Healthy Dog Biscuits

By Reid Terranova

Did you know that the majority of dogs that are overweight are in their condition because of the dog biscuits they eat? While there are certainly many reasons why dogs can pack on a few extra pounds, dog biscuits can be the culprit behind dog weight gain. You may have a lean dog and worry about overall health and want to avoid obesity too.

Whatever the case, you want to see what you can find for healthy dog biscuits. That way you can indulge them once in a while without worrying that their treats are going to shorten their lives.

Dog biscuits are a common way that owners use positive reinforcements to show a dog that they are pleased with their behavior. This is far more effective than swatting at them if they misbehave or locking them up in a kennel when they should otherwise be free in the home.

As with children, dogs respond better to and learn better from the positive reinforcements, so do not think that you have to give up this type of treat when training or rewarding your dog. You just want to be on the look out for healthy dog biscuits.

There is a movement among dog owners to buy healthier dog food. When you are choosing food for your family, you probably read the labels pretty well to make sure you are putting things into their bodies that are healthy. You should do the same for your dog.

If you are reading the ingredients and you do not know what half of the things are on the list, you may want to get something better. You should do the same when you are looking for healthy dog biscuits. Read the ingredients first so you are sure they are the best out there.

Grains are important to dogs, so when you get healthy dog biscuits you want to see that there are some whole grains. They should not be the main ingredient though. As with dog food, you want to see meats listed at least to some degree, and you want them to be whole meats.

You want to see the most natural looking list of ingredients on the package that you would see on your bag of dog food. Fillers are simply empty calories that your dog does not need, and could be things that are detrimental to their health.

Remember that no matter what healthy dog biscuits you get for your pet, do not overdo it when you are giving them out to your pooch. You want to limit them to just a few a day or at just one if they are larger biscuits. They will get some chewing enjoyment out of them, but too many are a bad idea.

Instead, get them rawhide bones that they can gnaw on to their hearts content. Both are good for their teeth and a good raw hide will last your pooch quite a long time. That in addition to a good biscuit or two a day should be all the extra they need.

Healthy Junk Food is an Oxymoron

By Anouk Brandt

New studies suggest that while junk food may never exactly be healthy, some choices certainly can be more healthy than others. Does that mean there is such a thing as healthy junk food?

For instance, if you are at a street stand or food truck, and you are trying to make your mind up between rotisserie chicken and a hotdog, which should be your pick for some healthy junk food?

Surprisingly, the answer there would be the humble hot dog.

Rotisserie chicken, during the cooking process, gains carcinogenic compounds (that’s what lives in the crispy burned skin). Pepperoni and hotdogs, on the other hand aren’t cooked that way and can be better for your health.

The carcinogenic compounds in meats that are fried or grilled, are called HCAs. And researchers have been trying to find out how much of these carcinogens we end up taking in as we innocently pick any one of a variety of ready-to-eat meat products.

Researchers in this study, at the Kansas State University, certainly had a very pleasant task before them. It was their job to try to make up ready-to-eat fast food of the kind people buy everyday and find out which items have the least cancer-causing HCAs. This way, the feel they could narrow your menu down to the most healthy junk food you could buy.

And this is what they found: pepperoni has the least cancer potential. Hot dogs and deli meat are nearly the same as well. Bacon that’s well-cooked and rotisserie chicken, on the other hand, have high levels of cancer-causing HCA’s.

Which brings us to a simple rule – the more frying or grilling anything goes through, the more dangerous it is for your health.

Advice of this kind can be particularly good for women who are pregnant. For some reason, when you’re pregnant, you crave just the kinds of things that you’re not supposed to have. Researchers find that mothers who give in to those junk food cravings too much when they are pregnant end up raising children who have lifelong problems with obesity.

If you really crave potato chips for instance, try to make do with pretzels or tortilla chips. If you can’t think of anything other than a great beef patty burger, you could try instead to do with a turkey burger that’s not cooked as much.

Still, healthy junk food is really an oxymoron. Would you agree?

Easy Healthy Recipes You Can Make Quickly at Home

By Gwyn Seabrooke

Here we’ve got some suggestions on fast and easy healthy recipes you can whip up at home. Most take no more time than it takes to stop by the pizza place or fast food drive-through and keeps a little more gas money in your pocket.

