Physical Therapy At Home…..It Is Possible

Let’s discuss something that can be quite controversial…..physical therapy. Do you need a professional?

During the last month my husband has seen many, many medical professionals and one of them happened to be a physical therapist. Now, I am not saying all physical therapist are the same or have the same approach with all their patients but after discussing with his neurologist the progression of therapy my husband was receiving he came home and asked me what my opinion was on continuing to keep his therapy appointments twice a week. These appointments had him doing very little and they took up 1 1/2 hours of his day. After discussing what they did, the outlook his pt person had for future appointments, and our normal activity level with the doctor he stated that maybe it would be more beneficial to continue doing everything we have been doing at our pace which would all benefit him greatly. Which then made me say let’s cancel pt all together and we can plan our daily routine around what we know is the best form of therapy for his condition and save us a lot of time and money. So we did.

Now, we are pretty lucky since we already had almost everything we needed that he would benefit from right at home from our years of physical activity. If you are not so lucky and don’t want to invest in some items that are recommended for your condition then you are probably best to still seek the skills of a physical therapist as directed by your doctor.

I would like to share his first week of at home physical therapy exercises. (Please remember that this routine is specific for his condition, so this may not be a routine for everyone and all conditions.)

Monday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 30 minutes on the stationary bike IMG_1753Tuesday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 3 mile walk, TENS therapy 30 minutes IMG_1701Wednesday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 2 mile trail walk, resistance bands foot/ankle IMG_0981 Thursday: 1 hour pool therapy, hamstring stretch 2x’s day IMG_1741

Friday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, decompression/inversion table 15 minutes IMG_1749

Saturday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 30 minutes on the stationary bike

Sunday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day and a hike just short of 5 miles

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If you follow along you all know that the one thing about us is that we are a very active couple. This routine was by far a challenge to endure, but for some individuals it may be considered grueling. We went into this with no plan what so ever. We did what felt right for that particular day. You can see on Thursday, for instance, we ended up in a city pool for open swim time after dinner. He had a very long, hot and uncomfortable day as far as pain is considered at work and water has been our go to ever since it all started. We did not feel like traveling to our normal spot to swim in the bay of Green Bay so we drove and paid $6 for an hour of pool time.

If you are not a normal active person and you need that push of a physical therapist and a set time and place then I would suggest you go this route. We, however, do not need a set time and place to be active. We have figured out a way to just change up our normal active routine and adjust it to what he needs to work on to improve his condition. Making it fun, not in a medical facility, and including your family and children will make the actual process of doing whatever your doctor has suggested not so bad. Even my daycare children have started assisting him in ways he never thought he would be stretched.  IMG_1729

If you are suffering and physical therapy is part of your treatment plan, don’t feel like you have no options. For a few hundred dollars in supplies and some help from family and friends in some instances, it is possible to achieve results on your own. Just don’t push too hard and remember to rest when you need to rest. Sometimes that is the hardest part of healing. Your brain says you can do this and your body is telling you no it can’t.

 

DIY Freezer Bag Meal: Lemon Pepper/Dill Tuna and Rice

Do you hike, backpack, have a child in college, work out of the home, travel for business or pleasure, or camp? Here is a tasty, easy to prepare, DIY freezer bag meal to enjoy.

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Lemon Pepper/Dill Tuna and Rice

1 quart size freezer bag

2/3 cup minute rice

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

1/2 tsp. dried onion flakes

1/2 tsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

1 – 2.6 oz. pouch of no drain tuna

1 cup water

Mix all the dry ingredients together in the quart size bag. When you are ready to prepare the meal. Add the tuna pouch, boil 1 cup of water and add this to the bag also. Close tightly, mix with your hand by squishing it around and insert it into a bag cooking cozy for 10 -12 minutes.

After 10-12 minutes mix again, check for proper consistency, and enjoy.

You can learn what a bag cooking cozy is here:

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DIY Freezer Bag Meal: Curry Chicken and Rice

Do you hike, backpack, have a child in college, work out of the home, travel for business or pleasure, or camp? Here is a tasty, easy to prepare, DIY freezer bag meal to enjoy.

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Curry Chicken with Rice

1 quart size freezer bag

2/3 cup minute rice

1/4 cup fire roasted veggies (I used Mountain House brand)

1 TBSP. dried onion flakes

1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

1 tsp. curry powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. flax seed

1/2 package Tyson chicken in the no drain pouch

1 cup water

Mix all the dry ingredients together in the quart size bag. When you are ready to prepare the meal. Add the chicken (you could add the entire pouch if you wanted although, 1/2 was enough for each of our meals), boil 1 cup of water and add this to the bag also. Close tightly, mix with your hand by squishing it around and insert it into a bag cooking cozy for 10 -12 minutes.

After 10 minutes mix again, check for proper consistency, and enjoy.

You can learn what a bag cooking cozy is here:

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DIY Freezer Bag Meal: Couscous w/Fire Roasted Veggies and Chicken

Do you hike, backpack, have a child in college, work out of the home, travel for business or pleasure, or camp? Here is a tasty, easy to prepare, DIY freezer bag meal to enjoy.

Couscous w/Fire Roasted Veggies and Chicken

1 quart size freezer bag

1/3 cup quick cooking couscous

1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried sage

1 tsp. ground flax seed

1 tsp. dried onion flakes

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/3 cup fire roasted veggies(I used Mountain House brand)

1/2 pkg. of Tyson chicken in a no drain pouch

1 cup water

Mix all the dry ingredients together in the quart size bag. When you are ready to prepare the meal. Add the chicken (you could add the entire pouch if you wanted although, 1/2 was enough for each of our meals), boil 1 cup of water and add this to the bag also. Close tightly, mix with your hand by squishing it around and insert it into a bag cooking cozy for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes mix again, check for proper consistency, and enjoy.

