Archive for March, 2012

Bingo, a horse, and Rosie, a cow, lifetime companions die days apart

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

When a husband or wife who’ve been married many years dies, it’s not unheard of that the other will depart shortly thereafter. The romantic argues the surviving spouse dies from a broken heart.

Companions for 18 years, Rosie, a cow, and Bingo, a horse—who lived on Manatuck Farm in Weston—met a similar fate. Bingo, 30, was put down after a brief digestive illness on Feb. 7. Nine days later, Rosie, 18 and arthritic, was put down after she sat down and couldn’t—or wouldn’t—get back up.

“Rosie was very quiet without him,” said Kara Shepherd, a Ridgefield resident who owned the two animals and has spent half of her life—22 years—at Manatuck. “She ate and went outside to lay in the sun, but I could tell she missed her best friend. It was heartbreaking to see her look for him in the field.”

Read more.

The Best Workout to Drop Fat and Lower Blood Sugar

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The dynamic duo? Aerobics and weight training. Do two of our favorite things: speed walking and a little resistance work. Even if you do the absolute minimum — 5 days of walking and 2 days of strength training — for just 20 to 30 minutes a day, you’ll get more out of it than if you do just one. Try Joel Harper’s resistance workout to boost your upper-body strength.

Researchers observed that people with diabetes who did the combo trimmed their waists, lowered their blood sugar, cut back on their meds, and (nifty bonus) lost 4 pounds of pure fat. Set your workout goals with this personal tracker.

The beauty of combining both types of workouts is that it doesn’t have to take more time. The mix seems to maximize the benefits of whatever you do. Even though the combo plan was tested on people with diabetes, it will work for anyone, whether you need to exercise to lower your blood sugar or just want to get healthier, have more energy, and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. Who wouldn’t want that?

Read more.

Baby goats give man back massage

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Cute. Watch video.

Heart-healthy mix of fat and spices

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Americans just can’t seem to find that crucial equilibrium when it comes to eating a diet of healthful and enjoyable foods. We have become adherents to the idea of nutritionism, a reductionist concept popularized by the food writer Michael Pollan that shows we erroneously see foods as a collection of nutrients, and that food is nothing more than the sum of its parts. This leads to our attraction to all sorts of products that espouse questionable health claims (low-fat, fiber-rich, omega-rich, etc) as well as leading us further and further away from any guiding food tradition of our own. So we look to the diets of the Japanese, the French, as well as the people of the Mediterranean region to provide us with some pathway and guidance. But we are kind of hapless in our pursuit of true balance.

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Rescue of Neejee, a rare dog breed called the Peruvian Inca Orchid

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Written by Cathy McCarthy of North Carolina

Two years ago, I had the privilege of playing a small part in the rescue of a very special dog. These dogs are reputed to be healers in the Native world who have special powers that cheer your heart when you feel down. They are hairless mutations and must be carefully bred to be healthy.

Neejee’s story starts when his former owner put him up for sale on Craigslist. Neejee was a male puppy worth a lot of money to anyone devious enough to run a puppy mill. As a non-altered rare breed, he represented a cash cow. He was in danger of spending his life in a small cage populating the USA with dogs that would be unhealthy and probably so badly mutated that their short lives would be nothing but suffering and pain.

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Probiotics to reduce allergy symptoms

Friday, March 16th, 2012

It may sound odd that bacteria can actually reduce allergy symptoms. But, certain bacteria can reduce inflammation in the body, improve nutrient absorption, and reduce nasal and sinus symptoms linked to allergies. Of course, not just any bacteria will do.

Research by scientists at the Osaka University School of Medicine found that certain probiotics were effective in the treatment of nasal and sinus symptoms linked to allergies. According to their study published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, the specific strains that are effective include: Lactobacilli casei, Lactobacillus paracasei, L. acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium longum.

Supplement your diet with a high-quality probiotic taken on an empty stomach, preferably one containing a wide variety of bacterial strains. Don’t worry about remembering their lengthy names. Usually the word “Lactobacillus” will be shortened to “L.” and “Bifidobacterium” will be shortened to “B.” on product labels.

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Baby sloths wear onesies to cure their mange

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Since these orphan baby sloths are growing up without their mother’s antibody-filled milk, they’re much more prone to infection. In this case, the two suffer from a nasty case of mange — a skin infection caused by parasitic mites.

Not to worry though, as sloth sanctuary owner Judy Avey-Arroyo has developed an effective — and adorable — home remedy.

Read article and watch video. They are really cute.

12 reasons to love quinoa

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

A staple of the ancient Incas who revered it as sacred, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is not a true grain, but a seed. Surprisingly, it is related to spinach and Swiss chard. If you’re not already enjoying this delicious food, here are 7 reasons to start.

1. Unlike most grains quinoa is a complete protein. Most grains lack one or more of the essential amino acids, making them incomplete. Quinoa packs an amino acid punch.

2. Quinoa is rich in nutrients, including: manganese, iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, and fiber.

3. In studies, quinoa is a proven aid for migraine sufferers, likely due to its magnesium and riboflavin content. Magnesium helps relax muscles and riboflavin helps reduce the frequency of migraine attacks and improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells.

4. Like its grain counterparts, quinoa lessens the risk for heart disease and helps with heart arrhythmias.

Read more.

Samantha, an elderly gorilla, and Panda, a rabbit, become friends

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

They’re an odd couple, but Samantha the gorilla and Panda the rabbit are making the relationship work. The two were introduced by Erie Zoo officials who felt the elderly gorilla needed a companion.

Samantha, a 47 year-old western lowland gorilla has lived without a buddy since the death of her mate Rudy, in 2005. Officials at the Pennsylvania zoo were concerned that Samantha was lonely, but worried she was too old and fragile to be paired with another gorilla. So last month they introduced her to a Dutch rabbit, named Panda.

Reports from the zoo indicate that Samantha and Panda are getting along famously.

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5 Surprising Signs of an Unhealthy Heart

Monday, March 12th, 2012

We’ve all read the signs of a heart attack listed on posters in the hospital waiting room. But what if there were other, earlier signs that could alert you ahead of time that your heart was in trouble?

It turns out there are. Researchers have done a lot of work in recent years looking at the signs and symptoms patients experienced in the months or even years leading up to a heart attack. “The heart, together with the arteries that feed it, is one big muscle, and when it starts to fail the symptoms can show up in many parts of the body,” says cardiologist Jonathan Goldstein of St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. Here are five surprising clues that your heart needs checking out. Any of these signs — and particularly two or more together — is reason to call your doctor for a workup, says Goldstein.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.