A Welcome Break

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, but that’s because I was in Colorado for half of that time!

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Rocky Mountain National Park

WHH and I took a much-needed vacation to visit my brother and his lady friend in the beautiful Boulder area. It was one of the lazier, less planned vacations we’ve ever taken and in some ways that made it even more enjoyable. With my crazy schedule over the summer and WHH gearing up for his new position, we’ve been working ourselves too much. This vacation was a great time to recharge.

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I took a lot of inspiration from an article that my mom sent me earlier in the summer titled, “In Praise of Purposeful Loafing.” It’s a great, quick read on the merits of chilling the heck out. So as the summer unofficially comes to a close this weekend, I urge you to take time to unwind before the busyness of the fall is upon us. You know, sit by a beautiful river with some coffee, a good book, and a handsome man.

Books and coffee outside in Colorado

I hope you all have a great holiday weekend and I’ll see you in September!

I’m Still Here

Hi all! I know it’s been waaaaay too long. I’ve missed you and I’ve missed catching up with some of you on your blogs!

My accelerated A&P II class has been taking up all of my free time. I’m reading at work, when I get home, on the weekends (when I’m not doing my labs or other assignments). It’s been a bit crazy and I’m bummed that WHD has had to take a hit, but I’m halfway through and hope to be back to more regular posting in August! In the meantime, I’ll try to pop by quickly a bit more regularly than the past two weeks.

Studying at Starbucks

I even study at Starbucks before my acupuncture appointments!

I did have a quick break this weekend which was absolutely divine! My brother was home, so I took Friday off and we headed up to our parents’ lake house in New Hampshire. It was a bit chilly (we had to turn the heat on Friday night), but it was still lovely to be up there. How can you not feel relaxed with this view?

Lake and mountain view

Still lots of studying and reading for me, but I managed to squeeze in some quality time with my parents, grandmother, brother, and his girlfriend. Exercise consisted of a nice long walk with my mom one day and kayaking with  my dad the next day. Poor WHH had to work the school’s dance on Friday night, so he wasn’t able to join us, but he’s looking forward to seeing my brother and his girlfriend again later this summer when we visit them in Colorado! So excited for another vacation to look forward to, as well as the company!

Camp mug

Morning conversations over coffee are the best

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my new toy! I had a Macy’s gift card from Christmas and when I saw this was on sale, I jumped at the chance to finally get into juicing. I can’t wait to share some recipes with you! This delicious combo was:

  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green apple
  • ~2″ of ginger

Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain

Questions: What have you been up to? Any fun summer plans? Are you insanely busy right now or are you enjoying the lazy days of summer?

New Year’s Goals Check-In: May

Holy smokes, it’s June! We’re nearly halfway through the year. How the heck did that happen?

You know what a new month means: a breakdown of my goals for the New Year. A lot of my answers to my goals are, “classwork is my focus right now” and I’m fine with hat, especially given that the A&P II I’m taking is only 10 weeks long, compared to the usual 16 weeks, so I’m cramming in a lot in a short time. I’m already feeling the pressure and am doing my best to balance life.

That being said, here’s how I did in May:

Personal Goals

  • Try a new trend/clothing item I wouldn’t normally: A

Even though I gained some items after going through a pile of too-big clothes I had put aside, I still have no casual/weekend clothes. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Stitch Fix and hope that although they will have my style profile down, they push me outside my comfort zone a bit as well. I won’t receive the shipment until July and I can’t wait to share with you!

Stitch Fix Logo

  • Take more pictures: B

Picture taking has been mostly for blogging, but it’s becoming more and more of a habit, so I’m happy for that. Once my class is over, I want to go through our vacation pictures more thoroughly to organize and make notes on them as well as get them printed for a real photo album. And then there are our wedding pics…

  •  Make a new menu item weekly: B+

Another month without much meal planning, but we’re still eating plenty clean and healthy. WHH has been making up some of his own recipes, such as the sausage and pasta stir fry we had the other night that I was too hungry to take a second to take a picture of.

Something new that I did get a picture of was Brussels sprouts on the grill! I cooked them a bit in the oven first with some olive oil and garlic salt, and then onto some skewers and the barbie they went! We had to take off a few of the outer leaves on some of them, but they were delicious!

