Why Do I Have Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels can be the result of several things:

the way a person walks
poor circulation
a skin problem like eczema or psoriasis
fungal infection
nutritional deficiencies, especially omega-3 or zinc deficiency
Let’s see how to size up the situation.

Cracked Heels: The Cure Fits the Cause

Since cracked heels have a variety of causes, it is important to find the root of the problem.

The condition of skin often reflect internal health (or problems). Deficiencies of zinc, magnesium, and omega-3 can contribute to chronically cracked heels. I’ve seen this condition improve with dietary changes, such as adding fat-soluble vitamins and getting gelatin in the diet.

Personally, we take omega-3 supplements daily and make it a point to consume wild-caught fish to maintain omega-3 levels. Since zinc is important for men’s health, my husband also takes a zinc supplement regularly.

Externally, cracked heel causes can include skin conditions or fungal infections. Often these can be helped with regular detoxifying foot soaks or a concentrated salve.

As a general rule, I suggest trying any remedy for at least a few weeks to see if it is working. For best results, try external and internal approaches at the same time.

Cracked Heel Remedy #1: Diet

Consume enough zinc, magnesium and omega-3s in food or supplement form
Consume gelatin and vitamin C (which increases skin elasticity) to help reduce cracking
Optimize fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin K (found in grass-fed butter or supplements)
Consume foods like bone broth and organ meats
Drink more water and increase intake of trace minerals
Cracked Heel Remedy #2: A Little TLC

Exfoliate with a natural pumice stone or Ped Egg (looks like a cheese grater but it works)
Soak in detoxifying food baths or regular detox baths (here are my three favorite recipes)
Add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to a warm foot soak
Use magnesium oil on the feet before bed
Use a homemade nourishing foot salve (see below) each morning and night
Exfoliate feet in the shower with natural foot scrub like my homemade peppermint magnesium foot scrub

Working from home can be a challenge so ensuring you have a functional work space goes a long way towards increasing productivity and avoiding distractions.

Whether you work from home full-time like me, split your time between the office and home, or simply need a space for personal admin, focus on creating a space that’s functional yet inviting.

Design a home office that works for you

Creating an effective home office starts with identifying the right room or space in your house.

While most of us dream of a large custom designed office to work from in, don’t be overly concerned with the size of your space. Instead focus more on working with what you have. That may be converting a spare room into an office, or utilising a nook in your living room.

One day we plan on building a studio office in our backyard to run my business from, but for now, it’s a case of working with what we have. In our small home that meant converting an oversized bedroom into a multi-purpose room.

Personally for me to be productive, I need a light, calming space, one free of distractions to maximise inspiration and creative thinking. I gave the once dark bedroom a mini makeover by painting the walls in a fresh, crisp white colour – Dulux Okarito.

Choosing the right desk is about identifying how much space you need to work from. I don’t need a large desktop, prefering one that is simple in design. I sourced this one from Freedom Furniture for $250.00, keeping only my essential items on display.

I find I get bored with interiors easily and like to keep the space fresh by changing art and décor around me. Surround yourself with things you love, place a rug under your feet for the cooler months and add life to your office with plants.

Lighting

Good natural lighting is important. A well lit space not only helps lift your mood but also assists productivity. When converting the bedroom I reorientated the layout to place my desk near a large window.

Additionally, look to add a desk lamp for late afternoon and evening work as overhead lights won’t suffice.

Organisational solutions

There’s nothing like sitting down to an organised desk to jump start your day.

A clean and tidy desk allows you to focus on the task at hand and keep your mind clear.

Too often our home office becomes a dumping space with clutter piling up. Create effective organisation and storage solutions while maximising the desk area. I like a clear and tidy desktop so I utilise a locker cabinet underneath my desk to store and access files I regularly need.

I hate driving. I don’t like driving in my own country, let alone foreign ones. It’s not that I’m bad at it. It’s just that I do it so infrequently that it makes me nervous these days. And so I’m always fascinated by people who travel by car. Back in the early days of this blog I met a group of guys driving a trip around the world. They had crazy stories. A few months ago, I announced we were going to start doing more reader stories to highlight some of your crazy stories. In our first reader spotlight, we’re talking to Ryan who is driving from Seattle down to the tip of South America with his girlfriend! (Which, let’s be honest, sounds like an amazing adventure!)

Nomadic Matt: Tell everyone here about yourself!
Ryan: I’m 33 years old and originally from Seattle, Washington, but after college I spent five years working in Washington, DC in the halls of Congress. When my boss decided to retire in 2012 instead of run for re-election, I opted to take a yearlong sabbatical to road-trip across the American West and to hike and climb as much as I could. When the year came to an end, though, I wasn’t ready to give up the nomadic lifestyle, so I just kept going.

So how did you get into travel?
My first overseas travel experiences were thanks to studying abroad in college, with lengthy stays in Florence, Italy, and Sana’a, Yemen. Both trips instilled in me a sense of wanderlust that stuck with me through my years of working a desk job, and I believe they played a significant role in eventually getting me out there on the road.

What made you decide to go on this trip?
My solo road trip across the American West was an absolutely transformative experience, and the seed of driving to Patagonia got planted in my mind and took root over a few years. I began to think, why just drive across America when you can drive across all of the Americas?

I also like exploring new cultures and foods and immersing myself in different languages whenever I travel overseas. I long to get a little farther afield, to get off the well-worn tourist track, and that can be quite difficult. I’ve traveled the backpacker circuit and schlepped my bag around colorful little towns and hopped on and off public buses — but when you’ve got your own wheels, a whole new world of travel opens up and allows you to get away from the crowds and immerse yourself in local life.