Hello hello & happy new year! I hope you’ve had a gorgeous beginning to 2017 so far, and even if you haven’t, that’s okay, too. In fact, before we get into this food extravaganza, I wanted to talk to you a little about where I’m at and how having not the happiest start to a new year has left me. Feel free to skip to the meat of this post if you’d like, but I’m gonna get a little real and chatty here for a minute.
A couple of months ago I developed patellofemoral stress syndrome in both knees–basically that means the tissue in both knees is very irritated and causes constant pain (including sitting without the legs extended straight out). It’s a common overuse injury that came out during a very intense movement training I was doing in school this past semester, and it’s super stubborn and tricky to treat. I’ve been visiting an orthopedic doctor and religiously doing physical therapy the last five weeks or so (since I didn’t catch the injury right away when it started), and things were supposed to have improved by now. Except they haven’t. And they’ve gotten a little worse. I wasn’t sure why at first, but later on determined my two plane rides during the holidays was a huge setback because my knees were bent under 90 degrees the whole time, which puts an unexpectedly large amount of pressure on the joint, blah blah blah, ANYWAY, I started digging deep into research on this injury and came up with too many stories of people who have this pain forever and it just won’t quit. No matter how much resting (and this is REAL legs extended constantly, very minimal walking, nothing else allowed resting), physical therapy or anything has taken the pain away. And you know, that’s a really scary thought. It threw me for a major loop and I will admit, the last few days have been very emotional coming to the realization that this is a much more serious injury than I thought. I’ve already been benched from things I love since October (movement classes, dance, yoga), and now I’m realizing how much more serious I have to be about healing than I ever imagined. The next two weeks before the school semester begins involve me doing, well, nothing. I can’t walk down the stairs to go outside of the apartment, I can’t stand for too long, I can’t do anything involving bending my knees which let me tell you, that’s a lot of things. I’m in intense healing mode, and while I wish it felt great, it feels awful. I feel like I’ve lost a huge chunk of my identity. The things I most connect myself to are out of reach right right now–walking to the grocery store, doing yoga, being active with my boyfriend, playing with my cat, cooking a long meal, curling up in a chair the way I’d like to, the fitness level I’ve worked so hard to achieve, a million things. It also has the possibility to throw a huge wrench into my career, because my job as an actor is to move and be, freely. And honestly, it makes me really, really sad. I’m feeling scared and unmotivated to do anything–and I have no idea how long this will last.
But you know, these things happen. Life throws a lot of challenges your way when you least expect it. And while I’m still in the grieving process, I’m trying to put this spin on it: I have the opportunity to define myself through different means for the time being. Through reading more, writing more, educating myself in a more, well, sedentary manner. It’s giving me the chance to speak for myself and defend my need to heal my body without hesitation or compliance. It’s a chance to learn how to overcome something that right now, doesn’t seem possible. And that is a blessing.
Now. After all that, let’s get on with the good stuff. Here’s what I ate today:
I started my day drinking a liter of water and…no coffee. I quit the caffeine! I don’t think that’s right for everyone, but it definitely was for me. Tendency for migraines + caffeine = not a good combo. Feeling much better these days! I might do a post about that later. Next, I had this beautiful bowl of my “PB&J” Chia Seed Parfait. No surprise there! I’m not doing much movement these days that large amounts of carbohydrates would need to fuel (only some straight-legged physical therapy exercises), so a lower carb breakfast is right for me in times like this–especially when I know I’ll be integrating carbs in the rest of my day as I do more frequently now!
I picked up some super easy-to-prepare stuff at the grocery store to keep me on my feet as little as possible! And that resulted in this quick & TASTY lunch: pre-prepared butternut squash noodles with tomato sauce, sausage & kale. These sausages have really clean ingredients which is awesome, and this Mezzetta sauce is GREAT because it’s made with olive oil (rather than nasty oils like canola) and all whole vegetables. Highly recommend!
I had a delicious Turmeric Ginger latte whose recipe you can find here. I’m focusing on loading my body with anti-inflammatories like turmeric & ginger to help the inflammation in my knees along with some weather-induced headaches I’ve been getting, and this is just the trick! Also I couldn’t help but pair it with one of these TO DIE FOR pumpkin pie date balls by Natural Delights. SO GOOD, GUYS. Only dates & pecans with some spices but tastes like heaven.
One of mine & my boyfriend Sam’s favorite meals is chicken tacos. Always always always so good. Sam cooked us up some chicken thighs, sautéed onions & peppers, raw red onion, parsley & a homemade coconut cream lime sauce on Siete Foods Cassava & Coconut paleo tortillas! These are unbelievable and the best tortilla replacement on the market, especially the Cassava & Coconut version. Oh so satisfying & the perfect way to end the day.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what I ate today & getting more of a peak into my personal life–because things aren’t always happy, and that’s okay, too. It’s a part of life and one that teaches us so much.
Go out and be pretty miraculous,