The Journey of Total Knee Replacement

I realized this past Friday, April 15th, marked one year since I had a total knee replacement (TKR). The weekend was kinda busy and whatnot….hello Easter…..so I thought I’d take some time now to reflect on my journey this past year. This may be more of a “story”  than a blog post.  My hope is that maybe my journey may help or encourage someone facing this surgery.

How did I get to the point of TKR?

A good question.  I was in the final weeks of training for a duathlon in 2018. As I was in the last few miles of a training run my knee started bothering me. Of course my thought was “nooooo nothing better get in my way for the race “.  It settled down and weeks later, I did my second duathlon coming in again first in my age group. That didn’t impress me as much as seeing my finish time against some of the 20something guys. That was satisfying 😜

The finish line of a race listed as the toughest in Texas. A 5k hilly run, 16 miles of nothing but lots of big hills on the bike, and then a 2 mile run. The photo doesn’t show how cold and sweaty I am or reflect a quad and hip that cramped up coming in on the bike ride as I finish the final run.
That finish line never felt sweeter.

I wish I knew it was potentially my last duathlon or I would’ve savored every aspect of it more.

The final piece after months of training,  standing on that podium.

As things go, after I finished a race, I dialed back my training for a few weeks. On my first run back out ( weeks later) I felt almost crippled afterwards. I cut out running and focused on cycling but my knee continued to bother me.  I finally gave in and headed to my sports doctor ( ahem…. months later) fully expecting to hear I had torn something and would need surgery. After the x ray he came back in and announced,  ” you’ve got a good old fashioned case of arthritis going on” this was certainly not what I expected to hear.

He said listen “You’re out there kicking ass and taking names.  You are certainly not my usual middle age woman patient. Between life, genetics, and all you’ve been doing, that’s what we’re dealing with. ” We discussed some options, one of which was eventually getting a shot in my knee that could help.

Essentially a band aid, a costly one, only prolonging the inevitable, knee replacement surgery.

I left his office and pretty much dealt with it over the next couple years. The pain in my knee got progressively worse as it was bone on bone. I did go in for the set of two shots ( 600.00 my part with insurance) in the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, I never noticed any change. He told me  “ok we’ve tried all the options and the next step is total knee replacement”

Yeah ok…obviously I wasn’t super excited at this prospect.  I had never had any surgeries and this one sounded a bit, intense,  to put it mildly.

He handed me a referral for an ortho dr, one he assured me, would be focused on getting me back at my athletic endeavors and sent me off.

The next few months involved meeting with the doctor, getting an MRI, another appointment with the surgeon and then finally at that January visit we scheduled the surgery for April 15.

Gosh. I tried several times to work myself out of it as it got closer.   But on the other hand I had a knee that hurt enough to keep me awake at night so I was kinda hoping to ditch that problem, among others.

As it got closer there were the usual pre surgical things to do, like labs, a chest x ray and meeting with the surgical nurse who went over all the details for before, during and after surgery.

Over and over I heard “you’ve picked a rough first surgery but you’ll get through it”

Eek.

I requested to be his first surgery.  It was out patient and I would go home that day so I figured being first in meant I’d get out sooner.

My surgery would also be robotic assisted surgery which is super high tech. It allows the surgeon to operate and make cuts and incisions with exact precise cuts in the bone and tissue. This is done in real time with a computer and a very recent CT of my knee. You can learn more reading about Mako Robotic Knee surgery.

Show time

This is what it looks like when your surgeon signs off on your knee πŸ˜… that big line? The slice and dice line.

I arrived at 5 a.m. trying to act cool but I had to laugh when the nurse asked if I ever had anxiety….I was like…. I mean right now, kinda yeah….she assured me they expected that and not to worry.

Whew! I was normal! πŸ˜…

All the final things were done, the surgeon last to appear asking if I was ready for the show.  I asked him if he had enough of whatever he needed to be on his A game. He assured me he was good and he was ready to fix my knee up, and then it was off to the OR.

