

52 Card Pickup Workout [Deck of Cards Workout]

Back to reality. I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend, if you celebrated! I know I did. The weather was gorgeous, the pool water was warm, and the fireworks were huge and sparkling. Just the way I like it. If you missed my post on Friday, I put up a festive recipe – definitely check it out!

It’s been a hot minute since I put up a workout, though, huh? The other day I was not feeling the gym or yoga (gasp!). I just wanted to get my workout over with and hop in the shower, no if’s, and’s or but’s. I decided to create a deck of cards workout for myself, and it ended up being so quick and effective, I knew I had to share it on here.

This workout took about 25 minutes for me to complete, and I didn’t stop much for rest – only a few seconds every few exercises. What I liked most about it was that once you get a big rep card, it won’t pop back up again for that same move… it actually feels like you’re making progress!

It’s split into cardio and strength, red and black cards, respectively. Each suit has a different exercise assigned to it. You’ll complete the number of reps on that card for the move associated with the card. Strength face cards are split into two different core moves, and you’ll complete either 11 reps for aces, 12 reps for jacks, 13 reps for queens or 14 reps for kings. Cardio face cards are also split into two moves, but you’ll complete 10 reps no matter the kind of face card you pick up (this is so you don’t die. you’re welcome.).

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I was definitely a sweaty mess after I did this, but it was over so quickly that I wasn’t phased! If you’re feeling sluggish after the long weekend, this will definitely get you back in the daily groove.

Oh! PS. Last Thursday, I was featured on DIY Design. Check out my interview here!

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever done a deck of cards workout?
>> What’s your favorite bodyweight exercise?
>> What did you do for the holiday or the weekend?