Post surgery update #2

Time is starting to fly again: 8 physio sessions, 2 post-op check-ups with the ortho surgeon and now 3.5 weeks have passed since surgery.

 

I had to say goodbye to my rigid knee-brace and welcomed a hinged one that helps me move more freely and doesn’t make me walk like a pirate with a peg-leg. Until I’ve built back muscles in my leg – which disappeared surprisingly fast thanks to so much time spent on the coach and not being able to use my leg – and those have to be almost equal to the one in my good left leg, I’ve to wear it.

2013-04-17 14.28.22

As the arthroscopic holes have healed up, I’m now allowed to go to the pool. Being able to swim feels so good and it helps me build muscle faster. Another sign of being on the right path to recovery is not being tired all the time and being able to go work out twice in one day: nothing fancy or anything but 1000m in the pool and some weight lifting.

 

During my meeting with the surgeon, he told me that as soon as I reach reach 110/120° of flexion I can get on the trainer again but I also need to work on my extension as well. I’m just missing a couple of degree to get full extension and not having a swollen knee really helps. For the flexion part, going from 90° where I’m now to 110/120° is apparently where the fun begins, dixit the physio!

While seating, I’ve to go back and forth with my foot on a skateboard to build muscles as well as gain some degrees of flexion.

 

I just need to remember to take it easy and not overdo it: listen to my body and rest as much as possible. Keep on eating right and icing my  knee. Soon enough it will on ly be a little bump on the road.

 

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Post surgery update #1

It has been 19 days since I got surgery to replace my ACL by a cadaver graft and I got myself a “zombie knee”. It is weird how easily you can procrastinate when you don’t have much time on your hands but as soon as you are on forced rest it gets boring really , really fast.

The doctor had asked me if I wanted to take a month off work to recover and thankfully I didn’t as after 5 days of being at home, I could no longer bare it. I went back to work with my new 2-wheeled friend. This nice little treat from the hospital got us some good laugh at work.

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Ten days ago, I met the ortho surgeon for my 1st post-op check-up. The graft took really well, and everything is healing nicely. He removed the stitches and freed me of my deambulator. It might not seems like much but it was enough to cheer me up and being able to walk on my own, even though it looks like I’ve a peg leg, is pretty liberating.

I still need to be careful and wear a rigid brace to keep the knee stable. I can’t bend my knee more than 70° for the next few days not to damage the anchors of the graft.

So far I can bend it at 65° and when I fully extend it, it’s still a bit tender. I have to re-train my quads by tightening them as often as possible.

I already had five sessions at the physio rehab and I’ll be going for th third time to the gym today. I can’t wait for the draining hole from the artroscopic surgery to be fully heal up so I can go to the pool.

 

Racing season is starting and you start seeing all those race reports from Enduros, it generates mixed feeling on my part as I’d love to be part of it but on the other hand, as I’m not allowed to race until mid-June, nobody will expect me and it gives me some extra time in my preparation.

I can’t wait to be able to get on the road bike though and go for a stroll outside. I’ve been able to walk around the house without my knee brace. Those are baby-steps but it feels so good.

 

 

 

Butternut squash muffins

Yesterday morning I had a little time before breakfast and a cooked butternut squash from the night before, so I decided to try out this recipe that I had in mind for a while.

 

Ingredients

  • 5/8 butternut squash, baked, skined, deseeded and roughly chopped1/2 honey
  • 4 large free-range or organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2  cups rice flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1  3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

 

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin tins with paper cups.

Whiz the squash in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the honey, meletd oil and crack in the eggs.

Mix flour, meal, baking powder , cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pour in the dry ingredients the liquid ones, whiz together until well beaten. You may need to pause the machine at some point to scrape the mix down the sides with a rubber spatula. Try not to overdo it with the mixing – you want to just combine everything and no more.

Fill the paper cups with the muffin mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Check to see whether they are cooked properly by sticking a knife right into one of the muffins – if it comes out clean, they’re done. If it’s a bit sticky, pop them back into the oven for a little longer. Remove from the oven and leave the muffins to cool on a wire rack.

butternut squash muffins

Zucchini, potatoe and bacon gratin

Potatoes Gratin and Macaroni Gratin used be one of my favorite dish growing up but unfortunately cheese is not my friend anymore.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 4 slices of bacon cut in halves
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp almond meal Pepper

 

Preparation

  1. Cook bacon in oven on broiler pan (grease drips in the tray and makes the bacon less fat). Set aside.
  2. Skin potatoes, slice them and rinse them to get rid of starch.
  3. Use a tablespoon of bacon grease to cook potatoes. Once cooked, layered them onto a 9×9 glass cooking pan and sprinkle with pepper.
  4. Cut the zucchini into slices and cook them with the onion in 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, layer zucchini/onion mix above the potatoes.
  5. Place the slices of bacon on top
  6. Mix eggs, almond milk and mustard. Add over the layers in the cooking pan
  7. Sprinkle with almond meal.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, depending on the power of your oven.

