31 December 2010

last day before resolutions begin in earnest!

not walking to work today to avoid the possible rain, but i did wake up early and do my tai chi and 20 sit-ups.

yesterday i managed to consume 1936 calories, 72.5 grams protein - not bad! although i was low on vitamins d & e, as well as iron & potassium. need to work on that.

i walked a total of 8 km according to my math (9.8 km according to the pedometer in my mobile), for a total of 2593 calories expended through the day. so i should be eating more i guess to keep from getting too thin/allow me to build up my muscle, but i'm hoping an appetite will come with more exercise.

30 December 2010

getting back to it

yesterday i managed to get myself out of bed and to work on time, and walked halfway home. and perhaps most importantly of all, got myself into bed at a decent hour. today i am up early, have had an egg and done 20 sit-ups (the easiest it's ever been for me!), a couple of dips (very hard), and tai chi steps 1 through 6 twice, and some "crane breathing" which i think is part of chi-gong? going to try to walk to work, bringing soup and 2 kinds of fruit. feeling good! that's 4 out of 4 resolutions covered.

29 December 2010

back on the wagon

ok it is not quite the new year, but not too soon to start! as of today
i am going to start tracking my intake and because it is actually
reasonably uncold, i think i am going to attempt the 6 km walk home
today. and i may stop at curbside on the way to check out helmets. just
maybe. didn't do tai chi this morning; after a five-day break, it was
enough to just get out of bed!

also working on bringing fruit to work as a snack. the problem is that,
with the braces, i find a lot of things difficult to chew. apples, for
example, are definitely off the list! today i brought a banana and an
orange (basically i let my organic box tell me what to eat) for snacks,
and some lobster soup for lunch.

22 December 2010

ok, time to get back on track?

i've been really slack lately about keeping track of intake & exercise. in my defence it's been a difficult couple of weeks, with lots of activity, me being sick, and now my son being sick. but now christmas is almost here, we're almost ready, and it's time to stop slacking and start thinking about new year's resolutions.

let's see...

1. wake up at the same time every day. it seems like a silly thing, but i really think it makes a difference. the kiddo will be doing karate on the weekends at 9 o'clock, so no more sleeping in and making mondays more miserable than they already are.

2. practise tai chi every day. it doesn't take a lot of time, especially since i haven't learned all 24 steps yet, so no excuses!

3. get off the bus. public transit is endlessly frustrating, and i could/should be walking or bicycling to work.

4. get more nutrients from food sources. i shouldn't be relying so heavily on supplements. sometimes i am very good about tweaking my diet so that if i don't get enough vitamin e one day, i'll eat more the next; lately, i have been off the wagon.

i think that's enough? do i need more resolutions? anyone else think of resolutions yet?

13 December 2010


well i'm sick. not terribly surprising since my husband was nursing a chest cold, and my *#(&$ pharmacy and *#($) doctor's office wasted a lot of time refilling my inhaler prescription, so i had to go without for a few days last week. i had called shoppers drugmart almost two weeks ago to get it refilled, but they have a new automated system i couldn't get past, and you can't call for a refill without your previous prescription (there's a reference number that you need to enter). so it took me a day or to to get it together to call again. the system told me my prescription would be ready the next day, but when i dragged myself out into the -18 weather against my better judgment it wasn't ready, because my doctor hadn't replied to the faxed request. i know my doctor, and i know her staff, and i will bet a dollar that the secretary who received it did not pass it along (she completely messed up a referral for a pulmonary function test last spring, but that's another story). when i called the next day (a full week after i had initially tried to call in the refill) she said she'd "try" to get it done that day, and i was pretty grouchy about insisting that she must as i'd been without my inhaler for two days at that point.

i think it's time to look for a new doctor - unless i can encourage her to fire her incompetent staff? i am definitely never going to shoppers drugmart again. they always disappoint.

07 December 2010

an education

so my son brought hoome a copy of the canada food guide from school, and we looked at it over dinner.

a woman my age is supposed to get 7-8 servings of fruit and veg, 6-7 servings of grains and breads, 2 servings of dairy, and 2 servings of meat and proteins.

i got 1 serving of fruit, 3 servings of grains, 1 1/2 servings of milk, and 1 serving of meat.


06 December 2010


when i was brushing my teeth this morning i was amazed at how much straighter they are! the right side still has a long way to go, but the left side is aligning nicely. maybe i'll try to take a picture later. they were hurting like crazy last night, so it is great to start seeing some results!

