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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What Shifts Desperation Into Inspiration?

Yesterday, I saw something that made my soul feel soggy and wet: a repulsively obese woman driving an automatic wheelchair–she could walk, I watched her stand up grab a box of donuts. Her flab oozed over the filthy gray arms of the chair in appalling globs of loose, baggy flesh.  The woman didn’t even bother to take the curlers out of her dirty stiff hair. Her nightgown looked as if it hadn’t been changed in weeks and blistery soars around her lips made her brown streaked teeth glisten in the fluorescent light.

The image of that woman infected my mood as I drove home. What disturbed me most was the neglect. To clean my mind and rejuvenate my soul, I watched Gangnman Style for the millionth time. When it ended, I saw this video hanging on the side of YouTube.

Want to discover another REAL LIFE inspirational story about LIVING HEALTHY & Barefoot? Read my exclusive interview with Rosey Etsuler.

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Running Barefoot in Fall: Crippling Dangers Finally Revealed

Leaves floating in an autumn breeze.
Trees cover a multitude of sins. But leaves can be hell.

It was  once said by an artist with an afro, “Trees cover a multitude of sins.” They do. But their brittle leaves conceal a deadly slew of treacherous sharp blades, dirty syringes, and filthy goop.

Don’t step into pain and misery this fall. Learn to spot  the Top Dangers Lurking  Under the Fallen Leaves.

  • Rusted Screws & Nails & Hypodermics
    The curb is a magic magnet for the remains of backyard mechanics, lusty teenage lovers, and pock ridden junkis or cheap-ass  diabetics who refuse to use sharps containers. The refreshing scent of wet pavement has glazed the sharp points of nails, screws, and metal shavings with a lethal dose of tetanus inducing rust. It’s not a bad idea to be up to date on your tetanus shots.
  • Slimy, Wet Rubbers, Minty, Brown Spit, and Squishy, Sticky Feces
    Sleazy leaves hug the nastiest filth imaginable. A leaf that clings to the pavement in the breeze conceals a disgusting surprise.
  • Pain Pyramids & Rocks & Action Figures
    Pain pyramids are arrowhead pebbles that have shaped themselves into stone spikes with a sharp point on every tip. Landing on them will blast a four letter bolt of pain from your toes through your mouth. Hitting a rock or hard packed plastic object with a naked foot usually isn’t too discomforting, until it turns into a seemingly inexplicable dull pain on the top of your foot or into a marble sized bruise in the ball of your foot, both of which will delicately embed an annoying ache in your foot–the same way listening to One Direction or Mit Romney effectively places an annoying ache in your brain.

What’s a barefoot runner to do?

  • Avoid stepping on raised leaves.
  • Trail Run instead of running on the streets.
  • Stay away from curbs and other drainage areas.
  • Wear —> Sandals or minimalist shoes when running on paved roads.
  • Be Current with Your Tetanus Shot.
  • Vote for Obama or help me move to France

The good news is that the universe has blessed most barefoot runner’s with an amazingly strong set of feet. Anyone who has spent a summer running barefoot on concrete will have a near indestructible hide on their sole. I have accidentally stepped on broken bottle shards, nails, and screws without injury.

May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.

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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:



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


  • 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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This All Natural Drink Can Save Your Life & Keep You Healthy

making coconut water
Traditional Healthy Coconut Water from the Source.

Deep within the warm and juicy blood pulsing through the four chambers of your throbbing heart, you love this quirk of my mine. Which quirk? The one where I list my brilliant, yet discarded blog titles: Tap into the Fountain of Youth–too spammy, Discover an Easy Trick to Lose Weight, Boost Energy, and Increase Stamina–too long, This Drink Will Keep You Healthy–too lackluster, Drink This to Boost Energy & Lose Weight–too bossy and somewhat spammy. Attention! Trolling ghosts, dry and drained of joy, skip the first paragraph of my posts for there is where I lay my quirks.

So what is this miracle drink that restores energy, decreases appetite, and saves lives? 

Coconut Water from a Green Coconut
Super Healthy All Natural Energy Drink

Coconut water! Not coconut milk. There is a HUGE difference between coconut water and coconut milk. Coconut WATER is the liquid inside unripe, green coconuts. 

Coconut milk is the juice from the flesh of a ripe coconut. It’s much sweeter than coconut water and it lacks the beneficial properties of coconut water.

How Coconut Water Boosts Health:

  • Turbo Charged Re-hydration, which prevents death from fluid loss.
  • Instant Electrolyte Replenishment, which eliminates post exercise blues.
  • Appeases Appetite, which leads to HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS.
  • Imparts Critical Vitamins, which decreases the signs of aging.

