Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I have suffered with foot pain for a long time. Had bunion & hammertoe surgery about 8 years ago, and it helped for a while. Have been wearing a well-known shoe orthotic ever since surgery as well. But my pain has been getting worse again over the years, to the point of me limping when I'd get up from my desk at work. Once I got moving, it would loosen up and I can do long walks, but I had considerable pain after walks and at night. I do NOT want to go the surgery route again, and feared if I went to a dr. that is what they would suggest.
Recently, I went to a new massage therapist, not thinking at all about my foot, but toward the end of the massage, I mentioned that IT was the most painful part of my body. She did a few things, but told me about another massage therapist who was doing amazing things on her foot, and suggested I call him. Thinking it was worth a try, I did, and was VERY encouraged with what I learned! According to him, most foot pain is caused by tight muscles, which don't allow the foot to work properly, and getting them stretched by to full length can make a world of difference. He and I went together to see yet a 3rd massage therapist (who teaches a particular stretching method).
A key principal with these therapists is that stretches should be held for 2 seconds each, released and repeated. This prevents the body's natural stretch reflex which tries to pull back to prevent injury if a stretch is held for long times. It's totally different way of stretching than I was ever taught, and it took me a while to convince myself to try it -- but as Michael said, "You've been holding stretches the old way (30-60 seconds or longer) for years. How is that working for you?" Since my pain had been increasing, I figured it was worth trying a new way of stretching -- and I'm very encouraged by the results!
All this happened just before our vacation. I was given 5 exercises to do (aiming for 15 reps 2x/day) and have been doing them -- with very encouraging results!! I have less pain, and in Maui I was even able to be barefoot much of the time (which hasn't happened in YEARS!!).
I will continue to see the massage therapist for a while (he can work more on the tight muscles than I can do on my own & I hope that will speed up the process), and continue with daily stretches. I am very optimistic that we can put an end to my pain based on these first few weeks!
I am attaching an article by the 3rd guy (trainer), because I found it very informative. One of the things he told me is that because tight muscles cause the foot problems, surgery alone doesn't help -- without changes to the muscles to relax and lengthen them, after surgery the tight muscles continue to pull on the newly "fixed" areas, and the pain returns. (I didn't explain that well, but hopefully you get the idea.) He told me that he actually gives a money back guarantee to patients with plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, because his technique is so effective. I found that amazing! www.mrtherapy.com/articles/article2.
Hope you find this helpful!
Friday, November 22, 2013
Here' s a link to a great article! We CAN enjoy some holiday treats without undermining our healthy goals! Read on ...
and a link to Hungry Girl's best Thanksgiving recipes!!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
This was VERY good -- hubby agreed! We had as main course, with whole grain crackers and a side salad (mixed kale/broccoli/cabbage salad from Costco). This would also be a delicious pre-dinner soup for Thanksgiving!!
1 large butternut squash (I used a 2 lb. package of pre-cut butternut squash -- much easier than trying to do it myself!!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small medium onions, or 2 tablespoons onion flakes
4 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
3 medium apples, cubed
3 medium carrots, sliced into 1" chunks
2 stalks celery, sliced into 1" chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon coriander (I didn't have, so doubled the cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
The Directions: Saute the onions, squash, carrots, and celery (browning a bit brings out the flavor!). Add to crock pot with all remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When veggies are cooked through, carefully use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Makes a "creamy" soup without any cream!!
Use at least a 5 quart crockpot for this soup (or adjust quantities a little to fit your crockpot).
You can find the original recipe on Yumly.com -- I made just a couple minor changes.
Sunday, October 06, 2013
We had an amazing hike Saturday, along 3 Mile Creek in the Mt. Evans Wilderness area (trailhead is 2.8 miles north of Grant, CO - elevation 8606 ft). We wanted to see golden aspen, and hoped that the cold/snowy weather of the day before wouldn't have made all the leaves fall. NOT TO WORRY! It was about 33 degrees and breezy when we got to the trailhead, so we layered up and headed off. We were immediately rewarded with pretty views!
This trail follows the creek for 3 miles through a narrow canyon, so we crossed the creek on logs 15 times. The first few crossings were easy; some had a little snow, but nothing to worry about.
We did notice the icicles on the bottom of some logs
Views along the way were gorgeous and the path changed frequently--
Kris & I loved the look of the trail covered in aspen leaves with the sunlight breaking through!
How's this for blue skies and gold leaves??!!
The creek was running fast (and COLD!)
We had a long discussion about whether to even try to cross on these very icy logs --
Then hubby showed us how it could be done -- crawling on hands & knees! He did it, came back, and then I went. Once I was on the other side, I got a picture of Kris coming across:
Thankfully, none of the rest of the crossings had very icy logs, and some folks who came along behind us told us they took big rocks and broke up the ice, so when we went back, we didn't have to crawl!
The astounding views kept alternating between aspen and blue skies and icicles above the creek! We stopped LOTS for pictures!
Here the trail was very narrow, and right along the creek. The trail had a mild incline the whole way, and as we climbed higher we had more snow on the trail.
It warmed up in the sun and we were able to shed our gloves and even our outer layers. By time hubby took this picture of me, it was very pleasant!
More pics of the creek, icicles, and aspen
We came to a bit of a clearing and were rewarded with this view. I'm not sure what mountain we saw in the distance.
Our directions said after 3 miles we would come to a meadow, and that is where we planned to turn around. Before we got to that meadow, though, the trail itself was covered in an inch or so of ice, and we decided we didn't want to risk going any further. We stopped on a sunny hillside to rest and enjoy a light snack.
This was the rockiest section of the trail
We got back to the car 5 hrs 35 min after we left -- all of us very tired with achy feet -- but it was SO Worth it! We drove back down to Bailey, CO and had lunch at the Rustic Station. I haven't eaten a burger in a long time, but chose to enjoy a guacamole burger with homemade chips. Figured I'd expended enough calories that I could splurge. We all agreed this is one little restaurant we would recommend!! We were awfully tired last night, but even my sore foot isn't bad today! And looking at the pictures makes me want to go back!
This trail goes 6 miles out before intersecting another trail -- but we old folks hike slowly and I don't know that we'll ever do the longer hike. I would like to go back in summer, when I think we could make faster progress -- and wouldn't have nearly so many photo stops to make -- the icicles along the creek were so unique, we made LOTS of stops to get more photos! I couldn't share them all with you ... I am so very blessed to live in Colorado and to enjoy the health so we can get out and see the sights!
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