Mother’s Day and Some Cupping

Well today’s subject line is a mixed bag, but so was my week.

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First of all Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers, mother-in-laws and moms to be.  I am a really lucky girl. I have an amazing mom and I was blessed this year to gain an awesome mother-in-law.  Both are fantastic ladies and have a lot of love.  I can’t tell you how lucky I feel.

This week for our craft project the kids made personalized flower pots for mom.  They were so awesome!

This week for our craft project the kids made personalized flower pots for mom. They were so awesome!

On another note, I have received a lot of love from readers asking about and sending well wishes my way for my foot.  I wish I could tell you that I am up and running again, but as with any injury, it is all about patience.  Things are slowly getting better and I definitely feel on the mend.  However, my flight on Wednesday left my leg a bit swollen and that caused some limping (flying always leaves me feeling like a bloated balloon).  The compensation from limping had me waking up on Thursday with some muscle strains in my shin and extensor tendons.  Good grief.  Can a girl get a break?!

Lucky for me I had just made an appointment for acupuncture upon my arrival and my acupuncturist is amazing.  If you haven’t ever tried acupuncture, I highly recommend it.  It is something newish to me and I have found the results for various ailments to be quite incredible.  As a side note I have found that it has had the biggest impact on my sleep patterns and internal temperatures.  I have always felt cold all of my life.  I could walk around most days in sweat pants and a sweatshirt and still want to cover up in a blanket.  I now go about the house, even in the winter with just pants and a t-shirt.  My sleep has become much deeper and easier to drift off without tossing and turning around.

My acupuncturist did a nice treatment to help ease the pain in my foot and followed it up with some cupping.  I had never experienced cupping before but I would definitely do it again.  She was able to treat the tendonitis that was forming in my shins and making it difficult for me to walk.

The cups are heated with a substance that helps pull the oxygen out and then is suctioned to the skin.  The suctioning helps open the pores of your skin to allow blood to flow to the area and stimulate healing.  Sounds a little funny but there is a lot of evidence that this works.  My leg did feel sore after the treatment but when I woke up the following morning the pain in my shins was gone!

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Looks like it hurt but I really couldn't feel it.  Small price to pay.

Looks like it hurt but I really couldn’t feel it. Small price to pay.

So now I am left to deal with the tight Achilles and the extensor tendonitis.  Extensor tendonitis occurs on the top of your feet and may penetrate down into your toes.  If you lift your toes up and down and feel pain or tension this could likely be from extensor tendonitis.  You can also rub your fingers along the area and find it tender to the touch.  I have had this a few times and I have always been able to find an area where there is swelling or a small lump where the tendons are most inflamed.

If you are dealing with this pain in the foot there are a few things you can do.  Rest is of course the most important plan of attack.  Ice it with plain old pieces of ice, frozen water in a Dixie cup or in a recycled yogurt cup (thanks Denny for the great idea) for 5 minutes at a time.  Avoid using ice packs or frozen vegetables as this really doesn’t penetrate deep enough into the inflammation.  Try some cross friction massage after you ice the area. You can do this by applying some pressure and massaging  the foot going against the grain of the tendons.  The best way I can put this is to think about how you would cut a steak against the grain…sorry!

Keep ice in Dixie cups in your freezer and tear off the cup for an easy way to apply to injuries.

Keep ice in Dixie cups in your freezer and tear off the cup for an easy way to apply to injuries.

Perfect for a night out on the town ;)

Perfect for a night out on the town 😉

Try to keep your feet out of shoes that cover the painful area for awhile, such as your running sneakers.  I recommend a pair of Crocs.  Besides being incredibly sexy, they are nice and soft and keep the painful area from rubbing or chaffing against anything that might create further pain or inflammation.

I hope you all have a very special Sunday and Mother’s Day.  Happy running!

A Healthier Twist on Chinese Takeout- Cashew Chicken

I love Chinese food but abstained from ordering it for a long time because I felt like it was laden in grease and sodium.  I decided it was time to take charge and find a way to make my own version of one of my favorites.  This version is not fried, has just a tad of vegetable based oil, and uses reduced sodium soy sauce.  This is one of my husband’s favorite recipes and a go-to for me when I cook for a crowd because I know everyone will love it.

Prep Time: 5 mins.       Cooking time: 25 mins.  (Yes it is a 30 minute dinner!)

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken cut into cubes

1 cup diced onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (skip the LaChoy and get the Kikoman, it just doesn’t taste the same)

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1-2 tablespoons chili powder (depending on your preference)

1 cup cashews

Ingredients needed.  Oops I forgot the vegetable oil!  (I forgot to add the vegetable oil to this picture.  Don’t forget it!)

Cooking directions:

Place cubed chicken in a ziplock with the soy sauce, honey, oil, and chili powder.  You can keep it in the fridge for a few hours to marinate or you can simply massage the chicken in the bag to make sure it is fully coated and then get started.  Heat a skillet over high heat, the hotter the better.  Use tongs and take chicken from ziplock and place on the hot skillet.  Keep the reserve marinade for later, don’t toss it.  Cook the chicken on one side until the honey starts to give the chicken a nice carmelized crisp.  Flip each piece over and repeat.  Once the chicken is done on both sides remove it from skillet to a plate and leave aside, keep any remaining sauce in the pan.

Add the onion and mushrooms to the skillet and cook on medium high heat, adding the reserved marinade.  The marinade needs to come to a boil for a few minutes to ensure that it is ok to eat after having the raw chicken in there.  This also gives the marinade some time to thicken.  Once the marinade is done boiling, reduce heat to medium and add in the chicken and cashews.  Let simmer for a minute or two and then plate.

This is tasty over white or brown rice.  I often use the easy 90 second microwaveable rice packages when making this dinner.  You can also plate it over quinoa for an added healthy protein and source of fiber.

If you are making this for your family and they are not fans of mushrooms or onions you can always make this recipe without them or add in a veggie that they prefer.  I always encourage some sort of veggie in there, but this recipe can be altered for even the pickiest of eaters.  It is worth noting that the onions in this recipe get nice and carmelized in that soy-honey sauce, so many people who aren’t fans of onions will likely not even notice!

On a side note, honey is a go to for many runners and athletes.  It is an excellent anti-inflammatory.  Honey also is a natural sugar whose components aid in glycogen storage, and because it is easy to digest it is great for runners to consume before a long endurance event.  I love to have a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and honey in the mornings before I hit the pavement.