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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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One More Reason To Love Your Pet Even More-Your Health!

This has to be one of my favorite posts as I love animals so much !

If you ever have had or currently are lucky enough to be a guardian of a pet ,you probably understand the wonderful calming affect a pet can have on you (unless you come home and find your chair and love seat completely eaten like I have in the past-it can be a bit stressful). After a long day there is nothing better than relaxing with my dogs and cats. Just their presence is calming to me and if I am really upset there is nothing that can calm me down better than a few minutes of snuggling with my cat Baby Jaap. I could not imagine a life without animals as their humorous antics, intriguing habits and unconditional love make my life so complete and
enjoyable. Don't just take my word for it-read on.

Health Benefits Of Having A Pet

**More and more studies are beginning to show evidence that children who live in homes with animals that have fur (cat, dog, guinea pig,etc) and large animals are less at risk for allergies, eczema (skin rash condition) and asthma. There is also some discussion that children in those homes may have stronger immune system activation.

**Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies.

**People with pets actually make fewer doctor visits, especially for non-serious medical conditions.

**Pets help fight depression and loneliness-The antics of animals at play keep you lighthearted. The presence of a dog prompts the daily walk you otherwise might postpone. Having a cat means regular exposure to contented purring, with its guaranteed-to-be calming effect on your psyche. Furry critters encourage life-critical social interactions and feeding and grooming routines offer structure and purpose to a life lived alone. More here.

**Pets can help lower your blood pressure-Dr. Karen Allen, a researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo, showed that people with hypertension who adopted a dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did those who did not own a pet.

**Dr. Meredith Wells, an assistant professor of psychology at Eastern Kentucky University, surveyed businesses that allow pets in the workplace and found that employees believe that the animals reduce stress and improve their mental and physical health. More here.

**Pets promote social interaction, decrease the feeling of loneliness and isolation, and increase morale and optimism.

**Pets satisfy the need for touch and to be touched, and give nonjudgmental warmth and affection.

**Pets encourage playfulness, exercise, and laughter.

I would like to also point out that a pet is a responsibility and getting one is not to be taken lightly. Taking care of an animal is a lifelong commitment so if you are not in it for the long haul I do not recommend a pet for you (animal shelters are full of wonderful abandoned pets so please be responsible). If you are looking for a pet I highly recommend adopting one from an animal shelter. All my animals are from shelters (or they just showed up) and I really believe that they know you saved them. Shelter pets are wonderful and you save a life. Go hug your pet-you'll feel better!

No more stinky litterboxes with…….GREEN TEA!

I have a full post coming up but this ridiculous cough, throat and now chest thing is being very stubborn and rude and is hanging on so I have been still not feeling well and not up to all my usual blogging, commenting, dropping, etc so I do apologize. It has been almost 2 weeks with this sickness so I imagine I will have to go to the doctor and get an antibiotic (I only go to the doctor if I am half dead ) so that I can get rid of this and back on my feet. I promise to get back to all the great blogs that I read and drop on asap!

In the meantime, since I am on a green tea kick and have cats I found the below information really great and since I know a lot of you have cats as well you might find this helpful!

No more stinky litterboxes with…….GREEN TEA!

I tried this and it worked!!! Joy, joy, joy! Even though we have a cat door at our house and the litterbox is in the basement I still hate the smell! All you need to do is take the tea leaves from your cup of green tea (yes, I am sure you all drink green tea everyday because it is so healthy for you), let them dry and then sprinkle on the litter. The catechin in the herb has antibacterial properties to kill any odor and the scent deters fleas. This is the same way that green tea deters bad breath!! Love it! I am drinking green tea right now and just can’t get over all the great things about it!! Give it a shot and let me know!

Tea, Tea Your The One For Me! Health Benefits of Tea!

Hi everyone! I am pulling this from my archives since I love tea so much and right now am losing my voice with a sore throat so tea sounds delicious. Will be back with a new post soon!

Have a cup of tea-you may live longer and be protecting yourself from an array of ailments. The antioxidants in tea appear to improve concentration, gently boost energy, make people happier, lower cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health and help guard against some cancers. And some experts believe its flavenoids may inhibit the growth of plaque on teeth (less visits to the dentist). The free radical-inhibiting property of tea is more potent than that of vitamin E, and tea is a proven preventive and treatment for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The polyphenols in tea, especially the catechins, are powerful antioxidants that help ward off diabetes and cancer. I find that drinking tea can be both soothing (nothing like a nice cup of hot tea in the evening) and invigorating (delicious ice tea with all natural Stevia sweetener).