You may have admired those super-Mom types in the past, who can feed a family of four on $400 a month. While you probably thought they spent all day baking homemade bread and clipping coupons, a reduced food budget is now a reality for the majority.

Let’s see how you can juggle that hectic schedule and save money without working yourself into a state of exhaustion.

At the core of a money saving food plan is organization. Menu planning, taking advantage of the weekly supermarket sales and clipping coupons give you a big edge. However, when you’re short on time as well, you also need a repertoire of easy healthy recipes to make the most of your food dollars.

Changing your shopping habits can stretch your budget significantly. This strategy goes hand in hand with menu planning. When you shop, don’t buy more than you’ll use in a week. You’ll avoid waste.

Serve foods that are on sale this week. Stock up on sale-priced canned goods, which don’t spoil and provide ready ingredients for a quick, impromptu meal based on your pantry contents.

Easy healthy recipes start with fresh or frozen, top quality foods. Shop your local farmer’s market, where you’ll typically find better prices, fresher produce and organically grown foods. If you don’t think you can live without a cookbook, think again. Easy healthy recipes can spring right from your imagination!

With whole-grain pastas, meat or fish and a few veggies, you can serve delicious, nutritious meals, made with the ingredients your family enjoys, on the cheap, in 30 minutes or less!

So what are the guidelines for producing such healthy recipes, without the help of a cook book? First, choose simple combinations. Rice and pasta are the basis of many a delectable entree. Add whatever type of meat, fowl or fish that sounds good.

You’ll use far less chicken in a pasta based dish than you will in a fried chicken dinner. Throw in a mix of colorful veggies and you’ve got dinner. For an extra filling meal, just add a can of low sodium cream of chicken or mushroom soup.

All-in-one dishes, such as casseroles, saving electricity and prep time without a ‘stingy’ result. A case in point is our modified meatloaf, truly a fast, easy healthy recipe without the cookbook.

Make your meatloaf as usual. Pack it in a 9 x 9 inch baking pan. A can of Spanish-style corn, drained and seasoned with taco spices, is layered on top. Top it off with a couple of cups of instant mashed potatoes and bake. Ten minutes before it’s done, sprinkle generously with grated pepper jack or cheddar. This easy healthy recipe hits all the nutritional requirements and serves up six generous portions.

This brings us to do-ahead meals. If you’re making one meatloaf, you might as well make two. One effort and one set of dishes to clean up. One less dinner prep. Freeze and save!

Homemade soups are great dinners for cold fall and winter nights. These easy healthy recipes practically cook themselves and grant a good deal of artistic license to the cook. Put a whole chicken in the stock pot and simmer slowly. Remove the meat and strip off fat and bones.

An onion, a few stalks of celery, carrots, corn or bell pepper and you’ve got an original, easy and healthy recipe. Put your chicken back in the pot just before serving. Salad and a loaf of bread as accompaniments makes an inexpensive, nutritious, but very tasty dinner.

The take-out subways are always family favorites. Create your own for big savings and family appeal. Subways made with whole grain breads, Kaiser rolls or pita bread are not only cheap, but nutritious. Pack these with a bunch of greens, sprouts, jalapenos, bell peppers – or whatever good looking produce is at the market today.

You don’t need a great deal of meat. Add some calcium with a couple of slices of cheese. Dress the sandwich with your favorite dressing and you’ve got happy campers at the dinner table, courtesy of an easy healthy recipe and your imagination.

Most of us eat far more protein than we need and far too few veggies. Switch this around with chef’s salads, composed of an abundance of greens and veggies your family likes, with a small mound of shrimp, chicken, tuna or whatever strikes your fancy. Another dozen easy recipes at your disposal!

It’s clear, we’re all going to have to sharpen our skills and imagination, with a strategy that produces nutritious, easy healthy recipes that leave our food budget breathing! You can still get kick-back time, perhaps more than afforded in the take-out scenario. You can enjoy restaurant quality meals on a shoestring, as you save time and money.

You Can Get Healthy Hair

By Gordon David

Is it really possible to get the healthy hair those shampoo advertisement models have? Seriously, is that real hair or is that a wig? Well, if your hair is naturally healthy, there’s nothing stopping you from getting the nicest head of hair.

You just need to make sure that you aren’t making any really obvious mistakes. Here are a few.

