I’m sure the majority of you are well aware about the importance of good dental health, but have you ever thought how important good dental health is in your pets? Just as in humans, the mouths of your pets are teeming with bacteria, and some of those bacteria can enter the digestive tract, respiratory tract, and bloodstream, and cause disease, particularly in the heart, lung, and kidneys.
Another factor to consider in our pets is the fact that we have domesticated these animals over the millenia, and as a result, they no longer depend on hunting to procure their food. This means that the natural form of teeth cleaning, in essence, gnawing and tearing at the flesh of their prey, has, for the most part, been eliminated, and replaced with dry kibble and canned foods. Eighty percent of pet dogs and cats who have had no dental cleaning or intervention show signs of oral disease by the time they are 3 years old.
I take all of this very seriously with my pets, and I am diligent about taking them in every six months for non-anesthetic dental cleaning. It’s worth the financial expense, even though I struggle to pay for their dental care twice a year. The way I see it, I’d rather take them in for regular dental cleaning than to put them at risk for a myriad of diseases, and have them suffer needlessly as a result. I’ve been taking them in for regular cleanings from the time they were young adults, and they have had mild issues with no need for a more aggressive cleaning with anesthetic. I realize that they may at some point need cleaning under anesthesia, but until we cross that bridge, I will continue to take them in for the anesthesia-free option.
There are definitely some limitations with non-anesthetic teeth cleaning for pets, such as the fact that only the plaque above the gum line can be removed. The veterinarian examines the pet’s teeth and gums to determine if there is any inflammation or sign of infection, and if there are any findings which are beyond the scope of the non-anesthetic cleaning crew, the pet is referred for cleaning with anesthesia.
Overall, if you aren’t paying attention to your pet’s teeth and gums, you should. It’s a good idea to ask your veterinarian at your next visit what he or she recommends in the way of dental care. There are dental chews which help to clean the teeth, and some very brave pet owners actually brush their pet’s teeth. Your vet will help determine the best care regimen for your beloved pet.
If you’re into fitness, then you probably have encountered elements of the exercise equipment shortage which emerged from the coronavirus lockdown. People began scrambling to pick up all sorts of exercise equipment as soon as lockdown went into effect, and suddenly, dumbbells, kettlebells, weight benches, resistance bands, etc. became as scarce as a 12-pack of Charmin. It turns out that weight training, as an e-commerce category, is the eighth-fastest growing category, even more in demand than toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. Interest in fitness gear is up over 500% this year.
Part of the shortage is due to the fact that a large percentage of the iron used for exercise equipment is forged in China. In fact, every single piece of exercise equipment I have ordered online since March has been made in China. Many factories in China have been shut down as a result of the pandemic, causing production to plummet, and forcing distributors to find other ways to manufacture items like dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates, multi gyms, and barbells.
Hence the shortage and the inflated prices we have been seeing all over the internet. Bowflex Selecttech Dumbbells have been selling on eBay for grossly inflated prices, jumping from as little as $200 for a pair last fall to as much as $1,500 during the peak of the equipment buying panic a couple of months ago. I have had a Bowflex Selecttech 552 set with the stand for eleven years, and I am so grateful to have it. Never once did I think about jumping on the opportunity to make a ridiculous amount of money by selling the set, because I was using the set every single day, and my fitness and sanity mean far more to me than making a quick buck. Plus, they’re pretty awesome, enabling me to select any weight from 5 to 52.5 pounds, in increments of 2.5 pounds.
There were other purchases I made which were a test of my patience. I ordered a hyperextension bench which took two months to arrive, and I went through so many sites and online searches and apps before I found items like the Marcy Diamond Elite MD-9010G Smith Multi Gym through OfferUp. I also had to pay more than the original sticker price because the demand for such items is so high. However, I swooped in on this item before prices went through the roof. The current lowest price on Amazon for this multi gym is now $2,700.99 and arrives September 25th – October 13th!
If you happen to see a piece of equipment which you want, you had better snap it up immediately, since the demand will not abate any time soon. Gyms have been shuttered, and there’s no telling how long it will be before they will reopen, so we all need to get comfortable with assembling the best home gyms possible.
