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Orthaheel Sandals for Mother’s Day Fashion and Foot Health in One Gift

imageI received a pair of Orthaheel Fleur II for review, I was not compensated in any way, all opinions expressed are my own.

Shower your mom with fashionable and feet saving new wedges and sandals from Orthaheel and Weil Integrated Footwear. These new adorable 2-inch wedge styles are the first podiatrist approved heels that are constructed with built in lightweight EVA biomechanical orthotic foot bed, which supports her every step – from toe to heel. The entire new Spring Summer 2013 collection will provide your mom with preventative foot care, support and sustainable comfort that is also fashionably wearable.image

The first thing I noticed about Orthaheel Sandals is their high arch and posting.  This is not something you normally find in fashionable sandals.  A recent mall trip had me eyeing tons of great summer sandals that looked like pieces of cardboard with rhinestone toe bondage devices.  Needles to say I knew how uncomfortable the average summer sandal would be for me.  I have fallen arches and pronate which is why I live in sneakers with lots of support.  I had given up ever wearing a cute summer shoe again. Then, I received a pair of the Fleur II shown page right. 

I usually suffer from baby toe, knee and hip pain on my left side, not to mention plantar facittis when I wear anything other than sneakers. These sandals were heaven to slip on.  For the average woman I believe they would make a 100% improvement in walking, for me, because there was a lack of strap across the back of the heel, it was not the best sandal for long walking.  I really need that support, otherwise my foot is being held in the sandal by nothing more than a tiny thong. It was a very comfortable toe thong though.

I loved the flower accent on this flip flop sandal which added a bit of playfulness to my foot without too much heavy beading, rhinestones, or other adornments. The Orthaheel Fleur comes in seven stylish and peppy colors. Other attributes of this particular sandal include:

  • PU upper
  • Microfiber EVA covered footbed
  • Invented by leading Australian podiatrist, Phillip Vasyli, the sandal features our built-in lightweight EVA biomechanical orthotic footbed that supports your feet and helps realign the lower legs, reducing over-pronation and associated aches and pains.
  • Durable rubber medium profile outsole with wave-patterned tread helps improve traction on uneven surfaces.
  • Materials: woven/polyurethane uppers, padded neoprene upper liner, EVA footbed, TPR outsole.
  • Recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil
  • Received APMA Seal of Acceptance

 imageWhat I should have gone with instead of the Fleur was the Muir, it has a sole by Vibram – one of my favorite shoe companies and a heel strap but as you can see its more industrial, and functional looking, so not quite as summer flirty.  Definitely a hiking sandal. If you are looking for fun summer footwear there are the Julie, Bali, Mia, Yasmin and Kelly Wedge which all have backstraps and priced beetween $47 –99.  I know that is a higher price tag then the cheap – and I mean cheaply made most of all – cardboard thin sandals you can purchase, but remember there is the priceless cost of your health.  Foot health is so important, it effects the rest of your body immensely.

The majority of the population is affected by pronation (rolling inward of the ankles and feet), which is commonly confused with being flat footed, and is just the beginning to a long road of potentially chronic pain and complications.  A normal foot pronates and supinates (rolls outwards) during a running or walking stride.  If the feet are not properly supported, normal pronation and supination can become excessive. This causes increased strain and inflammation of the soft tissues which help support the joints in the lower body and can lead to chronic pain and injury, not to mention the excessively painful and more common – planter’s fasciitis.

Innovative podiatrist and global foot health consultant, Phil Vasyli of Vasyli Medical and Orthaheel (www.orthaheelusa.com) provides the following helpful information to self-diagnose, treat, and prevent pronation.

How to determine if your feet pronate?

When you get out of the shower, check out your footprint on the floor to see what kind of arch you have.  

  • Full footprint? Can mean partial to full arch-collapse due to pronation.  
  • Outer portion only? Can signal rolling outward of foot and ankle, supination.

