Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Lots of Physical Therapy In My Future

Strasburg sock

How do you fix chronic Achilles tendon pain? By wearing the Strasburg sock while you sleep. Ugh!

First the good news – no bone spur. Which means no surgery in my future.

 

The bad? According to my physical therapist, my calf muscle is “one big knotted ball.” Which means it can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months to fix…depending on how I respond to therapy.

Limited Mobility
I learned the calf is made up of 2 muscles, the gastrocnemius (upper calf) and the soleus (lower calf). My issue is the gastrocnemius is overly tight and, as a result of that tightness, shortened.

The gastrocnemius is so tight that I’ve lost a lot of mobility in my left foot. My therapist had me sit on a table with my legs straight out and tested how far my foot moved as I stretched my toes towards my body. Normal mobility is between 12-20 degrees.

My right foot is 15 degrees. The left? Four degrees. Read more…

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Achilles Tendon Fights Back!

Achilles Tendon

After a week of awesomeness in the gym, my Achilles heel decided it’s had enough. But I’m not waving the white flag just yet when it comes to the Gold’s Gym Challenge.

This week is looking promising, no?

I started in earnest on my Gold’s Gym Challenge. My trainer upped the intensity of my sessions (i.e., heavier weights). I’ve enrolled in boot camp and yoga classes, each 3 times a week. And my idea of cooling down after each session is about 30-40 minutes on the elliptical (it’s just too cold to walk outside).

But Sunday is rest day…thank god!

Physical Therapy In My Immediate Future
I’ve hit the wall when it comes to my Achilles tendon.

I’ll have 4-5 really great days. No pain. Oh sure my ankle is very stiff mornings, but it loosens up with some stretching.

Yet one day a week I’m now in intense pain. All day. Eventually my ankle loosens up and the pain isn’t as intense. But that’s not good enough.

I’m now worried surgery is a possibility. Crap!

So this morning I’m putting in a call to the big dogs. My doctor and a physical therapist – someone with an emphasis on sports injuries.

Last night I noticed a bump behind my left ankle…and it hurt…bad.  My right ankle was pretty smooth. I get that swelling happens. But this is different. So there is a possibility of bone spurs.

There are just too many things I want to do. From running a Tough Mudder to ice skating, all require a healthy Achilles tendon.

Pain relief is my first goal. But I also want to make sure I’ve got good movement. I certainly don’t want any unnecessary strain on my Achilles.

Rethinking Gold’s Gym Challenge
It goes without saying that boot camp is out for now. So is walking. My trainer has work arounds when it comes to strength training that don’t aggravate my ankle.   As for yoga, it seems like most poses require ankle power.  I’ll probably have to talk with my instructor to see if there are alternative stretches I can do in class.

That means cycling classes are in my very near future. So tonight I’m digging out the cycling pants and shoes.

DIY Italian Seasoning

meatballs

Yes I got up early. And I have just enough energy to whip up some meatballs, tomato sauce and a lovely smelling batch of Italian seasoning. Now time for a nap!

Thanks to my wonderful pup (I have to tell myself that right now), I woke up at 4:30 a.m. She decided that I was in bed long enough. And she had things to do…like play, eat, play, go for a walk, and play.

In between 2 play sessions, I decided to make some coffee to help wake me up.

D’oh! Never make coffee when you are sleepy…or with the lights off. Never! Bad things happen. Now I don’t know what happened since the lights were off, but it was the worst thing I’ve ever created.

Sure enough that awful taste woke me up. I think I brushed my teeth 20 times.

I’m hoping to catch a quick nap soon. But for some reason I decided I needed to make a batch of Italian meatballs. And that lead to whipping up some tomato sauce.

But before either, I had to make my own Italian seasoning. Why? Because I have no Italian seasoning in my house. I stopped buying it because I figured I can make my own. Of course I picked the morning with lack of sleep to do it.

Of course.

Soon all will be in the slow cooker.

Then the nap.

Italian Seasoning Recipe
The Italian seasoning smells wonderful. It seems like I got that right.  I kept it with 6 ingredients: basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, thyme and sage. I decided to leave the garlic powder out since I tend to use real garlic. I also left out the red pepper flakes…for now. I may reconsider. I do love heat.

