ACL Reconstruction Surgery: Post-Op Weeks 5&6

postop6wk1

Hello! Summer is definitely in full swing here and the last few days have been hot. Luckily, the humidity is still relatively low so it’s not unbearable (and it’s cooled down a lot today!). Isn’t talking about the weather fun?

Time for another knee update! Today marks six weeks since ACL Reconstruction surgery. I remember just wanting so bad to get to this point, because I heard that you really start to feel “normal” again around six weeks. I don’t know if I necessary feel normal right now, but I definitely feel better (physically) than I have since the day of surgery. Here’s a little breakdown of how things have been going during weeks 5 & 6 post-surgery.

Pain Level: My pain level over the last two weeks has been pretty minimal. I still have some swelling around and behind my knee, which makes everything feel pretty stiff. I have some soreness around the large incision, but the pain level is very minimal. I went for my 5-week check-up last Tuesday, and the doctor was very pleased with my progress. He did the “ACL test” on my leg (to make sure the ACL was really in there!) and it kind of freaked me out. That night, I randomly had shooting pains in my hamstring on my operative leg, which really sucked. The pain lasted midway through the next day, and suddenly went away in the afternoon. Since then, I’ve had a bit more swelling around my knee (but no more pain in my hamstring).

Here’s a close-up of my knees yesterday:

postop6wk1

And just to compare, here’s a photo from two weeks ago:

[Read more...]

WIAW 83: Eggs & Indulgence

pork shoulder

Last Saturday was one of those crazy days where I found myself running all over the place from the time that I woke up until I went to bed. Regardless of the day being a bit hectic and busy- it was super fun and I got to spend some time with a bunch of great friends! Usually Greg and I designate Saturday as the one morning of the week for “sleeping in,” but we got up relatively early to meet with our realtor to look at houses. (I know that it seems like we just moved- but we rented our house out here for a year to figure out where we wanted to buy- and that lease is up May 1st!)

I whipped up a quick breakfast of toast, scrambled eggs (with ham and hot sauce!) and kumquats. I also had a small smoothie made with JAVAPRO (instead of coffee).

eggs

We were out looking at pretty much every single house available in the towns we want to live in- which isn’t a whole lot. The inventory is super low out here (which is great for the sellers- not as great if you’re a buyer!). We got back home with about 45 minutes to spare before I had to head back out to attend the Fairlife blogger event, and I made myself a salad with a hard-boiled egg, avocado and chicken for lunch- and ate a few handful of this popcorn before making myself put the bag away. :)

[Read more...]

Maximize Your Life [An Evening with Jillian Michaels]

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.49.01 PM

A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of spending the evening with one of my heroes, Jillian Michaels. Jillian is currently traveling across the country with her Maximize Your Life Tour and her very first stop was in Denver! My dear friend Kelly emailed me a few months ago when tickets went on sale and asked me if I’d like to go- and without hesitation I said yes! The Maximize Your Life Tour is described as this: Jillian shows how to harness your potential, kick-start your goals and live an exceptional life – sharing her keys to health, success and happiness. No hype, no false promises: Just results.

It was basically an intimate evening with Jillian where she shared her own thoughts and advice on how to become a better you- through better eating, fitness and better mental health. She also ended the night with a Q&A session where members of the audience could step up to a microphone and ask her anything.

Kelly had scored us some pretty great seats, and we were so excited when Jillian walked out on the stage.

jillianmichaels

We all know that Jillian is beautiful- but (as cliché as it sounds) she’s even more gorgeous in person. And even though she wasn’t wearing gym clothes, it was super easy to notice how damn buff she is- talk about muscular legs and booty!

Jillian started off the night by giving us an overview of what to expect over the next two hours. She planned to break up her presentation into three segments:

[Read more...]

WIAW 79: Final KIND Event + Restaurant Week

pineapple

I have a confession to make: overall, I prefer eating at home over eating out. Don’t get me wrong- I definitely enjoy a great meal at a restaurant and love going out with Greg, other couples or just one or two of my girlfriends. There are so many great places to eat in Denver and Boulder and since I live pretty much in between both, it’s easy to travel to both cities quickly. I usually eat dinner out about once per week (or sometimes not at all) and lunch once or twice. In the last few weeks, I’ve definitely had many more meals out than I have at home. From pretty much my birthday on, Greg and I have eaten dinner out at restaurants more than we have at home. Eating out that often definitely makes trying to achieve weight loss a little bit tougher (even if you order the “healthiest” thing on the menu)- and it’s expensive! After this weekend, I’m happy to be eating meals at home for at least the next week.

On Saturday of last week, I happened to eat all three meals outside of my home! Two of those meals were actually prepared in my kitchen though, and only one was actually at a restaurant. My last day with KIND is this coming Friday, but my last “event” that I had to work (which was the Polar Plunge) was this past weekend. Luckily, I had my partner-in-crime with me to make the day a lot more fun! Since I had to head out in the morning to get down to Denver and set up, I made Swiss oats in a Justin’s PB jar the night before. It was easy to stir in the yogurt and fruit in the morning and grab the jar before hitting the road.

justins

I have definitely mastered the art of eating oats in a jar while driving.

