healthy

The Thanksgiving Post

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My partner and I are hosting Thanksgiving for our families for the first time this year. I’ve hosted one Thanksgiving before, but it was about six or seven years ago so it’s been a while. The one thing my Mom instilled on me when it comes to making a large meal like this is doing as much prep ahead of time so I can actually enjoy the day.

I’ve opted to go with a fairly traditional Thanksgiving. This is mostly so I don’t stress about testing out a ton of new recipes ahead of time, and I also feel it gives a neutral playing field for getting our families together: a little familiar, a little new. That said, I had to go the extra mile with a few recipes to add some of my values: using organic ingredients, local ingredients when available and altering some ingredients to make dishes healthier and I believe tastier. I thought I’d share my menu and prep work with you in the hopes it may inspire you this Thanksgiving.

You will notice that this is not a paleo menu. Despite my mostly cooking paleo at home, I wasn’t ready to force this on a crowd at our first Thanksgiving. Plus, deep down inside I really love me some gluten. You will, however, notice this menu is dairy-free (aside from the appetizers and mashed potatoes guests are bringing). I highly suspect no one will even notice the missing dairy thanks to some exceptional substitutes! Check it out!

Make as much in advance and freeze it! You're looking at Carrot Cardamom Soup, Apple Pie Filling, Maple Pumpkin Pie filling, Paleo Mushroom Soup (for Green Bean Casserole), and Sweet Potato Casserole.
Make as much in advance and freeze it! You’re looking at Carrot Cardamom Soup, Apple Pie Filling, Maple Pumpkin Pie filling, Paleo Mushroom Soup (for Green Bean Casserole), and Sweet Potato Casserole.

The Menu

Key: P=Paleo, DF=Dairy Free, GF=Gluten Free, V=Vegan

  • Appetizers: I can’t help you here, guests are bringing these.
  • Carrot Cardamom Soup, P/DF/GF, make in advance and freeze
  • Brined Spatchcocked Turkey, I’m using the William-Sonoma Brine, this might be a cop-out considering how easy brine is to make, but it’s tried-and-true in our family. I’m also stuffing the skin with ghee before roasting. This will be the first time in 5 years that we’re not having a bacon-wrapped turkey because my partner wanted to really taste just the turkey skin.
  • Sweet Potato Casserole, P/DF/GF/V, recipe below, make plain casserole in advance and freeze before cooking.
  • Green Bean CasseroleP/DF/GF, I used this soup recipe and blended it smooth with an immersion blender. I’ll be using the recipe for fried onions found here for the topping. Make the soup in advance and freeze. The casserole can be put together a day in advance, as can the fried onions. Then add the onions and cook on Thanksgiving day.
  • Homemade Gravy, recipe below
  • Homemade Cranberry Sauce, I add chopped pecans and orange zest to this recipe. It can also be done with maple syrup but I’m doing maple in the pumpkin pie and didn’t want maple-overload. Make up to a week in advance and refrigerate.
  • Sausage Stuffing, if you follow the recipe as written this is P/DF/GF. I’m using Whole Foods’ stuffing bread though so mine will not be GF. I’m also omitting the pepper.
  • Mashed Potatoes (provided by a guest)
  • Apple Pie, DF I use my Mom’s very traditional recipe for this.
  • Maple Pumpkin Pie, DF, recipe below

Sweet Potato Casserole (P/DF/GF/V)

Ingredients:

  • 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes in a pot of salted water for ~20 minutes, until they become soft. Drain.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and use an immersion blender to blend smooth (or put in a food processor or blender to blend).
  3. At this point you can put this in a casserole dish or ziplock and freeze until the day before Thanksgiving. If you want to proceed…
  4. Add to casserole dish and bake for ~20 minutes at 350ºF. If you’d like a paleo topping check out the pecan topping found here. I’m personally cheating here and topping with marshmallows because…well, marshmallows.

