Putting Your Best Foot Forward
(Right Out the Gait)

Your feet are your body’s foundation and are responsible for supporting your whole body. Think about it. You use your feet to stand, walk, run, and balance. Your feet also serve as a lever to propel the leg forward when you walk. The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments.

Many people think that each foot has only one arch, however there are actually three: one on the inside, one on the outside, and one across the ball of the foot. Don’t feel too bad if you didn’t know this. Most people don’t. The arches of your feet assist in absorbing the shock created every time your heel contacts the ground. When functioning properly, the arches proportionate weight evenly to the bones that bear the brunt of it. If the ligaments and tendons that form those arches along with the metatarsals (five bones starting with the big toe that make up the forefoot) and tarsals (five irregularly shaped bones of the midfoot) weaken, the arches can collapse causing pain and discomfort. Healthy foot movement transfers from the feet, the base of the kinetic chain and works up the length of the skeleton. So let’s take a look at the arches and a few exercises that will keep your feet strong throughout your life.

The Three Arches

  1. Lateral (outside) Longitudinal Arch – runs lengthwise along the outside of the foot composed of your calcaneus (your heel bone), the cuboid (one of the seven tarsal bones, located on the outer side of the foot) and the fourth and fifth metatarsals. 
  2. Transverse (center) Arch - Located just behind the ball of your foot, the transverse arch also known as the metatarsal arch spans the foot from side to side.
  3. Medial (inside) Longitudinal Arch – formed by the calcaneus, talus, navicular, three cuneiforms and first three metatarsal bones.


    TOE LIFT EXERCISE

    • Stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart. 
    • Lift just the big toe on both feet, keeping the other toes down.
    • Then lift all the toes keeping the big toe down.
    • Switch back and forth about 10 times.

    Toe Lift Exercise


    TOWEL GRAB EXERCISE

    • With a healthy posture, sit on a stool or low chair.
    • Smooth the towel and place one foot on top of it.
    • Place your heel under your knee, knee and toes pointing forward.
    • Keep your heel down and lift your front foot and toes off the towel.
    • Spread your toes, grab the towel and pull it towards the heel, curling the arch.
    • Repeat about 8-10 times.
    • Switch feet.
    Towel Grab Exercise


    FOOT MASSAGE USING A TENNIS BALL

    • Place the tennis ball under the lateral (outside) part of your foot and roll from the ball of the foot to the heel.  Do this a few times until your foot starts to feel relaxed.
    • Place the tennis ball under the medial (inside) part of your foot and roll from the ball to the heel.
    • Place the ball under the transverse arch (center) just behind the ball of your foot and roll the ball from side to side.
    • Repeat 8-10 times.
    Foot Massage Using a Tennis Ball





Chelsea's Recipe of the Month

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I get super excited about butternut squash.  It is so delicious, versatile and packed with nutrients. And the fact that my 19 month old devours it makes me love it even more.

"The incredible nutritional value of butternut squash is difficult to overstate. With over four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A in just one serving, over half the recommended intake of vitamin C, and an impressive list of other vitamins and minerals, I highly recommend using this as a staple in your home.” (draxe.com)

You can use it to make soup, salad, risotto and the list goes on. But today, I will be sharing my go to recipe for a simple soup that is packed with flavor that also happens to be very good for you. If you are vegan, you can definitely enjoy this too. 

Yield: About 5-6 cups:
  • 1 medium size butternut squash
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • a nob of ginger, about an inch, thinly sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • a heavy pinch of ground coriander
Preheat oven to 375. Cut the squash lengthwise and rub the inside with EVOO, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place the squash on a sheet pan and roast skin side up for about 30 mins. Flip and roast for another 20 mins or until it is cooked all the way through. You can roast this upto 1 day in advance. If you do, you might want to roast extra because you are going to want to eat it just plain roasted - atleast my son does.

While the squash is cooking, in a medium size pot, saute the onion, garlic and ginger in EVOO until tender but no color. Season with salt and pepper and ground coriander. Once the onions are translucent, scoop out the squash meat and add to the pot. Add the can of coconut milk and a can of water, or vegetable stock if you have it available. Stir to make sure everything is incorporated. Bring up to a boil then down to a simmer for about 10-15mins, stirring occasionally so to ensure that it's not sticking on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before pureeing in a blender. Once pureed, taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Serve with sliced chives and cauliflower crumble.

To make cauliflower crumble, cut the cauliflower into small, manageable pieces. Place them in a food processor and pulse until they resemble “cauliflower rice”.

Put in a sheet pan and spray with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 375 for about 10-15 mins. Stir every 5 minutes because the edges tend to burn.



~ Chef Chelsea ~

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