Irene

Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category

How Do I Become Heart-Healthy?

In exercise, Go Red, heart health, Uncategorized, wellness on February 19, 2013 at 1:17 am

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to aid your heart health, says Cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, Medical Director of the Women’s Heart Center at New York University Medical Center in New York City. “It helps to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and weight and it raises levels of good or HDl cholesterol,” she said.

Remember, your heart’s a muscle too and, therefore, needs to be worked out on a regular basis.

“However,” says Goldberg, “If the woman smokes, the priority is to quit.”

Other things you can do to protect your heart:

  • Pay attention to your symptoms–all of them. Signs of heart attack in women often present differently than in men, so you might not get that  “elephant sitting on top of the chest” feeling.

As much as a month before the heart attack you might feel unusual fatigue or experience sleep disturbance, shortness of breath, indigestion or anxiety. During the heart attack, you can experience shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, cold sweat, dizziness and weakness.

How do you know when it’s not indigestion? “If you’re taking any kind of treatment or medication, you should see some improvement within two days,” says Naturopathic Physician Dr. Donielle (Doni) Wilson. Wilson, who is also president and executive director of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians, continued: “If you’re not seeing any improvement at all, or if symptoms get worse, it needs to be investigated right away.”

And don’t worry about “pestering” your doctor–remember Rosie O’Donnell and the much-ignored aching arm and chest this summer? When she finally had an EKG, it revealed a 99 percent blockage in an artery known as the widow maker.

Other things you should do:

  • Know your risk factors. There is a reason high blood pressure is called the silent killer. Blood pressure, and your cholesterol levels, should be checked regularly.
  • Watch your sugar consumption!. Americans eat far too much– over 156 pounds a year. It contributes to heart disease by significantly increasing triglycerides. While you’re at it, factor in some additional vegetables, fruit and fiber.
  • Maintain  a healthy weight. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, obesity is one of the top four (4) preventable risk factors for pre-mature mortality.

About Irene:

Irene Ross is a certified health and nutrition coach who helps people alter unhealthy habits so they can balance their lives.  She is author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life.  Her website is:  www.irenefross.com

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How to Have Fresh, Pink and Healthy Skin

In exercise, heatlhy eating, toxins, Uncategorized, wellness on January 10, 2013 at 1:39 am

One day I was speaking to a 35-year-old woman; she confided to me that her skin was fresh, pink and acne-free during the teenage years, but now, as she is getting older, she constantly fights acne and skin rashes.  I explained that the environment is full of toxins.  “You don’t even need to do anything, ” I said, “because they can be easily absorbed through the skin.  Then it was perfect timing–a nearby construction site started to blast.  As for my own skin, it just seems to get more and more sensitive every year.   I can easily end up with red, botchy, itchy skin–and it’s not only cosmetics, but hair products.  My hair is chin-length and, when I’m particularly sensitive to a hair product, I start to itch where the hair grazes the face.

Toxins are everywhere, and we can’t avoid them.  But there are a few things we can do to help us “fight” them.

  • Try to eat organic as much as possible. canstockphoto0171110Most foods contain harmful pesticides and genetically modified organisms. If that’s not always possible, try to stay away from some of the dirtiest, such as apples and green peppers; for a complete list of the “dirty dozen,” click here.
  •  Engage in periodic cleanses or detox programs:  There are many ways to do this, but my personal favorite is the Isagenix product.  Please contact  me if you’d like to know more–I’ll also give you a complimentary 30-minute wellness discovery session!
  • Eliminate toxins through the skin in sweat, through sauna, yoga or other exercise.  In fact, some people say yoga is the ultimate toxic release–many sweat like crazy in yoga, so toxins are released through the pores.
  • Stretch daily: The yoga pose, the triangle, is often referred to as the happy pose because it stretches and opens so many muscles.
  • Use natural cleaning agents, such as baking soda, vinegar or orange oil to replace almost any chemical cleaner.
  • Read labels on food products and avoid those that you are unfamiliar with. The fewer ingredients, the better–and if you can’t pronounce them, well….
  • Drink wheatgrass. Wheatgrass juice is nutritionally equivalent to many vegetables. (Hint:  If you’re not crazy about the taste, ask them to blend in some fresh ginger.  It won’t change the chemical make-up of the wheat grass juice–and you get an additional detox benefit from the ginger.
  •  Eat at least three of the best detoxifying foods daily–  broccoli, garlic, spinach, cabbage, sprouts, blueberries, ginger and turmeric.
  • Get a massage: It improves circulation and helps stimulate the lymph nodes. (The lymph picks up toxins throughout the body so it can be eliminated.)

