Food For The “Sole”

Today I get to share with you my conversation with someone who truly changed my life for the better by helping me to get back on my feet both literally and figuratively. :).

In this video, I talk with Ryan Grant, co-owner of Sole Fit here in Ottawa, about a subject that you may not think much about…until you have pain or suffer with an injury. We’re discussing our foot health as a part of our overall health.

You’ll discover that as a society, we’ve been sold shoes that often hinder, rather than help, our foot health; we talk about the importance of good nutrition and reducing inflammation as a way to promote healing and reduce injury; we learn about using “bandaids” to fix problems in the short-term, as well as what we can do in the long term to heal the underlying issues; and we talk about the importance of being really honest about what we are going to do when it comes to our health, because these specialists can only help us if they know what we are willing to do once we leave their offices. I can’t wait for you to meet this person who helped me get back to life, pain-free, so check out our conversation here:

You see, about 5 years ago, I was living with very sore lower legs, knees and feet. As an active person and someone who had taken to health and fitness, this was extremely concerning to me.

I began modifying my workouts so that I wasn’t doing as many weight-bearing exercises. I stopped doing as much cardio, including kickboxing, something I had loved. I bought new shoes and insoles hoping that would help. I bought padded socks. I began taking glucosamine sulfate on the recommendation of my chiropractor. I began sitting more frequently, cutting back on how much I was on my feet.

Nothing really seemed to help, and I started to gain weight, which only made matters worse for both my foot pain and my outlook. Life looked very different for me and I was starting to feel discouraged, wondering if this was just part of getting older.

Taking the First Step

I decided to make an appointment with my family doctor, who is around my age and a marathon runner, athlete and extremely fit woman. She referred me to a Ryan, and that meeting changed my life. Ryan is a pedorthist–and before you ask “what the heck is a pedorthist”, don’t worry! Ryan is going to tell us all about what he does to help us take better care of our feet and our health so that we can get the most out of life. 🙂

Ryan spent the necessary time with me to know what my problems were, what my goals were, and what my lifestyle looked like. He also got an honest response from me regarding what I would be willing and able to do, and he referred me to Sarah Zahab, of Continuum Fitness, an exercise physiologist who designed the ideal workout for me to strengthen the weak areas in my body. Ryan also referred me to the team at Montgomery Massage Therapy, where I spent 8 visits working on tight IT bands and having Active Release Technique (ART) performed on my legs. 

Ryan got me into the perfect pair of shoes, without the need for orthotics, and he placed a small piece of material, that almost looks like gum, under my insole to help “unload” the area. He also introduced me to a “tune up ball” and taught me how to use it on my lower abdominals, my IT bands, and my feet.

Feeling The Earth Beneath My Feet

He also taught me to walk without shoes! Being in bare feet allows us to strengthen the muscles in our feet, and so I have developed the habit of being barefoot in my home; standing on one leg while brushing my teeth; and taking off my shoes in the grass or while walking on the beach.

Our bodies are complex systems that keep the human machine running, and I learned from Ryan that because my hips dropped when I walked, I needed to learn exercises to strengthen them (among other weak areas); I learned that releasing the fascia in my IT bands and feet would help alleviate the pain I was feeling; I discovered that being barefoot would help to strengthen my foot and leg muscles; and I realized that wearing the proper type of shoes would be instrumental to living pain-free. We talked about the importance of fitness and nutrition on overall health, topics that we are both passionate about, and I was thrilled to know I could continue being active in all the ways I wanted to be.

Well, I can honestly tell you that within days of following Ryan’s advice and seeing the specialists he referred me to, I felt better than I had in a very long time, and I was able to get back to kickboxing, working out and walking without pain.

The Freedom To Move 

Our health is not isolated to one part of our body, but when one part is in pain, or isn’t working properly, it affects all other areas of our health, including our mental health.

Freeing myself from my foot and leg pain meant that I could focus on the other areas of my health and really get back to enjoying my life. I want the same for you.

If you are suffering with an injury or pain that Ryan can help with, I urge you to contact him if you live in the Ottawa area.

If you live outside of Ottawa, Ryan offers some great advice at the end of our conversation on how to find a specialist near you who can help.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at at time.

P.S. Was this conversation helpful to you? If so, I’d love to hear about it! And if someone you know is suffering with pain, I hope you share this information with them. Meeting Ryan made a huge difference in my life and my hope is to help others along the way. 🙂

P.P.S Let’s be friends! Connect with me on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. 🙂

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