Cauliflower Oats

Cauliflower Oats FitQuest FitQuestMom
One of my nutrition clients was just mentioning how much she loves the cauliflower oats I posted about on my Instagram page and thought I would share it with all of you.  I know it sounds weird, but you really don’t taste the cauliflower at all and it majorly ups the volume!  I also like to mix riced cauliflower (HERE’s how to make it…you can also buy it at Trader Joe’s) in with rice because again, it ups the volume you get to eat and you primarily taste the rice.
You can use different amounts based upon the macros you have available to you, but here is an example of how I like it:
INGREDIENTS
1/2c oats
1 1/2c water
2/3c riced cauliflower (I put it in raw)
1/3-1/2c egg whites (optional, but a great way to get more protein in)
Toppings: Nut butter (Crazy Richards is my favorite*, fruit, shredded coconut, raisins, dried fruit, OR go the savory route and top with veggies and protein, hot sauce, etc.
METHOD
Cook the oats, water, and cauliflower on the stove over medium/high heat until it comes to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook until your desired level of thickness.
Whisk in the egg whites and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat, put the lid on, and let it sit on the stove until you are ready to eat it.
Oftentimes I will make the oats at lunchtime and then will leave them on the stove with the lid on and not eat them until after dinner.
If you know you won’t be eating them for a long time, obviously store the cauli-oats in the fridge.
* Get 10% off your Crazy Richard’s order with code: FITQUESTMOM

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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, Grains, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Quick, Recipe Redux, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 9 & 10 RECAP

FitQuest Reverse Diet Wk 10

Week 1 11.2.15 FitQuest

At the very top you will see my Week 10 Reverse Diet progress pictures as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  1/04/16

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 133.1 this morning (131.4 at my week 8 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

As you can see I was 131.1 yesterday morning and I know I didn’t gain 2 pounds overnight.  I usually have my weekly refeed on Fridays, but since I was at the mountains I wasn’t able to do my heavy leg day until Saturday, so I had my refeed then.  Generally my weight goes up two days after my refeed and that is what you see with my weight this morning.

I kept my macros fairly stable throughout the holidays and had a few extra indulgences, so I did not increase them for the last two weeks.  I am now feeling like it is time for another increase since the holidays are over and I will have more control over my meals in general.  Lately I have been craving more protein and that is why I chose to focus on protein for my increases this week.

FitQuest wk 10 Reverse Weight Chart 1

FitQuest wk 10 Reverse Weight Chart 2Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 9 Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1885 calories 195C / 130P / 65F

Friday 2095 calories 265C / 135P / 55F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1859 calories 175C / 130P / 71F (Rest day)

Week 10 Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1925 calories 195C / 140P / 65F

Friday 2135 calories 265C / 145P / 55F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1899 calories 175C / 140P / 71F (Rest day)

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +370 calories +70C / 0P / +10F

Friday +343 calories +75C / -5P / +7F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +337 calories +69C / -5P / +9F (rest day)

IMG_5084

Workout Plan:

I feel like I am finally back to a normal lifting routine where I can challenge myself.  I still have to be careful with my arms and can tell when I need to dial it back, but my strength is definitely coming back and that is so much fun.  I am on week 4 of Jessie Hilgenberg’s Muscle Building program and am really enjoying it.

Comments:

 

My family and I had a really fun Winter Break and it was sad to see the kiddos go back to school this morning.

FitQuest Skiing

We were able to find some time to ski and sled and then my husband and I got to take a little friends get-away while my kids spent some time with family.  I had never really been snowmobiling or snowshoeing before and had a lot of fun.  I managed to snowshoe for 2 hours by myself on New Years Day and really got a lot out of it…I was able to spend some time alone thinking about my goals for 2016.

FitQuest Snowmobile

Happy New Year to all of you and may 2016 be an amazing year for you filled with growth and happiness!

