Lifes Abundance content relating to 'Life's Abundance'

Funding Awarded to CA Cat Rescue

Cat Rescue

This month, we’d like to highlight another financial award given by The Dr. Jane Foundation, this time to MeoowzResQ, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the rescue of cats and kittens in Southern California. What began as a personal experience rescuing and caring for abandoned kittens, quickly became the established rescue organization we honor here today.

A small, tightly knit organization, their focus is on saving felines from euthanasia at high-kill shelters, while also taking in stray, abandoned and surrendered cats. Over the years they’ve created a thriving network of caring individuals working in tandem to save as many cats as possible, placing them in loving, permanent homes. Astonishingly, MeoowzResQ saves more than 2,000 felines every year! In their many years of dedicated service to their community, more than 15,000 cats and kittens have been saved. Incredible!

MeoowzResQ operates based on a three-part mission statement: (1) to rescue and rehabilitate abused, abandoned and neglected cats and kittens and provide temporary homes; (2) to facilitate adoptions to safe, loving, permanent homes; and (3) to help reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neuter programs.

Their workers embody the very spirit of can-do rescue attitude. Taking the long view in what amounts to one crisis situation after another is challenging, but it’s exactly what this committed rescue has done. Feline overpopulation isn’t a problem that can be solved in a day. But, with grit and determination, they are making significant progress!

Their rescues come from all manner of bad situations, such as devastating fires, abandoned at airlines along with luggage, stowaways on big rigs during interstate travels, as well as more typical abandonments. All too often, litters of kittens are simply left in boxes on the roadside. Many of these can’t be cared for by the local animal control, whereupon MeoowzResQ swoops in and saves the day.

Their kittens are handraised in foster homes, and many of those enter the rescue as bottle-fed babies. These kittens grow into sweet and people-oriented cats thanks to the amazing foster care they receive from pet parents who are dedicated to raising and finding good homes for these abused, injured and abandoned cats.

They routinely hold feline adoption events in numerous cities, and operate an extensive foster network spanning even more locations throughout Southern California. All of their adoptable kittens and cats have been spayed or neutered, dewormed, treated for fleas and have received all necessary vaccinations.

The funds supplied by The Dr. Jane Foundation went towards covering medical expenses associated with the care of their rescues. In a statement from the group, they conveyed their immense thanks to our foundation's grant. "Because of your kindness and others like you, we can continue our life-saving work. Due to your kindness more lives can be saved."

Here are just some of the felines who’ve had the good fortune to be rescued by MeoowzResQ, all of whom are currently available for adoption …

Miss Kitty (born 2009)

Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty is a regal, seven-year-old, spayed female. Further, she's a Shaded Gray Persian with a gorgeous coat. Miss Kitty is blind and has high-blood pressure, which means that she will be best suited for a calm and serene home where she can learn her environment and move about without stress. Her high blood pressure is a condition that is easily managed with inexpensive medication, but it's a treatment she'll always need. The medication is only one dose per day, sprinkled over food. Miss Kitty recently had surgery to address an injury and had to have two of her back toes partially amputated. Despite her lack of vision and the prior injury, she has no problem moving about and simply loves to be doted upon! She gets along well with both other cats and gentle dogs. She would be best suited for a home with adults only, or a family with older, mature teens.

Mavis (born 2015)

Mavis

Mavis is a seven-month-old female tabby. A Domestic Short Hair with a super-soft coat, she's sweet, playful and gets along well with other cats. Mavis loves to cuddle, burrow and play with toys. She's equally mild-mannered and loving towards both people and other felines, and is described as an "angel" by her caretakers.

Aramis (born June, 2015)

Aramis

Aramis is pretty shy and skittish when he isn't with his mom, Marie Antoinette (see below). Together, they enjoy taking in the scenic views, playing and sleeping. Aramis can be a crafty little kitten, as he can find his way into cabinets and even under covers! He loves to chase laser dots, climb cat trees, run amok through the house, and finally curl up in his favorite chair when exhausted. Full of personality, Aramis is ready to meet his new, lifelong companion!

