Do High Heels Cause Trauma To Your Body?

YES, they do!

Whenever I see a woman in spike heels, I shudder first, then dig out my business card and hand it to her, saying that she'll need my help soon (for back pain) if she continues to wear them all the time. In fact, there are a couple of women in our local Chamber of Commerce, that smile whenever they see me, and tell me they have my business card for when they'll need it. 

high heels 2Yet, many television personalities like Oprah continue to advertise their love of high heels - the higher the better. In O magazine this month there are no less than twelve photos of women in very high heels and 5 additional ads/photos of high heels. Makes me want to scream!

I was happy to see that my friend Dr. Carolyn Dean also feels this way about high heels. In her recent Blog Post, she has a lot more to say about High Heel Trauma. Please read her post along with my prior post and at least limit your use of high heels to very special occasions only!

Here is a study that shows how the damage occurs.

And if that’s not enough – check out this video from the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital in London. YIKES!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Take heart, help is on the way!

There are a few easy things you can do to quickly beef up your immunity and lose that fall cold. Firstly, take some extra vitamin C. Then eat foods with lots of vitamin C. Here are your top ten choices and the amount of vitamin C they provide:

Red and Green Hot Chili Peppers. Green chilies provide more vitamin C than any other food with 182 mg in a half cup chopped, and 109 mg in a single green chili pepper. Red chilies provide 108 mg per half cup chopped, and 65 mg per pepper. You can add them to soups, stews and salads.

Guavas come in second with 377 mg per cup, and 126 mg per fruit. Add one to your smoothie!

Yellow Bell peppers provide 341 mg per pepper, and 95 mg in 10 sliced strips.

Kiwi fruits are delicious and make a great addition to any fruit salad or dessert. They provide us with 164 mg per cup, 84 mg per fruit.

The one we all know and love, Oranges, provide 98 mg per cup, and 83 mg per orange. Clementines or tangerines provide 36 mg (60% RDA) per fruit.

Strawberries also provide 98 mg per cup of slices, and 11 mg in a single large strawberry.

Papaya provides 87 mg per cup cubed, and 188 mg in a medium sized papaya.

Broccoli provides 81 mg per cup chopped.

Kale provides 80 mg per cup of chopped. In case you missed it, here’s a link to a fabulous recipe for Raw Kale.

And last but not least, raw Brussels sprouts provide 75mg per cup, 16 mg per sprout.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Fabulous Kale Salad!

kale saladKale is definitely up there with the mightiest of vegetables, in fact, it may be the top of the pile. One cup contains on 34 calories, yet provides over a thousand percent of the Daily Value for vitamin K, 192% of vitamin A and 88 % of vitamin C. It's also a great source of potassium, with 299 mg. in one cup! 

But I didn't grow up eating Kale. Even though we grew many of our own vegetables, Kale just wasn't one of them. I'd never even heard of Kale until well into my adult life and the first time I tried it, I didn't care for it.

In recent years I have been searching out good recipes for Kale, since it's so nutrient rich, and today I'll share my favorite. This Kale Salad is very popular at my friend Michelle's dinner table and, believe it or not, it's a raw dish. The key to this dish, according to Michelle is to make it at least a half hour ahead of time and let it sit in the dressing. That's how the Kale becomes soft - raw Kale is a bit too crunchy for most people. I think it's her dressing which makes the Kale unbelievably delicious - that's the magic!

Here's the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Handful of crushed walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup of chick peas or kidney beans (optional)
  • Grated Pecorino cheese (optional)

Mix the dressing together and shake well.

Clean a big bunch of Kale and strip out the center stalks.

Then cut it up, toss with the dressing and let it sit for 30 minutes. When you're ready to eat, toss in the walnuts, beans or whatever else you'd like to try, and add salt and pepper to taste. You can sprinkle the Pecorino on just before serving, or pass it around with the salad and your family can sprinkle or not, as they choose. Experiment with this yummy tasting salad and your body will thank you!

Enjoy

Best of Health,

Kathi

Relax Your Back!

Whether you are in pain, or just know that you've done a lot today and want to avoid tomorrow's pain and stiffness, the most important thing to remember is to relax all the muscles of your back.  

There is only one way to do that and here it is!

In keeping with our last post about making small changes in your diet that reduce inflammation, here a great recipe from chow.com for a soup that I think you'll love!

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

quinoa chowderIngredients

3/4 cup quinoa (any color)

8 cups water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lg garlic clove finely chopped

3/4 lb thin skinned potatoes, diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

3 cups thinly sliced spinach leaves

4 oz feta cheese, diced

1/3 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

lime juice

black pepper

optional -1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 hard boiled egg per bowl for garnish

Instructions

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.

Bring quinoa and 8 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till the outer casings on the quinoa have popped (10-15 min)

Strain the quinoa, reserving the liquid.

Heat olive oil. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes, cumin, salt and cook until potatoes begin to soften (3-5 minutes)

Add the reserved cooking liquid (and more water to make 6 cups), half of the scallions and simmer until potatoes are tender (15 min)

Add cooked quinoa, spinach and remaining scallions and simmer until spinach just begins to wilt. Remove pot from heat and stir in the feta and parsley or cilantro. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Top with chopped egg and enjoy!

Calories 165, Cholesterol 13mg, Fat 52g, Fiber 4.1g, Protein 6g, Calcium 116mg 

Best of Health,

Kathi

There are about a bazillion diet books on the market today and I know this can cause information overload! So today, I want to talk about simple dietary changes that will give the biggest bang for your effort – especially when your desire is beating the inflammation, heart disease, back pain and other issues it can cause.