Homemade Gravy

Full disclosure: I found this recipe at Whole Foods but it’s too good to not share! I did make a couple minor adjustments.

Ingredients:

  • Pan drippings and brown bits at the bottom of the pan
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup turkey stock (see recipe below)
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder mixed with 3 tbsp of water
  • 2 tsp porcini mushroom dust (I bought dried porcini mushrooms and will be grinding them)
  • salt, pepper and fresh parsley to taste

Directions:

  1. Remove turkey from roasting pan and set aside to rest.
  2. Deglaze pan with the wine and stock, making sure to scrape off all the brown bits.
  3. Your choice to pour this into a saucepan or continue by making the gravy in the roasting pan.
  4. Add arrowroot powder mixture and stir until thick.
  5. Add butter, mushroom dust, parsley and spices. Serve hot.

Stock Ingredients:

  • Neck, giblets (not the liver as it can make the stock bitter) and backbone (if spatchcocking) from the turkey
  • Water
  • 1-2 stalks celery, halved
  • ½ an onion, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt + pepper

Stock Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, add giblets and cover with water.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil and let it cook away until it’s about half of the amount you started with.
  4. Let cool, remove fat layer, and reduce again until rich and golden. Strain.
  5. This can be made ahead of time and frozen. I’ll be doing it day-of since that’s when I’ll be cutting out the backbone.

Maple Pumpkin Pie (DF)

A good portion of this recipe was taken from this recipe (and you can find a Paleo crust there if you’d like), but I doctored it up a bit. The filling is VERY easy to make and can be made ahead and frozen. If you’d like to make the whole pie in one shot start with the directions for the crust.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 15oz can of puréed pumpkin (you can also make your own, but from what I’ve read it’s very hard to get the right consistency when you roast your own and it’s often too wet)
  • 2/3 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp maple extract

Filling Directions:

  1. Blend nuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Add eggs, honey and maple syrup and blend for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth (you could also add some of the coconut milk if it’s too thick for your food processor or blender to puree well). It is very important to blend until completely smooth, otherwise your custard will be watery.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined.
  3. At this point you can put this in a ziplock bag and freeze it until the day before you want to make the pie. Then just defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  4. If you’d like to continue, add the filling to a pre-baked pie crust and cook for ~40 minutes at 350ºF.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • ½ cup leaf lard
  • ¼ cup butter or coconut oil if you’re going for dairy-free
  • 3-4 tbsp very cold water
  • zest from a small orange
  • 1/8 cup pecan meal (grind pecans)
  • 1 egg white, beaten

Crust Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF
  2. In medium mixing bowl combine flour, pecan meal, orange-zest, and sugar.
  3. Cut in lard and butter until pea-sized beads are formed.
  4. Add water 1tbsp at a time and knead into the batter until it is smooth enough to roll into a ball without pieces flaking off–if it becomes sticky and thin add more flour.
  5. Grease a 9″ pie plate and dust with flour.
  6. Roll out the crust batter with a floured rolling pin on a floured surface until round. Place in the pie plate and lightly pat down to form into the pie plate. Press edges with a fork.
  7. If you have them, add pie weights to help the crust keep it’s shape while cooking. If you don’t have pie weights, pierce the crust with a fork every ¼” or so to stop the shell from bubbling up while it bakes.
  8. Bake for ~20 minutes, until the crust is just starting to brown.
  9. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before adding filling.

I’ll add pictures once the meal is cooked. 🙂 What are your favorite Thanksgiving treats? What tricks do you have for prep work?

Feeling Great!

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I’m continuing to find improvement with my knee! Next week I’ll only be heading to PT once and as long as things are still going in the upward direction she shouldn’t need to see me again for a month, woo!! I’ve learned a lot during this process and I’m thrilled that not only did I manage to not lose fitness during my recovery period, but I’ve actually gained a ton of glute, hip, core and leg strength. I can’t say this enough, if you’re in PT do your exercises. Seriously. Your recovery is your responsibility. They’re not giving you exercises for their health, they’re giving you exercises for your health. Do them.

