How I’m healing

Hey guys! How’s your Friday been?? Mine has been pretty bueno, but even better that it’s officially the weekend! Weekend, I love you so.

Thanks for your input on whether or not Fitness books are dead. I agree with what a lot of you are saying and think a cookbook may be a good choice with fitness and nutrition tips interspersed throughout… to read, of course 😉

This morning, I met with my Lifestyle Group –everyone has dropped body fat and inches, which is awesome- and then did weights with the girls.

After our tricep and bicep domination, Ashley went to work and Jeni and I hit up the Main Squeeze for smoothies.

Tropical Superfood with Sun Warrior from the depths of my purse:


We chatted about tropical vacays (Jeni and her hubby are going to the Bahamas this summer) and I think the pilot and I may be headed somewhere tropical instead of Italy. We still want to go, but with airfare right now, it would be a much better deal to do an all-inclusive beach getaway. The pilot needs some relaxation anyway… and I need to get him away from his girlfriend (the Air Force).

When I got home, I wanted a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to make my smoothie a complete lunch, so I roasted some veggies.


Okra, zucchini and tomatoes with sea salt, garlic powder, EVOO and cayenne. Much better 🙂

Today was a busy day at the gym and I have to say, every time I’m there, the treadmills and ellipticals taunt me. I’m trying to be good and stick to hiatus rules, but it’s been a rough week. We’ve been having killer weight training seshes, but I miss those cardio endorphins and sweaty triumphant feeling that I’m used to :/

In the meantime, here’s what I’m focusing on:

Foam rolling


Everyday, I’ve taken about 10 minutes to roll out my legs, booty, back and arms. I was going to make a video for ya’ll, but found this one online which was pretty thorough:


Note: You don’t have to be sore or injured to use the foam roller! Even before my knee fiasco, I spent at least 5 minutes a day with my foam roller. It’s a great way to increase flexibility thus preventing injury, stretch and relax. Consider it to be as beneficial as a massage (which it is!) minus the hefty price tag.

2. Clean eats

Eating nutrient-dense and easily digestible food enables our body to focus on other things (like healing!) instead of trying to break down foreign chemicals. This is why my week has been full of fresh juices, chia, greens, veggies and healthy fats. I’m choosing to minimize animal proteins (even fish and goat dairy) as well as alcohol until the hiatus is over. Bonus: my skin is looking pretty glow-y 🙂

3. Knee strengthening exercises

I have a friend who works at a doctor’s office and after speaking to him about what was going on with me, he printed out a sheet of exercises to give me. The reason why I haven’t gone to a doctor yet is because I want to be able to tell them I did everything in my power to heal. If I would have gone on Monday, they would have asked if I had rested, I would have said no, and would have had to go back in two weeks after resting anyway. Might as well save both of our time.

I found a copy of the exercises I’ve been doing on this website. The ones I’m focusing on (and do quite a few times a day) are the straight leg raises, knee flexion and extension, small squats (these I do on one leg) and heel slides.

Have you had to go on injury hiatus before?? What was wrong??

Any fun ways to break a sweat without derailing my hiatus?? (and yes, I know mattress mambo is a good choice. Sorry Mom, haha)

I’m off to make some dinner <3



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  1. Allie (Live Laugh Eat) on March 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Glad to hear you are surviving this hiatus. I can only imagine how tough it’s been for you. I SHOULD have taken a hiatus a couple years ago when I got a stress fracture but I was silly and worked out through it. On my off days, I just try to stay busy do I don’t end up snacking too much as I long for the cardio machines 🙂 Maybe you can break a sweat baking?? Hehe

  2. Samantha on March 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Knock on wood but in my adult life I’ve been blessed to have very little “injuries.” A few times I’ve had to take off short periods from running when my cuboid rotated in my foot and last year I took several weeks off anything high impact when someone on the dive boat dropped an air tank on my foot. Ha ha! Right now I’m battling hip/lower back pain that needs to be worked out.

