Dealing with Orthopedic Issues AND Foot Problems. Oy Vey!

As we age, albeit gracefully, our bodies reflect the wear and tear of life. About 12 years ago, I developed tendinosis in my left leg, and more recently have been dealing with age related back issues. In both cases I was able to manage the pain, and avoid surgery, and that is my wish for you.

For the tendinosis, I saw an orthopedist who specialized in foot and ankle injuries. He put me in a non weight bearing cast for 6 weeks. Not fun, but better than surgery. Because this was a chronic (and genetic) issue for me, caused by my foot going flat when I walked, he rocked my world by telling me that 1) losing weight would be a good idea, 2) that I should not walk long distances, or run. Ever. Instead get in the pool or ride an upright stationary bike for exercise. And 3) that I basically had to wear orthopedic shoes the rest of my life. Lucky for me, his best suggestion was wood clogs, which at least can be cute. The reason for the clogs is because some of the design characteristics they have include anatomically contoured arch support, rocker-bottom soles, and heel elevation—an attribute that some doctors believe eases the strain on leg and back muscles.

Here are my 3 recommendations for the best clogs in the market: Sven ; Clog Master ; and Dansko. I am not adding a link for Dansko, as they can be widely found in stores and websites in a variety of styles and price points. There are now great shoe brands on the market, developed by podiatrists . To mention a few: Vionic ; Abeo ; Aetrex, and Sofft

This was all a big blow, but eventually it lead me to my WW journey, the loss of 50 lbs, and most importantly to the water, which has become not only my sport of choice, but my haven, my happy place. This was my silver lining.

Last year my back went out completely. My MRI showed age related natural deterioration of my lower back. I once again decided to go the conservative route and avoid surgery. I went straight into physical therapy for pain management, and to regain my strength. I did this in conjunction with acupuncture. To this day, I start every day with the stretches that my physical therapist gave me. In addition, I decided to attack the situation internally as well. I added anti inflammatory foods to my diet as well as a couple of natural anti inflammatory supplements. Those are Turmeric, and something called Inflamma Less, which I found at CVS. Whole Foods also carries it, and you can find it online. Here is the link to my Pinterest board for the anti inflammatory recipes:

Lets go back to the discussion about getting in the water. DO IT. It really is the best non impact exercise out there. Many orthopedic specialists highly recommend it, and aqua physical therapy is common. For good reason. There are many things you can do in the water. I swim and water jog. Check out U Tube for videos showing all of the great and fun aqua aerobics techniques out there. But pay attention to the techniques! They are super important so you don’t hurt yourself. Allow me to address some of the reasons s you may be skeptical. 1) you are scared of the water, or don’t know how to swim: find a municipal pool in your area and take an aqua aerobic class, or beginners swim class. 2) protecting your hair: before putting on your swim cap douse your hair with water. That fills up the hair shafts so that the chlorine can’t get in. In addition to that, add a conditioner. 3) you don’t want to wear a swimsuit in public: believe me, no one looks, especially in the aqua aerobics classes! But for good choices of conservative swimsuits that fit check out: ; ;

Now for this week’s meal prep! My weight has been plateaued for months, so I decided to change up my breakfasts. This week I’m having a variation on yogurt and berries. I found this in Eating Well Magazine this month.

Beet Raspberry Yogurt

I also made pumpkin oatmeal in my slow cooker. This one is in honor of my beloved niece Eden, who loves everything pumpkin. Here is the link to the original recipe, but I substituted rolled oats, as that is what I had in my pantry. I also used less liquid (2 cups), which for me was unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Because I used the rolled oats instead of steel cut, I also cut the cooking time in half. It could have been cut even more though. I tasted it. It’s really yummy. I did not add any honey or other sweetener. I did add some ground flax seed and chia seeds for the health benefits. Those do not affect the overall flavor of the dish.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal for Eden
Not pretty, but very tasty and healthy

For my desk lunch this week I am having Palmini “pasta salad”. Palmini is a past swap I learned of from Hungry Girl. I get her daily e mails, and listen to her podcasts. If you aren’t aware of her, you should be. Look her up:

Palmini is actually Hearts of Palm cut into linguine like “noodles”. I have tossed them with sliced fresh cucumber, diced red onion, sliced sweet mini peppers. When I put the salad together in the morning, I’ll add fresh cherry tomatoes, and my homemade red wine vinaigrette dressing, recipe courtesy of My protein of choice this week is shrimp. I also made quinoa. I thought that would add texture and protein. I’ll let you know how that goes. Palmini can be found on Amazon. I do not know if it is carried at any grocery stores at this point:

“Pasta” Salad Ingredients
Palmini Pasta Salad
Red Wine Vinaigrette

That is all for now! Please join the conversation.

Have a great week!

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