Grilled Brussesls sprouts

  • Travel: A

With our plane tickets to Colorado booked and filling in some details with my brother, we need to get a bit of a loose itinerary, and start to think about booking some places to stay when we’re not with my brother. This vacation is well-timed to be a couple of weeks after the end of my course. I will be wanting some R&R and to finally enjoy the summer!

  • Read more, especially instead of watching TV: A

I made a conscious effort at this one this past month. Instead of eating weekend meals in front of a screen (whether the TV, my phone, or my computer), I’ve made myself sit down and read a magazine or a book. I’ve enjoyed this immensely and found a lot of satisfaction in finally being able to read something other than my textbook or A Storm of Swords (as much as I enjoy the series, I’ve been reading it since late last fall).

Check out this interesting stat I came across in my Women’s Health Magazine.

Americans ate 118 fewer calories in 2010 vs 2005

This month has consisted of nothing but the necessary, so a no-go on the Pinterest board. I’m scaling it again because of classwork.

  • Simplify house further: B+

Another bag of items went off to be donated as well as another Thred Up bag in the mail! We’re getting there, little by little!

  • Meet with financial advisor: TBD

As I said last month, I’m scheduling this for the end of the summer when I will be done with classes for a few weeks and can properly concentrate. This time I just took it off so it doesn’t affect my GPA. 😉

  • Write reviews, such as for products and travel:C+

Have not done this, but scaled due to class. Will try to make a better effort this month and do it in small chunks instead of thinking of all of the different places I should review and get overwhelmed. As my co-worker says, you need to eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Elephants_at_Amboseli_national_park_against_Mount_Kilimanjaro

I feel as though I have a line of elephants to eat. Image c/o amoghavarsha.com

Professional:

  • Take co-requisite courses for nursing school: A+

I finished A&P I with a 95% average and am in the third week of A&P II. The weather was too lovely this weekend to be stuck in the basement, so I tucked myself into a little corner outside to do my endocrine system dissection. WHH admitted his sick curiosity had him peeking over at me while he was doing yard work. He gave some pretty priceless faces.

A&P II dissection kit

  • Start nursing school: TBD

Still on the wait-list for Fall 2014. Focusing on getting through A&P II, and then I’ll go from there.

  • Get better at WordPress and blogging in general: B

The blog has unfortunately fallen by the wayside a bit thanks to classwork. I’m okay with it for now since that is where my focus needs to be, hence why I’m not being harsher with my grading.

  • As time allows, get personal training and/or nutritionist certification: TBD

Constantly thinking about this even though I just need to concentrate on one thing at a time. It’s always in the back of my mind, though.

Health and Wellness:

  • Try a new physical endeavor as my body continues to heal from all of the injuries last year: B+

I finished the Return to Running program in May after six months of making my way back to running! I haven’t pushed my body much since that time as my plantar fasciitis has been rearing its ugly head a bit. It’s partially my fault–I haven’t been as religious with icing and massaging–and partially being on my feet for two weeks at work. Now that I’m back at my desk, it’s getting a little better. I’ve been varying my routes and surfaces a lot, so that has been fun.

New England white church

I love the quintessential New England sights during my runs.

Something that’s not so fun is my nagging tennis elbow. When I went back to the orthopedist earlier in May, he told me to take the next four weeks and stretch–that’s it. Well, I  have, and guess what? No difference. I haven’t stayed off of it completely because I don’t want the tendon to get tight from no use, but I don’t do anything that hurts it.

I go back to him on Monday and I’m kind of dreading it. I know he’ll offer me another cortisone injection and will make a convincing argument, but I don’t want it. PRP or prolotherapy are the last options before surgery, which I also definitely don’t want. While it’s holding me back from doing a lot of workout moves that I want, I am just going with the flow more than I used to.

  • Work on reducing exposure to pesticides, hormones, chemicals, and other toxins: B+

We’re still conscious of the types of meats, dairy, and other food we buy. I’ve been going to Whole Foods more regularly to buy their organic almond milk, which is surprisingly less expensive than our usual grocery store. I go through a decent amount of it every week between smoothies and my new obsession, overnight oats.

Gluten free overnight oats

That brings us to the end. A recap my monthly grades for the year:
January: C
February: B-
March: B+
April: B+
May…B+! Still holding steady and I will take it!