With that said, here’s my week in review of exercise. It was my “hell week” at work as we prepare for students to return to school so that included rolling out new machines on campus, reimaging the entire campus, rolling out six new servers and completely re-doing the server rack. In other words, it was a very physical week at work for me. I adjusted my workouts accordingly.

Saturday:

  • This was my “rest day”. I took Toby for a short hike and a swim at Burgess Pond. It was probably 45 minutes of activity and much more of just lounging. 🙂

Sunday:

  • 30 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike
  • 30 minute Barre Pilates class

Monday:

  • 30 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike
  • ZuzkaLight’s Kettlebell Series Workout #1 – I was particularly thrilled to get back to working out with Zuzka. This was the first time since I’ve been injured. I did have to substitute one exercise, but this was a fantastic workout. I’ll post the workout here (with my modification) for posterity, but for the record if you like high intensity workouts I really recommend her ZGym. It’s paid, I have no affiliation with her, but I’ve been doing her workouts for three years now and I love them! You can find many free workouts from her on YouTube.
    • 2 Rounds:
      • 40 Side-to-Side Kettlebell Swings
      • 10 Warrior Rows (LEFT)
      • Standing single-leg kick-backs x 12 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights)
      • 10 Warrior Rows (RIGHT)
      • 20 Clams
  • 20 mins yoga, focused on legs.
  • This was the day we loaded out all the new machines, mostly desktops. It was 8 hours of lifting and being on my feet. If I knew in advance that’s what my day was going to be I would not have done the above intense workout. Thankfully, my knee made it through ok!

Tuesday:

  • 15 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike.
  • 45 minutes advanced yoga. I didn’t go into it expecting it to be as hard-core a class as it was. After Monday I needed some recovery, but this was intense!
  • Another full day of being on my feet along with some lifting but not as much as Monday.

Wednesday:

  • 30 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike
  • Double-leg-lift w/ crunch x 15 (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle)
  • Side leg-lifts x 15 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle)
  • Standing single-leg kick-backs x 15 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights)
  • Completely redid the server room solo. LOTS of lifting, crawling, bending, etc.

Thursday:

Friday:

  • 30 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike
  • 15 minutes restorative yoga
  • Gave 2.5 hours of deep tissue massage
  • 1 hour gentle yoga practice
  • I’m hopefully also going to do a round of my PT exercises today. The day is still young. 🙂

You may notice I didn’t climb this week. That was more due to my energy level this week and the amount I used my upper body at work. I’m looking forward to getting back to the rock gym next week!!

From Upswing to Awesome!

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Well my PT was right, this was my week! Wearing the brace while exercising has made a marked difference with my patella tracking. I’ll have to post about the particular brace that I’m using but I don’t have it on me at the moment. I’ve really amazed myself by what I’ve been able to do pain-free this week. Here are my past two days of exercise:

Thursday:

AM:

  1. 15 minutes on the recumbent bike.
  2. 45 minutes climbing. I felt stronger climbing today and was sad that I only had 45 minutes to spend doing it. I completed all of the V0s in the gym, many V1s and worked on a V2 that was all heal hooks (my favorite but tough on the knees). All-in-all it was a *lot* of deep squats and I didn’t feel pain, yay!!

PM:

  1. 75 minute Intermediate Yoga class. This is my favorite class of the week with my favorite teacher, Nina Carmel. I was ready to rock when I came in and she taught a very challenging and creative class. Not only did I succeed, but I did poses I didn’t think I’d be able to do for months (crow, several planks, tree, deep deep warriors, chair pose) and a *ton* of balancing. My knee didn’t hurt. I iced it afterwards just in case (my PT said I may want to do that) but I feel great today. It’s night and day from just a week ago and worlds better than a month ago. I really impressed myself and came home in such a great mood that as soon as I said “hello!” my partner knew I was psyched!