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 6 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 7 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 8 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Weight Issues, Weight Lifting

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 8 RECAP

Reverse Diet Week 8 FitQuest (2)Week 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 8 Reverse Diet progress pictures as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  12/21/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 131.4 this morning (130.6 at my week 7 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

My weight went up a little this week.  I attribute the gain to some water retention from saltier than normal foods, the fact that I am working out again which means I have more water in my muscle cells, and the fact that I am constipated (TMI, but keeping it real!).

On Friday I probably went over on my refeed macros because I had some of the sugar cookies we baked and decorated as a family and I enjoyed EVERY single bite.  No guilt whatsoever.

This past week I felt like I had plenty of food and did not experience the upswing in hunger that usually comes at the end of the week when Reverse Dieting, which is why I am not going to increase my macros this week.  I feel like my body needs another week to get used to the current macros before my next increase.

Week 8 Reverse Diet Weight Chart FitQuestLast Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 8’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1885 calories 195C / 130P / 65F

Friday 2095 calories 265C / 135P / 55F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1859 calories 175C / 130P / 71F (Rest day)

Week 9’s Macros (KEEPING THEM THE SAME):

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1885 calories 195C / 130P / 65F

Friday 2095 calories 265C / 135P / 55F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1859 calories 175C / 130P / 71F (Rest day)

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +347 calories +70C / -10P / +1F

Friday +303 calories +75C / -15P / +7F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +297 calories +61C / -15P / +9F (rest day)

Reverse Diet Week 8 FitQuest (1)Workout Plan:

I lifted weights 5 days last week and it felt great!  I made sure I took it slow and kept the weights much lighter than usual and only did 3 sets of each exercise.

I re-started Jessie Hilgenberg’s Muscle Building program and am excited to be in a routine again workout-wise.

Comments:

 

Like I said it feels really good to be back in my gym.  I am being really conscious of how my body feels and not pushing it too hard.

I have really been enjoying the holidays and am excited to have my kiddos out of school for the next two weeks.

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 6 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 7 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 9 & 10 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Weight Issues, Weight Lifting

HOLIDAY NUTRITION COACHING SALE

Christmas-Sale

I had such a good response when I ran this special on Cyber Monday that I decided to run it again for all of you last minute shoppers…

This deal will run through New Years.

Buy any of my 12 week programs and get 2 more weeks for FREE (14 weeks for the price of 12).

Buy any of my 20 week Reverse Dieting programs and get 4 more weeks for FREE (24 weeks for the price of 20).

You can purchase for yourself OR someone else as a gift (specify who the program is for when purchasing).

Current clients are eligible for this sale as well…So go ahead and purchase another program for when your program runs out.

Pricing and payment details can be found HERE.

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Filed under Gifts, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 7 RECAP

Week 7 12.14.15 Reverse Diet FitquestmomWeek 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 7 Reverse Diet progress pictures as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  12/14/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 130.6 this morning (127.4 at my week 6 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

My weight has normalized more this week.  We had Thai food last night, so I don;t feel like 130.6 isn’t my true weight…there is a bit of water retention going on from the meal.  I am definitely lacking the muscle tone I had before, but that will come back now that I am working out again.  I explain below that I finally had my hunger return and I discuss how I added in some extra food as my body felt it needed it.

This week I will be back to following the plan with increased macros and my refeed on my normally specified day (Friday).

Week 7Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 7’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1836 calories 185C / 130P / 64F

Friday 2046 calories 255C / 135P / 54F (Refeed day)

  • Ended-up eating a bunch on Tuesday because I was FINALLY hungry.  Used that as my refeed day and skipped the scheduled Friday refeed.
  • Also was very hungry Saturday night and ate my normal macros + 1 homemade protein bar which put me 219cal/16C/14P/11F over.

Sunday 1810 calories 165C / 130P / 70F (Rest day)

Week 8’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1885 calories 195C / 130P / 65F

Friday 2095 calories 265C / 135P / 55F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1859 calories 175C / 130P / 71F (Rest day)

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +347 calories +70C / -10P / +1F

Friday +303 calories +75C / -15P / +7F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +297 calories +61C / -15P / +9F (rest day)

Week 7 12.14.15 Reverse Diet Fitquestmom (1)Workout Plan:

I finished all of my antibiotics and am hoping for a return to normalcy this week.

