Life's Abundance | Premium health products

Pumpkin Protein Cookies Recipe


pumpkin protein cookies recipe

Pumpkin spice is in the air! Here we are in the beginning days of Fall and we are absolutely loving all things pumpkin. Especially our warm Pumpkin Protein Cookies made with our nutritious Chocolate Plant Protein.

These cookies make for a quick breakfast on the go for the whole family, or simply when you need to add a little sweetness to your day.

Servings: 8 large cookies

What you’ll need:

  • Large cookie sheet
  • Coconut oil to grease the baking sheet, if not using parchment paper
  • 2 mixing bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 1/2  cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/4  cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plain rolled oats
  • 1 scoop of Life's Abundance Chocolate Plant Protein
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or gluten-free flour of choice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (to sprinkle on top)


pumpkin protein cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the almond butter, pumpkin puree, honey, vanilla, and egg.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, Life’s Abundance Chocolate Plant Protein, baking soda, almond flour, chia seeds, and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Combine the oat mixture into the almond butter mixture.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop, fill it halfway, and set cookies one to two inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Press them down slightly with the back of the scoop and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Keep them covered in the fridge, for up to 1 week.


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Can Dogs Eat Superfood Too?


dog looking up at owner

Dark leafy greens, purple skinned fruit, omega-rich fish - we always try to include superfoods in our diet. You may have originally thought that these foods can only help us humans. But, did you know they’re extremely beneficial to our furry friends too?

What exactly are superfoods?

Superfoods are nutrient packed, antioxidant rich foods. They give you those maximum nutritional benefits, and even better - with less calories. The high levels of antioxidants in these foods help to decrease and neutralize free radicals that are in our body. That means they can potentially lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, arthritis and more.

Some other boosts they can provide are:

  • Fiber, which can help in digestion and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Healthy fats, which give your body energy and improves your whole cardiovascular system.
  • Vitamins, which are great for your overall well being and maintaining bodily functions.
  • Phytochemicals, which, like antioxidants, can help reduce inflammation, keeping cells healthy.


owner giving dog a treat

Superfoods actually have the same benefits in our dogs too. With these foods built into their daily diet, you can give your pup that well-balanced meal and help them live their best lives!

Here are 5 superfoods that your furry friend can benefit from:

  1. Eggs: We already know how great eggs are for us, so it’s no surprise that they’re on the list. Often referred to as “the perfect protein,” they have all the good stuff for your pup - vitamins A, D, E and K.
  2. Blueberries: Not only are blueberries a great ingredient to include in their food, it’s also the perfect size for a quick, low-cal treat. They’re chock full of antioxidants and fiber, and as a bonus, they may support a youthful brain as dogs age.
  3. Fish oil: Hello omega-3 fatty acids! Fatty acids aren’t produced naturally by your dog, so including fish oil in their diet will support the health of basically every cell in their body. From heart health to skincare, fish oil gives them the whole healthy package.
  4. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes carry tons of antioxidants! They’re also plentiful in vitamin A and vitamin C, which help maintain a healthy immune system, and fiber, which aids in their digestive system.
  5. Flaxseed: Flaxseed is another superfood that’s full of omega-3 fatty acids, plus omega-6 fatty acids. With so many beneficial properties, this little powerhouse can help support  immune health.

So, when looking at premium dog foods, take a quick scan through the ingredient list for some of these highly beneficial superfoods. Remember, when choosing your dog’s food, the true quality of a food is hard to gauge from the label alone. At Life’s Abundance we place emphasis on ensuring that each ingredient is beneficial. Art comes into science when those ingredients work together, synergistically, to support your dog’s health. Your dog’s food should make them feel good, both inside and out!


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How Affirmations Can Change Your Life


woman writing affirmations

Have you ever woken up, before touching your feet to the floor, and immediately thought, “ugh…. ?”

Unfortunately, you’re not alone. A recent study has shown that only 14% of Americans are happy - but that doesn’t mean you should continue to be a card-carrying member of the Unhappy Club. You have the power to change your life every morning when you wake up, and we’ve got a great tool to help you do just that - daily affirmations.