For the past two months I’ve talked about how I want to work on slowing down. It hasn’t happened to the degree I would like, but both myself and WHH are conscious of taking small steps to make it happen. June isn’t quite as jam-packed for us as May was, but it is slowly filling up. It’s often WHH’s busiest month at work as the school year comes to a close and everyone’s rushing to get everything done.

Though he is technically off for two months, he will be keeping himself busy with some classes and curriculum planning because he finally got his dream job last month: a full-time high school art teacher. So proud of this guy.

Two thumbs up

Out celebrating last month

All in all, June is still looking busy, but we have time planned to kick back and relax, if only for short bursts of time. I know we’ll make every effort to enjoy those moments, no matter how brief, so that it recharges us to go on to the next thing.

Questions: How are you doing with any goals you set for the year? Do you have time planned in the next month to relax a bit? Any accomplishments that you want to brag about?

New Year’s Goals Check-In: April

Happy May! How did the month of April look for you? Anything you’re looking forward to in the next month? Here’s a breakdown of my goals for the New Year and how I did in April:

Personal Goals

  • Try a new trend/clothing item I wouldn’t normally: N/A

After putting away the winter clothes and taking out the spring/summer clothes, I’m good for now, though I will probably need some summer clothes since I was running low last year. I also remembered a bag of clothes I had put aside from the tailor when I lost too much weight. I tried the clothes on and three of the five items now fit well enough that I don’t need them taken in. Still tempted to try Stitch Fix.

  • Take more pictures: B

I’m still taking a lot of pictures and keeping them organized moving forward. We received our Shutterfly book and it’s such a nice little memento to look through. I still want to go back through our vacation pictures more thoroughly to organize/make notes on them and get more printed for an old-fashioned photo album. And wedding pics? Yeah…

Shutterfly vacation book

A funny series of picture from the top of the incredibly sunny Jungfraujoch.

  •  Make a new menu item weekly: A-

This past month we’ve been flying by the seat of our pants a bit. It’s been crazy with work, studying, working out, and family/friends, so we’ve been less creative than usual and definitely have not done much meal planning. I’m going to curve this grade a bit, though, because class comes first and we’re still eating plenty clean and healthy.

One new recipe I did make? Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie from Cook Smarts. Yummy, yum, yum!

Deconstructed shepherd's pie

One thing I have been really good at: “use it up” recipes. That is, using up all of the leftovers in my fridge for a random meal. Last night I had some eggplant, pepper, shallot, Brussels sprouts leaves, stewed tomatoes,and tempeh that needed to be used. Et voila, a take on ratatouille:

Left over meal

  • Travel: A

Tickets to Colorado are booked! Now we need fill in the blanks of where to stay (hopefully with my brother in the Boulder area for a few days) and what to do (hiking, horseback riding, etc.). I would love any suggestions if you’ve been there before!

A trip to the Netherlands to visit friends is still possible later this year, though not probable.

  • Read more, especially instead of watching TV: B+

When aren’t I reading?! I feel like all I do is read! This month’s school assignments have included incredibly long chapters, as well as double chapters this past week. I’m a regular book’s worth (~300 pages) through A Storm of Swords (which is even longer!)!

TV has been average, with some of our favorite shows all back on at the same time (A Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Vikings, and Call the Midwife). We try to portion it out so we watch on weekends nights only. Do you watch any of these shows? We only know two other people who watch Vikings and can’t believe it’s not more popular given how popular GOT is. Lagertha is one of my favorite characters because she is so bad a$$. I could go on and on about how good this show is (not as good as GOT, though), but since this is my reading instead of watching TV goal, I’ll save myself the shame.

History Channel Vikings

Speaking of shame…I have a “french fry” (no good for me, but tastes so good!) show: Total Divas. I am absolutely fascinated by this world of tough, athletic women that throw themselves around. I may even follow the Bella Twins on Instagram and Twitter. I try to watch only when I’m foam rolling or icing, because I really don’t have time for this.

Total Divas

This month has consisted of nothing but the necessary, so a no-go on the Pinterest board. I’m scaling it because classwork is to blame (so she says after talking about TV shows!) and I’m not going to give myself a hard time for not getting to it when that’s what I’m spending most of my time on.

  • Simplify house further: B+

Yet another bag of items off to be donated as well as a Thred Up bag to be sent! Still no-go on the dreaded closet, but see legitimate excuse above.

