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Dealing With Injury: Food and Exercise

Posted Nov 05 2010 10:23am

First thing's first! I promise if you read through this terribly long post that I'll give you another great micro-muffin recipe! Seriously. It's after all these tips on how I'm eating and exercising through my injury!

The last time we visited this topic, I gave you the numbers. The first step in figuring out how to eat through my injury . The amount of calories I "need" per day to maintain my weight (and healthy BMI of 20.2) is between 2,000 and 2,300. Going from "extremely active" and running between 40 and 50 miles per week to "very" or even "moderately active" requires a hefty change in my daily intake. A change to the tune of between 500 and 800 calories.

In other words: I'm going from fueling myself like a crazy beast to eating far more "normally." And it's been difficult. I'm not going to lie.

So far, it's been several weeks of lighter-than-usual exercise for me. No weekly 2 to 3 hour long runs. No mid-week speed sessions. Very little impact-bearing activity. I've stayed put at my current weight, and I'm extremely happy about it. I'm not calorie-counting. Repeat: I am not calorie-counting, but I am doing a few things to keep myself in check.


FOOD STUFFS

1.) I'm skipping the drinks. Except water, herbal tea, and an occasional black coffee. I'm a beer-a-day girl. But I'm cutting that back to only 3 or so per week. I don't need the alcohol -- there's little benefit or nutritional value in it. It's just extra calories. And when trying to stay on top of weight, calories that you drink are better to cut then calories that fuel your body and mind.

2.) I'm skipping my second helping of desserts. Or at least trying to. Baking all the time has me in the habit of downing an impressive amount of sweets. Impressive isn't really the word to use. More like "shock-and-awe" amount. It's a sight to see. I'm not cutting my chocolate out completely, but two cookies is OK. Four is excessive. Six (or, uh, more!) is down-right insane.

3.) I'm watching my bread and cheese intake. I touched on this tip in my last post . One of the benefits of marathon running and endurance training is the ability to eat lots of carbs. Maybe it's not technically the "best" diet even then, but you can get away with packing away half a loaf of bread from time to time. Or half a large pizza. (Are you starting to get an idea of how much I've been eating?) I still eat bread and cheese. Just watch my serving sizes. Like: Two pieces of a medium pizza instead of four from a large.

And this leads to my next tip . . .


4.) I've been filling my meals with veggies. Yes. I eat veggies normally, but probably not quite as many as I should to have a healthy ratio with my bread consumption. Instead of piling my plate high with the starchy stuff, I'm making an effort to inhale a Ziplock baggie of spinach with my lunch. Sticking with soups and stir-fries for dinners. Again, I'm also watching serving sizes. Listening to my hunger and full-ness signals. Slowly, I'm getting into a rhythm.

5.) I'm trying my best not to fall into bad, yelling-at-myself-internally habits. The other day, we celebrated a coworkers birthday with cake. Immediately, I thought about how I probably shouldn't be downing a huge piece of cake mid-day. But I loosened up a bit. I mean, c'mon! It's a piece of cake. I took a small one, too. And I deserved it. It's not like I've completely stopped all my activity. I can have the good-for-my-knee rest . . . and eat cake, too!

Overall, I'm mostly watching serving size and the kinds of things I'm eating (keeping them whole foods, fresh foods, and vibrant foods). I've having fun branching out and making new and different recipes, like the Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh and Cashew Yellow Curry . Spices can go a long way toward making meals interesting and not adding lots of calories in the process.


EXERCISE

1.) I've been sneaking extra "workouts" into my day. Like parking far away at the grocery store. Walking for the duration of my lunch breaks (so far, my knee hasn't hurt too much with walking, so I figure it's OK). Making a point to get up and ask questions of my coworkers instead of calling/emailing. Little bits of activity throughout the day add up fast.

2.) I've been cross-training like it's my freaking job. (Oh, and how I wish it WAS my job. Maybe someday.) But so far this week, I have aqua jogged 4 times (averaging 45 minutes each time with some intense intervals). I've put foot to indoor cycling pedal twice, 20 minutes each. I've been strength training (hip-abductor machine is my new best friend). Rolling out with the foam roller each day. Jogged a couple of times (but we all know how THAT went). And I've been keeping up with 2 sets of 40 push-ups per day and . . . drum roll, please: I'm up to doing 3 chin-ups at a time!

(You, too, can rock a chin-up . I couldn't do a single one a month ago!)

This weekend, I'm signed up for a 2-1/2 hour yoga workshop. Stephen's coming with me! And I'm planning to do a 3-hour workout on Sunday. 2 hours in the pool. 1 hour in the bike. It sounds overboard, but with my cario-endurance gained during marathon training, it's what I'm used to and would like to maintain somewhat. (For when I CAN run another distance race.) Next week, I'm hoping to do more yoga and maybe take a spinning class or two.

3.) I've been reflecting on my success versus concentrating on my failures. I had a great racing season this year. I set PRs for the marathon, half-marathon, 15K, and 4-mile distances. I ran more miles this past year than I ever have in a single year. If you're interested, I wrote more about this in the Acceptance . . . Sort Of post this morning.


4.) I've been thinking more about the importance of variety and time off. Stephen reminded me the other day that when he was competing in track and cross-country in high school, he'd take time off between seasons. It wasn't run, run, run all year. So, though I had a fantastic running year, I didn't take much time off. This is different from what I usually do. Overuse can accumulate over a year . . . not just in a too-much-too-soon scenario. With winter coming, even if I am feeling healthy again, I need to keep up the cross-training and perhaps cut my running back to fewer days per week.

I asked (Healthy) Ashley the other day how she's able to run all the mega-long races she does. I mean, that girl is on the road so much! Her reply to me was simple. She runs 3 days per week. I usually run at least 5. It gave me something to think about -- that's for sure!

5.) I've been getting serious about strength. Yeah, this sort of fits into the cross-training category. But I never really do true strength training. Push-ups, yes. Yoga, sometimes. Now that I have a gym . . . I have lots of free-weights and weight-machines at my disposal. Slowly, Stephen and I are both incorporating longer sessions of strength training into our routine. All while keeping up with push-ups, chin-ups, and core exercises (that we'll post about soon!). Strengthening the muscles in my legs will help keep me injury free by ensuring that I'm stable.

And now for that new micro-muffin recipe I promised you!


BANANA-CHOCOLATE CHIP MICRO-MUFFINS

What you'll need . . .
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon Bob's Red Mill egg replacer, just the powder
  • 1/2 (heaping) teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana (mashed REALLY well, until egg-y)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or agave)
  • Handful chocolate chips

Method . . .
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl (this includes the egg replacer powder). Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Add them to the dry. Mix incorporated, but don't over-mix.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spritz a mug (I just used a standard mug, no special size) with cooking oil. Plop in the muffin mixture. And place in the microwave.
  5. Heat on high for 90 seconds. I promise it won't explode (at least mine didn't!)
  6. Eat in the mug or let cool for 1 minute and gently drop onto a plate. Smother with peanut butter or Earth Balance.
I took a cue from Ashley's paper-towel post and tried to make a make-shift light box today using some white-ish plates from our kitchen cupboards. I'm sure you'll all get a kick out of the set-up.


It worked somewhat. But I'm motivated more than ever to make my own light box for picture taking. Look for a tutorial next week! And PS: This micro-muffin recipe is fffffantastic. I like it even better than yesterday's !

Congrats! You made it all the way through this super-duper long post. Thanks for sticking with me. What do you think of my diet and exercise methods? Do you follow some of them already? Are they pretty basic? Do you have any to add? Let us know! Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com .

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