Tales from the Island of the Injured (And the Valley of Vegetables)
Alliteration is a wonderful thing, my friends.
Moving on. I’ll be honest: the reason I haven’t been blogging is that I haven’t been running. Not since two Saturdays ago, when I got a really bad pain in my knee, a kind of sharp pain underneath my kneecap. I actually was scheduled to get a sports massage that Thursday anyway (which is a whole other dramatic story — I still have bruises on my legs from it) and my masseuse (is that how you spell that word?) said that I have really tight calves and hamstrings that are probably what’s making my knee hurt. Which really shouldn’t come as a surprise, since I’ve hardly done any stretching or yoga since the marathon. I gotta get back on that bandwagon.
Since I can’t run or bike with my bum knee, I’ve been trying to get exercise in other ways. I’ve been walking a TON (shooting for 4 miles a day, since that’s roughly how much I’d be running if I had the option) and swimming. I’ve also started my own core/strength training regimen that I’ve been trying to do every day. This morning I did 25 crunches, 2 sets of bicycle for 1 minute each, a minute and a half plank, 20 push ups, 25 crunches, 25 vertical leg crunches, 30 seconds of alternating heel reaches, 5 sets of squatting and pulsing for 10 seconds, 20 push ups, 25 crunches, 30 seconds of boat, side plank for 45 seconds on each side, and then 20 more push ups. I also stretched for 15 minutes afterwards, to hopefully alleviate my tight-hamstring induced knee injury. The whole routine was nowhere near as good as running and not really a ton of fun — you don’t really get an endorphin high from plank and crunches — but I did work up a sweat! I hope that if I keep doing this every day, by the end of the summer I’ll be doing sets of 50 crunches instead of 25, and possibly even a 5 minute plank? We’ll see.
Since I haven’t been exercising as much as I’d like, I’ve been trying to clean up my diet a bit. More fruits and veggies, less processed food. This was made easy by the fact that my mom signed up for a CSA this summer and we just got our first share today. OH MY LORD there are so many vegetables in my fridge right now. For dinner today I made a veggie stir fry with spinach, bok choy, broccoli and green garlic from the CSA, plus tomatoes, red bell pepper, onions and sweet potato.
My dad took one look at it and asked if there was anything else in that bowl besides vegetables. “Don’t you even want rice or noodles of something with that?” he said.
Nope. I like my veggies unadulterated, undiluted straight up. I’m a hard-core consumer of vegetables. I wouldn’t be surprised if I looked in the mirror and saw this when I woke up in the morning:
(By the way, this is a photo of a piece of art made by a guy named Carl Warner, who constructs images and landscapes entirely out of food. You should see his celery stalk forest. It’s incredible stuff.
I didn’t really follow any recipe for this, instead kind of just tossing stuff in the pot. First I covered the broccoli with a little bit of olive oil and a few pinches of cumin, curry powder, and pepper flakes and then roasted it at 400 degrees in the oven, along with the sweet potato. Then I sautéed the green garlic and a small red onion in olive oil, added a chopped red bell pepper and the stem-y part of the bok choy and continued cooking that on the stove for about a minute or two. Next I poured 1/8 cup of orange juice, a tablespoon of soy sauce and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar into the pan, along with a tablespoon of grated ginger and a few pinches of hot pepper flakes. I cooked that until the liquid has mostly cooked down, then added the leaves of the bok choy and some spinach, both roughly chopped. I sauteed everything just a little bit longer until the greens wilted, then took the broccoli and sweet potatoes out over the oven, mixed them in with the rest of the veggies, and was ready to go! It was a super yummy dinner, and colorful to boot!
Hope you all are having a delicious and active weekend!
Do you have any kind of strength training routine? Any advice to get rid of knee pain? How do you like your vegetables?