Daily affirmations are a great tool to create the life we want, and have been proven to help us develop a positive mindset, where we are not only grateful for what we already have,  but that we believe we are worthy right now of what we want to cultivate in the future.

What exactly are affirmations?

Affirmations are positive statements that can be used to overcome negative and self-sabotaging thoughts. The theory is - the more you repeat them, the more you start to believe them, and that helps to create positive change in your life.

If you’re thinking this all sounds a bit “woo-woo,” and could never picture yourself practicing daily affirmations to train your mind, just think about how you might perform daily exercise to train your body - it’s not any different, and there is actual science behind it.

Many times we start our day off negatively because we’re in a state of lacking, and when we constantly have negative thoughts surrounding our appearance, our financial state, our relationships or our career, it affects our confidence, mood and mindset. The problem with constantly thinking negative thoughts, even in our subconscious, is that we start believing them.

The great news? Because you’re in control of your thoughts, words, and actions, you can ditch the Debbie Downer mindset, think the opposite, and create the reality you really want to be living in.

woman standing at the beach

Research has shown that the subconscious mind plays a major role in the path our lives take and the actualization of our goals, as repeating positive statements can reprogram our thinking. What we tell ourselves on a subconscious level can have a significant impact on our self-esteem and therefore our motivation and determination, which ultimately nudges us to think and act differently so we can live our best lives.

Think about a day when you felt good about yourself - maybe you landed a new job, ran your first 5K or got a clean bill of health from the doctor. Can you remember how that one thing made you feel good about your entire life in general?  Maybe it gave you the motivation to eat healthier, to pitch a new client, or to finally ask out that person you’ve had your eye on at the coffee shop every morning. 

Daily affirmations can also simply be a reminder to be grateful or focus on the positive in every situation, or they can serve as a stepping stone to create incredible transformation. 

Research has studied the multiple benefits of daily affirmations. They can:

  • Help you to perform better at work, even by just repeating to yourself that you are confident before a big meeting.
  • Lessen the effects of stress. In one study, a short affirmation exercise boosted the problem-solving abilities of "chronically stressed" subjects to the same level as those with low stress.
  • Decrease low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health conditions, as they have been shown to stimulate the areas in our brains that motivate us to create effective positive changes in regard to our health.
  • Increase confidence and decrease negative attitudes. One study found that a stronger sense of self-worth makes you more likely to improve your own health, and using affirmations to boost your confidence helps to create that positive self-identity.

How to write your own affirmation: 

  • Start in the first person, “I” or “I am....”
  • Write your statement in the positive, for example, instead of saying, “Today I won’t be lazy or eat any bad foods,” say: “Today I will nourish my body with healthy food and exercise so I have lots of energy.”
  • Write in the present, not in the future. This is where most people get caught up when starting because they don’t feel like they can repeat something that they don’t actually see as being true, but this is where rewiring our subconscious mind starts. So instead of saying, “When I get a new job and lose ten pounds I will be happy,” say, “ I am happy now at my job and in my current body.

If you’ve ever had someone tell you to “Fake it till you make it,” they were on to something. That last one has the most potential to create change, as studies show that if you act like something is already true, then it’s more likely to materialize in real life because you will start to take action as if it’s a reality.

Sample affirmations:

Today will be a productive day.
Each day, I am getting closer to achieving my goals.
My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
My relationship is becoming stronger, deeper, and more stable each day.
I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
My business is growing, expanding, and thriving.
My potential to succeed is infinite.
I acknowledge my own self-worth; my confidence is soaring.
Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.
The perfect partner for me is coming into my life sooner than I expect.

Right now, pick one area in your life where you’d like to create change and either write your own or choose an affirmation from the list above, then commit to repeating it to yourself every morning for at least a week.

Write it on a post-it, make a graphic for your phone screen, or even program your Alexa to make it your morning alarm, and then say it out loud. However you commit to repeating your affirmation daily, we promise it will make you feel more confident, more powerful, and ultimately happier!


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How To Properly Clean Your Pet’s Ears

cat at vet getting ear cleaned

In the world of pet ownership, it only takes a couple of words to conjure up a visceral, sensory memory. “Dog breath.” “Wet dog.” “Cat pee.” Each compellingly icky in its own way, we spend billions of dollars a year trying to combat the lingering effects of these phenomena. So today, let’s delve deeper into the world of cavernous canals and explore how we deal with these two words: stinky ears. If you know, you know.
 