Shampooing your hair every day really would hurt your chances of trying to get healthy hair. No more than twice a week is what the experts say.

Because your hair needs the natural oils your scalp makes, it just won’t do to use shampoo to wash it all off all the time.

People can be creatures of habit. You might have a wide open space in front of your house; but you’ll still choose to walk the same route everyday. People do that with their hair too.

If they need to fasten their hair in a ponytail, they’ll always use the band on the very same spot. Try to use seamless elastic, and always make sure that you don’t use the exact same spot all the time. You don’t want strands from the same spot getting caught in the band all the time.

One wonders where the “brush your hair a hundred strokes every night” thinking came from. But that much brushing doesn’t do your hair any good.

Certainly, you don’t have to be like one of those people who have hair brushing syndrome (yes, that’s a real thing). But you don’t want to overdo it either.

Brushing is good because it helps spread the oil manufactured by your scalp. Too much brushing and you’ll just wear your hair down.

Finally, try not to ever blow-dry your hair for any longer than 5 minutes a day. And that goes for flat irons as well. Just because your hair doesn’t feel pain, doesn’t mean it doesn’t get damaged. Too much heat is not the way to get healthy hair.



How to Get Children to Eat Fun Healthy Snacks

By Antonia Sparks

Preschoolers are always running about and playing. It’s no wonder that the usual three meals a day aren’t enough for that kind of energy. They need fun healthy snacks to supplement those meals with.

Of course, preschoolers are kind of slow in the speed at which they grow, compared to what it’s like the first couple of years. But they still need about 1500 calories a day from high quality foods like vegetables, milk, fruits, whole grain and beans.

As easy as it seems it might be to give them all of that, it’s really difficult. Children don’t like to eat at mealtime often, or they might be fussy about what they eat. That only leaves the snack times as possible windows of opportunity for when you can bring them a little nutrition – in the form of fun, healthy snacks.

Well, it’s actually a good thing that kids should keep hankering after in-between snacks. Because if they didn’t, you wouldn’t have any way to give them the nutrition they needed. You need to go about this in an organized way; you need to stack stock your fridge and your pantry up with fun healthy snacks all the time and let them pick something up whenever they need it.

You need to make use of every opportunity available to help your child become less fussy about food. That means that you need to stock up on a wide variety of snacks, not just the ones you child already likes. You need to keep bringing in snacks that your child has rejected before – over and over again.

At some point, they actually start to like these foods. Just keep introducing new stuff to give a wider range of things to get nutrition from.

Make sure that your kids are never allowed to eat anything in front of the TV. Food should always be a sit-down meal, be it a snack or a full meal. In fact, feeding your children on a schedule would be great. It would help them manage their hunger, and it would help their bodies know when the next meal was coming.

If your children want a drink from time to time, make sure that it’s never soda or any sugary fruit juice. Freshly squeezed juice would be an idea once a day, as would be milk.

Finally, be aware that your child may want to eat something just because they happen to be bored. Children often do this often do this. They think they’re hungry just because they are bored.  That’s not a healthy way to treat food and caving in by letting them eat whatever, whenever is sure to develop poor eating habits not the healthy ones you want them to have.


A Balanced Approach to Healthy Eating for Kids

By Antonia Sparks

Nurturing patterns of healthy eating for kids is not easy, but it is doable. Every parent knows what healthy foods for kids are, yet it’s a constant struggle to convince the kids. There are a number of reasons.

For example, during a visit to a friend’s home, that mom may offer sweet treats, which the kids interpret as something they don’t get so frequently at home. Although the friend’s mom intends the goodie as a treat, kids arrive home telling their own mom, “Wow, Mrs. Smith let us have a bunch of cookies! How come you don’t?” You hear the accusation in the question.

Almost every kid has a sweet tooth and would rather have a candy bar than a healthy blueberry muffin. When kids go to school, there are sodas, chips and candy bars available in vending machines. Peer pressure is incredibly powerful. You become the odd person out, so boring and strict in your promotion of healthy eating for kids.

You soon feel that your efforts are doomed to failure. Many a mom eventually caves. Don’t you make this mistake! This only contributes to a child becoming overweight and often, a lifelong struggle with weight control and a poor body  image.

