Be Sweet to Your Feet

Living in New York is a dream come true for me. Oh, to be in a fashion mecca everyday, surrounded by the fashion-forward masses.  I used Sex and the City as my guide, studying the four chic femmes in all their stylish splendor, prancing through the streets in Jimmy Choos. I prepared myself to navigate the city streets on a perpetual runway!

The first week I arrived, I did just that…. hitting the streets in lovely assembles with my prettiest 4 inch heels. Carrie Bradshaw’s got nothin’ on me!

The following week, with feet too swollen and sore to wear anything other than tennis shoes, I painfully limped through the day and thought to myself, What went wrong?? How in the world am I seeing all these fabulous-looking people strutting their stuff in designer shoes?? I took myself to a nail salon to treat my feet to some  damage control, and made a startling discovery: women were removing their fabulous shoes to reveal a multitude of bunions, corns, twisted toes, blisters and broken nails. Yikes!  Is this the real price of fabulous? 

I came across this diagram from Truth Beckons, an informative multi-faceted media page on Facebook:

The pictures on the right absolutely mirrored my pedicure neighbors,  so I had to find out – how does this happen? The following points are common contributing factors:

  • Aging – As we get older, our feet continue to grow and spread, while our arches fall and the natural padding wears away over years of usage. This leaves us vulnerable to an assortment of conditions.
  • Certain Fashions – Some shoes are simply made for looks, not usability. Wearing shoes that are too narrow, tight fitting, or pointy-toed can crowd toes and cause various abrasions, such as corns, calluses and blisters. Bunions are suspected to also be a result.
  • Heel Height – Continual wear of heels 3 inches and above over time can cause shortening of the achilles tendon, making the wear of flat footwear very painful. This also affects unnatural weight distribution to the balls of the feet, resulting in a condition known as metatarsalgia.

How can we still don our heels while saving our feet?

There are a few ways to still “work the runway” on the streets while minimizing any undue tootsie damage –

  • Travel comfy – Keep a pair of flats on standby for navigating your way to and from work. Make a choice – Catwalk to work or at work? Making this choice cuts down on some of the hours of wear – obviously helpful for your feet.
  • Change it up – Experiment with other fashion statements that don’t require nosebleed height. Kitten heels can be killer with a sleek pencil skirt. Try some patent-leather flats with those cigarette pants you’ve been looking at.
  • Invest in inserts – There are a vast array of inserts that are made for all types of shoes, including stilettos, that provide extra cushioning. My favorite is Foot Petals – Super low-key, yet very affective.

http://www.footpetals.com

  • Try Comfort Wear – *Gasp! Did she say to visit the Comfort Dept??* Yes I did! You’d be surprised at the wide array of choices brands like Cole Haan, Aerosoles, Naturalizer, Born, and Sofft have to offer. These shoes are constructed for comfort, but are making a serious effort to keep up with the latest styles.

These are from Naturalizer -Not bad, huh?

Last but not least, treat yourself to a good foot massage every now and again. Our feet put in a lot of hours carrying us around, especially in those beautiful, painful heels. Reward them and yourself with a good therapeutic rubdown.

Be sweet to your feet!

Beautiful Lifestyle Principles

So I am on a constantly revolving path to fitness and good health. I’ll start a gym regimen, go steady for a couple of weeks, only to fall off the wagon due to injury or my ever-changing schedule.  I’m definitely more consistent with my food choices for myself and family, but it’s common knowledge that consistent exercise is a vital need for our bodies, especially as age becomes a factor. *cough-almost Forty-cough-cough*

I will attest that in order to stick to an exercise regimen, incorporating your favorite activity is key. If you’re an athlete, go for a team sport. If you’re an aspiring body-builder, the gym is definitely your speed! I’ve always been enthusiastic about dance, (I’m an absolute geek for Dancing With The Stars…Shhh) so, exercises incorporating grace, balance and movement are my thing! So I just happened upon this book, Ballet Beautiful the other day, and found something interesting to share:

Aside from the compelling routines, the author Mary Helen Bowers, who incidentally prepared Natalie Portman for her jaw-dropping role in Black Swan (2010), offers a healthy philosophy on the approach to health and overall wellbeing that she calls The five Ballet Beautiful lifestyle principles:

  1. Be Prepared 
  2. Eat well and often
  3. Substitute for satisfaction
  4. Be flexible
  5. Forgive and move on

To avoid extensive quotation, here’s a quick summery – Be prepared for whatever your life entails, pack smart and healthy snacks to avoid making bad choices. Eat well and often entitles you to listen to your body – some folks do better with 6 tiny meals, while others function better off of 3 meals and 2 smart snacks in a 24 hour period. Substitute for satisfaction requires that you don’t deprive yourself of taste, only substitute mayo for mustard, brown rice for white rice, or balsamic vinegar for the creamy ranch you normally go for, and so on. Be flexible has nothing to do with how far you can go into the Chinese splits, *don’t we wish* but rather applies to your relationship with your body and food, which also applies to the last –Forgive and move on – If you have a night of burgers and fries, don’t count yourself out. Forgive your night of gluttony and fun, and get right back on the wagon of smart eating and mindful exercise.

This book is a nice read… I like her approach, although her constant reinforcement of Ballet Beautiful this and that can be a bit repetitive. *Branding at work… Got it!*

All in all, it’s worth picking up, if not for the ballet, then for the healthy life skills that can be applied to any form of exercise and lifestyle.

You can do it!

 

Salute to Juice

Juicing is a craze I was slow to embrace. Every time someone would mention how amazing the effects of juicing was, I’d get a visual of midnight infomercials with manic hosts tossing a million ingredients to make a magical mystery mix. I wasn’t enthusiastic.

However, I had a revelation while staying at some friends’ house in Spain. Their surroundings were so rustic and beautiful.

They had a lovely orchard and garden, and picked everything we ate. There was such an abundance of fruits and veggies, they made smoothies with the extra. I was so in love with the process, and how I felt afterwards, I was motivated to buy my own Vitamix juicer when I got home. I’ve been juicing ever since!

While I didn’t initially get into it for health purposes, there are quite a few benefits to this new habit. It’s an effective way to get a blast of nutrients and fiber your body needs to function properly. If you have a hectic schedule, and constantly reach for junk food and fast fixes, this is an excellent way to substitute the bad with the good, with an added energy boost from natural sugars of the fruit.

When juicing fruits and veggies, it’s important to use organically- grown produce – produce that have not been treated with synthetic chemicals such as pesticides – because the vitamins contained in the skin boosts the nutritional value when incorporated in the juicing process. As this is not a juicing blog, I will not bore you with the list of fruits, veggies, and their value. Instead, I will thrill you with colorful array of pictures of my tantalizing smoothie skills! 😛

Start with fresh organic fruit of choice – here we have apple, pear, blueberries, strawberries, banana, ginger root and wheatgrass – an excellent detoxifier and metabolism booster

Combine all that yummy fruit into the juicer – what’s that greenery at the bottom, you ask? Just a little spinach for a dose of vitamin k. Shhh… don’t tell the family, what they don’t taste will help them!

Add some organic unfiltered unsweetened apple juice – about half-way – and once you get the juicer going on high, add a few ice cubes.

There you have it… A carafe of the Good Stuff! With no added sugars or sweeteners, you’ll be surprised how delicious it is! I call this mix – The Good Stuff! *I know, I know…*

By the way, I also added chia and flax seed – two amazing resources of omega-3 fatty acids. You can add what ever you like to these mixes for your personal needs. Just be creative and enjoy!

If you want to learn more about the nutritional benefits of juicing, check out this article on livestrong.com

Happy Juicing!

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