Lifes Abundance posts created by lifes abundance

Candy Cane Protein Shake Recipe

Candy Cane Smoothie

Attention Candy Cane Lovers: The holidays are here! That means it’s time to indulge in a sweet peppermint treat with a healthy boost of protein.

Create your own Candy Cane Protein Shake this holiday season:

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add ice, blend, and enjoy!

7 Signs Of Arthritis In Dogs and Cats

Woman Plays With Her Dog At Beach

As your furry friend gets older, are they showing signs of slowing down? Arthritis in dogs and cats can potentially be treated, giving your pet an active life for years to come.

Here are seven common signs that may indicate your pet has arthritis or other joint problems:

1. Limping

Did your cat land wrong when jumping off the couch or is it a sign of something else? If your pet's limping seems to be related directly to a potential injury, it's important to have it checked out by a vet.

But if your pet seems to regularly have issues with limping, it may be a sign of a developing condition that could impact their joint health.

2. Stiffness

Many of us pet parents relate to the extra time it takes to get going in the mornings or during cold weather. Just like us, arthritis may be to blame more than old age. When your pet's joints hurt, they don't want to move as much, and who could blame them? The trouble is, this causes their muscles to become even tighter and stiffer after long periods of time without activity.

3. Problems Moving or Standing

Tight muscles and achy joints can also keep your pet from wanting to move as much as they used to. You may notice that your dog or cat has problems standing up or moving around, almost as though their muscles are bound.

This isn't far from the truth — the lack of use and limiting motion can cause your pet's muscles to atrophy, making early treatment of arthritis in dogs and cats important.

4. Refusing Normal Activities

Is your pet no longer wanting to jump, climb or run as they once did? When joint disease and arthritis make these activities painful, your pet may not want to partake in them anymore. Though this could be a temporary situation, make sure to pursue treatment options if the behavior continues for more than a few days or weeks.

Cat Lounges On Red Couch

5. Snapping

Your precious pet may be the friendliest animal on the planet, but if they have suddenly become grumpy it's important to find out why. If an animal is in pain, touching may add to their discomfort. That's why it's vital to take a pet to the vet if you see them reacting to being petted or touched in certain areas.

6. Licking Sore, Swollen Joints

Animals lick their bodies to soothe pain — licking sore joints is no exception. When your pet spends significant amounts of time licking their joints, it's a good indicator that the underlying area is painful for them.

Some animals that are in pain can even end up creating bald spots from the continuous licking. The good news is that this is something you can easily watch for and monitor.

7. Shying Away from Attention

When your social butterfly has become a wallflower, it's because your pet is having a slightly different response to the snapping symptoms listed above.
To avoid pain, your precious pet is trying to avoid being petted, lifted or played with. It's vital that these symptoms be treated relatively quickly, before the temporary behavior becomes a permanent pet problem.

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By keeping an eye out for some of these symptoms and involving your veterinarian early, you may be able to help avoid years of chronic pain for your pet. For more advanced arthritis and joint treatments, talk to your vet about options such as cold laser therapy and underwater treadmills.

Pet parents in the know often turn to dog supplements and cat supplements that specifically support joints. Agility Formula for dogs and cats not only addresses joint health, but supports the entire musculoskeletal system. If you have a pet approaching middle age or just want to be proactive as they get older, try our Agility Formula and see what a difference it can make!

Face Yoga: A New Trend In Skin Care Routine

Woman Practices Face Yoga

When you think about yoga, there’s a good chance you picture a group of women bending and contorting in a wide variety of poses at some boutique gym. But there’s a new trend that’s sweeping the country that has very little to do with total body fitness — face yoga.

Here’s everything you need to know about face yoga and how it could make you look younger:

What is Face Yoga?

In simple terms, face yoga is exactly what it sounds like: special exercises designed to tone the muscles in your face. Most regimens include special movements that workout up to 57 different areas including the face, neck, and scalp.

For example, one common exercise involves opening your mouth wide, folding your upper lip over your front teeth, and smiling broadly. This is just a sampling of the various types of facial movements included in face yoga.