    Guam has great beaches! 🙂 And you guys could MAC it out for free! ha ha! Then again I’m a bit biased, I’d stay here forever if a-the Navy would let us and b-they had Target (or at the very least, Wal Mart)

  3. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on March 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I have luckily never had an injury, but I LOVE foam rolling!!

  4. Keri on March 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for the video! I hope your knee gets better 🙂

  5. Lindsay Stecyk on March 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    First of all, Love your Blog!!
    I am in love with the breakfast cookie and the egg puff!!

    Quick question, what do you usually eat for protein?

  6. Bella (Stilettos on the Streetcar) on March 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I’m actually on hiatus right now. I was hit in the head with a softball in November and suffered a concussion with brain trauma. My activity since then has been limited to walking. At first the inactivity drove me crazy, but then I found yoga. I hadn’t tried it before the accident, but now I’m hooked. Plus, my doctors say it will help my recovery. Plus, you’ve convinced me to grab a foam roller.

    I believe the key to making it through a hiatus is to redefine “activity.” Before the accident, I needed to break a sweat to consider it a work out. Now I recognize that gentle activity can also be effective.

  7. Madison on March 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    What about rowing? It’s more arms than leg work. Also, scrubbing always seem to make me sweat. That way you have a clean house and work up a sweat at the same time.

  8. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg on March 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    We’re going to Italy this summer…and we got married in the Bahamas last summer! Lol, tropical vacation or European vacation; you really can’t go wrong 🙂

    Could you swim?

  9. Bri on March 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I have not found another blog that even compares to yours! I have been reading blogs for a few years now, and yours is the only one I read regularly. Thanks!

  10. La on March 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    ahh great video thank you so much for sharing!

  11. LisaG on March 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Ok, now I get the foam roller thingy, gotta feel good. I’ll have to Shop it Up again. You need to go to the Palmilla in Los Cabos, best place ever for tropical destinations.

  12. Allison @ Food For Healing on March 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    hahah mattress mambo, love it!

    I have never injured myself, but i dont work out like ever right now to do so! Booo. But i know i would definitely miss working out, but healing is very very important if you don’t want it to be a life injury

  13. Julie on March 26, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Gina,
    I am a little confused why you would minimize animal proteins during your break? I only say this because we are learning in my nutrition classes that the body has a metabolic response to injury and illness which results in an increased need for protein. Since amino acids are the building blocks of protein they are actually key nutritional componenets of healing and repair in the body. I always thought it was important that high biological value protein is consumed during times of injury and stress–ie the minimal protein found in fruits and veggies isn’t enough.
    I am not trying to be mean–I know you get some negative comments and I don’t want it to come across that way! I guess I was just wondering exactly why you were doing that! 🙂 I hope this didn’t come across mean–that’s NOT was I going for! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm

      hey julie,
      you’re right in saying that protein is necessary for recovery. just protein in general, not specifically animal protein which is harder to digest than plat-based protein. i’m going to focus on plant-based protein sources (but will of course sneak an egg in there or some goat cheese if i’m feeling it), but plant-based protein sources are actually higher quality protein than animal.
      thanks for phrasing your comment so well- it wasn’t mean at all 🙂

  14. Meghan on March 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I have had many hiatuses (hiatusi?:)) throughout my running career. Last night I could only do 2 hours of a 3 hour run because of knee pain. I am planning on taking the next 3 days off of running and biking and doing killer upper body and ab workouts. It wouldn’t be such a big deal, but I am running the Boston Marathon in 24 days, and I need to maintain!

  15. Jenny on March 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    I love the clean eats part of your plan… I always have the hardest time focusing on that aspect;)

  16. Sarah on March 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I can totally sympathize with you and your hiatus. I broke a small bone in the ball of my foot a month ago which still is not healed and haven’t been able to workout since then. I even was on one week of bed rest because my foot flared up – it wasn’t pretty. Now I get some walking in every day to and from work (2-3mi), but that’s about it.

    I stay sane lifting weights and doing ab work yet it doesn’t satisfy me the same way a good cardio sesh does – I’m dying for a good sweaty workout! I know that it’s better to take this time now to let my foot heal now rather than not be able to run for the rest of my life. However, I just can’t help but feel frustrated in dealing with this injury! I am starting to feel like I’m going soft, lol.

