Eating Well When You Aren’t Well


This week, this happened.

Yes, you guessed it. My foot was mauled by an angry bear*, resulting in severe injuries to the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones of the foot. Side note: I always thought metatarsals were toes, but they are foot bones and toes are phalanges!

While the healing plan is still not 100% formulated, it’s clear that I will be on one hoof for at least 2 months and likely longer.

The first couple of days, the pain was making me nauseated, so I really did not care about food. Then I had a day of eating whatever (i.e. pizza). Now I’m starting to think about how to best care for myself while I heal and am less able to get around.

I have a subscription to Splendid Spoon (review to come), so I think that will help me some, as those foods can be eaten cold or just microwaved. I’ll only need to figure out how to move hot soup from the kitchen to the main room in the little condo I inhabit during the week, as I have no kitchen seating. I tend to be a 2 meal a day person, with one of those being something small eaten at the office, so that can stay oatmeal, maybe with a little protein powder tossed in, since the splendid spoon meals are not high in protein. Since salads tend to be a multi-part lengthy process the way that I like them, I suppose that might be a little less common for a while.

I don’t really know if I should increase my calcium even more to support bone growth, but it’s something to investigate!

What I will have to fight is the urge to just eat crap as a way to assuage my irritation/pain because “I deserve it.”

I’ll also have to figure out how to get exercise besides what I am getting from moving around on crutches.

How do you manage eating well when you aren’t feeling like yourself for an extended period?

*Not really, but this seems much more interesting than the real story that I walked off a set of steps into the air and came down severely twisting my foot and breaking it.

Yoga – Exercise or Not Enough?

Photo by "Mike" Michael L. Baird, &

Since I’ve been in yoga teacher training, I have spent a lot more time thinking about my practice.  Mostly, the thinking involves how to get closer to the union that yoga is based upon – how to “reach” (in quotes because we are all already there – we just have to be there) that place where I can more fully experience the divine. Once in a while, however, I start thinking about what brought me to yoga in the first place – exercise.

When I first started yoga, I did it as a way to seek out a form of exercise that felt good to my non-athletic self, rather than feeling like punishment.  I had only ever worked out to lose weight or maintain weight, and I wanted to find something I could do that would make my body healthier and that I would enjoy enough to keep doing.  Yoga fit the bill.  But, there are times when I wonder if it is “enough” exercise (note that the image to the left is NOT me).

In some instances, I know exactly where this comes from.  I get on the scale and see a number that I don’t like (this happened today – really? how can that number be there? did I not do10 days of juice fasting this month?  WTF?).  Sometimes it comes from reading blogs or articles about amazing athletes (like my friend Maria at   Sometimes, I think it’s because I’m angry with my body for being uncooperative and maybe I want to punish it a little more.  And then there are times when I don’t know where it comes from, but there it is.

My response to these musings can be anything from dismissal (Uh huh! Yoga is exercise – how many people can do that many vinyasas in 90 minutes?), to promises that I’ll do something else (Hey, Maria, I think after I finish teacher training I might start running too), to channeling it into self-castigation over what I’ve eaten or how I look.  But, sometimes, I can pull myself back to remembering what yoga brings to me besides/beyond the physical conditioning and how much I love it and how I would have to give some of it up to do something else and I just don’t want to do that.

Of course, the irony of some of this is that, before I started doing yoga, I wasn’t really exercising at all – beyond just being a mom.  I probably weighed about what I weigh now, or a little more, but  had not a muscle on me.  And at that time, I didn’t really fret about how much exercise was enough much at all.  Had I not had a doctor who pestered me about starting something more formal every time I saw him, I don’t know when I would have gotten it going.  Now I’m doing much more (vinyasa yoga 5-6 days a week and yin 2 days) and still fretting.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this rambling. I suppose I should have thought that out before I started the post.  Do you exercise for the love of it or because you feel you should?  What is your chosen form?  Why?  How do you decide how much is enough?



Would You Please Stop Interrupting?

A month or so ago, I had a bout of IBS.  After a few days of trying to just tough it out, eating the usual fruits and veggies – even though I wanted crackers and bananas more, I did some research about what I should be eating to calm the system down.  Interestingly, I found that the items I had felt like eating (crackers, bread, bananas, applesauce) were exactly what I needed to eat to get my system back on track.  Having been authorized by Google, I accepted that diet for a few weeks and now feel much better.

Last week, my body seemed to need a rest day from yoga, and I was not happy about it.  But, after arguing with myself, I took it.  And the next day my yoga practice went really well – I felt strong and good and the back pain I was having started to dissapate.

Toward the end of last week, a friend was worrying with me about why she wanted to eat so much (and mostly carbs) during the week before menstruation.  We did a little research and concluded that, between the drop in estrogen and the drop in serotonin that  seems to occur at that time, it makes utter sense to consume more complex carbs.

Then, yesterday (Sunday), I found myself totally exhausted at 10 a.m.  I was so tired my eyes were burning and I had to go lay down for an hour.  As usual, I was scolding myself about it, when it occurred to me that a similar thing had happened the previous Sunday, but I blamed it on going out Saturday night.  And, when I thought about it, the Sunday before had been the same way, and so on.  After pondering for a while, it finally struck me that I have been taking my weekly large dose of methotrexate on Saturday evening.  And what is a major side effect of MTX?  Fatigue.  Ohhh.

So, what’s the moral here?  I think it’s that sometimes, or often, our bodies know what they need and they try to tell us.  We just don’t always listen.  Toddlers get it.  They will sometimes go a day or three eating next to nothing.  And then suddenly eat 6 bananas in an afternoon.  And maybe the next day they only want green beans and chicken.  It drives parents insane.  We think our little dears are going to starve, but they don’t.  If we make healthy food available and let them make selections, they do pretty well.  They haven’t learned how to shut down that body voice yet.

Maybe we should take a page from the book of toddlers.  Eat when we are hungry (though we may have to think about what we are hungry for, because as adults we have hunger all mixed up with other things), nap when we are tired, smile when we are happy, cry when we are sad.  We probably shouldn’t bite anyone, but other than that it sounds not so bad.

What is your body trying to tell you?