Pregnancy & Your Feet

Pregnancy triggers many different changes in a woman’s body. Many women have common complaints throughout their pregnancy. One of these complaints, often overlooked, is foot pain. Due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity is completely altered. This causes a new weight-bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet.Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are over- pronation and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch, or the ball-of-foot. Many women may also experience leg cramping and varicose veins due to weight gain. Because of this, it is important for all pregnant women to learn more about foot health during their pregnancy to help make this nine month period more comfortable for them. Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are over-pronation and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch, or the ball-of-foot. Many women may also experience leg cramping and varicose veins due to weight gain. Because of this, it is important for all pregnant women to learn more about foot health during their pregnancy to help make this nine month period more comfortable for them.

over-pronation

Over-pronation and edema a very common foot problem experienced during pregnancy. Over-Pronation, also referred to as flat feet, is caused when a person’s arch flattens out upon weight bearing and their feet roll inward when walking. This can create extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Over-pronation can make walking very painful and can increase strain on the feet, calves and/or back. The reason many pregnant women suffer from over-pronation is the added pressure on the body as a result of weight gain. Over-pronation is also very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet or in people who are obese.

edema

Edema, also referred to as swelling in the feet, normally occurs in the latter part of pregnancy. Edema results from the extra blood accumulated during pregnancy. The enlarging uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs causing circulation to slow down and blood to pool in the lower extremities. The total water fluid in the body remains the same as before pregnancy, however it becomes displaced. When feet are swollen, they can become purplish in color. Sometimes extra water is retained during pregnancy, adding to the swelling. If there is swelling in the face or hands, a doctor should be contacted immediately.

orthotics-W

There are effective ways to treat both over-pronation and edema during pregnancy. Over-Pronation can be treated conservatively with “ready-made” orthotics or sandals/flip-slops with added arch support. These orthotics/footwear should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to correct the over-pronation. Proper fitting footwear is also very important in treating over-pronation. Choose comfortable footwear that provides extra support and shock absorption. It is important to treat over-pronation for pain relief but also to prevent other foot conditions from developing such as Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-Tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions.

elevate-feet

Edema in the feet can be minimized by the following methods: Elevate your feet as often as possible. If you have to sit for long periods of time, place a small stool by your feet to elevate them. Wear proper fitting footwear. Footwear that is too narrow or short will constrict circulation. Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy. They will probably change sizes. Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation. If you are driving for a long period of time, take regular breaks to stretch your legs to promote circulation. Exercise regularly to promote overall health; walking is the best exercise. Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. This helps the body retain less fluid. Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt that can cause water retention. Swelling is normally similar in both feet. If swelling is not symmetrical in both feet, this may be a sign of a vascular problem and a doctor should be contacted immediately.

womens-sandals

Since the weather is warming and sandals and flip flops are easy shoes for pregnant women to wear during pregnancy, it is important to select footwear with the proper support. Aetrex makes a few great sandal lines that can help keep your feet supported, comfortable and looking cute this spring and summer. Click on the links below to learn more.

Women’s Lynco Flips: http://aetrex.com/lynco-orthotics/women/lynco-flips

Women’s Sandals: http://aetrex.com/women/sandals-3

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Basil Avocado Chicken Salad from Paleocupboard.com

The perfect meal for a spring or summer picnic! So refreshing and easy to throw together. This is a great, mayo-free  healthy twist on traditional chicken salad.
Ingredients:
– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
– 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
– 2 small or 1 large ripe avocado, pits and skin removed
– 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)
– 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper (or more to taste)

Equipment:
– Food processor
– Stirring spoon
– Measuring cups and spoons
– Medium sized mixing bowl

Directions:
1. Place the cooked shredded chicken in a medium sized mixing bowl.
2. Place the basil, avocado, olive oil, sea salt and ground black pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape the sides a couple times to incorporate.
3. Pour the avocado and basil mixture into the mixing bowl with the shredded chicken and toss well to coat. Taste and add additional sea salt and ground black pepper if desired. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

http://www.paleocupboard.com/basil-avocado-chicken-salad.html

Preventing Leg Cramps (“Charley Horses”)

Some of us experience painful leg cramps, also known as “Charley Horses” from time to time. While it is not known 100% what the cause of these muscle cramps or spasms is, there are some dietary/lifestyle changes and supplements you can incorporate into your day that can help prevent some of the typical causes.

