Apr 202015
 

After taking some time off from working out, it time to get back at it. I ended up taking a few days off, not a full week, from the gym to let my back calm down. Part of me was bummed about not being able to do my normal routine but for the most part I was okay with resting. I felt like my body needed it.

My chiropractor suggested I keep active while I’m healing and suggested swimming and the elliptical. He said to take a break from yoga for a few weeks, which was okay with me because a few of the poses (downward dog especially) killed me!

Friday

I waffled back and forth between going swimming and taking one more day off. In the end I decided to give it a try because swimming was something that never really hurt and I promised myself that I would stop swimming if it hurt, even if I hadn’t done much. It was a decent swim. There were only a few times my back kind of bugged me and that was when I did the breast stroke. So I decided to skip that move and just do freestyle.

I was glad I went. I felt good the rest of the evening and my back actually didn’t hurt! When I got home I had a sensible dinner that was pretty low in calories. Leftover ham, some rice and Brussels sprouts. I think it’s a good plan to take it easy on the foods while I am not 100% at the gym. It sucks, but that means cutting back on calories.

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The back felt okay until I went to bed and then it started to ache and feel uncomfortable. Saturday morning it was still a little achy but once I got out of bed and moved around, it was alright.

Saturday

Saturday is usually my “big” gym day. I spend a little more time than the normal hour in the gym and the focus is more on weight lifting and body weight exercises. Since I was taking a break with this, I decided to just stick with the elliptical and then round out the workout with walking on the treadmill at an incline. Thankfully during this whole thing walking never hurt.

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The rest of the day the back felt pretty good. I was hoping that I was on the mend! Dinner was baked salmon with lemon pepper and dill seasoning, plus leftover rice and Brussels Sprouts. More healthy foods. And wine, of course. :)

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Michael and I watched a few episodes of “Girls” after dinner and then I called it a night. The wine had definitely gone to my head!

Sunday

Sundays used to be my swim days! It was nice because I could sleep in on Sunday mornings and I was usually sore from the Saturday weight workout so it was nice to swim. I switched to doing yoga on Sundays because I liked the teacher that taught that morning class. Since I can’t do yoga right now I’m going back to what I know: swimming.

Swimming is the best exercise if you hurt. Any kind of pain–joint pain, sore muscles, if you are over weight and other exercises hurt your body, try swimming. It’s always worked well for me; it’s relaxing, it feels good, and it’s a good exercise.

This particular Sunday I slept in pretty late for me and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast (complete with coffee AND orange juice) and when I went to the pool it was near empty. I love that. I love when the pool is empty. I did my swim, which started out not so great…I felt slow and like I couldn’t catch my breathe (which is abnormal for me) but then I warmed up and felt pretty good. I relaxed in the hot tub, enjoyed the sauna and the pool was super empty. I was so tempted to go back in just because it was EMPTY! An empty pool is bliss to me.

Anyways, I was feeling pretty good most of the day and I went for a walk with Bella to round out of my fitness for the day.

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Next up: I went shopping for new hiking boots! The last time we went hiking I kind of started to wonder if the boots were how I bruised my feet and started this whole thing…My boots are amazing. I love them and they’ve been great but they are like 15+ years old. I think it was time to invest in some new boots. I went to REI and used the 20% member coupon + Michael’s dividend + my dividend + a $25 gift card from a friend for our wedding! I essentially got the boots for 50% off! I also love that they are called Gargoyle/African Violet. ;)

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I can’t wait to try them out! I love REI. Not only did I get a great price, the guy helping me was nice and honest about another pair I was considering (he said they were terrible) and they guarantee the boots for a year. A few years ago Michael got me some new boots and I tried for months to break them in and they just didn’t fit right. I ended up limping on hikes. :( So I’m happy that REI has this guarantee even if I wear them out hiking and decide they don’t work.

Back to the Chiro

Monday after work I went back to see the chiropractor. Over the weekend I had had several good “moments” where I wasn’t in discomfort or pain and even FORGOT about my back issues. The chiro said that was a good sign. It wasn’t going to be magically fixed, but the fact that I had some relief several times since the last appointment was good. He also suggested that ice the crap out of my injury. I asked him how often and he said, as much as you can tolerate it. Hourly, if I can.

I spent about 25 minutes on the amazing massage chair with the TENS device on. That thing is amazing. Then I saw the chiro for my adjustment. It wasn’t as easy/smooth as the first time, but I hope it does it’s magic and gives me some more relief.

Physical Therapy

A week later I finally got to go to my Physical Therapy appointment. It took a few weeks to get the appointment and in the meantime I stuck with taking it easy in the gym, icing obsessively and going to chiro.

The therapist did an exam and asked me a bunch of questions. And while I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what happened to make my back act up, the answers I gave her and how I described it gave her a good idea of what was going on. She determined that I had a bulging disc, probably L4.