Sweet potatoe muffins

After baking some sweet potatoes once to make a pie but having a race coming on that following weekend, I decided to bake muffins instead as it’s easier to transport and more fun to share. They are great for breakfast to fuel you up of energy or as for my purpose this time: re-fuel you after a long and muddy race.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups mashed sweet potato

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease muffin tins to hold 18 muffins.
  3. Whisk together honey oil and eggs in a small bowl.
  4. Mix together the flours, baking powder, spices, salt, and sweet potatoes in a large bowl.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Stir the egg mixture, gradually incorporating it with the flour mixture.
  6. Spoon the batter into the tins. Fill each tin to the rim.
  7. Bake the muffins for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Take the muffins out of the oven and run a paring knife carefully around each muffin, then invert the pan, and knock one edge against your work surface to release the muffins. Serve the muffins right away.

Sweet potatoe croquettes

I first did this recipe for breakfast but it is also great as a dessert.

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp potato starch
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves coconut oil for frying

 

Preparation

  1. Bake sweet potatoes at 375°F for one hour. Once bakes, skin them and then crush with a fork into a purée.
  2. Mix the puree sweet potatoes with potato starch and honey.
  3. Beat eggs and add to sweet potatoes mix.
  4. Season with spices and shape into small patties.
  5. Heat the coconut oil in a wok or big pan.
  6. Fry the croquettes, then lay unto paper towel and serve warm.
  7. You can serve with nuts or by itself.

Spiced vin chaud

When it’s cold and gloomy during the winter, I’ve this craving for Vin Chaud (Hot wine) – reminds of home and cheers me up. It’s a beverage you usually drink during the holidays or during ski vacation as an après comfort or just during a break while on the slopes.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle / 0.75 liters of red wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy or Pinot Noir)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 1/2 orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick 1 star anise, if available 1 ground clove 1 slice of ginger pieced 1 pinch of grated nutmeg

 

Preparation

  1. Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil very gently and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Serve very hot in glasses by filtering using a colander.
  3. Place a slice of orange in glass.

Plantains and chocolate chips cookies

A little twist to the usual chocolate chips cookies.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted + 1/2 tbsp for cooking plantains
  • 1 cup of honey + 1 tbsp for cooking plantains
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 plantains, ripe and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups of almond flour/meal
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground mace or nutmeg 1 cup of chocolate chips

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook plantains in coconut oil and honey for 10 minutes on medium heat
  3. Cream the melted coconut oil and honey together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. In a bowl, mix cooked plantains and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the plantains which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.
  5. Mix the plantains mixture into the honey mixture. Mix together the flours, salt, and spice and sift into the butter and banana mixture and mix until just combined. Fold into the batter the chocolate chips if using.
  6. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Peanut butter and chocolate swirl

This is the last recipe I baked before leaving the states last fall: a peanut butter and chocolate swirl brownie – so, SO yummy.

 

Ingredients

For the peanut butter side

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the chocolate side

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together peanut butter and melted coconut oil. Gradually blend in the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix until fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended.
  3. In medium saucepan melt coconut oil and cocoa powder.
  4. Mix eggs, honey, and vanilla with electric mixer until well combined and fluffy. Add in coconut oil/cocoa powder and keep mixing. Add almond flour and mix until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Pour both mixes simultaneously and side by side to make a swirl.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven, or until the top springs back when touched. Cool, and cut into 16 squares.

Pastelon

This is a delicious recipe from Puerto Rico

 

Ingredients

  • 4 plantains, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 lbs ground beef (I used ground Bison as I had some in the fridge)
  • 1/2 chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • juices of 2 limes and 2 lemons
  • Spices: 1tsp cumin, 1tsp paprika, 1tsp coriander, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt 2 bay leaves
  • 8 green stuffed olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • coconut oil

 

Preparation

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan and cook green pepper, garlic and onions
  2. Combine in a ball: beef, cilantro, spices, oregano, lemon juice and lime juice. Mix well.
  3. Heat a large skillet at medium-high heat with 2 tbsp of coconut oil and add meat mixture.
  4. Cook the mixture until the beef browns and of the juices bubble up, add bay leaves, olives, raisins, tomato sauce and bouillon. Add the green pepper, garlic and onion. Mix and let simmer for 10 minutes, set aside.
  5. Heat a large frying pan with coconut oil, just enough to coat the bottom. Fry plantains for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and slitely crispy. Drain on a plate with paper towel.
  6. Add the plantains to the meat mix and let simmer for 5 minutes.