Does Face Yoga Work?

Although there are plenty of skeptics, preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that face yoga is actually beneficial to one’s appearance. In most cases, those who remain committed to the program will see some sort of positive change within the first couple of months.

The reason for this is as old as time—the movement of the body will always cause a lifting and firming sensation. What makes this program unique is that most people mentally believe that exercise is only for areas of the body you would traditionally train at the gym, such as abs or quads. But in this case, it’s the finer muscles in the face that are being worked out.

Woman Stretching Her Lips With Face Yoga

What Can Face Yoga Help Improve?

One of the first things face yoga participants generally notice is a brighter complexion, due to an increase in blood circulation. Something else many people experience is fuller cheeks. The reason for this is simple — after continuously working the muscle, it grows in size similarly to how your bicep would after doing weeks of curls in the gym. In turn, this counteracts some drooping and sliding of the skin for a more youthful appearance.

Furthermore, it is important to note that face yoga is actually used in a medical setting. Patients recovering from injuries and even neurological or stroke episodes have used various forms of facial movements in the same manner for years. However, it is typically referred to as a form of physical therapy and not for beauty purposes.

The Downside to Face Yoga

According to most experts, the only real downside to trying out this new trend is time. Just like working out your body, this isn’t something that you can see results in just a session or two. The average amount of time spent doing face yoga is around thirty minutes daily for a minimum for eight weeks. For most busy women, this is far more of a time commitment than their busy schedules allow.

Of course, activities like face yoga are always better when paired with a positive skin care routine. We offer our own line of beauty products designed to help your skin look and feel amazing!

Some people might scoff at the idea of yoga for your face, but there’s really not much to lose other than time. Partaking in special exercises to help improve your overall look and muscle tone is never a bad idea. And it’s completely non-toxic, free to try, and can be done on your own schedule. What’s not to love about any of that?

Dog Years Are A Myth — Find Your Pup’s True Age

Giving A Puppy A High Five

We love our dogs — so much, in fact, that we are obsessed with comparing their age to our own. The problem is that the formulas we have used to calculate dog years may be completely wrong!

A new study of doggie DNA by the University of California, San Diego shows that young dogs with a lot of energy may actually be older than you think.

After comparing the results of over 100 labrador retrievers with around 300 humans, the study shows that:

  • Dogs mature quickly in their first year, but their aging slows over time.
  • By age two, the DNA of a labrador is similar to a human entering their early 40s.
  • By age ten, a labrador is most comparable to a human aged 68.

This data on dog years, yet to be peer-reviewed, shows many similarities between the aging process between humans and dogs, researchers found, with an eight-week-old puppy resembling a nine-month-old baby.

“The expected lifespan of labrador retrievers, 12 years, correctly translated to the worldwide lifetime expectancy of humans, 70 years,” researchers noted.

Unfortunately, the new equation isn’t as simple as multiplying our dog’s age by 7 to find out their age in human years. Here’s the formula: 16 x ln(your dog’s age) +31.

If you have a scientific calculator on hand, you can calculate the dog years to human years yourself — or follow the guide below. We’ve done the math for you!

Table for Human Years to Dog Age

The aging rates of different breeds could vary drastically, so future research will be needed to determine the differences. Studying different breeds with different lifespans could shed some new insight on the aging process of both humans and dogs! 

Happy Dogs In Park

What You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

Woman Uses Double Cleansing To Wash Face

Double cleansing is a new beauty trend that is gaining traction around the country — and many are claiming that it’s one of the best ways to take care of your skin!

If you aren’t familiar with double cleansing, let’s look at exactly what this skin care routine involves and how it can benefit your skin:

What Exactly is Double Cleansing?

Double cleansing is simple — you may have guessed just by the word “double.” It’s the act of cleansing your skin twice in a row at night.

The idea behind this trend is that the first cleanse will remove the layer of makeup, dirt, oil, and debris that accumulates on your face during the day. The second go-around with a facial cleanser is supposed to clean your skin on a deeper level, which could be a good idea, especially if you use long-wearing foundation each day.