Marie Antoinette (born May, 2014)

Marie Antoinette

This petite gal grew up fast, as she had three tiny ginger babies at the tender age of one. Only two years old, she's still kittenish in her play. Marie Antoinette is highly dignified, always polite and her coat is remarkably soft and fluffy. She loves to idle hours sitting quietly and gazing out the window (Aramis obviously inherited this curiosity). She's even fond of sitting innocently on open laptops. Her best friend in the world is her son, and they would love to be adopted by the same guardian and stay together.

To learn more about these and other adoptable cats, or to find out more about this amazing group, visit MeoowzResQ.org today. For any residents of Orange or Riverside County, CA, this rescue encourages interested adopters to contact them right away, as they have many available kitties.

The motto for the group is, "Saving one cat may not change the world, but it will change the world for one cat." In light of their outstanding work on behalf of so many felines in Southern California over the years, one can easily make the case that they're ACTUALLY making the world a better place.

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!

Pet Food Super Powers

Super girl and dog

Believe it or not, it wasn’t until nearly the 20th Century that pet food was something distinct from scraps derived from human diets. However, only in the past four decades has the emphasis on health-promotion entered the mix. Some of our readers will no doubt recall the “Gravy Train” commercials of the 70’s. Pet food certainly has changed dramatically since those days! More...

A Probing Look at Probiotics

Girl doing yoga

After years of hearing about the benefits of probiotics, you probably think you know everything you need to. Chances are they were your friend to help you through the winter ambush of colds. To most minds, there’s probably no mystery left.

Given the nature of the good news plus more good news, you’re either in favor of probiotics or you’re like me, a totally pro-probiotic fanatic.

But regular doses of probiotics? Hmmmm. 

Even in the media, probiotics are discussed generically, rather than mentioning the individual helpful strains of friendly bacteria. Such overgeneralizations leave us unsure if you should be taking them, which ones to take, how often to take them, and (when you just get down to it) what exactly is it that probiotics do?

Well, I’m gonna break it all down for you, demonstrating, once and for always, just how awesome probiotics can be.

First, let’s see what “the authorities” say. Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “live microorganisms, which, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Probiotics are often referred to as “good” or “friendly” bacteria, and YOU are the host the WHO is referring to in this instance.

But what exactly are probiotics, you ask? Well, stay with me here.

A complex ecosystem of bacteria, known as the “intestinal microbiota,” develops after birth, taking up residence in the intestinal tract. Yep, we have a whole ecosystem of bacteria shacking up in our gut. The intestinal microbiota contains both “good” and “bad” bacteria. When the “bad” starts to outweigh the “good,” which can be due to lack of sleep, excess stress, or a bunch of other causes, it may affect your digestive system and your overall well-being.

To level off any imbalances, taking a probiotic supplement can help this whole gut situation. Maintaining a consistent level of “good” bacteria in your intestinal tract may actually improve how well it functions. Take that, “bad” bacteria!

Having adequate “good” bacteria has been shown to help support a healthy digestive system, a healthy immune system and help maintain oral health.

But all probiotics are NOT created equally. This is where it gets tricky.

There are many strains of cultures that have probiotic potential. But, each strain does different things, and each has its own little suitcase of benefits. We figure all this out in controlled studies, and we also figure out if you need a little bit or loads of a certain strain to reap its benefits.

You may have seen something on a food label (think yogurt or sauerkraut) about live and active cultures. Live cultures are microbes used to ferment foods, but not all live and active cultures are probiotics (meaning they don’t all have studies supporting specific benefits.) The “Live Active Cultures” seal was established by the National Yogurt Association to help consumers distinguish between yogurts that contain a minimum level of live and active cultures versus those that don’t.

So, bottom line, should you take a probiotic supplement?