I am RE-STARTING Jessie Hilgenberg’s Muscle Building program and will adjust my weights to my current level.  I lost A LOT of muscle throughout all of this (my booty is so much smaller now and my abs are less defined) and am excited to work on putting it back.  It is always fun to have new goals.

It has been a month since I have done regular workouts, so it is totally normal that I would lose some definition.

The increased food from my Reverse Diet should do a great job fueling awesome workouts.

Comments:

We had a great week as a family.  The kids and I worked on holiday baking in our PJs while my husband got the decorations down (I am so behind) and my daughter performed in the nutcracker.

fitquestmom holiday bakingWe also went to the MythBusters show and that was a lot of fun!  Jaime H. came and sat right behind us during the show which was exciting for the kids.

Week 7 Mythbusters FitQuestmomHere’s to a great week!

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 6 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 8 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Weight Issues, Weight Lifting

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 6 RECAP

Week 6 Collage Reverse Diet FitquestmomWeek 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 6 Reverse Diet progress pictures (nice tan, huh?) as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  12/7/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 127.4 this morning (129.4 at my week 5 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

Gosh darn-it, my weight is down.  When I got back from Mexico I was 129.6 and then…I was back in the ER on Saturday for an IV and another slew of tests.  The good news is that my Serum CK is now 68 and totally normal, so I am over the Rhabdo, but I now have a kidney infection and another infection (It’s a girl thing…awesome).  I hate taking antibiotics and try to do everything I can to stay off of them, but I am sure glad they exist when I truly NEED them and this is one of those times.

I definitely do not want to lose any more weight, which is why I have increased my calories at a faster rate than I usually do…again.

Week 6Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 6’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1778 calories 175C / 130P / 62F

Friday 1986 calories 240C / 135P / 54F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1752 calories 155C / 130P / 68F (Rest day)

Week 7’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1836 calories 185C / 130P / 64F

Friday 2046 calories 255C / 135P / 54F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1810 calories 165C / 130P / 70F (Rest day)

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +281 calories +60C / -10P / +9F

Friday +254 calories +65C / -15P / +6F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +248 calories +61C / -15P / +8F (rest day)

Week 6 12.7.15 reverse Diet Fitquestmom (1)Workout Plan:

I was able to workout at our resort gym 4 of the days when we were in Mexico.  I took it REALLY easy and did about 30 minutes of walking at an incline and followed that by 30 minutes of light weights or band work.  Nothing strenuous.

I will not be working out until I am well.

Comments:

We had a great time in Cabo, Mexico.  It was fun for my husband and I to go on vacation with just the two of us (though I LOVE going on vacation with our kiddos).  He had some great rounds of golf and I was able to relax.

Mexico Cabo Reverse Diet Fitquestmom (2)I even managed to win a jump rope contest!  I won a round of margaritas for our table, so that was fun.  The man pictured with me won the push-up contest.  You’ve gotta love the fact that the oldest woman (me) and the oldest man (him) won both competitions!!!

The day before we left I went on a long walk on the beach and that was just what I needed.  You can’t take the California out of the girl…the beach will always have a huge place in my heart.

Mexico Cabo Reverse Diet Fitquestmom (1)

Now we are home and I am ready to let these two antibiotics keep doing their thing.  I think I am about DONE being sick.  Hopefully I just got it all out of the way for a very long time.

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 7 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Vacation, Weight Issues

CYBER MONDAY DEAL – Today ONLY

cyber-monday-discounts_GRETCHENTODAY ONLY

I am running a special for Cyber Monday

Buy any of my 12 week programs and you will get 2 MORE weeks FREE!!! 14 weeks for the price of 12.

But any of my 20 week Reverse Diet programs and get 4 MORE weeks FREE!!!  24 weeks for the price of 20.

Click HERE for details on my programs.

Current clients can pre-purchase these programs to use when their current program is up. 

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Filed under IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 5 RECAP

Reverse Diet Week 5 FitQuestMomWeek 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 5 Reverse Diet progress pictures as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

My weekly update is coming to you a bit early because my schedule next week may not permit my normal Monday check-in.

