Category Archives: Diet

Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up

With work, school, family, friends and life-changing events occurring, experiencing stress is inevitable. It seems like as soon as we find a morsel of peace, something else comes up and, at times, multiple issues arise simultaneously. Many of us are used to the cacophony of our crazy lives but many of us do not know how to cope with the constant stressors. The key is not to run away from the issues life affords us but to embrace them and learn how to manage the stress we go through. Fortunately, there are a myriad of techniques you can incorporate in your daily routine that will allow you to cope with these stressors.

There are many books, videos and articles you can read that will give you tips on ways to relieve stress. One particular article I admire is entitled “Stress Relievers: 17 Ways to Reduce Stress” by Elizabeth Scott. In this article, she wrote about both short-term and long-term strategies you can use to help relieve stress. The short-term strategies are things that you can do that are free, take little practice to do, and can provide immediate relief. Here are some of those techniques:

  1. Meditate and breathe. When you are feeling overwhelmed and your nerves are getting the best of you, simple close your eyes, slow down your breath and count down from 10 or 20. If you have more time, you can continue to slow your breath, listen to your heartbeat, take in the thoughts you are thinking, acknowledge them, then release them. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, hold it for one second once your belly fills with air, then slowly release the air through your nose. Repeat as needed. Doing these things multiple times will provide some stress relief.
  2. Relax your muscles and stretch. When you are stressed, your body can be very tensed, so learning to relax your muscles helps you relieve body tension. Take in deep breaths and section off muscles in your body as your tighten and relax your muscles, starting from your head down to your toes. Also, stretching your muscles everyday helps relieve tight muscles and relaxes your body.
  3. Take a walk or spend some time outdoors. When you get fresh air and sunlight by spending some time outdoors, it will help you relax and unwind from the hectic day. Taking a walk out in nature like at a park helps calm your mind and release some stress. Spending at least 20 minutes a day outside, not only relieves stress, but also improves your focus and vision, builds your immune system, and increases your longevity.
  4. Aromatherapy (candles, diffusers, body products, etc). If you are feeling overwhelmed at home, then take the time to use some aromatherapy. Scott wrote that “Emerging research suggests certain scents can alter brain wave activity and decrease stress hormones in the body”. It may help to darken the room you will be relaxing in or to light candles or a diffuser while you’re taking a hot bubble bath. Also, utilize calming scents like lavender, chamomile or vanilla.
  5. Pick up a hobby. When you are home, you can relieve stress by taking up a hobby like art or gardening. It can help you go back to feeling like a carefree kid when you color. That is why adult coloring books are an arising trend to help relieve stress. Focusing your thoughts on a task instead of the number of other things floating in your mind aids in calming your mind.

Once you have made these short-term strategies a habit, you will then be easily able to incorporate some long-term strategies into your daily routine. The long-term techniques will allow you to become more resilient to life’s stressors and will provide an overall happier you and healthier well-being. Here are some long-term strategies:

  1. Have a balanced diet. When you have a healthy, balanced diet, you are likely to feel happier and more energized. When you consume high fat and high sugar foods, it slows the mind and body down which makes you less likely to manage your stress. Consume more fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats like avocados and nuts.
  2. Incorporate leisure activities. Some work and some play keeps the doc away! Be sure you make time every week to do something that you love to do like playing games, solving puzzles, or spending time with friends. Any leisure activities that you can do will help you relieve stress, so be sure to make time for them multiple times a week.
  3. Take up yoga. Yoga may not be for everyone but even a beginners class or video can aid in reliving stress and anxiety because it helps you be present, calms your mind and spirit and allows you to acknowledge and release your thoughts.
  4. Exercise. We all know we should exercise at least 3 times a week. It is good to keep your body moving, even if it’s just a stroll around your neighborhood. It allows you to get sunlight and fresh air as well as release any mental or physical tension in the body, depending on the form of exercise.
  5. Rid your life of unnecessary things. We work and have families and friends so there can be a build up of unnecessary information and activities that are overloading our bodies and minds. Try to rid your mind of excess information because it is not needed for a healthy mind. Any unnecessary activities should also be ceased like excess shopping, spending hours on social media or watching tv. Rid your mind and body of these things to help you relieve stress.
  6. Surround yourself with positivity. One of the most important things you can do to aid in relieving stress is to surround yourself with positive people and positive vibes. Welcoming good vibes assists in a more relaxed mind, body and soul. If you must, keep your circle of friends small because the weight of other people’s problems can cause an excess amount of stress on you, even if it’s unconscious.

Managing your stress is very important to your overall well-being. A healthy and stress-free mind and body not only benefits you but also those around you. You should start off with the short-term strategies and get yourself accustomed to making those a habit, then you can move on to the long-term techniques. Learn not to run from the stress but embrace the challenges life brings and learn to properly manage them. Enjoy your life, don’t stress about it!

