‘Don’t lose all that hard earned muscle when you aren’t able to train properly because of injury, illness, or “life” happens! Eat adequately and keep a constant stream of BCAA’s in your body to help maintain the muscle you have worked so hard for!’
Over the last few years as I continued my love affair with lifting, I used to HATE rest days. Even though I knew how extremely important they were in my programming, I usually found myself doing something active just to tame my “itch” to train. I was also extremely scared that all the muscle I was building would quickly wither away if I wasn’t doing ‘something’ with my body. Lifting was everything to me. It was my hobby. It was my therapy. It had my whole heart. You can imagine how devastated I was when my spinal disease was officially diagnosed and I was in so much pain I could barely walk, let alone train AT ALL. Hello infinite & unwanted rest days.
I was forced to completely stop all activity and was bed/couch bound for up to 22 hours a day, every single day for approximately 6 months straight. It was a confusing, dark, and frustrating time for me… easily the most difficult of my entire life. Luckily, I learned and accepted very early on in my chronic illness journey that my fitness journey would be forever changed. No more lifting, no more PR’s, and certainly no more serious training 6X a week. At that time, I was lucky to walk around my cul de sac with my little doggie for a few minutes.
So with nearly ZERO activity in my life, one of the first decisions I made was to continue to do what I could, when I could. If that meant flapping my arms up and down or using 2lb dumbbells while laying down, doing whatever type of movements my body would allow… I was going to do it. Another thing I did was drop my eating back a bit to balance out my lack of any activity. I needed to eat just enough to support and maintain any type of muscle mass I had. Lucky for me, I had been in a HUGE caloric surplus for so long (over 2 years) that I only had to drop a couple of hundred calories to level things out. So beyond thankful that I treated my metabolism so well because it allowed me to continue to eat a good amount each day even with NO activity. I’ve maintained the exact same weight now this entire year with no effort! Ladies, I promise you… reverse dieting and taking care of your metabolism is PARAMOUNT. It should be a top priority in your fitness journey!
Aside from eating properly and doing what I could with limited ability to use any muscles this past year I also NEVER missed a serving of my PEScience AMINO IV’s. I’ve talked about them MANY many times because I absolutely LOVE them. Makes getting my 1 1/2 gallons of water a total breeze AND I honestly believe its a huge reason why I have been able to maintain as much mass on my body as I have. Here I am currently with the longest stretch of feeling ‘good’ AND being able to “exercise” a bit more consistently (3 light lifting days/2X walking 2 miles for the past 3 weeks)… MORE than I have been able to do in exactly one whole year!!! Can’t you tell by the smile on my face how amazing it feels to be back in my garage gym???
Definitely not where I was 2 years ago friends with size & body composition, BUT considering my obstacles and barely being mobile for an entire year… I’m thrilled at how much I have been able to maintain. Starting my morning with a half gallon of water and AMINO IV’s not only curbed my hunger (remember I had to drop my calories a bit so my body had to adjust to the decrease), but it provided the amino acids and nutrients my muscles need. Then throughout the day even with food in my system, I would continue to sip on another serving simply because its freaking DELICIOUS and kept me from constant mindless snacking! Drinking my BCAA’s never gets boring and I seriously find myself craving them ALL day, BUT being the foodie I am… I also wanted to come up with new & fun ways to get that steady stream of AMINO IV’s in my system.
With temps in San Diego in the high 90’s basically all summer, the first thing I thought to make with my AMINO IV’s was popsicles of course! All of the flavors are yummy, BUT I have to say… Mango Splash is my JAM! If I only had this to drink the rest of my life, I’d be an extremely happy camper! Its THAT good.
OK so back to my adventures in Amino IV’s… mango happens to be my favorite fruit in the world so I almost always have mango’s on hand. If fresh isn’t looking so hot, I also keep a huge bag of mango chunks from Costco tucked away in the freezer. With all mango bases covered, I also wanted to add in another fruit for extra flavor, texture, color, and FUN. Strawberries in California ALWAYS look amazing and they also happen to be my second favorite fruit! It’s a match made in heaven. I already knew these would be awesome!
Fresh strawberries going in…
1/2 cup frozen mango, water, and my ‘Mango Splash’ AMINO IV’s blended going in….
Sticks going in…
And after a couple of hours in the freezer (and a quick change of my photo backdrop)… Strawberry Mango Popsicles are complete! Not much to them, easy ingredients, quick, irresistible, and healthy. These are basically the perfect Summer afternoon treat!
Aren’t the color awesome? So vibrant and cheerful… exactly what I need to brighten (and fuel) myself!
I may or may not have eaten all FOUR of these popsicles in one sitting, back to back to back to back :). Low calorie snacks are AWESOME!!! Even better knowing these are feeding right into my dwindling muscles haha!