Ear cleanings are one of the most common requests we get at the vet clinic. From your vantage point as a pet owner peering into the ear, you really can’t assess the health of the ear with the tools you have. It can be hard to know whether you should be doing maintenance ear cleaning or trying to treat an ear infection without some professional guidance. So let’s start with the basics.

Anatomy Of An Ear

Most of us know at least one person who got sent to the ER because they stuck something (cotton swab, pencil, etc) too far into their ear canal and ended up injuring their eardrum. Dogs and cats have a different anatomy which makes this much harder to do - not that you should try! In fact, I’m about to explain why sticking a cotton swab in your pet’s ear isn’t something you probably need to do at all.

First things first: For our purposes, everything we can impact or treat as pet owners counts as the “External ear canal.” This starts at the outside of the ear (the pinna) all the way up to the eardrum. Both the middle ear and the inner ear are on the inside of the eardrum, and that’s where all the little bones and structures that are responsible for hearing and balance live. Unless the eardrum is ruptured due to trauma or disease, that’s not an area you can clean or medicate. So when you’re cleaning the ears or treating an ear infection with drops, you’re treating an infection of the external ear canal.

In dogs and cats, the external ear canal consists of three parts: the pinna, the vertical ear canal, and the horizontal ear canal. In people, the ear canal is one straight line from pinna to eardrum, but in dogs and cats the ear canal takes a 90 degree turn about halfway in. This means there’s a lot more opportunity for debris, fluid, and moisture to get trapped and build up around that bend.

It also means that if you put a cotton swab into the part you can access (the vertical canal), a very likely outcome is pushing ear gunk further into the horizontal canal, compounding any problems your pet may be experiencing, especially when that gunk is sticky.

dog getting ear cleaned

How To Clean Your Pet’s Ears The Right Way

The best way to clean a pet’s ears is with the right ear cleaner designed specifically for this purpose. Never use peroxide, which is highly irritating! By using a pet friendly ear cleaner, the liquid can get into both the horizontal and vertical ear canal, and dissolve or loosen up any sticky debris. 

I like to warm the ear cleaner bottle up by putting it in a bowl of warm (not hot!) water. Once you fill the ear up with the liquid, you give ‘em a nice squishy ear massage, breaking up all the dirt inside without actually having to put anything into the ear canal. Then step back because your pet will usually shake all the dissolved goo on you, your clothes, and your carpet. (Having a towel nearby or doing this in the tub is wise.) Then, you can use a cotton swab or cotton ball to clean up the parts of the ear you can see as the cleaner drains out. 

When To See The Vet

This routine ear cleaning is something you can do weekly, monthly, or in conjunction with bathing. This is best done as a maintenance routine to keep healthy ears looking and feeling their best.

If you think your pet has an ear infection, make sure you check with your vet before embarking on the cleaning process. Signs include:

  • Shaking their head
  • Pawing at their ears
  • Resisting any handling of the ears
  • Smelly discharge
  • Large amounts of discharge, ranging from dark brown to yellow or red
  • Reddened ear canal

Doing an otoscopic exam at the vet office is a quick and super important step in determining if your pet has a problem. It’s one of the most common reasons we see pets at the office, and very rewarding to help an uncomfortable pet feel so much better!

  • Your vet will want to examine the ear to see if there is an infection, foreign body, mass, or ruptured eardrum.
  • Ear infections require the right medication to treat yeast, bacteria, or both.
  • Medicated ear cleaners can make the process even easier.
  • For very dirty ears, it’s helpful to have the veterinary team do a “deep clean” first so the medication can penetrate more easily.
  • If the pet has very painful or ulcerated ears, you’re not going to be able to clean or medicate them- this may require sedation or oral medications to help get the ears to the point you can put in topical meds.
  • Sometimes ear infections are a part of a larger disease process, such as allergies.

For healthy ears, cleaning with a gentle ear cleaner is all you usually need to keep stinky ears at bay. Stick those cotton swabs back in the drawer and enjoy your snuggles!


