Do You Know About The Healing Power of Pets?

Do you know pets have healing power? Such as

  • Lower blood pressure
  • less risk of heart disease
  • reduced anxiety

The number of scientifically proven health benefits of pet ownership is rising faster than the number of chew toys strewn around your house.

These health pluses aren’t just the result of the extra exercise you get walking your dog or playing hide-and-seek with your cat. The bond that you and your pet develop is also part of the equation.

“Owning a pet gives you a sense of purpose and belonging that can increase feelings of positivity and lower stress levels, all of which translates to health benefits,” says Allen McConnell, PhD, a psychology professor at Miami University who studies human-pet interaction.

Research shows that people who interact with animals experience a boost in levels of oxytocin, the hormone that promotes love and trust and is linked to reduced blood pressure and heart rate. Regularly playing with your pet helps too. “Play, such as challenging your pet to find a hidden toy, helps build the bond between owner and pet and brings you closer,” says Kate Perry, a certified dog trainer and the author of Training for Both Ends of the Leash.

Source – Prevention magazine. Feb 8, 2013

What 3 Things Can You Do NOW that Can Improve Your Health

I was interested to hear Dr Jeffrey Bland (the father of Functional Medicine and author of The Disease Delusion, answer the question “ What 3 Things Can You Do NOW that Can Improve Your Health?”

Here is his answer.

  1. Get away from the fast food restaurants for a period of a couple months and see how that influences your health. That alone will make a difference
  2. Improve your omega-3 oil intake from fatty fish like salmon. I know there’s a lot of back-and-forth controversy about omega-3s right now, but I can tell you if you weigh the studies going back to Joel Kremer who was at New York Medical College and did the first studies on placebo-controlled trials in rheumatoid arthritis with fish oils and showed a very positive clinical benefit under controlled conditions.
  3. Move your body without overdoing it. You need to keep moving because a low level of your immune system activities reforming and recycling old materials is really important for reducing inflammation. It almost seems paradoxical that a small amount of inflammation induces anti-inflammation, but that’s how it works. So you want to be in a proper physical conditioning program— movement, massage, physical medicine, chiropractic, acupuncture, all these things can be very helpful in the structural component of these conditions. Structure and function are intimately tied together. Often we forget that function is structure, and structure is function. So we need them to be tightly tied.

 

Tips for Eating Right on the Road – PART 2- ROAD TRAVEL

Road travel is a slower way to travel than flying. With most of the day spent in the car, you can easily lose track of time and what you’ve been eating. So, if you plan on snacking, fill up on whole foods with nutritional value— berries, bananas, and pistachios are a great place to start.

Plan Ahead: Long car rides are peppered with pit stops. But your choices for food aren’t limited to cheeseburgers and fries. Bringing along a picnic lunch helps you take control of your travel nutrition to help you eat healthy while you travel.

Pack snacks and meals that are easy for your body to digest. This will help you feel satisfied without the bloating and bellyache caused by fast food. Baby carrots, apples, grapes, and turkey  are examples of healthy snacks to bring on the road. Full of fiber, complex carbohydrates and protein, they provide a sustained source of energy and will keep your blood sugar from crashing later in the day. Making a meal ahead of time will help you avoid the temptation to stop for something greasy.

Picnic lunches don’t need to be eaten in the car, either. Find a rest stop or park along your route. Getting out of the car to eat and stretch your legs will break up long periods of driving with some fresh air and exercise. Walking after eating helps your body process your meal. So, stop and enjoy some time outside to ward off boredom and help digestion.

At a Gas Station or Fast Food Restaurant: Stopping at a gas station to fill your car’s tank and use the restroom doesn’t need to end with soda and candy. There are several healthy choices for snacks inside. Walk past the chocolate bars and pick up some trail mix instead. A bottle of unsweetened iced tea is a better selection than soda—regular or even diet.

Many gas stations have refrigerator boxes with pre-prepared salads, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables. These whole foods offer valuable nutrition and will keep you focused and alert on the road.

Should you find yourself in line at a drive-thru, order your meal strategically:

  • Choose an entrée with grilled chicken, rather than fried.
  • Exercise portion control and order off the kids’ menu.
  • Skip the soda and have ice water instead.