Fit Your Feet

The correct shoe can mean the greatest training and competitive season you’ve ever had and a poorly fit shoe can derail your progress and sideline you. As we age, without the correct anatomical support, the bones in your foot can collapse under the weight of gravity from all the added high impact exercise we sustain to stay healthy. Fortunately for all us runners, there’s a simple way to analyze your gait and you don’t even have to rely on the “experts” at Fleet Feet. Personally, every time I purchase a pair of shoes at Fleet Feet, I get a different diagnosis. One of my all time favorite running shoe companies, Mizuno, provides a precision online fit assessment and then recommends a specific model to try out. You can opt to buy their brand or search elsewhere with the info you attain from the fit assessment. I personally love Mizuno. The lightweight feel of their shoes coupled with the quality and ability to keep up with my training is why I go back to them again and again.

Here are the different elements of the test:



Triangle Pose Break Down

Ever wonder how I get such great abs?

This break down of the Triangle Pose illustrates the usage of the inner thigh and the full abdominal wall. It’s one of my favorite poses to do for an overall toned appearance and it also stretches out my hamstrings really well. A great pose to counter the affects of the forward motion of running.


Snowy Exercise

Think the snow will slow down your exercise? You could be right–but only in the best way possible! Snowshoeing burns about 45 percent more calories than walking or running when done at the same pace and on the same type of terrain.

Don’t have snow shoes? No worries–just walking or running in your regular shoes with clips or without will produce about a 30 percent higher calorie burn. Plus the cold weather challenges your body to maintain an internal homeostasis, further burning calories.

Don’t use a snowy day as an exercise to skip your workout. Use it as a training tool and best yourself next time the street is clear :)


The Mystery of Foot Pain

What do the Lakers star Kobe Bryant, the quarterback Eli Manning, the Olympic marathon runner Ryan Hall and the presidential candidate Mitt Romney all have in common? Foot pain. Believe it or not, Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common sports injuries, and it’s also one of the least understood.

While Plantar Fasciitis is a very common injury, the consensus on the cause and treatment remains clinically a mystery. Little is understood, medically, about overuse sports injuries in general and that’s why, as a result, they remain difficult to treat.

Most medical professionals agree that Plantar Fasciitis is, very basically, an irritation of the soft tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, attaching the heel bone to the toes and forming your foot


Lady Gaga’s Hip

Yes, even superstars get injured.

Doctors discovered that she suffered a labral tear in her right hip. Actually this is not an uncommon injury in athletes. Read on for preventative exercises and a lesson in hip anatomy!

What’s A Labral Tear

Symptoms include hip pain or a “catching” sensation in your hip joint. Initial treatment may include pain relievers and physical therapy (see below for exercises). Using arthroscopic techniques, surgeons can remove loose fragments from within the joint and trim or repair the hip labral tear. Surgery should only be for a worse case scenario injury as complications like scar tissue, range of motion and infection can result.

Hip Anatomy

The labrum is a strong fibrocartilage which forms a gasket around the socket of the head of the femur. It secures the femur to the pelvis. Here’s a breakdown of the anatomy:

  • The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The socket is formed by the acetabulum, which is part of the large pelvis bone. The ball is the femoral head, which is the upper end of the femur (thighbone).
  • A slippery tissue called articular cartilage covers the surface of the ball and the socket. It creates a smooth, frictionless surface that helps the bones glide easily across each other.
  • The acetabulum is ringed by strong fibrocartilage called the labrum. The labrum forms a gasket around the socket.
  • The joint is surrounded by bands of tissue called ligaments. They form a capsule that holds the joint together. The undersurface of the capsule is lined by a thin membrane called the synovium. It produces synovial fluid that lubricates the hip joint.

The Exercises

Part of Lady Gaga’s issue lies in her workout routine. Obviously during performance, she is used broad range of motion, dynamic movements. To prepare for these quick broad movements, an athlete must strengthen the muscles that support the joint–specifically your pelvic girdle. These muscles prevent your pelvis from rotating forward or back, maintaining a neutral position. When your pelvis has laxity (or flexibility) this often means you may be prone to pain in your hips, back, and legs due to the incorrect position. Do these exercises to prepare for dynamic movement and stabilize the pelvis. I recommend 2x per day, 10 reps each.





The Individualist Diet

For most of your life, you’ve probably had an image of what your body should look and how you should achieve that image. Everyday our interactions with the world breed a certain notion about “normalcy” and beauty. The more airbrushed images we see, for instance, the more we begin to believe that’s how a “normal” person should look.

But the truth is, you should examine your body based on your own individualistic set of factors. You are not your neighbor, and your neighbor is not you. We all have different shapes, sizes, body types, metabolisms, diets, etc., that all influence how we look.

Body image is an important topic to discuss in personal coaching because the psychological aspect of how we see ourselves can often influence our health. If you see yourself as imperfect and struggle to achieve a facade of reality, you may never attain that goal and that can decrease your confidence in achieving other life goals. It also can inhibit your enjoyment of food and healthy relationships with others. Food, exercise and how you look should never be a stressful endeavor. It should feel right. You should feel right.