***’

Irene Ross is certified nutrition and health coach who helps people alter unhealthy habits so they can live healthy, happy and well-balanced lives.

She is a speaker and teacher who conducts workshops for both individuals and corporations who also conducted tele-seminars and has also been a guest on tele-summits and radio shows.

Speeches can be a customized, one-of-a-kind program targeted for your audience, or it can be one of her sought-after talks, such as:

  • KICKING  YOUR SUGAR CRAVINGS TO THE CURB
  • FIRING  UP YOUR DAY
  • ARE   YOU SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED?
  • WHAT  TO DO WHEN YOU JUST CAN’T SEEM TO LOSE THAT WEIGHT
  • THE   WELLNESS-CENTERED FAMILY
  • HOW  TO GET YOUR KIDS INTERESTED IN HEALTHY EATING
  • HOW   CORPORATE WELLNESS PROGRAMS HELP PRODUCTIVITY, MOTIVATION AND THE  BOTTOM-LINE

Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance your Life, she is also a wellness pro for the 4-legged, writes frequently on pet nutrition and wellness and is developer of the blog:  www.furryfriendshavefun.wordpress.com

If you or your company would like her to present a workshop, or if you would like her to be a guest on your tele-seminar, tele-summit or radio show, please contact her at: irener@eating4achieving.com.

For more information, please visit:  www.irenefross.com

Irene spoke last Thursday about the importance of the “attitude of gratitude” and how it affects health.  To listen: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/timetoplay/2013/01/02/timetoplaycoms-empower-half-hour

The Power of Gratitude

In exercise, gratitude, Happy, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, wellness on November 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Thanksgiving is a time when most of us think about gratitude, but practicing consistent gratitude could be the key to raising your happiness threshold.

Dr. Robert A. Emmons, a University of California, Davis professor, backs up his claim with eight years of intensive research on gratitude in his best selling book, Thanks! How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. He found that people who view life as a gift and consciously acquire an “attitude of gratitude” will experience multiple advantages.
One of his specific findings: People who were in the gratitude condition felt fully 25% happier, more optimistic and confident. They even did almost 1.5 hours more exercise a week!

Here are some things you might consider doing:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down three to five things from the day for which you feel  grateful.  I got an interesting challenge last New Year’s; someone told me to come up with 100 things for which I was grateful.  Now, 2011 wasn’t exactly a great year, so I thought it would be tough.  You know what, though?  I breezed through the first 75, the next 15 were a little tougher but certainly doable.  The last ten were really difficult, but I still managed.
  • Express your gratitude. When someone does something nice, say  “thank you”–and mean it. Even if it doesn’t seem important to you, a “thank you” can really touch someone.
  • Look for what is right about a situation, not what’s wrong. We tend  to see negatives as stressful, harmful, sad, difficult, unfortunate–but  almost every negative has a positive, somewhere. Negative situations can be opportunities for growth and creativity.
  • Practice gratitude with your family and friends. Encourage each  family member to report one thing that happened that day that they feel  grateful for. When you hear a friend moaning and complaining, challenge  him or her to find the hidden opportunity or silver lining to the  situation.