01 December 2010

a difficult week

after overdoing it on a few occasions (walking on concrete for a couple
of hours on friday night at a craft show, standing up all day sunday
making jam and relish and mincemeat and eggnog, carrying my 45-pound
little guy around a gravel lot for an hour monday night to see the
holiday train, and then having a 13-hour day with added commute
yesterday) i am pooped, officially. my foot was crying last night, and
my back is killing me. i am just wrecked! i think i need to spend a
couple of nights with my foot propped up or soaking in epsom salts or

the good news is i am pretty much on schedule to get most of the crap
stuff done before the holiday season is really in full swing.

the bad news is i still have to paint the living room!

26 November 2010

it's quite amazing really

how different everything feels. i don't know if it's because of the weight i've lost or because i was used to shuffling around with the aircast (maybe a bit of both?), but walking down the street just feels different. i can feel the muscles in my legs expanding and contracting, and i find myself looking for an excuse to break into a little run - crossing the street when the light is yellow, dashing for the bus. i'm not officially allowed to run for another 3 weeks or so, but i'm itching to move more.

in other news, i've discovered a tricky aspect to the protein hot chocolate - if you don't stir regularly (constantly?) while heating it in the microwave, it gets nasty. yesterday i popped my mug in the microwave, and when i came back 90 seconds later, there was a hard protein-y crust on top which i tried (failed) to mix in. ugh. today i stirred every 30 seconds and it is much better.

also i notice i am not getting a heck of a lot of potassium. i've had a banana each day this week, but my intake is still on the low side - what are some good soft potassium-rich foods?

24 November 2010

first week back to the ttc!

i cancelled my physio yesterday! after a weekend of madness and standing
on my toes, i feel confident that i am on the mend. and since i can walk
down stairs now, i am back to taking the subway to work instead of
driving - less stress, more knitting, more exercise, and it makes
suppertime a hundred times easier.

finally we get to dip into the make-ahea-and-freeze meals i've been
cooking from our organic box! in the morning i take something out of the
freezer, and after work i zip home on the subway and turn on the oven
before heading out to get the boys by car. last night we had a baked ham
with colcannon (mashed potatoes and cabbage) and i steamed some broccoli
too when we got home. hame is my favourite meat for braces i think - the
texture is very forgiving, it barely needs chewing. my jaw was sore last
night, but that was after having *seconds* of everything! whee. tonight
we are having veg lasagna.

also, i bought a protein supplement on the weekend, and yesterday
afternoon instead of crashing (like i did on monday) i made a hot
chocolate with protein added. it tasted fine, and really did the trick.
three cheers for whey.

19 November 2010


saw my physio angus this morning - he says i'm doing great! i'm allowed
to ride a bicycle and go for walks! not allowed any running for a month,
but he wants me to do a lot of tip-toe work on the weekend and go for a
long walk and if i'm feeling ok on monday, i should cancel next week's
appointment. yay!

it almost makes up for spending 35 minutes in my doctor's waiting room
last night before i had to leave - without even seeing her! - to pick up
my son. because they didn't want to admit over the phone that they
hadn't put through the referral to the endocrinologist. grr, grr.

18 November 2010


this has been a bad bad week. at my adjustment on tuesday morning they
put a spring thingy to help open up some space on the right, and all it
does is catch food. my standby foods from the first week i got them on
don't even work. i have been working on a bowl of baked beans for an
hour and a half now and i am about to give up. not even poutine is easy
to eat! wah! plus, i had what i guess was a bad reaction to codeine? i
think i blogged about that already, going to see doctor today. wah, wah,
poor me, etc.

16 November 2010

terrible day

well, i had my first adjustment today. had another bracket added (to the second molar on the lower left) to help pull the second premolar back into position; there is a wire with a sort of kink in it and comfort tubing over half of it which bridges the gap over my missing tooth now. and on the right, where the first premolar is so far out of line that it isn't even bracketed yet, the comfort tubing has been replaced with a sort of spring to help make more space for it.

so the appointment, like the first time, was uncomfortable with a few ouchie moments, but i felt ok walking out the door. knowing it would hurt more later, i took a couple of tylenol3 (tylenol/caffeine/codeine) as a pre-emptive measure and went to work.

after i'd been at work for barely an hour, i had a crazy vertigo moment and was trembling all over - like all my muscles were contracting at once - and of course was feeling nauseated and had a terrible headache. i lay down for a bit and did not feel any better, so came home, where i've been on the sofa all day taking regular tylenol. tried to eat a sandwich (egg, avocado, tomato) which did not go so well (the tomato was the problem this time).