Marcy Diamond Elite MD-9010G
Shopping habits have changed dramatically since the appearance of COVID-19 and the subsequent scramble to socially distance and protect ourselves. Grocery stores and retail pharmacies now have plexiglass shields at the checkout stands, and there are shoe stickers on the floors as visual reminders of the six foot distance we are urged to keep from each other.
Malls are nearly empty, and many merchants haven’t even dared open their doors. The days when you could just hop over to a local store and pick up a couple of items have been replaced with long lines of people waiting to get in, and staple items which are perpetually low in stock or completely depleted. Let’s not forget about all that toilet paper hoarding which defined the earlier part of 2020.
The new normal when it comes to consumer spending is largely confined to purchasing only the essentials, but there has also been a peculiar yet predictable surge in what can reasonably be described as online retail therapy. Since we’ve basically been forced to become homebodies, our shopping preferences have changed to reflect this lifestyle shift. Online streaming services have increased dramatically in popularity, as people search for shows and films to chew up some of their time at home.
Industries which have seen an uptick in their sales since the global pandemic hit include food delivery and takeout services, alcohol, exercise equipment, health supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer, and beauty and wellness products.
Some people have been compelled to stock up on bundles of essentials like pasta, toilet paper and the like, while others have fallen into the habit of purchasing unnecessary items, perhaps a long coveted item which was purchased with the attitude, life is short, might as well buy it.
The following excerpt from an article by Leanne Italie is an excellent description of the purchasing habits which many of us might find ourselves falling into as this lockdown continues:
“Shopping as therapy has been shown to reduce negative moods and boost overall happiness,” he said. “The big downside, however, is that such relief is very short-lived. That good feeling very quickly dissipates.”
Mr. Galak said some research points to “shopping while bored” as a variation with less emotional payout.
“Browsing for things that one doesn’t need fills the time and then clicking `buy now’ just naturally follows,” he said. “Consumers may find themselves on page 20 of a search result for a new pair of shoes, a place that when engaged and not bored, they would never reach.”
Jennifer Salgado, 42 of Bloomfield, N.J., is a shopper with many heads these days.
“Resourceful me has purchased: a pasta roller and drying rack, because now I’m Ina Garten; stuff to make hand sanitizer, because I’m now a chemist; and dog nail clippers that my 76-pound bulldog noped out of real fast and is now looking like Snooki from the ‘Jersey Shore,’” she said.
There’s also “luxurious me,” Ms. Salgado said, snapping up 96 macarons from a bulk-buying store, along with the Jennifer who needed 24 pounds of frozen peas.
“Most of the time, I forget what’s coming,” she said, echoing others who accepted long delivery dates out of fear. “And most of the time, I realize I never really needed these things in the first place.”
Kellie Flor-Robinson of Silver Spring, Md., just may be a combination of all of the above.
“I ordered a case of Moet,” she said. “I’m not sure that it was an accident, though — this thing has me buggy.”
DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post. I was asked by the brand to provide an unbiased review of their products in exchange for free product.
I love the idea of being able to sip a mug of tea which has all the relaxing, mellow goodness of CBD. As it turns out, Hippi CBD Tea took the time to test teas from around the globe, different types and concentrations of CBD to develop proprietary blends and formulations which are flavorful and effective.
Hippi Teas contain a water-soluble form of CBD which allows the CBD to bond to the tea leaves, then release as the tea is steeping. In addition, the CBD which they use is about 90% bio-available, and the effects kick in after about five minutes, which is faster than oil or gummies. These teas are THC-free, so you needn’t worry about getting high from these teas.
Each pyramid sachet contains 10 mg of CBD, which is equivalent to 25 mg of CBD oil. A key step either during steeping, or after allowing the sachet to steep for 3 to 5 minutes, is to stir the tea to help release any CBD from the tea leaves. Once you stir the tea, it’s ready to drink.
The first variety of Hippi CBD Tea I decided to try was Daydreamer. I absolutely loved the packaging, with the VW bus and hippie colors and flowers. I have always loved black tea for its robust flavor, and I can definitely recognize the quality of the tea leaves which are used in Daydreamer. What’s especially cool is that Daydreamer is the first Black CBD Tea on the market, and can be consumed either hot or iced. I actually started out with a hot mug of Daydreamer, then as it cooled down, I added ice and enjoyed the iced version. It’s just what you would expect from a high quality black tea, with the added benefits from CBD.