Listen, as I mentioned earlier,  this was my first surgery so I was really calculating everything that was going on. I was struck by how bright the OR was, how alert, busy and full on active everyone was greeting me. I asked them if they wanted me to hop over to the other table, and after I got settled a mask was immediately placed over my nose and mouth that felt a little to snug. The guy lifted to adjust it and said ” we’re just giving you some pure oxygen “

And that my friends, was it till I heard two girls talking close to me saying what pretty pink hair I had ( which I did) and did I want a cracker?

Say what?

Me…. mumbling….are we done?! They assured me we were and if I woke up I could have a cracker.  In my head, I was giggling thinking how you offer parrots crackers… 🀣 in reality I was trying to peel my eyes open.

Seriously.  Y’all that sleep after surgery is the bomb. I was so cozy. I was hearing the convo in room, the nurses talking to my husband, how things went etc but gosh, I was sooooo good where I was at….like my eyes just didn’t want to be open.  I got prompted again…. whyyy are they making me talk??

After accepting ( rather blindly) the crackers and Sprite given to me, I was asked if I wanted to get up and walk.

Me….you know I’m still asleep right? And my leg feels like….nothing…..

Them…. you get to go home if you walk. Ah yes,  I remembered now. I got to head home if I did the “required things”.

Eat.  Go to bathroom.  Walk.

I got up on edge of bed, grabbed the walker and hustled myself out to the hallway when they called me back.  One thing my surgeon does is to make sure his patients have a nerve block ” we want you to wake up comfortable”.  I thought of it as an epidural in my knee. I had a full leg brace on immobilizing my leg. My foot felt like a thick foam block. Think how your face feels after a dentist visit and novocain.

With a numb leg, a foggy head ( those are good drugs) and zero pain,  I crawled into the athletic clothes I had worn. My surgery had been at 7 a.m. and by 1 p.m.  I was loaded up heading home 😳

Ya know what’s really trippy? Being in a car sailing down the highway while you’re still looped out from anesthesia. 

I kept my eyes closed the ride home ’cause the world was really spinny.

Home and recovery

This was how my leg was neatly packaged after surgery. Thankfully that came off next day. This was to protect my leg till all the meds had worn off and I could feel again

My surgeon ordered PT ( physical therapy) for 2 weeks at home that started the day after I got home. I was ready to work and do what was needed to get back to doing life. I faithfully did exercises  they left for me making them my “job”. I did them 3 times a day and walked as much as I could. I made my leg bend and flex just like I would have before surgery. 

More nice packaging
This is where the satellite went.

A look inside at my fancy new joints the top gadget is a satellite that communicates with computer that didn’t stay 😜
My surgeon grabbed his handy fake joint model to show me what mine looked like, except as he said, yours is metal, this is plastic
The silver and gray parts are the new joints

Days after….

It was so amazing to have that awful pain gone in my knee that walking felt great even if I had major surgery two days prior. By day 3 I tossed the walker cause I was walking fine without it and my PT guy said it was more of a hazard to use it if I was walking ok.

Physically, I hadn’t been sure what to expect but I had minimal swelling and no bruising. Of course I lived with my ice pack so I’m sure that helped quite a bit. My PT guy was encouraging telling me I was far ahead of what they expected patients to do a few days out so that built my confidence. And not to mention I was horribly motivated to make things happen. I had goals.

This gadget was a nice lazy form of exercise πŸ˜… you set machine and it bends your leg for you. I’d get it set and take a nap.

Pain

Ok I’m almost embarrassed to say this but I really had minimal pain, and at that I didn’t consider it bad. One thing I paid attention to were all the people who told me to be diligent about staying on track with my pain meds. I’m stubborn but not dumb and certainly wasn’t interested in hurting if it could be avoided. I took them every 6 hours as prescribed even setting a 4 a.m. alarm to stay on track. My goal was to get off of them as soon as possible. Within the week I started spacing them out farther testing it. Gradually I was down to just a night one ( cause I like my sleep πŸ˜…) listen to what they tell you about pain meds!

