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    • Heart Health

      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

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    • Skin Health

      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

  • Brain Health
    • Brain Health

      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

  • Diet & Health
    • Diet & Health

      Healthy pH levels, whether in the colon or systemic, are found when you eat a high-fiber diet, high in vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. Complement this with foods and supplements high in beneficial bacteria, omega-3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes, and you will be supporting optimal health (which begins in the digestive system).

  • About Brenda
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    • Pet Health

      Our dog’s health is precious! They provide us with unconditional love and companionship. A daily probiotic formula is a great way to ensure good health. Make sure you choose one that delivers the recommended potency level and strain count. There is nothing quite like a healthy and happy dog. Happy Dog. Happy Life!

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Protecting Your Pup from Summer Skin Irritation

Filed in Dogs - Pets | Posted by Brenda Watson on 08/11/2008

Natural Remedies for Common Conditions

Ah, summer. More time to frolic in the yard. Longer walks outdoors. And a little extra time each day to bask in the warm sun. But that’s not all the summer season has in store for your canine companion. More often than not, the warmest months of the year mean an increase in common skin conditions such as shedding, insect bites, dryness and irritation. But instead of applying harsh insect repellents or topical moisturizers—both of which may be laden with synthetic chemicals that are detrimental to your dog’s health—consider a safer, natural alternative to promoting healthy skin all year long.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
With few exceptions, the majority of dog breeds develop a dual coat in adulthood, which is characterized by an undercoat of thicker, softer hairs beneath a topcoat of coarser, longer hairs. While seasonal shedding is perfectly normal and helps prepare your dog’s coat from one month to the next, excessive shedding may be the result of a lack of certain nutrients in the diet.

For example, essential fatty acids such as the healthy Omega-3 fats derived from fish oil and the Omega-6 fats found in fish as well as borage oil help the skin retain moisture and fortify the hair shafts to reduce shedding. A beneficial skin and coat supplement that contains these essential fats can go a long way toward ensuring a vibrant, healthy coat. Also, it’s best to avoid using harsh commercial shampoos that may strip your dog’s skin of its natural protective oils.

Soothing Relief for Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies can be the result of several factors, including fluctuating temperatures and a flourish of new plant life. Symptoms range from mild to severe depending upon the individual dog and may include dry, flaky skin; excessive licking or chewing; constant scratching; shaking the head (to relieve itchy ears); and even red, irritated areas of open skin commonly known as ‘hot spots’.

The best way to avoid allergic irritation throughout the year is to take a proactive approach to skin and coat health with daily nutritional supplementation. A natural formula that includes chamomile flower, licorice root, sarsaparilla, white peony and burdock root has been proven to help soothe dry skin and relieve allergy-related itching. Astragalus (a member of the Legume family), as well as turmeric root and stinging nettle, provides beneficial anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve inflamed skin.

Premium skin and coat formulas will also incorporate the benefits of flower essences, or the natural energy vibrations that resonate from plants and flowers. With unique healing properties first documented in the early twentieth century, flower essences have become a well-known natural remedy for a wide range of conditions, and they have been shown to provide soothing relief from allergies for dogs and other pets.

Bug Off
Fleas, ticks and similar pests can quickly become a nuisance for dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors. Most conventional remedies, however, are highly toxic and have been linked to serious illness and, in some cases, even death. For this reason, health-conscious pet owners are opting for natural supplements with ingredients proven to repel pests by making the blood less appetizing. These include common garlic and brewer’s yeast—a beneficial yeast organism that is also a rich source of B vitamins and chromium, both of which have been shown to promote overall skin health.

Healthy Skin throughout the Year
While it’s no doubt the warm weather puts shedding and skin irritation at the forefront of your mind, giving your best friend the support she needs to maintain a lustrous, healthy coat is a year-round responsibility. Talk to your veterinarian about the natural skin and coat formulas available to help your dog look and feel healthier every day.

Do Summer Storms Turn Your Dog into a Scaredy Cat?

Filed in Dogs - Pets | Posted by Brenda Watson on 08/11/2008

Natural Stress Relief for Storm-wary Pups

The carefree days of summer are finally here again. But instead of enjoying some fun in the sun, many dog owners (and their canine companions) are left worrying about that all-too-common seasonal phenomenon—the summer thunderstorm. That’s because one loud ‘boom’ and suddenly your happy-go-lucky pooch is transformed into a panting, pacing bundle of nerves that makes even the Cowardly Lion look brave. However, before you reach for the doggie Prozac, consider this: the natural world provides an abundance of soothing solutions that are not only safe and effective, but that may help Fido find the courage he needs to weather the next storm in confidence.

The Science behind the Storm

Thunder is the sound created by lightning as the discharged electricity heats the surrounding air. This causes a shock wave to form, and that shock wave can produce anything from a low, rolling rumble to a sharp crackling noise, both of which can leave dogs trembling in their wake. What’s more, dogs are able to sense the change in barometric pressure that precedes a thunderstorm, so their anxiety may begin long before their human companions even notice the approaching weather. Depending upon the individual dog, behavior during a storm can range from mild (panting and shaking) to severe (urinating or defecating in the house).

Natural Ingredients Offer Soothing Relief

Persistent anxiety in dogs can lead to even more serious health problems over time, so providing relief at the first signs of stress is essential. Nowadays a growing number of pet owners are seeking the advice of holistic veterinarians who understand the healing power of herbs and other nutraceuticals. Just as these natural remedies help promote calmness in humans, so they have been shown to help ease feelings of stress and apprehension in dogs, particularly those feelings associated with noise phobia.

Natural ingredients such as lemon balm, motherwort, chamomile and black cohosh root provide a relaxing effect that helps defuse anxiety and ease tension in the muscles. Because of their mild sedative properties, herbs such as skullcap, valerian root, hops and ashwagandha (an Ayurvedic remedy) may also be included. In addition to the herbal components that may be found in a natural stress-relief formula for dogs, beneficial nutraceuticals such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), vitamin B-1 and the amino acid L-theanine may be used for their proven anti-stress effects on the central nervous system.

Flower Essences: Powerful Vibrational Support

Flower essences are the natural energy vibrations that resonate from plants and flowers. First documented in the early twentieth century, their unique healing properties have become a well-known natural remedy for a wide range of emotional issues in both humans and their canine companions—including the anxiety triggered by a fear of loud noises.

Says renowned holistic vet Dr. Joel Murphy, “Just like humans, dogs are extremely receptive to the distinct energy patterns or ‘essences’ of plants and flowers, and I’ve found that certain blends provide powerful relief not just for stress and anxiety, but also for detoxification and overall health. This is so important, because dogs today are living longer than ever, and pet owners want to do everything they can to provide safe, natural solutions for keeping them as healthy and active as possible.”

Calm, Cool and Collected

Before that familiar rumble rolls around again, speak with your veterinarian about the natural solutions available to help your dog stay calm during the storm. An herbal anti-anxiety formula may be the first step toward alleviating apprehension and ensuring a healthier, happier best friend.