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Freshpet : 5 Basic Ways to Transform Your Pet’s Health in 2022

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A new year is just around the corner! While the past few years have been unpredictable and unprecedented, there are ways we can plan and make simple changes to our lifestyle and behavior that will improve our pet’s health. Dr. Aziza shares a few suggestions that would be a great addition to any New Year’s resolution list.

Get into a workout routine

One of the most common diseases affecting our pets is obesity. This is a serious problem because of the secondary health problems that develop from, contribute to, or are exacerbated by obesity. For example, dogs with obesity are more likely to develop diabetes mellitus, and dogs with osteoarthritis are more likely to have more pain and difficulty walking. Obesity can also make surgical procedures and post-operative recoveries difficult.

Fortunately, dog obesity can be treated with simple lifestyle changes, and one of the most effective ways to combat it is with exercise. Consistent, high-quality exercise makes a huge difference in how pets burn important calories for weight loss. But what exactly is it that makes sport good quality? It all depends on the dog. A small dog or toy dog ​​doesn’t need the same amount of exercise as a large breed dog. Age also affects the type of exercise the body can tolerate. For example, a dog who is 3 years old has more energy to exercise than a dog who is 13 years old.

One of the added benefits of increasing your dog’s exercise is that you will increase your exercise too. Think about it. You will be walking, running or swimming with your dog more often – that’s what I call a win-win situation!

Focus on healthy eating

While exercise is critical to calorie burning, it is also important to be aware of the calories burned. When it comes to what our pets eat, it is completely within our control. From the amount they eat, to how often they eat, to what type of diet they eat and treats, everything is managed by the pet parents.

Imagine high or low calorie foods – for example, a large salad has fewer calories than a hamburger, but both meals will fill you up and satisfy your hunger. Now let’s apply it to our dog’s diet. There are numerous high calorie over the counter diets that will keep your pet hungry all day. Instead, I recommend switching to diets that are lower calorie-dense and contain high-quality ingredients like fiber that will help your pet feel full longer. The best dog food options are Freshpets Nature’s Fresh Chicken or Vital Balanced Turkey recipes.

Now that we’ve addressed the main meals, the next thing we need to deal with is the goodies. We love giving treats to our dogs, and that’s a good thing, but when weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight is a goal, the treats cannot be ignored. The good news is you don’t have to go without goodies altogether – you can switch to tasty, nutritious, low-calorie items. For example, blueberries, strawberries, fresh green beans, pineapples, apples, bananas, and carrots are great alternatives to typical high-calorie, low-nutritional biscuits. Plus, you don’t need to feel guilty for giving your dog a little more than normal! Would you like to give your pup a special treat like bacon every now and then? Don’t worry, Freshpet has Dog Joy Turkey and Bacon Treats that are low in sodium, wood smoked, and low in calories. No guilt there!

Make dental care a priority

Another common disease that veterinarians see that is easily prevented and treated is periodontal disease. Your dog’s mouth shouldn’t smell like trash cans, and their teeth shouldn’t be covered in yellow, green, or gray stone-like material. This is neither normal nor healthy – it is a sign of progressive periodontal disease.

Dental disease can cause infection, bad breath, difficulty eating, and tooth loss. For 2022, try to do something to help your pup maintain good oral health. This can mean annual tooth cleanings and extractions if necessary (if tooth extractions are recommended, it is usually because the dental disease is so severe that the teeth do more harm than good if they are present). Try brushing your dog’s teeth every day or add a helpful oral health additive to the bowl of water. There are even chews available that will slow the progression of dental disease!

Stay up to date on preventive medicine

Sometimes our lives can be so busy that we forget to keep up with our pet’s health, especially preventive care. If this is the case for you then don’t worry – you’ll be back on track in 2022! First of all, make sure you take your dog to the vet for an annual checkup and that all vaccinations are up to date. This is also a good time to make sure you’re getting a good preventive drug for fleas and heartworms. Mosquitoes spread heartworm disease and infect our dogs. Even if you live in a cold weather environment, cases are diagnosed across the country and it is better to prevent the disease than to study treatment.

If your dog has already been diagnosed with conditions like hypothyroidism or diabetes mellitus, the New Year is the perfect time to go to your veterinarian for tests to see if your current medications are working or need adjustment. This is an important part of maintaining chronic disease and the best way to increase treatment effectiveness and quality of life.