2 weeks post op

2 weeks out I checked in with surgeon and had bandage removed. His stitching skills were impressive

It honestly didn’t look as bad as I was expecting. As you can see there was minimal after surgery bleeding.

After assessing all of my bending and flexing he cleared me to drive since I wasn’t on the pain meds.

Freedom! My first drive out, 16 days post op. This is when I realized how much you really use your leg to drive! A short trip, my leg was tired.

Another thing we discussed was exercise. He knew my goals were to get back on road cycling and at least walking again. I told him I wanted to do a bike race that was 10 weeks post op. What did he think? He said let’s do it! All he asked was that I ride not clipped in so if I had to get off bike fast I wouldn’t wrench my knee.

2 1/2 weeks out on my first walk….a half mile. It was a start
The road under my feet again

Of course, I focused a lot on my upper body since I could work that how I wanted

Nothing like some metal on my hand

Meanwhile

The leg is healing up well. The stitching will flatten out hopefully leaving a slim scar

As my leg healed I had moved over to 6 weeks of PT at a place in town. As my therapist told me a lot I wasn’t their “normal” patient. Being fairly strong and fit going into this surgery had definitely given me an advantage. Since I exercised before surgery the moves were work but doable work. He would put me on bike at the end of our sessions.

My first time on was my first slap in the face with my surgery.

I couldn’t do a full spin rotation.

How could this be? Riding a bike was well, riding a bike. I gingerly tried to press forward when my foot slipped causing it to go farther than planned.

That was the first genuine pain I had felt. I saw stars. Not cool.

I was in tears, literally crying thankful my back was to the room so no one would see a grown woman crying.

I felt all my goals shifting. How could I do a race in 7 weeks if I couldn’t pedal fully? I was crushed when I left PT that day.

I came home and started reading and there was a suggestion of pedaling backwards first. Then gradually ease into going forward. Next time I went I tried that. And I did it the following time…each time pressing into it a bit more…..then finally a full spin. I held my breath easing into another round and another. Tears came again this time but they were of joy. It was all I could do not to whoop out loud πŸ˜…

As I kept practicing on the bike at PT and on my trainer at home, race day loomed closer and I was pressed deciding if I’d be ready to do a 18 mile race in a few weeks. Being on the bike I still hadn’t gotten any serious miles on me. I finally felt confident enough to hit the road, this was about 8 weeks post op. I did 9 miles for my first ride.

Unfortunately by the time I felt I could do the race, no matter what my speed, the race had sold out. I was a bit crushed and then decided I would simply do my own “race”. Really it was about me and my goals anyway, right? I determined I would get up the same day as race, leave out in the morning and do that 18 mile ride making it a celebration of my body and what it could do.

And I did it.

The morning was gorgeous and I had never felt more alive. Although riding not clipped in felt awkward, I managed to get it done. And not just 18 miles, but a little more with gravy on top πŸ˜‰

It turned into a nearly 20 mile ride. 😊

My speed certainly wasn’t what I was used to but gosh it felt amazing.

Needless to say when I saw my surgeon a couple weeks later he immediately asked if I did it. Ha he was honestly like a proud parent.

Lots of activities after my knee surgery. Rowing was great for continuing bending and flexing. Those weights don’t hurt either.

Where am I now?

The knee healed up pretty nice…..and I really don’t mind my battle wound.

A tidy scar πŸ–€

I make jokes that I may be the old person who tells the weather by my knee 🀣 it does feel tighter when the weather changes. My surgeon said its the barometric pressure.

Other things: when I’m on my feet all day or it’s hot my leg can feel like it’s ” fuller” or tight. My bending, and straightening of my leg is as good as it was before surgery. I’m able to do things I could prior. My knee itself can still feel tight around the surgical area but my surgeon said it can be a solid year or longer for things to settle down. A small area is still numb. That may or may not go away. Being on my hands and knees is doable, but I have to position my weight right as it can be uncomfortable, like in the surgical area.

Strength wise I think my right leg is lots stronger now than my left. My legs are strong but I find myself doing a little extra with the left to make it keep up. I am always mindful that I can and should always be pushing my new knee a little more to continue to get the maximum from it.

