FALL IS NOW – Take a moment to enjoy it!

Fall is my favorite season

     Here in the Midwest it’s a beautiful time of year. I love the incredible color variety in the leaves, the crisp and cool mornings followed by sunny afternoons with brilliant blue skies, and the chilly evenings for piles of blankets and open windows. Plus, soup is on the stove for a warm and yummy meal.

Gourmet Pumpkin Soup from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:  1 T butter, 2 T brown sugar, 1 sugar pumpkin = 3 lbs, peeled, seeded and cut into matchbox size pieces, 1 T yellow curry powder, 20 oz. chicken stock, 2 T pumpkin seed oil, sour cream, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Instructions: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, and curry powder to the butter; cook and stir until the pumpkin caramelizes, 6 to 10 minutes. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture; bring to a boil, and cook until the pumpkin is tender, about 20 minutes more. Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway. Hold the lid of the blender in place with a towel; start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Process in batches until smooth. Garnish each portion of soup with 1 teaspoon pumpkin seed oil, a dollop of sour cream, and a few pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkins are out and ready to go – I love almost everything having to do with pumpkins.  From heading out to the pumpkin patch, one of my favorite family outings of the year, to carving/decorating, to all the foods made from pumpkin – I can’t get too much of them.  Some of my favorites are chocolate chip pumpkin bread (I use a Cooking Light recipe), pumpkin soup ( see recipe above) , and yummy pumpkin pie. Delicious!

     Fall RunningImage from Well Fit Fusion. Thanks Lisa!

If you have kids, they’ve settled into school by now (hopefully), and you have a bit of structure back in your life from the whimsy of summer. The weather is perfect and it’s time to get fit using your beautiful fall surroundings – I’m not a die-hard athlete, so when it’s cold/rainy/snowy out, you’ll find me staying in for a movie instead of being focused.  But right now, working out outdoors doesn’t get much better.

I also love the lack of holiday stress.  Yes, you know it’s around the corner, and if you are ambitious you can feel good about any of those gifts you are knocking out now, with no pressure or stress.  Get it done while it’s still fun!

So, if you are busy all the time, as most of us are, I encourage you to just take a bit of time and do something you love this season.  If you are on a mobility device, such as crutches, or wheelchair, still find something you love about fall and do it, savor it.  Yes, you may need to make modifications, but don’t let the beauty of this season pass you by.  If you need help with ideas on how to modify your fall favorite to accommodate your mobility aid let me know.  I’ve got lots of experience and would be happy to help.

Have fun and be safe!

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HIGH HEELS: WEAR THEM SMARTER

Ahh – here in the Midwest we are starting to feel the glory of fall approaching, waking to 60 degree mornings.  It makes us feel like we will soon be able to wear all the new glorious looks splashed across our fall magazines and catalogs. While flipping through the pages one thing was once again clear.  High heels aren’t going anywhere and will continue to have full attention this fall.  Everything from cap-toed pumps, spike-heeled booties, and stacked heels are gracing the pages and stores this fall.  While we still have options of stylish, flirty flats, and the New Block Heel, high heels are still front and center.

ImagePhotography by Peter Stitger

Many of my sisters on crutches have their fashionista tendencies to blame.  So, instead of telling you how bad high heels are for our feet, knowing full and well we plan to suffer anyway, I thought maybe serving up some tips on how to best wear high heels would be more helpful to all of us.

Here are some great suggestions to consider when wearing/buying high heels.  The following is straight from WebMd, with Morris Morin, DPM, director of podiatric medicine at the Hackensack University Medical Center, and podiatrist Stuart Mogul, DPM.

  1. Get the best-fitting high heel possible.  While this may seem like a given, stop and think: How many pairs of high heels cause your feet to slide to the front, leaving a gap big enough for a small cell phone behind your heel?  Mogul says high heels that don’t fit properly cause the front of the foot to fly forward, creating more pressure — and pain — on toes. Look for narrow heels with a snug but not tight fit to correct the problem.
  2. Cushion, cushion, cushion. While a full-shoe insert can help, if you have pain in the ball of the foot — or you’ll be standing in your heels a long time — invest in silicone metatarsal pads. They look like flattened gummy bears, but they do a super job of shock absorption, says Morin. “It’s like replacing the fat padding you lost.”
  3. Wear a thicker heel for stability. “A thicker heel will give you better balance and may help relieve some pressure by distributing the weight on your foot more evenly, says Morin.  Alternating heel heights can also help reduce problems with the Achilles tendon.
  4. Pay attention to the “slope” or “pitch” of the heel.  While some 4-inch heels will give you a straight drop down to the flatbed portion of the shoe, others will be a more gradual slope. This may be easier on the arch, says Morin, and might help relieve some pain in the ball of the foot.
  5. Wear open-toe high heels to relieve pressure on corns and calluses. See a podiatrist to have corns and calluses professionally removed and correct the problem that’s causing them. But if that’s not possible, opt for open-toe shoes to take pressure off inflamed areas.

These are tips we can live with – we just need to find the RIGHT 4-inch heels!

photography by Peter Stitger