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Everything You Need To Know About Skinimalism

girl looking in mirror at clean face

There will always be trends that come and go in the world of health and wellness. Most just aren’t worth the hype, but to us, the past year has presented one new trend that we can fully embrace. Meet “skinimalism,” the Marie Kondo philosophy of getting rid of excess from your life, but applied to your skin care routine. There’s something to be said for simplicity; it allows only for what truly serves us, for what brings us joy, and for what actually works. Is your five-plus step skin care routine made up of a cabinet full of products not bringing you noticeable results or is it hurting your budget? Might we suggest it’s time to “skinimize” your routine.

Back to the Basics

It’s easy to be persuaded into buying the new “must-haves’’ or all star ingredient skin care products. We’re constantly bombarded with Instagram or Facebook ads, influencers, and buzzy marketing terms that promise to address all of our skin “imperfections.” Many skin care professionals and dermatologists will tell you that simplicity is key when it comes to caring for your body’s largest organ. Painful, itchy, or red skin irritations that show up on our skin are many times self-imposed. The culprit? Too many products and ingredients.

Don’t feel any shame or beat yourself up - we’re all human and can easily be lured in by promises of perfect, poreless skin. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your current skincare routine and not seeing the results you’re hoping for, we’re here to help you skim down and get back to a simple, effective skin care routine.

Build a basic, effective routine

The goal of this skincare routine is to maintain balance, hydration and overall clarity of your skin. Plus, you might even enjoy the exercise of tossing out what no longer serves you and your skin!
We’ve pulled together some simple steps to help you get started on your “shelfie” clean up.

  1. With clean hands, touch your skin. Is it dry, tight, oily, or rough? Look in the mirror. Do you notice redness, blackheads, or shininess? Take notes of how your skin feels, what you see and then take time to write down what your goals are. We’ll come back to this!
  2. Assess your current products. Is anything expired? Toss it! Follow packaging instructions for best practices on how to discard the expired product and recycle its packaging.
  3. Group together all remaining products by step. Cleansers, toners, facial oils, serums, moisturizers, masks, etc. Revisit your skin assessment from step one and begin to go through each group of products to remove the excess.
    • For example, if you noted that your skin feels and looks oily and you noticed blackheads when looking in the mirror, assess your products and look for those that will help you reach your goal of maintaining decongested pores, balanced oil production, and breakout free skin. Remove any products that are targeted for dry or aging skin, or anything that is too harsh (think alcohol-based products or harsh exfoliants). It’s also important to remove anything you’ve used in the past that has either caused noticeable irritation or hasn’t produced any results - they are simply not suited for you.
  4. Can you narrow each category down to one product? As a general guideline when it comes to a skinimalist routine, keep each category of skin care at one product; one cleanser, one toner, one facial oil or serum, and one moisturizer. When it comes to treatment masks, if you have two that you love, keep them both and alternate their use. You don’t need to be too strict on yourself to start out, but might we suggest one product that’s a multi-tasker and delivers multiple results!

girl cleansing face with cotton pad

Start Your Skinimal Routine!

  1. Cleanse. Skip the suds in the morning and do a simple rinse with warm (not hot) water. Save your cleanser for the PM. Take a step to be extra minimal and opt for a low-waste bar cleanser.
  2. Tone. After cleansing in the AM and PM, gently pat skin dry. Either mist skin generously or wet an organic cotton pad with your favorite toner and pat across your skin.
  3. Nourish. This step might’ve been the hardest for you to narrow down on, but once you find your favorite facial oil or serum, apply twice daily and take notice of how your skin feels and looks. In a truly minimal routine, adopt the practice of looking for one multidimensional product that delivers antioxidant protection, hydration, skin clarifying properties and deep cellular nutrition.
  4. Moisturize. If you’ve opted for a hydrating facial oil above in step four, you may find that this is one step you can remove. If you need that extra layer of moisture, apply a cream twice daily that aims to deliver smoother, balanced and nurtured skin.
  5. Protect. Apply sun protection!
  6. Optional - Treat. Masking is too fun to not indulge in occasionally, and can help you reach your skin goals more easily. If you’ve narrowed down your masks to just one, follow product instructions for suggested use. Looking for one mask that does it all? Opt for our nutritive, hydrating, and gently exfoliating Hibiscus Mask & Scrub and use 2-3 times weekly.