Final thoughts

Since I had this surgery at least 6 people I know have had it. They have reached out and asked questions. I have answered based on my experience and journey but they will be different for all of us. Our experience will be based on many factors from our overall health, fitness, physical limitations and our mental determination (which I believe is the biggest factor for success) ask questions and make sure you educate yourself on all things associated with it. Oh yeah, and do everything you’re told, including managing your pain meds.

Tell me, have you had a TKR or are you seeing one in your future?

Saturday Snippets

Let’s chat briefly about getting on an exercise program. I know with the start of a new year it is often the marker for many to either start one or if they’ve been side tracked, get back on it again.

Regardless of what camp you are in, it’s not easy to get into that disciplined routine.

We have good intentions but often those can be pushed aside because we’re tired, feel we don’t have the time, or we simply lack the initial drive to prepare ourselves to go.

Short and Sweet

When we think of getting into our chosen exercise, there is often the idea that it has to be all or nothing or an hour long session to count. This simply isn’t true. In fact, if you haven’t worked out in awhile you should aim for shorter workouts to let your body ease back into it, mentally and physically.

Where to start?

Honestly, getting into my workout clothes immediately centers me for what I’m going to do. Have certain clothes or shoes you use for your activities.

Start small. Certainly you could take 15 -20 minutes to go for a walk or run, do a bike ride or lift some weights.

Determine the best time of day. I know if I don’t get my workouts done in the morning, it won’t happen later in the day. It sets a tone for my day and gives me an immediate sense of accomplishment after my workout. For you, evening may be better. Whichever it is, find the time best for you that you can stick to.

All movement counts I’ve been guilty of thinking that because my workout was shorter that somehow it may not count as much. It crossed my mind coming in from “only” 2.25 miles yesterday morning ( in the 25 degree morning!) I reminded myself it far beat staying inside doing nothing!

Same for you. Whatever purposeful movement you choose trumps doing absolutely nothing. Start small and make it your goal to increase your time and days. Before long you will have built your own disciplined exercise regimen. 😊

Cold but satisfying miles!

New Year and The Diet Traps

It happens every….single….year.

Before the stockings have been unhung from the chimney with care and the last remnants of wrapping paper have been fished out from under the sofa, it shows up.

Stark, plain, and sucking the joy from the holidays, the diet products appear overnight replacing the cheery Christmas items that were there only days before.

Scales, diet drinks, supplements, pills, potions and more. All of it aimed at consumers who are aware that they have enjoyed their holiday feasting and endless bowls of chocolates, maybe a little to much.

It didn’t take long for things to start showing up on my newsfeed with offers of help by joining groups, or buying secret sauce potions that would magically get rid of Christmas fluff.

If there is one thing that predictably shows up at the start of a new year are diet traps.

Diet programs abound as a new year starts

I’m not quiet on this topic

I speak out on this quite often, much to the annoyance of some. I am vocal on the topic because the diet industry rakes in millions of dollars a year from people desperate for a miracle fix. This comes often at a high price.

Whether it’s from grocery store shakes, pills, and meal replacments or pricey products from MLM companies making pie in the sky promises, the competition is fierce to collect on those who are desperate to lose weight and get fit.

Some thing’s may work…

Listen, there is a vehicle for everyone that will lead them to success on their weight loss journey. There could be a certain “thing” that works for a person that starts them on a path to success. That, is more rare than not. Most will have good intentions and buy into some program or structured plan ( that is not tailored for their body and specific needs) they will throw money at it, make a go of it for maybe 4-6 weeks before they fall back into their old habits. The only thing lighter being their bank account.

How you feel on a restrictive diet.

So what works?

As much as I’m “anti-diet” and the whole quackery of the diet industry, I’m very much about sane and practical methods that are sustainable and can be done for your life. These practices are *free* and really require a person to make a daily commitment to small consistent choices. This will lead to weight loss and a sustainable way of living. Oh…and it won’t suck the joy from your life either.