I recommend that most people include a serving of fermented food each day (for example, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut) and take a premium probiotic supplement as insurance for good gut health and overall wellness. When you do this and your best to adhere to a healthy lifestyle, including managing stress and getting the proper amount of Zzz’s, you may just become a pro-probiotic fanatic, too!

Keri Keri Glassman MS.RD.CDN

Let Go of Limiting Beliefs

Meditating

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

- Frank Outlaw, Founder of Bi-Lo

Everyday you’re faced with choices and challenges, and how you choose to respond to them will shape and mold your life. If you’re by nature a positive person who always sees the glass as half-full then rock on! But if you tend to look for the negative in new situations or other people, then read on and set yourself free! Limiting beliefs could be holding you back from living your best life.

Change the Way You See the World

Most unhappiness comes from the repetition of old stories we play out in our heads: “I’m the unathletic one, the chubby one, the dumb one or the one who can’t speak in front of the class.” Happiness involves letting go of that baggage and moving forward with a new story. Explore where your ideas came from and ask yourself if they’re really true. Just because your fifth grade gym teacher told you that you weren’t athletic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow your dream of training for a marathon or trying a spin class- or even play backyard football with your kids.

If you continually think negative thoughts because of your ingrained beliefs, your mind will see them as the truth. Whether these thoughts are about your appearance, your intelligence or your athletic abilities, you’ve got to leave them in the past in order to thrive in the present and reach your goals in the future.

Most often, our sense of present inadequacy comes from these false beliefs created in the past; so later on in life, when we go to answer the question of, “Who am I?" we answer from this place of not being good enough. Here’s the thing: you have the control to change your situation, and when you realize that one bad experience from your past doesn’t have to be the frame of reference for your future, a whole new world will open up.

Try This …

Write down your top five goals for the next five years. They could be anything from getting that promotion you’ve been dreaming of or losing those last 10 pounds to reach your ideal weight. Make two columns next to your goals and in the first write down the limiting belief you have about why you think you’ll never reach them; in the next column write down the strengths and skills you know you have that will help you succeed. Instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on all the reasons you can and will succeed; and then find a productivity tool, like Goals on Track, to track and celebrate each little milestone success.

When you learn to let go of your past and live in the present, there is no goal you can’t reach, problem you can’t solve or race you can’t win; so decide to go for it and believe you can do it!

Danielle  Danielle Diamond, Field Rep Contributor

How to Drink Your Greens

Girl Drinking Greens Blend

Many people assume a green juice is for other people. They claim they don’t like veggies. They fear the poison-colored concoction will taste even worse than it looks. They think die-hard green juicers seem nutritionally elitist and willing to compromise their taste buds in the name of super fuel.

While there is definitely a spectrum of green -- from beginner to advanced -- there is a place for you somewhere along the line. I promise. And I’m encouraging you to join the party, because nothing bad happens when people add more whole green foods to their diet. Nothing. Zilch.

There are a few ways to go about getting more greens into your diet, and I promise they’re way easier than you think. Best part? You don’t even need a fork. You only need a straw.

Here are three ways to drink your greens …

1) Hop on the green juice train. If you want to make your own juice, you’ll need a juicer but not necessarily the fanciest one on the market. Juicing is a process that extracts the liquid from whatever you put in it, and it leaves all the pulp out of your cup. The pulp is full of beneficial fiber, but if pulp isn’t your thing, you still get plenty of vitamins and minerals from drinking just the juice. Not into cooked broccoli, kale, collards or spinach? You may like them better in a raw juice. Sometimes the flavors are milder when raw and combined with other ingredients.