This double cleanse is said to help to unclog your pores, get rid of dead skin cells, and prep your skin for facial serums and moisturizers. With less debris and residue left on your skin after proper cleansing (double or not), your skin is primed to absorb all the nourishing ingredients in your facial products.

It's proven that skin care products work much better on exceptionally clean skin. If double cleansing works for you, then you may notice an improvement after just a week — your skin should be glowing brighter and more radiantly! But watch out for over-drying which can have the opposite effect.

Steps to the Perfect Double Cleansing Routine

The perfect double cleansing routine starts with the right facial cleanser. At Life’s Abundance we offer a skin care line that’s handcrafted and organically sourced. All of our skin care products are made with organic, plant-based and nourishing ingredients.

For your cleansing routine, try our Facial Cleanser. This creamy, but lightweight cleanser is going to pamper and remove all of that end of the day gunk that builds up on your face. Our facial cleanser won’t strip your skin of its natural oils — plus, it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, parabens or additives.

In the morning it’s not necessary to double cleanse — your skin isn't getting that dirty at night. You can either cleanse once in the morning, or just splash your face with water before you use your daily skin care routine.

Healthy Skin Care Products

In addition to our Facial Cleanser, we offer a full line of skin care products. To complete your skin care routine both day and night, try our Facial Serum and Facial Moisturizer. Both of these products together are going to nourish and strengthen your skin. By adding these products to your beauty routine, you can enjoy healthier skin that is silky smooth to the touch. These are pure products that are packed with antioxidants for nutrient-rich skin.

Try it out — Is double cleansing right for you?

For some people, more radiant skin starts with the double cleansing method. If you’re tempted to try it for yourself, think of it as one easy extra minute at night with fairly quick payoff. If this trending technique is right for you, you should see results within just a week.

Life's Abundance Premium Skincare Products

Your Makeup Brushes Could Be Ruining Your Complexion

Woman Gets Ready After Washing Makeup Brushes

Did you know that washing makeup brushes is an important part of your skincare routine?

“In addition to collecting product residue, dirt and oil, makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria," according to the American Academy of Dermatology. "This could compromise your complexion—in the form of acne breakouts and rashes—as well as your health.”

If this isn’t compelling enough, washing makeup brushes will also help you get the best results and help prolong the life of your favorite makeup applicators.

Your mission: Use products and practices that won’t harm your skin or supplies!

The good news is that it’s simple to incorporate brush cleaning into your weekly routine. Immediately after applying your makeup in the morning, follow this quick guide to clean your makeup brushes effectively. By the evening, your brushes will be clean, dry and ready to help you sparkle!

How clean your makeup brushes:

  • Using a gentle detergent like Castile soap, create a soap and water mixture
  • Swirl the bristles into the mix
  • Rinse thoroughly with the bristles pointing down, avoiding the head where the brush is glued to the handle
  • Shake, then gently squeeze any excess water and reshape the brush
  • Roll a towel to form a hump so the brushes dry at a slight upward angle

Makeup Brushes Dry After Washing Them

With clean, dry brushes on hand, the next step is to wash the subject of your masterpiece, your face! To avoid drying the skin, use a gentle facial cleanser, followed by facial moisturizer. If your skin still feels tight, our facial serum can work wonders and serves as a fantastic pre-makeup base. 

Remember, the cleanliness of your beauty brushes and sponges will affect how your skin reacts. If you have consistent outbreaks and cannot seem to regain your natural glow, it may come down to how often you’re washing makeup brushes. Consistency and cleanliness are key!

Popular 'Fruit' Drinks For Kids Found To Be Unhealthy

Girl Shares Unhealthy Kids Drink With Woman

Parents around the country are always trying to make sure their children are eating a nutritious diet — that’s why it was so shocking when an eye-opening new study revealed their kid’s favorite seemingly-healthy drinks are loaded with added sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Researchers analyzed 34 sweetened kids' drinks and found that two-thirds contained no juice, but images of fruit appeared on 85% of the packages, according to a new report from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

Packaging with pictures of fruit and other nutritional claims have left both parents and kids thinking these drinks contain fruit and sources of nutrition. In reality, many kids end up consuming more than the recommended amount of daily added sugar.