Tips and tricks

There are things you can do that will lead to good habits and building good habits can make positive changes in your life

Move. Every day if possible do some purposeful activity even if it’s a 10 minute walk. Do something for yourself. Challenge yourself to increase your time.

Rest. Often overlooked, getting sleep and having energy for your activities will make you feel good.

Water. Most people come nowhere near drinking water they need that keeps you hydrated and provides crucial fluid to your body. Try to get a glass in first thing in morning, even before your coffee β˜•

Intuitive eating. This basically means listen to your body. Hungry? Eat. Hunger satisfied? Stop eating. Not hungry? Don’t eat. We have become so conditioned to eat at specific times without listening to our bodies that we are losing touch with our natural body signals.

Don’t starve. Nothing will derail you faster and send you running back to the Cheetos than depriving yourself of food. Food is fuel and you need a certain amount to operate optimally. You don’t have to starve and be miserable to lose weight.

Eat. Make your daily food intake healthy whole foods as much as possible. Eat balanced meals that incorporate all food groups. Eat foods you like, in moderation. Remember that “listening to your body’ thing πŸ˜‰ and don’t remove all “treats” from your life. Just be mindful of them and selective on what you do have. Remember a treat is an occasional thing.

Know your triggers. If certain foods trip you up or cause you to binge, don’t have them available. Try to understand the reasons why you eat, basically, what’s your relationship with food? Most of us have deep reasons why we eat and it goes beyond hunger.

Be kind to yourself. Life is a journey. Make your goal of weight loss and fitness a part of your journey. Take one day at a time and remember slow and steady is the best plan to success. Weight loss ( done right) takes time and not “2 weeks”.

Word.

Happy New Year kids. What goals do you have this year?

Monday Musings

As I write this post I wonder if I’m the only one aware that the seasons are doing that sneaky, yet subtle, shift. Darkness has fallen earlier stealing the long lazy evenings with lingering daylight that I fully embrace.

Long evenings allowing me to go out and do work on my projects or just enjoy the cooler air as the sun has dropped over the horizon. Long evenings where the breeze caresses my skin and I can watch light gradually fade and the moon begin to rise.

But that has changed. The long evenings have been replaced by earlier darkness forcing me to wrap up outside work. As much as I embrace fall, I miss aspects of the summer season. 

Anyone else relate?

Not my backyard, but somewhere in the world…..

Right now though in south Texas we will enjoy a variety of weather as we get crisp fall mornings yet still have afternoons that are definitely comfortable short weather.Β  This can go on for months. It’s always a toss up to what we get.

Hey after all, only earlier this year we got snowed in not only once, but twice, in the same week.

Surreal. Absolutely surreal. For all of us it was a weird, most likely, once in a lifetime thing.

A few of the many pics from that epic week

Ok and I get it. If you’re up north or in parts of the world you see this all the time, don’t send me hate mail over my snow pics. πŸ˜‰ you are not impressed with this stuff. I get it. Hopefully,  we won’t see that kind of winter this year!

Ok…on to other topics….

We did have a nice chilly morning this week which had me digging out a bit more clothing for my outdoor activities. I had recently gotten new shoes so I wanted to start logging some miles on them ( Did a little over 4)

Black. What all cool kids wear. My new Asics are too.

As I’ve shared briefly in previous posts, I had a total knee replacement in April. I just hit my 6 month out. I figure I’ll be doing a post on my experience fairly soon. I have chronicled things from the start and have tried to use my voice to encourage or help others in this process.

Meanwhile….I’ve not exactly been doing nothing…

On the bike….
Strength training

I’ve got goals ya’ll. But we will chat more about that later.

In things that make me laugh….

My granddaughters critters watching the football game

We arrived at my grandsons football game Saturday and my granddaughter has positioned her critters with a front row seat for the game. In a crazy world, I constantly embrace the beauty of my grandkids and the simplicity of childhood.

And listen, if you don’t have any of these yet, they are totally worth it. You love them in such a special different way. ❀ I feel beyond, and I mean, beyond blessed and fortunate that my kids grew up, started their families and wanted to have their homes on family property ( cool when you have space for them to do that) I mean, they liked us enough to stick around 😜

In other news….