Immediately after the juice is made, it starts losing its nutritional powers, so you’ll want to grab a straw STAT. Green juice is sensitive to time (how long from when it was made until it is consumed), temperature (heat can diminish some of the vitamin potency) and storage (air and clear glass containers can also make the juice less potent). But even not-so-fresh juice is better than no juice at all, so don’t let this deter you. Just make sure to put in the fridge and drink within 24 hours if you’re not drinking as soon as you make it. Here’s a great beginner recipe if you’re just getting your feet wet:

Keri’s Beginner Greens Juice

● ½ head of romaine lettuce
● ½ cucumber
● ½ cup spinach leaves
● 1 green apple

Clean all produce well. Toss in the juicer in order and drink immediately.

2) Get your smoothie on. If you don’t have any more room on your kitchen counter for yet another appliance, then your handy blender is waiting for you to let it make a smoothie. A blender can’t separate the pulp from the juice, which is why by definition smoothies are thicker and well, smoother. The smoothie crowd is just as cool as the green juice crowd, and some would even argue smoothies are even healthier than juices because of that pulp stuff I mentioned.

My formula for the perfect smoothie is incredibly simple … 1 cup milk (cow’s, nut or seed-based milk), 1 fruit, a handful of greens, 1 healthy fat, an extra (call it a flavor wild-card) and protein powder.

One of my fave healthy fats is coconut because it’s loaded with health-promoting properties, flavor and, of course, healthy fats. The fat in coconut is mostly MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) and although they are a type of saturated fat, they are not the same saturated fat as you’ll get from say fatty meat.

3) Add a green supplement to your drink. Think green juices and smoothies too much work for you? I’ve got you covered. At Life’s Abundance, we’ve created a Greens Blend that is jam-packed to the brim with nutrients. All you have to do is mix with water. Yep, it’s that easy. Add a scoop to water and mix. The Greens Blend is made of organic greens (picked at peak nutrient density) and an organic mushroom blend for overall health. The best part? It doesn’t have that I-just-ate-dirt-from-the-yard taste. It has a yummy, berry flavor. You can add to water, your morning smoothie, baked goods like zucchini muffins or even to yogurt. Most important, just drink up. Greens are the master of the health universe. 

Salad Keri Glassman MS.RD.CDN

The 411 on Fat

Salad

Fat is not your enemy. I can’t stress this enough.

But, so many of my clients are still sailing past the avocado bin at the grocery store or grabbing powdered peanut butter instead of the real thing, all in an effort to avoid eating anything “fattening.” 

Well, here’s the deal with fat, and listen closely. Consuming too much of anything will make us fat. But when you eat the right amount of food overall, fat by itself does not pack on the pounds. Studies have even shown low-fat diets can actually make that number on the scale CLIMB AND CLIMB!

Why do I love fat so much? It tastes good (think, guacamole), helps you absorb vitamins (yes, the dressing on your salad ACTUALLY helps you to absorb nutrients), helps you burn fat (it’s true, fat indeed burns fat!) and helps you to feel satiated after eating (i.e., keeps you feeling full). But, truth be told, not all fats are created equal.

Saturated and trans fats are both solid at room temperature (think lard and butter), but there is a big difference between saturated fat and trans fat.

Saturated fat has been labeled as a dietary no-no for a long time, but there IS room in your diet for it if you’re getting it from real, healthy foods like dairy, coconut … even dark chocolate.

Trans fat on the other hand is a definite diet devil. You’ll find it in packaged, highly processed foods that you already know you should be avoiding. Just no.

Now let’s talk about the angels of the fat world: monounsaturated fats (like those found in avocado, nuts and seeds) and polyunsaturated fats (also in nuts and seeds, as well as fatty fish). These “good” fats have been shown to have many, many health benefits! For more than a decade, the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have been studied by researchers all over the world.

You want to make sure you get enough of all these good fats - so stop avoiding the avocado bin already, and drop by the seafood counter for some salmon. In fact, salmon and walnuts in particular are two of the richest natural sources of omega-3s. If you’re not a flax, salmon or walnut junkie, a supplement could be just what you need to ensure you’re getting sufficient fat in your diet. I actually recommend an ultra-pure, ultra-concentrated Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement to all of my clients as insurance.

