Posts tagged ‘animals’

April 21, 2014

Share the Love—Earth Day, April 22

i go to nature to be soothed

Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22—what will you do to celebrate? Sometimes I feel like affecting a change in this giant world of ours is such a monumental task. I can be defeated by this, or I can live my life in a way that heals my heart and life around me, doing what I can to the best of my ability. For me, celebrating Earth Day is about sharing my love of animals and nature.

Compassionate Consumption

Me petting a Silkie chicken--heaven!

Me petting a Silkie chicken–heaven!

I love finding healthy, clean ways I can nourish myself while celebrating my animal friends. I truly believe people and animals are linked and that our compassion for them speaks to the deepest part of our nature. Here are some of my favorite ways to live a compassionate life:

  • Pursue a vegetarian/almost vegan lifestyle
  • Search out cruelty-free fashion choices
  • Champion protection for animals
  • Support rescue sanctuaries

Regardless of your choice in lifestyle, you can nevertheless practice compassion in your consumption. You can:

  • Choose to support humane farming practices
  • Buy household and beauty products that do not contribute to the suffering of animals (Check out the Leaping Bunny program when shopping for cruelty-free products: http://www.leapingbunny.org/indexcus.php)
  • Support the natural world that gives shelter and sustenance to our creatures through recycling, nature clean-ups, and lending your physical or financial support to organizations dedicated to protecting our wild places
  • Live consciously and on purpose

Every little bit helps!

For more ideas on how you can make a difference, check out our Healthy Housewives article in this month’s issue of Natural Muscle Magazine (pp. 52-53): http://www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/total-health/nmapril2014virtual/2014033101/%20-%2052#52

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Earth Day Texas—DFW, April 26-27, 2014

peace love earth day

Looking for a way to enjoy the spring weather and celebrate Earth Day at the same time? Bring your family and even your pets to the annual Earth Day Texas celebration at Fair Park this weekend. There will be all kinds of activities for the whole family—a chance to climb trees with trained arborists; workshops and demonstrations on sustainable living; an Energy Playground; an electric bike test track; music; food; art, dance; and even Tibetan monks from the Crow Collection blessing the gathering! Check out the Earth Day Texas Event Guide (http://issuu.com/earthdaytexas/docs/low-res-final/1?e=10409239/7344140) for everything you need to know, and go enjoy!

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Inspiration from Nature

 

Ok, maybe I just wanted an excuse to post this darling pic!

Ok, maybe I just wanted an excuse to post this darling pic!

“We need the tonic of wildness—to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

Henry David Thoreau

 best persons walt whitman

Friends, have a blessed and wonderful week!

XO, Brooke

 

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February 28, 2014

I’ve Got to Get Away!

this way out

Hi, Friends! It’s Brooke here. Is busyness overtaking your life? Are you constantly weary and running on empty? We all have so much to juggle that we barely have time to breathe. If you can get away on a vacation, sweet! But what if your schedule or your wallet is a bit pinched? You don’t need a whole week away at a 5-star resort to get some peace in your life, though it would be a great start! Here’s my personal plan for getting away, if only for a little while.

1. Nature

Happy, hot, and muggy in Mexico!

Happy, hot, and muggy in Mexico!

Go where the wild things are. Go where you can take a deep breath and actually smell the air. Find the wind, search the wide open sky, find some water, or surround yourself with your favorite kind of plant therapy. To a nature-starved soul trapped in the city, even the greenhouse at Home Depot is warm, loamy, and vibrant. I could never articulate why my soul resonated so deeply with watching a fire burning in my fireplace or standing on the deck of a cruise ship, gazing at the horizon as the wind whipped my hair and the waves  broke below me. Then I found Martha Beck’s description of the soothing power of nature in The Joy Diet: “If your body is tired, seek out some fluidly moving part of nature: a fireplace, a river, a field of wind-blown wheat, a thundering surf. Watching and listening to the patterned disorder of the universe is one of the deep soul’s favorite pastimes.” Lovely . . .

2. Loved Ones

My sister, Paige, and I--love her so!!

My sister, Paige, and I–love her so!!

Find the person or people you love the most and just marinate in the happiness they bring you. You don’t have to do anything or go anywhere, unless doing so will bring you joy. My heart bubbles over in the presence of loved ones—it is therapy like none other for the craziness in my life. When I’m with people I treasure, I love to linger and no amount of time is ever enough. You know the quote, “Parting is such sweet sorrow . . .”? Absolutely true!