I’ve shared before about my vintage business and love for old things. I got this pink stool earlier in the week. If there’s a time period that fascinates me, it is the short lived 50s pink kitchen era. So to find a pink stool, even if it was dirty and needed a cleaning, was impossible to pass up. Now the question remains, will it go to my shop? πŸ€”

Original ad for the common kitchen stool

Before I leave you…

I’ve gotta share a few recipes I’ve used lately. Having a big family that likes to hang out and eat, I’m always testing new foods.

Here’s one of my favorite “one pan ” recipes that’s always popular.

https://pin.it/1KUIqvy

Tasty, and fast to assemble.

https://pin.it/9JLma9B

And another popular dinner. I cannot tell you how delicious this is…try it!

And of course I need to leave you with a dessert. And what’s better than a fall inspired one called Fresh Apple cake. I’ve made this like 3 times this month. The beauty of this recipe? Stir it all into one bowl, pour in pan and bake. The frosting is cooked in one pan on stove that you pour on top.

https://pin.it/1v8I0cU

Ok, your turn! How’s life? What’s new? Who is ready for upcoming holidays?

Saturday Snippets

Happy weekend kids!

Like many of you, I’ve got things planned for my day but wanted to squeeze in a quick workout first.

Contrary to a lot of thinking you don’t have to take lots of time to get a solid workout in. Like many of you, I prefer longer ones but sometimes that doesn’t always work.

Enter 20 minutes

I set aside 20 minutes,  armed with a 35 lb kettlebell and 25lb dumbbells.  I rotated between kb swings and doing other work with dumbbells. I did not really rest between sets other than to change over equipment.

20 minute workout

Can you say sweat?

Obviously going from swings into other work and repeating sets didn’t take long to get my heart pumping and sweat flowing. It was a quick but good strength session

Please note I did warm up 5-8 minutes before starting

And that my friends, is it. We may not always have the longest time, but we can squeeze in some time, just really make it count.

25 lb dumbbells and 35lb kettlebell, my workout buddies…oh and water always water. πŸ˜‰

Monday Musings

Hey kids! Happy Monday and the start of a new week. Honestly, with this past year, on any given day I’m thinking ” where are we in this week?!”

Please tell me I’m not alone in this….

I’d say Monday’s are for coffee but really, every day is for coffee.

We’ve been enjoying a milder than usual summer here in south Texas. When I say milder I mean we’ve not had any 100 degree days. And to make things even better we’ve had more rain than we ever see in a Texas summer. Like things are still green! And not crunching under your feet….amazing.

Oh it’s still hot enough and we’ve also got that wonderful humidity to go with it too.

Which makes morning workouts awesome

I had to forfeit my morning walk the other day when unexpected thunderstorms showed up. So I went to my plan b, heading into my own little gym in my garage. But gosh by the time I finished, I looked like I had been out in the rain. Serious sweat fest.

I opted to start with 20 minutes on the elliptical and followed up with 40 minutes strength training. I love mixing up my workouts. Sometimes I start and end with cardio and sandwich strength training in the middle.

My version of hitting the bar

I did get out for my power walk the next day. I’ve been increasing my miles and wanted to incorporate these huge hills into those miles. I planned to do a couple sets of them when I got down there, which I did.

When you take your heart rate from one extreme to the other. πŸ˜…

The large number on top is what I watch while I’m cooling down. The rate at which it drops back to normal gives me a good idea of my recovery heart rate. Minutes after I took this pic, it had dropped to the 70.

I think when people start an exercise program they aren’t really thinking about how it builds their heart and lungs, which are obviously muscles. Your recovery heart rate gives you a good idea of how your exercise is helping your heart

It is recommended to get a 150 minutes of cardio exercise a week. Are you getting yours?

Exercise goals

I believe everyone should have some kind of exercise goals. We all have a starting place from where we can begin working to build our strength and fitness. Recently, I personally found this so true and was so grateful to fall back on a foundation of strength and fitness.

Why you may ask?