Everyone these days knows at least a little about the Mediterranean diet. It works. It involves eating more fruits, vegetables and fish. Well, I’m not going to tell you to stop eating red meat, or that you need 6 servings of fruits and veggies every day. What I will suggest is that you try out some different vegetables that you may not have ever eaten before. There are many exotic varieties on the market now and also lots of different ways to prepare them. Try one new recipe this week, or one new fruit. Go slowly. Make small changes. Find something you like and then add it to your weekly shopping list. It IS possible to make very small changes that have a large impact on your health. For instance, replacing one serving of beef steak (32 grams of saturated fat) a week with one serving of tuna steak (2 grams of saturated fat) cuts out 30 grams of saturated fat from your diet! When grilled lightly and still pink in the middle, the flavor of the tuna steak is very similar to the steak your are replacing. This is just one example, but you get the idea. My mother would shudder if she heard me say this, but, play with your food! Try something different once a week until you find what works for you so that you eat more Mediterranean.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Hate Sitting At Long Meetings?

Here's a short video for those days when you have to sit for several hours in a long meeting, or presentation/workshop.

The piriformis is a thick muscle that can tighten up after sitting for a long time and what a pain in the rear that is! Well, here is a good stretch for that pesky piriformis and you'll find that when others see you doing it, they'll join in!

 

Best of Health,

Kathi

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone Broth is what my mom used to call – Real Broth!

I heard an interview with Louise Hay where she spoke in great detail about the health benefits of “bone broth” and I thought – Wow! That sounds cool. I’m going to go and fine her recipe!

What a lovely surprise to discover that it’s the same broth that my mom made in the day and my sister and I still make all the time today!

Homemade broth is so much better than the canned variety. No preservatives, just enough salt and real veggies! Yummm.

We store our chicken bones in bags in the freezer until we get enough together to make a big pot of broth.

Ingredients:

2 large onions chopped

4 or 5 stalks of celery chopped

5 or 6 large garlic cloves chopped

5 or 6 large carrots, chopped

2 or 3 large bay leaves

Preparation:

In a large stockpot, saute onions, celery, garlic and carrots just until soft, then add the bones, bay leaves and cover with water. Bring to a boil, the simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Cool and remove the bones. Use the stock for soups, stews or just plain – enjoy!

Best of Health

Kathi

More Help For Those Who Sit All Day

Another easy exercise I recommend for people who sit for most of the day is the Hamstring Chair Stretch. This stretch helps reduce the tension in your lower back and can be done any time you are seated. In fact, I’m sure if you try it at your next long meeting or conference, there will be others joining you before you can say “cramped legs!”

  • Sit up straight, close to the edge of your chair. Keeping your left leg bent with your foot flat on the floor, and your left knee positioned over your foot, stretch your right leg out so that only your heel is on the floor. Then, “dig in your heel” by pressing it against the floor.
  • Next, hold onto the seat of your chair with both hands and stretch your upper body forward gently until you feel the muscles in the back of your leg stretching.
  • Breathe and stretch for about a minute, then switch legs.

Let me know how many people join you when you try this!

Best of Health

Kathi

Better Bone Health For Baby Boomers!

winter yoginiHave you noticed that your knees are a little stiff and sometimes scream at you when you try to get up off the couch? As we age we experience normal wear and tear on the joints, but we may experience a loss of bone mass as well. Not to worry though, you can avoid knee and hip replacement surgeries and their long recoveries by starting now to take better care of these joints and bones. Through exercise, diet and supplementation, you can increase bone mass and minimize your risk for osteoporosis and arthritis.

Let's start with diet. Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D are very important for healthy bones.

Vitamin D is currently the most serious Vitamin deficiency in North America. Some studies have recently shown that the mighty vitamin D also protects us against rheumatoid arthritis. Most docs now recommend between 2000 and 3000 mg. a day of vitamin D.

The new studies on calcium indicate that we only need about 500-600 mg from supplementation as we get the rest of our RDA (750-1000 total) of calcium from the foods we eat. More than that can increase you risk of heart attacks, and even increase your chance of a hip fracture!

Magnesium is an important mineral for not only bone health, but our health in general. It can reduce headaches, insomnia, and much more! My friend Dr. Carolyn Dean recommends at least 400 mg of Magnesium each day.

But, vitamins aren't the be all, end all. You should get as much of your vitamins from food as possible and here are a few foods that contain vitamin D - oily fish like Alaskan salmon or sardines, fortified soy milk, orange juice and whole grain cereals.

Calcium is plentiful in dairy, but did you know that sheep cheese has about twice as much calcium as cow's milk cheese?  Also, broccoli, dried figs, kale, collards and healthy nuts like almonds can provide your body with lots of calcium. I knew there was a reason I love Almonds!

Vitamin K helps activate proteins that are involved in the structuring of bone mass. Low intake of vitamin K has been linked to low bone density. You can get your vitamin K in swiss chard, kale, parsley and spinach, broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, liver, soybean oil and wheat bran. In addition, avoid eating too much protein - excessive protein can promote calcium loss from bones - and too much caffeine and sodium can promote calcium loss so do be careful of those.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two compounds which strengthen cartilage and improve joint mobility, which then slows osteoarthritis related damage to the joints. They are available anywhere vitamins are sold, and many people have shared that their flexibility has increased with these supplements.

And you all know that Exercise is important for keeping our bones strong. Weight bearing exercises like walking, hiking, and Pilates classes are all good for our bones and our hearts. 

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