3. Animals

animal collage

Seek out some animal friends ASAP! If you love creatures like I do, there’s nothing that makes me more deliriously happy than petting an animal. Some people go crazy for (human) babies—for me, it’s animals. If I can’t touch a creature, I’m begrudgingly content just to watch them. My favorite hotel in Miami, The Biltmore, is famous for its two beautiful, old-fashioned finch aviaries. These cages are in the lobby, are home to at least 20 finches, and are the first things you see when you step into this glorious hotel. If you’ve not heard the sounds finches make, the tiny chirps are soft, constant, and sweet. I could watch and listen to those winged charmers for hours—so very soothing.

4. Free Time

If you are a spontaneous sort like me, having time unplanned is a precious thing. Having an end point at the end of a stretch of time (even for something fun) makes me feel boxed in and anxious. So, on a recent trip to see my sister and her family, we found ourselves momentarily without plans and it was heavenly. When you keep time unmarked by expectation, 1) you can relax and simply be and 2) you leave room for unexpected joys. We enjoyed our free time by visiting, chilling out, reading, and then lucky for me—a puppy play date happened! See, you never know what will happen when you relax your grip on life! 🙂

5. Joy Reading

A few of my favorite things . . .

A few of my favorite things . . .

This seems to be an obvious choice, but for hyper-achieving, busy people, setting down whatever instructional, educational thing you doing can be the first step to getting away for a bit. I’m always studying or preparing for something, and of course there’s never enough time in the day to do everything. So, when I need to escape, I pick up my favorite books that make me laugh and am transported.

This list is my go-to plan for escaping for a little while and regaining some sanity and joy. What do you do to find some peace in your life? I’d love to know! Find me at Brooke@healthyhousewives.com.

May your weekend be blessed and filled with joy,

Brooke

November 25, 2013

Show Your “Creature Love”

Meet Clove, my new "adoption"!

Here’s Clove, my “adopted” turkey–isn’t he handsome?

Do you feel called to do more this Thanksgiving than go meatless? I’m right there with you. Here’s where Thanksgiving becomes bittersweet for me—a special meal with loved ones is a precious idea, but the sacrifice demanded of our creatures is too much for me to bear. So, what’s a tender-hearted vegetarian to do to help our animal friends this time of year? Why, adopt a turkey, of course!

Farm Sanctuary

You guys, I am THRILLED to sponsor a turkey this year through the advocacy group Farm Sanctuary. For almost 30 years now, Farm Sanctuary’s efforts to rescue and shelter abused and neglected farm animals, improve the terrible conditions for animals on factory farms, provide community outreach, encourage awareness, educate institutions, and influence compassionate legislation have helped ease (but not erase) the suffering of these animals. Their mission completely resonated with me: To protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

Now, I am not vegan (yet), but I am a passionate vegetarian and lover of all animals, so you can imagine my delight at finding that I could “adopt” a turkey already living at one of the three sanctuaries. For $30, I now have a dapper new turkey friend named Clove (that’s him above), and my donation goes to rescue animals and care for Clove and all of the other creatures at his home. And if I’m ever in Northern California, I can go visit Clove and his friends at the sanctuary, though I would physically pass out with joy if I ever had the chance to do this!

Want to Help?

If you feel called to spread the love of the season to our winged and furry friends, there are so many ways you can help. All it takes is a few keystrokes on Google and away you go.  But if you need a quick, fun, and heartachingly sweet option, do what I did and check out the Adopt-a-Turkey program through Farm Sanctuary. You can sponsor a single turkey, two turkeys, or a whole flock (7 turkeys)! Need a sweet gift idea? Delight your friends and family with a sponsorship of one of this year’s special group of turkeys, and Farm Sanctuary will send each of your recipients a picture and certificate of their special bird and his or her story.

And the love doesn’t stop there. Even after the holiday season has passed, Farm Sanctuary and many other advocacy groups have programs to educate people on compassionate living, eating, and advocacy for all animals. My sweet friend and fellow animal lover Lacey and I have often commiserated about how we can do more for the animals that share our planet, and frankly, the odds of affecting a huge change are very disheartening. But we must do what we can, when we can, however much we can. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite poems, which is a guiding light in my occasional despair and an inspiration in all my other days.

Be blessed and much love, Brooke

If I can stop 2

October 14, 2013

Halloween . . . Fun for Your Pets?

white dog in pumkin

Hello, everyone! It’s that special time of year again. Yep, it’s almost Halloween! The cool, crisp air of autumn is slowly creeping into Texas, just in time to chill us as we meander around the town in search of ghoulish good cheer. Though most of us agree that Halloween night is full of creepy fun, our pets may have a whole different opinion of it. Imagine your pets relaxing in your home day in and day out with their comfortable routines and normal sounds and smells . . . and then suddenly, the air is filled with continual knocking and ringing of the doorbell, along with heightened commotion and wads of strangers at the front door every few minutes. Who’s there? A scary lobster? An overgrown cat? And what is that—a witch looming behind that fairy with the nice face? Someone tell her, quick! Should I attack or save myself?!?