Invest in pet insurance

The final recommendation I would make if you are making plans for 2022 is financial preparation. One of the hardest things about veterinary medicine is that most of the care is out of pocket. While this can be fine for a routine checkup or exam, it can be financially devastating if something drastic happens, like having a baby. These high unexpected costs can create a huge financial drain on your family and sometimes lead to people making difficult decisions.

With this in mind, I recommend all pet owners get pet insurance. It is the closest to health insurance for our pets. As with health insurance, there may be restrictions due to previous illnesses or racial predispositions. However, pet insurance can be customized to suit your needs and can cover emergency surgery, alternative medicine (e.g., acupuncture), advanced diagnostic tests, and more. Take the time to look around and find out which plan best fits your needs and finances so you are better prepared if the unexpected happens.

In addition to these ways to improve your pet’s health, we have a bonus on how to improve the health of our planet in 2022. By moving to Freshpet you are supporting us in our mission to improve our place in the world. From working on a zero carbon footprint and avoiding landfills to using wind energy to power every place where our healthy dog ​​food is made, we’re committed to minimizing our impact on the planet. Find out more about our commitment to the planet here.

From our Freshpet family to yours, Happy New Year!

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Healthy Eating

Texas Couple From Dude That Cookz Website Gets a New Cookbook, Gordon Ramsay Love

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The kitchen is often the heartbeat of a home. The place where memories and meals are made, and happens to be the epicenter for Shanna and Eric Jones’ burgeoning culinary empire.

Things are heating up for the couple with the imminent release of their first cookbook, titled Healthier Southern Living, a thriving social media presence, complete with big-name collaborations and even interest from infamous chef Gordon Ramsay Houston quickly up.

The couple, who are foodies and creators themselves, combined their talents and created the website Dude That Cookz in January 2018. The site is an enticing hub of recipes for every meal of the day, as well as cocktails, gift guides and other tasty bites.

Shanna Jones, the company’s creative director and photographer, previously co-founded lifestyle website Urban Swank with local adventurer and friend Felice Simmons. Eric was a professional athlete with an artistic flair and an abiding interest in all flavors.

Born in Louisiana and raised in his grandmother and mother’s kitchens, Eric savored every buttered bite of Southern cooking with Creole charm and spice. Although he never attended cooking school, he paid attention to how and what was cooked and recreated family recipes himself.

“I went to Grandma’s class,” says Eric Jones. “They lived down the road, so I saw all facets of southern cuisine. I grew up loving and eating everything.”

Eric and Shanna Jones’ Braised Okra and Tomato with Chicken Sausage.

Food is definitely a language of love. But when Eric recreated the dishes he grew up eating (or something memorable from a restaurant), he wanted that language to be spoken in a healthier way. The couple had dabbled in clean eating, but soon got serious about revising recipes and posting them on the site.

Eric’s other constant companion is a notebook he carries with him to jot down meal details that align with his taste buds and vision, and this notebook became the foundation for healthier living in the South.

In addition to her photography skills and marketing know-how, Shanna brought her love of desserts to the table, enabling the couple to create a complete collection of recipes. Each gets a healthy makeover while still maintaining a hybrid mix of Southern and Creole.

“We love our southern heritage and started clean eating as a family, swapping out whipped cream with coconut milk and olive oil for butter,” notes Shanna Jones.

“You can have great-tasting Southern food that’s healthy without sacrificing flavor,” adds Eric.

Creating a cookbook

The pair were approached by Page Street Publishing after the publisher noticed the Dude That Cookz website and appreciated their fresh take on well-known favorites. The collection of reimagined dishes — including chicken and sausage jambalaya, low-fat old-fashioned chicken and dumplings, and red snapper and cheese polenta with Creole tomatoes — emphasize ingredients that reduce salt, fat, carbs or calories in recipes. It was important to Eric that there should be dishes for everyone in the book, regardless of allergies or dietary habits, so there are shellfish swaps and vegetarian options.

The cookbook is divided into seven chapters. There are 60 recipes in total, including sandwiches, sides, desserts, breakfasts, and even soups, a section Eric particularly enjoys.

“The soup chapter will surprise a lot of people,” he tells PaperCity. “The healthy soup flavors are outstanding.”

His personal favorite is the Five Star Truffle Mushroom Soup, inspired by an asparagus truffle soup Jones had in Napa. Its healthy version includes baby bella mushrooms, garlic, and vegetable broth.

Eric credits his sense of smell rather than his sense of taste with driving his food recreations. And he relies on Shanna to act as head taster and give him honest, informed opinions.