How to Tap into the Health & Energy Properties of Coconut Water:

Drink it after a work-out. I like to cut it with water; my stomach rebels against viscous fluids after longer runs. Occasionally I’dd add some stevia to sweeten it. I also sip coconut water BEFORE I run or workout. It’s always a great idea to start exercising when you’re well hydrated.

How to Use Coconut Water as a Diet Aid:

Simply drink undiluted coconut water and then wait five minutes  BEFORE each meal. The vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the coconut water will significantly cut appetite.
Most craving for (junk) food are really urges for water or for essential nutrients lost through perspiration. Drinking coconut water before meals replenishes many of the key nutrients; it also quickly re-hydrates, which satiates the appetite, thereby resulting in the consumption of fewer calories. Coconut water also flushes out toxins, thereby choking out the urge to eat sugar and strangling cravings for salty foods.

Where to Buy Packaged Coconut Water:

  • At the semi-racist “Ethnic” Food or the “Health Food” sections of your local Grocery Store.  MAKE SURE your coconut water HAS ONE AND ONLY ONE INGREDIENT: 100% Pure Coconut WATER. Here are some brands–that should be paying for endorsing them, but aren’t, but which I still like anyway: Vita Coco, ONE Coconut Water, & Zico. (One container will last a few days. Believe me, you won’t want to over drink coconut water. It has a rich, healthy taste.)
  • From Overpriced Health Food Stores run by Hippies or Big Corporations disguised as Hippies.
  • Online from Amazon.Com!

    Excellent Source of Pure Coconut Water
    Great Source of Pure Coconut Water
Do It Yourself DIY Coconut Water:
Buy a fresh coconut. Make sure it’s a “young” coconut, not the old hairy brown coconuts sold at the grocery store. The water in the mature brown, hairy coconuts lacks vital nutrients. Instead buy a whole young coconuts from a tropical vendor or in the REFRIGERATED veggie section & fruit isles at your local overpriced health food store. The coconut should still have the thick fibrous, white husk intact. Use a machete to cut open the top. See first image above. (Don’t chop it in your hand like the man above, unless, of course, you think you have too many fingers.)

Weird Facts about Coconut Water:

  • “Coconut” stems from Spanish and Portuguese word “coco,” which means “grinning face.” Spanish and Portuguese explorers noted the peculiar resemblance of the three holes at the base of the shell to a human face.
  • In the literature of India, Kalpavriksha (Devanagari: कल्पवृक्ष), also known as kalpatarukalpadruma and kalpapādapa, is a mythological, wish-fulfilling divine tree. The tree provides wealth, health, and enlightenment. In many coastal sections of India, the coconut tree takes sacred name Kalpavriksha because the tree easily transforms into shelter, food, water, and even comfort in the form of  a makeshift palm leaf fan.
  • Coconut Water is so nutritive that World War II, doctors used it intravenously, when regular IV fluid was unavailable. Before you shoot up coconut water, read below.

The World famous Coconut Water IV Drip is great story, but only partially true. Coconut water was used ONCE in place of saline solution IV Drip during the Second World War. It did save the soldier, but it was NOT and IS NOT commonly used to for IV Drips. It’s not an optimal IV solution for re-hydration because it doesn’t have enough sodium content to stay in the bloodstream. Using it as an IV drip could cause dangerously high blood levels of calcium and potassium. Drink it, don’t shoot it up.

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The Day My Cardboard Dream Came True

my barefoot  break dance gear

To school, I wore a shiny red sweat suit with white stripes running down the arms and legs. Back in the day, it was the raging style. In that boisterous outfit when the lunch bell rang, I darted off to the gym,  where I would bust some “fresh” break dance moves.

I could robot well, I could crab crawl, and I could even do front flips. But there was one move that I could never master. It was called the windmill. The break dancers of today still twirl it out because it’s a lovely move. The legs scissor overhead, then they swing down, and when the movement is perfect, they are shifted towards heaven so that the downward motion is transformed into a surging magical levitation, the torso pops a rotation and the cycle repeats. The magical surging levitation was the crucial part of the Windmill that I could never get right. Instead of gracefully swinging overhead, rolling down, then floating up, my knees would just bang on the hardwood floor.

Maybe it was  the memory of the thrill of learning to ride a unicycle at age 35 or maybe it was the retro bubble letters I saw on a Web page, but

I had this desperate urge to conquer the dang Windmill.

First stop: YouTube. Break-dance instruction video, check. Makeshift amazon cardboard dance floor on the living room carpet: check. Silly 80s break-dance music: Doug E. Fresh on Spotify: check. Determination to succeed: double-check.