Date:  11/28/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 129.4 this morning (130.7 at my week 4 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

Below is my weight log for the past week and a half.  Despite adding calories in on Monday I continued to lose weight each and every day, so I added in MORE calories on Thursday…that’s two increases this past week (Monday and Thursday).  Thankfully my increase on Thursday and my refeed yesterday resulted in me not losing any more weight this morning.

I definitely do not want to lose any more weight, which is why I keep increasing my calories.

Week 5 weight Reverse Diet

Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 4’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1682 calories 165C / 125P / 58F

Friday 1919 calories 230C / 135P / 51F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1665 calories 145C / 125P / 65F (rest day)

Week 5’s Macros (Monday’s Increase):

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1740 calories 170C / 130P / 60F

Friday 1948 calories 235C / 135P / 52F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday 1714 calories 150C / 130P / 66F (rest day)

Week 5’s Macros (Thursday’s Increase):

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1778 calories 175C / 130P / 62F

Friday 1986 calories 240C / 135P / 54F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday 1752 calories 155C / 130P / 68F (rest day)

NEXT Week’s Macros:

If I continue to lose weight this coming week I will do ANOTHER increase on Monday.  I may not have access to a scale for the next week, so I will have to go by how I feel and how my clothes are fitting.

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +223 calories +50C / -10P / +7F

Friday +194 calories +50C / -15P / +6F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +190 calories +51C / -15P / +6F (rest day)

Week 5 Abs Reverse Diet FitQuest Balanced Grettie (1)Workout Plan:

I have been staying active by doing a lot of cooking and having people in town, but haven’t technically exercised since my walk last weekend.  This coming week I MAY do some light weight training depending upon how I feel, but I do plan on doing at least 5 days of some easy cardio.

My body has been getting very stiff from the lack of exercise.

Comments:

This was a wonderful holiday week for me.  ALL of my immediate family came and stayed at my house (15 of us) and it was so nice to be together.  My kiddos and their cousins have so much fun together.  Earlier in the week I cooked a Chinese meal for everyone and it was so yummy.  When it is just the four of us I usually only cook 1 dish, so it is nice to be able to do a banquet and get a taste of many different dishes when there are a lot of people around.

Chinese Food Prep (2) Chinese Food Prep (1)

Our Thanksgiving was another great feast with ham, and two different turkeys.  One turkey was brined and smoked and the other was brined, cooked sous vide, and then fried (OMG!!!).

Thanksgiving FitQuestMomI am feeling better each day and look forward to another week of healing.

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 6 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Rhabdomyolysis, Weight Issues, Weight Lifting

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 3 & 4 RECAP

Week 4 Reverse Diet Collage FitQuest

Week 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 4 Reverse Diet progress pictures (that face!  Can you tell I was tired???) as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  11/23/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 130.7 this morning (134.5 at my week 2 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

Below is my weight log for the past week and a half.  I am not sure what I weighed 11/16/15 since I was in the hospital (click HERE for details).  My weight was climbing prior to my admission to the hospital due to water retention and swelling (I was following my macros perfectly).  It was 136.3 on Sunday 11/15/15 and that was one of the clues to me that something was up…I felt majorly bloated.  I KNOW how my body reacts to macros and knew that this was weird.

As a Fitness Nutrition Specialist I know how important nutrition is to recovery which is why I continued to eat ALL of my macros while in the hospital.  Despite the fact that I wasn’t training, my body was working very hard to repair the damage and that takes calories.

I did make a few alterations to my macros while in the hospital in an attempt to ease the burden on my kidneys.  Each day I reduced my protein macros by 20g and increased my carb macros by 20g to make-up the difference calorically.

Despite eating all of my macros, I have list weight and that means it is time to increase and a little faster than usual.

Week 4 Weight

Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 3’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1682 calories 145C / 145P / 58F

Friday 1919 calories 210C / 155P / 51F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1665 calories 125C / 145P / 65F (rest day)

Week 4’s Macros (with protein and carb adjustment):

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1682 calories 165C / 125P / 58F

Friday 1919 calories 230C / 135P / 51F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1665 calories 145C / 125P / 65F (rest day)

This Week’s Macros:

Time to increase again...