Pro tip: If you’re rotating between two masks, be sure to try each mask solo for at least two weeks and take close notice of results and how your skin reacts. This will help you gauge which works best, or how they work differently. You’ll also be able to assess if either causes any irritation.


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Pets’ Role in Online Learning

dog sitting next to laptop

Most of us are more than familiar with what last year’s pandemic brought. Working from home, a lot of time indoors, and for the kids - virtual schooling. Students transitioned from classroom settings to desks at home, which changed the game for many of them. Along with taking away the in-person time with their teachers and peers, kids also started having trouble focusing and performing well in their schoolwork. A new study by Mars Petcare shows that a specific member of the family helped students with this tough transition.

The study shows that those families with furry friends benefited greatly when it came to online learning. 52 percent of kids spent more time with their pets than before the pandemic. Now, they have been engaging in a range of activities including playing, talking, and reading to them. And it did them good!

When school went virtual, many students were left feeling lonely and even started having feelings of anxiety and depression. According to the study, having a pet around them significantly reduced those negative feelings. 87 percent of parents believed that their pets improved the children’s overall mood, not to mention decreased loneliness and stress.

Did someone say study buddy? You heard that right. Pets also helped students’ academic performance! 56 percent of parents reported that they saw improved concentration in their kids and 72 percent saw an increase in motivation. As mentioned above, students have been reading and talking to their pets more which resulted in a jump in their confidence levels when communicating with their teachers and peers.

kitten watching young girl do homework

Students may not have been able to run around the playground or socialize with their classmates as they once did, but pets have provided a great alternative for them. Now, kids have spent their breaks with their pets and 81 percent of parents reported that the interaction encouraged more physical activity. This promotes the exercise that they’ve been missing by sitting in front of their computers all day. It also gives their eyes and mind a rest from the screen. In addition, being around their pets more and taking care of them has taught more responsibility and patience.

As a bonus, not only did students benefit from having their pet home while being in virtual school, but vice versa too! Parents discovered that their furry members of the family seemed happier with the kids being home. 77 percent reported that the pets were actually more calm as well.

The role that pets play in online learning even extends to teachers. Many of them have started to incorporate their companion animals in their virtual classrooms as well, which has benefited students in similar ways. As they all return back to school, it’ll be no surprise when the idea of classroom pets once again becomes popular. Just another reason to love and appreciate our furry friends!


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6 Quick Ways to Destress

person walking

According to mental health therapists, this past year has been one for the books in terms of stress. Even 18 months after the start of the pandemic they’re still seeing record numbers of people suffering from anxiety who can’t quite break the cycle.

Have no fear. Although there are serious mental health situations that require guidance from an MD, there are many ways to manage the daily stress that we’ve been feeling, and it’s something we should make a priority.

So, if you’ve drunk all the chamomile tea you can stomach and you’re still stressed, we’ve got a few quick and effective ways to relax and lower your heart rate that will leave you feeling post-luxury massage without the high price tag.

When we’re constantly stressed, our adrenal glands become overloaded and our bodies can’t tell the difference between running away from a bear or being annoyed from sitting in traffic.

And while those adrenal glands jumping into action serve a very important function, when they’re overloaded on a daily, weekly, or even yearly basis they aren’t able to produce the amount of hormones the body needs to function properly.

And that’s a problem we don’t want you to have. So if the stress you’re dealing with isn’t a medical emergency, these tips will help you lay your head on the pillow at night with a clear mind and calm body.

Move your body

Walk, run, jump on a trampoline, or go out with your friends and dance. Not only will it get your mind off any stressful situation you might be dealing with, but it will boost your endorphins, which decreases stress.

Do something creative

Don’t fancy yourself an artist? It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to paint a picture on a canvas, even grabbing an adult coloring book will help get your right brain going and distract you from whatever is causing you stress. And yes, coloring with your toddler counts too!