I had been working on many different things on my to-do list the first time I tried Daydreamer, plus had some distressing news that morning and was on edge. In addition, I was feeling sluggish because I hadn’t slept well the previous night, so it was nice to get a bit of a pick-me-up from the 75 mg of caffeine. My nerves were frazzled, yet I honestly did notice after a few minutes of drinking Daydreamer Tea that I felt much calmer, and was able to power through my tasks without that gnawing feeling of anxiety which threatened to throw a wrench in my busy day. Daydreamer made that much of a difference, instilling a sense of calm while keeping my mind sharp and on task.
A couple of nights later, I tried Mellow CBD Herbal Tea, which is a lovely combination of organic burdock, organic orange peel, organic licorice, organic cinnamon, and water-soluble CBD. Ordinarily, I avoid all things licorice, because I can’t stand the smell or taste, but this tea was so well-balanced that I didn’t even notice it. The aroma of this tea kind of reminds me of Good Earth Organic Original Sweet & Spicy Tea, which I have always loved, but which can be a bit sweet. Mellow CBD Herbal Tea is the perfect blend of earthy, spicy, citrusy, and sweet, delivering a delectable flavor which is incredibly soothing.
I drank Mellow about 20 minutes before bed, and for the first time in a long time, I pretty much fell asleep the instant my head hit the pillow. And while my eyes usually pop open at 6 am (a full hour before I like to wake up), with Mellow CBD Herbal Tea on board, I didn’t wake up until 7 am. Now that’s worth the price of admission!
Since trying both Daydreamer and Mellow, I have enjoyed incorporating them into my daily regimen. I reach for Daydreamer on the days when my energy is low, but need to get through a hectic day. Daydreamer has been perfect for me, especially since I developed a sensitivity to caffeine a couple of months ago. Suddenly, I wasn’t able to drink even a half cup of brewed coffee without getting severe jitters. What’s so strange to me is that I couldn’t tolerate even 45 mg of caffeine from a half cup of brewed coffee, but I don’t get the jitters at all from the 75 mg of caffeine from Daydreamer. Add to that the CBD to erase the edginess I can feel while juggling tasks, and I am set.
Mellow has been a game changer for me with respect to how well I sleep. I have noticed on the nights I don’t drink the tea that I revert back to my old habit of waking up at 6 am, while the nights with Mellow on board reward me with a deep, restful sleep which envelops me until I need to wake up at 7 am. I might need to stock up on this wonderful tea!
Since I am a fan of both teas, I strongly recommend buying the two-pack, which includes a 14 count box of Daydreamer CBD Black Tea, and a 14 count box of Mellow caffeine-free herbal tea. What’s also nice is that you save some money by purchasing the two-pack as opposed to purchasing the two separately.
One last wonderful point about Hippi CBD Teas is that its co-founder Stephen Walker served in the USMC. Because of this, Hippi is committed to supporting U.S. military veterans, so much so that you can designate 10% of your purchase to be donated to the Semper Fi & America’s Fund. Simply use code USMC at checkout.
I wanted to share this post from artofmanliness.com which discusses the benefits prepubescent children can obtain from weightlifting. I was inspired to discuss this topic after three of my nephews and my niece, all ranging from 7 to 10 years in age, invaded my home gym during my dad’s memorial dinner and begged me to show them how to lift weights. I obliged, all the while monitoring their form and also making sure they were lifting a reasonable amount of weight. They enjoyed the session so much, they have asked their parents to let them have a sleepover at Aunt Stacey’s so they can train, and play with the cats, and have fun in an environment other than their own homes.
Original post can be found here: Art of Manliness Article
Maybe you’ve been following a barbell training program for a while now. Maybe you do your workouts in a garage gym at home, and your curious kids have been hanging out with you while you exercise and cheering you on for getting swol.
Maybe they’ve even wanted to imitate you, and would like to start lifting weights just like Dad. You start letting them hoist an empty bar a few times, and they feel like they’re ready for more.