Hydrate

It is incredibly important to be sure that you are drinking enough water during the day to stay properly hydrated. Dehydrated muscles are much more likely to cramp. You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking 100 oz. of water a day. If you have a very intense workout with lots of sweating, be sure to replenish your electrolytes with coconut water or a natural electrolyte drink (I don’t like Gatorade because of all the sugar and artificial colors they add).

Stretching

Properly stretch your calves, quadriceps and hamstrings daily to avoid muscles becoming overly tight. When your muscles are tight, they are much more likely to cramp. You can find some good stretches here: http://wp.me/p5qPKB-iX

Supplementation

Some believe that charley horses are the result of a deficiency in several important minerals, mainly potassium, magnesium and calcium. Taking a daily supplement with 500-700 mg of calcium and about 250-350 mg in magnesium  will help provide your body with the proper balance it requires. For potassium, there are many great foods you can incorporate into your diet including broccoli, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, grapefruit and oranges.

Warm Soak

Soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts is a great way to relax muscles and replenish magnesium. I find that soaking after a really intense workout helps prevent soreness in my muscles the next day.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Loving this cute, adjustable sandal!

I’m so excited that the weather is finally warming up. Once spring arrives, I am usually in sandals all the time, unless I’m working out. Having two young children, I always have to make sure that my sandals are comfortable, functional but also look cute. I’m always looking for the perfect sandal to go for a walk with the kids, run around at the playground, meet with clients or even go out with my friends – without looking like an old lady!

Enter the Terri adjustable thong! This sandal was love at first sight. It’s design is simple, yet stylish, and I absolutely love the leather petal details. I have a very high arch, and I love that these sandals are adjustable, so I can fit them specifically to my foot to make sure they don’t slip off when I’m running around after my kids.

I love that these cork midsoles are so lightweight, because I am on my feet all day, it’s important to make sure that my shoes aren’t weighing me down. The met bar pod in the ball-of-foot has also been a lifesaver for me because the extra cushioning has helped me avoid the sore, tired feet I get when I wear basic flip flops all day.

These Terri sandals are going to be my go-to sandals for this spring. The black is percent for every day, and I am loving the salmon for a little bit more fun and a pop of color!

You can learn more about these sandals and where to purchase them here.

 

Simple Tips To Reduce Belly Fat

Visceral fat , that unwanted, dangerous fat in your midsection is a major health risk. Picture this…your organs are designed to work together to keep your body running in efficiently and effectively. When your midsection is filled with visceral fat, those organs are essentially being squeezed and making it harder for your body to function properly. So you see, it’s not just about how belly fat looks from the outside (although we all know bathing suit season is almost here). It truly poses one of the most dangerous risks to your overall health. I’ve put together some simple, proven tips that you can use to help get started in reducing your belly fat today.

protein

Increase Your Protein Intake

Eating protein has been shown to reduce cravings, boost metabolism and help you eat less by feeling more satisfied for longer. It assists in building lean muscle, and is essential to reducing your overall fat.

However, not all protein is created equal. When choosing your protein source, you want to avoid processed foods. Your best options are eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, beans and legumes. If you struggle with eating enough protein because of a hectic and busy lifestyle, protein shakes can be a great option for when food prep time is limited. However, you have to be very careful when selecting a brand. You want to avoid any artificial colors, artificial sweeteners (like splenda, aspartame, sucralose etc) or artificial flavors. Look for organic, undenatured whey protein from pastured cows if possible. If you are vegan or prefer dairy free protein, be sure to choose an option that isn’t filled with sweeteners to improve the taste.

fiber

Increase Your Fiber Intake

We all know we should be eating as many fruits and vegetables as we can, but we don’t always know why. Fruits & veggies are one of the best natural sources of fiber. Fiber is important because it can help to slow down the digestion process and increase the absorption of nutrients and provides a prolonged feeling of satiety.

sweeteners

Avoid Sugars & Sweeteners

Sugar is metabolized in the liver, and is only capable of processing a certain amount at a time. Anything in excess is converted to fat, which is often stored in the abdominal area. Aside from putting you at risk for diabetes, sugar is also one of the biggest culprits in creating excess body fat.

One of the most effective ways to reduce your sugar consumption is by completely eliminating sugary beverages from your diet. Soda, juice and energy drinks are LOADED with sugar, which is one of the main contributing factors to our nation’s childhood obesity epidemic. I have had clients see DRASTIC changes in their belly fat and lose significant amounts of weight fairly quickly simply by eliminating sugary beverages from their diet. Please note, this does NOT mean you should be replacing your sodas with diet sodas. Introducing artificial sweeteners into your diet actually causes weight gain and introduces you to a whole new set of health issues caused by toxic artificial sweeteners.