i did check my blood pressure on the way home - i tend to have low blood pressure but it was lower than normal today for some reason - maybe that was the problem?

for the record, it was 97/57, pulse 61.


i'm going for my first adjustment today! kind of scared, since it hurt like crazy last time, and despite everyone's assurances, i did not get used to eating with braces. i gingerly ate a small piece of plain cheese pizza on saturday and my premolars were sore. i should have had pizza for dinner last night! probably would have been my first & last opportunity for a while. sigh.

appointment is at 8:40, wish me luck...

meanwhile yesterday was my first full workday out of the aircast. i brought it to work "just in case" but did not put it on once. i walk very slowly with tiny geisha steps, but i got through the day without too much pain. can't wait to see angus on friday though.

14 November 2010


managed to break 2000 calories today! first time in the 3 weeks i've been keeping track! thank you, blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and roast chicken with mashed potatoes. i did enough housework and general rushing about that i still have a caloric deficit of 300 calories, but that's the best i've done so far.

only downside was when i retired to the waterpik after lunch and somehow managed to bash myself in the bracket. youch. don't think anything looked broken or bent though, that's the main thing.

12 November 2010


took my aircast off for a few hours today. even though i didn't do much - maybe two trips to the washroom and one to the kitchen - it left me pooped! i could go straight to bed right now i think.

11 November 2010


ok before i complain i am going to say a little thank you to my dental hygienist for introducing me to the marvel of the end-tuft brush. i have never used the inter-proximal because it just resembles a pipecleaner too closely for my liking, but the end-tuft really gets everywhere it needs to without poking.

now the booo part: the lovely angus put his back out! part of me is secretly glad i don't have to drag myself downtown for a 7:30 appointment, but it means another week without physio. and poor angus. it's a physical job; he needs his strength; i'm actually surprised his back doesn't get out of whack more often. good thing he knows a lot of other physios (his wife, for example, works out of the same practice).

so i guess it's up to me for now. after one miserable cast-free day, i'm back to wearing it at work all the time. i do keep it off at night though. which is tricky, as little h isn't quite that aware of his surroundings and i have visions of an accidental stomp. he's come close a few times.

mussels = muscles

went out for lunch and had mussels - not only are they easy to eat with braces, but pretty high in protein! 22 grams! i'll do that again. that reminds me, i must force tg to take me out for oysters.

10 November 2010


yesterday i wore sneakers all day at work. i didn't do much walking -
basically i only got up to go to the bathroom and to microwave my lunch
(beans - soft and nutritious, a metal-mouth's best friend!) but by the
end of the day i was sore and exhausted. i went straight to bed last
night as soon as little h was tucked in. today i brought my sneakers but
i haven't taken off my cast yet. maybe later, we'll see.

09 November 2010

i'm wearing a shoe!

on my left foot! first time in seven weeks!

last night i shuffled about the house a wee bit, and it was exhausting. i did the old cold/warm/cold/warm footbath after that angus recommended, and rubbed in some arnica gel. that was tricky, because all of the parts that have been numb for the past month and a half were starting to wake up when i started walking. wonder if there's an impingement somewhere? will ask angus on friday. i came down the stairs once, but i could not do it properly, still had to go sideways. it's difficult not to walk on my heel, because i am so used to favouring my toe it feels unnatural to put it on the floor. we'll see how long i last before i put the aircast back on!

08 November 2010


very busy weekend - starting with a busy friday (meeting with little h's speech-language pathologist, frantic housecleaning, guest arriving for weekend visit, and home visit from the school board deaf/hard-of-hearing coordinator, shopping for birthday present), through a busy saturday (more housework, grocery shopping, cooking, lunch guest) to an unexpectedly busy saturday (6 loads of laundry - which meant going up and down stairs from the 2nd floor to basement, helping mother-in-law pack up her house she just sold). yikes!

managed to get a whopping 1800+ calories on saturday due to choux pastry gnocchi with lots of cheese and chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting. successfully ate a small amount of salad (the croissant i tried on friday did not work so well however). sunday was the most tiring of all, especially since we were expecting it to be a day of rest and recuperation, and we ended the day with dinner at the pub where i successfully ate the chunks of ham in my pasta carbonara (the first time i've been able)! my pre-molars are pretty sore - i guess because they've got the most movement and least support. it kind of breaks my heart that i am just starting to get used to eating 7 weeks in, and i'm going to the ortho next tuesday so the suffering will start again. boo.

in other news, i was at the fracture clinic this morning and the doctor thinks i should be able to start putting weight on my foot. he wants me to not wear the aircast at all when i am at home, and wear it only as necessary when i'm out and about. i'm wearing it now, because i didn't bring a second shoe! maybe i'll wear my old sneakers tomorrow and bring the aircast with me. or the other way around - i would not want to have a fall in the parkinglot stairwell!