Unplug

Put down your phone and turn off notifications from your apps. Not only does staring at a screen nonstop cause stress, it can also disrupt your sleep and even cause depression. Instead of scrolling, read a book, put on a sheet mask and take a power nap, or spend time with people you love - those who make you laugh, not stress you out.

Once you’ve unplugged, you can move on to our last suggestion that will really take your stress down a notch - or 20.

 

woman breathing in and relaxing

Take Your Vitamins

Research proves that keeping certain vitamin levels balanced can help our mood and stress levels, so it’s a quick and easy way to stay centered and calm - and also keep our cells healthy while we’re at it.

“Stress” can refer to either the mental stress we feel from being overwhelmed or physical stress that our bodies encounter on a cellular level, which can then have an effect on how the body functions as a whole.

Our resident nutritionist, Keri Glassman, stresses the importance of eating your vitamins as much as possible, but also promotes taking supplements when chewing 50 pounds of vegetables won’t cut it. There are certain vitamins that she always recommends to her clients and we’ve made sure to include them in our supplements.

B vitamins help us optimize energy from the food we eat, Vitamins A, C, and E are powerful antioxidants, which help us keep damage from free radicals at bay. If you don’t know where to start, check out our Multivitamin, developed with Keri, to provide just the right amount of the vitamins you need to thrive.

Restorative Yoga

A restorative yoga pose combined with a breathing exercise, thanks to an increase of oxygen, will have you feeling like jelly in no time. Restorative poses are designed to open the body in a gentle and comfortable way, while engaging our parasympathetic nervous system to take us into a resting state. The following pose allows you to let the body settle into the pillow to open the shoulders and relax the torso, while supporting the legs in a butterfly position releases the hips from the stress.

Supine Bound Angle:

  • Grab a yoga bolster or a hard pillow from your couch to support you in a reclining position.
  • Lying on your back, bend your knees and bring the feet to the floor as close to your seat as is comfortable.
  • Slowly open your knees out wide and bring the soles of your feet together.
  • You want to feel a nice stretch in the inner groin, but not as though anything feels like it’s being pulled too much.
  • Extend your tailbone toward the heels, and reach the crown of your head in the opposite direction, lengthening the spine.
  • Place the palms, face-up, next to your hips, and relax your shoulders down toward the mat, away from the ears.
  • Lastly, soften your face, eyes, jaw, neck, and throat, coming into a nice even breath.

Want to get even more chill? Add this breathing exercise.

1:2 Breathe

As you learn to control the breath to an even 1:2 ratio, the body relaxes and the mind becomes peaceful. If you can’t do this in the pose above, this can be done while waiting for your kids after soccer practice. Begin to take full deep breaths, creating a steady inhale and exhale; then mentally count the length of each inhale and exhale. Gradually begin to extend your exhale so that it eventually doubles the inhale. For example, if you are working with an inhale of four, then you will exhale to eight. Once you find your rhythm without any strain, try to stick with it for at least 10 rounds of inhales and exhales, or longer if you can. You’ll instantly feel calmer after only a few rounds.

Pick one or try them all, we promise you’ll feel less stressed in only a few minutes with any of these suggestions - unless your toddler is having a meltdown next to you, then you might need to try all of them at once.

If you do feel overwhelmed by the amount of stress you’re experiencing it’s important to seek help. Mentalhealth.gov has incredible resources.


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L-Carnitine and Dog Weight Loss

dog sniffing owner's hand

When it comes to our furry friends, some of them have a little more to love. While we have to admit that a little pudge can be cute, extra weight on pets can come with some serious health risks, including heart disease, osteoarthritis and kidney disease. You may think that lessening their food intake will do the trick and solve the problem, but that can leave your dog hungry and begging for more with those sad puppy dog eyes. So instead of cutting back, there’s an important ingredient you can look for in their foods that allows you to give them the full serving size and still help them lose weight.

What is L-carnitine?

If you haven’t heard of L-carnitine, it’s probably because it hasn’t been talked about much in the pet food industry. However, it turns out that this nutrient can have a huge impact on your pet’s weight. This vitamin-like compound is made in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It supports many systems, including their heart, brain, and muscles. It’s mainly found in red meat but it is also present in chicken and fish, or as a dietary supplement. There are some additional benefits to L-carnitine including increased exercise performance and higher lean mass - all the things you’d want for your furry friend.