“Labels on drinks are confusing and misleading, causing parents to think they are providing their children a healthy drink when in actuality they are not,” said Natalie Muth, MD, pediatrician and representative of the APP. “The American Academy of Pediatrics is alarmed that children consume so much added sugar.”

According to the study:

  • Sugary drinks make up about one-half of all added sugar consumed by children.
  • Fruit-flavored juice drinks with added sweeteners are the most common sugary drink consumed by young children, toddlers and preschoolers.
  • One serving of 11 of the top fruit drinks had more than 50% of the recommended amount of daily added sugar for children.

“I know that parents want their children to be healthy, but the sweetened drink market is just incredibly confusing to parents,” said lead author Jennifer Harris, the principal investigator for the study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Unhealthy Drinks For Kids On Production Line

Many popular kids’ drinks in the country contain 0% juice while plastering images of fruit on their labeling and advertising. Making a switch to something healthy seems like a simple choice, but kids will be demanding a flavorful alternative beyond the pediatrician-recommended options of water and milk.

If you are looking for a tasty replacement for the sugary drinks in your family’s life, look no further than our Minerals & Antioxidants drink mix. Meant for use as a dietary supplement, it’s packed with electrolytes, amino acids and other nutrients from a blend of nutritious sea vegetables and superfruits. With delicious Cherry and Tropical Fruit flavors, the kids will never know! As with all Life’s Abundance products, it does not contain any added sugar or artificial flavors. There are even fun recipe ideas to try, like Mango Tropsicles. As always, consider talking to your family physician before introducing new supplements.

The next time you are in the ‘juice’ aisle at the store being bombarded by vibrant packaging and maybe even your kid’s pleas, remember this study and feel confident in your decision to skip the sugary kids' drinks.

Owning a Dog Can Increase Your Lifespan

Woman Rests With Dog At Park

If you own a dog, you probably find yourself gushing to others about how great your four-legged furball is. Now, there are compelling new scientific studies that prove the benefits of owning a dog!

Published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, the evidence shows that dog owners have a lower risk of death over the long term and are less likely to die from heart disease when compared to non-owners.

Researchers also determined that dog owners who experienced a heart attack or stroke had a significantly lower risk of dying from these causes when compared to non-owners.

The research shows that for dog owners:

  • The risk of all-cause mortality is lowered by 24%, and the chance of dying from heart disease is reduced by 31%.
  • The risk of death for heart attack patients living alone was 33% lower, and 15% lower for those living with a partner or child.
  • The risk of death for stroke patients living alone was 27% lower, and 12% lower for those living with a partner or child.

The studies were originally used to see whether owning a dog was associated with reducing cardiovascular mortality, but the data showed that it fought off other causes of death as well.

“These two studies provide good, quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality,” said Glenn N. Levine, MD, chair of the writing group of the American Heart Association. “While these non-randomized studies cannot ‘prove’ that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this.”

- So what is causing dog owners to live longer than non-owners?

There have been many documented mental and physical health benefits to owning a dog. When it comes to mental health, dogs have been known to reduce stress and increase social interaction.

Man Playing With Dog In Park

“Dogs offer companionship, reduce anxiety and loneliness, increase self-esteem, and improve overall mood,” said cardiologist Dr. Dhruv S. Kazi, in an editorial that accompanies the studies.

Previous studies have also shown the physical benefits of owning a dog. Just petting a dog can lower a person’s blood pressure! In addition, “Dog ownership may increase time spent outdoors, which has an independent positive effect on cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Kazi.

In fact, owning a dog can end up improving other health measures such as blood pressure and heart rate. By walking a dog 20 to 30 minutes a day, owners will meet the American Heart Association’s recommended 150 minutes of weekly moderate exercise to improve their cardiovascular health.

If you were on the fence about adding a furry family member to your household, remember, walking your dog isn’t just good for your pup — it’s very, very good for you too!