Thred Up logo

  • Meet with financial advisor: C+

Still haven’t done this. I’m thinking I may move it to the end of the summer when I will be done with classes for a few weeks and can properly concentrate. Scaled accordingly.

  • Write reviews, such as for products and travel:C+

Ugh. I am seriously tanking this month. April obviously kicked my butt. Will re-assess the TV situation for sure.

Professional:

  • Take co-requisite courses for nursing school: A+

It’s my last week of A&P I (still holding a 95% average!) and A&P II starts in three weeks, so I get one week off in between.

Dissection for Anatomy & Physiology I

  • Start nursing school: TBD

Still on the wait-list for Fall 2014. My focus is on finishing A&P I, getting through A&P II, and then I’ll go from there.

  • Get better at WordPress and blogging in general: B+

I had my first guest post this month and was definitely better with posting at more consistent times and prepping more posts ahead of time, so I feel really good about that given how busy the month was.

  • As time allows, get personal training and/or nutritionist certification: TBD

Still not a focus right now, though it is on my mind a lot . A possibility for the fall…

Health and Wellness:

  • Try a new physical endeavor as my body continues to heal from all of the injuries last year: B+

No quite as good as last month. My focus has been mainly on trying to maintain a routine during some busy weeks, and to keep moving forward in my Return to Running program. I have ventured out on some trails, though, and have made a big effort to find new routes at every chance.

April train run

Friday’s run was stage 16! My right knee felt a little funny during part of the run, so I’ve been icing and taking it easy the past few days. It’s my weird knee that acts up from time to time. I think I overdid it during one of Jillian’s workouts that had a lot of plyo training. I just need to not do that anymore. My knees never like me after I do. Trying not to think too much about it.

Hill running

Lots of hills on Friday’s run. Kept saying to myself, “You can do this!”  instead of “When will this hill end?!”

I’m done with the 12 days of prednisone for my tennis elbow and while it felt fabulous the first few days, pain and stiffness shortly returned. After being in training all week last week and not doing much computer mousing, it definitely felt looser and I was able to do some wall and knee push-ups for the first time since December. I think that may be the key: keeping it loose long enough so I can strengthen it. I asked for another ergonomic evaluation at work, hoping that might help the situation. I go back to my orthopedist tomorrow and will probably refuse the second cortisone injection I’m sure they’re going to offer me. Second opinion is next.

  • Work on reducing exposure to pesticides, hormones, chemicals, and other toxins: B+

We’ve continued to make an effort to buy more natural meats, whether they’re vegetarian-fed (the cheapest of the natural meats), grass-fed, and/or organic. I’ve also been checking out the 365 Everyday Value brand at Whole Foods a lot more and the prices are not only reasonable, they’re often less than Market Basket’s equivalent. Love it!

365 Everday Value logo

To recap my monthly grades so far:

January: C
February: B-
March: B+
And April…B+! Whew…I seriously thought it was going to go down. I’ll take a steady B+ for now given how crazy this month was.

Last month I mentioned that I wanted to focus on more on slowing down. That didn’t exactly happen and as this new month started I was thinking how every day was going by so quickly and I felt like I was doing what I could to just get through it, making sure to eat healthy, work out, get my school work done, and maybe have time to read for pleasure and/or watch TV, let alone get to house stuff.

We did have some fun, having friends over one weekend night, attending some family events, and then celebrating my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday in style at Nebo in Boston (delicious food, great service, and gluten-free menu!). But it’s still a lot. WHH has a lot going on, too, but I’m hoping as his school year comes to a close in the next two months and the lazy days of summer are upon us, we’ll find time to stop and smell the roses. For now, I’ll have to just enjoy the little moments, such as this beautiful scene I caught on my way to work this morning.

May sunrise

Questions: How are you doing with any goals you set for the year? Did April go by as quickly and crazily for you or were you able to stop and enjoy it?

