Month: January 2014

5 things to consider when looking for Mr. Right

Photo by Honey and Salt
Photo by Honey and Salt {http://honeyandsalt.us}
Photo by Honey and Salt {http://honeyandsalt.us}

I feel like I really lucked out with my Mr. Right. I mean, I really lucked out.

The other day, my husband cooked dinner. Usually whoever cooks gets to sit out of doing the dishes. But on this particular night, he even did the dishes. I wanted to sing on the rooftops, scream it to every girl I know, “THERE IS A MAN IN THE WORLD WHO COOKS AND DOES DISHES!” When I realized that I was getting overly excited about this situation, I suddenly became extremely sad for girls all over. I mean, we get excited when we find a man who will do dishes. That’s sad, right? What are our expectations for men?

Then I thought about all the other reasons I feel like I lucked out with my Mr. Right: He cleans (himself and the house), he has a good work ethic, he is financially disciplined, he considers and respects what I want, and I genuinely love him.

This shouldn’t be lucking out. This should be the norm.

No wonder why we have TV shows where ABC finds one guy with these qualities and has 25 women pursue him.

I wanted to write this post for two reasons. The first reason is that I want girls all over to know there are men who can take care of life issues, and those are the men they should choose to be with. Second, I want men all over to realize that girls are now going to look for guys who can take care of life issues, so it’s time you all start figuring it out.

Here are five things to consider when choosing your Mr. Right:

1. Cleanliness. When was his last haircut? Scratch that….what I mean is, does he look scraggly? If he can’t take care of his hygiene, how is he going to take care of his life? What does his home look like? Does he own cleaning products? If he doesn’t know what a Swiffer is by now, you can bet he won’t be the one to think of cleaning the floor once you’re married. I’m not suggesting he needs to get a mani/pedis, but its important that some standards exist.

2. Work Ethic. There is a lot to be said for a man who can find a job, keep a job, and excel at his job. It shows he can be dedicated to something. He can work for something. He doesn’t give up when things get tough. Even if he has had a hard time keeping a job (this economy is crazy), does he follow a dream of his? Does he pursue something?

3. Financial Discipline. He doesn’t have to be the richest man in the world; that’s not what’s important. But if he is older than 22 and hasn’t considered a savings account, you might want to see where his financial priorities lie. Before getting married, ask him if he has credit card debt. Ask him how much he has in savings. I can’t begin to tell you how much this will affect your marriage, even if you are doing separate accounts. If he blows his account at the casino, on a big screen TV, or on a new car, the only thing you have for your family is what you are contributing. You want to be able to fully trust that he will be honest with his finances, and you want to feel safe with him having some control over yours. He doesn’t have to be the breadwinner, but he should be able to spend and save wisely.

4. Consideration and respect. It’s okay if you don’t agree on everything, but does he respect your thoughts and opinions? Does he ask you what you want? You know the saying, “Women are from Venus, men are from Mars.” Men will never understand the purpose of a throw pillow. But does he make an effort to see your point of view?

5. Love. My husband is my favorite person in the world. I wouldn’t have married anyone else. If I were single until age 75, then met my husband, my life would be complete. I would rather be single my whole life to meet Davey at the end than to have been with another man the whole time. There is no rush…just don’t settle. Mr. Right is worth waiting for.

So, in my last plea for good-standing men, let’s heighten our expectations of what we deserve, and in response, the men will have to rise to the occasion.

Photo by Honey and Salt {honeyandsalt.us}
Photo by Honey and Salt {honeyandsalt.us}

15 weeks pregnant

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The feeling of being almost 15 weeks pregnant is similar to the feeling I get right after eating Thanksgiving dinner. I just want to lay on the couch with my pants unbuttoned and take a nap…after eating one more piece of pie.

And I feel very thankful.

Improve Your Running Stride Part II: The Gluteals

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My favotite beach run ever!
My favotite beach run ever!

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In my previous post Improve Your Running Stride Part I: The IT Band, we discussed how runners typically have stiff IT bands. A stiff IT band has the potential to lead to hip pain, knee pain, foot pain, and back pain. Simply stretching the IT band will not solve the problem; rather, a runner has to change how he uses his muscles when he runs to prevent the IT band from tightening up.

As mentioned in Part I, the key to reducing the use of the IT band lies in increasing the recruitment of the gluteals during runs (a stronger booty!)

Changing your running form can be a daunting task and may require increased energy expenditure at first. But with these three basic tips, you will be using your gluteals—which are some powerful muscles—in no time.

