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jnicole

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About jnicole

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  • Birthday April 21

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    UT
  1. Is anyone attending Salt Lake Comic Con in a couple weeks? I'll be there on Thursday evening and all day Saturday (in addition to the Utah Symphony Video Games Live concert). It'd be great to meet you if you'll be there too!
  2. Hi Adventurers, Week 5 is off to a good start! 2/4 for working out this week. I just started going to yoga - my first "organized" workouts outside of PT since my surgery. I am SO SORE, but I'm glad to have gone and excited to go back. 9/21 Whole30 meals this week. I'll be done with it next week, so I'm excited to see what happens when I start adding in some dairy and a few grains again (probably some rice, quinoa, and couscous) 1/3 on decreasing swelling thus far. Struggling a little with the Spanish. Normally I'd try to take some of the time I'm spending online at home and do the spanish lessons then. Lately, I haven't even gotten home at night with enough time to check online personally, so it's been hard to make the time to practice. I haven't done any this week. But, we're only halfway through the week. I'll have to try to carve out time in my schedule to practice - actually write it in, or set a reminder on my phone to go off.
  3. Hi Everyone, week 4 has been going well. Goals are going down, and Whole30 is being CRUSHED. (Though, I think I ate something last night that had hidden ingredients that aren't allowed...body was not happy after dinner. ) This update is about something exciting that happened this morning!!! In June, some friends and I went to the Man of Steel premiere dressed as characters from the Superman story. As the lone female, and a redhead - I went as Lois Lane (thank you Amy Adams). I'd purchased a pair of slacks and nice white button down shirt for the occasion, as well as a black vest. At the time, the waistband of the pants was a little tight, and I wasn't incredibly comfortable. Same with the shirt - it fit quite snugly on my arms, and a little tension was present at the button locations. TODAY - for the first time since June, I had occasion to wear the slacks and shirt for a board meeting at work. GUESS WHAT?! The pants are *almost* too big - the waistband buttoned without a problem, and with some room to spare, in fact!!! The shirt is comfortably fitting my body. WOO HOO!! I am so excited about this. I've noticed that the jeans I bought two months ago are also getting a loose -- I'm quite close to being down 2 pants sizes since October. And THAT, my friends, is very exciting.
  4. Week 3 Update 2 Mission 1: Get Moving - 2/4 This week was hard to make sure I was exercising because of the carb flu that showed up on Monday and didn't really go away until Thursday afternoon. Today I went for a walk, and after just a few minutes, I had a side ache. I've definitely got a lot of work to do to get back in cardiovascular shape. I haven't been on a walk around the park since September (before my surgery), and I can tell. Mission 2: Eat Good Things - 17/21 I've been doing really well on the food front! Hooray! My favorite meal this week was an acorn squash curry, see the link to the recipe here: I did a couple of things differently. At the grocery stores I visited I couldn't find curry paste, so I used Trader Joe's red curry simmer sauce Instead of chicken, I used shrimp. I'm a big fan of fish so it was awesome. LOVED THIS. I also made some cauliflower rice, and ate it with the curry. I've got leftovers for lunch tomorrow or dinner tonight, too!!! Mission 3: Decrease Swelling - 2/3 Doing well on this goal, and I can feel a difference in my knee when I'm making sure to ice it during the week. Life Quest: Yo Hablo Espanol - 5/7 for the week. Vocabulary is improving, and I finally made it to a lesson that teaches verb conjugations. I've started taking notes so I can look back to refresh when I don't recognize a word that shows up in the lessons. I'm really happy with my progress this week. I'll need to do more research for meal shopping this weekend. Tomorrow is quite busy for me, so I've only got time for lunch, and then I need to make sure to take some food with me for my evening activities. I love being able to plan and take care of meals all at once!!!
  5. Tateman, tell me the secret! I've tried and failed at mayo twice now! Obviously something I'm doing is not working.
  6. Ahh! I did this already this week! Part of my challenge for this 6 weeks is doing the Whole30, which for me, requires a TON of prep-work. I do all my batch cooking on Sunday to get ready for the week: mini-frittatas (in a muffin pan -- just heat up a couple each morning and TA-DA! Breakfast.), Curry chicken salad, coconut shrimp, spaghetti squash and meat sauce, and some quick snacks (carrots, sugar snap peas, frozen almond butter bananas). Each meal I prepped makes enough for 2-3 servings, so I have dinner, lunch, and possibly another lunch/dinner out of each one. It's awesome. If you're a seafood eater, or shrimp-lover, the coconut shrimp this week was AMAZING. Here's the link to the recipe I used. Do make sure you use shredded coconut, not flakes. I could only find flakes at the store, so I needed to stick them in a food processor to be a little more fine. Enjoy!!!