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1740 calories 170C / 130P / 60F

Friday 1948 calories 235C / 135P / 52F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday 1714 calories 150C / 130P / 66F (rest day)

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +185 calories +45C / -10P / +5F

Friday +156 calories +45C / -15P / +4F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +152 calories +46C / -15P / +4F (rest day)

Week 4 AbsWorkout Plan:

Yesterday was the first day I went back to doing any exercise since my hospitalization and it was a nice leisurely walk.  I plan on taking the next week off of weights and then SLOWLY getting back into a routine before beginning Jessie Hilgenberg’s 14 week  Muscle Building e-book again.

Rhabdo Walk Cardio

Comments:

 

It has been an interesting couple of weeks for sure!  Never forget how important nutrition is and how much you need good nutrition when your body isn’t operating as well as it should.  You may be tired, but do what you can to get the food in.

My husband has been amazing throughout this hospital / Rhabdo ordeal, but it was also one of the busiest times for work for him.  I knew I didn’t have the energy to cook so I stopped in to Dickey’s BBQ here and bought meat by the pound all ready to eat.  I purchased chicken breasts, a rack of ribs, and beef brisket.  Was it organic and pastured? No.  This is what I mean by balance…it was not the meat I would normally prepare, but it was FAR better than stopping off at a fast food restaurant.  I was able to feed myself and my family the meat from Dickey’s and supplement it with a pot of rice I made as well as baby carrots, snow peas, and other veggies that didn’t even need to be cooked.

Where there’s a will there’s a way!

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

 

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Rhabdomyolysis, Weight Lifting

My Brush with Rhabdo

Admitted to hospital Rhabdo RhabdomyolysisI am guessing that a few of you may have noticed the absence of my Reverse Dieting update on Monday.  Let’s just say this has been a very interesting week.

Let me just pull the band aid off and tell you that I ended-up being admitted to the hospital Last Sunday night with Rhabdomyolysis (aka Rhabdo) and was in there through Wednesday.

For those of you unfamiliar with this condition (I had NEVER heard of it), Web MD explains it as:

Rhabdomyolysis is a serious syndrome due to a direct or indirect muscle injury. It results from the death of muscle fibers and release of their contents into the bloodstream. This can lead to complications such as renal (kidney) failure. This occurs when the kidneys cannot remove waste and concentrated urine. In rare cases, rhabdomyolysis can even cause death. However, prompt treatment often brings a good outcome.

Causes of Rhabdo (also from Web MD):

There are many causes of rhabdomyolysis. The most common causes include:

  • The use of alcohol or illegal drugs such as heroine, cocaine oramphetamines
  • Extreme muscle strain, especially in someone who is an untrained athlete. This can happen in elite athletes too, however. And it can be more dangerous if there is more muscle mass to break down.
  • A crush injury such as from an auto accident, fall, or building collapse
  • Long-lasting muscle compression such as that caused by prolonged immobilization after a fall or lying unconscious on a hard surface during illness or while under the influence of alcohol or medication
  • The use of medications such as antipsychotics or statins, especially when given in high doses
  • Electrical shock injury, lightning strike, or third-degree burn
  • A very high body temperature (hyperthermia) or heat stroke
  • Seizures
  • A Metabolic disorder such as ketoacidosis
  • Diseases of the muscles (myopathy) such as congenital muscle enzyme deficiency or Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy
  • Viral infections such as the flu, HIV, or herpes simplex virus
  • Bacterial infections leading to toxins in tissues or the bloodstream (sepsis)

The following are common signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis (Web MD):

In talking to the nurses and doctors they see this most often in Cross-fitters (though from what I have read Crossfit is working hard to educate their trainers about how to avoid this and how to recognize the symptoms), endurance athletes, and football players who go from having the summer off to 2-a-days in the HOT summer sun.