Well kids, April 15th I had total knee replacement surgery. I fully plan to write a specific post on my experience with the process, my recovery, and how cool high tech surgery is now days. More than ever was I grateful for all the days I had spent training my body working out and building strength as I leaned into that while my other leg got back on track.

I won’t spend a lot of time on it in this post, yes I’m doing great. I will say I set a goal to do a 18 mile race on my bike, 10 weeks post op, and I did. πŸ˜‰

Actually I did a little over 19 miles πŸ˜‰

So that has been one of the um… more interesting….things I’ve been up to

Then there’s my vintage business

If you’ve followed me awhile, you know I have a business where I flip vintage furniture, among other things. That has grown quite a bit this past year and I’m grateful!

Not a bad transformation eh?

Just one of the many projects I’ve been working on. *** so…many.. projects… ****

Then there’s food

I do have fun exploring new recipes. I made this recently, it always goes over well.

https://pin.it/7HO3EOA

The mixture of chicken, rice and peppers and pineapple makes for a savory meal.

And one more….I’m on a chicken kick

https://pin.it/yYOAQpO

I’ll leave you with this

I hope no matter how your day is going, that you will find the good in your day and be grateful. Grateful for the life you have and literally the next breath you take. I hope that you see the good in life and embrace it and you find joy in ordinary moments ❀

This.

Fruit or Vegetable?

I recently did a random post on my Facebook page ( oh heck most of them are random) showing off my breakfast ( food pics,novel, I know)

I had come in from a longer bike ride, hungry, with food on my mind. Not just any food, I wanted avocado, fresh tomatoes and a piece of whole grain bread.

Good carbs…healthy fats….perfect.

As I bantered back and forth with comments from my post one of them said something about loving fruits and veggies for breakfast.

Ah! Rats. In my casual post I really didn’t get technical as to if these items were….fruits? Or vegetables? The comment was later indicated that he just enjoyed both at breakfast, not getting technical. Well by then my mind had already started crafting this post.

So….what are they?

Like many of you, I never deeply pondered what they are, I just enjoy them. But are tomatoes and avocados a fruit or veggie?

So delicious. But what are they?

Let’s talk about avocados

Not particularly beautiful, but very tasty…….

Avocados are one of the few fruits (yes, technically they’re a fruit, not a veggie) that contain healthy unsaturated fats. These fats help lower undesirable LDL cholesterol when eaten in place of saturated fat. The avocado is considered a fruit because they fit all of the botanical criteria for a berry. They have fleshy pulp and a seed.

Avocados ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. To speed up the process, place the avocado in a paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days. The fruit is ready to eat when the stem comes out easily (or, if the stem is gone, when the fruit yields slightly to gentle pressure).

Nutritional info: One serving (about one-third of a medium Haas avocado) provides about 80 calories and nearly 20 different nutrients, many of which are considered heart-healthy, including unsaturated fat, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin E, and potassium.

Now….. on to the tomatoes…

The botanical classification: Tomatoes are fruits.A botanical fruit would have at least one seed and grow from the flower of the plant. With this definition in mind, tomatoes are classified as fruit because they contain seeds and grow from the flower of the tomato.

But wait….there’s more

It’s also a vegetable because someone said it is.

Say what?!

Botanically it’s a fruit. Legally, it’s not. Legally it’s classified a vegetable.

And the origins of that discrepancy lie in a 19th-century Supreme Court case so obscure, many tomato experts aren’t even aware of it.

β€œTomatoes have such an outlandish history,” said George Ball, the chief executive at the seed company Burpee. β€œMost people hear it and are bewildered for life.”

As Ball explains it, fruits and vegetables differ in one major botanical way. A fruit is technically the seed-bearing structure of a plant β€” and a vegetable can be virtually any part of the plant we eat.

At the time of the court case in question, Nix v. Hedden, fruits and vegetables differed in another big way, as well: Imported vegetables were slapped with a 10-percent tariff upon their arrival in the United States, and imported fruits were not.