    Thanks for sharing tips about how you’re managing during your hiatus! It’s motivational to see someone else trying to stay active during an injury – just make sure you let yourself heal!

  17. Jenn (eating bender) on March 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Can I first just say that I love the fact that you called it mattress mambo? Johnjay and Rich?!?!?!?! Please tell me that’s where you got that term 🙂

    Those are some absolutely fabulous tips that I’m sure many will benefit from!

    Love the idea of a beach vacay. Bobby and I were thinking Italy for our honeymoon but now with flight costs, etc. we’re thinking of staying somewhere in the U.S. You and I should chat some time soon about our research in this area 😉

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm

      hahah YES! johnjay and rich 🙂
      i’d love to chat with you about travel plans!

  18. Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary on March 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I had a really bad back injury and had sugery Oct 2008… Took me until almost Oct 2009 to be able to do any real hard core weight lifting or high intensity cardio… It was really hard, but I made it! YAY

  19. kalli@fitandfortysomething on March 26, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    yoga is my go to when i am injured!
    have a good weekend!

  20. Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) on March 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    What a great way to re-coop during your hiatus!

    When I have an injury, I do a lot of yoga- you can break a sweat pretty well doing yoga without putting too much pressure on your knee! Just modify the poses. =D


  21. Heather (Heather's Dish) on March 26, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    you can always do boxing, but using only the upper body. that’s what i would do anyway 🙂 hope you feel better ASAP – being out with an injury is NO BUENO

  22. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on March 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I have a hyerniated (I have know idea how to spell that) disc in my back and it goes every now and then and it puts me out of commission for over a month. It sucks big time but I have to listen to my body and rest.

  23. Karyn on March 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    i just got my foam roller (from opensky) so thanks for the video. i’ve never used one before!

  24. Kim on March 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    @ Julie and Lindsay– There are lots of great places to get non-animal protein. Nuts, grains, beans– all of which we see Gina enjoy all the time. I hope I don’t seem overly defensive, and just gotta jump in and help another veggie luvah out.

    For exercise, if I ever have a bit of an injury creeping up on me I walk to cross train. Its great because you can make it a little challenging by upping the speed or incline, but if you are really hurting and just need a little movement, slow and flat does the trick.

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm

      amen girl 🙂

  25. Jessie on March 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I might have to invest in a foam roller. I don’t do any particularly intense workouts, but a cheap at-home substitute for a massage sounds great!

  26. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman on March 26, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Yep, I’m on injury hiatus right now. 🙁 Though my physical therapist and two different orthopedic surgeons have told me that knee extensions are bad for knees. If yours is cartilage-related (mind is: Runner’s Knee in both knees) then it can do more harm than good, esp. if you use weights.

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm

      no weights and they’re just small raises. it actually feels really good to do those! 🙂

  27. Ange on March 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Great vid! I love Karena (& Katrina of Tone it Up)

  28. Jordon on March 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm


    First, just have to say how much I love your blog! It’s one of my very favorites by far. I most definitely sympathize with you on the injury front. I am just coming off an injury that had me out of running for 3+ months! Long story short, I didn’t listen to my body like I should have and ended up tearing my meniscus during the first 3mi of my second marathon last October. I had to walk 6mi to find a metro station and get off the course! It was an awful experience, and taught me to always listen to my body and know my boundaries. I never want to have to go through something so disheartening again, and I don’t want anyone else to have to deal with that either! It’s SO much better that you take time off now when the injury isn’t a big deal. I wish I had done that! Anyways… while I was out of running, I got really into weight lifting. I personally don’t swim, but I’ve heard that’s a fantastic low impact workout. Just keep it up, and you’re smart to listen to your body now!! Hope you heal quickly.

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      thank you <3

  29. Hannah on March 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    You should rest, rest rest!!! Isn’t that what you say, because if you don’t the injury gets worse!!

