Monday, January 31, 2011

Physio and Pizza

I seriously forgot how much work physiotherapy can be. This morning I had my second appointment in 3 days, with another scheduled for Thursday, and whilst I am already seeing the benefits in terms of an expedited recovery, I would not want to be doing it if I wasn't working from home this week! Every two hours, I have to lie down with a rolled towel along my spine, arms stretched out, and ice packed around my shoulder for 15 minutes. On top of that, I'm doing a number of isometric exercises, and some other fun things involving a pulley and using my own body as a counterweight. Time to do anything other than physio – approaching zero.

It's not so bad. I have actually managed to be rather productive today aside from that. Grant writing and eye checks for the win! I also tried getting a bit acquainted with the Nike+ application/gadgetry I've had sitting around since I got my Macbook Pro back in December. Hooray for pre-Christmas deals! Basically it's two parts – the receiver, that plugs into your iPod, and a sensor that goes in your shoe. I've heard good things, and figure once I start running (waiting for the green light from the physio), it won't hurt to have a decent way of keeping track of workouts. If anyone has had any experience, I would love some feedback on how you use it.

And on the food front – amazing pizza for dinner today.

How can you say no to something like that? I feel a bit guilty for buying the base, when I already had the stuff to make one at home, but I was being impatient, and didn't want to wait for dough to prove. Tomato paste base, chorizo, mushrooms, sliced fresh tomato, kalamata olives, topped with the epic cheese combo of tasty, pecorino and bocconcini, and torn fresh basil. Mmmm, heavenly. Of course when Matt finds out I didn't make the base, I'll be hearing all about it. His pizzas are always outstanding, mostly because he wouldn't be caught dead buying a base, and gets amazing, crispy crusts on his pizza stone. For that dedication to the pizzariffic cause!

Right, off to ice my shoulder and have dreams of pizza.

Love Neysa xo

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shoulders, Sumac Salmon and Salad

Strapping tape + hot weather
So I've blown my shoulder.

No idea how, as seems to be the case with every single one of my major injuries in recent years. Physiotherapist can neither confirm nor deny the possibility that it was a subluxation (partial dislocation) that caused the damage, all we know is that it's painful, I'm lacking movement, and I'm not allowed to start the training regime I had all figured out. Boo. Hopefully time, rest and physio will solve all my problems, but in the mean time...

After discovering him on FoodBuzz, I've been reading The Kitchen of A Runner, though blogger Matt has recently started up a new blog, The Athlete's Plate. He's one of the few bloggers I still follow religiously (And I promise it's not just cause his name is Matt!). Reading his blog over the past several months has really inspired me to take up the fitness mantle, especially the way he seems to manage to balance uni, work, family and his training, something I'm still trying to get a handle on. I also really enjoy his style of blogging, and his use of the medium to record workouts, interesting food, and all that good stuff. I was hoping to do something similar when I started training properly (instead of just the occasional swim or jog), but we'll see how long the shoulder takes to heal. However, while we're waiting for that situation to run its course, I can maintain the yummy foody side of things!

When my boyfriend came home from Thailand/Malaysia this week, I was rather keen to have him around for dinner. I seriously miss cooking for two people, and food is a great way to rebond. He'd not been terribly happy with the lack of vegetables during his stay in Malaysia, so when he got home, I wanted to make something healthy and green. While he was away, about 3 weeks, I had seriously cut back on my meat-based proteins (other than fish, only had meat 3 times in 3 weeks!), and had been eating a lot of raw food, and I wanted to stay true to that form as well. Enter this yummy number!

Sumac-crusted Salmon with Summer Salad

I've been making lots of trips to the green grocer and farmers markets lately, trying to avoid supermarkets and maintain healthy eating. Salads usually consist of whatever is on offer, which when you're buying from these sorts of places, tends to be more seasonal, and better for you! This super salad had the following:

  • 3 large radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium sized tomatos, diced
  • 1 lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3-4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • A generous handful of kalamata olives and alfalfa sprouts

This was all thrown in a bowl, and then had a simple vinaigrette tossed through: a few tablespoons olive oil, 15-30ml apple cider vinegar, one chopped red chilli, two tablespoons passionfruit pulp, put in a jar, and shaken till well combined. Yum! I'm a bit weird, I like my salads better the next day, once all the flavours have had time to meld, but the greens are still fresh.

For the fish, I had two pieces of fresh Tasmanian Atlantic salmon, boneless but with the skins still on. Heat a pan over high heat, and lightly spray with a little bit of olive oil (you won't need much). Pour some sumac onto a flat surface, such as a plate, and then coat the skin-free side/s of your fish. Once the pan in hot, place the fish skin down until it goes nice and crispy, then sear the other sides. I prefer my salmon quite rare, so I find an inch-thick piece will be fine with about 20-30 seconds a side. The sumac should turn a very dark red, almost black. Allow to rest for about a minute, then serve alongside salad.

  • Sumac is a red/purple spice from the Middle East and Mediterranean, slightly tangy with citrus notes. And we all know anything red or purple is good for you thanks to all those antioxidants like anthocyanins and resveratrol. Mmmm.
  • I'll admit that I borrowed the sumac-crust idea from work's menu. At Mr Hyde, we have a sumac-rubbed tuna served on a white anchovy and caper dressing with micro-herbs to garnish. Salmon, tuna and lamb cutlets are all amazing with sumac, and it just gets better if you pop them on the BBQ!
  • If you're just after salad, but want something a bit more substantial, I've recently been making the same basic salad, then adding things such as grilled sweet potato, Meredith goats chevre, or shaved pecorino. Use what's local and fresh, and you can't really go wrong!

So where's the photo?
Oops. I started writing this before Matt arrived for dinner, and was so excited to see him I promptly forgot the camera. Bad habit I must break! Will update soon. In the mean time, would love to hear about other people's experimentation with sumac!

Love, Neysa xo