Friday:

  1. My rhomboids are killing me today from all the upper body work I’ve done this week (and we did a lot of “flying” in yoga, using my back muscles) so I didn’t work upper body today. Instead I did my PT leg exercises:
    1. Double-leg-lift w/ crunch x 15 (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle)
    2. Side leg-lifts x 15 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle)
    3. Standing single-leg kick-backs x 15 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights)
  2. Then it was off to the gym to swim 500 meters.
  3. I’m scheduled to give 4 hours and 15 minutes of deep tissue massage today so I’ll get the rest of my workout in there!

Cheers to feeling great and I hope to keep riding this upswing to the top!

Upswing

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It’s been a good week! Let me break it down by workout!

Monday found me back in the gym for a pretty intense workout. I actually got so caught up in circuit training that I never made it to the pool. I can’t say I missed the smell of chlorine in my hair though. 😉 This is what I did:

  1. 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, interval training but no steep hills (per PT).
  2. Circuit 2 x:
    1. Double-leg-lift w/ crunch x 15 (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle)
    2. Side leg-lifts x 15 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle)
    3. Standing single-leg deadlifts to kick-backs x 15 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle and using 26.5 lb KB)
    4. TRX low rows x 10
    5. Bicep curls x 10 (using 12 lb weights)
    6. Bicep forearm curls (using 12 lb weights)
    7. Overhead tricep extensions on an exercise ball (using 15 lb weight)
    8. French presses on an exercise ball (using 15 lb weight)
    9. Weighted pilates sit-ups (using 15 lb weight)
  3. 15 mins stretching, including full leg stretch series with resistance band.

I felt great after this workout and I saw my PT later that morning. She says my quads are getting noticeably stronger and as my vastus medialis strengthens the tracking issue with my patella should resolve. The brace I bought is making a huge difference and the PT encouraged me to start trying short-duration squats, lunges and planks.

The BIG news is TUESDAY I CLIMBED!!! Woo-hoo!! That also means I’ve re-discovered muscles in my back that I forgot I had. 😀 I started by riding a bike at the rock gym for 15 minutes and then I hit the walls. Whoo, I forgot what a cardio workout climbing is, coming into it with a sweat from the bike was tough! I started by climbing all of the V0’s, and I was feeling really good. I even did a V0 that was all overhang and it felt good and smooth. The leg exercises that my PT has had me working on are very core/psoas oriented which was perfect prep for hitting the rock walls. I felt strong despite not climbing in over a month. I then hit some V1s and a V2- before I decided I had enough. That was only about 45 minutes of climbing, but it was a great start and again the knee brace made the tracking issue nonexistent.

Tuesday after work I took a trek to Mission Hill in Boston to check out a recumbent stationary bike I found on Craigslist. It was totally what I wanted and at a good price so it was worth the almost 2 hours of driving to get it. When I got it home I did 30 mins on it.

I’ll admit, after two days of pretty intense workouts my knee was a bit sore today at the distal  tendon attachment. So this morning I just did pilates with a glute focus. I did play with squatting and lunging a bit in there. I’ve also found that planks are pretty comfortable with the knee brace so I’m excited to start doing more plank exercises. When I went to PT today I let her know I was sore, but much better than last week. She was happy with my progress and told me some sore is ok, but to monitor it. She thinks I’m on an upswing and that’s my hope and thought too.

CLIMBING AGAIN TOMORROW WOOHOO!!!!!

