Archive for the ‘Carolyn Recommends’ Category

I’ve Found Relief for My High-Arched Feet!

November 17, 2014

It’s been awhile since I’ve recommended a product in this blog, but I want to tell you about a terrific athletic shoe insole I’ve just discovered that caters to people like me who have high-arched feet.

Until recently I’d not given much thought to my high-arches since my days as a young ballerina when they were a desirable thing. I remember my ballet teacher commenting that I “had a dancer’s foot”, noting my curved arch and my even-lengthed toes. Now, many years later, my high-arched feet are not as friendly as they used to be. How could they be after running thousands of miles?

High-arched feet tend to have problems because they are more rigid than feet with normal arches or low arches. Furthermore, high-arched feet tend to supinate, or turn outward, which can lead to orthopedic problems with the hips, knees and low back. I’m fortunate not to suffer from any of those, although my left foot in particular tends to supinate and I have to replace my running shoes every 5-6 weeks because after wearing the outside of my left shoe down to the nub my left hamstrings start to act up. Furthermore, the plantar fascia on the bottom of my feet tend to tighten up at night or after a long run and I’m constantly stretching them out to counteract this. I also keep a golf ball under my desk to massage the bottom of my feet when I’m at my computer and I’ve found that applying Traumeel or Topricin  homeopathic foot cream to the soles of my feet before bed helps as well.

I’ve never been one to wear orthotics or insoles as I thought I didn’t needed them. I wear a neutral running shoe and because I have to wear a 7mm heel lift in my right shoe (because of a leg-length discrepancy resulting from scoliosis) most insoles are too thick to wear along with the lift. Furthermore, I was under the misconception that because my arches were already pronounced I didn’t need any arch support. In fact, I mistakenly believed having arch support in my shoes would only exacerbate my arches.

After doing a little research for a client, however, I discovered RunPro Insoles specifically designed for high-arch profile feet. From the first few steps I found them really supportive without being hard and uncomfortable. I also like the fact that they’re not at all bulky so they fit nicely in an athletic shoe. They even made an older pair of running shoes I’d been wearing feel new again. After trying them in my cycling shoes (what a difference!!) I ordered two more pairs so I don’t have to switch them back and forth between all of my athletic shoes.

At $50 per pair they’re not cheap, but if you’re a physically active person with high arches that are causing you discomfort you may find RunPro Insoles are worth it to keep your feet happy.

Be Well,


A Few of My New Favorite Things…

February 2, 2011

I’m always excited when I find wellness products that really work for me that I want to share the information with others. So…. here few of my new favorite things:

Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack. I’m addicted to this wonderful dried seaweed snack. Loaded with trace minerals, seaweed is a great source of natural iodine and  despite its somewhat salty flavor, it’s relatively low in sodium. It’s also low in calories – only 30 calories per half-package-serving, but it’s loaded with flavor. I love it chopped up in salads or just straight out of the bag.

Speaking of green things, I love Whole Foods new line of frozen veggies. Part of their 365 Everyday Value line, the eight new very affordable vegetable and vegetable combos are flash frozen at their peak and packaged without any additives. My favorite is the Leafy Greens, a blend of kale, collard greens and mustard greens. So easy to prepare and best of all, you can blend it with other vegetables to obtain an even greater variety in one meal.

A product that’s been around forever, but was nevertheless new to me, castor oil has really helped my Achilles tendonitis and heel bursitis.You can make a castor oil pack using wool or felt or just apply the oil and cover the area and apply some mild heat to the area to increase penetration. I slather it on my foot, cover it with a sock and sleep on it. It always feels better in the morning.

Teatime is a wonderful little local teahouse I frequent, but you don’t have to live locally to enjoy their teas as they are available for sale on-line. My favorite is their Balance Tea, a soothing Avurvedic blend of cardamom, licorice, coriander, fennel, ginger root, and rose petals. It is my favorite winter time tea or for anytime I’m feeling out of balance or stressed.

Even with the winter season upon us, if’ you’re exercising outdoors, you still need to wear sunblock. Aquasport and Terrasport (made by All-Terrain) are all natural sunblocks (as opposed to sunscreens) that are great for active people. They contain “Z-cote”, an invisible zinc oxide/titanium oxide mix along with other natural ingredients. Unlike most sunblocks, Terrasport does a nice job of disappearing into your skin within a few minutes of application. The Aquasport is a bit thicker but trust me, it stays on in the water, which makes it great for any water exercise. Both of these products are great for people with sensitive skin or for kids.