Steps to help support your feet:

  • Try to avoid walking around the house barefoot – choose slippers that provide adequate arch support and a deep heel cup to improve balance and posture.  Try Orthaheel Slippers or Flip Flops available at: www.orthaheelusa.com/women/slippers.html and www.orthaheelusa.com/women/sandals.html.
  • If you are working on your feet, wear supportive footwear.
    • Look for a firm heel counter and stable midfoot.  Flexible regions should only be near the forefoot.
    • Flat shoes without proper arch support cause foot problems.  A slight heel of 1/2″ to 1″ is the minimum requirement to provide comfort.
    • For existing shoes without these qualities, try an orthotic inside your shoe to lift the arch and prevent pronation.  Orthotics also prevent supination by having a supported outer rim.
  • Ensure proper fit.  Simple sounding, but many wear shoes that don’t fit and thus provide inadequate support.  Go to your local shoe store to have your feet properly measured.  Walk back and forth to make sure the fit is right, and not rubbing on any of the bony parts or sliding back and forth.
  • Avoid cheap shoes.  Poorer quality materials tend to lead to reduced support, lack of breathability, and poor quality control.

I was impressed to see that Orthaheel offers slippers, which would be a new spin on the old Mother’s Day gift giving of slippers and a robe.  I was recently advised by a podiatristimage to wear slipper or supportive shoes around the house all of the time to ease my foot pain.  The problem is finding a good, supportive slipper that literally slips on.  Orthaheel has several styles to choose from including the Gemma Mule shown at page right.

As a mom, and a hard woman to shop for, I would definitely appreciate receiving any of the Orthaheel line as a Mother’s Day Gift and I bet your mom would too. Mom’s spend so much time on their feet for their families, wouldn’t it be great to give the gift of support to mom – she supports you!

#StayConnected with Juil The Only Shoe to Ground You

juil_free_shipping

 

You read that right Juil will ground you.  Now if you are a parent this means something completely different than their Energy Flow Technology™ (compound copper conductors) directly through the footbed and outsole of the sandals of Juils which offer a direct conduit between our bodies and the earth’s surface grounding you! With these new shoes you are able to go about your day, in comfort, while heeding the earth’s reviving electrons necessary to sustain healthy, stable lives, even with a crazy and wild collection of children at your heels. Mothers, connect yourself to mother earth today, and give your body and feet a sense of relief.

Readers know that I am the last person to invest in fads.  I was one of the first people to point out the ridiculousness of toning sneakers and their danger before the lawsuits, and to point out the danger of wheel based shoes to children before scientific articles came out revealing the same information.  So you can imagine I would be highly skeptical of these earth grounding shoes.  In fact, when I was contacted to review them I thought they were just plain shoes.  Then I received the product.  I really liked the polka-dot looking design and didn’t realize that this is actually a  feature of the product that they have carried over into marketing and branding. The little circles you see everywhere are actually also embedded in the shoes .lg_copenhagen_black_front

The box, the yoga mat bag lovingly wrapped around the shoes, and the shoes themselves made me take notice.  I chose to review the Copenhagens because I have never found a clog I could wear and I am in desperate need of a good slip on.  As I mentioned, I also have low arches. I unpacked my Juil Copenhagens and slipped them on since that point there has been no taking them off, except for sleep.  My podiatrist recommended finding a good slipper or shoe to wear around the house to combat arch and baby toe pain and I have used these for just this purpose. Since wearing these Juil Copenhagens everywhere, and I mean to the Children’s Museum, to the mall, grocery shopping and everywhere about 50,000K steps so far, I have alleviated all of those foot pains.

You can see the soft rolls in the front and back of the shoe that pad the top of the foot and back of the heel – they are heavenly. My one complaint is that the shoes are a little too loose for me.  I requested a size 9 as that is what I wear in Nikes, the shoes I lived in until I found Juil.  When I walk, the heels lift up and my toes slide across the copper inserts.  This is fine in a thicker sock but barefoot or thin socked it causes a rough action that is abrasive. I believe this is solely because the shoe is 1/2 size too big and not a flaw in the design.  I would love the Copenhagen to come in more colors as well.  Currently there is black and camel.  The black is so multi-functional though this could be the only pair of shoes you own.  I have worn these with dress slacks, jeans, yoga pants, you name it. I love the convenience of fast slip on and off!

What else do you need to know? They offer Men’s and Women’s shoes (hopefully children’s soon because today’s generation could use the grounding and I bet a large market of ADHD suffering children would be served with these), and have a Vegan Flip Flop the Gaia.

I would love to see Juil as a Reward on LifeKraze – I think it is the perfect fit and I know it would motivate me to move more  and allow me to purchase more if there was a discount reward on Juil

Juil is connecting you to the earth, now connect with them via Twitter, and Facebook to find out what is going on with this local Wisconsin business!