This makes yields about 52 servings with a serving size of 1/2 teaspoon. Net carbs are 0g (0.2g total carbs).

Italian Seasoning
Serving size: 1/2 teaspoon
Yield: 52 servings

  • 2 tbsp. Dried basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. Dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tbsp. dried marjoram leaves
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. Dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp. Dried sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes (optional; may use less for less heat)

Nutrition: 1 Calorie/0g Protein/0g Fat/0.2g Carbs/0.2g Fiber

2018 Gold’s Challenge

2014 golds before after

My before & after photos from the 2014 Gold’s Gym Challenge. So Yeah, I’m a believer in this challenge.

Once again I’ve sighed up for the 2018 Gold’s Challenge. This is my 3rd time and I do love challenges. In my effort to loose my post surgery pounds, I’m off to a slow start. I feel I’ve finally righted my diet (no more eating out and no alcohol).

When it comes to losing inches, I need to jump start my exercise routine. Right now I’m more turtle than hare.

To be fair, I wanted to see the results of my 3D body scan before coming up with a plan of attack. While I want to do full body workouts, there is a part of me that wants to target my abs and thighs.

My doctor told me it would take a year for my abs to fully recover from surgery. He wasn’t kidding. It’s been a year and a half and while my abs are stronger, there’s still a lot of exercises I either can’t do (like that damn Roman chair leg raise) or am limited in how many I can do (I’m looking at you sit ups). Read more…

The Science Behind LCHF & Fasting

why we get fatLately I’ve had a few questions about fasting and low carb/Keto lifestyle.

  • Should I eat breakfast?
  • How do I know I should fast?
  • Aren’t saturated fats bad for you?
  • Isn’t fasting the same as starving?
  • Won’t eating all that fat cause a heart attack?
  • Why I can eat brown rice or whole grains?

For me, when it comes to reclaiming my health and losing weight, nothing beats a low carb diet combined with intermittent fasting. Unlike the standard Western diet, there is actual science behind the therapeutic benefits of LCHF/Keto and fasting.

I’m not saying LCHF/Keto and fasting works for everyone. But the science for each is rock solid.  For me, understanding the science of why we get fat was key to making better decisions on what to eat AND when to eat.

So for those who are new to, curious or want a primer on LCHF/Keto and fasting I’ve posted a few videos below to help you out.

Also keep in mind to do your own research like I did. For me, the science was compelling so I gave it a try and sure enough LCHF & intermittent fasting worked.  That may not be the situation for you.

Science Behind LCHF/Ketogenic Diets

How LCHF Works

Fasting

Cholesterol & Heart Disease

 

Celebrating 50 (Again) Without The Scale

cupcake

This beauty was waiting for me in our hotel room. I guess turning 50 isn’t that bad! And yes, I shared this with my sneaky husband.

I’m writing this as I soak in a huge marble tub at a luxurious 5-star hotel.

Now this is how you celebrate turning 50. Not the messed up way I did on my actual birthday.

Of course I made peace with hitting the half-century mark. And it was at this point where my husband pounced – a long weekend getaway.

His plan: fun, guilt-free days away from chores, pets, the gym and (most importantly) the scale.

This was about celebrating my 50th by rejuvenating my soul with some pampering tossed in to the mix.

No scale! It was scary but it was exactly what I needed. So I agreed to letting any guilt go. Of course I was challenged as soon as we checked in. Awaiting me in our room – a birthday cupcake with cream and a fancy piece of dark chocolate (my fave) on top.

Yep…freakin’ fancy dark chocolate.

It seemed like a lifetime to decided if I was going to indulge or not. In reality it was more like 5 seconds. Yes, I quickly debated what to do. Then I looked up from the cupcake, saw my reflection in a mirror and noticed the huge smile on my face.

No guilt!

I didn’t eat the whole thing. Just a few bites. I indulged but stayed in control. After all guilt-free doesn’t mean I toss LCHF/Keto out the window. And it’s not like I do this everyday.

So we’re having a blast. No cooking, working out, cleaning, running errands or any cares for a few days.