It seems that a perfect storm came together and resulted in my getting this condition.  At the beginning of the month I had a colonoscopy and (TMI…sorry), the prep didn’t work for me as effectively as it should, so the instructions said to DOUBLE the amount of Miralax I was supposed to take.  Even after doing that I still hadn’t had a BM, so I talked to the doctor on call and was told to take 2 more Dulcolax.  That finally got things moving, but that meant that all told I ended up taking 575g of Miralax (that’s over a pound of Miralax) and 4 Dulcolax.  My colonoscopy was 11/4 (on a Wednesday) and I never quite recovered my stamina after that.  I didn’t workout the day of my colonoscopy and gave myself 2 more days afterward away from the gym to recover, but like I said, I was still exhausted.  Later I did a search of Miralax and Rhabdo and found some interesting links / studies.

As I mentioned to all of you in my last update, I began a new workout program the following Monday 11/9.  On Wednesday part of the workout called for 4 x 15 chin-up negatives.  They were REALLY hard for me, but I pushed through and did all 60 reps.  I was SUPER sore the next day and thought, “Man, I am going to get so strong if I am this sore.”  I was so sore the next day and my arms had difficulty straightening.  I was walking around like a T-Rex.  I posted the picture below to Instagram a few days later:

Instagram Rhabdo 1 Instagram Rhabdo 2I was feeling a bit better by Saturday so I went ahead and STUPIDLY did another arm workout that involved 4 x 15 parallel chin-up negatives (later I will discuss the danger of eccentric exercises if you are not used to doing them).  I felt ok until I started doing them and then during it I was in pain, but thought I’d push through because in the past if I would do a workout where I would get sore, the soreness would subside, and when I worked out that body part again a few days later it actually helped.  This time this was not the case.  The T Rex arms came back with a vengeance and more stiff than ever.

By Sunday my arms were starting to feel swollen, I was gaining weight (despite following my macros), and felt VERY bloated.  Without thinking much about it I posted a picture of my swelling to Instagram (normally my arms taper in a good amount where my bicep meets my forearm).

Swollen arm rhabdo RhabdomyolysisSwollen commentsSwollen comments

pritnam_brownhulk meant no harm by his comment and was trying to be motivating, but I really want people to learn from my experience and realize that you are always better off playing it safe.  “Better safe than sorry” won’t do harm.

I went about the rest of the day with my family as I normally do.  We went to the mall, ran some errands, and I was just beat.  My daughter kept trying to hold my hand and I had to keep asking her to “Please be careful not to pull on mommy’s arms because they hurt.”

As the day went on I was just exhausted and at our last errand I asked if it would be ok for me to stay in the car which is not normal for me at all.  At this point where my biceps met my forearms they were so swollen I couldn’t even get my hands half way around them.  I also noticed that my brain just wasn’t processing like normal…it was almost as if I was on slow-mo and was a little confused.

When I got home my forearms began to swell more and feel really tight.  I sat down on the couch and was scrolling through Instagram and looking at comments when I noticed that my guardian angel… fit_with_becca left the following comment… and this comment ended-up being THE reason I took myself to the hospital Sunday night after the kids went to bed:

fit_with_Becca Comment

After reading her comment I started researching the condition (Dr. Google) and it was sounding a little too familiar.  I went in to the bathroom and measured my arms in a few different places thinking I just wanted a point of reference.  About an hour later I measured again and my arms had gotten 1/2″ bigger.  Uh…not good.

I turned to my husband and said, “You are probably going to think I am crazy, but when the kids go to bed I am going to go to the ER.  It might be nothing, but this doesn’t feel right and we have 11 people coming to stay with us next week and I can’t be sick…if this is something I need to nip it in the bud.”  He responded, “You know your body better than anyone” and I know he was thinking it would probably be nothing, but he is always really supportive.  I told him to stay home with the kids and started packing a few essentials to bring with me in case I had to stay (meds, phone charger, extra water, apple, protein bars, PJs, etc).

