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Running Shoe Selection

Posted in: Fitness // 0 Comments

For the avid runner, picking the perfect shoe is the key to success. You should never hesitate to spend a little extra cash on these important articles of clothing, because like any big purchase, you are going to be using them a lot. From running around your neighborhood after a long day at work to participating in challenging marathon running, you are going to be in these shoes a great deal. Not only should you be comfortable in your running shoes, but they should help you bring your running to the next level to blaze passed the competition.

Before you pull out your card to pay for a cool-looking pair of shoes, you need to make sure this is the perfect fit for you. First, you want to look at the shape of your feet. Humans can have three types of feet shapes: flat, neutral and high arches. Each type requires different features in your shoe pick. Once you’ve found the right style, you may want to consider going up half a shoe size to give your feet just a smidge of wiggle room. On the topic, Dr. Drew Bartell says, “As a podiatrist and avid runner, I strongly recommend purchasing running shoes from a running specialty store. Selecting running shoes from a store with trained staff and who can evaluate your foot, gait, and mileage level, can go a long way toward comfort and performance.”

Ultimately, it’s important to pick a shoe that you’re 100 percent comfortable wearing. Your shoe should feel like a part of your foot while you are out pounding the pavement. These two elements of your run should work together for your improved results. To conclude Dr. Drew Bartell believes the “key features when selecting proper running shoes include support, cushioning and responsiveness.”

For more information on your running shoe selection, visit or call (904) 236-5023 to schedule a professional foot evaluation.

Lessons Learned from Autistic Children Can Help All of Us

Posted in: Family, Preventative Health // 0 Comments

By Dr. Aylin Ozdemir, president of Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville

Stress, gut and also the brain! As we are about to start a new year and trying to shed all the toxins, including negative thoughts of the last year, it is a growing knowledge NOW that our gut health is connected to our mental health. I believe we learned A LOT from children on the Autistic Spectrum how important is our own body ecology…gut bacteria ratio, and variety.

This two-way relationship in between gut and brain connection may be the key to solving one of medicine’s most pressing — and perplexing — mysteries: autism. Autism is a complex spectrum of disorders that share three classic features – impaired communication, poor social engagement and repetitive behaviors. On one end of the spectrum are people who are socially awkward but, in many cases, incredibly bright. At the other extreme are individuals with mental disabilities and behavioral problems.

Nearly 60 years after the disorder was first identified, the number of cases has surged, and the United Nations estimates that up to 70 million people worldwide fall on the autism spectrum. Yet there is no known cause or cure.

But scientists have found promising clues in the gut. Research has revealed striking differences in the trillions of bacteria – collectively known as the microbiome — in the intestines of autistic and healthy children.

Today autism is treated primarily through behavioral therapy. But new animal studies suggesting that treatment may one day come in the form of a probiotic — live, “friendly” bacteria like those found in yogurt. If you help heal the gastrointestinal problem, you can treat the behavioral symptoms.

We strongly recommend four times a year slow 30 days’ cleanse with a daily probiotic “friendly bacteria” supplementation for our patients.

About Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville

PAJ was originally opened in 1932 and now operates in two locations in Jacksonville (Julington Creek, and Hodges Blvd. near Glen Kernan Country Club), and in Ponte Vedra Beach (FL). We are committed to helping patients ranging from newborns to adults to age 21. Today, Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville is led by Dr. Aylin Ozdemir or known as ‘Dr. O’ to her patients. Dr. O was the winner of the 2011 and 2012 Patients’ Choice Award, which is a distinction received by less than five percent of America’s practicing physicians. Dr. O is a graduate of the Integrative Medicine fellowship led by Dr. Andrew Weil at The University of Arizona. The Integrative Practice of combining traditional and alternative medicine distinguishes her from every other General Practitioner in the State of Florida.

Visit them online at

Foodie in the Family?

Posted in: Fresh Local Flavor , Healthy Eating // 0 Comments

If you are running out of ideas for gifts this Christmas and you have a foodie in your family, we have put together some gourmet food gifts to give you some ideas.

Honey for your Honey

Local farmers markets carry a diverse selection of food products made and produced by locals. Cross Creek Honey from Interlachen produces local raw honey and sells it at the Riverside Arts Market, Fernandina Beach Farmers Market, Grass Roots Natural Market and The Market on Granada Street. Local raw honey can help seasonal allergies, asthma and boost your immune system.

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: Spices, Sauces and Preserves

Other finds at local markets are jams, hot sauces, olives and pickled goods. Vendors like Evil Seed Sauces, Olive My Pickle, Jane’s Kountry Kitchen and many others can be found at weekly markets in Riverside, Fernandina and Neptune Beach. Spices can be a fantastic addition to a home chef’s tool chest. Specific spice blends work well with different meats and vegetables, so going to a store that knows all about different spices would be prudent. All Spiced Up in San Marco offers a wide selection of spice blends to suit any meal. For a wide selection of local vendors visit

Can’t go Wrong with Chocolate

Fantastic Fudge in Fernandina Beach offers some of the best local fudge for that perfect holiday treat. The smooth and creamy marble slab fudge has been a staple of Fernandina for the past 25 years. They offer a variety of styles for all types of taste buds.

Along the same lines, Peterbrooke Chocolatier offers a variety of chocolate gift baskets to satisfy the nutty, the creamy and the dark chocolate lovers. They have locations all around the First Coast, from St. Augustine to Fernandina with many in Jacksonville.

A Cup of Joe to Warm the Soul

Last, but not least, local coffee roasters who sell beans by the bag give the coffee connoisseur in your life an exotic way to start the morning. Bold Bean Coffee Roasters has two locations in Riverside and Jacksonville Beach, where they sell their freshly roasted beans.

Pura Bean Coffee Co. sells their locally roasted coffee at RAM every week and the City Café in San Marco.

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