Tag: health

Day 4 of recovery – Keeping up the diet

Date #354 – Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A: Wednesday was my mom’s last day. We butted head a little. She was here to stay with my while B went to work and it was definitely a spotlight on our relationship. I was afraid of boring her. I felt all this pressure I tried hard not to feel, and I’m honestly not sure how she felt. We play backgammon until my arm got sore (3 games, heh) and it was really nice. We are really close, but being together in times of trauma was a totally different feeling. Sometimes it’s hard to communicate with the ones that are closest to you… I’m sure you know the feeling.

In any case, B really helps with all of this. He’s a great communicator, especially to my mom. At least, I think so. I wonder if she thinks so as well…

B: A’s Mom brought a ton of groceries. Honestly, having a bunch of pre-made food and supplements around is super helpful. The brain is mostly fat and recovery requires a nutrient dense diet. I made sure A kept eating, knowing that loss of appetite can be a by-product of a concussion.

I made sure A was drinking a smoothie filled with protein, chia and flax, hemp seed oil, and E3 Live every morning. Along with Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, and Vitamin C and D. Later she would take Iron (zinc and Iron shouldn’t be taken together). Traditionally A resists taking care of herself, but this time she was being really good.

Apparently this day went a bit better than the day before and I was thankful for that. We all had dinner together with some of the massive quantity of food A’s Mom brought.

I felt much more relaxed this day. The next day would be A’s first day alone. Her arms were still fractured and that meant she really should not be lifting or moving anything. I was worried about that…

Andrea goes over her handlebars

Date #350 – Saturday, July 19, 2014

A: After writing about date #349, I am so completely worked up that I don’t even want to THINK about this day. This awful day. I just want to cry. Again. This bike accident has been really difficult. Most days, moments, conversations, I am well and positive and proud of my recovery and my luck. I am happy to have had B there, that I memorized his phone number and that he stood beside me the entire time. He never once left my side for almost an entire week. He was and is the most supportive, understanding, and caring person in my life. He went so far out of his way to make sure that I was and would be okay, it makes me feel so unbelievably lucky, I can’t even tell you. I wrote about what happened this day on my blog, so I won’t repeat it here, but if I could tell B one thing, it’d be that I’ve never felt so loved in my entire life, by someone other than my mother, than I did this day and week. Thank you.

B: When I got the call I was in the middle of photographing coffee. I never actually drank the drink I was taking pictures of, I found it a week later. I don’t even know why I thought to pick up the phone early on a Saturday morning, but I did.

The caller didn’t allude to memory loss, or a bloody face, as they calmly said, “Your partner has been in an accident. She’s OK, just a bit shaky.” Then, as I arrived to the scene, reality began to set in. I hoped the ambulance wasn’t for her. I hoped the blood wasn’t real, or at least wasn’t from a loss of teeth.

Then I heard her scarred voice, “Where am I?” “What’s going on?” A didn’t know what happened. I didn’t know. Thankfully three bystanders were there and helping. They told me what they knew. The one who called assured me that things would be OK (he was also in an accident). The two others helped me lock up her bike and then gave me her tooth.

As we rode to the hospital the paramedic and I worked to keep A calm. The paramedic was INCREDIBLE as he would ask basic questions and A would panic as details became confusing. 

The ten minutes in the emergency waiting room were hell. A, inside, me outside unsure of what was happening. When I came inside and she made a joke I knew things would be OK. A is so strong and amazing and hilarious. I couldn’t believe she was making jokes. I wanted to take a picture of her because I didn’t think she would believe how bad she looked. I said, “it looks like you’ve been in a bad fight.” She eventually looked (it was way worse than what you see above…missing teeth, lots of dried blood).

Oddly, the most frantic I felt was taking A’s bra off  while the X-ray technicians waited outside the room. I felt rushed and pathetically useless. Otherwise, I was surprised at how naturally calm I felt helping her clean her mouth or take her to the bathroom.

There was a panicky moment where we were checking out and we had to find an emergency dentist and I thought, “This is it. We have to be adults now. No one is going to solve this problem for us.” It was odd.

I’m so thankful for all the people that were there to help A. I’m happy the memory loss was temporary. I’m happy that A is so strong and incredible and courageous. I’m happy her Mom and Uncle came up and drove us around.