Tummy Tuck Belt Two Minutes To a Tighter You

Wouldn’t it be great to work out for only two minutes and continue to burn belly fat all day?  For many of us, spending hours in the gym trying to lose those extra inches just isn’t possible.  A fast, easy way to slim down is just what we need. We have all seen the late night commercials claiming to slim you, trim you and get you looking svelte with little out put, just open your wallet.  If you aren’t careful you may be opening your wallet for nothing.  Weight loss requires effort.The Tummy Tuck Belt is a 10 minute system designed to reduce those unsightly stomach bulges you’ve been carrying around – without leaving home.  The simple three step method is guaranteed to significantly decrease belly fat, and users are said to typically begin to notice a difference within the first week.    

All you have to do is complete this quick, easy process:

1. Apply the Thermal Accelerator cream to your belly

2. Put on the Tummy Tuck Belt and do two minutes of abdominal exercises (included in the instructional video)

3. Watch TV, take the dog for a walk, do whatever you want for the remaining eight minutes

That’s it! Take the belt off (or leave it on—the belt can be worn under your clothes for an instant slimming effect), and go about your day as usual.  The 10 minutes spent wearing the belt will set of a fat burning chain reaction, continuing to melt fat hours after use.

The Tummy Tuck Belt ($49.99) can be purchased at www.tummytuckbelt.com and is also available at Amazon.com.

imageYes, it would be great if we could work out for only 2 minutes, or even if spot reduction worked – sadly they don’t.  I did measure my waist before starting to use the Tummy Tuck Belt, and after 1 week of use, doing the 2 minutes exercises provided by DVD and wearing the belt for a good 2-3 hours after I can say I did not notice a measurement change. Of course, after compression I did feel more compressed and my skin was a little tighter, this could be due to dehydration of the area – I don’t know.

After 2 weeks I no longer wanted to continue with the belt, and here is why: it is very tight to get on (which it has to be) but it is also very long.  My torso is not that long and the belt continually rolled up off of my iliac crest and wound up around my navel, not a flattering look, made worse if you attempt sitting.  The Tummy Tuck Belt does a great job of flattening and smoothing the midriff area, if you are long enough to wear it, or you don’t sit or move too much.  I wore it once to teach a Zumba class and did have a hard time breathing due to the compression so I do not recommend wearing it during cardio exercise.  You can’t help but stand up taller in this, since you feel rigid like a stuffed sausage so there is a bonus to it – good posture.

I didn’t find the cream to be bothersome – no itching or redness, though it does give you a tight / drying feeling once applied.

Does the belt work? I can’t say.  I have used other belts to try and repair my diastasis recti and they were 3 times as expensive, required more exercise and 16 weeks of total commitment – something I am not good at.  It is possible with enough time the isometric exercises they have you complete could help you strengthen your core (through engagement of the transverse abdominus) but I don’t believe the lotion and belt alone are a substitute for the fat burning of cardio or the overall proactive nature of good healthy eating habits which the site also acknowledges:

*Results vary. Consult your physician before starting this or any exercise program. Tummy Tuck Belt provides instant slimming look
and fat loss begins during first week.Typical results are 0.5″ first week and 1″ in 30 days without lifestyle change.
Average results when combined with exercise are approximately 2 times more tummy fat loss vs same exercise/diet alone.
Tummy Tuck System targets your belly without added exercise and diet, not other body areas or weight loss.
To target other body areas and/or lose significant weight then exercise and diet is needed.
Clinical scenes recreated by volunteers that were not paid for their time.

I was contacted to review the Tummy Tuck belt, I received no compensation and the opinions are my own.

Full Figure, Sports and Nursing Bras from @LeadingLadyBras

imageLeading Lady, a premiere nursing and full figure intimate apparel company dedicated to creating comfortably functional, remarkably affordable, stylish and easy-to-wear bras, camis and sleepwear recently contacted me to review the lines of nursing and yoga bras they offer.  I received no compensation and the opinions are my own.

