Monthly Archives: February 2012

Holistic Pet Food – Worth the Cost?

Standard

When dealing with holistic nutrition for your own body and mind, pet owners can’t help but think of their furry friend’s diets as well. I have two furry friends of my own – going through my own process of transitioning to a holistic lifestyle through food has made me think about what they are eating as well. Max is my ten-month old Chocolate lab – Sharpei mix (right) and Belle is my three-month old Beagle (left)!

Have you ever thought about what goes into those dried bits of kibble they eat? Chances are you have never really looked into it, I know I haven’t, until now. I looked into the ingredients in the food that I feed my two pups and the results were rather odd.

Ingredients
Whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, whole grain wheat, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), soybean meal, brewers rice, meat and bone meal, beef, water, animal digest, propylene glycol, sugar, fish oil, salt, dried yeast, phosphoric acid, tricalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried peas, dried carrots, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.

Obviously I am not a canine nutritionist and have no idea how these ingredients interact with my dogs immune system, digestion, or well-being. All I know is that they seem to enjoy it and they don’t have any problems digesting it. However, if I am looking to create a more holistic healthier lifestyle for myself and I know that things like selenite, DL-Methionine, or calcium propionate are things that I am making an effort to NOT put into my own body – should I allow them to intake these things?

Some say that allowing your pets to eat holistic dog food will, in the long run, allow you to buy less food because they will eat less and it can lower your vet bills by causing less problems with your dogs digestive or immune system.

Holistic food versus commercial dog food:

I have found a few helpful links to aid you in the search for healthier alternatives to commercial dog food and even some coupons!

I hope this allows you to make an informed decision on how you are feeding your pets!

Peace, Love, and Holistic you (and your pets!!)
Drdonley

Spaghetti Squash

Standard

Curiosity got the best of me – I had to know what this whole spaghetti squash trend is all about. This was my inspiration:

                                                                                                                                             Source: skinnytaste.com via Alison on Pinterest

YUM! After seeing how delicious that looked and through further research on various blogs and pinterest, I decided to make my way to the local grocery store and pick up my own – it was only $1.40!!

When buying spaghetti squash, look for hard fruit that is heavy for its size, about eight to nine inches in length and four to five inches in diameter and with a pale even color. Avoid any squash with soft spots and green color is a sign of immaturity. The average four-pound spaghetti squash will yield about five cups.

Spaghetti Squash can be stored at room temperature for about a month. After cutting, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. Spaghetti squash also freezes well. Pack cooked squash into freezer bags, seal, label and freeze. Partially thaw before re-using, then steam until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.
http://www.fabulousfoods.com/articles/19943/discovering-spaghetti-squash

I bought a “Big Chuy” Spaghetti squash that came with cooking instructions on it:

 2012-02-24_12-27-15_821.jpg

Averaging from 4 to 8 pounds, the cylinder shaped spaghetti squash is generally available year-round with a peak season from early fall through winter. While a true spaghetti squash is pale ivory to pale yellow in color, in the early 1990’s, an orange spaghetti squash, known as “Orangetti” was developed and this is what is frequently found in today’s supermarkets. Higher in beta carotene, the orange variety is also bit sweeter than its paler counterpart, although both have a mild flavor that is easily enhanced by the food served with or on it. A dieter’s dream, a four-ounce serving of spaghetti squash has only 37 calories.

 http://www.dashingdish.com/2011/03/how-to-make-spaghetti-squash/

ONLY 37 CALORIES?! This is a must try. I decided to do a combination of two recipes – I have some left over pesto and some Parmigiano and Mozzarella cheeses and I am going to use a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. The basic method I am using to cook the squash, since it was too hard to cut before it was cooked, is to poke holes in it with a fork or knife to allow steam to escape while cooking. Also, I put a small amount of water in the bottom of my baking dish – something a lot of the blogs suggested. I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and once its ready the squash will cook for about an hour.

2012-02-24_12-23-00_438.jpg
My squash prepped and ready for the oven!
2012-02-24_13-35-58_115.jpg

Tomato, pesto, and cheese

2012-02-24_13-48-16_294.jpg

Seeds from the squash

2012-02-24_13-48-20_483.jpg

Shredding the "spaghetti"

2012-02-24_13-52-48_627.jpg

SO MUCH SPAGHETTI!

2012-02-24_14-01-32_852.jpg

Yum!

The possibilities for using a spaghetti squash are endless – I saw ways to use it obviously as a replacement for spaghetti but also as hash browns, lasagna, as a side dish, the base for grilled salmon, tacos, tossed with grilled or roasted veggies, tetrezzini, frittatas, pancakes, instead of rice in sushi, soup, casseroles, desserts, pizza, and even as a Halloween decoration…

Spaghetti squash

Franken-squash

I hope you give it a try – it was DELICIOUS!!