Maybe my mind had never stopped working the mystical timing problem with the windmill break-dance move.  But something had changed. The decades of accumulated wisdom all kicked into action, for as soon as I attempted the move, success embraced me with her loving arms and my legs whipped around at just the right time without banging the ground and I, Mister Middle Aged Barefoot Runner, was doing the windmill like a feral teenager full of joy and hope! It was like that day my parents picked us from the last day of school and took us to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and my dad made us yellow painted skim-boards in the shape of rockets and we slide on top of the thin sheet of cool ocean water at high speeds and flipped into the oncoming foamy waves and the sun was out and everyone was happy and it all smelled like sweet Mr. Zoggs coconut surf wax. That thrill filled me as I busted out some delicious break-dance in my living room. Suddenly I was remembering  moves I thought time had eaten; I was doing the bronco, back-spins, snap-twists, and of course, the freaking windmill. Someone should have filmed it; it was so beautiful and I was sweaty and barefoot at the end, but there was a smile tattooed on my face the rest of night and I slept well and dreamed of apples.

The next day, my triumphant re-entry into the fabulous world of 80s break dance turned into a dull pain on my side an inch or so from my heart. It got worse as the day rolled on. The following day, I suspected a cracked or bruised a rib or maybe the popping of delicate internal organs; deep breathing hurt as did moving my torso in any direction, but I didn’t care. I conquered the dang Windmill and it was worth it.

Tout disparaîtra mais. Le vent nous portera.


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7 Foods that Hydrate Better than Water


The term "natural" is applied to man...
The term "natural" is applied to many foods, but does not have a consistent meaning. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Not in Sandy, Oregon, the deadly summer sun is shooting its heat rays again. Do you know the signs of de-hydration? The heat claims the lives of many spry athletes every year. A person can train for cold or train for elevation, but no one can train for fluid loss–fluids must be replaced. Here is a link to my 5 Deadly signs of Heat Exhaustion. If you don’t know the signs of heat exhaustion, I urge you to read it. It could save your life.
Thank goodness drinking water or juices isn’t the only way the way to replenish fluids.
I addition to drinking water, eating wet foods alleviates fatigue, headaches and muscle aches brought on by dehydration. Here are some excellent re-hydration foods.

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Catalope


  • Cucumbers (97% H20)
  • Zucchini (95% water)
  • Eggplant (92% water)

Weird Bonus Food you Probably didn’t cosider:

  • Warm Soup. Any watery broth based soup is good–clam chowder would not be so good.

I’m writing a post about electrolyte imbalance/post run nasties. I suffered from a mild case after a 9 mile run a few weeks ago. I was NOT dehydrated. I had plenty of water. I lost something else. Luckily, I discovered an easy fix.



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Want to Learn Weird Tricks for Healing Barefoot Injuries Fast?

  1. Blood Freeze: Ice Bucket Bath
    Freeze inflammation in its tracks using the ice-bath body hack. Ice baths may hurt at first, but they ease the ache over time. This natural remedy for pain is much safer than over the counter drugs. Best of all it’s a body hack. The cold bath fools your body. When you step from the cold, the circulatory system thinks there is an urgent emergency and floods the cold body part with a warm healing rush of blood. The extra blood flow speeds the healing process. This is the only form of homeopathy your doctor will approve. But it is homeopathy. The cryotherapy mimics injury, thereby kick-starting the healing process.
    Guidelines for Cold Water Recovery

    • Protect the Skin.
      Do not put ice directly on your skin; use a plastic bag or towel to buffer the chill.
    • No longer than 20 Minutes.
    • Red means STOP.
    • At least 10 minutes for muscle aches. It takes the cold about 10 minutes to reach your deeper muscles; so it’s a good idea to apply cold for at least 10 minutes.
    • Wait 2 hours before you REPEAT THE ICE.
  2. Rolling Pin
    Valen's sexy right lower leg with dynmaic rolling pin action, he soothes the aching muscles in his lower leg--the ones that ran 8 miles in sandals.
    Rolling pin to alleviate muscle aches, break scar tissue, and increase circulation

    I’ve posted about this trick before. But no one read the post. This secret works so dang well that I decided to re-post it here. The rolling pin breaks up scar tissue, increases circulation, and leaves your muscles refreshed. It will reveal tightness in spots you thought were fine. Firmly it roll over your lower leg. I start rolling from Achilles up to my calf. Then I move to my ankle over my shin up to my knee. I find a lot of hidden tension in my tibialis anterior. Don’t MASSAGE OVER VARICOSE VEINS.