I have to admit, that freaked me out! It sounds scary. It sounds like something that needs SURGERY. But she assured me that wasn’t the case and she said that when it comes to backs, this is actually best-case scenario. She also said that because of some of the improvements I’ve already shown and the fact that certain movements she had me do made me feel better she thought I’d heal pretty quickly from this. Okay….

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She show me what a bulging disc looked like.

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She said the disc part was kind of jelly-like substance and that when it bulges it kind of squeezes out. If you have nerve pain (sciatica) it’s because the bulge is pressing on the nerve. Thankfully I don’t have that! In that second photo, the bulge popping out and touching the tubey-thing (that’s the nerve) is the bulge. So that’s what she thinks I have.

I asked her how this happened and she couldn’t really give me an answer but she did say that sitting was probably part of it. I sit all day at work and while I do get up a lot and walk around, it’s not good to sit all day.

She told me to keep swimming, do the elliptical, I can do upper body weights as long as it doesn’t cause pain in my low back (so basically stick with things like chest press, bicep curls, etc and no overhead pressing). She said to wait 2 more weeks before I do yoga or running again. I got back to see her in 2 weeks as well to get more exercises.

I have mixed feelings about this diagnosis. Part of me doesn’t think this is it. Time will tell. I’ll continue chiro and physical therapy and hopefully one or both will do the trick.

That night for dinner I made a salad with tons of veggies, a Trader Joe’s Marsala veggie burger and sauteed Brussels sprouts (I’m addicted). And a glass of wine (not the whole bottle lol):

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I steam the Brussels Sprouts and then sautee them in coconut oil with seasonings. They are so delicious! I tried to relax (and ice my back again) even though I was kind of worried about my diagnosis. The therapist was upbeat and positive about it but I’m still anxious…

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Apr 152015
 

I wanted to share a meal I had recently with you all. If you live in the Portland area and are looking for a delicious, affordable meal, check out Nudi in Woodstock.

Nudi is a place I’ve wanted to try for awhile but things just got in the way of those plans. Recently I was meeting a friend for a pedicure at a fantastic place in Woodstock, Pure Nail Bar, and we decided to meet up for lunch first. I had assumed that Nudi was a noodle/ramen/Pho type of place but it was a lot different than I expected.

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First, the inside of the restaurant is super classy looking and decorated nicely. The outside of the restaurant looked kind of dumpy and run down but once you are inside it’s very nice. Don’t let the exterior scare you off. Second, the menu is large and diverse. If you aren’t feeling noodles, there’s tons of other options including lots of vegetarian and vegan options. There were also many gluten free options.

I got their iced tea to drink and it was the best iced tea I’d ever had. I have no idea what kind it was; the flavor was subtle and not too sweet and it had a slice of orange in it.

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My friend Star met me for lunch and we decided to order a few appetizers and share them for lunch. The first was the Asado Bun. I imagined it being a small bun, like a bao bun but it turned out to be huge! It was fried bread with sweet pork belly, lettuce, red onions, jalapenos and herbs. Star and I split it. The pork was melt in your mouth soft and super sweet.

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So flavorful! Next up Crab Rangoon. It had Dungeness crab meat stuffed in wontons with cream cheese and a sweet & spicy dipping sauce. These were to die for. I rarely eat fried foods so this was a real treat. I’d say this was the favorite dish for both of us.

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Next was the fried tofu with crushed peanuts and a similar dipping sauce. I was not a fan of this one as much. It was okay but nothing special and the tofu didn’t taste like much. I think it might have been better with a peanut dipping sauce, maybe…

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We decided to splurge and share a dessert. We ordered the Pumpkin Flan. It was gluten free and it came out looking like a work of art. It was steamed pumpkin with coconut milk flan and coconut sauce. It was the texture of flan/custard and it wasn’t sweet. There was a hint of sweetness from the coconut and pumpkin but it was barely there. It was a very unique flavor and it felt like a healthy treat as opposed to a huge calorie bomb like chocolate.

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It came in the pumpkin skin and you just scraped it out of there. We shared the dessert and it was the perfect amount for the two of us to have a treat.

All in all the restaurant was a joy. I enjoyed the food and want to go back and try their ramen and noodle dishes. I think this would be a great restaurant for a date night, too! Dark interior, classy decorations and excellent music. :)

A few weeks later I met my friend Robyn here for a lunch date! Once again, got the amazing iced tea and we both ordered a soup. I got the Tom Yum Ramen. It came with ramen noodles, beef, veggies and an egg. I’d been craving Ramen (like real Ramen, not the 59 cent package!) and this hit the spot.

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I’m a huge fan of Tom Yum soup, so this was good. The only downside was that the ramen noodles were really soft. I would have liked them a little more well-done I think. Other than that, it was tasty and a nice lunch date with my friend.

 

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