Eating a whole foods diet is a great way to avoid sugars and sweeteners. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, avoiding the aisles that contain packaged, processed foods. Lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables are the best foods to help you reduce belly fat.

 

carbs

Monitor Your Carbohydrate Intake

A lot of people think completely eliminating carbs from your diet is necessary to lose weight and decrease belly fat. However, I find that most people do better when they still incorporate carbohydrates into their diet, but in moderate amounts. I usually suggest 1-2 servings a day at most, ideally 1. I consider a serving to be about a handful. Healthy carbs you can incorporate into your diet include brown rice (including brown rice pasta), quinoa and sweet potato. Just be sure to stick to the one handful a day, and you will notice your waistline start to shrink.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Bacon Shrimp Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from PaleoLeap.com

Ingredients

  • 8 sweet potatoes;
  • 1 lb. large raw shrimp, deveined and tails removed, cut into thirds;
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled;
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced;
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced; (keep some of the green for garnishing)
  • 1 tbsp. paprika;
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder;
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano;
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper;
  • 6 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter);
  • Paleo cooking fat;
  • olive oil, to coat the potatoes;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;
Potatoes preparation

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 F.
  2. Rub the potatoes with the olive oil, place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until soft.
  3. While the potatoes are baking; over a medium high fire, melt some cooking fat and add the garlic and the green onions. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp to the green onions and garlic, cook for 2 to 3 minutes then add the paprika, chili powder, dried oregano and cayenne pepper. Stir and cook until shrimp are done, about another 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. When the potatoes are done, let them cool down and leave the oven on.
  6. Slice the potatoes in half horizontally and carefully scoop out the flesh into a big bowl, making sure to keep the skins.
  7. Mash the sweet potatoes until smooth then add the crumble bacon, the shrimp mixture, the ghee, season to taste and combine everything well.
  8. Stuff the potato skins with the filling, return to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.
  9. When done remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining green onions.

Bacon-Shrimp Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Are Tight Calves Causing Your Foot Pain?

One of the things I am learning in my journey to my best health possible is that what you think may be causing you symptoms (i.e. foot pain) may stem from a totally different area of the body. Often, when we experience heel and/or foot pain, it is stemming from tightness of our calf muscles, a condition called Gastrocnemius Equinus (GE).

calves

The gastrocnemius muscle is a big calf muscle. Any exercise in which you raise your heels, putting weight on the ball of your foot, makes the muscle bigger and stronger and gives the leg a nicely toned and defined muscle (which is why many women love how their legs look when wearing high heels). The top of the muscle is attached to your femur, and the bottom of the muscle forms part of the Achilles tendon which attaches on the bone at the back of your foot.  The Achilles tendon is composed of two parts: the soleus, which is found only deep and behind the calf muscle and is almost never a problem, and the more superficial and bigger gastrocnemius muscle which is frequently a cause of pain and symptoms.

When you walk the gastrocnemius muscle contracts and lifts your heel off the ground which moves you forward. For many of us, this muscle is short or tight which can lead to problems including flat feet, bunions, metatarsalgia, hammertoes, sesamoiditis, plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and Achilles tendon inflammation, tendinitis, and even Achilles tendon rupture.

wall-stretch

The most effective way to treat GE is with a regular stretching routine, particularly the wall stretch. Stand facing a wall with both feet together. Place your hands at shoulder height and width on the wall in front of you. Take a step forward with your right foot so that it is now only a few inches from the wall. Shift your weight onto your right leg and bend at the knee. Keeping both heels on the ground, lean your upper body slowly toward the wall until you feel a good stretch happening along the calf muscles of your left leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Return to your original position with both feet together. Repeat the stretch, this time putting your left leg forward. Do this exercise three times on each foot.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Brownie Cookie Dough Swirl Protein Balls from fitfoodiefinds.com

These protein balls are delicious and a great, easy snack to grab on the go when you’re out and about.

Ingredients

For the Brownie flavor
¼ cup chocolate protein powder
½ cup oat flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ cup almond milk

For the Cookie Dough
¼ cup vanilla protein powder
½ cup oat flour
½ tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons almond butter
3 tablespoons almond milk

Instructions
In a medium size bowl, mix together all ingredients for the brownie flavor. It should be the consistency of cookie dough. If it’s too dry, add a bit more almond milk.
Then, roll the dough into about ½ tablespoon balls. Set aside.
Rinse that bowl, then mix together all ingredients for the cookie dough flavor. Again, if it’s too dry, add little more almond milk.
Roll the dough into about ½ tablespoon balls.
Next, take 1 brownie ball and 1 cookie dough ball and combine them by compressing them together and rolling into a ball. Repeat!

http://fitfoodiefinds.com/2014/07/brownie-cookie-dough-swirl-protein-balls/

Getting Your Feet Ready For Sandal Season

Sandal season is upon us and if you are anything like the rest of us, your feet could use a little sprucing up. I always like for my feet to look fresh and healthy when I’m sporting my sandals, so I like to take some time to prep them for spring. Here are a few easy steps you can take to get your feet looking amazing for sandal season!