Creating Healthy Comfort Food With Added Nutrition

Family Making Comfort Food Together

For years, parents have been figuring out ways to sneak nutrition into meals, creating healthy comfort food for a generation of kids who didn’t know their brownies had actually been spiked with veggies.

And that’s a good thing! Food doesn’t have to necessarily taste healthy in order for it to be good for you. From gooey side dishes to decadent desserts, we all have our go-to dishes when we just need a little comfort.

Here are some popular meals that adults and kids agree are delicious — with a few tricks to boost their nutritional content:

Mashed Potatoes

We all know there’s nothing better in the world than a pile of velvety-soft mashed potatoes, layered with butter, milk and perhaps, a bit of sour cream. But you don’t have to take out any of your favorite ingredients. Instead, try adding mashed cauliflower to make some healthy comfort food. Cauliflower blends smoothly with the flavor of the potatoes and is loaded with vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.

Casseroles

Lasagna, green beans, cheesy hash brown breakfasts — there are so many delicious casseroles out there! The only problem with them is they tend to be weighed down by a lot of cheese, carbs and fats (of course, that’s what makes them comforting and delish).

But did you know that you can doctor up your casseroles with plenty of healthy ingredients to make them both palatable and healthy? Some examples include using steamed fresh veggies instead of canned, brown rice instead of white, whole-grain pasta and low-fat sour cream or milk.

“A casserole gives you an opportunity to mix a whole bunch of cancer-protective foods in a single dish,” said Melanie Polk, director of nutrition education at the American Institute for Cancer Research to WebMD. “It’s a way to combine beans, whole grains and vegetables.”

Healthy Dinner Casserole

Ground Flaxseed Meal

An easy way to get a little more fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids in your diet is by adding ground flaxseed meal to your food. There are plenty of ways to add a teaspoon here and there — try putting it in your meatloaf, baked goods or oatmeal.

It also tastes great (and by that, we mean undetectable) in an old lunchbox staple, the peanut butter sandwich. Just plop a spoonful in the peanut butter, stir it up … and voila!

Desserts

There’s many ways to make desserts a little more nutritious without losing the treat factor. Have you ever tried adding pureed carrots and spinach to a brownie mix?

One simple way to add protein to your dessert is to slip in some vanilla or chocolate plant-protein powder. You can add this to a milkshake, pumpkin pie or a batch of cookies for a sweet flavor boost that’s as good for you as it tastes.

We’re always sharing recipes for sweet, nutritious treats. Check out our recipes for Vegan Berry Nice Cream, Angel Food Cake, and Buttery Pecan Protein Cookies at home today!

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Remember — watch your serving size, eat a variety of foods and remember that treats, even comfort foods, should be enjoyed and not fully avoided. The key is moderation. Bon appétit!

Our Foundation Awards Funds to 8 Rescue Groups

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When you shop at Life’s Abundance, you become part of a homeless dog or cat’s success story! A portion of company profits is set aside to issue grants to animal rescue groups in need of financial aid. Whether you buy a product for your dog or cat, or nutritional supplements for yourself, your purchase helps fund efforts to save the lives of homeless and neglected animals around the country and bring joy to their new families.

Our nonprofit, The Dr. Jane Foundation, has provided support to small and medium-sized animal rescue groups since 2007. Each one of these organizations work hard to combat animal homelessness and overcome the effects of abuse and neglect through love, determination and medical care. 

Many organizations are just getting off the ground or lack sufficient financial support — that’s where The Dr. Jane Foundation steps in. Our foundation has awarded over $200,000 to more than 150 deserving organizations! 

Thanks to your business, The Dr. Jane Foundation recently approved funding for eight more deserving non-profit rescue groups. Here’s a little background on the amazing work of the organizations that received grants this quarter:

CAMO Rescue

CAMO Rescue, located in Houston, Texas, works to save dogs in high kill shelters through action and education. They work with shelters in the area to move dogs at risk of euthanasia into foster homes, and to ultimately find their forever family. They also educate the community about the importance of spaying, neutering, and the vaccination of pets. CAMO is a no-kill rescue that operates on donations, a small group of devoted foster homes and loving families that turn former homeless dogs into beloved family members. 