Things happen and you can’t plan for them and you can’t predict them. Life happens and sometimes all you can do is look around and choose whether you’re going to count the good things or the bad ones.

Onion Goggles & Cookies

Date #344 – Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A: You can make fun of me all you want but those onions were STRONG and those ski goggles helped…. a little. The acid fumes still got to my eyes believe it or not, but we got it done. B and I made lentil masala (I’m guessing that’s what it’s called) and the BEST pale chico chip cookies ever!! (We haven’t made them in SO long!) And… of course… Orphan Black.

B: This was hilarious. A put on these goggles from the 80s to chop onions while we made dinner together. She is adorable.

After, while watching Orphan Black we made these Paleo cookies (no grains or processed items). I think the recipe is vegan too…

Anyways, the cookies actually were even better than they looked and I ate way too many. Mmmmm…

Coffee for the weary

Date #236 – Thurs Mar 27, 2014

A: Yep. Totally knocked out from staying up so late. Coffee saved us.

B: A was still pretty tired after our late night and so I decided to make some strong coffee. I used a Brazilian from Pilot that tasted like Maltesers and Caramel. I also added some MCT Oil, which is really good for your liver and thyroid and provides instant energy. And it’s flavourless! I hope it slightly improved A’s day.

B completes the CrossFit Open 14.1 workout

Date #213 – Mar 2, 2014

B: It’s the beginning of the CrossFit Open, which means I’ll be completing a very intense workout (more intense that most CrossFit workouts) every Sunday for the next 5 weeks. If you don’t know what the Open is, basically it’s a worldwide competition designed to both unite the CrossFit community and help decide who will move on to Regionals and eventually the CrossFit Games.

At my gym, academyoflions, we’ve decided to also hold an in-house competition along side the Open. I am the Captain of a 4-person team, and it is my role to help the other 3 through the Open, giving them guidance and additional coaching. 

The first workout was tough. It involved as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of 15 snatches (75lbs for men) and 30 double-unders (skipping). The toughest part was the metabolic effect of this wokrout. You want to move fast, but your muscles and lungs are exhausted.

A was with me the entire time and was very supportive. She was a calming presence as I prepared in the morning and while I warmed up. I’m looking forward to her cheering me on for the next 4 workouts.

Oh, that’s me taking a photo of my workout foods:

If you want to follow my progress and see my rankings, click here.

A: B really inspires me to be a better person. Since moving to Vancouver I’ve become a lot more health conscious, which only amped up when I came to Toronto (despite my love for poutine). So B is this dedicated, knowledgeable being that wants to take care of his body so much so that he’ll be able to climb mountains when he’s 90. And he wants the same for me. Admittingly, I want this too, but because both my parents are absolutely terrible at taking care of themselves, I’ve never had anyone to teach me or lead an example for me. For this, I am so happy that B is like this. When we first met, I was nervous because I like to indulge. Then he told me he gets party pizzas on his cheat days and eat the ENTIRE thing. All is well with the world, I thought. 

In any case, I’ve always know that what you put in your body can affect your mood 100% but I’ve never been encouraged enough to care more than a few times a week. 

And B did so good at the competition. I like being at his gym because surrounding ourselves with healthy, strong, positive, and community-encouraging people is a really good feeling. 

Naps and Salad

Date #208 – Feb 23, 2014

B: OK, maybe this doesn’t sound like the most interesting date, but when you’ve been up all night and morning watching the Olympics (Date #207) you don’t feel like doing much. A and I could have easily gone and got junk food, but, as tired as we were, we walked to the grocery store and picked up some spinach, goat cheese, and strawberries to make a salad:

  • Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, goat cheese mixed into a liquid
  • Toss in spinach
  • Add sliced strawberries, hemp hears, sesame seeds, dried cranberries

It was exactly what we needed! Sometimes it is great to be reminded that you are with someone who will encourage and support you to be better in always. When you get a craving, go for a salad or some healthy fats and protein!

A: It’s definitely easier to encourage someone else and then, in turn, be encouraged. Had I been alone, I would’ve opted for a burrito probably. Or pizza. Always pizza. But this salad was soooo good (despite the mess behind it – ignore!)….

Gosh we were zombies. We drank juice out of hip sippie cups that my mom bought us. You can write your name in chalk on them. COOL, right?

