Eliminate Top of Foot Pain Once & For All

It feels like a drunken construction worker with a bright yellow hard-hat dropped a huge red brick on the top of your foot. It’s a dull, nagging pressure wedged between your big toe and the center of your foot. Worst of all, its cause is a mystery. You haven’t upped your mileage or even done any speed work. The phantom ache is a strange Halloween ghost haunting the spaces between your metatarsals and¬†phalanges.

Has phantom top of foot pain ever struck you after a barefoot run?

I had my first scuffle with Top of Foot Pain (TOFP) this summer. At first, I thought it was from increasing my mileage or from doing wind sprints, but as it turns out it was from something else.

What’s the real cause of TOFP?

The number one cause of Top Of Foot Pain is TERRAIN! Most unshod runners ignore terrain; instead they focus on mileage or kilometers. But terrain plays a HUGE ROLE in injury. 4.8 barefoot kilometers on a steep, rocky mountain trail is more likely to ignite TOFP or whip-up pain in your Achilles than an 8 kilometer run on flat, smooth asphalt.

When to See a Doctor?

If the Pain increases when you walk or run. If you have sharp, shooting pains. If it’s fractured, running on it will only increase the size of the fracture, which means longer recovery.

How to Treat TOFP?

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Terrific Terrain Tips:

  • Avoid Stepping on small stones–especially on flat surfaces; they will pop pain into your brain and damage your foot. Stepping on small stones is the main cause of TOFP. Tiny pebbles push the foot apart and crack bone. It’s a good idea to wear sandals or minimalist trail shoes such as Merril Foot Gloves when running on uneven, rocky terrain.
  • Stretch your feet AFTER you run.
  • Read my post —>¬†The Secret to Superhuman Feet Finally Revealed.

 

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Insanely Easy Delicious Healthy Barefoot Vegan Ice Cream

vegan banana ice cream, no fuss ice cream
Healthy Banana Ice Cream

In college, my girlfriend’s best friend, Dana, was constantly dieting. She would lose a little weight, then gain it back. I never knew what I’d be seeing her eat next. Sometimes it was a solitary grapefruit, other times, some wacky diet bar, but more often than not it was a sprinkled doughnut, a chocolate muffin, or a greasy hamburger.

The most difficult thing to watch Dana endure during one her weird diets was the depression and guilt of breaking it. I could spot the defeat that filled her eyes when she ate a Twinkie, a Hostess Cup Cake, or a Chocodile. For Dana, eating had become a test of her will power.¬†And her will power weakened with each test. It wasn’t her fault. Eating should be fun, healthy, and energizing.

When the ambulance skidded onto campus with its horns blaring, I was shocked. When I watched the paramedics running towards Dana’s classroom, my heart sunk. Hours later, my girlfriend told me that Dana blacked out and hit her head on the desk as she fell.

When we visited her at the hospital, Dana told us that in addition to a mild concussion, she had been diagnosed with adult onset diabetes. We were shocked. She was only 22 years old.

Years later, I saw Dana again. I hardly recognized her. She was slim, fit, and radiant.

“You look great.” I said.

She beamed.

“I feel great” she replied.

After catching up with her, she told me that she was a vegan. I asked her about how she got her protein; she laughed and said that protein isn’t an issue that she gets plenty from beans and greens. She¬†certainly¬†didn’t look protein deficient. She was glowing. I asked her if she felt hungry, like she did when she was on a diet. She said “Not at all. I eat all the time. In fact, I can eat as much as I want. It isn’t how much you eat, it’s WHAT you eat.”

That was the day I realized that Diets are DEAD. Calorie counting and portion restrictions don’t work. They create scarcity causing the irresitable impulse to crave and over-eat unhealthy, sugary, fatty foods. Eating healthfully doesn’t have to be a chore, full of miserable, tasteless meals.

For a few weeks, I’ve been following the guidelines for Engine 2 Meals. For those readers who aren’t familar with Engine 2. It’s a meal plan based on Forks Over Knives
, essentially vegan eating. It favors whole foods, shunning meat, dairy, and oils. You’d think eating that way would be very bland, but you’d be wrong. There are some absolutely¬†delicious¬†recipes in Engine 2. Here is one of my favorite, super easy summer desserts:

EASY,HEALTHY, SINGLE-OR-MULTIPLE-INGREDIENT, MAGIC BANANA ICE-CREAM

Ingredients:

  • Fresh, Ripe Bananas
  • Fresh berries (or multiple ingredients such as cocoa, nuts, kiwi, mango)

Preparation:

  • Peel and slice 2 or 3 bananas.
  • Place slices on waxed paper and place in freezer for a few hours.

Place frozen bananas in a food processor or good blender. Blend and blend, mix and then blend again. The bananas will transform into ice cream. It’s a true miracle. Somehow, they become creamy and rich. Not only does the mixture have the wonderful consistency¬†of ice cream, but it also has the same rich and creamy flavor–without all of the unhealthy fat, nasty casein, and excessive sugars.

Once the “ice-cream” is prepared, the sky is the limit for delicious flavor combos. Some people add cocoa or berries; others add tea, lemon juice, or other liquids. Just blend or stir them into the banana ice cream mixture.

For more awesome vegan recipes, check out Engine 2 Website or buy the book from amazon.

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The Dirty Truth About Barefoot Shoes and Feet

Is running barefoot in barefoot shoes the same as straight barefoot running? Yes and No. Barefeet shoes do give you a better feel for the road than cushioned shoes, but they don’t automatically stop injuries. In fact, they can increase them.

Shoes such as Vivo, foot gloves and other minimalist shoes will not turn you into Barefoot Ted. To run barefoot is NOT to run naturally. Natural running happens when you’re a child, but once you put on shoes, your stride and body change. Just going shoeless will not save you from bad barefoot running form. In fact, BAREFOOT SHOES and BAD BAREFOOT TECHNIQUE can INCREASE BAREFOOT RUNNING PAIN and can CAUSE BAREFOOT RUNNING INJURIES such as stress fractures, tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.

The secret of natural running is LISTENING TO YOUR FEET and consciously seeking A LOW IMPACT STRIDE. Barefoot shoes are better than traditional shoes, but they do buffer you from the ground. They do muffle feedback. They also protect the sole of your foot; so, it’s much easier to run faster and further than you should. The skin on the bottom of your feet serves as an automatic distance indicator. If you can’t run a mile straight bare, you SHOULD NOT RUN TWO MILES IN BAREFOOT SHOES.

Natural running requires practice. Cushiony Shoes have altered your natural stride. Even when running in barefeet, it is possible to get injured by running with the same HARD SHOE STRIDE. I suffered a partial Achilles rupture from barefoot running. The injury was the result of a HEAVY IMPACT STRIDE and adding too many hills and miles in a short time. I also ran barefoot sprints, which did NOT help with the injury.

My recovery from the barefoot running injury has been swift, but I’ve discovered that barefoot running pain is usually the result of bad form. When learning to run without shoes, you shouldn’t as run fast as you would in shoes and your SHOULD NOT hear the SLAP of your feet on PAVEMENT when running barefoot. If you do, you’re running with TOO MUCH IMPACT. The beauty of running shoeless is the feedback you get from the ground and your body. The GOAL is TO DIMINISH IMPACT, not break world records. If you’re running at the SAME PACE BAREFOOT AS YOU WERE IN SHOES, YOU’RE RUNNING WAY TOO FAST FOR A BEGINNER.

SLOW & STEADY. If you want to discover how to start barefoot running, read my page about HOW TO LEARN SHOELESS RUNNING. I have videos with barefoot running tips and ways to avoid barefoot running injuries.