A taste of childhood, a taste out of the world and HOW WE SHOULD LOVE OUR KNEES

July 14, 2010 § 18 Comments

I’ve gone too long without Overnight oats, and I finally rediscovered my love for it yesterday morning.

The night before:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • a spoonful or two of yogurt
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • half a mashed banana
  • dash of salt
  • drops of vanilla
  • sweetener if you like

The morning of:

  • BANANA SOFT-SERVE!!!! (with half of frozen, sliced banana)
  • protein brownie batter
  • chopped almonds and walnuts
  • blueberries

A taste out of the world.

I’ve been seeing protein cakes everywhere on the blogworld since months ago. I don’t know why I waited so long to give it a try. I followed April’s recipe, but didn’t half applesauce nor pumpkin on hand. Therefore my recipe looked more like this:

  • 15 grams of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp of sweetener
  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 3 tbsp liquid egg whites (or 1 egg white)

I stirred everything together in a microwavable cup, as instructed, and microwaved for 1 min…

Out came moist, fluffy, chocolatey protein cake!

With some yogurt and almond butter, this dessert is out of the world.

My Kardea bar number two was the Cranberry Almond, sampled last night with the boyfriend being a taste-spotter too! 😀

His reaction: “Mmm..there’s a strong flavor! But I don’t know what it is!”

Me: “It’s almonds, silly. Haha.”

Upon first bite I was hit by the intense almond flavor. And by intense I really do mean intense. LOVE IT! I couldn’t really taste the cranberry part though. Perhaps the almond aroma was too strong that it masked the tangy taste of the cranberries. Or maybe I was enjoying the almond taste too much to really notice the cranberries. Conclusion: I MUST try it again to see if I can taste the cranberries, and also to chow down the almond-packed bar! This definitely was another taste out of the world!

It was unbelievably hot these past two days. We almost never turn on the air conditioner, but last night it was so unbearable that we just had to turn it on for 30 min or so to cool down after all that cookin’ in the kitch.

Today’s high was 100 degrees. 100 degrees!!!

I drove home from work in an oven my car that had been roasting in the sun all day (I really need to remember to put those shade on my windshield from now on). I stepped into a muggy, warm house. Naturally I had no desire to stand watch by the stove or the oven. All I wanted was something chill and sweet.

I started off with a slice of watermelon. Just then a lightbulb went on in m head.

Watermelon milk slush

  • 2 cups watermelon, large cubes
  • 1 cup milk (I used soymilk)
  • 1 tbsp honey (or any other sweetener; this step is also optional if you have super sweet watermelon)
  • LOTS of ice!!!

Blend in a blender till smooth. Pour in a cup/bowl (or just drink straight from the blending cup :-D). Smile and enjoy!

A taste of childhood.

This is something that reminds me of home (Taiwan) because you can see street vendors selling these all over the place during the hot summer season (along with banana milk, papaya milk, avocado milk). This drink definitely cooled me down effectively! 🙂

Okay, so I liked about the not cooking part. I did bust out the pan and light some fire. Just for these eggs.

If you haven’t tried fried eggs with soy sauce yet, you MUST! It’s an order! My grandma and my mom would make these for breakfast all the time.

This is again a taste of childhood.

I also had some celery with olives and a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and called it dinner.