  3. Chia Seeds & Other Anti-Inflammatory Foods
    These foods aren’t as potent as the over counter drugs, but there not as harmful either. The following edibles contain natural anti-inflammatory agents.

    • Chia Seeds
    • Garlic Powder (1 teaspoon)
    • Cayenne Powder (1 teaspoon)
    • Ginger, ground (1 teaspoon)
    • Spinach, cooked (1 cup)
    • Carrots, chopped and raw (1 cup)

Pain can be your friend. It tells you when you’ve done too much. Without this crucial alarm signal, the body cannot communicate effectively.

Do you have any tips for speedy recovery?
Post a comment.

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5 Easy Ways to Boost Health & Fitness

English: Jackpot 6000 slot machine ‪Norsk (bok...
5 Easy Jackpots to Health & Fitness
What has your cellphone done for your health lately? Probably nothing. Aside from Porn, what has your computer done to raise your heart rate? Same answer.

Technology doesn’t have to be an excuse to sit on your ass. Instead, it can be a goldmine of health of fitness. Herein are five killer resources for runners, athletes, and any one who wants to live healthy and stay fit.

Spark People (Website)

Open Source Weight Watchers. No fees, no pressure, just a fun way to lose weight and feel great.

Recipe Calorie Calculator (Website)

A useful Spark People Resource. This easy to use tool extracts the calories and nutritional value from your ingredients. It’s perfect for finding out how much nutritional value is in the foods you prepare for yourself. Find out exactly how many calories are in your Chia Isake.

Cronometer (Website)

This free social health site lets you track your caloric intake and excercise. It’s a great way to see what you’re really eating–it’s a turbo charged food diary. You can join it through Facebook.

Insight Timer (SmartPhone App)

We use this app at Sandy Sangha Set specific meditation intervals.

RunKeeper (SmartPhone App)

The best running app and social running site. Run Keeper is excellent because YOU CAN REMAIN ANONYMOUS and still enjoy the basic Run Keeper APP. It’s  FREE. It’s more stalker proof than Daily Mile because it has privacy setting that actually work. Daily Mile will trick you into thinking that your routes are hidden when they are really public. Run Keeper protects your privacy.

Do you have any “Secret Apps” or Websites that would like to share?
Post a comment.
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Are You Pissing on Your Brain?

The orginal title for this post was “Stop pissing on your Mind,” but my girlfriend–who is also my lovely wife– said it was too harsh. Then I changed it to “Instant Optimism” but that was too short.

At any rate, so much of sales & life is learning to manage your mind. Sales is also about projecting a positive, attractive image. People do not like to work with unhappy

Happy Smiley Face from Urine Samples
Happy Smiley Face from Urine Samples (Photo credit: epSos.de)

sales persons.

That said, persons in sales are barraged with negative thoughts, people, and set-backs. It’s easy to spiral into depression and negative thinking.

I discovered a simple trick to dealing with negative thoughts. It works for most other problems as well. It’s a one word shifter that turns the impossible into the possible. I discovered it by combining instant mood improvement techniques gleaned from positive professionals such as Grant Cardone, Mark Goulston M.D, and William Ury.

The magic word is “unless“. That one word automatically and immediately shifts your thinking. Instead of assuming that problems are persistent, pervasive, and insurmountable.  “Unless” lifts your brain from the hole.

Here’s how it works. Imagine you’re upset because it’s raining outside. You might think to yourself, “Today’s gonna be a terrible day…” Soon after this kind of mind chatter, your brain will come up with reasons for giving you a terrible day. To stop your brain from seeking out reasons to ruin your day, simply tack on the word “unless” to the end of any negative statement:

Today’s gonna be a terrible day…UNLESS…” 

Suddenly you’ll notice a flood of uplifting thoughts: “Today’s gonna be a terrible day UNLESS: I go bowling with friends, or unless I skate at the indoor park, or unless I finish painting that picture.”

Unless works miracles.

The other way to weaken disempowering thoughts is to ask better questions. For example, the same situation. “It’s gonna be a terrible day.” Instead of using the unless trick, you may ask yourself, “What can I do to make today fantastic?” This may seem to be a dead end at first. But you will find that minutes later, the ideas will start pouring in. The more frequently you ask yourself empowering questions such as “What can I do today to improve my life? Or what can I do right now to feel better?” (Even if the answers don’t come immediately), the more your mind will go to work on them. You will discover that positive thoughts will attract more positive thoughts.

These two tricks are easy, but they must be used consistently to produce results. It’s amazing how much they have improved my life.


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