*****

About Irene:

Irene Ross is a certified nutrition and health coach who helps people get off the diet roller coaster–to lose the weight, keep it off, love their healthy, happy bodies,  and let the “fabulousness” shine.

“Healthy weight is a lot more about simply walking away with a list of so-called good foods and bad foods. It’s about a lot of things. Like learning how to balance blood sugar and knowing about the connection between hormones and processed foods and the adrenals and thyroid–among other things. And they need to know that everything feeds us; for instance, career, relationships, self-care, because if just one thing is out of balance they’ll always be, well, hungry.

In short, I help individuals investigate new roads and new areas of development, then provide them with the resources to take action.”

There’s something for every budget, from teleseminars to platinum “Six Step Systems” to VIP Days for those who just want very fast, concentrated results.

Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life,  Irene is also a nutrition and wellness pro for our 4-legged furry friends and writes frequently on those topics.

Her twice-monthly, free newsletter, “Power Wellness,” is full of tips, recipes and information on healthy eating and living.  To subscribe to her awesome, free, twice-monthly newsletter, “Power Wellness,” click here.

 

Five Ways to Avoid Winter Weight Gain…OR “How Not to Panic on Memorial Day”

In diet, exercise, nutrition, Uncategorized, wellness on October 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Happens to all of us–those extra winter pounds can really creep up on us, in some hidden and very sneaky ways and then we panic on Memorial Day when we realize we’ll soon be in those skimpy summer clothes.

Winter weight gain isn’t inevitable, though! Here are five ways you can thwart that weight gain:

  • Stress and More Stress: One trip to the mailbox can send the heart racing, what with heating, electric and holiday-purchases-come-due bills–and that floods bodies with those waist-thickening “fight or flight” hormones, like Cortisol.

Solution:  Get plenty of Vitamin D, because it has a positive effect on the hormones and immune system, says Naturopathic Physician Dr. Laurie Brodsky, ND. You can also try other stress-busters, such as meditation or yoga.

  • Holiday Indulgence:  Halloween’s just around the corner and soon we go into the Thanksgiving-New Year season with parties, treats and groaning buffet tables.

Solution: Remember it’s a 45-day stretch with three holidays, not a 45 day holiday. Practice the “Rule of One.”  Dr. Brodsky explains that this means you fill your plate with one of everything, such as a protein and a green and then have one drink. “That way, you get to taste everything and don’t feel deprived, but you’re still practicing portion control,” she says.

Try to squeeze in an extra workout or two if you know a big party is imminent.

  •   Exercise Derailment:  It’s tempting to go right home after work when the days are short and cold.

Solution: Establish a set routine and then mark it in your calendar so it becomes a habit. Habits usually form in 25 to 30 days, says Psychology Today.  Other ideas include partnering with a buddy, or creating exercise routines at home.

“A few rounds of jumping jacks, push ups, and crunches will get your blood flowing and work most of your major muscles,” said Shay DeSilva, founder, Fast Fitness To Go.
  • Seasonal Depression:  It can make you irritable, moody and sad, says WebMD.  The shorter, colder days can negatively impact you–and let’s face it, we don’t exactly make the best food choices when we feel that way.

Solution: We tend to crave warm, comfort foods, so keep healthy ones, like a vegetable-laden soup, in easy reach. Protein-rich foods and snacks will balance blood sugar, alleviate mood swings. Brodsky has a great recipe for a pumpkin granola (see recipe in sidebar on the right of this page).  “Pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan so they’ll help you sleep if you have a handful before bed,” she said. A small piece of chocolate IS okay as long as it contains at least 75 percent cacao.

  • Sleep Disruptions. Our sleep can actually be disturbed by too-warm rooms, and sleep has a direct effect on three hormones that regulate stress, energy balance and appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, cortisol, the stress hormone, elevates glucose and appetites. Ghrelin, which increases appetite, becomes elevated; Leptin, which suppresses appetite and moderates energy balance, is decreased. Lack of sleep also affects your exercise routine.”It’s a negative cycle,” explains Dr. Kathia Roberts, Ph.D., ND, D.PHYT, “Some of my patients tell me they can’t sleep without exercising but then, again, they’re too tired to exercise.”