There are lots of ways to continue making healthy eating for your kids a priority. You just need to be subtle, persuasive and consistent. You can win them over to your way of thinking. Here are some suggestions.

You know that a kid’s favorite question is, “Why?” Although this can drive you crazy after the 100th time you hear it in one day, this question can be a secret weapon in your battle to develop long term patterns of healthy eating for kids. Plus, it will stick with them long after they’ve left home. Remember, poor eating habits tend to stick just as tenaciously. Here’s how to use the “Why?” to advantage.

Get an age-appropriate primer on nutrition, which gives information on the role that good nutrition plays in keeping a body healthy. When you hand your child an orange for an after school snack, chances are that you’ll hear, “Aaaw, why can’t I have a cookie instead?”

You grab the book and turn to the section on vitamin C. Little kids can relate to the misery they endure with frequent colds, while teens respond to zit and skin blemish issues. The point is, you’ve given them a legitimate reason. They may still try for the cookie, but they’ll settle for the orange.

Don’t force your program of healthy eating down their throats, just subtly and gradually educate them on good nutrition. No kid is going to go for a relentless parade of healthy food. You’ve got to let up once in a while, without overdoing it.

For example, if you serve a fruit pie with ice cream, or even an over the top chocolate cake once a week, such treats will not make them fat or unhealthy. Instead, it changes their perspective on treats, as something terrific to look forward to at Sunday dinner.

Surprise them with the giant pizza every now and then. This type of careful distribution of treats eliminates the ‘forbidden’ factor. They’ll soon come to see for themselves that balance, moderation and healthy eating, is a good thing.

You must also be setting a good example. If you choose to indulge in chips, candy or whatever your unhealthy pleasure may be, while they’re stuck with a banana, your strategy won’t work. They’ll start using their lunch money at the vending machine.

Which brings us to our last point. How do you teach them that junk food should not be a staple of healthy eating? Show them how to read food labels and get one of those pocket books which list food additives. There are several which give the scoop on every additive used in processed foods and what it does inside your body. Some are enough to make your hair curl, or straighten as the case may be.

The bottom line in successfully promoting patterns of healthy eating for kids is to  give them reasons to want to eat healthy food.


Healthy Breakfast Menu at Fast Food Restaurants?

By Gwyn Seabrooke

Not long ago, if you told anyone that for your healthy breakfast menu every morning, you stopped by at your local fast food joint, they would look at you like you had lost your marbles.

Well, fast food mainstays like McDonald’s are finally seeing how a large part of their clientele would really appreciate healthier alternatives. And that they would come to a fast food restaurant for a healthier alternative because fast food restaurants are everywhere and are easy to access.

So how do you find a healthy breakfast menu when you get to the fast food restaurant down the road? What you need of course, is an item that offers you a healthy set of complex carbohydrates – in other words, you need whole products. You also need healthy fats and proteins to feel filled.

For instance, what kind of healthy breakfast menu could you expect at Dunkin’ Donuts? You could expect something very healthy if you order the Egg White Turkey Sausage Wake-Up Wrap. If you’re watching your fat and calorie intake, this particular recipe should leave you really happy.

It comes with a lean cheddar cheese, spinach and turkey sausage all in a nice wrap. The best part is, it doesn’t taste diet; it tastes pretty rich. The only complaint with this breakfast item is that it’s kind of small. You would probably have to buy more than one.

McDonald’s has some great healthy offerings. Consider the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal bowl, for instance. The first thing you notice about it is that it comes topped with beautiful chopped red and green apples – a colorful complement unlike you’ve ever come to expect from McDonald’s. It is even sweetened with brown sugar. The oatmeal is great for your cholesterol and the cranberries and raisins put you in a great mood.

Starbucks has a great line in color too. Their Protein Artisan Snack Plate may be small; but you get everything you need in a great healthy breakfast – you get whole-grain, two kinds of fresh fruit, healthy fats, whole-wheat bread and peanut butter. It just sounds healthy even to read these out.

And finally, if you have a Subway in your neighborhood, consider their Western Egg White & Cheese Muffin Melt. It’s an English muffin sliced in two and stuffed with black forest ham, peppers, cheese, red onion and egg whites. It comes with a side of apple slices or yogurt.

So next time you are tempted to skip breakfast while racing off to work, stop and pick up something off these healthy breakfast menus.