[Read more...]

Backpacker Gear & Go Tour [+ The Amazing Race!]

Abba

As a new resident of Colorado, there’s a lot I have yet to experiment with in regards to exploring the great outdoors. Greg and I are both very interested in pursuing many of the different adventures that so many people around here are passionate about. I am not a winter sports girl (I’ve taken one skiing lesson in my life- in Maryland- and was not a fan) but I would like to start to change that this year. I recently purchased some snow shoes and have promised Greg (and other friends) that I would take ski lessons this year. Greg is a very skilled snowboarder and skier and while I would never even attempt to go along on his adventures, I’d at least like to gain more of an appreciation for the sport.

We never really got around to doing any camping this year and I don’t really have much desire to take a stab at winter camping any time soon. Since the camping season is pretty much over, much of the equipment is on clearance at various outdoor retailers. We recently purchased a tent from Sierra Trading Post and look forward to being able to use it next spring. There’s still a lot of camping equipment that we don’t have and until last night I was pretty much clueless about what exactly we need!

While browsing in REI the other day I noticed a sign:

sign

As you know, I am a huge fan of The Amazing Race! I noticed Phil Koeghan’s handsome mug right away and then read up on the details of the event when I got home. Denver REI was Phil’s final stop on the Gear & Go Tour, hosted by Backpacker magazine. Backpacker ambassadors would give a presentation on essential camping and hiking gear and then turn it over to Phil, who would talk about No Opportunity Wasted.

[Read more...]

The Color Run [It was #KINDawesome]

CR33

Last week I told you guys a bit about my new job working as part of the field marketing team for KIND. I’ve gotta say- I am really digging this job. It’s pretty easy to feel good about what you do when everyone is always so excited about your products. I’ve yet to find someone so far (and I’m sure they’re out there somewhere) who doesn’t like KIND bars and granola. It’s definitely a complete 180 from my job as a teacher…

One part of my job is to attend various events around the Denver/Boulder area and spread the KIND love. This past Saturday I represented KIND at The Color Run in Denver. KIND is a national sponsor, so our branding was all over the event (which was really cool!).

CR33

The Color Run is advertised as The Happiest 5k on the Planet. After attending, I think I have to agree that it is! I’ll admit it- I wasn’t super jazzed about waking up at 5:00am on a Saturday, but being at the event totally made up for that early alarm clock. The race started at 8:30am, but I got there around 6:15 to start setting things up. I had a team of volunteers working with me- and they were awesome.

[Read more...]

WIAW 42: Eating [+ Drinking!] Denver

bigeatfood2

With all of this business of traveling and playing tour guide, my eating habits have been a little… less than stellar. I’ll be honest- I’ve been eating too much in general and going out to eat a lot, and am looking forward to getting back into a routine where what I eat makes me feel good. And maybe I should focus on a little less beer drinking while I’m at it (which is tough with all of these delicious breweries so close by). Here’s a little taste (no pun intended!) of (some of) what I’ve been eating and drinking over the last few days.

(last) Thursday:

My friend Brie got into town early on Thursday and we immediately headed over to Chautauqua for a pretty intense hike. Since Brie doesn’t eat anything with a face, I knew that I wanted to take her to Native Foods Cafe. It’s always so hard to choose what to eat there, because everything on the menu sounds delicious. Luckily, Brie is a food-sharer, so we got two entrees and split them:

Soul Bowl:

Nativefoods02

(Southern fried Native “Chicken” with hearty red beans and brown rice, steamed veggies and kale dressed with ranch and BBQ sauce and served with homemade cornbread)

Ensalada Azteca Salad:

Nativefoods01

(fresh avocado, jicama and cucumber salsa atop quinoa, romaine and our award winning mango lime vinaigrette. Topped with currants, toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro)

[Read more...]

Playing Tour Guide

Breckgirls

Happy Memorial Day, friends! I hope you’re enjoying a nice long weekend and hopefully Mother Nature is giving you some sunshine wherever you are. Between being in Utah for Blend last week and then having two friends visit back to back, I’ve been going nonstop! My friend Brie has been visiting since last Thursday, and we’ve been having a wonderful time exploring Colorado. It’s been really cool having one of my closest friends from Maryland come out to Colorado. This is her first trip our west, and I’ve been loving the opportunity to play tour guide! It’s been so much fun to take her to my favorite places (and it’s given me an excuse to visit them too!). We’ve been packing every day full of activity (which makes it very easy to sleep soundly!) and there’s still a few more things on the agenda before she heads back to Maryland Tuesday afternoon.

Here’s a big, giant photo explosion of what’s been going on over the last few days:

Brie got into Denver early Thursday morning, and we headed over to hike the Royal Arch Trail at Chautauqua Park:

flatirons01

[Read more...]