Solution: Keep your room at 68 to 70 degrees.

***

ABOUT IRENE

Irene Ross is a certified health and nutrition coach who helps people get off the diet roller coaster to make a lifetime of healthy weight maintenance and lifestyle.

“Healthy weight is a lot more about simply walking away with a list of so-called good foods and bad foods. It’s about a lot of things. Like learning how to balance blood sugar and knowing about the connection between hormones and processed foods and the adrenals and thyroid–among other things. And they need to know that everything feeds us; for instance, career, relationships, self-care, because if just one thing is out of balance they’ll always be, well, hungry.

“In short, I help individuals investigate new roads and new areas of development, then provide them with the resources to take action.”

Irene sees people individually or in groups, presents workshops and lectures and creates employee wellness programs.

There’s something for every budget, from teleseminars to my platinum “Six Step System to Lose the Weight, Keep it Off and Let Your Fabulousness Shine” to VIP Days for those who just want very fast, concentrated results.

Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, Irene is also a nutrition and wellness expert for our 4-legged furry friends, writing frequently on those topics. Her website is:  www.eating4achieving.com.  She also writes a free, twice-monthly newsletter, “Power Wellness,” full of information and suggestions for healthy eating and lifestyle–for BOTH humans and pets.  Subscribers get a free download of her report, “Sugar’s Sour Story.”  To subscribe, click here.

Exercise May Protect Against Emotional Stress, According to Study

In exercise, heart health, lifestyle, stress, Uncategorized, wellness on September 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Here’s just more proof of the importance of exercise:  On the heels of a news report stating that people who experience intense workplace stress are at greater risk for heart attack, came another report of a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health suggesting that even moderate exercise can help people cope with the day-to-day anxieties of today’s world.

First, every participant’s stress levels were measured. Then all participants were split up into two groups:  Those who experienced quiet rest for 30 minutes and those who exercised at a moderately intensive pace, like cycling.

They were all shown a series of photographs, ranging from pictures of families, babies and puppies to pictures of appetizing foods and then escalating to violent and gruesome images.

All participants were reassessed, and the researchers compared the effects of 30-minute periods of quiet rest and with those who exercised at moderate-intensity.

Those who exercised showed a lower level of anxiety.

The following statement appeared on the school’s website:

“While it is well-known that exercise improves mood, among other benefits, not as much is known about whether these positive effects endure when we’re faced with everyday stressors once we leave the gym,” explains Dr. J. Carson Smith, the study author and an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. “We found that exercise helps to buffer the effects of emotional exposure. If you exercise, you’ll not only reduce your anxiety, but you’ll be better able to maintain that reduced anxiety when confronted with emotional events.”

Want to know more benefits of exercise?  Please read my previous post here.

 ***

Weight isn’t the only indicator of overall health and fitness. Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a certified health and nutrition coach who helps people get off the diet roller coaster and live a lifetime of health, vitality, passion and overall physical and emotional wellbeing.  Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:  www.irenefross.com.  While there, be sure to sign up for her free, twice monthly newsletter, Power Wellness,” full of information on healthy eating and lifestyle.

Also the wellness expert for the 4-legged, she writes a popular pet health blog:  http://www.furryfriendshavefun.wordpress.com.

New York City Mayor Proposes Ban on Large Sodas: What Do You Think?

In education, exercise, fitness, New York City, nutrition, obesity, wellness on June 1, 2012 at 3:20 am

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on all bottled and fountain sodas larger than 16 ounces.  It does not prohibit diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks, like milkshakes, and alcohol.

The ban, which is expected to pass, applies to restaurants, movie theaters, ballpark concession stands and food carts.  It does not apply to supermarkets.

