Kick-Off to Summer {Life Lately}

1. Once the days start getting longer and the temperatures start to rise, I just find it so much harder to be connected to technology once I get home from work. While I have SO MUCH I could share on this space, it’s difficult to find the motivation to spend the hour-ish to sit down and plug away the all the words going on in my head. I don’t like to just put words on paper screen; I proofread, add/edit photos, and add any links as appropriate. Some days (like right now!), that time doesn’t come until after 9:00 at night… and then by that point it’s a question of – what else should I be doing? Going to bed early to get more than 6 hours of sleep (if I’m getting up early for the gym)? Prepping for tomorrow? Cleaning? Just relaxing and enjoying myself for a few minutes? So tough!

2. 2017 just isn’t my year. I had a second tragic family death in my family just two weeks ago. Please keep my family in your prayers!

3. Guys, I’ve been struggling (warning, this is about to get deep).

So in July of 2014 I had a very stupid accident on my bike (involving a parked car…) and have suffered with knee pain ever since. Long story short, I wasn’t in pain immediately after the accident but my knee froze up the next day. After two weeks of excruciating pain (at night), I made an appointment with my doctor where he put me through 4 months of physical therapy. My knee kept flaring (due to overuse via PT) so my PT sent me back to the doctor to get a MRI. The report from the MRI was that I had a torn meniscus and sprained ligaments, but two orthopedic surgeons told me that there was nothing wrong with my knee (the second called it a patellofemoral contusion and that it’d be a few years before I was normal again). However, I’ve had pain EVERY SINGLE DAY since then and, while I have been able to increase my workouts, I can’t push myself too much or I easily start flaring. I also have not been able to add much strength, despite having pretty strong legs otherwise from cycling + strength workouts (I do have to be super careful and can only do so much, so I end up modifying most lower body exercises).

Right now I’m going through a pretty awful flare, maybe the worst I’ve had, for the last 2.5 weeks. I started researching the anatomy of the knee and I’ve figured out the general daily aching I’ve had for at least the past year (maybe two) has been over what I think is my MCL. The pain I have during a flare does tend to spread over the rest of the knee joint, but it is definitely based around the inside of my knee. Yesterday I risked it and pushed myself on a 20ish mile bike ride and now I am MAJORLY flaring. I’m having trouble putting weight on my leg, it’s not bending too well, and I’m having a lot of pain. I almost stopped and called my parents for a ride (I was staying with them)… but then I got mad that two docs told me there wasn’t anything wrong with my knee, so I pushed through.

I don’t regret it, I’m pretty angry. I’m sick of being in pain all of the time and it has really changed my life. I feel like my identity has become my hurt knee. So many things I used to like to do I really can’t do anymore… like hiking. I used to LOVE hiking and now it’s not even an option. I couldn’t even imagine hiking with my knee, it’s pretty much impossible. Just going up hills in the yard or up/down stairs exhausts my knee. I wouldn’t make it 10 minutes on a hike. It’s really sad.

So, anyway, I’m seeing how my knee does this week. If it doesn’t improve in the next couple of days then I’m going to make an appointment with the doctor. Otherwise my annual physical is at the end of June. I even have a new doc because my old one apparently quit earlier this month?! Who knew that was a thing. At this point I’m hoping for surgery even though I’m petrified (I’ve never had surgery), but I’m desperate to move on with my life! I think I deserve it at this point.

4. Switching gears, I currently have the Billboard Music Awards on in the background and how AMAZING have some of these performances been?! Specifically CELINE (goddess!!!) and Miley Cyrus — such a beautiful song and she was crying at the end! LOVE

5. I’ve been exercising my green thumb and I LOVE it! Right now I have two big planters of flowers — first time mixing them into an “arrangement” of sorts and so far so good, a plantar of flowers + grape tomatoes — first time growing tomatoes and I’m really excited to see how they come out, plus I’m trying to revive my herbs (basil from last year + cilantro). All but the herbs are going great. I might need to transplant the herbs into bigger pots. TBD.


6. With my knee pain I’ve been doing a bit of emotional eating. Tonight I meal prepped like crazy when I got home from my weekend away. On this week’s menu: egg cups (egg + deli ham + tomato + spinach) and salads (hemp seed + nuts + hard-boiled egg + chicken breast). I’m also defrosting a soup from Stew Leonard’s (my last Wonton – my absolute fav – which is broth/meatballs covered in a thin pasta/shrimp/bok choy/corn), which contains wheat so I’m trying to rid my freezer of gluten products. I’m saving my last Stew’s minestrone for another week.

