Archive for May, 2011

Emily sunbathing

I received the below article from the ASPCA in my email inbox. If you are like me and your pets are more than animals — they are full members of the family — then remember to help them stay safe and healthy this summer. Read on:

The last days of May signal the unofficial start of summer for folks, young and old, across the country. But with these carefree months of no homework and summer Fridays comes an increased risk for illness or injury for our furry pals.

Samantha & Emily looking for squirrels!

From unpredictable weather to unusual routines, our animals are exposed to all sorts of hazards during June, July and August, and your pet is counting on you to keep him safe. Check out our top six tips for keeping your animal secure all summer long.

  • Give your pet access to plenty of fresh water at all times. Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat.
  • Avoid lathering your pet with any insect repellent or sunscreen not intended for the four-legged kind.
  • Keep your pet away from matches, citronella candles and lighter fluid, which if  eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.
  • Be cool near the pool. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool, lake or high waters—not all dogs are expert swimmers!
  • Never leave your dog, cat or any other animal friend alone in a car! The inside of a car can heat up very quickly—even with a window open.
  • Be prepared! From tornadoes to floods, we’ve seen the devastation severe weather has brought to pets and their families these past few weeks. Develop an evacuation plan well ahead of time in case you’re forced from your home in an emergency.

Have a pet-safe summer!

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Another great post at the Eating Well recipe blog. There are recipes for

Swirled Cheesecake Brownies

Rocky Road Brownies

Dark Fudgy Brownies

Double Chocolate Brownies

They each have healthier (not healthy, really, but healthier) ingredients than the average brownies and thus are lower in calories. Enjoy!

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5 Easy Savory Dinners

If you have pasta, beans, and a savory meat, then you can make a yummy dinner, quickly. Throw in some greens and it’s healthy too! Read the recipes here.

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We all know the importance of eating breakfast, especially if you want to lose weight. But should you eat before or after you exercise? This post at Eating Well answers the question: eat breakfast AFTER you exercise to burn more fat. Learn why here.

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As you know, I’m counting calories these days. It’s always a good idea to count calories periodically, even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, so you have some idea how many calories you are eating each day. The truth can be shocking sometimes!

One thing counting calories has taught me (again) is that splurging just a little bit can have big consequences. For example, this past week I went over my alotted calorie count two days because I had a little “treat” and thought “eating this one little thing won’t really matter.” One day I had two Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and another day I had a cupcake. And both days my calorie count was over by the number of calories in those treats (both of which were over 200 calories).

So when I saw this blog post at Eating Well, I wanted to share it with you. I still believe that you have to have “treats” sometimes because life is short and I like sweets! But you should know what you are getting when you eat them. Read the post to learn how to have your cake and eat it too!

P.S. BTW, as you will read, that cupcake can have up to 585 calories!

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Oprah recently touted the benefits of working with a health coach. Read the beginning of the article below.

Have you ever lost weight, only to find the pounds creeping back on just a few months later? Or vowed to eat a healthier diet but found it too hard to decipher food labels or set aside time to cook? If you’re having trouble meeting a health goal, or if you’ve tried in the past and failed, you might benefit from an increasingly popular new resource—a health coach. Unlike, say, a workout buddy, “a health coach is trained to help you break your goal into manageable steps, track your progress, and identify and overcome personal roadblocks,” says Karen Lawson, MD, program director for the health coaching track at the University of Minnesota.

Read the rest of the article here.

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I know lots of people don’t like to count calories because it’s time consuming and, really, how can you know how many calories everything has anyway.

There’s a great book that makes it much easier. Yes, you still must take the couple of minutes to open the book and calculate the calories, but because the book is so comprehensive and pocket-sized, it is really simple.

The Calorie King

It’s called The Calorie King’s Calorie, Fat, and Carbohydrate Counter. It lists almost every food imaginable as well as lots of restaurant items. There’s also lots of great information at the beginning of the book about diet, calories, and exercise. I’ve used this book every time I want to count calories, which I try to do periodically just to remind myself of how many (or how few) calories my food has.

The really good news is that we all tend to eat a small variety of foods, so after you’ve counted calories for a couple of weeks, you are able to know your calorie counts without looking everything up in the book.

Try it – it’s worth it!

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