As a nursing mother, and still pregnant at 42 weeks+ to boot, these bras arrived just in time.  It was easy to order the correct size with Leading Lady’s quick sizing chart, just two measurements with a cloth tape and I was done.  I ordered and within 2 days received my nursing bras.  I chose

  • Sport Wirefree Nursing Bra (B388) $23.80
  • Baby Sees It Cotton Wirefree Nursing (423) $25.50
  • Molded Seamless Wirefree Nursing (454) $23.80

As you can see the prices are extremely reasonable, and I have paid far more for inferior bras at both boutiques and big box stores.  You can also find a wide array of organic options, latex free options, and even bras under $15 – the Leading Lady site is truly amazing. Their bras are priced up to 60% off and orders over $75 get free shipping – I have easily spent $75 in the mall on bras. 

Before you start thinking that Leading Lady only caters to nursing women who want functional bras take a look.  They have some sexy lacey bras and animal prints as well, and even better they are nursing bras!

I chose wire free for both comfort and breast health.  The Sport Wire free is perfect for yoga, it has

  • Cushion straps for added comfort
  • Lightly molded cups for a flattering profile
  • Quick one-handed clap for easy nursing
  • Inner sling for support
  • Adjustable back for a comfortable fit

I have worn it now while teaching both Power Yoga and Prenatal Yoga for the last week.  It was very supportive and for the first time I didn’t feel my chest weighing on top of my belly, the bra provided a good amount of lift without being binding.  The fit was and still remains perfect after washing.image

The second bra was Baby Sees It, a very unique bra with contrasting red, white and black design to get baby’s attention and help with brain development.

  • Printed sling visually stimulates baby while nursing
  • Full sling for support while nursing
  • Invisible inner seam prevents irritation
  • Wide, cushioned straps
  • 3-step drop cup accommodates changing breast size
  • Adjustable straps for comfort
  • Latex free

My toddler absolutely loved this bra when nursing.  This is also available in molded underwire. After washing this bra did lose a bit of its shape and through no fault of the bra as I have gotten more pregnant the size has become a little smaller on me since it is not as full coverage as the Sports bra.

The third bra I chose was a molded seamless wirefree bra which I absolutely adore.  It is very supportive, held up great to washing and is a functional form fitting nursing bra.

  • Seamless styling looks great under clothing image
  • Molded and lightly padded to fit every curve perfectly
  • Inner sling for added support
  • Quick, one-handed clasp for easy nursing
  • Latex free

This bra also has my favorite type of nursing clasp, the plastic button type, very easy to secure and unsecure.

Leading Lady is not just great for nursing bras, they have a very large line of full figure bras from 38A to 52H. Unlike most full figure bras that look like they come in a cardboard box, these bras are cute and functional with front closure options, animal prints and lace designs. Full figured women will find an array of affordable bras starting at $13.20 including the Front Closure Leisure Bra (108) which is available in several colors.

No need to deal with lines, snooty store clerks or fluorescent changing room lights you can now order bras in your size online from the privacy of your home and Leading Lady has a fair and easy to understand

Return Policy

You may return unworn merchandise (in resalable condition) with all tags within 30 days for a refund.

Any credits will be issued to the credit card used for the purchase. Please allow up to two billing cycles for a refund to appear on your credit card statement.

The original shipping and handling charges are not refundable unless an error occurred on our part in shipping your order.

Please allow 15-20 business days to receive and process your return.

I will definitely be purchasing from Leading Lady since it is hard to find bras in my size at most stores and I personally don’t like dealing with store clerks at maternity stores when trying to purchase bras, most have them behind the counter where you can’t get to them, or other stores only stock 2-3 types and never my size. I’ll be ditching the drama of shopping from now on, join me on Leading Lady’s Website.

Not interested in purchasing a bra today? Leading Lady is also home to Amy’s Corner, a blog written by a lactation educator who will answer your questions regarding breastfeeding.

More About Leading Lady

Leading Lady’s family owned and operated intimate apparel business has been expertly tailoring nursing and full figure bras for top brands and retailers across North America for more than 70 years.  The nursing collection, available in sizes in sizes 34B to 48 F, and full figure collection, available in sizes 34 A to 56 DDFG, take women from morning-to-night, home-to-gym, and everyday-to-date night at an exceptional value.  For the first time, Leading Lady’s comprehensive line of nursing and full figure intimates — including  sexy stretch lace and seamless wire-free and underwire bras, supportive sport and yoga bras, and cozy sleep and leisure bras — can be purchased directly on LeadingLady.com.

Leading Lady is proud to celebrate “Leading Ladies” everywhere through its products, programs and philanthropic activities. Leading Lady supports a variety of organizations and issues relevant to women across the country.