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      yes ma’am, that’s exactly right! 🙂

  30. Errign on March 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I just had to giggle at the mattress mambo remark 🙂

  31. jessica on March 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Gina! I have kind of a silly question but I just bought some maca powder and I’m wondering if it is supposed to smell a little funky? I don’t notice the taste when I use it in smoothies or anything but when I open the bag it doesn’t exact smell good and I was wondering if that’s what it is supposed to smell like.

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      hahah it definitely has an earthy taste and smell. before long, you’ll be craving it 🙂

      • jessica on March 26, 2010 at 9:49 pm

        “Earthy” is a good description! Haha, thank you. I don’t even notice it in oatmeal or smoothies but I will tell you that opening the bag to get it out turns me off to it a bit!

  32. Brittany on March 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    I’ve had a similar cardio hiatus due to a bone bruise on my knee. I rested and didn’t run for 6 months.. it was HARD! But in the meantime I did leg strengthening exercises with ankle weights (prescribed by my doc) and lots of weight training. You could always try the rowing machine or the bicycle- so long as those don’t hurt.

    I hope the rest will do some good and you’re back to new in no time. 🙂

  33. andrea on March 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    this has nothing to do with your post but I decided to try Indian food after following your blog, decided to try Zumba after reading your blog, I decided to try yoga after reading your blog, I nuke my egg whites now after reading your blog!!! You have really inspired me to try things that I’ve never tried in my 34 years!!! I love your blog, even though I will never be a vegetation or raw or a vegan I still love it!!! I tried your 2 favs at the Indian place and they were awesome, I also had tandoori chicken, which is amazing!!! I am now a Zumba addict and am looking into becoming an instructor just because I love it!!! I tried warm yoga tonight and I enjoyed it as it calmed me and challenged me. I say all this to say I feel the need to thank you because I am really enjoying my new experiences that I started because of your blog! so Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      hey andrea,
      thank you so much- that’s awesome! xoxo

  34. eatdrinkandbemerrynyc on March 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    You’re doing so well despite how hard it is to stay away from cardio. You will recover stronger than ever and not injure yourself permanently, you’re a great example for all of us ‘athletes’!

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      thanks sara! <3

  35. Jen on March 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Can you swim? Or just go on long walks with the puppers? It stinks to have to take time off, but once you get back, you’ll be better than ever!
    I NEED a foam roller!

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      hahah no i cannot swim. i can float with a magazine 😉
      and yep, i’ve been walking the puppers a lot!

  36. Nikki on March 26, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I had a complete tear of my ACL last summer in a completely freak accident. I had to have my ACL reconstructed through surgery and go through 4 months of physical therapy. The most impact I can take now is walking. I’m hoping it is going to get better, but recovery has been pretty stagnant the last couple of months. I can’t even wear shoes that don’t have support without my knee hurting by the end of the day (which unfortunately includes most of my work shoes!). My shoes are so sad, all alone in the closet for all these months.

    Anyway, moral of the story: Protect your knees! Good luck with the healing!

  37. Laura on March 26, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Great post! I have taken the last three days off working out because of a pulled/cramped (?) calf muscle. I’ve actually been doing some stretching on the closest thing I have to a roller – a heavy duty roll of cling wrap. It’s the right size but not as soft. Not sure if this is as helpful but it does feel good. 🙂

  38. Jessica @ The Process of Healing on March 26, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I’ve been trying to get in as much veggies and whole foods as I can during my healing as well. I need to up my game though!