Tea Tidbits

**Slim Down With Tea-As a weight loss tool, tea is a wonderfully cleansing way to flush the system, replace fluids - and pump the body full of powerful antioxidants at the same time. Aside from the health benefits, tea is a zero-calorie beverage, making it your best choice for weight loss. Tea, especially green tea, have been known to speed up fat oxidation and increase the metabolic rate. Along with caffeine, the catechin polyphenols present in tea helps speed up the rate at which calories are burnt, thereby increasing substantially the energy consumed.

**Heart Health- People who consume three or more cups of tea a day have an 11 percent lower rate of heart attacks than those who drink less, according to a study presented to the American College of Cardiology. Other studies suggest that tea may also reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and repair blood-vessel damage in heart patients.

**Green Tea- is famous for its calming effect on both body and mind. Studies have shown that this calming effect is caused by the L- Theanine amino acid found in the leaves of green tea. L-Theanine affects the central nerve system, causing certain substances to be released which cause a sense of euphoria, optimism and serenity while neutralizing the vigor which accompanies the consumption of caffeine in tea.

**Caffeinated Teas -may help to prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis, as well as boosting the immune system.

**Brewed Teas are Best-To achieve the greatest health benefits, drink tea brewed from loose leaves or teabags. The longer the tea is steeped, the more antioxidants it will provide (though the caffeine content will also rise with steeping time). Tea should be allowed to steep for at least 3-5 minutes so that the majority of its antioxidants will be released. Iced teas made from brewed tea leaves are as high in antioxidants as hot teas. Iced teas should be kept in sealed containers and refrigerated. Powdered teas are not as high in antioxidants and thus will not offer the same health benefits. Most bottled teas consist predominantly of sugar and water and are not a good source of antioxidants.

**Herbal Teas-Herbal teas do not offer the same benefits as black, red, green and white caffeinated teas, but they can provide a number of other health benefits.

**Tea provides about 22% of the total intake of flavonoids in the U.S. diet, almost as much as fruits (28%) and vegetables (26%).

**Green tea catechins have been shown to protect the liver against toxins such as alcohol and cigarette smoke.

Tea is delicious and calorie-free to boot! I think I will go and have a glass now. Why don't you!

A Couple of Wonderful Awards!!!

I am so lucky and really excited today because two really fantastic bloggers were kind enough to think of me and pass on some fantastic awards! Dori who writes From A Yellow House In England passed on the Neno Award to me and TR Hughes from A Guide To Life For Women passed on the Best Blog Award. These are two fantastic blogs and both are very interesting, fun and terrific to stop by. I hope that you will stop by and visit these two wonderful blogs!!

Here are the rules:

The Neno Award is given to "those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging, and to help others seek the reasons why we all love blogging." Here are the steps with this award:- Upload the image in your post- Mention the person that gives you the award with their blog link- Nominate your 5 blogs of choice with blog name and link- Leave comment on the recipients' posts to let them know. Here are my picks:

The Best Blog Award rules are:

1) To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

For this award I was going to pick 15 but I started and found I had way, way, way too many so decided to stop and pass this on to all of you great readers, droppers and commenter's. Feel free to post this award!!

Please do not feel the need to participate if it is not your thing but just bask in the glory of being awarded:)

I encourage you all to stop by and visit all these wonderful super blogs!


Blues Busting Foods! No More Grumpy, Cranky Days For You With These Healthy Foods!

Food, food, glorious food! I love to eat and am having so much fun learning just how important our diets are to every aspect of our lives-including helping to boost our spirits. It is wonderful to have information on health and diet so we can feel more in control of our lives and be our best inside and out. After reading this you will have no more excuses to be cranky, got it?!
We've all had those days when we feel down and don't know why or we just need a pick me up (actually we have had those days when we are outright terrors if the truth be told). These healthy food choices will actually help to rev your engine and chase those blues away. Hello sunshine!

**Try Some Dessert- Yes! You read that right, try some dessert! Sugar soothes us when we're feeling stressed out ( I know that to be true and will take full advantage). But before you binge on a pan of brownies, cookies and candy, know that a little sugar may soothe you, but too much will wreak havoc with your blood sugar. So, as always moderation is the key here.

