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      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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      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.

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      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 .

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Vital Planet Pets visits Expo East

Filed in Dogs - Pets, Environmental Toxins, Immune System | Posted by Brenda Watson on 09/25/2015


Last weekend was a wonderful experience for me and I wanted to share it with all of you!

A number of us from Vital Planet Pets attended Expo East in Baltimore. This is a yearly gathering where health and wellness companies of all types come together to showcase their products and hopefully, gain interest from health food store buyers nationwide.

As I’ve mentioned before, Vital Planet Pets is my brand new company, just started this year. Our goal is to provide the highest quality pet supplements available – yes, on the planet!

You know how passionate I am about probiotics and also herbal and nutritional supplements to help manage our toxic daily lives. Well, our pets are even more at risk than we are! Think about it – they’re much closer to the ground and floor where they are exposed to pesticides and whatever we bring into the house on our shoes. They lay on carpets, play in dirt, chew on unmentionable things – oh my! As a matter of course and safety they are vaccinated, de-fleaed, and receive antibiotics when necessary. Believe me I know. I share my life with three doggies on a daily basis and love them more than I can say. I want them around for a long time so I know I need to support their immune systems and vitality daily. I sincerely wanted to communicate this message at the show.

Our booth was placed with the other creative fledgling companies upstairs. It was all so exhilarating! We were unveiling products that we were presenting to the buyers in a totally new way, hoping that there would be interest in the pet supplements that are our passion. And we were not disappointed!

People visited our booth constantly, and retailers were expressing their excitement to carry our new condition specific therapeutic supplements for their own pets, and the pets of their customers – that’s you! So you can look forward to seeing more Vital Planet smiling dog and cat faces from the shelves of your favorite health food stores. Hooray!

And you just have to hear this – I was blown away! One woman from the show who purchased our product Skin & Coat for her dog emailed us when we returned. She said she had already spent hundreds of dollars trying to help her beloved friend. She was absolutely thrilled to report that after only a few days, she could already see a difference in her German Shorthaired Pointer’s coat. Just imagine how much better her dog feels too! Stories like this make everything worthwhile.

The time has come to help our four-legged friends enjoy the same health that we two-leggeds strive to achieve day to day. Please look for Vital Planet Pet products on your health food store shelves. If you can’t find them, let us know!

We’re here to help you to decrease chronic discomfort in your beloved dogs and cats as you give them the chance to heal from the inside out with Vital Planet Pets!

Thank you for your support.

Inspired By ‘Sweet’ Success

Filed in Adults, Sugar, Weight Loss | Posted by Brenda Watson on 09/11/2015


Happy Friday to everyone! I’m feeling very inspired today!

You may have heard me speak before about the Skinny Gut Facebook group. It’s a closed group, which in this case means that you simply need to request to be added.

It was started earlier this year by Amber who is extremely sharp, very motivated and has a heart to share great information. It has gently grown to over 1,000 people at this point – all of us exchanging nutritional and life tidbits. I’ve really enjoyed stopping in regularly with answers to specific Skinny Gut questions.

Which leads me to this morning’s inspiration. I never tire of hearing how happy people can actually be, even when they’re not eating bread, potatoes, rice, whole grains or pasta. Imagine that.

One of our members has lost over 15 pounds in six weeks and I laughed out loud when she imagined that her Sicilian grandmother would be turning over in her grave if she heard about her granddaughter’s new eating plan! Then she added that Grandma would be very happy about the zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers that were being consumed instead. Lovin’ those veggies!

We all desire happiness, and to so many of us, food choices can be wrapped up in the warm emotions of childhood and memories of joy-filled gatherings with friends and family. Sugar and carbs especially. Terms of endearment even register that love affair – “how are you doing Honey”? or “Sweetheart, I hope things are good with you”. It’s entertaining to notice how many conversational references we have to sugar or carbs in our daily interactions. Even something like “couch potato”. Vegetables just don’t seem to get the same kinds of attention. Hmmm.

Another member of the Facebook group mentioned that she’d even like to overcome her reliance on any daily sweets. In addition to the carbs mentioned earlier, she’s choosing to eliminate ‘allowed’ low carb sweeteners and fruits, striving to totally reset her palate. I’ll be very interested to hear about her experience.

Since overcoming the carb habit, I’ve personally discovered that there’s actually a subtle underlying sweetness in many foods I wouldn’t previously have regarded that way at all.  And it becomes easy to understand how spices and herbs have been so highly valued throughout history – they offer such wonderful flavor nuances when not overwhelmed by sugar. I’ve even noticed that as my taste buds shift, I feel more satisfied with less quantity of food.

One person posted how comfort foods had always been her downfall, however since making Skinny Gut food choices over the last two weeks, her carb cravings have disappeared – along with over 10 pounds.

So, should you be inspired to experiment with a different eating plan this week, I’d like to share our three easy rules:

  1. Eat more GOOD fats (like avocados, seeds, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil)
  2. Eat living foods every day (lots of low carb veggies, some low carb fruits, fermented veggies and other fermented offerings) and
  3. Eat protein at each meal and snack (that’s every 2-3 hours – remember to have at least an ounce of protein). These tips can be your ticket to knocking out those sneaky carb cravings that might threaten your best lifestyle-shift intentions. And please be generous with the herbs and spices, too.

Inspiration is always an experience I cherish. Thank you to all the beautiful people who take the time to share their successes so I can continue to live inspired – and pay it forward.