July 2016

Care & Feeding of Aging Dogs

Aging Dog

A lot of folks don’t realize it, but as companion animals grow older, their nutritional needs often change. As their caretakers, we owe it to them to provide the best we can, based on their current nutritional requirements. The truth is, when it comes to senior dogs, appropriate, targeted nourishment can make a real difference in terms of longevity and long-term happiness. More...

Foundation Award to Elinore's Dream

Cradling a cat

It gives us immense pleasure to bring you more good news from The Dr. Jane Foundation! Here, we sing the praises of one of our 2016 recipients, Florida-based Elinore’s Dream, Inc. Headquartered in Ft. Pierce, this dedicated animal-welfare group has made significant inroads towards ending the cycle of feline overpopulation in their local South Florida area. 

This no-kill non-profit seeks to humanely reduce cat overpopulation through a multi-tiered strategy: the provision of spay-and-neuter services for homeless cats; placing adoptable kitties in forever homes; education of their local community on the necessity of preventative care; and advocacy on behalf of humane public policy as it pertains to non-lethal caretaking of feral cat populations.

Feline overpopulation has proven extensive in the Ft. Pierce area. Well over a third of the people live below the poverty line, which is a significant contributing factor in animal abandonment.

The volunteers of Elinore’s Dream care for feral felines who have been relegated to the outskirts. Through a program dubbed ‘Operation CatSnip’, aid providers use TNR, a method where felines are trapped without injury, neutered or spayed, and then released so that they may return to their feral group.

Any adults and kittens determined to be good candidates for adoption are temporarily placed with a fosterer until matched with a perfect forever home. Rescued felines learn to live indoors (a big change for some), where they are allowed to roam freely and socialize with people every day.

In operation for only six years, the number of cats this group has sterilized has increased exponentially every year, as has their number of successful adoptions. Amazingly, given the small size of their venture, over the years they have spayed and neutered over 1,700 felines! As you can imagine, that translates into far fewer feral cats with dire needs.

With our grant, they were able to continue their program to spay/neuter feral cats, making it possible to cover veterinary costs for 50 cats from low-income areas of Ft. Pierce. In addition to spay-and-neuter procedures, the treated felines received all needed vaccines at the time of surgery. Of course, medical issues, such as abscesses and infections, were also addressed.

According to Elinore’s Dream Treasurer Sande McKey, “We are very grateful to The Dr. Jane Foundation for their help with our feline welfare efforts. They don’t talk, but the cats are very grateful, too.”

To learn more about the adoptable cats available from this remarkable group, visit adoptapet.com/elinoresdream today. For any South Florida residents, this rescue encourages interested adopters to contact them immediately, as well as anyone interested in becoming a foster parent.

As the charitable arm of Life’s Abundance, The Dr. Jane Foundation provides financial support to small and medium-size rescue groups who work to prevent animal homelessness, abuse and chronic neglect. Every time you purchase a Life's Abundance product, a small donation is made to the Foundation’s operating fund.

And there’s more good news … we are now accepting applications for 2016 funding. If you know of an animal rescue organization that deserves special recognition and financial support, please encourage them to fill out an application.

Check back next month for more good news from The Dr. Jane Foundation. Together, we’re making a difference!

Dive Into Antioxidants

keri july 2016 blog

Antioxidants. Free radicals. Two buzzwords thrown around as often as, we eat! But what are antioxidants and free radicals exactly, where are they found and what do they do to and for you?

Antioxidants are compounds that protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Think of them as the "good guys" that protect you from the "bad guys", free radicals. 

Free radicals are produced when your body breaks down certain foods, from environmental exposures such as tobacco smoke and even from the sun. In science terms, a free radical is a highly reactive unpaired oxygen atom. While oxygen is good and essential for the body, it is meant to be perfectly paired in its balanced O2 form. Think of a free radical as a pinball careening around inside your body, constantly smashing into other cells, and inhibiting normal cell function—the cells can’t do their jobs properly because this little guy keeps storming the gates.They damage cells and contribute to aging and other health concerns.

The good news is that we don’t need to live in fear of free radicals. Our bodies are pretty amazing and we can fight them, even with the food we eat. Free radicals can be reduced by eating foods that are loaded with antioxidants. Now the whole “good guy” part is making sense, right?

Antioxidants help counter free radicals in your body (think squashing that fly with a swatter) in a variety of ways. For example, antioxidants lessen the deterioration of the skin’s vital components like collagen and elastin. They protect against long-term sun damage, like wrinkling and skin discoloration, and from UVB exposure by fighting the free radicals that result from sun and pollution.

My favorite foods which have been found to deliver some of the highest antioxidant power are foods such as blueberries, artichokes, black beans, lentils and dark leafy greens. But all fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and legumes will provide antioxidants. Herbs and spices and tea and coffee are also a powerful place to up your intake.

It’s important to remember to mix it up when it comes to eating. So, no eating that same turkey sandwich every day. Eating a variety of whole foods will ensure that you consume a wide range of antioxidants providing your body with the most help it can get, and you’ll be more satisfied, too! Even when you’re eating a balanced diet, sometimes it’s near impossible to consume all of the vitamins and minerals you need. Supplementing your diet with a low calorie antioxidant blend can be as easy as adding it to a glass of water. With our Minerals & Antioxidants mixes, just pour, stir and immediately enjoy 11 different nutrient-dense super foods, while simultaneously contributing to your 8 recommended glasses of water a day!

Keri Keri Glassman MS.RD.CDN