The Importance of Chewing Your Food Properly

Digestion initially begins in the mouth. As you start to chew your food, digestive enzymes found in saliva begin to break it down, preparing for nutrient absorption. It’s importantly to chew your food thoroughly to achieve maximum absorption of all your vitamins and minerals.

How to Chew Properly

To get into the habit of chewing foods thoroughly, try counting the chews in each bite, aiming for 30 to 50 times. Try putting your utensils down between bites to help you better concentrate on chewing.

  • Chew every mouthful of food at least 30 times each, until the food becomes liquid.
  • Chewing breaks down food and makes it easier on the stomach and small intestine.
  • Saliva assists in the digestion of carbohydrates.

If under pressure at meals, take deep breaths, chew, and let the simple act of chewing relax you. Taking the time to chew will help you to enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas that make up the meal.

Good Chewing Suggestions

Before eating

  • Wash hands
  • Shower or wash face to help relax.
  • Turn off the television, radio, telephone.
  • Do not read.
  • Find a clean quiet place to eat.
  • Light a candle or play soft music.
  • Stretch, breathe.
  • Align your posture and breathe.

During your meal

  • Place a bite of food in your mouth.
  • Put your utensil down.
  • Place your hands together while chewing.
  • Begin chewing and deep breathing.
  • Concentrate on what you’re doing.
  • Look at your food or something attractive, or close your eyes partially or fully.

After eating

  • Say thanks.
  • Sit and talk after your meal.
  • Take a light stroll.

So next time you think about gobbling your food on the go, think twice. Sit down, enjoy a nice meal and most importantly – CHEW YOUR FOOD!

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.

Avocado, Apple and Chicken Salad from PaleoLeap

I love a nice cold, refreshing salad in the summer. This one is great because you can pack it up and bring it along to the beach. Serve it in lettuce leaves to keep it low carb and paleo friendly. This one is a keeper!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, finely chopped;
  • 1 avocado, seeded, peeled, and chopped;
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped;
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped;
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped;
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced;
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil;
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice;
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;

Click HERE to visit the PaleoLeap website for the full recipe! Enjoy!

Using Meditation To Improve Your Health

For thousands of years, meditators have claimed many benefits for their practice. Regular meditation can be an effective treatment for stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. It creates peace of mind and wellbeing, improves focus and creativity and strengthens relationships.

Through meditation, your brain physically changes, even though you’re not aware of it re-wiring itself. Meditation activates the ‘relaxation’ part of our nervous system which supports stress management. It also affects awareness and allows you to put stressors and “to-do” lists on the back burner by filtering out that part of your thought process. Researchers have found that after just 11 hours of meditation, practitioners had structural changes in the part of the brain involved in monitoring our focus and self control.

Researchers have found that, compared with the people who didn’t meditate, those trained in meditation concentrated and stayed on task longer. It has also been shown that the majority of practitioners see a noticeable reduction in anxiety and anxiety related behaviors.

Meditation has also been shown to improve relationships, including marriages. It can improve mindfulness of how the couple treats each other as well as improve communication and connectedness.

Try this amazing five-minute meditation from Dr. Alejandro Junger. (http://www.cleanprogram.com/group-detox-cleanse)

*Commit to daily practice and make note of the changes in your behavioral patterns*

Step 1: Get Comfortable & Breathe

Sit up in a chair with your back straight. Place your feet flat on the floor under your knees. Rest the palms of your hands on your thighs and relax your arms. Look straight ahead but try not to focus anywhere in particular. Instead, notice everything in the room at once.

Take a deep breath and start feeling your feet. Feel them touching the floor or the inside of your shoes. Feel the temperature, the humidity; feel the texture of your socks. Feel your feet intensely from inside. Do not “think” about them, just feel them, sense them.

Step 2: Scan Your Body with Attention

After a few breaths, move your attention to your calves and legs. Feel and sense these for several breaths. Then move your attention from body part to body part, first to your thighs, then your bottom against the chair, then to your abdomen and lower back, your chest and upper back, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, your neck, face, and lastly your head.