But your wife catches wind of what you and the gang have been up to and starts raising Mom concerns. “Is it safe for kids to lift weights? Doesn’t it stunt their growth?”
Bless Mom’s heart, but she needn’t be worried.
Below we deconstruct the myths about kids and weightlifting and discuss how to safely get your kiddos started with pumping a little iron.
The Myths About Kids And Weightlifting
Weightlifting can stunt a child’s growth. This is probably the most common fear surrounding kids and weightlifting. Supposedly, if a child lifts weights it can stunt their growth in a couple of ways.
First, there’s concern that weightlifting will cause the growth plates in a child’s bones to fuse together prematurely, which will in turn hinder their overall growth.
The other concern is that weightlifting can somehow fracture growth plates, and consequently stunt growth that way.
But no proof exists that either of these worries are valid. According to Jordan Feigenbaum and Austin Baraki, who are both medical doctors and strength coaches, no evidence exists that suggests weightlifting inhibits a child’s growth. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Further, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, a growth plate fracture from weightlifting hasn’t been reported in any research study. In a Barbell Medicine podcast on this topic, Dr. Feigenbaum explained that growth plate fractures are extremely rare and require a severe amount of trauma, more than a child would ever experience lifting weights safely.
So don’t worry about weightlifting stunting your child’s growth. It’s a myth.
Weightlifting is just dangerous. Okay, weightlifting may not stunt a kid’s growth, but doesn’t the activity carry other dangers? Couldn’t children hurt their back, pull a muscle, injure their rotator cuff, damage their tendons, etc.?
In fact, your kid is more likely to get injured playing soccer or baseball than they are lifting weights. Contrary to popular belief, weightlifting is one of the safest physical activities to take part in, for folks of any age.
In my podcast interview with Dr. Feigenbaum, he highlighted research that shows that the injury rate for weightlifting injuries per thousand participation hours pales in comparison to injuries in other supposedly kid friendly sports. For example, one study found that the injury rate for weightlifting was .013 injuries per thousand practice hours. For soccer it was 1.3 injuries per thousand participation hours. So your kid is 100 times more likely to get injured playing soccer than lifting weights. Yet despite the prodigious injury rate for soccer, you don’t see parents keeping their kids from taking the field.
Bottom line: when done with proper form and supervision, weightlifting is an incredibly safe activity for your kid to do.
At What Age Can a Child Start a Serious Weightlifting Program?
So weightlifting is safe for your kids — it won’t stunt their growth, and they won’t kill themselves doing it. That means you should definitely start your eight-year-old on the Starting Strength program, right?
According to Feigenbaum and Baraki, while it’s perfectly fine to let your kids do a few sets of deadlifts or squats with some light weights, you shouldn’t put them on a regimented, progressive training program (where they’re increasing the weight every session) until they’ve reached Stage 4 on the Tanner Puberty Scale. When a teenager is in Tanner Stage 4, they’re basically in full-blown puberty. Pubic hair is adult-like in both males and females. Females have almost fully developed breasts; males have larger testicles and penis, and their scrotum has become larger and darker. Males in Tanner Stage 4 will have underarm hair and the beginnings of facial hair growth, and their voice will also be deeper.
The reason you don’t want to start regularly weight training a child until they reach Tanner Stage 4 is that before then, they just don’t have the hormone levels (specifically, testosterone) to drive progress and recover from session to session.
Generally, children enter Tanner Stage 4 between ages 11 and 17. It’s different for each child. You might have a 12-year-old who’s in Tanner Stage 4 and physically ready to train when they’re in sixth grade. But you also might have a child who’s a late bloomer and won’t be ready to train until they’re a junior in high school. Don’t try to rush it. Let your child’s physical maturity determine when they start a dedicated training program.
My Prepubescent Kid Wants to Lift: What Should He Do?
Until your child reaches Tanner Stage 4, they don’t need to follow a set program; just let them lift weights in a sporadic and playful way.
Research shows that prepubescent children can get stronger following a supervised weightlifting program, but the strength they gain comes from an increase “in the number of motor neurons that are ‘recruited’ to fire with each muscle contraction.” Basically, as your kids practice the barbell lifts, their motor neurons become more efficient, and they’re better able to display strength. Your kids won’t start packing on real muscle from strength training until they reach Tanner Stage 4 puberty.