How does it work?

Let’s talk science! L-carnitine turns fats into energy, rather than storing them in fat cells. It does this because it is water-soluble, meaning it has the ability to attach itself to fatty acids that are then taken to the mitochondria. In this powerhouse organelle, the compound is broken down and converted into energy which is then distributed throughout the body and primarily used in the brain and heart. This whole process eventually reduces the storage of fat in cells and therefore results in overall weight loss.

dog walking alongside owner outside

Weight health for dogs

It’s important for your pup to maintain a healthy weight because we want them to stick around for many years by our side. There are a few different routes you can take to help them lose weight, including the usual playing fetch outside and the right foods and healthy treats. Choosing a good diet is paramount to your companion’s health so they can continue to receive the nutrients needed while still shedding some weight. For most dogs, L-carnitine naturally occurs in the body. However, when our furry friends start to age, they could start to exhibit a deficiency. As a result, they can begin to gain those extra pounds and it can be beneficial to supplement their diet with additional L-carnitine to kickstart their metabolism.

L-carnitine in our Adult Weight Loss Dog Food

At Life’s Abundance, providing high-quality, premium foods have always been important to us. That’s why we created foods that are suitable for all kinds of dogs, including those that are on the pudgy side. Our Adult Weight Loss Dog Food is enhanced with a sufficient amount of L-carnitine to help them utilize fat and support a healthy metabolism. In addition, this dog food has higher protein levels to promote an energetic body (meaning you get all the zoomies) but less fat and calories to maintain a healthy weight. In other words, it is nourishing for a truly satisfied appetite; not just filling with empty calories. Plus, to give you that extra confidence in this kibble, it has been proven through a feeding trial as defined by Association of American Feed Control Officials. Now, you can give your beloved furry friend the nutritious, tasty meal they want and need, without the guilt.


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Bulletin: Dog Food Recall Due To Mold Concerns

dog at vet

Note: No Life’s Abundance products are involved in this or any other recall.

On July 29th, the parent company of Triumph, Evolve, Wild Harvest, Nurture Farms, Pure Being and Elm, Sunshine Mills, announced a recall on some of the brands’ dog foods. This recall was due to levels of aflatoxin, a by-product of mold, being above the acceptable limit.

What Pet Parents Should Know

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. As of this reporting, there have been no illnesses, however, aflatoxin can be harmful to dogs if consumed in large quantities.

Lots of the following dog food products have been recalled if the date includes an expiration date on “02/11/22”:

  • Triumph Wild Spirit Craft Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe, 3.5 pounds
    Lot code: TD2 11/Feb/2021
  • Triumph Wild Spirit Craft Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe, 30 pounds
    Lot code: TA2 11/Feb/2021
  • Evolve Classic Super Premium Food for Dogs Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe, 15 pounds
    Lot codes: T TA1 11/Feb/2021; A2 11/Feb/2021
  • Wild Harvest Premium Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe, 14 pounds
    Lot code: TA2 11/Feb/2021
  • Nurture Farms Natural Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe, 15 pounds
    Lot code: TA2 11/Feb/2021
  • Evolve Classic Super Premium Food for Dogs Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe, 30 pounds
    Lot code: TA2 11/Feb/2021
  • Heart to Tail Pure Being Natural Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe, 5 pounds
    Lot code: TD2 11/Feb/2021
  • Elm Pet Foods Naturals Chicken & Rice Recipe Dog Food, 40 pounds
    Lot code: TA1 11/Feb/2021

More About Aflatoxin

Aflatoxin is a mold that is present on grains such as corn, which is commonly used in pet foods. At high levels this can become toxic and cause sluggishness, vomiting, jaundice, diarrhea, and prolonged liver damage. Severe cases may lead to death.

It is recommended that you contact your veterinarian, especially if your dog or cat is showing any of the symptoms listed above. 