Then let your awareness cover your whole body at the same time. The idea is to “scan” your body with your attention, stopping for a few breaths on each part. This practice will strengthen your ability to direct and hold your focus.

Step 3: Thank Your Monkey Mind for Sharing

You may notice that the moment you sit down, you start remembering things and feel the urge to act on them. This is part of the process. When those thoughts come and try to steal your attention away from your body, simply say silently to yourself, “Thank you for sharing,” and direct your attention back to your body.

If you feel discomfort or frustration and want to stop, just keep sitting calmly. Know that the discomfort you feel is not caused by the exercise itself. It’s what happens when you become aware of your baseline state, that underlying anxiety you are typically not aware of when the outside world is at full volume and your attention is far from your body.

Becoming aware of this underlying state is the first step toward dissolving it, and claiming back the energy it consumes.

Step 4: Where did that thought come from?

When you find yourself consumed by your monkey mind, try for a second to separate your attention from your thoughts and re-focus it on the present. Ask yourself: “Who is deciding that I think these thoughts? If I had a choice, would I be thinking them?”

Step 5: Use Anytime, Anywhere

This technique can also be used in the middle of any stressful situation like a business meeting or a job interview. When we are nervous, it is because our unconscious thoughts are interpreting, judging, measuring and expecting. This process takes energy and attention.

By re-directing our attention to our body and breath, we reclaim this unnecessary use of energy. It may be hard to remember to do this in difficult situations. Start with easy ones. Then try to do it in harder and harder ones.

My personal experience is that if I have the presence of mind for a split second to remember and start doing it, immediately the energy of the situation shifts, usually for the better. When you become more present, others in the room feel it as well.

Practicing being present will help clear out your mind. You will begin to be able to use your energy and attention to stay present and be more productive. This practice will also help you be more aware of the decisions you are making about what you eat.

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.

Managing Hot Pavement Burns On Your Feet

I just LOVE summer! The sun shining down, walking to the beach, playing outside with my kids. It seems I often find myself barefoot and I have definitely been the victim of a few minor burns to the bottom of my feet from walking on hot pavement or even sand. I’m not talking about giant, blistering burns, just skin that is slightly red, hot and sensitive to the touch.

I’m certainly not a medical professional, but I am very savvy when it comes to using natural remedies for minor “injuries” such as this. I wanted to share a few of my favorite simple tips for soothing minor burns on the bottom of your feet.

  1. Aloe vera: Just as you use aloe for sunburn on your body, you can use aloe on the bottom of your feet if they are burned. I find aloe to be even more soothing when it’s stored in the refrigerator so it’s nice and cold.
  2. Lavender oil: Prepare a large bowl with cool water and about 5 drops of lavender oil to soak your feet in. Lavender can be very soothing for minor burns, and also helps to alleviate pain and heal naturally.
  3. Tea tree oil: If you don’t enjoy the scent of lavender oil, or don’t happen to have it on hand, you can prepare a foot soak tub, just as described above, but use tea tree oil rather than lavender oil.
  4. Stay off your feet as much as possible: This sounds like common sense, but a lot of people forget that when you have an injury, even a minor one, it is important to be sure that you give the body adequate time to heal. The more you walk on your feet when they are burned, the longer they will take to heal. So relax, and put your feet up – literally!
  5. Wear footwear with adequate cushioning: Rather than harsh flip flops or sandals, try to wear sneakers or sandals that have a soft, cushioned insole. In fact, if you can wear orthotics for additional cushioning in your sneakers, that’s even better. Lynco makes customizable orthotics that allow you to remove pods in particular areas of pressure. This can be especially useful if you have blisters in particular areas of your feet that need more room to “breathe.”
  6. Don’t slather your feet in thick salves or ointments that don’t allow feet to breathe. This can prevent the burns from healing.

If you’re like me and love being outside and enjoying all that summer has to offer, the occasional burnt foot is well worth it. Using these tips can help you heal faster so you can get back out there for more outdoor fun as soon as possible.