Friday Favorite + Crazy Running Update

Today’s Friday Favorite was a gift from my parents when they used the Christmas gift we gave them. Huh? Well, our Christmas gift to my parents was a chocolate tour in Boston’s South End.  They had a blast and picked up some goodies along the way! My favorite item they picked up for us is Not Your Sugar Mama’s Be Cozy. That probably doesn’t mean much to you, so let’s look at what it is:

Not You Sugar Mama's Be Cozy front

It’s a Superfood Chocolate Mix! It contains raw cacao, coconut palm sugar, lucuma, cinnamon, mesquite, Himalayan sea salt, and vanilla. It’s absolutely delicious and good for you! I usually add about a teaspoon into my weekend smoothies.

Green smoothie with Not Your Sugar Mama's Be Cozy

I’ve also had it straight up as hot chocolate, adding a 50/50 mix of skim milk and almond milk.

Hot chocolate with Not Your Sugar Mama's Be Cozy

I love that it’s not overly sweet, but oh so chocolate-y.

I also love that it’s from a local company. NYSM was founded on the lovely Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard (yes, of Kennedy/Clinton/Obama/James Taylor/Jaws fame). If you’ve never had a chance to go, it is a wonderful place! I had never been until I started dating my husband 13 years ago as his family usually goes once a year and they were sweet enough to always ask me along. It’s a bit pricey and very crowded in the summer, but if you go with people who know the island and the quieter side of it, it’s heavenly.

Oak Bluffs ferry August 2012

Oak Bluffs, MV

I digress. This continuous winter weather has me dreaming of the warmer months to come.

Weather lately March 14, 2014

Anyway, back to the product! As you can see from the label, there are a lot of benefits to the ingredients they chose.

Not Your Sugar Mama's Be Cozy ingredients

You can currently only buy it through their online store or at one of the stores listed on their website. I’m hoping it comes to the Whole Foods near me soon so I can try all of their other delicious products! Oh, and be sure to check out their recipe page since smoothies and hot chocolate are just the tip of the iceberg!

Not Your Sugar Mama's Be Cozy inside

So sad to be nearing the bottom 😦

In running news, I’m happy to actually have some news for you! It’s kind of crazy news and may not even end up being news and wasn’t even news I was sure I wanted to share (yes, I was trying to see how much I could cram the word news into two sentences, just for fun—was that obnoxious?). It all started when Lora  shared a post  about Runner’s World giving away a vacation to Iceland. Having had a stopover there this past summer, I’m definitely intrigued to go back! As I read more of her post and checked out the entry website, I realized it also included two entries into the Reykjavík Marathon.

Now, I have never had the urge to run a marathon and figured I probably never would just because of the physical and mental toll, and especially because of my injuries this past year. But as I looked at it the entry more, I thought, “Why the heck not?” Now, don’t get me wrong—I realize my chance of winning this is about 1 in a million.

But I thought to myself, what if I did win? Could I even do it? Let’s see…the race is August 23. That’s about 23 weeks from now. Heck…I actually could! So, yeah, I’ve decided I’m going to start training with the mindset that I will run a marathon in August.

I realize this thinking is completely backwards. I’ve never done a half marathon, not even a 10k (I was training for one when I was injured last January)! Add on the fact that I’m coming back from an injury, and it sounds really, really stupid. This is not how I would normally think.

As cheesy as it sounds, this quote popped up in my head as I was contemplating all of this (whose author is either Les Brown or Norman Vincent Peale, depending on who you ask).

Shoot for the stars quote

The plan is to train for a marathon for the end of the summer/beginning of the fall. If my body isn’t taking it, I’ll scale it back to a half marathon. If my body still isn’t there, I’ll scale back to a 10k. And if I’m not even at that point, I’ll aim for a 5k. Again, backwards way of thinking because it seems like I’m setting myself up for disappointment, but I’m hopeful.

I’m especially hopeful because after my plantar fasciitis had been flaring up in the past few weeks, it’s finally started to feel better because I’ve done something I haven’t been doing: I’m pushing the issue. I bought ones of these based on advice from Emily, have been making sure to ice every day, and even ran two days in a row, going up a level the second day! Plus, I’ve started wearing regular shoes for half the day (I throw on my Cole Haans with my new orthotics, seen below in the middle, or sneakers, back on for the other half of the day).

Shoes shoes shoes

As you can see from above, I’m still rocking the KT tape, but I’m getting there! Finally! And I’m testing it out again tomorrow!

So that’s the big (though not definite) news for now. What about you? Anything crazy and new you’re doing? Anything you’re loving lately?

