Reinforcing Lessons About Exercise

There is currently a fly buzzing around the kitchen, which makes me equal parts mad and sad. Mad because it wants to get at my banana bread mug cake. Sad because flies are gross.

Alright, I have some foodie talk this morning before we get into the meat of the post.

First of all, I ate classic overnight oats in a sunflower seed butter jar (with 2+ tbsp left in the jar) for breakfast yesterday! It might be one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. I enjoyed it in my backyard since it was such a gorgeous and mild morning. Very few things could have made it more perfect.

DSC_1530

Secondly, I think pita bread needs to be on people’s grocery lists more often. That’s right, I’m asserting my opinion over your grocery list. *smiling purple devil emoji* For good reason though! Pita bread takes sandwiches to a new level. The fluffy, doughy factor is superb, AND you can fit more oddly shaped foods inside.

DSC_1531

inside the pita: avocado, pork souvlaki, mint yogurt sauce, tomatoes, and sriracha added later

Let me know if you buy some pita bread now. If you do, I’ll look into marketing and advertising as a side job.

Speaking of jobs, I want to talk about some lessons that my physical therapy internship has taught me/reinforced. There is very little doubt in my mind that physical therapy is what I want to continue pursuing as a career, and it’s thanks to my summer internship experience and what it has taught me!

Besides everything I’ve learned about anatomy, diseases, and therapy techniques, I’ve sort of re-learned a lot of lessons about taking care of our bodies through movement.

Health Lessons Reinforced Through My Physical Therapy Internship

  • Do not dismiss seemingly easy exercises. Go back to the basics and re-check your form/range of motion. Try an exercise that you’ve never done before, even if it looks easy. You’d be very surprised how well certain exercises can work those smaller (yet still very important!) muscles.

Side-Lying-Leg-Lift

like these…they kill those smaller glute muscles you never knew you had

  • Flexibility is essential. This doesn’t mean you have to be able to bend backwards until your head is through your legs, but flexibility is certainly important for your overall health and fitness. A full range of motion will help you in your fitness endeavors as well as in injury prevention.
    • P.S. Hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds. That is the minimum for lengthening to actually occur. You can hold it longer, but it won’t make any difference. 30 seconds is the magic number!
  • Almost every injury or anatomical issue can be aided by core strengthening. Planks, y’all. Your core protects your back, promotes good posture (which also protects your back), supports your legs, and helps with balance.

FocusOnForm_ForearmPlank

[source]

speaking of form…

  • Form is everything. I’m sure you all knew this already, but this is just to reiterate. Don’t go for another rep or for the advanced variation of an exercise if your form is off. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Oh, unless…DON’T DO IT. I’m guilty of bad form, and I have indeed injured myself as a result.
    • Also, make sure to learn proper form before performing an exercise. I’m guilty of this as well, and guess what. I hurt myself because I didn’t know what I was doing.
  • Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. This is especially for people recovering from injury or getting back into an exercise routine after some time off. You might feel great when exercising, so it is easy to over-do it and agitate your body. You have to think about how your body might respond later. 
  • It’s all about progressThe looks on patients’ faces when they can walk without a limp or raise their arms completely overhead for the first time in months— it is the best part of the job. Exercise and movement is about YOUR progress. You will be filled with so much more joy if you just concern yourself with that rather than everyone else’s abilities.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

even if it’s literally one step at a time up a mountain

  • Be thankful for the ability to move. Exercise is nourishing for our bodies (in healthy amounts, of course). Whatever you do to move, keep safety first and rest when you need to. Exercise doesn’t have to be about getting big, getting skinny, or hitting PRs. It can just be about joy. It can just be about necessity for health. In any case, be thankful for movement and don’t disregard the “easy” stuff. Every form of exercise has its place.

With all that said, my PT internship has helped encourage me realize that there are so many ways I can move my body and improve its fitness without pushing it too hard. I can work on flexibility/mobility, balance, and strengthening those smaller muscles.