Salad Keri Glassman MS.RD.CDN

Giving Makes the World a Better Place

Rescuing Dogs Makes Life Great

Charitable work is core to our mission of well-being for all. It’s so important to us that every order placed aids homeless animals. This work is done through the non-profit branch of Life’s Abundance, The Dr. Jane Foundation, which provides financial support to small and medium-size rescue groups who work to prevent animal homelessness, abuse and chronic neglect. 

We made this commitment because we understand the need, which is so big, it’s almost hard to comprehend. But, like with all great endeavors, progress is made by focusing on the next task, taking it day by day.

In an era where so many shelters self-identify as “no kill”, it’s shocking to learn that euthanasia is still responsible for the deaths of nearly three million dogs and cats every year. And with between five and seven million entering shelters every year, it’s a percentage that’s way too high. That being said, in 1970, the number of dogs and cats being euthanized was north of 20 million, even though the total pet population was about half what it is today. Obviously, there’s still a lot of work left to do. But it’s incredibly worthwhile work … work that we earnestly, wholeheartedly support.

People involved in rescuing homeless, abused and neglected animals will tell you ... sometimes, their work comes down to doing the best you can when confronted by road blocks on all sides. And so many of the hardships these small non-profits encounter are linked, directly or indirectly, to a chronic lack of funding.

That’s why we dedicate a portion of our profits to our non-profit’s funding reserves. Since 2007, we’ve awarded funding to more than 100 deserving groups!

The rescue groups we support employ strategies that we know are effective. Most of our grant recipients utilize one or more programs that have proven successful in curbing pet overpopulation and reducing the number of pet kids euthanized. These initiatives include low-cost spay and neuter surgeries, TNR (trap-neuter-return) management of feral cat communities, affordable adoption fees, and community education efforts regarding the proper care of companion animals and the dangers of animal abuse and neglect. And all of this is done in addition to the day-to-day activities undertaken by these committed rescuers to place their animals in loving adoptive homes.

Time and time again, we’ve witnessed amazing transformations. Animals who have borne the brunt of cruelty or long-term neglect and yet, still were able to rise above circumstance and make full recoveries. Every new group brings its own stories of triumph in the face of adversity. With so many grant recipients, it’s hard to calculate the exact number of animals helped by our non-profit … but it’s easily in the hundreds, if not thousands!

Faith Before & After
One of the many animals helped by our non-profit, Faith was rescued by SW Collie Rescue. Our 2015 award helped restore her to health after a harrowing abandonment in the middle of the desert.


Just think, simply by shopping with Life’s Abundance, you’re making the world a better place. It’s a rare case where you can do something positive without doing anything different at all. As long as you keep purchasing Life’s Abundance products, you’ll be supporting the cause of rescue. So, while you're focused on your health, the well-being of your family, caring for your own companion animals ... while you're doing all that, you're also making life better for homeless animals and giving a helping hand to the people who operate on the front lines.

And we’ve saved the best news for last. Our Board of Directors just held a quarterly meeting in mid-February, approving grants to the following seven worthy recipients …

- Alchemy Acres Animal Sanctuary of Salem, OH (alchemyacres.org)

- Carol's Ferals of Grand Rapids, MI (carolsferals.org)

- Elinore’s Dream, Inc. of Ft. Pierce, FL (adoptapet.com/elinoresdream)

- Greyhound Hope Rehabilitation and Adoption, Inc. of Cape Coral, FL (greyhoundhope.org)

- The Bailey Project of Jupiter, FL (TheBaileyProject.org)

- The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs of Cleveland, OH (sanctuaryforseniordogs.org)

- Humane Society Pet Rescue Florida of Okeechobee, FL (animalrescueokeechobee.org)

Congratulations to all of these groups for their outstanding efforts!

In the coming months, we will reveal just what these non-profits are able to accomplish with our funding. However much they are able to achieve will be in no small part thanks to all the supporters of The Dr. Jane Foundation.