Speaking of skin, I’m now a big fan of Jergen’s Shea Butter lotion. A client of mine recently turned me on to this inexpensive skin enhancer. Not only does it nicely rehydrate my skin after hours in the pool, it also gives my skin a nice glow. My Mom suffers from eczema and it’s really helped her condition.

For more wellness product recommendations, check out the Carolyn Recommends page on my website.

Be Well,


An Excellent Handbook For Knowing What’s in Your Food

July 17, 2009

With so many artificial ingredients being added to processed foods these days, you practically need a chemistry degree to know what’s in the foods and beverages you’re consuming.  I just came across A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives,  an excellent resource to help unravel some of the mystery. This up-to-date handbook includes 12,000 ingredients from a to z and describes what they do whether or not you should avoid them. This is a book worth having on your kitchen shelf. Of course, if you eat a mostly whole-foods diet as I’m always advocating, you really don’t need this book :)!

Be Well,


Navigating the Cereal Aisle in World Full of Sugar

May 22, 2009

Cereal can either be a nutritious food or  an excuse for dessert (think “Lucky Charms”), depending on what’s in your bowl. Navigating the cereal aisle in the grocery store has become increasingly challenging thanks to the plethora of choices, many of which are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Here’s a basic guideline for choosing a healthful, whole grain cereal. Millet, amaranth, quinoa and oats are always whole grain, but if you don’t see the word whole in front of wheat, corn, barley and rice these grains have been refined.

In addition to looking for whole grains, you need to examine the box for the sugar content. Did you know that there are at least 11 popular breakfast cereals on the market containing 12g or more of sugar per serving?  That’s about the same amount in a frosted doughnut! Furthermore, watch for hidden sugars in cereals. They come in many different forms, including:  brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, invert sugar, maltose, malt syrup and molasses. Skip cereals that list any form of sugar within the first three ingredients (which are listed by weight in descending order). Also, keep in mind that total sugars listed doesn’t distinguish between added and naturally-occurring sugars.   

For that matter, avoid artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, too. Top your cereal with fresh fruit – or, if necessary, add a little honey or maple syrup or agave nectar for a natural sweetness. If you’re watching your weight, choose a high volume, low-calorie whole grain cereal such as puffed brown brown rice. Also, look for the words high fiber on the box – that ensures at least 5g fiber per serving. This naturally occurs in most whole grain cereals verses refined grains.

Or create your own cereal!  For about the same price you’d pay in the grocery store you can custom-design your own cereal mix from more than 50 natural and organic ingredients using They even offer gluten-free options for celiacs. Here’s how it works: you pick your ingredients, they mix it, box it (along with nutrition information on your choices) and then ship it off to you. Check it out.

Be Well, 


Tips to Save Your Life, Your Money and the Planet

May 5, 2009

I recently discovered this worthwhile list of “100 healthy habits that can save your life, your money and the planet“. They’re helpful, healthful, practical reminders of things you can do to make a difference. Check it out.

Be Well,


Natural Relief for Seasonal Allergies

May 1, 2009

Are your eyes watery and puffy?  Is your nose runny and itchy?  As much as I love the advent of Spring, it also marks the dreaded allergy season. Unfortunately, the side effects of over-the-counter allergy relief medications are about as uncomfortable as the allergy symptoms themselves. Who wants to feel like a zombie all day?

Quercitin, a bioflavanoid found in apples and onions, helps to reduce histamine levels naturally and can be very helpful in controlling mild seasonal allergies. In supplement form quercitin is often paired with bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory and digestive enzyme found in pineapple. Many people have found relief from taking quercitin alone or in combination with bromelain, which can be particularly helpful in relieving sinus inflammation resulting from hay fever. Supplements aside, it doesn’t hurt to eat more apples onions and pineapple as all are nutritionally-rich.

Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding any nutritional supplements (particularly if you take any prescription medication or have allergies) to prevent any adverse reactions or interactions. 