04 November 2010


did a bit better today. almost 1500 calories and 74g protein without having to resort to the nasty drink. also got my rda (or pretty close) on most nutrients! lunch was soup (white beans/kale/italian sausage/tomatoes) and dinner was sauce-from-a-jar butter chicken with broccoli and rice pilaf (husband's leftover). i actually did well on the rice! i was sure it would all get stuck on my braces, but it didn't. the chicken was tricky though - i should have really overcooked it to get it soft, but didn't have time. so, had to do a bit of chewing, and some of my teeth are pretty sore now.

i also went for a walk at lunch and did a few exercises for my upper arms with the theraband. and climbed the stairs up to the fifth floor. boy was i pooped after all of that. oh well, no pain no gain, right?

trying to do better

ok the last couple of days i have been practically falling asleep at my desk because i haven't been getting enough food (last night before i ate dinner i had only had 375 calories) and then eating junk at night to try to boost my intake. bad! so this morning instead of my usual boiled egg (we ran out of eggs) i had whole wheat toast with organic peanut butter and plain yogurt with a spoonful of organic apricot jam and a spoonful of raw bran. 475 calories! i hope today will be a better day at work.

03 November 2010

small triumph!

well, sort of! i have been going on excursions throughout my office building this week, and climbing stairs when it's feasible (sometimes i find the step is too narrow for my aircast to fit safely) - cumulative 11 stories today. so i saw a coworker i haven't seen in a few weeks and she said "your teeth look straighter already!" so that was a pretty good feeling.

diet-wise hasn't been so great - last night i went to bed with a piece of cake to get my calorie intake up over the 1000 calorie mark, when i should have had a myoplex and something with some more nutrients. today i've only managed 375 calories so far (including the banana i just ate) so i had better eat a big dinner. another coworker commented today on how prominent my cheekbones are now, she said they just show up more when i'm not wearing my glasses, but i think it's the weight loss. had some bloodwork done at the doctor's office, and she said she'd refer me to an endocrinologist about the weight loss since it's been so much in a short period of time.

01 November 2010

not a bad day

despite feeling like i was going to throw up for the first half, i managed to climb a couple of flights of stairs, get almost 1600 calories, 60 grams of protein, and 16 grams of iron from my diet today, without resorting to the nasty myoplex. had homemade baked beans for lunch (from the freezer stash - they're easy to make but time consuming) and pasta for dinner with fresh tomato (courtesy of a neighbour's garden) and broccoli. i have perfected (i think) the art of overcooking broccoli just enough that i can eat it without overcooking it to the point where it is grey and slimy.

31 October 2010

oh torture

the house is full of leftover hallowe'en candy that i can't eat! not fair. i did manage 6 mini aero bars though (chocolate is easy, you just pop it on your tongue and let it melt) and still did not manage to top 1400 calories (i'm aiming for a minimum of 1600, and preferably way higher) although i did cram in a respectable 60 grams of protein, thanks to a tin of salmon and some mayo.

and, i did 20 sit-ups today, albeit slowly. it is hard to find exercises that don't use your feet in some way! i would like to do something for my arms, and thought of dips, but i don't know how that would work - maybe it would be ok because the weight would be on my heel? hmm...

30 October 2010


ok i'm in my first cold water soak of the cold-hot-cold routine, and yow! oh boy.

anyway, i didn't do much today, but i did do some walking and climbed a few stairs. and, i just did my foot-lift work-out.

and now i'm in the warm bath, and prickles all over. my nerves are crazy. whoa.

i'm short on everything again today (calories, protein, nutrients) so i'm having a myoplex to top up. my goal is to get at least 1500 calories and 70 grams of protein (1 gram for every kilo of bodyweight - although i'm sure i weigh less than that now.

and while i'm here, i did my blood pressure at the the pharmacy the other day and found it in my pocket, so here it is for posterity: 104/64, pulse 59.