Crossfit!! – Date #168 – January 12th

A: After the epic breakfast pictured above (it really isn’t impossible to transition into better foods and both of us can catch over coffee if you’re keen) I did an intro class, which B did too, at Academy of Lions. It was awesome. I can definitely see how people can get really into the sport. It’s fun to fantasize about doing crossfit with B because this class was so fun and I think we push each other to try hard and work hard and to feel good. It’s important to both of us. One day when I’m rich I’ll be able to everything I want – yoga, crossfit, swimming…….. #goals! For now, other than swimming, B and I are doing some exercises at home.

We joked about recording our home sessions but I don’t think anyone wants to see us half naked and extremely haggard at 11pm doing yoga or skipping while trying to keep two cats off our mats. It is a pretty hilarious time, though.

B: For anyone who is wondering, the breakast is a mixture of Hemp, Chia, and Buckwheat with Hemp Milk. Here is the recipe. I also made some sport drinks with lemon juice, dates, coconut oil and more.

I’m happy A is so interested in Crossfit. I can tell that if she starts doing Crossfit it will push me a lot more. Which is awesome. The daily yoga we’re doing is great too!

Holiday survival – Date #146 – December 16, 2013

A: So the Academy had a free talk with Nutritionist Nathalie Niddam about holiday survival (basically how to avoid derailing your health and nutrition plans completely), methods to use to avoid getting sick, and how to hasten getting better if you are sick. I love stuff like this because I get completely overwhelmed at all the information out there. It’s nice to channel it in to specific discussion on a regular basis…not to mention the fact that B and everyone we’ve spoke to at the Academy are a wealth of knowledge. B said it’s nice that I’m interested in this sort of thing and I think it’s important that we all be. He always says he wants to climb mountains when we’re 90. Fingers crossed.

One thing I learned was Iron and Zinc are extremely important as an anemic vegetarian. Don’t take Iron and Zinc together, though, because they compete. And too much Zinc can make you feel nauseous so best to take it with food.

In any case, these pics are from these anatomy quiz cards lying around at the gym. I know so little about the body, they intrigued me. Also, yes, I did go to reproductive section first just to check it out.

B: Monday was a busy day for me. I left A at 6am to get ready to record another episode of Academy of Lions Radio – the Podcast I co-Host and Produce. After spending much of the day at the gym A met me there for a nutrition talk about “Surviving the Holidays.” I was so happy A came because it made one more thing for us to share. She was super engaged the whole time and asked some great questions. When I saw the anatomy pictures on A’s Instagram I was overwhelmed with admiration. To me it was another demonstration of her care, attention to details, and unique viewpoint. 

The talk was also very useful, as the protocol to prevent sickness (or at least fight it more effectively) has been used successfully on both myself and A in future dates.

Here is what we do at the first signs of sickness – take the following for 2-3 days max:

  • D3 – 5000-10000iu/day
  • Vitamin C 1000mg up to 3x
  • Zinc 30-50mg day on divided doses
  • Deep immune 3-4x day (this is a natural immune booster made up of multiple ingredients)
  • Olive leaf extract (can be available in Oil of Oregano)
  • Oil of oregano 2-3x/day – make sure to take probiotics 2 hours later (Oil of Oregano kills bacteria and your body needs to replenish. We take unflavoured Kombucha)
  • Exercise (unless you have a fever)

Hot Yoga – Date #119 – November 11, 2013

B: A and I have never done yoga, but both really enjoy going. I look at yoga as a compliment to my Olympic Lifting and Crossfit training. We went to a free class around the corner. I thought it was really relaxing and awesome. The whole time I kept thinking about how A was right beside me, while still remaining totally inside myself and focused. It was a really awesome balance.

A: Hi, my hair is from the 90s and I am here and now. B means we’ve never done yoga together. I am obsessed with yoga. But when I fall out of routine with something, I avoid it. Why? I don’t know. I was telling B why I love it – because it clears my head and helps me deal with life calmly and positively and, before going to this class, one day I said something harshly, or responded harshly or something and B retorted, “You need to go to yoga.” It made me laugh a lot because it’s true and he could tell. 

It’s a great studio – Iam Yoga. First class free and unlimited for a week for $20 (new students). Deal.