On your next run, practice these three things:

1. Think of yourself as one of two types of runners: a runner who pulls himself forward with each step, or a runner that pushes himself forward with each step. To use your gluteals, you need to be a runner that pushes yourself forward. Give the ground a good push to get to your next step.

2. With respect to number one, make sure your foot hits the ground directly below your body as opposed to reaching ahead of your body. If your foot reaches too far forward, you will likely have to pull yourself to the next step. When you think of placing your foot directly below your body during your next run, you may feel as though you are leaning forward. Strangely enough, that’s okay. Leaning forward a little puts your gluteals in a position in which their contraction will much stronger.

3. As your leg is swinging through, but before it contacts the ground, raise your knee a little higher. Colleagues of mine commonly use the cue, “pretend you’re riding a bike down a hill and your legs are trying to keep up with the pedals.” Raising your knees up will bend the hip more, allowing the gluteals to work through a greater range of motion. Another benefit of bringing your knees higher is that it allows more time in the air and less time on the ground. Research shows that faster runners spend more time airborne than slower runners. Therefore, this little clue may get you to the finish line quicker.

Changing the way you run in even the smallest way will initially make your runs more fatiguing. I encourage you to practice these three things in two minute intervals until you feel like you are getting the hang of it. You’ll feel funny running this way at first, and you will be sore the next day. But no worries; keep practicing, and it will become second nature.

Now you can spend more time running and less time stretching your IT band.

Are you curious about which running shoes are the best for your foot? Part III will discuss how you should go about choosing a running shoe based off the shape of your foot.

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***The content of www.kayleemay.com is for informational purposes only. The information presented is not to be taken as professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are having pain, or seeking medical advice, talk to your health care provider. Do not delay in seeking treatment because of information you have read on www.kayleemay.com. Taking recommendations presented on www.kayleemay.com is solely at your own risk***

Improve Your Running Stride Part I: The IT band

Image source: http://blogs.bmj.com/bjsm/category/children/

Are you a runner? Or, in my case, are you an inconsistent light-jogger that moves at a slightly faster pace than speed walkers?

Whatever your speed is, you probably have a stiff IT band and have tried a gazillion stretches to loosen it up. Maybe you have even tried one of those foam rollers that just hurts so good. But after all that, is your IT band still “tight?”

Probably.

Maybe you aren’t sure if your IT band is stiff. In that case, I want you to ask yourself if you have any bothersome pain while running or after running, like knee pain, hip pain, back pain, or foot pain. Your IT band may be contributing to these frustrating symptoms that affect your runs.

So how can you get that annoying band to loosen up?

First, let’s discuss what the IT band is. God is clever, and He didn’t put tissue in our bodies to hang out there. It all serves a purpose.

 Image: Netter FH. Iliotibial band friction syndrome. Image Source: http://www.netterimages.com/image/iliotibial-band-friction-syndrome.htm

Image: Netter FH. Iliotibial band friction syndrome.
Image Source: http://www.netterimages.com/image/iliotibial-band-friction-syndrome.htm

IT band stands for iliotibial band. By its name, it is a band of thick fascia that connects the ilium to the tibia. The connection to the ilium, a part of your pelvis, is by way of the tensor fascia latae muscle, aka the muscle that tenses your fascia a-lotta!

When the tensor fascia latae contracts, the IT band tenses. If this happens repeatedly (a lotta!), the IT band gets tight, or as I like to describe it, short or stiff.

So the answer to the age-old question of stiff IT bands across running circles all over the world…

Image source: http://blogs.bmj.com/bjsm/category/children/
Image source: http://blogs.bmj.com/bjsm/category/children/

If you’re a runner whose IT band is stiff, it’s because you contract your tensor fascia latae too much.

Contract a muscle too much? Is it so? Can it be possible? Yes. It is possible to contract a muscle too much if it means you are neglecting the muscle’s counterpart, therefore altering the joint’s balance. In the case of runners and IT bands, a stiff IT band usually signals that the runner does not use his/her gluteals enough. This muscle imbalance commonly leads to pain because it alters hip and knee joint mechanics.

You may think I am going to tell you to do gluteal strengthening exercises and bippity-boppity-boo, you’re healed.

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I wish it were that easy. While strengthening exercises can be useful, I am going to suggest that you change the way you run.