You can learn what a bag cooking cozy is here:

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Trail Journals Give Me Hope

I have had a lot of time on my hands lately spending it sitting on my rear end resting this ankle. While doing this I have started reading trail journals from long distance hikers doing mostly the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail. Since this is a dream of mine I thought it would be interesting to see what they all experience while on this journey of a lifetime. After reading many journals I am happy to say, I still have hope to fulfill this dream.

As you know, hiking brings me great pleasure and mountains bring me pure happiness. I have no idea where my love of elevation came from but the higher the elevation the happier I am.

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When my doctor called with a torn tendon diagnosis in my ankle I felt my dreams come crashing down that mountain. Although, I find that many, many hikers have the same aches and pains as I have been experiencing and they are still out there doing what they love. So many have talked about getting cortisone injections before leaving for their journeys, eating pain killers like they are skittles, or even just simply pushing through the pain to reach their destinations. Which is why I feel there is still hope for me. So far I have not resorted to anything more than Vitamin I (Ibuprofen) and an ankle brace.

For now, I am trying to keep my head held high, pray this first treatment plan works, continue doing the therapy that was suggested for my healthy ankle, and try my best not to step on the scale and see how sitting around for this month has effected my body. I can only imagine what my first workout will be like when I am back to being able to exercise again.

 

 

 

Where To Next?

You may be wondering why we did not reschedule our rock scrambling vacation. I know everyone else is because they have all asked that exact question. To be honest, we just could not make it what it would have originally been if we would have rescheduled. Which for me would have been even more of a disappointment. Our hiking guides were booked up, many plans at home would have needed to be rescheduled, and I am self employed and taking vacation days or switching them up last minute is not something I like to do to the families I offer daycare to every day. Cancelling was our best option right now, BUT it did not take me long to schedule our next adventure:) It’s already done!

However, this is going to be a little more than our typical vacation. Yes, we plan to hike, swim, fish, explore and spend time as a family. We also plan to research homes, communities, and check out the general public areas of our next destination. Why? Well let’s put it this way, very soon I will hopefully be able to bid a fine farewell to the state of Wisconsin. It’s time to find my happy place and this my friends is the first step in that direction.

We have a destination in mind but until we actually go and spend some quality time there we will not be sure. And we could not think of a better way to do this than to vacation in the area. We will be moving around every two days to a different location, which will be a hassle but worth it in the end. So far, I will say from talking with people in this area while making these plans I am completely and totally impressed. I know they are in the hospitality business and they are paid to be friendly, however, so are the people here in Wisconsin and friendly is very hard to find here in my opinion.

As for now we will be waiting patiently for Spring to arrive. I have some researching to do in regards to either snake boots or snake gators for this trip(I can’t believe I just said that), and I am really considering a new backpacking backpack. I have a fantastic small pack, a great large pack, but I could really use a mid range pack. Can you see a trip to Milwaukee’s REI coming up soon? Because I can:) Now, to persuade my husband to drive is the next battle. Although, he is pretty easily swayed so I am not too worried.

Does anyone have advice for snake gators/boots? I could really use some insight if you care to share.

Any recommendations on backpacking packs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Dinner Planning

A while back I was asked how I plan and accomplish getting dinner on the table every night while caring for children and exercising as often as I do. I thought now would be a great time to touch on this topic since everyone has probably started their resolution of adding exercise to their daily life all while trying to juggle everything else that life throws their way.

First let me say, I always have a plan but do not beat myself up if that plan does not always happen. However, there are many factors that play into our weekly meal plan. Things like appointments, # of people eating that night, schedules, seasons, moods, weather, workout plans, coupons, etc.

Typically, I make my menu plan on Friday’s so I can take stock of the pantry and grocery shop for the needed supplies over the weekend. I always give myself Saturday off, where I prepare no meals at all for my family. This is the day I only cook for myself, someone cooks for me, or in the summer time you will usually find us sharing a meal on the tailgate of our truck after hours of kayaking,

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a meal on top of a bluff,

IMG_0382 or it could even be a meal on the top of a kayak. Regardless of where Saturdays meal may be you will not be served by me on this day of the week:)

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There is no magic trick to getting a decent dinner on the table most nights. I use my time wisely, I prepare anything I possibly can ahead of time, we have many cooking projects that the kids I care for can help with, I use kitchen tools when time is tight (love the crock pot), and always clean and cut up veggies right after I buy them. That is one step I don’t need to worry about getting done during the week.

A normal week looks somewhat like:

Sunday: nice dinner could take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to prepare (workout day)

Monday: 30minute meal (workout night)

Tuesday: 30 minute meal ( workout night)

Wednesday: crock pot or casserole meal (playdate on Wednesday’s means something to set and forget or a casserole I premade in the morning is ideal) (workout night)

Thursday: 30 minute meal ( workout night)

Friday: easy fast 15 minute meal (who feels like cooking on Friday’s) (off no workout)

Saturday: off (workout, kayaking, hiking, tennis, etc)

I will start posting our weekly menu plan on Sunday’s so you can get a little look into how I manage meals, exercise, working, and life. Maybe this will help those of you who struggle to find balance when it comes to feeding your family and still finding time for you.

Here is this weeks plan:

Sunday: no boil lasagna and side salad

Monday: pork stir fry over rice medley

Tuesday: crunchy ground turkey hoisin pockets and roasted broccoli

Wednesday: roasted whole chicken in the crock pot, stuffing, and zucchini

Thursday:  sushi and side salads

Friday: tuna casserole

Saturday: make it yourself or starve:)

If you see something that sounds good and  you would like the recipe, comment or email me at rednatural1973@gmail.com and I will be happy to share it with you.