  1. Brighten/Whiten your toenails: Lemon juice is a great natural way to whiten and brighten your toenails. Before sandal season begins I always like to take a week with no nail polish on my toes to let them “breathe.” Then I buff them to remove the outermost layer of the nail and apply some lemon juice to whiten the nails.
  2. Deep clean/soak your feet: Soaking your feet in a basin of warm water with tea tree oil will help to kill any bacteria or fungi that may be present on your feet. Be sure to clean all the spaces on your feet with a washcloth, including the areas in between your toes.
  3. Exfoliate: Using a bristle brush, exfoliate your feet and ankles. Start at the ankle area and brush in a circular motion to the tips of your toes, working your way around the top and the bottom of the feet.
  4. Moisturize: Using a thick, creamy lotion or mask, coat the feet and let the moisturizer sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off with a warm washcloth.
  5. Trim your toenails: While toenails are damp, clip them straight across. Be careful not to cut at an angle going into the corners, as this can encourage ingrown toenails.
  6. Buff: Buff your nails with a buffer to remove the rough, top layer of your toenails and create a nice smooth surface for your nail polish.
  7. Paint: After prepping your toes and feet, it’s finally time to paint your toenails! Be sure to use a polish that is free of toxins to prevent your nails from yellowing and to avoid any unnecessary toxins.
  8. Rock your sandals with pride!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Treating & Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Sandal weather is officially here! That means it’s time to show off your feet in public. But when you have an ingrown toenail, you don’t usually want people looking at your toes. They can be swollen, infected and less than sexy! So I put together this post about ingrown toenails and how to prevent and treat them, so you can show off your sexy toes.

Known to physicians as onychocryptosis, ingrown toe nails are a common, painful condition that occur when skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself grows into the skin. This condition is usually very painful and can be associated with infection of the toe. Some ingrown toenails are chronic, with repeated episodes of pain and infection. Irritation, redness, an uncomfortable sensation of warmth, as well as swelling can result from an ingrown toenail.

Causes

In some cases ingrown toenails are congenital, such as toenails that simply are too large. People whose toes curl, either congenitally or from diseases like arthritis, are prone to ingrown toenails. Often trauma, like stubbing a toe or having a toe stepped on, can cause a piece of the nail to be jammed into the skin. Repeated trauma, such as the pounding to which runners typically subject their feet, also can cause ingrown nails.

The most common cause is cutting your toenails incorrectly, causing them to re-grow into the skin. Tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes only make matters worse. If the skin is red, painful or swollen on the sides of the nail, an infection may be present. This occurs because the ingrown nail is often in a warm, moist and bacteria-rich environment. When the nail penetrates the skin, it provides a convenient entry for germs that can cause infection. Untreated, the nail can go under the skin, causing a more severe infection. In either case, the infection needs to be cured with sterile instruments and antibiotics.

Treatment & Prevention

Ingrown toenails should be treated as soon as they are recognized. In many cases, people with uninfected ingrown toenails can obtain relief with the following simple regimen:

  • Soak the feet in warm salt water
  • Dry them thoroughly with a clean towel
  • Apply a mild antiseptic solution to the area
  • Bandage the toe

infection

If excessive inflammation, swelling, pain or discharge is present as in the above photo, the toenail probably is infected and should be treated by a physician. A podiatrist can trim or remove the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure. He or she can remove the offending portion of the nail or overgrown skin with a scalpel and treat the infection. Unless, the problem is congenital, the best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to protect the feet from trauma and wear shoes with adequate room for the toes.

trim

Cutting toe nails properly goes a long way toward the prevention of ingrown toenails. Using a safety nail clipper, cut the nails straight across, so that the nail corner is visible. If you cut the nail too short, you are inviting the nail corner to grow into the skin. It is the natural tendency, when the edge of the nail starts to grow in, to cut down at an angle at the nail edge, to relieve the pain. This does relieve the pain temporarily, but it also can start a downward spiral, training the nail to become more and more ingrown.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.