It is incredibly difficult to change your running form, but in my next post, I will give you 3 simple clues to think about when you’re running so you use your gluteals relatively more than you use your tensor fascia latae and IT band. With these 3 tips, you will rely less on your tensor fascia latae and IT band, therefore it won’t get so stiff! And word on the street is, these tips will help you run faster…

***The content of www.kayleemay.com is for informational purposes only. The information presented is not to be taken as professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are having pain, or seeking medical advice, talk to your health care provider. Do not delay in seeking treatment because of information you have read on www.kayleemay.com. Taking recommendations presented on www.kayleemay.com is solely at your own risk***

Cross country skiing

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We made one rule for ourselves when we moved to frigid Minnesota: DO NOT HIBERNATE.

It is hard to follow this rule.

Let me tell you about our non-hibernating weekend.

Friday, we tried Minneapolis’ pizza at Pizza Luce, and it was amazing. They have a wide variety of unique pizza toppings and just the right amount of garlic. Mmmmm. We will be going back.

Saturday, our brand new couches were delivered. This was a dream come true for me, and a long time coming! My dream to have brand new couches is a blog post on its own, so I will spare the details now and just let you know that my life was made this Saturday when our couches were delivered.

After laying on the couches for 30 minutes in pure bliss, we rented a truck at our new favorite store, Menard’s. If you haven’t been to Menard’s recently, I encourage you to go and browse around. They have everything you can possibly imagine. How did I not know about this before?

We drove the Menard’s pick-up truck all around Minneapolis and St. Paul to pick up 4 pieces of furniture that we found on craigslist. All 4 pieces of furniture were free….free I tell you! For the low price of a Menard’s rental truck, we got a new dresser, new armoir, new desk, and new dining room cabinet. Well, maybe not new like my couches are new, but you know what I mean. Needless to say, we were in house heaven on Saturday. Finally our little 1892 rental house was feeling like home.

We broke down and hibernated on Saturday night, watching movies on our new couches and eating oreo pie.

After church on Sunday, we chanted, “Do not hibernate” and drove out to Carver Park Reserve to try out cross country skiing. It was a blast! Baby Hiatt must have been wondering what was happening in the world… it was a little shaky! This may sound strange, but we learned how to cross country ski by following children. Kids mess up all the time, and the adults around them give them pointers. So there we were, flipping up our ear muffs to listen to the tips the adults were giving the children. Here are some pics. Isn’t Minnesota beautiful? And my husband…..hubba hubba :)

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Stay tuned for my next post: Important information you should know about your IT band! (What is my IT band, you ask??? Well…..like I said….Stay tuned!)

Davey’s Special

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Davey and I like to make recipes that are nutritious, affordable, and left-over worthy. One such recipe is “Davey’s Special.” Pretty much everything Davey creates is called “Davey’s Special”, so don’t get too confused in the future when you read about another “Davey’s Special.”

These are special, though. These healthy chicken …..uh let’s call them enchiladas… can be made in a crock-pot and easily saved as left-overs to take to work the next day.

Here’s how we do it.

Combine in a crock pot:
1 lb chicken breasts
1 can black beans
1 can corn
16 oz. salsa
1 packet taco seasoning

Cook on low for 6 hours, or high for 3 hours.

After the cook time, shred the chicken using two forks.

Add filling to either corn or flour tortillas. Top with your choice of shredded cheese, sour cream , avocado, cilantro, or whatever your heart desires.

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Mmmmmm!

Save heels for the weekend

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Here’s a riddle for you.

Who owns 200+ pairs of high heels and suffers from low back pain?

This girl:

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“Who, me?”

I LOVE high heels. I NEED high heels. (side note: my husband tells me I use the phrase “I need it” too much. Don’t know what he’s talking about). I feel like high heels were MADE for girls like me. God blessed me with short, stubby legs and a torso long enough to make me think I have extra vertebrae. I NEED the length that high heels offer my short legs.

But let’s talk about what high heels do to our bodies from a mechanics stand point, and how that can result in pain in strange places (not just our toes).

First, we need to think of our bodies in terms of lever arms, joints, forces, and vectors. Remember physics? Remember Newton? His third law stated, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Let’s keep this in mind.

There’s a million and one ways high heels change the orientation of our posture and movement, but I am going to focus on 3 for today.

1. Due to the upward force of the actual heel (aka the stiletto), the posterior part of our pelvis is raised. This is awesome for the booty. This exact effect is what I believe inspired Sir Mix-a-lot’s song, “Baby Got Back.” If Newton’s third law is correct (which it is), then there must be an opposite reaction from our upper body so we don’t get thrown forward. We have to lean back to keep our shoulders over our hips. This causes an extension force on our low back, and subsequently pain if this position is maintained for long periods of time. You can see this happening to Kim Kardashian when she tries to figure out how to pump gas.

