Protein and Yoga? Healing My Ankle Sprain

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Last Monday, July 9, I twisted my ankle. I was playing a game I invented called HIIT Disc Golf. I accomplished this “graceful act” while running at full sprint, then stepping into a hole in the ground. I stepped on the outside of my foot with about 85% of my weight, twisting my foot under the weight of my body. I think if I would have stepped with full weight I might have broken something.

There was a series of quick “SNAPS” when it happened. There was sharp pain. Not terrible, but the kind that still makes you think “…ooh, this might be bad…”.

It hurt, but not as bad as my last ankle sprain – That one brought tears of pain! I was walking down the steps into my basement, I somehow skipped the bottom two steps, and landed on the outside of my foot, with my weight all on my ankle. That was when I was still around 200lbs. All that weight, bottom of the steps, on my “skinny little chicken ankle” = me, a grown man, tears rolling down my face like a baby for two minutes. That one turned out to be a bad tear. It took about 10 weeks to fully recover from.

This one was nowhere near that bad. That was good!

After a minute, I walked it off. I jogged a bit, and then I finished my round, jogging each hole instead of my normal HIIT sprints. Then I got an ankle brace, went home, applied ice, and elevated. The ankle was swollen, but not too bad. My range of motion was very limited. My two outside toes hurt when I tried to move them. My foot hurt to put weight on it.

I ate three eggs and a package of frozen broccoli for supper that night.

I was doing some research about protein and repairing the body. My idea was to increase dietary protein and see if my ankle heals quicker.

Protein is what the body uses to repair muscle and other tissue.

I found literature to support increased dietary protein to help recover from sports injuries.

Collagen is a protein that makes up connective tissues in the body; it makes up ligaments and tendons.

I think when I twisted my ankle, I stretched out a bunch of ligaments, or tendons, or both. Based on some of the research I was doing, I theorized that I would be able to increase the healing rate if I ate more protein at each meal.

As I referenced earlier, I have “skinny little chicken ankles”. I have lean and muscular legs, with very little fat in the ankle or calf area. Not much padding there either! I injured my ankles every year playing football, when in high school. I went through rolls, and rolls, of athletic tape. I taped my ankles almost every practice and taped them for every football game. For gameday, I always put on any extra think layer of tape. Even with tape, I still sprained my ankles. Sometimes both at the same time.

My average recovery time for a sprained ankle was roughly three to six weeks. Most of the time, I just taped up and played through it. I never really fully recovered until the season was over. Ankle sprains are just a nagging injury that you play through. Once warmed up I could play football with sprained ankles and tape. After a jog around the field, my ankles were numbed up, loose, and my adrenaline was amped up; I would be feeling no pain at game time!

I have rolled an ankle many other times in my life. When I was in first grade I fractured a few foot bones, and tore some ligaments at an open gym night, playing basketball. It was a similar thing. I rolled my ankle, stepped on the outside of my foot. I blame this on the reason why I do not ice skate. Those skinny, little edges scare me, haha!

With all my ankle injuries in the past, I don’t think I have ever recovered from an ankle sprain this bad in this short of time. Now, I know, that could be a pretty subjective thing. I didn’t go to a doctor this time. In the past I usually would, if bad enough, like the tearjerker described earlier. My reference is my memory, and anyone who has studied the human mind, knows memories are not always accurate; the mind kind of fills things in, so it “makes sense”. 

As I mentioned in an earlier post: “Two weeks ago I started “audibling” The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, by Deepak Chopra and David Simon; more or less, to understand what yoga really is. What I learned is that the practice of yoga is “healing the body” (in a brief, and over-simplified summary). Yoga is a way of restoring balance to the mind, body, and soul – probably still over simplified. It’s really alot like stretching and balancing and breathing.

I honestly never would have thought about yoga until I stumbled across a very interesting Yoga person who made me rethink it. I might write about this later. I never thought of yoga as a “dude” thing to do. I was ignorant to what yoga is. Now I am not!

😊

By coincidence learning about yoga and getting injured both happened at the same time. By way of fate, or some other cosmic force, something was sending me a message. I listened.

For the last week I replaced my morning HIIT cardio workout with a yoga workout. I also did a lighter yoga-like stretching routine each night.

On Wednesday I did a very light resistance spin session on my bike. I did three tabata sets with half my normal resistance levels.

I ate extra protein at each meal last week.

By Friday, I was walking with no pain.

On Saturday I woke up and did a morning cardio session, then a 30 minute HIIT bike ride at about 90% max intensity. I also went disc golfing.

I don’t know for sure, but I think my ideas are working. It’s hard to say for sure. The severity of my injury is hard to identify. The basis of comparison is my own memory.

The one difference with this one compared to every other ankle injury in my life is that with this one, I have not taken any pain killers. I decided a few years ago that I don’t need those things. I do not use any over-the-counter pain killers (or pharma ones either, if I can avoid it).

Some of my “extra protein meals” from last week are in the video above. For a quick meal I had a Birds Eye Protein Steam Fresh Blends.

I made chicken seasoned with turmeric, chipotle chili power, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

I grilled salmon with lemon, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

I also cooked up bell peppers and broccoli for meals in the week.

This week I am packing lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, boiled eggs, and mixed nuts for my meals at work. I decided I am taking intermittent fasting to the next level. I am skipping breakfast. I am eating around 11:30 for the first time in the day.

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I get up at about 5am, do a fasted state cardio routine, and some yoga stretches. I drink coffee and water throughout the morning. The rule is no food until around 11:30.

Today was day two of this eating plan. I thought I might be hungry for a few minutes, but realized I crave the action of eating more than actually eating. When I start to feel hungry, I just walk around for a minute. The feeling of “hunger’ goes away.

I have found some really interesting media about fasting and keto-style eating. Dr Perlmutter, M.D., Author of The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, has some great information.

I cannot say for certain that eating protein and doing yoga has sped up my healing process with this ankle, but it sure feels like it. The science behind it seems to make sense. I am not ready for another round of HIIT disc golf yet, but maybe by Saturday! 🙂 Stay tuned! Like and/or follow please! Thanks so much! Find out what happens when you become the hero of your own story!

https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/protein-rebuild-muscle-tears-6731.html

https://www.audible.com/pd/Religion-Spirituality/The-Seven-Spiritual-Laws-of-Yoga-Audiobook/B01994O09E

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turmeric

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage

https://www.popsci.com/accurate-memories-from-eyewitnesses

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