29 October 2010

we must do our exercises

for posterity, another "before" pic - of my legs, showing how one is twice the size of the other. one is bulky, one is flabby. charming. now you know why my physio was laughing! the smaller one is pure marshmallow as well - zero muscle tone. which is why i'm so tired after my big workout today. i feel like i ran a marathon! after probably a cumulative five minutes of exercise spread throughout the day. so sad. i have a long, long way to go. i am definitely ready for a nice soak with epsom salts or something at this point.

and here is a video of my exercise - so you can see just how intense it is. ha!


here are a couple of "before" pics taken at the orthodontist's office. not pretty, not pretty at all. but i guess they're not supposed to be. and boy, i had no idea how uncomfortable it is getting these photos done! they put these awful plastic thingies in your mouth to pull your lips etc. out of the way. ugh.

i have more of these, but i will spare you (and myself) the ugliness.

my first physio

the wonderful angus looked a bit worried when i walked in this morning (after all of the chronic pain agonies of the past year) but had to stop himself from laughing when i said "i just wanted to show off my new boot" and laughed out loud when he saw how withered my calf is. he was unimpressed with the doc who initially withheld the news about the fracture, and said it'll be another 3 weeks before i should really think about putting weight on it again. so for now (5 weeks to the day since i broke it) here's my new routine:

1. take off cast as much as possible while sitting, and practise flexing my calf by alternately lifting heel and toe from the floor, without putting any weight on it.

2. with theraband around ball of foot, push against and hold.

3. alternate 2 min in a warm foot bath/2 min in a cold foot bath, 5 times each.

i said "i guess it's too early to ask for a recommendation on where to get fitted for a good walking shoe" and he just nodded and stuck some lovely, lovely needles into my leg.


went to bed early last night, and then my son let out a shriek sometime after one o'clock, and here i am three hours later...

i started using fitday earlier this week. i've used it periodically over the years, mainly to check how i'm doing with vitamins and minerals - i'm anemic so i need lots of iron, and it's also interesting to see what you get lots or not enough of. it was actually fitday that inspired one of my current favourite soups (lentil & chard) - i realised i don't get a lot of vitamin e or selenium as well as iron, looked at what foods contain those nutrients (answer: lentils and chard) and then looked for a recipe containing those ingredients.

anyway, looking at my food diary for this week the problem is pretty clear - i am not getting nearly enough food! the most calories i managed in a day was 1500 (a third of that was from chocolate); one day i only got 880. so, i had better start drinking the myoplex. and doing more cooking. part of the food problem is that, in addition to the chewing difficulty, the broken foot has interfered with my dinner routine. normally i would take the subway or bike to work, but i can't manage with the aircast (going down stairs is very difficult for me, and most subway stations on my route only seem to have "up" escalators). i would get home from work, pop dinner (made ahead, i actually have a freezer full of food) in the oven, and then drive up to my son's school and my husband's office, bring them both home, and dinner would be ready. now, i drive to h's school straight from work, no time to go home to put dinner in the oven, and by the time we're all home we're tired and hungry and generally just eat some pasta or something. not exactly balanced. i need to find a solution for this. i wish our oven was programmable!

28 October 2010

and did i mention asthma?

i was diagnosed with mild asthma last spring. when i thought i would
start running. i started slow like you're supposed to, the
jog-a-bit-walk-a-bit routine, and started experiencing chest pains,
although not while i was jogging (it would happen at other
unrelated times of the day). so that's another wrinkle in my road back
to health. i started learning this summer about inhaling into different
areas of the lung (i had been working on diaphragmatic breathing as
opposed to chesty breathing already, but this is a qi-gong thing where
you breathe into the back of the lung) in my tai chi class, but of
course i can't do tai chi with an aircast on my foot. so much to work
on, so little time (and energy)!


this is going to be a personal fitness blog. i expect it to be quite boring.

basically, about a year ago i started suffering from chronic (maybe constant is a better word) pain. arthrotec helps. then in september i got braces and the same week broke my foot (technically, a minor fracture of the toe, and "soft tissue damage" that causes pain mid-foot and my first three toes to be numb/tingly all of the time). during the pity party that ensued, i ate a lot of cake and icecream and poutine. i've started eating better - homemade soups, lentils, beans, etc. to try to get some protein and fibre back into my diet, but i've lost a lot of weight - all of it muscle. i actually got a body-builder-type drink (myoplex) at the drugstore yesterday to try to up my protein intake, because it is quite sad.

anyway tomorrow i start physio, and i wanted a place to keep track of what i'm doing exercise-wise, diet-wise, and otherwise-wise.