  7. Week 2 wrap up and Week 3 start: Mission 1: Get Moving ended the week at 3/4 week 3 begins at 0/4 -- I need to get more intentional about this. Really, getting to the gym or doing the exercises in my living room is not hard. I just need to do it. Thus far, I've proved to myself that I can stick to a Whole30 for a week, so I need to make a plan to get to the gym and just go. No excuses this week. Mission 2: Eat Good Things 21/21 - Whole30 week 1 Starting off week 3 (Whole30 week 2) at 3/21. The cooking part of Whole30 hasn't actually been as hard as I anticipated! I've been able to do some great batch cooking on Sundays to get ready for the week, and making dinner has been pretty simple. I've looked at the week ahead and found days when I don't have time to cook dinner, so I prepare those meals on the day before too. I've loved finding Whole30-compatible recipes, and making things. Monday 1/20 marked day 8, and I have entered the realm of carb flu. Woke up feeling generally awful, headache, dizzy, foggy, all over achy, and just no good. Work was rough today, so I left a little early. Tomorrow night we have a dinner for seasonal workers that I usually stay for. If this flu business sticks around, then I'll be coming home after work and not staying for dinner. We shall see. Mission 3: Decrease Swelling ended the week at 2/3 -- I am starting to notice that my knee feels more normal, which is a very good thing. I can bend it farther, and we're doing well. I'm pleased with the progress, but know that there's still more to go, so continuing to ice will be a good tool to keep around for the healing process. Week 3 begins at 0/3 Life Quest: Yo Hablo Espanol ended week 2 at 5/7 days week 3 begins at 1/7 -- I fell off the wagon a little bit here too, and my skills suffered. I've really got to stick with this, because I know that I can think of Spanish words, but I'm starting to struggle in the lessons when I don't practice every day. 15 minutes is easy. It's a small chunk of my internet time, and I can deal with it. Let's go, week 3!!!
  8. Whole30 day 8: The fog of "Carb Flu" has descended, and it is real, my friends.

  9. Tuesday Mission 1: 1/4 I'm definitely counting PT today - I'm entering the phase of rehab where PT is less about bending and now all about strength. PT sessions now make me sweat and I'm sore for the 2-3 days following. Mission 2: 9/21 Dinner today had to deviate from the plan for the week due to a miscommunication with my friend. She planned to have us all over for dinner and discuss our plans for going to see a Sundance movie, and was wondering what I could eat on the Whole30. So, I offered to cook for myself, and she assumed that I'd cook for everyone (which is fine, I had enough to make), but when I arrived, a different meal was being made with lots of things I couldn't eat. So: Improvisation! I ended up with a sweet potato hash and ground beef with some green beans - Delicious! Mission 3: 1/3 days of ice-ing the knee. Life Quest: 2/7 This is coming slowly, that's for sure. I want to learn more quickly, but I also like being able to go at my own pace with Duolingo. I'm a bit of an analyst by nature, so I love learning the functional grammar lessons and conjugations of verbs, etc. Which Duolingo doesn't do in its lessons - they're mostly vocabulary based, and when new words pop up, it gives you a definition and other forms - so for verbs, you're also seeing conjugations of other forms, which is great - but it would be even better to have a lesson focusing on grammar and conjugation.
  10. Day 106 - Rehabilitation Today, I've got a happy physical therapist, and a happy doctor. I passively flexed my knee to 130 degrees!!! Just 10-15 degrees more! I can't quite actively flex that far, but that will come when there's less fluid in the knee and hamstring strength comes back. My orders are to keep doing what I'm doing, because it's working! So, yay for good gym workouts, and flexion work!
  11. Wrap-up from Week 1 and Week 2 Update 1 Last week, I got 3/4 on my mission to get moving, 7/10 on the mission to eat good things, and 2/3 on the ice-ing. I practiced Spanish 6/7 days. So, there's still some work to be done to accomplish these goals. Week 2 - Update #1 Mission 1: Get Moving 0/4 so far this week. That means I need to go to the gym tomorrow. I'll plan to head there right after work. Mission 2: Eat Good Things Per my change from the first week, I started the Whole30 on Monday, and it's been successful so far. I'm eating all three meals every day, so I'm at 6/21 meals done Whole30. I definitely didn't drink enough water today, so I ended up with a headache. That's something I've got to get back into. I brought a water bottle to work today, and that helped me fend off the feelings of "hunger" between meals. I was very proud though, today for lunch one of my co-workers ordered a pizza and offered to share with everyone, which I declined. Then, we served dinner at work for seasonal workers at the ski resorts - things like lasagna, cheesy potatoes, bread, and more pizza. It was my job to pick up the pizzas and bring them in. Even while surrounded by all that food that I would normally love to eat, I declined, picked up some of the carrots, fruit, and green beans, and ate the chicken avocado salad I'd prepared beforehand. YAY for little wins!!! Mission 3: Decrease Swelling At 0/3 for the week Life Quest: Yo Hablo Espanol Last week I broke a streak of 9 straight days of Spanish practice. I missed yesterday as well. So, I'm back in it today. I'll be at 6/7 for the week if I get all the rest of the days this week. Week 2: HERE I COME!