**Beans -Like most legumes, beans are rich in iron. If you're low on iron like many active people are--you can be tired and have trouble sleeping, which as we all know can make you cranky, cranky, cranky. Beans are great thrown in salads, over white rice, in a tortilla with salsa, in chili and soups.

**Bananas-Stress and the lack of magnesium are so closely related that it is a good idea for those who lead an active life to add foods rich in magnesium, such as bananas to their diet. Increasing the intake of magnesium reduces anxiety and makes for better sleeping.

**Oranges-Two glasses of fresh orange juice are enough to help say goodbye to some nervousness, bad moods and depression; lack of vitamin C, can make you irritable and cranky.

**Chocolate-Hurrah! Hurrah! Now I know it cannot get any better than this! Some experts believe that like many other foods sweet and rich in carbohydrates, chocolate can have a soothing effect; others, however, consider that the caffeine and other substances contained in chocolate could act as stimulants. I don't care why, I am just so glad to hear it! Ahem, moderation here though, again.

**Spinach and Lentils-Both Lentils and spinach are full of folate, a B vitamin that you need to make the serotonin that makes you feel good. Folate is strong enough to ease clinical depression, say researchers and low levels of folate have been linked to depression. A cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid-so try some lentil soup and be happy and healthy. Also, you could add frozen spinach and make a low-fat spinach dip, have a nice spinach salad or use on sandwiches instead of lettuce. More food tips here, and here.
- Are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids-a type of fat that's needed for brain cells and mood-lifting . Also been shown to relieve mild depression. I love to eat walnuts as a snack but they are also delicious on salads.

**Salmon- is also rich in omega fatty acids and canned Salmon with bones contains vitamin D which has been linked to possibly increasing our levels of serotonin- one of the key neurotransmitters influencing our mood.

I am going to start having more walnuts, oranges and bananas for snacks and incorporate spinach and lentils into my diet. Don't worry, I already have the desserts and chocolate covered. To feeling better!

Your Diet Doesn’t Have To Be A Riot-Healthy Tips To A Trim Tummy And Slimmer You!!

I know it takes some effort but really with a little determination and following some of the below guidelines you can find yourself on the road to a slimmer you. I am taking this one step further and am about to start a 90 day fitness program created by the most brilliant health/fitness person I have encountered, Christopher Warden so I am with you all in the ongoing struggle to look and feel our best. For now I am providing you with these tips but in the upcoming weeks I will be posting about my 90 day health and fitness program (including a 30 day detox of no sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, starchy carbs or dairy-whole foods only-God help me survive those 30 days without chocolate and diet Pepsi). Hope these can help you feel great in your swimsuit/bikini!

-Never ever, and I mean ever skip breakfast-“When you wake up hungry and skip breakfast,Leptin levels can change encouraging the body to hold onto body fat” (Paul Byrne fitness). I recommend a high protein low carb breakfast such as plain yogurt with fresh berries and nuts.

-Start Cooking veggies if you want a less bloated Stomach (who doesn’t???)-Cooked veggies cause less stomach swelling than their raw counterparts. Beware of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage which can cause bloating.

Keep Protein lean, lean, lean so you are a lean machine-Protein that is fatty or fried delays stomach emptying, and beans cause tummy inflation. But filling protein such as fish, skinless chicken, tofu and lean red meat does not do either.

Eat less later in the day-“As the day goes on, reserves of carbohydrates in the muscle called muscle glycogen tend to fill up. As glycogen's stores approach “full” the body tends to become more efficient at storing food, especially carbs, into body fat.” (Paul Byre of Paul Byrne fitness)

Monkeys have the right idea!-Have a banana, orange or some delicious cantaloupe as these are high in potassium which help flush excess sodium from the body, flattening the tummy.

Fiber, fiber and even more fiber-Fiber acts as a natural detoxicant for the body and helps regulate the digestive system.

Basic keys to losing weight and staying slim are in a nutshell-drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day (or half your body weight-ex-100lb person should drink at least 50 ounces of water a day), eat several small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism revved. Lean protein, dark greens and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts) help fill the body up with minimal calories. The more refined carbs, sugar, sodium, fried foods, alcohol and carbonated and caloric beverages cut out of your diet the better!