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.

Healing Dry, Cracked Heels At Home

Isn’t summer the best? I just love the warm weather, throwing on sandals, heading to the beach and relaxing with friends. However, one of my least favorite parts about sandal season is the dry, cracked heels that often come with frequently wearing sandals or flip-flops. When you look down at your feet and see those white, dry heels full of callouses and cracks, it really decreases the sexy factor of that favorite pair of sexy heels. Luckily, there are some great, easy home remedies you can use to help keep your heels moisturized and smooth this summer.

Cause

So why do our feet get so crusty and dry during the summer? When you are walking barefoot in sandals where your feet is experiencing friction, your foot naturally builds up a thick, callous like layer to protect itself from the friction and the hard surfaces. If you find you are constantly in sandals or barefoot in the summer months, consider switching it up a bit. Try wearing soft, cushioned slippers when you’re in the house, or at least some soft, cushioned socks. Wear sneakers with socks if you plan to go somewhere like an amusement park and do a lot of walking.

Water

Be sure to keep yourself properly hydrated so your skin doesn’t dehydrate. As a rule of thumb, I usually suggest AT LEAST half your body weight in ounces a day, and even more in the summer. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking at least 100 oz. of water every day. If you drink coffee or soda, which are dehydrating, then you need to drink more water to make up for it.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are essential to good skin health. I’m not talking about the kind you find in cheese, chips or burgers. You want to choose HEALTHY fats! Some of my favorites healthy fats that can help improve skin elasticity and moisture are avocado, grass fed butter, grass fed ghee, coconut oil and olive oil. Moisturizing your body from the inside out will help make a difference in avoiding overly dry heels.

Treating Your Heels

So if you already have dry heels, what’s a girl to do? Here is my regimen that I find helpful for getting rid of those nasty white, dry heels when they creep in!

  1. Deep clean/soak your feet: Soaking your feet using the foot soak recipe below. Be sure to clean all the spaces on your feet with a washcloth, including the areas in between your toes.
  2. 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. Yo can also use a pumice stone. Be sure not to be aggressive when exfoliating, or you can do more harm than good.
  3. 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. If possible do all of this before bed, then put on soft, cotton socks immediately after applying moisturizer.

Foot Soak Recipe

  • 1 cup of Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts
  • 2 drops lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • 2 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 2 drops eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 2 drops camomile oil (Matricaria recutita)
  • Mix oils and store in a dark glass jar

To create the soak: pour boiling water into a large bowl, and let it cool down to a comfortable temperature. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cleansing foot soak mixture, and soak feet for up to 15 minutes.

As with any condition, prevention is always easier than treatment, so be sure to regularly care for your feet to avoid any extreme issues that come from neglect over time.

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.

Flat Tummy Detox Water

If you’ve been having a little too much fun this summer and are finding yourself bloated and sluggish, you need to show your liver some love! Too many fatty foods, too much alcohol and not enough water can leave the liver feeling overloaded. In addition to taking a break from the indulgence, this detox water is a great way to help de-bloat and flatten out that puffy summer belly. It’s easy to make, tastes good, and is a great way to keep yourself hydrated too.

Recipe:

  • 2 L of Water
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • 10 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Ice

Mix all ingredients, store in refrigerator and drink as needed. The longer it sits, the more flavor will diffuse into the water, so be sure to let it sit AT MINIMUM one hour before you drink it.

Mint…A Summer Staple

I LOVE fresh mint! It is so easy to grow yourself in a garden or even in pots on your back deck in the summer time. Did you know that mint has many amazing health benefits? It can be so much more than the start to a great mojito!