The mayor cites the obesity epidemic as the reason for this.  In fact, in New York City alone, more than half adults are overweight or obese, according to the Health Department.

As a nutrition and wellness coach, I often speak of the problems associated with sugar and the obesity epidemic–but I must admit, I have some very mixed feelings about this.

It seems to me that this only puts a bandaid–and a pretty ineffective one at that–on the root problem.  Might the time and effort–and I assume money–be better spent on education, prevention and research? What would keep a person from just re-filling the smaller glass?

Wouldn’t it be better to focus on personal responsbility and get to the root of the problem?  Wouldn’t it be better, say, for insurance policies to include  wider coverage for education and prevention, for instance, gyms and nutrition and wellness experts–who could work with the people to help them alter their unhealthy habits forever?

And why target soda?  Frankly, diet drinks are just as problematic, if not more so–given a choice, I know I would drink a regular soda than diet.  And, ironically, tomorrow is National Donut Day.  Really?  How much sugar is in those? I know one tiny chocolate cake donut has at least three (3) teaspoons of sugar in it.  Dairy-based drinks don’t add to the obesity problem?    What about the huge flavored coffees that sometimes pack as many as 10 teaspoons of sugar?

According to a report on NBC New York, It’s not the first time the mayor has tried to limit consumption of sugary drinks by city residents: in 2010, he proposed that food stamps be prevented from being used for sugary drinks, stating at the time that people needed to be protected from diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Once again, that personal responsibility issue….

Tell me what you think of this.  I’d love to hear ALL of your comments, whether or not you live in New York City.

Do you agree or not?

 

***

Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a certified nutrition and wellness coach who helps people instantly double their energy so they avoid that mid-morning or afternoon slump, get more done in less time and balance their lives.  Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:  www.eating4achieving.com.

She writes a free, twice-monthly newsletter, ‘Power Wellness,” full of tips for healthy eating and lifestyle.

Like her page on Facebook: http://conta.cc/JVhRNe  (eating4achieving.com) and get a free download of her report, Sugar’s Sour Story.  Also on Twitter (@yetmorehealth), LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Five Ways to Get Back in Shape for Summer

In anti-aging, exercise, heatlhy eating, lifestyle, Uncategorized, weight gain, wellness on May 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is just around the corner, and soon we’ll be wearing bathing suits, shorts, sleeveless shirts and other hot-weather clothing.

You may have found that you gained a few pounds or got out of shape during the winter. No need for despair, though–here’s a quick- start guide to help you get back on track quickly!

  • Diet: One of the great things about summer is the abundance of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables. Fill up on them! Remember, the more colorful your plate the better, because every color includes a different set of phytonutrients–those things that keep us healthy. T

TIP: FOR A TASTY LOW-CALORIE SNACK, MAKE ‘ICE ‘CREAM’ FROM BLENDED, FROZEN BANANAS. ADD PECANS, PEANUT BUTTER, BERRIES AND OTHER FRUIT TO MAKE YOUR ‘SUNDAE’

  • A word about superfoods: Some foods have very high nutrient levels, and they are called superfoods. They include berries, citrus fruits, and greens, such as broccoli, kale, collards, bok choy, yogurt, pumpkin, chocolate (Yes! but it must have over 65% cacao) and more.
  • Water: This substance transports nutrients and oxygen to every cell and you’ll end up feeling more energetic—which means you’ll be more active, burn more calories and spend more time at the gym. How much? Divide your weight in half–that’s how many ounces you probably should drink per day.
  • Exercise: I was once told by New York City physician, Dr. Steve Tsoutsouras that exercise was one of the pillars of anti-aging—so you definitely want to add that to your get-back-in-shape program.
  • “Taking care of yourself in all aspects is important, and exercise is right at the top,” said Tsoutsouras. “It releases endorphins, which make you feel better and can reduce stress.
  • In addition, exercise controls weight; fights fatigue and promotes better sleep.
  • “Some of my patients tell me they can’t sleep without exercising,” says Dr. Kathia Roberts, Ph.D., ND, D.PHYT.
  • Nutritional Cleansing: While a cleanse isn’t a weight loss program, per se, the happy result can be the loss of a few pounds and you rid your body of toxins, rejuvenate it (who wouldn’t like to look younger and have a lot more energy??), and provide the body with the necessary enzymes to transport nutrients. There are a lot of ways to cleanse, whether it’s with juices or products, but my personal favorite is Isagenix. If you’d like to know more about that, or any other method of cleansing, don’t hesitate to contact me.
  • Self- Care: Never minimize the importance of a good massage or any other self-care item! Self-care helps to get your body back in balance and one of the happy results is a lack of depression, fatigue and other energy-zappers. You’ll eat more healthfully, too!