  39. Michelle on March 26, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    I am so glad that you posted the foam rolling video! it really cleared that up for me! I was suffering in silence wondering what amazing-ness I was missing out on! 🙂 I am really excited to get one now! I run quite a bit, and have just been beginning to cycle, but Wow am I excited about the self back massage! 🙂

  40. Angie (Losing It and Loving It) on March 26, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    If you’re looking for a nice all-inclusive hubby and I got every December to Couples Swept Away ( in Jamaica. This year we are going earlier than normal to run in the Reggae Marathon (1/2 marathon). We have found our ‘home’ so we don’t dare go anywhere different because it’s so great LOL

    I’m going to be getting a foam roller here soon so I’m loving all these great videos I’m finding. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Kat on March 26, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    hey Gina – regarding the tropical vacay, I just got back from my honeymoon in St. Lucia and we stayed at the Sandals Grande, which I cannot recommend enough. As far as all-inclusive places go, Sandals is awesome 🙂 and caribbean weather is glorious! They have resorts in Jamaica and Antigua and a few other locations too…

    I also have a injury question for you – I dislocated my knee (tonight actually – I didn’t see my puppy’s raw hide, slipped on it, slammed my butt on the floor and completely dislocated my knee.). Seeing how it’s Friday night and it’s back in place now, I figured there’s no point in going to the ER (I’m icing it and keeping it elevated and plan on going to the doc first thing Monday), but do you have any suggestions on anything else I can / should be doing? What about recovery? Is physical therapy the only thing I can really do until it heals? I can still work out upper body, abs, back, etc right? (I know you’re not a doctor, but I figured you might have some experience with the clients you train 🙂 Thanks!

  42. Rawkin Robin on March 27, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Gena i’m <3'ing this post!!! I'm nursing my knees (in the middle of training for my first half 🙁 ) So this post is just awesome to see! I have been doing straight leg raises RELIGIOUSLY (while simultaneously praaaying for healing strength) and they are by far my fav – those feel to be targeting the area I need strengthening the most. Best of luck !

  43. caroline on March 27, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Gina!! Hello there!

    Are you able to swim? Swimming is the BEST alternative to running for me. Everytime I’ve had a knee, IT band, or other injury I turn to the pool for help. It takes some time to learn the stroke skills… but once you know its SO fun to go!

    Take care sweetie!

  44. Alice on March 27, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Gina, I have SO much sympathy for the cardio-itch. My twinbro had to take 16 MONTHS off intense runnning training, which was his stress relief and big love. He got verry good at cross training. I think in Sydney it’s easier (he did a fair bit of surfing), but it always used to put my injuries into perspective. Whenever I’d want to train through something, twinbro would corner me and go ‘NO! Not allowed!’.

    I’d say if the injury is impact-related, and you can still go through the range of running *motion*, don’t swim – do water-running instead. You have to do twice the volume and half the recovery to get the same ‘session’ out of it, but my friends who are elite runners swear that you lose very little conditioning. In fact, one of the guys who is now on the Australian commonwealth games team stepped on to the track after 8 weeks of water-running training and smashed his p.b over 800m about a year ago.

  45. Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA on March 27, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Hey Gina,

    Hope you feel better soon 🙂 Just remember that 2 weeks is wayyyy easier than 2 months. In the past I’ve found that working out when injured (even if it hurts just a “little”) can significantly slow down the healing process.

    Do you swim? That’s a killer cardio workout. Also, I always feel exhausted from Bikram.

  46. deisegirl on March 27, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Italy is superb but I can only imagine that the airfare is very high for you. I’ve been three times and I don’t think the cost of the flights was an issue (Ireland-Italy not so far!) but it’s actually a pretty expensive country to visit in general.

    I need to get me a foam roller, I feel like my entire body is a knot of tension and tightness!

  47. rachael on March 27, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Could you swim for cardio? I’m in the opposite boat as you, my upper back/shoulder is injured so I can do cardio but no weights, power yoga, or pilates. I finally went to an osteopathic doctor for my injury and had a really great experience. She adjusted me for a half hour and showed me some great stretches and self-care suggestions that have really helped, I was actually going to do a post on it.

    Hope your knee if 100% soon!

  48. Heather on March 27, 2010 at 9:32 am


    I’ve said this a bunch of times, I know, but CHECK OUT PHYSIQUE 57! YOU WILL LOVE IT.

  49. Jane on March 27, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Just started following your blot…luv it….Where can you buy the foam roller?



  50. Kelly on March 27, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Bahahaha mattress mambo! Currently on injury hiatus with ITBS. Stupid IT band, I start physical therapy on Monday.

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