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2. Keeping in mind that the posterior part of our pelvis moves UP due to the force of the heel, the front part of the pelvis must move DOWN. The muscles on the front part of the pelvis that connect the pelvis to the femur (thigh bone) are subsequently placed in a shortened position. No big deal if this is for one night, but over time, shortening of these muscles feeds into pulling the pelvis forward even when we are just in our slippers at home! Pulling the pelvis forward causes that extension force in the low back we talked about in #1. Ouch.

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3. The third and most obvious consequence of high heels is that they shorten our calf muscles. Again, this is pretty awesome when we feel inclined to wear heels after that killer calf workout so we can show off the definition we worked so hard for. Thank you, heels, for making my stubby legs look fake-muscular. But once we take those heels off, the shortened calf muscles pull our knees backward, likely causing hyperextension. Do you know a female over the age of 50 who has had a knee replacement? You can tell her to thank her knees for all that hyperextension in her youth. At least now her new metal knees give her an excuse to avoid the metal detectors in the airport. Oh, but unfortunately that results in an awkward pat-down. It’s a lose-lose.

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Photo from lotusimprints.com

So there you have it. High heels cause our backs to extend, our hip flexors to shorten, and our calves to pull our knees beyond where they should be.

But, if you’re like me, you can’t give up heels completely. We NEED them, right? So wear heels in moderation and live by my mantra: Save heels for the weekends.

Cheers to being female.

Making cookies and what’s to come!

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Since Davey and I aren’t exactly elite members of Minneapolis’ social scene (aka we don’t have friends yet), we find creative ways to entertain ourselves. Last night, we made cookies!

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Baby Hiatt and I had a difficult time restraining ourselves from eating the cookie dough.

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Davey was shocked to find out that my “secret chocolate chip cookie recipe” was listed on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag.

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“Davey, I have to sit down and take a cookie-eating-break. I’m pregnant.”

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I had to put this picture in so you know we also eat fruit….sometimes.

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I’ve had a lot of extra time on my hands lately since I have yet to secure employment (coming close, though!). Being unemployed is one of the strangest feelings, and I have a new appreciation for anyone who has spent more than 2 weeks looking for a job. It’s exhausting! I can only talk about my ‘strengths and weaknesses’ so much. But this extra time has allowed me to plan and brainstorm what exactly I want this bloggy blog to be. I have come up with 2 very different, but very exciting goals for this blog:

Document the story of #daveyandkaylee (and baby Hiatt!) that we can look back on for years to come.

and

Provide a resource for my peers that includes basic biomechanical, postural, and ergonomic lifestyle changes that can be made to avoid mechanical pain, injury, or early degenerative changes.

As a physical therapist, I am excited to use my knowledge to present fun and easy ways we can protect our bodies from harm and injury–ways you may not have considered! Sure, we’re young—but we won’t always be! Let’s keep our muscles and bones in the best condition possible to preserve our youth. Stay tuned to kayleemay.com to find out why certain shoes give you back pain, what’s the best position to sleep in, or why your IT band keeps getting tight even though you stretch it all. the. time.

I am so excited to develop an online community who enjoys love, learning, and lifestyle as much as I do!

We’re having a baby!

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I have been feeling closer to Mary, Our Mother, more than ever.

The other day, I read through Mary’s Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. Reading the Visitation through the eyes, mind, and soul of a pregnant woman gave me a completely different perspective on the event. Mary must have felt so nervous to explain her situation to Elizabeth. On her long journey to see Elizabeth, she likely thought, “How am I going to tell her? What will her reaction be?”

When she arrived, she didn’t need to explain anything. John the Baptist leaped in Elizabeth’s womb, and Elizabeth exclaimed, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. “

Filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, Mary went on to proclaim the Magnificat. Luke 1:39-56

The best word I can use to describe the Visitation is joy. Elizabeth was joyful, Mary was joyful, and even John the Baptist in Elizabeth’s womb was joyful.

Although my situation is different from Mary’s, (I am not carrying the Savior of the World, although I do believe our child will do great things-ha!) I was very nervous to share the news with my family and friends. I expected to answer a lot of questions. Was this planned? Why so soon?

But, as you will see in the video clips, no one asked any of the questions I anticipated. Rather, the rooms were filled with joy.

See our families’ joyful reactions in the three clips below. In the last clip, my brother and sister-in-law had devised a poem after the dinner prayer on Christmas Eve to announce their pregnancy and our pregnancy.

It’s amazing how much love and joy a new life can bring.