Almost Normal Knee
I graduated (their term) from physical therapy on Friday. At my first session, I could only bend my knee 90 degrees. The other knee could bend 140 degrees. As of Friday, I could bend the surgically-repaired knee 139 degrees and extend it to 2 degrees beyond straight, which is what we wanted. When I couldn’t fully straighten the knee, standing gave me cramps in my calf.
The surgeon said I can start lifting weights again, but he wants me to start with 100 pounds on the leg press. I’m tempted to wear a big bandage on the knee so I don’t look like a weenie, pushing less than a third of the stack. Before surgery, I used the whole stack for leg presses.
The surgeon also urged me to give up sprinting around the land for exercise. I agreed. It was fun, but with a surgically-repaired knee, I shouldn’t be pounding the joint. He suggested investing in a recumbent exercise bike and using that for my “sprints.”
I resumed playing disc golf a couple of weeks ago, and the chiggers resumed hopping on my legs and feet and biting me, even though I wear long pants when I play. I kept them at bay earlier in the summer by soaking my socks with Deep Woods Off, but I wasn’t crazy about the idea of using all that DEET. I tried using a natural insect repellant made by the Off company, but the chiggers weren’t impressed.
While I was recovering from knee surgery, a reader sent me a bottle of this stuff. It’s a natural insect repellant made from grape seed oil and other ingredients. It smells a bit like Lemon Pledge when you spray it on, but that fades. I’ve used it four times now, spraying it on my bare feet, ankles and shins before going outside to play, and I haven’t been bitten once.
I’m not in business with them or anything, but since the product seems to work and isn’t toxic, I thought I’d mention it. You can visit their web site here.
A reader whose employer requires everyone to fill out a diet questionnaire for an official health assessment sent me his assessment:
ALEXANDER, although your current diet has much room for improvement, the fact that you are working on it is a good sign. The great thing about a healthy diet is that you can start making better choices today. If you keep it up, you will soon notice the benefits. You indicated that you have been working on improving your diet, but are still making some poor diet decisions. Perhaps you need to learn more about what foods are healthy and what foods are not. The diet information below provides some useful guidelines to get you firmly on the path to a truly healthy diet.
You reported that you consume 3 servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day, 0 servings of whole-grain foods per day, 3 servings of high-quality protein per day, 0 servings of low-fat dairy products per day, and an average of 3 servings of high-fat foods per day.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans stress the importance of variety in your diet. You should consume foods within the basic food groups (breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat), but choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and salt. Choose lean meats and poultry and incorporate more fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds for added protein sources. If you are vegetarian or vegan, that’s great! You are probably getting plenty of fresh and vital foods, but remember to take a multivitamin supplement for vitamin B- 12.
Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, you should consume fats sparingly (less than 3 servings of high fat foods per day) and at least:
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
- 4 or more servings of whole-grain foods
- 3 (2-3 ounce) servings of high-quality protein (lean meats, beans, nuts, seeds, or tofu)
- 3 servings of low fat milk or dairy products
For a plan specific to your needs, visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/. In addition, if you have gluten sensitivity (Celiac disease), you should avoid wheat, rye, and barley products. If you have lactose intolerance, you should avoid milk products or take lactase enzyme supplements to help digest the milk sugar. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can substitute high-protein nuts, seeds, beans, and tofu. These foods also contain lots of available calcium and other essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
We develop good nutrition over a lifetime. Sometimes our nutritional habits, if unhealthy, can be difficult to change. You are exploring how to develop proper eating habits — good for you!
Keeping on Track with Nutrition
An Action Plan for You:
1. Food diary. Record what you eat in a food diary. By tracking what you eat on a daily basis, you will be able to see how much you are eating. You can also see what type of foods you are eating. Be sure to record what, how much, where, and when you eat.
2. Food guide. Use the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate food guide or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans to guide you. Recommendations for following the ChooseMyPlate food guide are based on your gender, age, and activity level. Eating a variety of food will give you essential nutrients needed to be healthy.
3. Food labels. Look at food labels. Labels list calories, calories from fat, and the amount of nutrients in each serving of food. Nutrient content is expressed not only as an amount by weight, but also as a percentage of the recommended daily value. Use the additional information about food labels in the back of this report for further guidance
4. Find substitutions. You can still enjoy all the foods you love and still cut calories! Instead of 2% milk, try 1%. See the sample menu below for more ideas.
Sample substitution menu:
- Instead of: A plain bagel with cream cheese.
Try: A whole wheat English muffin with sugar-free jelly.
- Instead of: A salami sandwich with mayo and lettuce and a soft drink.
Try: A lean turkey sandwich with mustard, spinach leaves, and a tomato slice. Add a cup of skim or 1% milk for calcium
- Instead of: Pasta with creamy Alfredo sauce, garlic bread, and Caesar salad.
Try: Whole grain pasta with a tomato-based sauce. Have a side of steamed broccoli with reduced-fat cheese sprinkled on top.
He will of course be ignoring the advice, which means he’ll probably live longer than the people giving it out.
If you enjoy my posts, please consider a small donation to the Fat Head Kids GoFundMe campaign.