When one Manhattan wholesaler β€” John Nix & Co., owned by John Nix and his four sons β€” got hit with the tariff on a shipment of Caribbean tomatoes, he disputed the tax on the grounds that tomatoes were not technically vegetables.

The case, filed in 1887, made its way to the Supreme Court in 1893. There, the court disagreed with the Nixes, ruling that people neither prepare nor eat tomatoes like fruits β€” and that they should be taxed accordingly.

β€œBotanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas,” wrote Justice Horace Gray in his 1893 opinion. β€œBut in the common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables.”

So there you go. The Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled them as a vegetable….long ago…..

Bet you learned something new, didn’t you?

About my breakfast….

Admit it….it looks delicious

I’ll leave you with a refreshing summer tomato salad to try.

https://pin.it/4DTTYOB

Your turn

Do you like tomatoes and avocados? What would you say they are? Fruit or veggie?

Monday Musings

Happy Monday kids. Let’s do this thing.

A new week, new goals to crush, more coffee to drink.

One of the things I’m seeing tonight as I write this is one of my posts from 2 years ago is trending in the top two spots on Google search…..go. me.

Single Ingredient Diet

Yeah so that’s kinda nice. People wanna read me and I like to think I have positive words to offer up, along with a dose of sassy humor. πŸ˜‰ you can check this post out later.

Speaking of humor…..

You may have seen the Target dress challenge on social media. Basically Target launched this line of dresses they were like, apparently serious about.

They look like left over Little House on the Prairie wardrobe pieces. Ankle length frocks, quite lovely.

Ugly? Yes.

Frumpy? Oh yes.

Man repellant? Most definitely.

Wearing these dresses makes you look like you’re ready for a long day on the farm preparing for a locust invasion.

But wait… I was eating at a local restaurant the other day and they have a gift shop with all kinds of goodies in it. Imagine my horror when I saw this…..is everyone getting on board with this??

😱😱😱

And the ones behind it weren’t much better…trust me.

When it comes to fashion like this, I’m always glad that I’m out here doing my own thing.

Oh yeah..my own thing. Wanna see?

Decided to start my new year with a fun flare. πŸ–€

Shades of pink, but most rose gold, I love the mix of it all and nicknamed it my Neapolitan hair.

The main factor is that I love it, but after that, the fact others like it is cool too.

A girl checking me in at my dr appt commented on it….

“Love your hair! Kudos to you for being so bold and doing it”

I thanked her, but here’s the deal.

It doesn’t take much for me to be bold and adventurous. But really, I love doing things that please me, and that is usually something outside the box.

Can I suggest that if you’ve pondered doing something, why not do it? What’s holding you back?

If this past year has taught me anything, live life, even if it is diving into rosegold hair.

Do what makes you happy and brings you joy.

Ever notice how life can randomly point things out to you? πŸ˜…

The truth of this hits deep

Teasing aside, I am thankful and grateful for every year I’ve lived, even if there are days that are harder or a body that wants to go rogue, I am thankful for the years I’ve lived.

In other news..

The month is almost over and there has been of course, the push for people wanting to get back to exercise and “get in shape”.

If you’re in that boat, you aren’t alone! I think during this past year so many have gotten out of a normal routine or have been sidetracked by the weird turns of life.

My simple suggestion to get back in the groove? Get out for 30 minutes.

Take 30 minutes to do something that moves you, that makes you feel alive and refreshed. Can’t do 30? Make it 20, but make it count.

If I’m short on time and decide to do 20 minutes on the rower or elliptical, I pedal down and go all out in those 20 minutes and believe me, it’s a solid workout that works me.

Life is hard. Exercise helps.

Food. Food helps too.

I thought I’d share a salad I made with you during the holidays. I used greek yogurt in place of the sour cream for a lighter healthy swap.

https://pin.it/5nfOFBT

And cold weather is often perfect soup weather. Try this Stuffed Pepper soup, it’s a family favorite!

https://pin.it/63Ik60t

Alright kids, that’s a wrap in my ramblings. Do something good for yourself this week and while you’re at it, do something for someone else too.

Tell me, how’s the week gone? Have you done something for yourself a little different or fun?