Are you involved in an animal rescue, or know someone who is? We are currently accepting applications for 2016 funding. Our Board will be considering applications for the next round of funding in April, so try to have completed grant requests submitted by the end of March for immediate consideration.

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

Foundation Award to Poodle and Pooch Rescue

Tiger

It is our great pleasure to tell our readers about one of the latest recipients of financial aid from The Dr. Jane Foundation. This month’s featured beneficiary is a committed group of rescuers dedicated to improving the lives of abandoned, abused and neglected dogs in Florida.

Founded in 2008, Poodle and Pooch Rescue is a non-profit group with a very specific mission … to rescue as many “leftover” dogs as is possible. Such canines earn the moniker for being too old, too infirm, or possibly both, to attract adopters. Nearly all of their dogs come from local animal control agencies in and around Orlando, where they’ve languished in need of extra-special attention. Once the group identifies such a creature, they set their sights and do not stop until the animal can be taken into their care. More...

A Petacular Xmas

More and more, from Millenials to senior citizens, Americans are spending their holiday time and money on their four-legged family members. A generation ago, giving presents to companion animals was fairly rare. These days, buying gifts for dogs and cats is more popular than ever before! And who can blame us? Not only are they cute, loyal and happy, they’re ready for celebration at a moment’s notice. When it comes to presents for pet kids, there’s no waiting in long lines for the latest tech gizmo or sulky indignation over off-brand purchases. Plus, they don’t have expensive tastes that could put the serious hurt on your credit card balance.

This yuletide episode of Pet Talk reveals simple, enjoyable ways pet parents can show their companion animals appreciation during the season of giving. Our staff veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Wooten, has loads of imaginative ideas about spending quality time with your fur kids. Who knows, you just might discover a brand new family tradition!

If you enjoy Dr. Sarah’s prescriptions for fostering festive fun, be sure to share this link with other pet people, too. As a bonus, check out our previous holiday episodes to keep your companion animals safe and happy, now and into the New Year.

Holiday Safety Tips
Bringing Home New Puppy
Useful Tips for Winter Puppy Care

How do you observe the season of giving with your companion animal? Leave us a comment and share your stories! From all of us here at Life's Abundance, best wishes for a delightful holiday season!

Happy Holidays from Dr. Jane

The holidays are very nearly upon us. As I sit here, writing this post, I can’t help but feel this year has flown past even faster than last year. Like many of you, I’m experiencing the flurry of activity that comes with the close of another year. Things certainly are hopping here at my farm, with all of my chickens, cats, my horse, even my new pygmy goat! As fleeting and precious as time is during the holidays, I consider your reading this holiday message right now an honor and a privilege. 

This year, we’ve enjoyed significant growth, largely thanks to your amazing customer loyalty. With exciting new products on the horizon, we feel confident that you will love us even more! In spite of our company’s relatively small size, more and more consumers consider us a leading purveyor of health and wellness products, both for companion animals and their pet parents. You can be assured that all of us here at Life’s Abundance are working very hard to ensure that our best days are ahead of us. We have every reason to believe that 2016 will be a stellar year for all of us.

Thanks to the hard work of our Field Representatives, the loyalty of everyone who regularly shops at Life’s Abundance, and all of those generous enough to make periodic contributions, our non-profit (The Dr. Jane Foundation) continues to thrive, helping animals in need by supporting small and medium-size rescue organizations across the nation. In 2015, we awarded more than a dozen rescues grants upwards of $20,000. We could not have done any of that if it weren’t for you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you.

We have expanded our pet product line to include more health promoting products, like our premium grain-free foods for dogs and cats. Rest assured, we will continue to develop our line and hone existing formulas, all to give your pet kids the best possible life.

On behalf of all the employees of Life’s Abundance, we wish every Field Representative, customer and blog visitor the happiest, healthiest and most prosperous year yet.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals,

Dr Jane Bicks  
Dr. Jane Bicks