Peace, Love, and a Holistic You!
Drdonley

Embodiment Wellness and Nutrition

Standard

Looking for local holistic health outlets has been a challenge throughout my time writing for this blog. Looking for motivation myself, I have been even more passionate about my search for holistic food options. However, The holistic “gods” shone down on me and brought me the perfect place to tell you all about!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Estes and Ryan Domyan from Embodiment Wellness and Nutritionlocated at 574 Buttermilk Pike in Crescent Springs, Kentucky in the Buttermilk Shoppes. Embodiment is what some would call a “nutrition club”, meaning they want to “bring good nutrition to community members”. The point of a nutrition club, for those not familiar with the concept, is to bring together people who share an interest in good nutrition and well-being in a social environment. While the concept of a nutrition club may be foreign to most – don’t let it scare you!

In a coffee shop setting, guests can find sanctuary inside Embodiment in the unique comfortable atmosphere. Entertainment is provided on the TV’s throughout. According to Ryan “we have to get to know you in order to help you”, an approach that not many wellness and fitness coaches have. They support the community in various ways such as getting involved with the Flying Pig marathon and have a marketing board within their store for local businesses to advertise. They specialize in fitness smoothies that can be used as meal replacements or in addition to a healthy diet.

Health coaches, Melissa and Ryan, along with four other wellness team members make it their goal to provide their guests with information on the importance of good nutrition and regular exercise to achieve optimum health through seminars, social events, sporting events, and other community activities. The real holistic health appeal to what they do comes into play in how they interact with their guests, in a no pressure environment, advising guests on not only health and nutrition but wellness of the mind, body, and spirit.

With three certified personal trainers on staff, they can accommodate guests of all fitness levels and body types as well as people in all processes of making the transition to a more holistic lifestyle. Their goal is to “fill the gap between desire and action, giving members the tools to help those that want to make a change for a healthier lifestyle. Providing solution, motivation, education and a friendly atmosphere where they can feel valued and supported with like-minded individuals.”

In addition to being open to all types of people, Embodiment also looks to cater to those with food allergies creating products that are lactose free and use all natural extracts and additives. They pride themselves on their personal relationships with their members as well as being a source of motivation and encouragement for all who are ready to make that lifestyle change. Their eventual goal is to open other facilities and create a larger business including a personal training studio, wellness clinic, smoothie shop and other facilities.

Every first time visitor gets a free smoothie and wellness evaluation so I encourage you to go check it out if you even think you might be interested, I assure you they will motivate you to make a change.

They are holding an open house this Sunday February 26th from 1 – 4 p.m. that I will be attending – hope to see you there!!

Where
574 Buttermilk Pike Crescent Springs, KY 41017

Phone
859-331-WELL (9355)

Hours
Mon-Wed 7am-7pm

Thurs-Fri 7am-4pm

Sat-8am-12pm

Hope to see you Sunday!

Peace, Love, and a Holistic You!

Drdonley

THE ACUPUNCTURE EXPERIENCE

Standard

Now, the question you’ve been asking this whole time: does it hurt?  I wish I could say that I have experienced this versatile treatment myself, but I have not.  Kathleen Port from Los Angeles, California practices acupuncture.  In this short video she walks you though exactly what to expect during a treatment.

Picture from pixipatrin.blogspot.comIf you’ve got The Nutty Professor picture in your head, you’ve got it all wrong.  A typical treatment only uses six to eight needles at a time.   Most treatments range from 15 minutes to one hour.

Acupuncture needles are different from the needles which you receive your flu shot each year.  Very fine, solid, hair-like needles are used for acupuncture; whereas thicker hollow needles are used in a doctor’s office.  Hypodermic needles used at the doctor have cutting edges and are hallowed for injecting medicine, or for extracting blood. 

Sometimes an electric or heat source is applied to the acupuncture needles to further accelerate the process.

 WebMD points out that most people feel no pain, but rather a slight pressure.  Sometimes people may feel an itch, numbness, or a tingling sensation.  There are also few side effects associated with the practice including bruising, slight bleeding and soreness.

The needles used during treatment are sterilized and disposable, so the risk of infection during acupuncture is extremely low.  Bottom line, acupuncture is a safe practice.

Laugh your way to a better life

Standard

The sayings, “A frown uses more muscles than a smile” and “laughter is the best medicine” are all too common, but are they based on facts, or just quotes to help us create positive aspects on life?

Laughter and smiling are a form of communication, a mechanism that everyone, no matter what language, can speak. Laughter puts us in a state of eustress vs. of being in a state of distress. Being around others and laughing releases a chemical messenger to our brain called dopamine, that makes us feel good all around. Laughter helps us form interpersonal relationships with other people, which are necessary for happy, healthy lives socially and emotionally. Laughter can cause feelings of being apart of a group and sharing acceptance and positive interactions. When you laugh you are removing all inhibitions and allowing your personality to shine through. Laughing with others can help you relax and not focus on distressing emotions. The psychological effects of laughter are endless.