“That’s the strangest thing. It’s aroma based,” says Eric Jones. “Once I have this scent, I throw the ingredients like a canvas in my kitchen. It’s my art.”

Their culinary chemistry started early in the relationship. Instead of reserving a table for two on Valentine’s Day, these two instead had a cook-off where everyone created a menu and tried to wow each other in the kitchen year after year. It is now a tradition in the Jones household.

The duo have already caught the eye of Success Rice, Gemini and Bob’s Red Mill and are collaborating with the brands on various projects. More collaborations are on the horizon.

Healthier southern cuisine The Healthier Southern Cookbook is just part of Eric and Shanna Jones’ food world. Vision.

When the Joneses got the call from Gordon Ramsay’s production company, it was simply a matter of timing that stalled the project. Eric and Shanna were knee deep in the cookbook and under a publishing deadline. With their book, Healthier Southern Cooking, out February 22, the couple is preparing for new opportunities in the kitchen and on camera.

“Four years ago we turned our hobby into a profession,” says Eric. “Shanna got me out of my shell and convinced me of the possibilities and now I’m really enjoying it. I’m excited to see what comes next.”

What comes next is bound to be delicious.

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Healthy Eating

Healthy soup makes eating vegetables easy – AgriNews

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Like most people, I’ve made it my goal to eat more vegetables in the new year. Here’s an inexpensive and appetizing idea that made my goal a lot easier. Each weekend, make a big pot of highly versatile vegetable soup to enjoy for lunch all week long.

This soup is delicious, but to avoid the “re-soup”? Syndrome, simple additions to plain vegetable soup completely change the flavor so we don’t get bored. Some variation ideas follow the recipe.

What makes this recipe unique is that the veggies are sautéed for a light caramelization, maximizing their natural sweetness. This adds tremendous depth of umami flavor that you don’t typically find in vegetable soup.

Of course, you can add any veggies you like to this soup, but I focused on low-carb veggies. However, strong-tasting veggies like broccoli or asparagus tend to overwhelm the other flavors.

This delicious recipe can be made on the stovetop or in a Dutch oven, makes about 10 servings, is easy to double and freezes beautifully in single or family servings.

I’m all for anything that makes it easy and affordable to reach our nutritional goals. Here’s to a healthy 2022.

Very versatile vegetable soup

Servings: 10

ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped

4 large carrots, chopped

4 sticks of celery, chopped

4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped (more if you love garlic!)

1 medium kale, chopped

1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups green beans, fresh or frozen, chopped

2 small red potatoes (optional) peeled and chopped

8 cups (five 14.5-ounce cans) low-sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable broth

A large pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

proceedings

The secret of this soup is the searing. Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until almost translucent. Add carrot and sauté for 3 minutes. Add celery and cook for a further 3 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Remember that you are not cooking the veggies, just sautéing them for the delicious flavor they impart. If you get a little golden color, that’s awesome.

Add the garlic and mix for 1 minute. Add cabbage and stir. I now add some salt and pepper. Cook until the cabbage begins to collapse. Add the tomatoes, green beans, potatoes if using, broth and pepper flakes and mix together.

If you are going to put this in a saucepan to finish, toss in now and set on low for 6 to 8 hours. To finish on the stove; let it come to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Let simmer gently until vegetables are tender and soup smells divine, about 30 minutes.

Add salt and pepper at the end to taste, because as the soup reduces, it concentrates the flavors, including salt. You can replace half the broth with water to reduce the sodium.

variations

Change up the flavor by adding these ingredients to the hot soup next to the bowl.

• Mock Minestrone – Kidney beans, a large handful of spinach, cooked ditalini or small clam pasta, and Parmesan cheese.

• Cabbage Roll — Cooked hamburger, rice and a dash of Worcestershire. Finish with a dollop of sour cream.

• Southwest – Add shredded cooked chicken, black beans, corn, and a pinch of cumin and chilli powder. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

• Lemon Greek Chicken — Cooked shredded chicken, orzo or rice, dried or fresh oregano, and a large squeeze of lemon.

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Healthy Eating

Best Breakfast Sandwich Combinations for Faster Weight Loss, Says Nutritionist — Eat This Not That

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Mmm… breakfast rolls. Anyone who grew up in the fast-food era will likely associate these tasty, genre-defying sammies with morning trips through the drive-thru line at your favorite chain restaurant. Personally, I can attest to the fact that there were many Egg McMuffin pit stops on my daily drive to high school—and a few more since.