Be Well,


Another Reliable Wellness Website

April 8, 2009

I’ve been poking around lately exploring some of the other wellness blogs and websites out there. One I particularly like is Health Central. The symptom checker is my favorite feature. You plug in your symptoms and it asks you pertinent questions regarding your condition to help guide you toward an accurate diagnosis. It also offers a Q & A format where you can write in queries and receive reliable answers on your wellness questions from health experts and other community members.

One of the areas of specialty on health central is childhood obesity – which is fast becoming an epidemic in this country. Anyway, check it out.

Be Well,


Tips for Fueling For Heated Yoga Workouts

April 5, 2009

If you missed my recent talk on fueling and hydrating for heated yoga classes, here are some tips on what to eat before and after class.

Many yoga studios will encourage students to come to class on a completely empty stomach. Well, if you take a morning classyour glycogen stores will have been largely depleted after an all-night fast while you’re sleeping, limiting your energy for exercising. Even a small amount of easily digested food eaten an hour or ideally 2 hours before class will give you more energy and  endurance for your workout. Also, if you eat a little something before class, you’re much less likely to overeat afterwards, and it’s much easier to make healthful food choices when you’re not ravenous.

If you take evening heated yoga classes, having a light, healthy snack with some water 2 hours before yoga  is also good idea – you’ll have more energy during your workout and, again, you won’t overeat later at dinner.  A healthful, easy-to-digest, low-fat snack combining complex carbohydrates, lean protein and a little healthy fat will facilitate a high-quality workout as well as help you recover from class. Here are some suggested pre- and post-workout snacks or mini-meals:

 -Whole grain cereal and milk

-Plain low-fat or non-fat yogurt with banana or berries and a few chopped walnuts or slivered almonds

-1/2 of a turkey or peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread

-Apple and string cheese

-Small handful of nuts and a piece of fruit

-Banana dipped in natural peanut butter or almond butter

-Veggies (raw or steamed) dipped in hummus

In summary, pre-workout snacking helps 1) sustain your energy throughout the workout, 2) facilitate your post-workout recovery, and 3) keep your appetite under control after class.

Also, for tips on hydrating before heated yoga classes, check out my recent blog on the topic.

Be Well,


Another Be Well Website Worth Exploring

March 24, 2009

I just discovered another Be Well website that’s sort of a facebook for health and medical experts and anyone interested in their wellness. Now this is the kind of social/community network I might consider joining! It’s informational but also interactive.

According to the website sponsors, their vision is “to empower everyone to make better health decisions through community support and reliable information”.  While it  isn’t just for women, is female-oriented with an emphasis on reproductive health and breast cancer prevention. All in all, it’s a great resource for wellness information and I encourage you to check it out. And, if you haven’t already visited me at, please stop by.

Be well,


Aquatherapy, Salmon & Traumeel: My healing miracle workers!

March 7, 2009

A few days ago while working in the pool with an aquatic training/therapy client, I got too close to the wall in the deep end and kicked the heck out of  the metal ladder, smashing my second and middle toes and traumatizing my entire foot!!  By that evening, my foot was purple and so swollen I had trouble putting on a shoe!

Seriously, my foot resembled a plump piece of eggplant. Needless to say,  I started to freak out and was pretty certain I’d broken at least one of my phalanges (the small bones in the toes). After limping around much of the rest of that day I decided to put my wellness coach hat while simultaneously becoming  my own client.

So what did I do?  I took my advice and slathered on Traumeel – a homeopathic anti-inflammatory that I recommend to many of my clients – 3 times a day. I also tweaked my diet to include even more healing foods, including salmon, flax oil, chia seeds and lots of vegetables, especially broccoli and celery to reduce inflammation and collard greens for calcium and vitamin K (in case I had broken the bones).

The third key to my healing was spending time exercising with clients in the deep end – without putting any weight on the foot. Moving in warm water helps to pull edema out of the body and increase range of motion of the joints, muscles and tendons. So after a few hours of working in the pool, the swelling in my foot had significantly decreased and I was even able to bend my toes a bit without pain.

I’m happy to report that  48 hours later, my eggplant foot is now nearly back to its usual pale, bony state. I’m walking without much pain and able to wear a normal shoe. Fortunately, I don’t think I’ve broken, rather  just badly bruised my toes. Anyway, this latest trauma was yet another reminder of the incredible healing power of the body – if given the proper tools.

Be Well (and Be Careful!),