Fences For Fido

This group based out of northwest Oregon helps add comfort, safety and medical care to dogs that have a family, but whose only living space is the backyard. The volunteer labor force builds fences and insulated dog houses to provide these companions with freedom of movement and a safe, warm environment. They also spay and neuter and provide critical vet care, all at no cost. Over the past 9 years, Fences for Fido has unchained over 1,600 dogs in Oregon and Washington! In 2014, the organization was instrumental in the passage of Oregon’s first anti-tethering law, which restricts the amount of time a dog can be left on a chain.

Gunnar’s Wheels Foundation

This dedicated group provides wheelchairs for dogs in need. Each recipient gets to use the cart free of charge until it is no longer needed. Then the cart is sent back to the foundation where they prepare it for the next animal in need. The organization was set into motion when founder Jason Parker’s black lab Gunnar was hit by a car and lost the use of his back legs. After spending all of his money on vet bills, Jason could not afford a wheelchair for his beloved friend. Luckily, Jason’s friends and family stepped in to help him get a wheelchair for Gunnar. Jason then realized that there might be many other people in his situation, so Gunnar’s Wheels Foundation was born. Jason and Gunnar were chosen as GoFundMe Heroes in April 2017, propelling the foundation into the national spotlight — now the foundation receives multiple requests for help every day. Their goal is to help every animal that is in need of a wheelchair.

K Kids Dachshund Rescue, Inc.

Located in Virginia, this all volunteer team is dedicated to finding adopters for dachshunds from shelters and surrendering owners. Each rescued pup is placed into a foster home, given veterinary care with special attention to any health issues, and evaluated to ensure the best match with their forever home. The rescue group aims to prevent dachshunds from entering the shelter and rescue system altogether. They do this by educating owners on common dachshund health and behavior issues, financial counseling about veterinary expenses, and estate planning in case the dachshund outlives their human.

Operation Topcat

Formed in 1995, Operation Topcat helps stray and feral cats in the North Carolina area. The group recommends and uses the trap/neuter/vaccinate/return strategy for all cats. This means that all cats are spayed, neutered, microchipped and given age appropriate vaccinations.  Many cats are good candidates for family life and will be placed for adoption. Those that are unsocialized or feral will be marked for easy identification before being returned to their colony for continued care and feeding by their caretaker. This practice takes great commitment by volunteers and donors, but has been proven to reduce overpopulation while providing humane care for these felines.

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Panola County Cat Rescue

This non-profit was founded in Batesville, Mississippi with the mission to reduce the feral, stray and homeless cat population in the area. The group sterilizes and vaccinates adult feral cats that can’t be rehomed as pets. They also find homes for stray cats and kittens that are able to be socialized. The organization’s long-term goal is to open a cat shelter and work with other rescue organizations to grow a network of foster and adoptive homes and to support those devoted individuals who care for feral cat colonies. 

Project POOCH, Inc.

Founded in 1993, Project POOCH pairs incarcerated youth with difficult-to-adopt dogs in Oregon. Guided by professionals, these youth learn to train, groom and find new forever homes for their project dogs. Research shows that the program has had a positive effect on the rehabilitation of both the young trainers and the dogs, with the youth demonstrating improved behavior and heightened traits such as honesty, empathy and nurturing. Each dog, lead by his handler,  must graduate through a series of behavior and canine good manners tests before being adopted into a new home. Project POOCH has helped change the lives of incarcerated youth and saved the lives of many dogs.

RuffRiders Foundation Inc.

RuffRiders volunteers transport dogs from overcrowded shelters to other welcoming organizations across the Western U.S. where they’ll have their best chance at finding a forever home. In addition to transportation, RuffRiders advocates for humane education, adoption and fostering. All donations are used to help give dogs a second chance at life.

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At Life’s Abundance we thank you for your business and for the impact your purchase decision is making on hard working volunteers across the country and the dogs and cats they support. Together, we are helping animal rescue groups achieve their dreams of making a positive difference in the world, one animal at a time.