I am going to sail through the ER experience (St. Lukes was awesome), but they drew blood to test my serum CK (creatine kinase).  The doctor didn’t think I had Rhabdo because I didn’t have the tell-tale cola/tea colored urine, but he said he’d test my levels anyway.  When the doctor came back in he looked shocked.  He informed me that a  normal serum CK level is supposed to be less than 100 and mine was over 27,000 and I needed to be admitted to the hospital.  I texted my husband and he wrote back, “I guess you really DO know your body!!!”

When I spoke to the hospital doctor a few hours later we were discussing that fact that I drink a gallon of water a day and I was shocked to hear her say, “That gallon a day habit is THE ONLY reason you showed up here tonight NOT in kidney failure!”  Whaaaaaattttttt????  That was so scary to hear.  My response was, “Am I done working out?  Because if I am, that’s fine…my kids and family mean the world to me and I need to be with them.”  She told me that was not going to be the case at all and that I just needed to recover and get my numbers below 10,000 to make sure my kidneys would be in the clear.  After that I needed to take it easy and get my numbers back to normal, but the other hospital doctor told me he wanted me to start doing cardio 2 days after I got home and weights about a week later.  The told me they wanted me to keep working out because that will keep me healthy.

We discussed the fact that I now know what that “different” soreness feels like and I also know that “different” kind of difficult that I felt when doing those darn chin-up negatives.

For those of you new to my blog I need to emphasize that I am really fit.  I could go run a 10K no problem, I lift weights heavy 6 days a week, I have been active since I was 3 years old, etc. (I’m totally NOT trying to be conceited, just stating a fact).  A lot of people think this only happens to newbys who walk into Crossfit and hit it too hard, or people who show up to basic military training and have never been active, or roided-out gym nuts who have something to prove and that just isn’t the case.

While in the hospital I was contacted by a ton of people through Instagram who shared their stories with me…the doctor whose teenage son got it from a pull-up contest at school, the lady whose firefighter nephew was doing a Crossfit workout at his station, and on and on and on.

It took 2-3 days of IVs to get me below the 10,000s.  I think I had 4 saline IVs and then they changed to Lactate Ringers IVs.  Let me tell ya…those IVs felt amazing.  After a day they tried taking me off the IVs to see if my body could bring my numbers down on its own with me drinking a ton of water and it wasn’t successful, so I went back on the IV for another 8-12 hours.  After that we did the off the IV challenge again and my numbers finally got down below 10,000…the magic number that indicated my kidneys were out of the kidney failure danger zone.  I went home from the hospital later that day and have been laying low since then.

I have to admit that this whole experience scared me.  While in the hospital I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how the heck this happened.  It seems like that perfect storm occurred that resulted in my Rhabdo…my colonoscopy and the double prep that must have left me less hydrated than my normal state mixed with the new workout and those chin-up negatives and my overall exhaustion.

My research on the subject of Rhabdo led me to information about how dangerous those eccentric motions can be when your body isn’t used to them.  According to THIS scholarly article (and many others I found), One of the main causes of rhabdomyolysis is eccentric exercise against high resistance.”  Please, please, please ease into these movements.  I wished I had known about this because I would have started with 4 x 3 chin-up negatives one week and progressed to 4 x 4 the next week, etc.  Had I known the potential danger of eccentric exercises I wouldn’t have pushed it to finish all of the sets.

While in the hospital I made sure to keep my nutrition on point.  Being sick and injured puts a toll on your body and you NEED that food to help you heal.  Despite the fact that I was not training, I kept my calories the SAME and I still lost weight.  I made the best choices I could and St. Luke’s menu made it fairly easy for me.  I did lower my protein macros by 20g per day in order to ease the burden my kidney’s were experiencing and I raised my carbs by 20g to make-up the difference.  I have kept my macros that way for the last week and will be increasing my protein a little tomorrow.

Here are some of my breakfasts from when I was in the hospital (my hubby brought me my favorite smoothie each day):

hospital breakfast rhabdo

And some of my lunches and dinners:

hospital meals healthy

I told my clients that if I was able to stick my macros while in the hospital they had better be killing their programs at home:-)

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and prayers.  I head back to the doctor on Tuesday to see how my numbers are progressing.

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Filed under Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Rhabdomyolysis, Weight Lifting