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Barefootin’
June 2011

Let Feet Go Naked and Natural

BarefootinMany folks, like me, started barefoot running on a whim. In 2005, I was just an aspiring runner searching for some method to escape chronic injuries involving plantar fasciitis, shin splints and back pain. I never expected to fall in love with this revolutionary approach to recreational running.

Today, according to the AdWords keyword tool the term “barefoot running” is searched on Google some 90,000 times a month by those seeking more information, including from websites like guru Ken Bob Saxton’s TheRunningBarefoot.com and my own BarefootRunningUniversity.com. Even the sports footwear industry has taken notice, with most manufacturers adding “minimalist shoes” to their lines that allow individuals to run in a more natural manner.

 
Local Eats
June 2011

Feds Boost Support for Local Farm-to-School Meals

School_FoodA new ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) underscores the federal government’s intent to encourage use of local farm products in school meals. It allows schools and other providers to give preference to unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products for school-based nutrition assistance programs.

“This rule is an important milestone that will help ensure that our children have access to fresh produce and other agricultural products,” confirms Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon. “It will also give a much-needed boost to local farmers and agricultural producers.”

Part of the landmark Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama—which improves the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children— the rule supports USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative and builds on the 2008 Farm Bill designed to revitalize rural economies by supporting local and regional food systems. USDA expects Americans’ spending for locally grown food to rise from an estimated $4 billion in 2002 to as much as $7 billion by 2012.


For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s.

 
Feed Your Feet with Castor Oil
June 2011

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Feed_Your_FeetA vegetable oil obtained from the seed of the castor plant (Ricinus communis), pure castor oil is a colorless to pale yellow liquid with mild or no odor or taste. Among many uses, it can be used as a naturally healthy treatment for several common foot problems.

Dryness: When circulation to one’s feet is compromised, foot skin may become excessively dry. Castor oil has long been used to soothe and seal foot skin that has become cracked and fissured, while a qualified health counselor seeks to improve the root cause of the impediment to normal circulation.

Red and itchy: The fatty chains of castor oil are made up almost entirely of ricinoleic acid, which modern medicine recognizes as a powerful anti-inflammatory (Mediators of Inflammation).

Achy: Castor oil has also proved to have analgesic, or pain-reducing, effects, according to a study of surface pain published in the International Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Fungal. Undecylenic acid, an active ingredient in castor oil, is widely acknowledged for its relief of fungal infections in the body. For foot or toenail fungus, soak feet in a basin of water with Epsom salts for about five minutes, and then apply castor oil liberally.

 
The Power of a Father’s Story
June 2011

Letting Your Children Know You

FathersStoryWhen I ask dads to describe the kind of relationship they want to have with their children, every dad will say without hesitation that above all, he wants to feel emotionally close and connected with them.

Renowned researcher and author John Gottman, Ph.D., founder of the Relationship Research Institute, has concluded that children with emotionally available dads do better in school, have better peer relationships and relate better with teachers than children whose dads are more emotionally distant. Children with dads who are overly critical or dismissing of emotions are more likely to do poorly in school, fight more with friends and suffer poor health.

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that the single most protective factor for reducing behavioral risks such as drug and alcohol abuse, early sexual activity, smoking and depression, is children’s connectedness to their parents; fathers were noted as being of particular importance.

Being known means letting down the walls and sharing your life story—having the courage to show your flaws, fears and joys. This is not to say that one should overburden a child with inappropriate revelations; rather, it’s about giving your child the gift of knowing who you are and what you feel on a regular basis.

 
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