Here are some of the great health benefits of mint:

  • Clears up congestion in lungs, throat and nose
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Natural stimulant which relieves fatigue and depression
  • Improves oral health and freshens breath
  • Relives acne
  • Promotes digestion
  • Helps eliminate headaches

Peppermint tea is one of my favorite ways to get a dose of mint in my diet. I also love this watermelon mint salad recipe from foodandwine.com. It’s great to bring along for a summer BBQ! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  1. 8 cups seedless watermelon chunks (1 inch), from a 6-pound melon
  2. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  3. Pinch of cayenne pepper
  4. 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn
  5. Salt
  1.  In a large bowl, toss the watermelon with the lime juice and cayenne. Fold in the mint leaves, season with salt and serve.
MAKE AHEAD

The watermelon salad can be refrigerated overnight. Fold in the torn mint leaves just before serving.

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.

Do You Have Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s Neuroma is a common foot problem associated with pain, swelling and/or an inflammation of a nerve, usually at the ball-of-the-foot between the 3rd and 4th toes. Symptoms of this condition include sharp pain, burning, and even a lack of feeling in the affected area. Morton’s Neuroma may also cause numbness, tingling, or cramping in the forefoot.

Morton’s Neuroma is a foot condition caused from an abnormal function of the foot that leads to bones squeezing a nerve usually between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads. Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma often occur during or after you have been placing significant pressure on the forefoot area, while walking, standing, jumping, or sprinting. This condition can also be caused by footwear selection. Footwear with pointed toes and/or high heels can often lead to a neuroma. Constricting shoes can pinch the nerve between the toes, causing discomfort and extreme pain.

The first step in treating Morton’s Neuroma is to select proper footwear. Footwear with a high and wide toe box (toe area) is ideal for treating and relieving the pain. The next step in treatment is to use an orthotic designed with a metatarsal pad. This pad is located behind the ball-of-the-foot to unload pressure, and relieve the pain caused by the neuroma.

mens-slipon

Buy Men’s Casual Slip-ons with high toe-boxes: Here

cork-slipon

Buy Women’s Slip-ons with high toe-boxes: Here

Mens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Men’s orthotics: Here

Womens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Women’s orthotics: Here

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.

Food Babe’s Salmon Cakes With Avocado Arugula Salad

This is a great, healthy recipe that’s perfect for a light summer meal. I love Food Babe’s recipes and this one is no exception. Enjoy!
Serves: 4
  • For the cakes:
  • 1 pound of wild salmon frozen (thawed) or fresh, skin removed and chopped
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped red or white onion
  • black pepper to taste
  • juice of ½ lime
  • For the salad:
  • 6-8 cups arugula
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Click HERE for complete recipe including instructions! ENJOY!!!

Foods For Healthy Joints

In order to maintain an active lifestyle, joint health is extremely important. When your joints aren’t properly supported and are pushed to perform, painful things can happen! I know from experience. As a result, I am careful about incorporating foods that support healthy joints into my diet regulary. Here are some great foods you can add into your diet to boost your joint health:

  • Red Peppers, Oranges and Tomatoes: These foods are high in vitamin c, which the body uses to make collagen. Collagen is essential because it is what our cartilage, tendons and ligaments are composed of. Increased levels of Vitamin C can help build healthy cartilage and repair damage as well.
  • Walnuts: These delicious nuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which help to east inflammation in the body. While walnuts are a good, healthy source of omega-3’s, they are also high in fat, so it is best to limit your intake to about a handful a day to maximize benefits without overdoing it on calories and fat.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: EVOO is a good source of lubricin, which improves the ability of synovial fluid to both protect and lubricate surrounding cartilage. You can easily get your daily intake by adding to salads or sautéing your foods with it.
  • Blueberries: These beauties contain 20 types of anthocyanin, antioxidants that give berries their blue-violet and red colors. These are great for easing arthritis pain in your joints.
  • Apples: Apples are an excellent source of quercetin, which is an antioxidant used in the formation of collagen. Red apples have the highest levels of quercetin, and in fact, the deeper the color red the apple is, the higher its levels of quercetin are. Apples are also high in magnesium which is one of the nutrients that promotes the formation of hyalouronic acid, which is a lubricating fluid found naturally in the joints.

As with any health condition, prevention is key! It’s so much easier to prevent pain than it is to treat it. Be good to your joints and they will be good to you!

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.