Here are a few guidelines on how to guide your prepubescent children in weightlifting:
Don’t force weightlifting on your kids. If they express an interest in lifting, encourage it. But don’t force them to do it. That’s a surefire way to instill a dislike for exercise later on. They’ve got the rest of their lives to be serious with their workouts. Most of the professional, super strong dudes I know who have kids have never proactively tried to get them to lift weights. For example, powerlifter Chris Duffin makes his living being strong and teaching people how to be strong. But he has a policy of not actively encouraging his kids to lift. If they want to, he shows them how, and he keeps the session light and fun.
Keep the weight light. Your kids shouldn’t be grinding out super heavy singles when they lift. The focus should be on form, not weight lifted. Most adult-sized barbells will be too large for a child. Get a bar specifically made for kids from Rogue. They weigh about 11 lbs.
Standard barbell weights should be just fine for kids. They probably won’t be using the 25-45 lb plates for a while, but most kids should be able to lift a barbell with 2.5-10 lb plates depending on the lift. My four-year-old daughter, Scout, can press the Rogue kid’s bar with 2.5 lbs on each side 5 times without any trouble. That’s 16 pounds total.
If you’d like to have your kids lift even lighter weights, consider buying some microplates. They allow you to make .5-2.5 lb increases in load.
Keep weightlifting sessions fun and playful. The primary goal when kids start lifting weights or doing any exercise program is help them get the movements down and to instill a love fitness in them. Also, a lot of young children just don’t have the attention span to follow a regimented program yet. Just let them play with barbells and provide feedback on form. With my kids, when they come down to “train” with Dad, they put some weight on the kid bar and bust out a few sets, then they go play with something else, before maybe coming back to do another set. It’s not structured at all.
If your kid wants a program, keep the reps high and increase weight gradually. If your kid really wants a program, create one for them but keep the reps high, and increase weight in small increments over a long period of time. One study that looked at youth weight training found that 1 to 2 sets with 6 to 15 repetitions per set was ideal for young children.
Start kids with a weight that they can lift 10-15 times, with some fatigue but no muscle failure. Then gradually make small increases in the weight. Once your kid can easily do 15 reps of an exercise, you increase the weight by 5-10%.
Your kid should always be able to do 10 reps without much strain. If they can’t, then the weight has gotten too heavy for them.
If the weight is kept light and you’re not increasing it every session, letting your kids do 2-3 sessions a week (on non-consecutive days) should be fine. Even just one a week may satisfy their nascent curiosity and interest.
Even If Your Kid Is Following a “Program,” Mix Things Up
Even if your 10-year-old is following a semi-structured weightlifting program, make sure they mix in other exercises. Kids should be exposed to as many physical movements as possible when they’re young. Specializing at a young age can be detrimental to athletic performance later in life, so make sure they throw medicine balls, swing a kettlebell, do pull-ups, and perform simple bodyweight movements and MovNat exercises.
Bottom line: Weightlifting is perfectly safe for your children to do. It won’t stunt their growth and they aren’t likely to injure themselves doing it. Before your kid hits puberty, let them practice the movements as much as they want with a light bar made for children. Don’t introduce regular training that progressively adds significant load to each session until they hit Tanner Stage 4 puberty. Keep on being a good example of fitness until they’re out of the house (and beyond!).
As a result of my Japanese heritage, my palate has always been primed for ramen. I’m not talking about the economical dried version which has become a rescue meal for most monetarily challenged college students (admittedly, I availed myself of this habit when I was a struggling college student and also holding down two jobs). I’m talking about authentic, Japanese ramen which can be found in ramen houses in Japantown areas around the United States, as well as ramen shops and yatai (stalls) throughout Japan. A steaming bowl of authentic Japanese ramen is a masterpiece, full of slurpy golden noodles, briny broth, meat, and vegetables, irresistible and unforgettable.
There are over 32,000 ramen houses throughout Japan, and there are enough ramen varieties and regional variations to steep your fascination for this delectable soup. It is quite common to see long lines of people spilling onto the street in anticipation of a bowl of heaven from the more popular noodle joints.