Kayyyy I’m done talking…typing…whatever. Hope you all have a grand ol’ day!

So tell me:

Do you like pita bread? What would you put inside?

What is one way you’ve progressed with your exercise/fitness recently? Resting more counts 🙂 

{Disclaimer: All information I learned is from two physical therapists with their doctorate in physical therapy. One is also a certified personal trainer.}

The Best Things I Did This Weekend

I am currently staring at all the food I need to put away in the fridge and procrastinating doing so by blogging.

What is all this food I’m staring at? See below. 🙂

The Best Things I Did This Weekend:

1. Celebrating Fathers’ Day!

There are no words that can justly describe how much Pop means to me. Such a humble, hard working, charitable man. Thank you for everything, Pop!

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

We BBQ’d to celebrate and followed typical protocol— I chop, marinate, and skewer; Dad grills. We make a good team.

DSC_1500

breakfast for Pop: egg white omelet with cheese, greens, red bell peppers, and avocado + turkey bacon + cinnamon apple FlapJacked pancakes

DSC_1501

breakfast for me (unpictured: two or three more spoonfuls of almond butter)

DSC_1510

THE BEST ROASTED SWEET POTATOES EVER

DSC_1514

pork souvlaki

DSC_1516

Moroccan chicken kebabs

DSC_1515

grilled vegetables

DSC_1517

pita with chicken, tomatoes, and homemade cucumber mint yogurt sauce

DSC_1518

When Dad and I grill, we eat super casually. We’ll just graze and try whatever is ready out of the oven or off the grill, as a BBQ should be IMO. It’s like an all night buffet.

2. Logging off of Facebook and Instagram for a majority of the weekend (Friday and Saturday at least).

I dare you to try this. Logging off of social media and not worrying about notifications or checking news feeds did wonders for my focus and breathing. Yes, I was still on Instagram and FB, especially yesterday, but even taking a couple days off helped me realize how much time and energy I spent on social media. I’m going to make this a regular thing.

3. This breakfast.

I rarely have the same breakfast two mornings in a row, but this was a repeat on Friday and Saturday because it was basically 90% prepared and tasted 100% delicious.

DSC_1489

a hefty piece of this banana bread oatmeal bake (that I baked earlier this week) with sunflower seed butter + Greek yogurt with chia, cinnamon, nutmeg, banana, and pb

4. One handed handstand against the wall!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I’ve tried this in the past and failed, but on Friday night I just went for it again and surprised myself! I did it a few times and called it a day, don’t worry 😉

5. Amanda’s banana muffins.

These babies made their way to the top of some ice cream…

DSC_1488

…and some chia pudding…

DSC_1498

…and into my belly.

6. Surprising mom at the airport during her layover.

It’s a long story as to why she was traveling, but long story short: We got to see her for the first time in about a month at the airport! She was so happy to see us, and we were so happy to see her!

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

airport Qdoba doing me good

7. Listening to Tori Kelly’s new album on iTunes radio.

I need to white-girl-fan-girl here, because I CANNOT EVEN handle how amazing it is. I advise you to go listen (on iTunes Radio First Play, but the album drops tomorrow!).

IMG_6557

no one sings or does curly hair quite like her

8. Bareburger with Pop.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The “SoCal”: turkey burger with sprouts, guacamole, pickled red onions, and a beauteous amount of aged cheddar on a multigrain bun

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

vegan carrot cake which rocked our worlds

 9. Eating more than Pop on Saturday.

This is real life. I ate quite a bit more than my dad on Saturday, and I didn’t even try! Granted, we have two opposite goals for our bodies (and…different bodies), but I’m pretty darn impressed with myself!

10. Going to church.

Always the highlight.

___________________________

Woo that’s a lot of happenings! Wait, more than half of these are about food. I act surprised, but I guess I shouldn’t be…

Hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

The top three best things you did this weekend!

Do you like repeating breakfast or changing it up?

Did you cook/bake anything amazing this weekend?