ReferencesScott, E. (2019, April 12). Stress Relievers: 17 Ways to Reduce Stress. Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-to-reduce-stress-3145195

There is no “Poop” Fairy!

     After years of being a pet parent and pet caretaker as my occupation, cleaning up after dogs and cats has become quite normal for me. It became apparent while working as a dog walker in the last few years. A well-seasoned dog walker will most likely be able to eat a sandwich with one hand and scoop up poop with the other. Multiple times I’ve actually forgotten that I was holding a bag of poop walking in and out of buildings! Anyone living in an apartment or city setting, who owns a dog understands the need for an Earth friendly options for picking up after their pets. With both Earth Day and National Scoop the Poop Week coinciding, I’ve found some Earth-friendly solutions to cleaning up after your pets!     Since we also have to scoop our cats’ poop, I want to include our feline babies in this article. There are two companies that I recommend to cat owners frequently. Years ago I discovered World’s Best cat litter. It comes in a variety of scented and unscented options. The reason it changed my life as a cat parent is that it’s flushable! It’s a corn-based litter that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals (I buy the extra strength unscented, and while it does come in pine and lavender scented options, cats can be sensitive to those essential oils so proceed with caution). It clumps very well, so I simply scoop and flush. In addition to that, I keep the litter box in my shower, because Simon is a compulsive digger. He makes quite the mess, but then all I have to do is rinse the scattered litter down the drain.

     The other great litter is made by Weruva. For years, Weruva has made a great canned food for both dogs and cats. If you pop open one of their cans, you’ll see shreds of actual chicken, sometimes with vegetables or another meat, in gravy. It smells like real food because it is real food. Plus, it’s high moisture content makes it that much better. Then, they came out with cat litter! Not only is their litter flushable, but it’s made from Japanese Hinoki wood and green tea. Both of these ingredients are known to have natural antibacterial properties. The only reason I haven’t switched to Weruva’s Tea Potty litter is that Simon does well with World’s Best and I don’t want to disrupt his routine. I’ve been told by countless cat owners about how great this litter smells. If your apartment is small enough, Tea Potty litter provides a fresh green tea scent throughout your home. What other litter can you say that about?

     Both of these brands are free of clay, dust, as well as dangerous and artificial perfumes, so your cats won’t have to suffer with breathing in harsh components while trying to do their business. Of course, you don’t HAVE to flush these litters. Many cat owners use plastic bags to dispose of their cats’ waste, which is why you should continue reading even if you don’t have a dog. I’ve found some great options for Earth-friendly dog poop bags.

     If you own a yard, you’re one of the lucky ones. You can spend time with your dog off-leash and skip the plastic baggies for clean up. The most Earth-friendly option is clearly a scooper! Unfortunately, if you’re like me and you live in a small apartment in a big city, then you may need to buy some poop bags. In my personal, everyday life I make a great effort to produce the least amount of trash, and that includes decreasing how much plastics I use and throw into the garbage. Plastic bags can take about five to ten years to break down once we throw it into a landfill. Our pets are not going to stop pooping any time soon, so the best way to make a difference in the future of our environment is to find other solutions for scooping the poop!

     There are so many companies out there that claim to have biodegradable bags for pet waste clean up. The trouble with this claim, however, is that in order for the plastics to break down, the composition of additives in the plastics need the proper amount of oxygen to do so, and that is not guaranteed when thrown in a garbage bag and then into a landfill. It’s a nice effort, but it does not seem to be the best solution to this issue. I was recently handed a paper poop bag when I took a friend’s dog out to do his thing. I hesitated at first because I hadn’t seen a paper poop bag before that day.

     In my research, I found a couple of paper bag options for pet clean up. The first is made by K9 Clean. There are no plastics in their bags, and if used properly you don’t have to feel the warm poop through the bag at all! Why not just use regular paper bags then? Well, they make their organic paper bags with sturdy flaps at the opening. In order to pick up the poop, you open the bag and pop it over the poop. Then you slide the harder flaps under the poop and flip the bag over, and ideally you have yourself a little to-go eco-friendly baggy of poop. If you have a large dog, the bigger poops may be difficult to scoop up. If I’m being honest, I’ve used two bags for a big dog poop before, so if that’s going to happen I would prefer to use two paper bags! The only scenarios I imagine this product can be difficult to use would be during tummy upsets and in tall grass areas.

     Another paper-based poop bag company that I came across claimed that their product is flushable. This seemed like a great idea for about thirty seconds. If you have an indoor dog that poops on a pad or a dog that has accidents inside, I find it silly to buy a flushable bag when you can just pick it up with toilet paper and flush. Similarly, if I don’t want to collect my dog’s poop just to bring it inside and flush it, instead of using a public trash receptacle. Plus, as I read further about this poop bag, I realized it is a plastic bag with a paper bag inside, to make it easier to pick up the poop and then flushing the paper bag down. My interest with this option faded pretty quickly. I’m sure there are more paper poop bag options out there that are plastic-free.

