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"There are certainly other brands with similar designs, but after much research, I am so happy I chose these guys," says Lindsay.
"There are certainly other brands with similar designs, but after much research, I am so happy I chose these guys," says Lindsay.

Minimize with Bedrock Sandals

The breeze cools the tops of my feet and sneaks between my toes as my soles deftly navigate every detail of the varied terrain through the most minimal athletic shoe I have ever invested in – Bedrock Sandals.

The name indicates that these are not actually a shoe at all, but a sandal, a bare bones version of a huarache that harkens back to primitive footwear, embracing the primal/barefoot movement and minimalist footwear trend that lowers the profile of the foot to the ground, demanding that every muscle of the foot, ankle, lower limbs and truly the entire body respond to each bump and curve. This culminates in total ergonomic efficiency and a deep, corporal connection to the environment.

Both my husband and I have been living in our Bedrock Gabbro Ultra Lightweight + Performance Trail Sandals. The handmade-to-order, "barefoot" design is as minimal as you can get, with only a toe separator and ankle swaddle holding your foot onto the Vibram sole. It’s a feat of engineering that works so well – I actually have been running in these! I feel like a Greek gazelle in the ancient marathon races with only my huaraches and my stride separating me from the ground beneath. Bedrocks facilitate an extreme athletic, earthly connection that has me feeling like I am more united with my surroundings, making my workouts even more of a moving meditation.

True, my husband, who has now sworn never to wear any other footwear on his very attractive feet, was the recipient of an unfortunate insult, accusing him of crafting his own footwear. Well, we wish WE had thought of these!

Fashion aside, Bedrock Sandals are the ultimate option in minimalist footwear. I’ve hiked, walked, jogged and even done sprint repeats in these barefoot babies and for me – the benefits have outweighed any stylistic statement. The shoes stay put, offering ample protection from the elements and abundant freedom from the claustrophobic constraints of closed toe shoes and engineered arches. Plus, I can reall…

Dela Ends (on the right) with Milwaukee CSA organizer, Rhonda Van Pembrooke.
Dela Ends (on the right) with Milwaukee CSA organizer, Rhonda Van Pembrooke.

Scotch Hill Farm trailblazes CSA path

If farming had professional athletes, Dela Ends of Scotch Hill Farm would be an all-star.

Her certified organic, family-run farm located in Broadhead, has provided nourishment through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to Milwaukee and neighboring cities since 1994.

Scotch Hill’s offerings also include farmstead products like eggs, organic flowers, pickles, preserves and all-natural, goats’-milk-based body care products.

CSA is an "eat local/eat seasonal" concept where consumers purchase "shares" of vegetables directly from their neighborhood farmer. The CSA "basket" as it’s come to be known, is picked up or delivered during the season, usually June through October/November.

The share purchase is typically done in full and in advance of the season, so farmers can prepare what and how much to grow, but sometimes shares are made available on a per-delivery basis. And farms like Scotch Hill offer many options and add-ons to fit most family’s needs.

The recent emphasis on the importance of eating non-genetically modified food and a renewed interest in farming as a career by a younger generation makes what Ends and Scotch Hill Farm are doing that much more vital. The impact of consciously grown, local, seasonal produce extends beyond just a healthful choice. It’s a delicious alternative that has positive implications on the environment, economics and the cohesion of the area they serve and well beyond.

Scotch Hill Farm is a genuine reflection of the spirit of the "community" piece of this agricultural model. In fact, a dedicated group of Milwaukeeans’ participation in Scotch Hill’s weekly vegetable delivery has been key to the farm’s success.

End’s generously took time out of her busy day to have a conversation with me about the physical component of her daily routine, what it takes to transition into the agricultural life, Milwaukee’s contribution to the development of Scotch Hill Farm’s CSA, the far reaching impact of sustainable farming pract…

"SKINUE sources the camel milk whey for its products from the camels of the royal family of The United Arab Emirates."
"SKINUE sources the camel milk whey for its products from the camels of the royal family of The United Arab Emirates."

A potential clear skin solution

Acne. It’s one of the most prevalent and aesthetically pesky skin care challenges both men and women deal with at some point in life.

Acne usually strikes first at puberty, but can stick around through adulthood. Even celebrities cop to dealing with breakouts, enthusiastically endorsing their favorite infomercial and mall kiosk acne-battlers.

Most of these over-the-counter topicals use harsh ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that can dry out and redden skin. Dermatologists often prescribe a regimen of even more invasive treatments like oral antibiotics or Acutane paired with abrasive prescription creams/gels. Natural remedies tend to be a bit gentler and include tea tree oil, white willow bark and topical/internal probiotics.

Penelope Shihab, founder of biotech company MONOJO and CEO of Milwaukee’s Columbia Biotech USA has an innovative take on creating and maintaining clear skin. The ingredient Shihab utilizes for her new skin care line SKINUE is pretty unexpected. In fact, it’s as quirky as it is exotic. SKINUE relies on camel milk to battle blemishes. And this isn’t just any ordinary camel’s milk. SKINUE sources the camel milk whey for its products from the camels of the royal family of The United Arab Emirates.

The science behind SKINUE began at MONOJO – the only applied biotechnology firm in the Middle East and North African region. Shihab discovered the effectiveness of camel milk for treating acne after "MONOJO started its biotech research back in 2005 and focused on researching monoclonal antibodies. MONOJO conducted research on camel’s milk, as it is easily found in Jordan where MONOJO is located, and discovered that the camel milk, due to high protein concentrations in it, can be used to provide specific and highly effective therapies. In 2011, the research studies provided that using engineered camel milk, with its specific anti-acne proteins, helps in fighting acne. MONOJO then started formulating skincare products that bo…

B-fit MKE's Angelina D'Amico.
B-fit MKE's Angelina D'Amico. (Photo: ExpertMarketingPro)

Grow a butt

It would seem that Sir Mix-a-Lot was ahead of the curve(s) when he confessed, "when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face, I get sprung."

Follow fitness in the media, especially on social media like Instagram and it’s hard to miss the ubiquitous trend of exaggeratedly curvy female glutes. Think J.LO or Kim K. to the one rep max.

They have big butts and I cannot lie: the images make me do a double take. These swollen backsides have me wondering how this is achieved? How does a major muscle group so interconnected with adjoining body parts get such isolated growth? What are women doing to attain these protruding heinies while maintaining, "itty bitty waists?" My somewhat rhetorical question is answered by the abundance of the following hashtags: #growabutt, #shesquats, #humpday #waistoassratio  #buttpump.

Bodybuilders have become #bootybuilder (s) and fitness "athletes" are more like #assletes. They are wearing high cut booty shorts and sometimes less for locker room selfies that show off their assets. Forget about the front view: a side view or a back-to-the-camera-look-over-the–shoulder-pose emphasizes that humpty hump.

From a functional perspective, I have to wonder if intentionally overdeveloped glutes for aesthetic reasons affects performance. From an athletic standpoint powerful glutes mean powerful hips, which as long as flexibility is maintained improves performance, but I wonder if, when the natural proportions are tipped out of balance to the extreme, "junk in the trunk" could be a negative or risky aesthetic to squat for?

Not according to Milwaukee’s own BJ Gaddour, named one of Men’s Health Magazine’s 100 Fittest Men of All Time. Gaddour told me, "The glutes are a muscle group that can never get enough work, especially because of all the sitting we do all day which shuts your glutes down. All athletic movement is driven through the hips and they are also highly metabolic as our largest muscle group. Hit them 2-3 …