***

Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a NYC-based, certified nutrition and wellness coach who helps people instantly double their energy so they avoid that mid-morning or afternoon slump, get more done in less time and balance their lives.

Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Life:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, she also writes a popular pet wellness blog: www.furryfriendshavefun.wordpress.com.

In exercise, holistic health, lifestyle, nutrition, wellness on March 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Ever wonder why:

  • You have to run out of the office every day at 10:00 and then again at 3:00 for a pastry and coffee?
  • You feel so tired and overwhelmed that it takes FOREVER to finish even the simplest task
  • You sometimes come back from lunch feeling irritable, sleepy or even cranky?
  • Speaking of  lunch–and you know this is really unhealthy–but you often skip breakfast, lunch or even dinner–because you’re always so busy. What can  you do?

Now those, and more questions, can be answered by experts when you post on “Wellness Power,” a new Yahoo group introduced today, March 12, 2012. With this Yahoo group, you’ll also be able to comment and start conversation threads.

I’ll be the primary moderator–but not the ONLY one–because sometimes a question can be best answered by another health professional, whether it’s a chiropractor, naturopath, acupuncturist, woman’s health specialist, etc.

You probably already know me–a graduate of New York City’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied over 100 dietary theories, lifestyle management techniques and cutting-edge coaching methods–with instructors such as Deepak Chopra; Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. David Katz; Geneen Roth; Dr. Mark Hyman and many others.

You may have already been receiving my newsletter, but I’ve been racking my brains to add more value for you.  In the past, it only seemed to have just one voice–mine!–and I was sure that there was always some question from someone that wasn’t addressed in the newsletter. Plus, who just wants to be lectured to????!

Here’s how you join: Subscription is free.  Go to yahoo.com, scroll down the page to “groups” and find wellnesspower listed under the health and wellness heading. You can also use the search box–just be sure to type it as one word–wellnesspower–and that it’s all in lower-case letters.

Easier still, here’s the link to the group so you can go right in: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/wellnesspower/

Sometimes we think we’re the only ones experiencing something, but now you’ll be able to connect with others and share your challenges and knowledge.

I look forward to seeing you there!

.

Paying It Forward! Free “Nutritional Breakthrough” session!

In exercise, fitness, health, lifestyle, nutrition, wellness on January 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm

When was the last time you had the opportunity to talk solely about YOU?

Do you ever wonder why:

  • Your mind is so fuzzy?
  • You lack energy?
  • You can’t sleep?

And the list goes on..because everyone has different challenges to being in peak health, different goals…

I’m a huge believer in “paying it forward” and I want each of you to start the New Year off on the right foot.

So, I’m offering a FREE 30-minute “nutritional breakthrough” session. Totally complimentary (no strings!), completely confidential, and it can be done either by phone or in-person.

But it’s only available until mid-February, so schedule yours now, either by e-mailing me: irener@eating4achieving.com or rossirene518@gmail.com. Of course you can also call me–212/563-2353.

And to “pay it forward” even more deeply, I’m opening this offer to your friends, family, co-workers–so feel free to pass it on.

