Primitive Diva

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Three Goats Farm of Montgomery, Texas
Melissa is a former beauty queen, personal trainer and certified holistic health coach. Melissa founded Queen Bee Wellness to specialize her coaching practice towards Women's Wellness and Beauty. She helps women focus on finding their own natural beauty from a integrative approach of balancing Mind, Body and Soul. Melissa believes that what we put in our mind is just as important as the nourishing food we put in our bodies and products on our skin. She strives to coach women to balance a healthier body image, approach to wellness and authentic living. With her passion for a clean lifestyle, Queen Bee Wellness therapeutic skin care products were born- to help women enhance their natural glow, without causing harm to their health from chemical laden toxic products. Melissa's philosophy to real beauty is summarized in "Wellness is Beauty". Melissa resides on a 10 acre farm in Montgomery, Texas with her husband and teen aged children. In her spare time she is chief goat wrangler and milker of her "Queen Bee" herd of dairy goats at Three Goats Farm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Naked Feet......Sole to soil for your soul!

There is something about runners and running that I never quite "got". I had tried numerous times to embrace the sport. I would listen to others and hear their magical stories of the runners high. So, armed with great motivation and a pair of the latest and greatest running shoes, I would set my sights and go....but then it always seemed that I couldn't find a "groove" as I referred to my chronic issue in balancing proper breathing, technique, pace, etc... It seemed very awkward and that frustrated me as I have always had a fairly good combination of grace and athleticism- but for whatever reason- running became my enemy. So, I left it alone for years and took up cycling instead. I simply claimed....I don't "get" it- I guess some of us are runners and others are not. As, the years rolled along I was enjoying cycling, hiking, rollerblading...I would still occasionally daydream about running through the country side- no machine/equipment needed, just feeling the wind through my hair, ahhhh!

Then a few years ago, I saw a man wearing some funny little shoes.....that I now own 2 pair of (VFF's)and thought well those are cool and they look way comfy, but run in them? Of course not! There is NO ARCH SUPPORT. How funny that my own ignorant reluctance to wear them has become humorous to me now. I am given that response by onlookers on a DAILY basis. So with the purchase of my first pair of barefoot/minimalist shoes a couple of years ago, came a chance to hike in them in Colorado.....WOW, I have never looked back! From a Primitive perspective- it does not get much more primal than running through mountains nearly barefoot, from my Diva perspective- your feet don't develop as many callouses and you avoid the painful gravel/rocks!I have now devoured every book I could about the various techniques for the barefoot runner, like Chi and POSE. I also fell in love with the book "Born to Run" about the infamous Taraumara Tribe and the 200+ mile races- wearing only hurache sandals. I have grown to love barefoot running over the past has become my escape. A way to connect my heart and sole to the earth. Because I live in south texas, I can actually run totally NAKED (my feet that is)which is such an adrenaline rush----there is no feeling like it! Feeling the change in various textures of terrain....feeling the mud between your toes after a rain, feeling the dew on the grass in the morning, the warmth of the soil on summer day. It has become more than exercise it has become my therapy. A way I can connect with something that my ancestors had done also....did they run for pleasure? maybe/maybe not. But, I finally "get" it and with every chance I can, try to encourage and coach others on the proper technique for comfort and injury avoidance. I found a little article below on the benefits of Barefoot running so read up open your mind and throw off those shoes and get your sole to soil and your soul will thank you!

Oh and girls.....with ALL of that money you save on shoes, you can be the ultimate in fashion with these awesome running skirts at Hoping they come up with matching leg warmers or toe socks, woot! I love them....even the animal print!

Barefoot Running Laced With Health Benefits

Running Barefoot Creates Less Collision Force Than Running in Cushioned Shoes, Study Says
By Bill Hendrick
WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MD Jan. 27, 2010 -- Running barefoot causes less collision force to the feet than running in cushioned shoes, a new study says.

Researchers reporting in the Jan. 28 issue of the journal Nature show that runners who run without shoes usually land on the balls of their feet, or sometimes flat-footed, compared to runners in shoes, who tend to land on their heels first.

Cushioned running shoes, which date back only to the 1970s, may seem comfortable but may actually contribute to foot injuries, say Daniel Lieberman, PhD, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University, and colleagues.

The scientists, using motion and force analyses, showed that barefoot runners who strike on the fore-foot (land on the balls of their feet) generate smaller collision forces than shod rear-foot strikers.

The researchers say that although there are anecdotal reports of reduced injuries in barefoot populations, more work is needed to test their view that either barefoot runners or those with minimal footwear (such as sandals or moccasins) have reduced injury rates.

Running Barefoot Can Be Comfortable
By running on the balls of the feet or the middle of the foot, runners avoid more forceful impacts, equivalent to two to three times of body weight, that shod heel-strikers repeatedly experience.

“People who don’t wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike,” Lieberman says in a news release. “By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike.

“Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain.”

He says a few calluses can help runners avoid injuries.

Build Up to Barefoot Running
Lieberman and colleagues analyzed the running styles, or gaits, of five groups of people -- U.S. adult athletes who had always worn shoes, Kenyan adult runners who grew up barefoot but now wear cushioned running shoes, U.S. adult runners who grew up wearing shoes but now run barefoot or with minimal footwear, Kenyan adolescents who have never worn shoes, and Kenyan adolescents who have worn shoes for most of their lives.

And they say they found a striking pattern.

Most shod runners, which would encompass 75% or more of Americans, strike their heels when they run, experiencing a large and sudden collision force an average of 960 times for every mile they run, “making runners prone to repetitive stress injuries,” the authors write.

On the other hand, people who run barefoot tend to land with a step toward the middle or front of the foot, causing less impact force to the foot.

Madhusudhan Venkadesan, PhD, a co-author and researcher in applied mathematics and human evolutionary biology at Harvard, says in the news release that heel striking is painful when running barefoot or in minimal shoes “because it causes a large collisional force each time a foot lands on the ground.”

But barefoot runners point their toes more at landing, avoiding the collision effect by decreasing the “effective mass of the foot that comes to a sudden stop when you land, and by having a more compliant, or springy leg.”

Modern people have grown up wearing shoes, so running barefoot is something to be eased into, Lieberman says. Modern running shoes are designed to make heel-striking easy and comfortable. He suggests runners who want to shed their shoes do so slowly, to build strength in the calf and foot muscles.

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