I’ve created some guidelines to review in your own personal quest for the individualistic diet. These are encompassing rules that shed light on how you should really feel that create a healthy self image. Choose reality based solutions based on how you want to feel. Unhealthy runway models, steroid induced professional athletes, airbrushed magazine covers and celebrities (who, quite frankly, have an advanced team of practitioners taking care of them) shouldn’t dictate your personal health.

The Individualist Diet:

1. Eat Six Meals A Day

Researchers at Georgia State University found that if you keep your hourly surplus or deficit within 300 calories at all times, you’ll regulate your blood sugar levels and regulate insulin better. Insulin is the hormone that stores fat. When your blood sugar drops in your body for a long period of time (as in very heavy exercise or lack of food for extended periods), the next meal you take in spikes your insulin which works to enhance storage of glucose and suppress the breakdown of adipose tissue, or fat, into free fatty acids.

2. Eat Foods That Swap Fat For Muscle

Donald Layman, Ph.D.6, from the University of Illinois, published research on protein consumption for fat loss. Results show that a high protein, leucine rich diet, in combination with lower carbohydrates (150 grams or 600 calories per day) is effective to support weight loss, blood sugar metabolism, and a variety of factors that have an impact on cardiovascular health. Leucine has a direct signaling effect on muscle that prevents muscle loss during weight loss. This means that on a high protein diet, the weight that is lost is mostly fat, not muscle. Whereas on a high carbohydrate weight loss diet, much more muscle is lost.

Choose 2-3 of these foods in each of your 3 major meals and at least one of the foods in each of your 3 snacks

Greek yogurt (Fage 0%), berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), leafy greens (spinach, sprouts), lean meats and fish (chicken breast, salmon), nuts (almonds, walnuts), colorful vegetables (red peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes), oatmeal (steel cut preferred).

3. Know


The Link Between Antiobiotics and Tendon Rupture

Antibiotic prescriptions carry serious side effects for tendons and neuromuscular activity:

Antibiotics are important drugs, often restoring health and even saving lives. In 2010, the most popular antibiotic drug in America was Levaquin.

Levaquin is part of a class of drugs called


The Stretch Factor


Flexibility is as important to your health as cardio exercise. There are many doctors who believe that stretching does not decrease your risk of injury, but this is one doctor who does. Lengthening and toning your muscles aids in the ability to respond to rapid muscular changes–so when you slip on the ice, your body is able to catch itself and not tear a muscle. Prepping your muscles doesn’t always prevent injury–you may have a genetic proclivity for injury–but it should change the way your body adjusts to these rapid changes. Try these stretches for flexibility 60seconds each, 1x/day post exercise to increase your stretch factor.

Flexibility is recognized as an important component of physical fitness. Like other components of fitness, flexibility is more important for some sports than others. For example, long distance runners tend to be relatively inflexible because the activity of running does not require large deviations in motion. However, sprinters, and especially hurdlers, require excessive hip motion for sprinting and hurdle clearance. Not only are flexibility requirements sports-specific, but they can also be joint- specific. In general, athletes must have sufficient musculoskeletal flexibility to meet the demands of the sport, otherwise top performance will not be achieved and injury risk will increase.

An individual


Bone Mineral Density and The Athlete

Start thinking about Bone Mineral Density. It’s an important factor in injury prevention, now and in your future health–and it’s cumulative. That means if you’re an athlete and aren’t getting the proper nutrition, rest and relaxation your body needs now, you’re setting your body up for failure later.

Bone Mineral Density is a cumulative history of energy availability, hormonal fluctuations, genetics, good nutrition, behaviors and environmental factors. As you get older, bone mineral density falls as our muscular infrastructure changes. When you do damage to your body, by starving/binging yourself, exercising too hard, not getting enough sleep and allowing stress to become a regular component in your life, you seriously alter your future body.


Low Carb Clementine Almond Cake

This whole clementine cake is a classic Sicilian recipe, which I adapted from a book by Nigella Lawson. This cake is made using whole clementines that have been boiled until tender, then pureed into a smooth, intoxicatingly flavored paste.

Since it is flourless it’s easy to make this low carb by baking with natural sweetners. The low carb recipe is by Alejandra Ramos of Always Order Dessert.

Flourless Clementine Almond Cake Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson

4 clementines (about 13 oz)
6 large eggs
1/2 cup erythritol + 1/2 cup granulated Splenda (OR) 1 cup granulated white sugar
2 1/4 cups of ground almond meal (or 9oz of almonds finely ground)
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Place the clementines in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer 1 1/2 hours, until very tender. Remove from water, then chop and remove seeds. Add the remaining boiled clementine (everything but the pits) to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line a springform baking pan (this is a sticky cake; you NEED a springform pan).

In a mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs for 5 minutes until very light and frothy. Add the sweetener or sugar, ground almonds, almond extract, salt, and baking powder and beat again for 5 more minutes until very light. Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until set. Let cool in the pan, then unmold and serve.
Low Carb Note: Using the mix of sweeteners that I used, the cake works out to about 9g of net carbs per serving, which is fantastic. (The cake has 10 servings.)


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