However, now that I’m a nutritionist, I know that these commercially prepared foods are typically high in fat, calories, sodium, and artificial ingredients. If you’re working towards losing weight, you may have scaled back. But I can also confirm that making your own breakfast sandwiches can actually be a great way to start the day healthy. The right nutrient dense ingredients like whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables all have a place on a breakfast table or weight loss passenger seat.

Here are five delicious combinations that will lure you out of bed and help shift the number on the scale. Then for more tasty meal combinations, check out our list of the best sheet pan dinner combos for faster weight loss, says nutritionist.

Shutterstock

In a world with literally thousands of diet options, choosing the right one can be mind-boggling. But I believe you can’t go wrong with the Mediterranean Diet — and US News and World Report agrees, ranking it the best diet overall for four straight years. A Mediterranean-style eating plan full of fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lots of olive oil has been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, promote heart health, and promote weight loss. How about a Mediterranean breakfast sandwich to be spoiled in the sun?

How to do it: Overcook an egg in a teaspoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with a tablespoon of crumbled feta cheese and let sit in the pan until the cheese begins to melt. Layer a whole grain sandwich (I’m a fan of Oroweat’s 100% whole grain variety) in a thin layer and top with oil-pickled sun-dried tomatoes, a handful of fresh spinach, and a fresh basil leaf or two.

CONNECTED: Get even more healthy recipe ideas delivered to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter!

smoked salmon and cream cheese wrapShutterstock

While we talk about diet trends, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention keto, another hugely popular weight-loss choice. Although a ketogenic diet has its downsides (as noted in this recent study), it can be an effective way to lose weight quickly. That’s because when you heavily shift your macronutrients toward fat and away from carbohydrates, your body enters a metabolic state of ketosis, which burns fat for fuel.

If you’re on keto for weight loss, you can turn breakfast into a bonanza of healthy fats and minimal carbs with a simple smoked salmon wrap. (It may not be a sandwich per se, but I call it close enough!)

How to do it: Mix 2 diced green onions and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder into 2 tablespoons full-fat cream cheese. Spread this DIY schmear on top of a whole wheat low carb tortilla. Then fill with smoked salmon — Sea Bear’s Ready-to-Eat Bags of Smoked King Salmon are a handy choice — and garnish with alfalfa sprouts. Wrap everything up and get noshing!

Avocado toast with hard boiled eggShutterstock

Avocado toast is what the cool kids eat for breakfast. (Or at least it was a few years ago? I can’t keep up.) Give this trendy brunch staple a fresh twist by adding hummus and a hard-boiled egg to the mix.

How to do it: Start by toasting two slices of whole wheat bread for a boost of filling complex carbohydrates, then top it with creamy hummus for a bit of protein and even more fiber. Top with a few slices of avocado ripened with monounsaturated fat (aka the good kind) and a sliced ​​hard boiled egg. No matter what your morning brings, this combo should keep you full until lunch.

Waffles with yogurt and berriesShutterstock

Not all breakfast rolls are hearty! Stay on the sweet side with this tasty berry and frozen waffle option.

Surprised a nutritionist gave the green light to frozen waffles? This is because they are not all created equal. Nature’s Path Flax Plus Waffles, for example, not only contain 5 grams of fiber per serving, but also ALA Omega-3 fats from flaxseed. A systemic review and meta-analysis found that people who were obese or overweight who added flaxseed to their diet experienced significant weight reduction. With only 100 calories and two grams of added sugar per waffle, this organic choice is definitely for weight loss.

How to do it: Make this sweet start to the day by toasting two whole wheat flax waffles, brushing them with a layer of Greek yogurt and stacking them with sliced ​​fresh strawberries in the middle.

Tofu Pesto SandwichShutterstock

Eggs are an excellent source of protein in breakfast sandwiches, but if you’ve been cutting out animal products as part of a weight loss plan, you’re not without options. Extra firm tofu yields an egg-like sammie centerpiece that’s high in protein and even has a bit of fiber.

How to do it: Prepare a hearty vegan breakfast by topping a thick slice of pressed, extra-firm tofu with nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper, then pan-frying for about five minutes per side. Slide off the griddle onto a toasted whole wheat English muffin, topped with a tablespoon of pre-made pesto. Place a few slices of fresh tomato and a handful of arugula on top and dig in.

For more weight loss meals, read these next:

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