A Safer Solution

At Life's Abundance, we have a much better and safer way of making pet foods and notifying consumers should a problem ever arise. As for consumer safety, we view the system of product recalls as problematic. That is because most consumers will never hear about a recall. Yet because of our direct relationship with consumers we know who received which product, down to the lot number. In the event there is ever an issue with a product, our proactive communications system allows us to reach thousands of people by phone in just one hour, ensuring that we can contact all affected customers quickly. We can also reach them by email and even through the mail.

We hope the information we shared with you will do two things. One, alert dog food consumers of this situation, and two, help you feel even more confident about Life's Abundance and our commitment to helping families, including our pets, live long, healthy lives!


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Bulletin: Recent Pet Food Recalls

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Why You Need Facial Oil In Your Skin Care Routine

serum dropper on hand

If you’re new to the idea of putting oil on your skin, the title of this blog post might just cause you to raise a brow and think, “no way!” But hear me out. For decades, the beauty and skincare industries have preached the concept of “oil free” and even me, a licensed holistic esthetician, has fallen into the trap of this misinformed marketing verbiage in the past. We’re led to believe that our acne or breakouts are best treated with harsh cleansers, drying astringents, and an oil-free moisturizer. Or, that facial oils are solely for folks with dry skin. We’ve been taught that oil is bad, even our naturally occurring oil. To demonize our naturally occurring sebum is to not fully understand the structure and function of the body’s largest organ. Once you have the fuller picture, using oil on your skin to help acne or dry skin, will feel less daunting.

With all of that in mind, it makes sense that many people are left with the wrong impression about facial oils and need help understanding just how transformative they can be for skin. Dive into some common questions and concerns below about using facial oils for all skin types! Let’s start with the fundamentals.

What role does sebum play in skin health and function?

According to a study - one of sebum’s (aka oil) main functions is to lubricate the skin, protecting against friction. Not only that, but our natural sebum helps skin prevent moisture loss while having the ability to transport antioxidants. It also has antibacterial properties and has pro and anti-inflammatory functions. Love your oil a little more?

Why shouldn’t I dry out my breakouts or rely on oil-free products?

Think about all of those beautiful functions above that natural oil provides for our skin. Why strip your body’s largest organ of this essential substance? Contrary to what you may have thought, supplementing your skin with the right types of oils won’t exactly make you break out. When you deny your skin of its natural oils, it works twice as hard to produce more - which can ultimately lead to a breakout or congested skin.

You can also think of acne as a cut. When you have a cut, would you dry it out with harsh ingredients to help it heal? Quite the opposite! You’d deliver antibacterial and soothing ingredients to aid in the healing process. Think of your acne or breakouts like those cuts - they need nourishment and hydration to heal. Healthy skin is hydrated and moisturized, and when skin is healthy, it can heal more efficiently.

woman looking at clear face in mirror

I often experience acne, have oily skin and/or currently have a breakout. Won’t adding more oil cause me to break out more or make my skin worse?

Not always! If you have acne/oily-prone skin, your skin could be experiencing an inadequate amount of sebum if you’ve been over-cleansing or using harsh products that strip your skin of its oil. Your sebaceous glands may be in overdrive to produce what’s been stripped away - producing more than what’s actually needed. Hello breakouts.

Skin can actually benefit from gamma linolenic acid-rich oils like borage seed oil (find it in this facial oil). A few other oil-balancing ingredients worth noting to look for are green tea and squalane oil.

For skin currently experiencing a breakout, a combination of the above oil-balancing ingredients, anti-inflammatory superstars like Clary Sage and Immortelle essential oils, as well as antibacterial essential oils like chamomile and thyme can collectively support the skin’s natural function to heal breakouts.

I have dry skin. Will a facial oil be enough?

Start by applying 3-4 drops of facial oil to your skin twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Take note of how your skin feels after; do you still feel dry? Is your skin tight? Do you still experience dry or flaking skin? If so, incorporate a facial moisturizer into your routine and try this: apply a pea-sized amount of moisturizer or cream to your fingertips, add 2-3 drops of serum, and mix. Apply thoroughly to your face and neck.

Pro tip: Commonly experience dry skin? Skip your morning cleanser and opt for just water and your moisturizer and serum. Save your cleanser for nighttime!


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Using Charcoal and Sea Salt Soap On Acne Prone Skin

My Skin's Road To Redemption Is Paved In Serum