Food and Fitness

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On a whim I created a new recipe last night that I’m excited to share with you, but first, a story about getting strong. I’ve been upping my strength training and cardio lately as I continue to work towards improving myself as a climber. I was told by a trainer a few months ago that I would benefit by working on my upper back more, so I’ve been focusing on rhomboids, lats and traps but neglected to really focus on my rotator cuff, and I’m starting to pay for that.

For the past few months, after climbing or a hard kettle bell or pull-up session I was getting some pain in my right upper arm. It would always subside within 2-3 days, and massage and cupping greatly helped, but the type of pain made me concerned about injury. It felt very specific and sharp; not a normal post-workout muscle ache. I was having trouble tracking down the specific issue myself and I suspected a muscle imbalance so I went to my physical therapist, who I LOVE, and I’m so glad I did!

She was able to quickly diagnose the issue as a slight weakness and tendonitis of my supraspinatus. My humorous basically can’t glide the way it needs to so it’s locking up when I do certain motions. She also suspects a partial rotator cuff tear, but nothing major. So for now my focus is to strengthen my supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres major and teres minor while I also go through physical therapy to break up adhesions in the supraspinatus. I expect to have a more in-depth entry about the supraspinatus, so just consider this a teaser.

The lesson is that it’s much better to listen to your body and go in for preventative care rather than wait for injury. The pain I was having in my supraspinatus was not intense. I could definitely shake it off. But by seeking out physical therapy, massage and strength training now I’m avoiding future serious injury to my rotator cuff. This is a big reason that I recommend that my athletic clients come for regular massage to keep muscle adhesions under control and to increase range of motion. A complete plan would include exercise, stretching, massage, complimentary therapies as needed and diet. Speaking of diet…

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Perfect Parchment Chicken and Brussels Sprouts (Paleo/GF/DF)

If you haven’t played with cooking food in parchment paper you’re missing out! I first discovered this idea when I came across a simple recipe for salmon that was cooked with some veggies in a parchment paper pouch in the oven. The meat and veggies steam, leaving them moist and delicious. Plus, you have a little pouch to open at the end. 🙂

The inspiration for this recipe was that I had chicken breasts that I really wanted to roast in the oven but chicken breasts often dry out in the oven. I decided that if parchment paper works for salmon it should work for anything so I gave it a go and sure enough I came out with flavorful, moist delicious chicken and veggies! And it was so easy!!

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • Chicken breast, rinsed and pat dry
  • 1 tbsp of your favorite chicken dry rub (I used a simple herb rub)
  • 1/2 cup diced brussel sprouts
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Cut a large rectangle of parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet.
  3. Mix veggies, salt, pepper and 1 tsp olive oil together. Add veggies to the center of the parchment paper.
  4. Dry rub the chicken and place on top of the veggies. Dribble remaining oil over the chicken.
  5. Create a pouch with the parchment paper by folding the two outer edges over the center of the chicken (they should overlap) and then crinkle in the ends so they hold together in a pouch shape.
  6. Bake for ~30-40 minutes.
  7. Let cool for ~5 minutes. Then open pouch and enjoy your perfectly steamed, succulent meal!
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