2013 Year in Review, Part 2

Today is a continuation of yesterday’s post looking back on the year that was 2013. If you didn’t have a chance to read Part 1 yet (overall summary as well as more detailed January-June recaps), you can do that here.

July

It was time for our trip! I couldn’t believe how months of planning suddenly came together. We had an amazing time, and though my glutes and back did tire by the end of each day, I was able to do EVERYTHING I wanted (thanks in party to having The Stick on hand).

Departing for Europe

Our first stop was Paris. This was my second time in Paris, and the husband’s first. We stayed at a rented flat that is between the Louvre and Opera. The view out our window onto the quintessential Parisian street with a view of the Tuileries Garden Ferris wheel was beautiful:

969771_800302869575_1995230441_n

We spent jam-packed days in Paris soaking in all the sights before it was off to what ended up being our favorite part of the trip: Switzerland! The scenery was gorgeous and the difference in the quiet serenity, compared to the bustling city, was a welcome change.

At the top of Jungfraujoch

At the top of Jungfraujoch

Only three short days later, and we were on to Florence! I was hesitant to book the Cinque Terre hiking tour before leaving because I wasn’t sure how my body would handle all of the climbing, but it ended up being one of our favorite things that we did. It was definitely a work-out (and the heat didn’t help), and at this point my glutes were starting to give out, but I felt fine pushing ahead because I knew we might not have the opportunity to do it again.

Near the end of our sweaty hike. Gelato-here we come!

Near the end of our sweaty hike. Gelato, here we come!

Our favorite food was definitely in Italy. It was easiest for me to find a variety of food to eat as I’m gluten intolerant. I’m also more familiar with Italian foods and they offer a lot of naturally gluten-free items.  I even had a gluten-free pizza and gluten-free carbonara! Plus, endless amounts of gelato was needed to replace calories we burned from walking all day and to escape for the heat, if only momentarily.

Mmmmm!

Once we explored the Tuscany area for three days, we were on to our last stop: Rome. I had been wanting to go to Rome ever since taking an art history class in college. I couldn’t wait to see Saint Peter’s and the Sistine Chapel. They didn’t disappoint. The light inside could only be described as heavenly.

Holy light

Inside St. Peter’s

I was so relieved that our vacation was everything I hoped it would be and more.

I went back to physical therapy the day after we got back from our trip for a quick check-in. I was feeling so much better that they decide to discharge me with instructions that I could slowly start to ramp up my activity. I was thrilled!

August

I started to slowly amp up my activity, working in short intervals of jogging with walking. I even ventured around the same lake that was the place of my last run in January.

Lake run

Those intervals of jogging were pure bliss to me. I was so happy and thankful to be able to run again, if only for a few minutes at a time.

September

I was up to about a half mile of jogging at a time (approximately five minutes) when I started to get some pain in my heels, worse on the right than the left. I knew right away that it was probably plantar fasciitis (PF). I decided to see if Active Release Technique (ART) could help me. After four weeks and four sessions, I wasn’t feeling much better, so I saw a podiatrist.

An x-ray of my left foot showed that I have a flat foot and probable PF. The podiatrist knew I wanted to treat it aggressively, so she gave me a cortisone injection, wrapped it, gave me heel cups, and told me I needed to wear only sneakers and to wear them from the moment my feet hit the ground in the morning until I go to bed at night. I was to follow-up with her in a couple of weeks.

Plantar start

Another month, another cortisone injection, this time in the heel (where the bandaid is).

A co-worker and I had started a running group after work two days a week. I was bummed that I couldn’t join them running, but I still went to help with dynamic warm ups, walking behind them as they ran, and cool-down stretches. The group quickly disbanded as we had less and less interest, mostly due to the increasingly cold days and everyone’s busy fall schedules. We’re hoping to start it back up in the spring and fingers crossed that I’ll be able to run at this point with the group!

Looking for answers about my back.

Looking for answers about my back.

At the recommendation of my physical therapist, I saw a physiatrist to learn if there is anything else I needed to know about the sacralization in my back. He confirmed what my chiropractor said about the pain signals being sent to my glutes and told me it should continue to get better. He asked me what I would do if I didn’t have glute pain and I told him everything and anything possible. He told me that is exactly what I should do from now on; the sacralization shouldn’t affect me going forward, though I may have a flare-up from time to time.