Killer Sunday Morning

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It’s a little hard to believe that today I’ve already been to the airport, my office, spent 1.5 hours at the gym and had an awesome breakfast and it’s not even 9:30am yet. You can do a lot when you get up at 4am…not that I recommend it. 😉

One big plus was that the gym was dead, so I felt more comfortable there than usual, and I enjoyed a whole lane to myself in the pool. Here was today’s workout. I have to say it felt harder than it looks on paper, probably because I was pretty exhausted to start with. The total time was 1.5 hours:

  1. 30 minute spinning using intervals (I used their built-in spin class option and it actually wasn’t bad, I enjoyed it more than the real spin class I took on Monday mostly because the instructor was very detailed and took a lot of time to explain proper form)
  2. Two sets of the following:
    1. Hanging straight leg lifts x 5
    2. TRX Low Row x 10
    3. Kettlebell Swings x 30 (12kg/26.5 lbs)
    4. Side-plank leg-lifts x 10 each side
    5. Lying on stomach, lift one leg back, foot pointed x 10 each side
    6. Weighted sit-ups x 10 (15 lbs)
    7. Weighted seated twists x 20 (15 lbs)
  3. ~10 minutes of stretching, including a full leg series with a resistance band.
  4. 500 meters swimming, various strokes.

Then I hung out in the hot tub for a little bit, aiming the jets at my ITBs, which have been pretty tight this week due to all the cycling. I was thrilled that my PT cleared me to do the KB swings again, though she wants me to try to keep my legs straight, and I normally add squats to them. That was a little challenging but not bad.

I got creative today with the PT exercises. From my previous entries, this is what I’ve been tasked to do daily:

  1. Leg lift series (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle, per PT):
    Single-leg-lift x 30 each side
    Side leg-lifts x 30 each side
    Lying on stomach, lift one leg back, foot pointed x 30 each side

I had already modified the forward leg lifts and was adding crunches and doing some as double-legs instead of single. The hanging leg lifts today were really intense and more full-body than my previous modification. I really struggled to complete 10 and am looking forward to building up to 20 at a time and beyond. Doing the side-leg-lifts in a side-plank was also quite intense and more full-body. I love that both challenged my core. For the reverse lifts I still did it the old way today, mostly due to exhaustion. I’d like to possible try them with the TRX the next time I’m back in the gym.

So that wraps up my last workout before Seattle. I’m still trying to figure out what I can do there to remain active. I’m bringing my yoga mat and am hoping to bring my ankle weights, with some of the weight removed, as long as I don’t go over the bag weight limit. I really want to rent a bike but have been FLOORED by the prices for a one week rental. I could actually buy a bike on Craiglist and give it away at the end of the week for less than the cost of renting a bike. Honestly, our car rental is cheaper than renting a bike. There is seriously something wrong with that equation.

Wish me luck and remember that injury doesn’t need to equate to a sedentary lifestyle. There’s always *something* you can do to keep moving. 🙂

Steak and Exercise

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I got a good cardio workout in today, plus those evil PT exercises:

Time: 1:15

  1. Leg lift series (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle, per PT):
    Single-leg-lift-crunches x 30 each side
    Side leg-lifts x 30 each side
    Lying on stomach, lift one leg back, foot pointed x 30 each side
  2. 30 mins cycling, using Random intervals, average level 8.
  3. 30 mins swimming laps.

I was feeling all that cardio today, more-so than earlier in the week. I greatly enjoyed a little nap afterwards. 🙂

As always, exercise needs to be paired with a good diet to be effective. Last night I made a stellar carne asada and baby kale salad (if I do say so myself) and I thought you might appreciate the recipe. Paleo and delicious!

Paleo Carne Asada and Baby Kale Salad
Paleo Carne Asada and Baby Kale Salad

Paleo Carne Asada

Ingredients (for 2-3 people):

Note: Sauce ingredients make enough for up to 9lbs of meat.

  • 3lbs Grassfed Skirt Steak, tenderized (the more you tenderize, the more it will soak in the sauce)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • 1/3 cup lime juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s amino acids or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Optional: 1 dried chipotle pepper finely ground (this will really make the dish spicy, without it the sauce isn’t too hot, I didn’t add it personally)

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients and whisk until well-mixed. Remove one cup of the mixture and reserve it for later.
  2. Add the steak to the marinade and marinate covered in the fridge anywhere from 5-24 hours. Skirt steak is traditionally a tougher cut so the longer it marinates the more tender it is, though some skirt steak (like the Boyden Farm one I purchased from Vermont) is already quite tender so 5 hours is enough time. If it’s particularly tough you can let it marinate for up to 48 hours.
  3. Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat.
  4. Grill ~5 mins each side for medium rare.
  5. Slice the meat across the grain. Pour the rest of the marinade over the meat and serve.