Oh, and yes, our little excursion means I’m skipping my weekly weigh in this time around.  And after an awesome massage (the ultimate pampering), any guilt over that melted away.

It’s glorious.

Sometimes you gotta’ live a little.

 

Time To Get Back To Blogging

blog

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.

I’ve been away for a bit. I do love blogging. It’s just that the old, bad habit of being lazy really took hold for many months. Sure, I’m doing cooking videos and vlogging about “My Final 50.” However the idea was to keep a daily written “confessional” about how I’m doing. You know, the accountability thing.

Sigh.

But my beloved lazy mouse kicked in.

“Hey, I’m doing videos. It’s a lot of work and something has to give.”

B.S!

The truth is it’s easy to let things slide. And when I let something I love doing – writing – go by the wayside, then it makes it easy for other things to slide. Things like:

  • Taking a morning walk.
  • Passing on that 3rd glass of wine.
  • Grabbing a handful of nuts when I’m not hungry.

So I’m happy to report that I’m tired of being lazy. This blog is my touchstone. It’s what keeps me honest…accountable…focused when it comes to my health and waistline.

I’m not shooting for daily posts…initially. My plan is to start with 3 weekly posts about my quests for optimal health, fitness, and finally kicking lazy mouse to the curb.

Video: Industrious Mouse Vs. Lazy Mouse

 

Evidence That Meat Causes Cancer Is More Than Lacking

Does meat really cause cancer? Nope. Our evolutionary history says otherwise. Human ancestors survived and thrived by eating meat. Meat is way more calorie dense and has all the essential amino fatty acids we need. Plus, humans would not have developed the size brains we have without meat.

I think a much better case can be made that our current food chain, which relies on heavily processed low-fat foods with a ton of added sugar, is a much better candidate for cancer and other metabolic diseases that have exploded over the last 40 years.

The attack on meat (and it is an attack) seems more political than science-based. Check out this lecture by Dr. Georgia Ede. She actually read these observational studies (not the gold standard in research).

I didn’t post this to bash those who don’t eat meat. That’s your choice just like I choose to eat low carb, moderate protein and high fat foods. If a vegan or vegetarian diet works best for you, great. LCHF with awesome animal meat and fat works best for me.

But there is a part of me that this video tweaks those dietary nannies out there (and all diets have them!). They corrupt science to make political points and claim moral superiority. All in an effort to scare or shame me into a certain behavior they approve. Control is the game. They don’t care about my health.

Sorry, but not everything is political (nor should it be). Eating for my health is my business and it is up to me to make those decisions.

I’ve wised up and no longer listen to scare tactics.

 

 

First My Ankle, Now My Voice

quiet post itI wake up this fine, sunny morning with no voice. The sore throat hit Thursday night. Now it’s laryngitis. Great. Of course I was going to shoot a cooking video today. Who says my timing isn’t great?

For those who’ve never experienced the joys of laryngitis, it means my vocal chords are swollen and irritated. Potentially it can last 7-10 days.

The treatment is pretty simple.

  • No talking, shouting, singing, whispering. Not one dang peep.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Breath in humid air – not hard in August.

Well if I can’t make a cooking video, I can at least test out some recipe ideas.

Ankle Still A Hot Mess; Skipping The 10K

I’m not a happy camper this morning. It’s already mid August and I’m still not running yet. Heck, I’m not even doing my daily walks. For a month I’ve diligently stretched my calf and foot in an effort to deal with the Achilles tendonitis.

The pain in the morning is just as bad as ever.

Now I’m finding that the comfort my sneakers provided in decline. Great.

That means I’ll miss the George Washington 10k in September. I can’t run it if I’m not training. And I certainly can’t run on this ankle anytime soon.

With the pain not going away, I’ve decided a little more aggressive action is needed. First up is an ankle splint. I’m picking one up this morning.

Next is massage therapy that focuses on the tendon and the main culprit, an overly tight calf muscle. I found this video online showing the massage technique.

Next up are more stretching and strengthening exercises. This physical therapy video demonstrates techniques that I can try using my stairs and resistance bands. The video also demonstrates how I can massage my tendon myself.

Hopefully I’ll feel a difference over the next few weeks.

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