 

***

Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP (www.eating4achieving.com)  helps people instantly double their energy so they avoid that mid-morning or afternoon slump, get more done in less time and balance their lives.  Irene is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she studied over 100 dietary theories, lifestyle management methods and cutting-edge coaching techniques; her instructors included Deepak Chopra, MD; Dr. David Katz; Dr. Mark Hyman; Dr. Andrew Weil and Geneen Roth, among others.

She received board certification from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways To Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, she also writes a popular pet wellness blog:  www.furryfriendshavefun.wordpress.com.

 

Holiday Stress and Weight Gain Affects ALL of Us–Humans AND Animals

In animals, cats, diet, dogs, exercise, fitness, health, holiday, nutrition, weight gain, wellness on November 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm

It’s easy to forget, but holidays can be just as tough on our animals as they are for us.  We always see an enormous amount of advice geared toward humans (I’m even teaching a class this Tuesday evening) on getting through the season–but what about our furry friends?

Parties, long days, late nights, houseguests, travel, separation from owners, and more can wreak havoc on the well-being of our pets during the holidays.  Signs of stress might include stomach upset, scratching, shedding, growling, restlessness, avoiding eye contact and more.

I spoke to some veterinarians and experts.  Here are five tips to help you get your pets through the Thanksgiving to New Year’s period happily and healthfully.

1.  Keep their routine as close to normal as possible.  Make sure they get plenty of sunlight and stimulation.  If you know you’re going to have a long day, ask a trusted friend– someone your pet knows and likes–to walk him or her, or even use your lunchtime to go home to spend a little time with them.  You can also employ a pet sitter, but just be sure the animal knows him or her beforehand.

2. Plan Ahead. “This isn’t the time to introduce someone new to your pet,” said Jillian Pagano, DVM, West Chelsea Veterinary in New York City.  Be sure to plan ahead.  If you think you might need some help during the holidays, be sure your pet is familiar with any pet sitters, groomers, dog walkers, or day care.  Ask a lot of questions and leave instructions and phone numbers.  Don’t be embarrased about asking questions–pet sitters expect it– but if anyone seems annoyed by them…well….you have your answer to not use them!

3.  Make sure there’s a special room, or area, where your pet can go to get away from it all if you have houseguests or if you’re having a party.  Include any special items, such as blankets, toys, water, a few grains of dried kibble, maybe an article of your clothing.

My Westie, Baxter, loved his crate so much I always kept it with the door ajar so he could go in and out as he pleased. Baxter saw the crate as his  room, a place of his own where he could get away from it all.  Once I had a house full of guests so he just let himself into the crate—and shut the door with his nose.  “Did he just do what I think he did?” asked one of my guests.

4.  Monitor diet.  Avoid table food, and a good alternative is to put a handful of dried kibble in your pocket so you can give a grain as a “treat.” “They really only care about being rewarded” said Dr. Pagano, “They don’t care about the types of food or the amount—the reaction will always be the same.”

When you buy pet biscuits or treats, read the labels as you would for your human family.  You want to be sure the crude fat content is very low, or non-existent.

Added Liz Luboja, the practice manager at West Chelsea:  “Overeating can also lead to things like pancreatitis—and we often see an upsurge of this on the days after Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

Whatever you do, don’t forget also that some food items can be toxic to an animal, namely chocolate, onions, raisins or grapes.

5.  Exercise.  This is a must, both physically and mentally, as it will help stimulate them and get them through any stress.  How much should your pet exercise?  “It really depends on the breed and the health of the animal,” said Dr. Pagano.  Generally, you may want to walk your dog ½ hour or a full hour a day. If it’s a cat, try to aim for five to 15 minutes of play.

Note:  My holiday wellness and nutrition coaching class will be Tuesday, November 29, from 6:30 to 7:30.  It is completely FREE.  For more information, and to register, please visit:  www.eating4achieving.com and e-mail me at: irener@eating4achieving.com.

For my pet blog, please visit:  www.furryfriendshavefun.wordpress.com.

 

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