In the months leading up to my trip to Japan, which took place in March of 2020, ramen was the dish I was the most excited about eating while in my maternal grandparents’ native land. Even though I am supposed to avoid wheat and eggs, I was NOT about to deprive myself of ramen while in Japan. I ended up paying the price every single time I consumed a bowl of ramen, developing abdominal cramping within 20 minutes after ingesting each bowl of those incredible noodles. Then the next day, I was ready to eat more ramen, even though I knew full well that my belly would writhe in digestive protest.
There wasn’t a single bowl of ramen I had while in Japan that was less than spectacular, and I truly got a kick out of the bizarre yet efficient way in which most ramen houses had their patrons order (basically, you order from a station and pay through it as well, without any human interaction). I was also intrigued by the distinct regional variations which popped up depending on what prefecture I was visiting. Curious about the main types? Click here to learn more.
I quickly noticed that in Sapporo, miso ramen was featured in many of the ramen-ya. And before you think it’s just a basic miso, noodle masters add in fresh garlic and ginger and simmer with pork broth for an unbelievably tasty concoction.
I had both shoyu ramen (first image above) and miso ramen while in Kyoto, and loved both. Then as I headed further south, I encountered creamy, extremely flavorful broth. In Okayama, I encountered a specific type of tonkotsu style broth, made from slow simmered pork, but with Okayama-specific seasonings. Delicious.
Then I arrived in Kumamoto, my grandmother’s birthplace, and noticed that the ramen houses featured a very milky, rich, flavorful broth which was also made from pork bones for many hours. Though I am not a big consumer of pork, I was happy to ingest it daily as part of my almost daily ramen indulgence.
Obviously with all the ramen around, I didn’t follow a low carb diet. In fact, I had rice balls to snack on whenever I rode the shinkansen (bullet train), and I had a devil of a time finding high protein meals or snacks of any kind. So I just allowed myself to enjoy the constant carb bump for 2 weeks straight. If you ever travel to Japan, don’t deprive yourself of ramen, rice, mochi, manju, and other carb-heavy foods. You will be moving around so much during the day that you will burn off the carbs pretty steadily.
Here’s a video review of BN Labs Vegan Protein which I shot a few years back. This protein is DELICIOUS and mixes well. It’s a fantastic option for people who practice a vegan lifestyle.
Several months ago, I began using a product called Personal Summer Comfort®, an all natural supplement designed to treat hot flashes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. I went through menopause several years ago, but my thermostat is constantly set on high, and there are times, especially when the mercury climbs outside, when I burn up like the Mojave Desert. I know you ladies who suffer from hot flashes are well acquainted with that sudden burst of intense heat which is guaranteed to make its sufferer completely miserable.
Personal Summer Comfort® is a high potency formula featuring a combination of herbs which work in tandem to support the nervous system and alleviate those dreaded hot flashes. Rosemary has proven effects on estrogen balance by its ability to flush the liver of estrogen while also promoting the formation of 2-hydroxy estrogens, supports thyroid function, and lowers cortisol levels. Sage, oat straw, sarsparilla, spirulina, and kelp, substances which are known for their effectiveness in treating hot flashes and night sweats, are used in this formula as well.
I opted to try Personal Summer Comfort® in the gel-caps, but for women who have trouble swallowing capsules, there is also a liquid formulation. About a week after I began taking this supplement, I noticed that I was able to sleep at night without fighting a strong urge to throw the covers off my body. I also noticed that I could comfortably cruise through my day without so much as a warning mini-hot flash. I have even been able to run a flat iron through my hair on a hot day, a task which was absolute torture before I began taking Personal Summer Comfort®.
I always use myself as a guinea pig for supplements and other products which I endorse, because I have to believe in the product in order to promote it. Well, I can honestly say that I am a big fan of Personal Summer Comfort®, and I’m thrilled that I can now recommend a product to my menopausal patients and friends which is completely natural, safe and highly effective.
This is also a great time to start taking Personal Summer Comfort® if you have been suffering from hot flashes, night sweats and irritability. With summer just around the corner, we ladies need all the help we can get to stay cool and calm!
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