‘Twas a beautiful, satisfying meal! 🙂

~~~

So you saw my overkill of words in my title. I was only going to do a post about knees, but a post without food just seems…weird. I know I want to have some food pictures and talk about food, and I know that you want to see some food gossip as well. In the end I thought, what the heck, I’ll just make it an extra long post with an extra long title.

Hope you don’t mind.

Anyways, the story begins when I went on a run yesterday morning. I noticed a discomfort in my knees that I am all too familiar with. On good days, my knees wouldn’t act up, but on bad days like today, my knee joints felt like they need some gear oil.

Due to my excessive running and sports during high school, I have unfortunately worn down the cartilage in my knee joints. Being the skinny thing I was back then didn’t help either, since my muscles around my knees were not strong enough to offset the harsh impacts on my knees.

Yes, excessive running can cause some injuries to the knees, especially if you don’t let your body rest between your running days. However, little did most people know that healthy knees start with healthy walking.

Ever since we learned to walk as a baby, our feet and legs have been the main support of our bodies whenever we want to bring ourselves to places. We rely on our legs, and yet we take them for granted.

The Science Behind the Knees

Besides the dense bones that make up most of the structure and support of our bodies, we also have plenty of cartilage that help support and cushion, especially around the joints. For example, the bridge of your nose is made of cartilage, as are your ears and part of your knee joints.

The cartilage residing in the knee joints is called the meniscus. The meniscus helps stabilize the knee joint as well as provide cushioning between the joints.

What happens when you walk/run excessively or incorrectly is that you’re wearing down this protective shield between the tibia (your shin bone) and the femur (your thigh bone). The discomfort or pain that you feel when you run is caused by the two bones rubbing against one another.

One doctor that I went to (he was a practitioner in Traditional Chinese Medicine) told me that knee problems, regardless whether you’re a runner or not, usually start from how we walk. He said that most people embrace the “wrong technique” in walking.

To find out if you walk “correctly,” answer the following question:

When you walk, do you:
a) Take big strides and land on the back of your heels with your knees straight?
b) Take smaller strides and land on the front of your heels with your knees slightly bent?

If you answer (a), then you are probably walking incorrectly! When you land on the back of your heels when walking and with your knees straight, it causes too much impact and force on your knees. Alternatively, if you land on the front of your heels with your knees slightly bent, you lessen the impact.

Now after a year of no running and proper walking, I can actually start running again! Of course, I try to limit my runs to maybe two times per week, since I want to give my knees ample amount of rest between runs.

If you suffer from these knee problems, I suggest that you lay off running for awhile, and opt for low-impact exercises instead. I’ve listed below some great exercises that can help strengthen your knee muscles.

1. Chair knee lifts. This is by far the simplest exercise you can do to strengthen the muscles around your knee joints. You can do this while reading, watching tv, blogging, eating? Well, pretty much whenever you’re sitting down on a stable chair. Sit in a chair so that half your thighs are not resting on the chair and your lower legs are perpendicular to the floor. Your feet should not touch the floor. With both hands, grab the underside of your chair lightly for stability. Slowly raise your lower legs up until they’re parallel to the floor, then slowly lower them back to the floor but not resting on the floor. Do this until the muscles around your knees feel sore. This exercise helps build muscle and strength around your knees without putting any stress or force on the knees, which is what you want!

2. Biking, elliptical machine, or stairmaster. Pretty self-explanatory. You always feel that burn on your quads and near your knees.

3. Yoga. There’s a reason why some people turn to yoga as therapy for spine injuries, body misalignments, and such. This thousand years old tradition offers the most natural way of healing the body. Some poses that strengthen the knees include:

There are also a couple of poses that can help relieve some of the tensions in your legs and knees

Even if you don’t get discomfort in the knees, these exercises are also great for prevention! If you feel that you get discomfort in your knee everytime you run, perhaps it’s time to lay off on running for awhile and turn to alternative exercises (such as these!) that are gentler to the knees. Remember, your knees are going to have to last you for the rest of your life. Cherish them, protect them, love them.

Sometimes we take our bodies for granted, and before we realized it, we’ve already damaged it beyond repair.

Do not wait till you feel pain even when walking. We are all young now, but think about whether you still want to be active and healthy 50 years from now!

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§ 18 Responses to A taste of childhood, a taste out of the world and HOW WE SHOULD LOVE OUR KNEES

  • I have bookmarked this post because I want to make your overnight oats and protein cake!

    The one time I made the oats… twas disgusting. Clearly I need a recipe.

    Although think it was because I used a quaker instant packet, which has xanthem gum.
    Which would explain the slimy slick disgustingness of that meal.

    • Ohhh..yeah..I can only imagine the gumminess that xanthum gum would do to your overnight oats. No fear, I’m sure you’ll be able to master overnight oats with your exceeding culinary skills! 😀

  • kbwood says:

    i am soo thankful for my knees!! Mine started hurting a few months ago, so i decided to break my unhealthy bondage to running.. BEST DECISION EVER!!

    okay so your oats look INCREDIBLE!!

    and ive never had eggs+soysauce!! can you believe it ?!!? i must!

  • you werent kidding when u posted about how u like ur eggs!! that looks really yummy!

    mmm i need to win a kardea bar on someones blog so i can try them. we cant get them here 😦

    my mom needs to see this info about knees. she’s the runner in our family and is always having issues!!

    xoxo ❤

  • Monet says:

    I need to take care of my knees…since I’m still young, I feel like my body will work well forever, but I need to be sure I’m practicing good habits now. I loved your watermelon slush, by the way, what a refreshing way to end a warm day!

  • thehungryscholar says:

    I have gone too long without overnight oats, also. Like my entire life, actually. I must make those. Like your recipe!

  • Thanks for the recipes. I’m with you on a post without food just not seeming right 😉

    Speaking of – you asked about seitan. I make my own. In that post was a recipe and I also have one for a faux chicken flavor. You can find it at stores like Whole Foods as well.

  • Wei-Wei says:

    I think a lot of people grow old and turn out to have bad knees. These tips definitely help! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Wei-Wei

    PS: Tastes of childhood are awesome. And I ALWAYS eat fried egg with soy sauce 😀

  • Thanks for the info. Knees are very sensitive and a lot of people have problems, especially athletes.

  • Kat says:

    Oh I know all too well about knee pain. I tore my meniscus at 14 playing soccer and had surgery. As a result I have arthritis in that knee now, and my other knee is pretty worn for having to make up for my injured knee. Some days I can only walk a few hours before the ache sets in…its pretty pathetic. Thanks for the tips!!

  • Thanks for the knee post…now that I don’t belong to a gym, I know I need to incorporate more non-running things into my fitness routine. And I’d read about those sorts of papaya/watermelon drinks! Looks tasty…as does the egg soy sauce combo! I’ll have to try that before leaving!

  • Your protein cake looks way better than my attempt! 🙂 Also, my knees have been hurting when I run, so this post was great! I’ll have to try some of those tips!!

  • highonhealthy says:

    Thanks for the information on knees! That was extremely interesting. 🙂

    I’ve sampled the Kardea bars and thought they were fantastic! Chewy, crunchy, and just plain delicious.

  • great knee info, thank you! – i did some chair poses tonight, actually!i hope yours begin to heal.
    i loved that kardea bar, too. chai spice was a hands-down favorite for me, though 🙂 And they all have such a lovely texture!

  • dianacheung says:

    good post. I’m going through some aches and stuff lately. 😦 shorter strides while jogging is what it said in my mag. 😦 Anyways, my bf totally ate my bars too!! same flavor and everything!

  • brandi says:

    ooh, soy sauce on eggs? Why have I never tried this? I do love fried rice and that’s basically the same thing.

  • Ameena says:

    First off I have to say I used to eat soy sauce on my eggs forever! But then I moved out of my mom’s house and never bought soy sauce and then forgot about it, but it is a great combination.

    As far as the knees thing…I can relate SO much. My knees are in BAD shape thanks to running too much and not eating properly. I wish I could turn the clock back!!

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