Not convinced? Laughter also has proven medical benefits such as

  • Lowering blood pressure, giving more oxygen to the blood vessels allowing blood to flow freely throughout the body
  • Reducing the stress hormone cortisol
  • Raising immunoglobulin A, which helps our immune systems
  • Increases cytokine, a white blood cell that prevents illness
  • Endothelium dilation, which increases blood flow protecting us from hear disease
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Increases endorphins. The body’s natural painkillers

A lot of people are unaware that laughing is also an exercise. When you laugh for 20 seconds, you have successfully done 3 minutes of hard stationary jogging.

Not to mention, laughing works over 15 facial muscles, which helps takes away, wrinkles and worry lines.

Need some inspiration? Well luckily laughter is one of the most contagious acts a human take part in, so watch this video and LAUGH! I dare you not to.

 

 

A HISTORY OF ACUPUNCTURE

Standard

Needle phobes beware!

An ancient Chinese medicine known as acupuncture has been helping many people around the world for thousands of years, but would you try it?  Why or why not?

(Image from disaboom.com)

(Image from disaboom.com)

According to the Mayo Clinic, acupuncture helps rebalance your energy, or Qi (pronounced chee) by inserting extremely thin needles into specific places, known as meridians, on the body. If your Qi is imbalanced or obstructed your body may experience discomfort or other problems. Meridians help connect the inside of your body with the outside (over 360 meridians exist on the human body). The needles help release the impediments to the Qi.

The needles help boost the nervous system to release healing chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and brain and produce natural painkillers.  According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, “The chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.”

The results? Acupuncture needles stimulate your body’s natural healing capabilities to promote an overall wellbeing.

What do you do when the grownups are getting it all wrong?

Standard

Grownups run the shows and world-changing events, and kids/youth just sit back and watch. That’s the case most of the time whenever something big is going on. Events like the Arab Spring, Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions, and the Occupy global movements are huge stepping stones for the youth to wake up and take action, and the grownups to sit back and watch as things begin to change.

Young minds are filled with ideas of change and resisting what is wrong or inadequate. However no one seems to hear their voices, or tries to extract their talents and ideas. My last post had highlighted young students in Pakistan and India taking on their own governments, not through protests, but through dialogue and an initiative called Aman Ki Asha (Hope for Peace).

Back here in the U.S., youth are socially charged with their Twitter and Facebook accounts. They are in charge of what they want to see and what they don’t, and if they see something inspiring, or inaccurate, they’ll comment, send an email, start a petition, and spread the word like an Internet wildfire. It’ll reach hundreds to thousands, possibly millions, of people before it makes the evening news. Young people know what’s up!

ABCNews had recently aired a story of a 4th grade class in Brookline, Massachusetts, taking on Hollywood. This particular story really entails what young people are capable of, and how they can change the world, one step (or email) at a time. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is an environmentalist, in the books; the only voice trying to save the trees from a greedy factory owner cutting down the trees. However, this 4th grade class noticed, on The Lorax movie website, there was nothing about “Going Green” or the Lorax speaking out for the trees, or saving the environment. Through the website Change.org, the 4th graders started an online petition versus Universal Studios to put up changes. The result; Hollywood listened and on the website now are tips for kids on how to save the environment and how to be an “environmental hero” like the Lorax.

It’s a MUST WATCH news clip from ABCNews as it entails what Metamorphosis is trying to inspire people to do; change. This 4th grade class was selected as the “Person of the Week” on February 17, 2012.

Change.org is an online petition site that helps people communicate in mass numbers to spark change in the “grownups” of our world. There are hundreds of petitions started daily, according to the CEO, Ben Rattray, and these petitions start from all over the world. In the news clip above, there were two other stories highlighted; Bank of America’s stop to debit card fees, and the plight of women drivers in Saudi Arabia, both petitions started on Change.org. The site helps a passion for a cause into effective action, as well as empowers people to make a difference in their communities and their surrounding world.

There is another site similar to Change.org, called Avaaz.org. It means “voice”, and it is “The World in Action”. Avaaz.org “is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.” Launched in 2007, it is very similar to Change.org, but more focused on political issues, regional and national issues, corruption in governments, and battling human rights issues. Currently, Avaaz.org is focused on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and making every effort it can to place mounting pressure on the Arab League, as well as European and U.S. powers to stop the violence. Petitions are signed through emails; all you do is register your email on the website, and whenever an cause comes up that you feel strongly about, you put in your email and you have “signed” the petition, that’s it. You can also see who else has signed at the same time, by people from all over the world.

These are little steps to help bring big change, not only to corrupt governments, but also greedy corporations.