October

I started physical therapy for my PF after not having any luck with ART or the cortisone injection. My podiatrist told me I had improved since September, but it would take a while to heel (teehee).

My husband ran another half marathon. He beat his March half marathon time by over ten minutes! Though I was a bit sad to be at another race and still not able to run, I was grateful to be in such a better place mentally and physically that I didn’t allow myself to have a personal pity party. No need to fixate on the negative.

Oct half

Don’t let the sleeveless top fool you-it was an incredibly cold, rainy, and windy day.

We did a lot of walking during a long weekend visit to see my brother in Washington, DC. My feet bothered me a lot and ended up setting me back a bit, but it was nothing compared to the government shutdown that was going on at the time.

Everyone respectfully disobeyed these signs.

Everyone respectfully disobeyed signs such as these.

We brought our fathers to see one of our favorite bands of all time, Pearl Jam! We hadn’t seen them in concert since 2005.

Pearl Jam

For Halloween, I went as my gal, Jillian Michaels.

Me as Jillian

November

I finally start the blog I’ve been wanting to for months and months! I am so excited to be able to share my experiences and knowledge with all of you! I can’t wait to see how this blog develops!

I wanted to try ART again for my elbow and on-again, off-again longtime rotator cuff problem. Interestingly, the ART practitioner thought the two problems were related. I stopped after two treatments because my health insurance flexible spending account (FSA) had been drained thanks to all of the physical therapy. At $50 per 20 minute treatment it’s a bit pricey, so I’d prefer to pay for it tax-free. I’m hoping to start back in the next few weeks so I can get it fixed once and for all!

As you may already know from following my blog, I was discharged from physical therapy for the second time in November. I am forever grateful for all my PT did for me over the past few months.

December

I’ve started to amp up my running, this time much more slowly than in August. I am beyond happy to finally be on the track to health and being able to run again. Your encouragement has meant a lot to me! The year quickly came to a close with Christmas and my brother-in-law’s thirtieth birthday.

WHH starting a fire on Christmas eve.

Tower of boxes

Wilbur Christmas

New Year’s Eve quickly followed.

Me New Year's

WHH New Year's

And here we are in 2014!

New Year’s Day lunch

I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for all of you. I have a lot planned for this year, which I will share with you for tomorrow’s Friday Favorite.

Please feel free to comment, make suggestions, and ask questions! I would love to hear from you!

Cheers,

Whole Health Dork

Friday Favorite: Siggi’s Yogurt

Hi everyone! Can you believe it’s already Friday? This week went by quickly!

I discovered today’s Friday Favorite during a trip my husband and I took this past summer to Europe. We flew Icelandair on our way to Paris, which had a stopover in Reykjavík, Iceland. We arrived around 6:30 AM local time. The sun was just rising, but we couldn’t see anything because of the extremely dense fog. The best way to describe the Keflavík International Airport airport is Ikea chic. It was extremely clean, crisp, and modern looking.

My husband hamming it up on the Keflavík tarmac.

My husband hamming it up on the Keflavík tarmac.

Although it was more like 1:30 AM to us, we decided we should grab a quick breakfast/snack before getting on our connection an hour later. There was a cute little café with to-go items and, not knowing the language, I figured that the yogurt would be the safest gluten-free item for me. It was delicious! Granted, I’m sure anything would have been delicious to me since I was over-tired and over-excited. I had heard stories about how different the yogurt is in Europe (creamier and slightly more tart due to less sugar), and after just one bite, I was already in love with it!

Click picture for source

Click picture for source

I have been trying to find similar yogurt here at home so I can relive the experience and enjoy a simpler, healthier yogurt. Apparently the food gods heard my prayers because my local grocery store started stocking skyr, the Icelandic-style yogurt. Because the whey is strained, it ends up being a much creamier product.

My favorite brand that I’ve tried is Siggi. Their tag line says it all: “simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar”. I adore the one with coconut flavor, which is very mild. A coworker bought it at my suggestion and thought it was much too sour, so I think my palate has just adjusted since I have started consuming more plain yogurt.

Siggi's coconut

I’ve also tried the vanilla and thought that was equally delicious! Be sure to check out the rest of the flavors and products on their website.

Has anyone else tried skyr yogurt? Siggi’s in particular or another brand?