7. Um, so Stop & Shop had cherries on sale for $1.98 this week with $25 purchase. YESSSSSS. Cherries give me massive indigestion (polyols category on FODMAP — my third intolerance category), but so worth it for a very short time each year. I’ll try to control my serving sizes!

8. Speaking of FODMAP/indigestion, I made a very very sad discovery this week. I need to add CHOCOLATE to my list of no go foods. I always thought it was the dairy in things like milk chocolate/white chocolate, but this week I had major issues from some dark chocolate that had ZERO dairy in it. WTF! I’m trying to figure out what might be in it that’s causing me issues. What is a life without chocolate?!?

9. On the FODMAP win side, tonight I started my very first batch of homemade pickles! Store pickles all have garlic in them which is an absolute no go, so I made my own! I have some big gallon jars from making my own kombucha (which I’ve put into hibernation for now), so I used one and added over 3 pounds of pickling cucumbers halved/quartered, McCormick Pickling Spice & Dill Seed, plus a mixture of boiled water/apple cider vinegar/salt. Fingers crossed it comes out great!

10. I like to round things off at 10, so I’ll include this with a pic of the new Polar summer edition seltzers. So far I’m in love! <3

xo Nadine

Life Lately {5.12.17}

Hiya there, friends!

I know, I know. It’s been a while. It’s been a busy couple of weeks plus a very sad couple of weeks. I have a lot of random thoughts and life updates to share, so I thought it’d be easier to number them out (Fun Facts Friday style).

1. Last Thursday there was a very unexpected, very devastating death in my family. It’s the part of my family that lives near me (the only family that lives near me) and the person was under the age of 50. I was already worried about other medical issues happening in this family, but this was an entirely separate, devastating loss. I attended the funeral on Tuesday and was glad that my mom’s family was able to show up in force. It’s been a really tough week and any prayers would be appreciated! <3

2. I found out about this death about 10 minutes before I expected to arrive at my friend’s house for my other friend’s bridal shower. Thankfully I had planned to arrive 30 minutes early, so despite showing up hysterically crying, I had a few minutes to pull myself together and put on a happy face for my friend. It was a tough day, but I was very happy that I was surrounded my friends when my heart hurt so much.

3. Speaking of said bridal shower, it was a beautiful day to celebrate my friend, Nicole. I’m so happy I was able to be there to celebrate her!

4. After the shower we all trooped back to Nicole and her fiance’s house. We had a fun afternoon & night drinking, getting dinner at SBC Milford (yay for gluten-free pizza!), and going to late-night karaoke. The next day we lounged and chatted and put away wedding presents before I made the 2.5 hour drive back home to Boston.

5. I recently finished binge watching When Calls the Heart from Hallmark Channel. I’m obsessed! I love those types of wholesome movies that just make me feel good inside (plus the main guy character is pretty hot). Movies and TV shows that are stressful aren’t always my type of tea because I like something that boosts my mood or inspires me rather than make me anxious. Anyone else think like that?

6. Other TV shows I’m watching lately: Grey’s Anatomy (anyone see the pre-season finale episode last night?! CRAZY!!!!!! Speaking of anxiety-inducing shows!), Pretty Little Liars (still watching and it’s almost over. I just want to know who AD is!), want to catch up on the new episodes of Little People, Big WorldSurvivor (great season!!), and Married At First Sight (oddly obsessed with this show – so addicting!).

6. Speaking of Married at First Sight, I saw last night while watching the show that they are coming to Boston next season!! If I had a more existent relationship history then I would have considered it more. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’d want me. Darn! You can find more info out on their Twitter account if you’re interested in trying out, though…

7. Random pics from my iPhone

To conclude today’s post, I thought I’d share some random pics from my iPhone. Enjoy!

I sent this to my mom as a joke. She thought I was being serious. Her response “Try it. Anything.” Thanks, Mom. #jokebackfired

 

I work in the Boston Seaport area (where Fort Point is located) and took this screenshot because this is exciting news!

 

I was trying to find a new show to binge watch and have heard great things about VEEP. Since I’m so into political stuff lately, I thought I’d give this a shot. So far I’m super into it. I’m not the type of person that’s into raunchy comedy and this has a lot of that.

 

I took a pic of the back of my Beano box (my new found best friend) so I can remember what foods it will help me digest better! Onion and garlic (and wheat) are my main triggers. It’s doesn’t list garlic on this, but I think I’m going to attempt a Sweetgreen Kale Caesar salad today and see if this eliminates my normal digestive (bad) reaction to it.

 

xo Nadine