     I know what many of you are thinking – paper bags sound messy. It very well could be for some, so I have also found some Earth-friendly plastic bags. The first company I want to talk about is BioBag. They make a variety of products that provide compostable alternatives for plastic bags. I actually use their compostable food scrap bags to contribute my food scraps to local gardens to make compost. BioBag uses a resin made from GMO free crops to create their bags, rather than using petroleum-based plastics. The result of a safe option for disposing of pet waste, as well as your own food scrap waste. The bags feel delicate and thin, but are actually pretty durable. I highly recommend this company.

     BioBag is not the only company that makes compostable bags to clean up after our pups. BioDOGradable Bags is USDA Biobased certified company that makes dog waste bags, as well as cat waste bags, diaper disposal bags, and shopping bags. With the push to do away with single use plastic bags, this company provides a great alternative. The Original Poop Bags® claim that they make a compostable pet waste bag as well. The accuracy of that claim aside, they make their bags using plant-based materials, including corn, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers. The last company I’m going to highlight is Flush Puppies. Flush Puppies claims to be certified compostable, as it should be if you’re going to flush it down your toilet. They make their baggies from PVA (polyvinyl alcohol), which is water soluble, allowing it to break down in your septic system. The company even quotes the United States EPA on their website in a statement explaining that flushing your pets’ waste is “the best disposal method.” This makes sense, since I’ve already discussed flushing my cat’s waste. I’m not sure if carrying the poop bag around during your dog’s walk and then bringing it home to flush is a popular option, but it is certainly an option. Always check to make sure your plumbing and septic system is suitable for flushing down these poop bags.

     The benefits of using plant-based plastic bags include, but are not limited to, reducing the damage plastics have done to the environment and reducing our own exposure to chemicals found in plastics. For those who use and plan to use earth-friendly bags, I only caution not to dispose of compostable waste bags into food scrap composters. You do not want to include pet waste in food compost. However, using compostable and biodegradable bags increases the breakdown of those materials, making it safer for the environment. Furthermore, diet also plays a factor when discussing pet waste. If you’re concerned by the qualities of your pets’ waste, they could have sensitivities to something they are eating. Many people, myself included, who have switched to feeding raw, gently cooked or high quality canned foods, have noticed that their pets’ poop is smaller, plus a big reduction in the smell. If you think your pets’ poop is indicating a food intolerance, we can test for food sensitivities using only 10-15 strands of hair!

https://www.rover.com/blog/truth-about-biodegradable-poop-bags-in/

Topics: InsiderBlogsAllergyIntoleranceHair AnalysisAffordableHealthFoodPetNutrition,Weight LossTrainersDietFitnessDeluxe TestInflammationantioxidantsWineCardiovascular,Anti-aging

Laura Boisson

Written by Laura Boisson

Affordable what! Affordable Allergy Test.

A Not So Secret…Secret

Post number 2, look alive!


Nothing will help health and fitness more than a healthy nutritious diet. With so much information out there, it makes it hard to choose something that will actually work for every client. What if eating foods considered “healthy” is not healthy for them? What is healthy for them is just as unique as they are.

A food intolerance is a detrimental reaction, often delayed, to a food, beverage, food additive, or compound found in foods that can have a wide range of symptoms. To stay on point we’ll stick to those that may more noticeably impact your client’s health and fitness journey. Inflammation is one of the intolerance reactions that may cause the greatest impact. This inflammation can also impact the tendons, muscles, and joints causing pain or even worse injuries. It can also impact the digestion and absorption of food. Whether their goal is weight loss, weight gain, or maximum performance, this can slow down their and your efforts. It is important to reduce and/or avoid foods they are intolerant to and keep their body fueled with nutrient dense foods.

Nutritional deficiencies can also play a role in inflammation and bone, joint, and muscle health. For example, a deficiency of vitamin D can contribute to weakened bones, joints, and muscles while a deficiency of vitamin C and vitamin A can impact connective tissue and bones. Trace elements and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, and zinc also play a role in tendon and ligament repair and health. It is important to correct any nutritional deficiencies and try to keep them at optimal levels in order to keep the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles healthy and functioning properly to avoid injury and aid in recovery. Nutritional deficiencies such as B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants can also affect energy levels.

An accumulation of heavy metals in the body can cause muscle and tendon pain, fatigue, and poor recovery. It can also block the absorption of nutrients that the body needs. Different heavy metals have different ways to detox. Reducing this accumulation can play a huge role in performance and longevity.

Being on top of your game doesn’t have to be a headache. Our Deluxe Test identifies these food intolerances, nutritional deficiencies, and heavy metals as well as environmental items. It is a starting point and guide handling the issues that may be impacting your clients. Whether they are a mom, weekend warrior, or professional athlete, our test can help you get them better results and keep them coming back. Visit us at: www.affordableallergytesting.com.

Be on the lookout for next weeks post, we have something special for you guys 😉

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