  12. Update #2: Week 1 Mission 1 - Get Moving: 2/4 for the week as of today Mission 2 - Eat Good Things: 4/10 I know that I love to eat roasted vegetables. For some reason, I always forget, though. Roasting veggies is soooo easy and I need to do it more often. Dinner tonight was lemon-pepper salmon with roasted parsnips. At the end of last year (a couple weeks ago), I set some "where I want to be" goals for 2014 - and the first one is coming up in a few weeks. If I continue to eat Paleo meals, I know my body will respond well and I'll be almost there, but I want to give myself a little extra push. This does fall into the category of the first mini-challenge too. In looking at what's realistic for me, there is absolutely no reason why I could not eat good things for every meal. Thus - the extra push will be do press "reset" and start a Whole30 challenge on Monday. With reporting in for the 6-week challenge, and the goals I've already set for this challenge and for the year, that's a realistic expectation. So - finish out the week with paleo meals, and then on to a little higher intensity for every meal. It's only 30 days. Mission 3 - Decrease Swelling: 1/3 days iced Life Quest - Yo Hablo Espanol: 4/7 days This one has been really easy to do. I already spend a lot of time on the computer, so carving out 15 minutes of that time to focus on learning Spanish has not been hard. I am finding that I need to do more vocabulary review before continuing on to new words and concepts. I'm retaining a lot, but some of the grammar concepts haven't quite sunk in, and there are still several words in my small vocabulary (108 words!) that I struggle to remember. I've been reviewing and doing practice sessions of my learned words each day, though it makes the progress on new concepts slower. However, I'd rather master a set of words now than power through the lessons and be unable to remember them later.
  13. Quick update: Mission 1: 1/4 for the week Mission 2: 2/10 for the week Mission 3: 0/3 Life quest: 2/7 for the week
  14. Hi, Adventurers! It's been a while since my last challenge, and I did a few with the Druids, but I'm back with you all with a new starting point. In October, I had surgery to reconstruct my PCL. I've been tracking the progress post-surgery on a different thread, and will post a few more updates as they come. You can see it here. Surgery definitely threw me back several giant steps in my progress toward getting healthy, but in a couple ways it actually started me down a better road - since having surgery, I've lost 10 lbs, and people have been noticing too! I want to continue that momentum in this rehab phase - get the knee working again and keep moving toward my weight and body composition goals. Main Quest: To Rehabilitate my knee so I'm back to full ROM and even strength between left/right sides. Mission 1: Get Moving I will do 30 minutes of rehab work at least 4 times per week. including (and mostly limited to): the ever-changing list of PT exercises, stationary biking, child's pose stretch, planks, and wall slides. Mission 2: Eat Good Things [EDITED AFTER MINI-CHALLENGE 1] Whole 30 starting Monday of Week 2 (Jan. 13) This goal is connected in a round-about way. When I eat better, I generally feel better and am more motivated to do my rehab work, etc. Also, eating paleo meals will help in losing weight and thus remove additional weight/pressure from the knee as it continues to heal. Deciding to do the Whole 30 here will require additional planning. But it's a realistic expectation to have of myself. It will save me money (as I won't be eating out much, if at all), and will provide the jump-start I need to achieve my 2014 fitness goals. Mission 3: Decrease Swelling I will ice my knee for 15-20 minutes, 3 times per week until swelling has eased up. There's still a lot of fluid in my knee, and it's swollen. I haven't been diligent about ice-ing or taking anti-inflammatory medication to help. When the swelling goes down, the range of motion will return. Life Quest: Yo Hablo Espanol Practice Spanish for 15+ minutes every day I work in a community resource center and many of the people who come through the center speak Spanish. I do not speak any Spanish, but would like to. Fortunately, I pick up on languages very quickly. I've started going through lessons on Duolingo, and I already know more words to communicate than I did before! What's my motivation? I'm tired of all the excuses for why I can't do this or that, and I'm tired of the excuses that my family keeps giving me for why they can't lose weight or why they can't stay on track. I need to prove to myself that it's possible, and in so doing, show my family that change can happen. Happy New Year! Here's to a happy and healthy 2014!!!
  15. Day 90 - Rehabilitation Saw my Dr. on Monday, and he kept using the words "shockingly good" during the exam. He said I've healed very well, and that he wishes all reconstructed ligaments felt like mine does!!! (Yay!) Strength testing at PT on Thursday...my surgical leg is 78% of quad strength, and 50% of hamstring strength. I'm not surprised, but it's good to put numbers on where I'm at so we know how much work I need to do. PT is going to start feeling more like workouts and less like stretching/motion now. Still biking, but will start adding in gym exercises - leg press & hamstring (curls?) to be specific. Still about 20 more degrees to go until full range of motion in my surgical leg - Dr. isn't concerned - I still have a lot of fluid that's creating pressure and swelling, which is partly contributing to the lack of bend. I've been given clearance to do most active things. No running, jumping, cutting, or heavy lifting for a while. Heavy lifting is on hold until April. Running/Jumping will come when my strength is more even between both legs. Can go up stairs with one leg per step. I can almost do the same going down. Getting very close. On steps that aren't very far apart, I can go down with one foot per step. Stairs that are farther apart still have to use two feet per step. Progress is progress, though. Things are going well, here. Feeling good - no pain, no problems.
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