Baby Kale Summer Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large handfuls of baby kale
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1 large handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 medium-sized lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix kale, cilantro, avocado and tomatoes.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss with lime juice.

The salad and steak really compliment each other. I love mixing warm meat with cool veggies this time of year. For the salad, definitely feel free to add whatever fresh vegetables you have around. I grabbed a zucchini from my garden and forgot to use it but thankfully I have more kale and will be recreating this salad again tonight. It’s been a staple in my lunches as well as it’s a very easy salad to through together at work and lime + cilantro is basically like crack. So tasty!! Enjoy!

Every Day is Better

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Well, that’s at least mostly true. 😉 I’m finding PT is making a HUGE difference with both my quad tendon injury and my outlook. My therapist is awesome. She’s very positive and knowledgeable. I also really appreciate that she spends so much time with me answering my questions and giving me tips.

My ankle weights came on Wednesday and holy hell are those leg exercises brutal with them! They’re not too hard, so I know the weight is right, but I actually sweat when I do them now, which is kind of awesome. Here’s a brief look at two of the exercises from my point-of-view:

Workouts from the past two days were a little light. Yesterday I was supposed to go to my awesome intermediate yoga class but unfortunately I was stuck in a server room working on upgrades-gone-wrong for 11 hours. So, no yoga for me. This is all I ended up with, a 35 min workout (I guess plus going up and down the stairs to the server room multiple times):

  1. Leg lift series (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle, per PT):
    Single-leg-lift-crunches x 30 each side
    Side leg-lifts x 30 each side
    Lying on stomach, lift one leg back, foot pointed x 30 each side
  2. 20 minute yoga-pilates fusion class.

That left me warmed up for my day, with a decent sweat going from the weights. It was a LOT of core and glute work. Again, ideally I would have also done the 75 min yoga class but that was not meant to be.

Today was a 50 minute workout:

  1. Leg lift series (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle, per PT):
    Single-leg-lift-crunches x 30 each side
    Side leg-lifts x 30 each side
    Lying on stomach, lift one leg back, foot pointed x 30 each side
  2. 35 minute advanced yoga (focusing on prep-for and actuation of bird-of-paradise).

This was a little short, but I’m giving 4 hours of massage today so I didn’t want to overdo it. I had to modify the yoga a bit (the flow included crow pose, which I can’t do right now) but overall it was a fantastic flow for stretching out my hips, glutes and hamstrings; all of which get WORKED with those PT exercises.

I’m happy to report that my knee was feeling pretty awesome Tues->Thursday. By last night it was a little stiff and it was stiff again this morning but it’s feeling great since my workout. In addition to PT and the exercise I was given, I’ve been doing self-massage using cross-fiber-friction (per the PT) and it’s amazing how much the scar tissue has broken up in just a week. I intend to hit the gym for harder workouts tomorrow and Sunday.

Next week is going to be a challenge. I’ll be in Seattle with my partner and his college buddies as they enjoy a reunion culminating in a friend’s wedding. So I’ll be away from the gym and my home weights. I’m planning on bringing lighter ankle weights, since traveling with 10 lbs of weights won’t help me with those checked-bag weight limits. The PT has given me the assignment to rent a bike, which I’m totally down for but I’m also a bit of a tag-along in this group so it will be a delicate balance of keeping myself in shape while not being aloof from the group or roping them into bike rides they might not be down for. We shall see. I’m also bringing my yoga mat so at the very least I should be able to do bodyweight exercises and some yoga. Wish me luck!