Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#297: What Goes In...

Did some tempo work on the treadmill today. I only ran a mile, but cranked the speed up to 3.4 MPH. That's about 17.5 min/mile. Not ready for the marathon yet, but closer to the pace I would like to run in March.

What Goes In...

I've been thinking about how to get my nutrition. Balanced meals are more of a challenge for me than they used to be. I have a rough time with really crunchy vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, for example. And no matter what I eat, it takes me a long time. And things like nuts and grains are a special treat when those sharp little pieces work their way up under the bottom dentures. I guess what I'm saying is that eating is kind of a hassle. But I know I need to eat. Not just to stay alive, but to build the kind of muscle mass I'm going to need to replace all that was lost during treatment. so I've put together a sort of eclectic plan.

Protein and Other Good Stuff

This is the stuff muscles are made of. I don't eat a lot of meat, but I do try to get plenty of dairy everyday. I also mix up shakes with soy or whey powder. I can eat eggs, though they don't always taste very good because so many places overcook them. I'm good with fish, and get lots of beans and meat sauces and things. With that collection, you can see that I'm in no danger of getting too little fat, and my carbs are from cooked vegetables, pasta, and hot cereal in the morning.

Supplements and Other Chemical Stuff

I don't take a lot of muscleman stuff. I do like to have a little creatine before my workouts. It's supposed to improve my stamina. It may do that, but it also tastes like Tang, which is cool.

I always have plenty of water when I'm working out. My choppers get particularly dry when I run, so I keep plenty of wet nearby. Of course, gulping water while running also makes them fall out. It's a funny little tongue-juggling act that can tickle me a little, once I stop choking.

After a workout, I always try go get some quick protein like chocolate milk or even a shake from Wendy's. I used to like a cheeseburger after the gym, but burger buns are very high on the "eating's a hassle" list. I might also grab a Gatorade, though we have a couple cans of the powder at home, and Mrs P usually has a jug mixed up for me.

Pills and Other Medical Stuff

There are my prescription meds. Two for depression. Two for blood pressure. One for keeping my blood thin. The psych meds don't have much effect on my workouts, unless you count the days when I don't want to get out from under the covers. Since I started treating my high blood pressure, I have observed that my heart rate doesn't get so high. That's cool. The blood thinners are a very big deal. I've talked about the bruising I experience. I also bleed a lot more from little nicks than I used to. I grazed the inside of my ankle with the sole of my shoe while running the other day, and my sock was bloody by the time I was done. I need to be really careful about getting banged around, especially my head. The other effect the blood thinners seem to be having is that my recovery time is a lot longer. I don't know if this is true or not, but it feels that way. I see the doc Thursday, and we'll chat about this.

I have tried a couple of prescription meds to help me sleep, with modest success. The best thing I've found is Melatonin, a hormone tablet you can get over the counter. It helps regulate my sleep rhythm without the hallucinations that make Ambien so much fun, but only for the person who takes it.

I take a handful of vitamin-type stuff to make up for my imbalanced diet as well as my imbalanced life. A multi-vitamin on general principle. Vitamin C to fight off colds. Vitamin B-12 cause Mrs P says I'm supposed to, I don't remember why. Vitamin E because it helps muscle growth and is supposed to make you a tiger in the sack. The jury is still out on both counts. Glucosamine and Fish Oil for my creaky joints. Somewhere in there, some of these things are also anti-oxidants which are supposed to keep my brain from rusting, I think.
One advantage of having cancer is that you develop this whole network of medical genius-types who don't mind throwing you a freebie now and then. I run things past the nutritionist and the GP and anyone else who'll listen. I even have a friend who's a Personal Trainer who drops pearls of wisdom for me now and then. I don't know how much any of this helps, but it certainly doesn't seem to do any harm. I'll be sure to let you know if I start to change color or if anything inappropriate comes out of me.

As always, remember that Pennsy is not an expert at anything, least of all fitness and nutrition. I'm just feeling around in the dark and telling you about the things I stick my hands into. Do your own homework and consult your own experts before you decide on any kind of plan, especially with stuff you swallow.

I don't have a lawyer, but if I did, they'd probably make me say that.


1 comment:

  1. You know, my hairdresser and I had a whole discussion about all of this today...what was best for what...what's good for this or that...yadda yadda. So funny when it comes to health and nutrition...we love to chat with ANYBODY! But, I too am trying very hard to find what works...helps me sleep, helps me get going, helps me stay fit.
    Love, LGP


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