Imagine the scary confusion your pets face during this time. You can definitely make this night more fun for your animals by remembering a few helpful tips:

 

Trick-or-Treat: Unless your pets are super social and LOVE people and hubbub, kindly keep them closed in a quiet room away from Treat-or-Treat Central. The stress of constant costumed strangers can cause nervous diarrhea, fear, or even aggression, even in normally friendly pets.

Candy Cautions: Be sure to keep all your yummy treats away from the fur kids, no matter how sadly they peer up at you. Also, keep that candy hidden and off of counters or tables—even if you have no intention of sharing your candy haul with your pets, they are notorious for nosing out the sweet stuff. Chocolate is extremely toxic (and sometimes fatal) to animals, dogs especially. Signs of chocolate toxicity include nervousness, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in some cases, seizures and death. Even “sugar-free” candies, gum, mints, chocolate, and baked goods containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are poisonous. Ingestion of these tasty treats can cause rapid hypoglycemia and liver failure—yikes! If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or any other treat, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Halloween blog otter

Love this otter!

Jack-o-Lanterns: Carved pumpkins definitely make Halloween more festive, but be careful if you decide to add a candle to your jack-o-lantern. Wagging tails and zooming cats can easily knock over a lit pumpkin, and candles always pose a danger to curious animals. A good way to have your candle and, um, “eat” it too is to buy battery-operated votives and column candles. Isn’t this time of year nicer when you can relax with your artificial candlelight? Hmmm.

halloween blog cute face

Dressing Up: It’s very tempting to dress your pets in costume, but if you do, just take a bit of care to ensure they are as excited about the prospect as you are. If your pet is scared of that absolutely adorable outfit you bought her, please be kind and don’t force her to endure the costume for your entertainment. If she is up for the adventure, make sure the costume is not annoying or unsafe. You want to be sure she can see and hear her surroundings easily, and watch out for elastic parts—they shouldn’t be too tight on her skin and fur. Also, keep an eye out for small, easily chewed pieces like buttons, strings, and feathers—you don’t want to end your night of merriment in emergency surgery with your pet! Lastly, do not leave your costumed pet unattended at any time.

Collars and Tags: With your front door opening and closing all evening, always be sure your pets have ID tags on. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction, and your beloved pet can slip quietly out the door. That’s a very scary thought!

Keep your babies safe!

Keep your babies safe!

Animal Safety: Be watchful of your animal’s safety, especially if you have a beautiful black cat. Often, pet stores and humane societies will not allow adoption of black cats around Halloween (sometimes even during the whole month of October) because of potential animal cruelty by pranksters or other sick individuals. If you see any act of animal cruelty on Halloween or any time of the year, please call your local police department immediately. If they are unable to assist, call your local animal shelter or humane society. Animal abuse is illegal in all 50 states (and a felony in 46). If you make a report of alleged animal abuse, the responding agency is required to investigate. Because animals cannot speak for themselves, it’s up to us to keep them safe and happy!

tiger pumpkin

Ok, friends and fellow animal lovers, have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the spooky season! See you here next week!

XO, Brooke

May 20, 2013

Vegetarian Meal Planning: Compassion and Convenience

hugged veggie

Hello, and Happy Monday! It’s Brooke here. I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time now (more than 15 years), and I love that there’s a way I can still be healthy while respecting the creatures in our world. Now, I am certainly not an expert by any means, and when it comes to balancing my life with proper (sufficient) nutrition in a timely manner, I am NOT always successful. But every day I try to make my fuel a priority, and some days are better than others. But I keep aspiring to live up to my best intentions, in and out of the kitchen.

I came to this lifestyle in a meandering fashion. For years, I was the “picky” eater in the house. You may be familiar with the line from A Christmas Story, “Every family has a kid who won’t eat.” I was that kid! My sister and I had to eat three bites of everything on our plate before we could be excused from dinner. Many meals ended with my family bustling around the kitchen, putting their dishes away while I sat by myself at the table, looking at my half-finished plate, usually with meat or a few veggies remaining forlornly around the edges. Now, I didn’t single out meat purposely back then, but I just wasn’t its biggest fan. I managed to stay plenty nourished, however, and made my way to college. About this time, I started learning about the vegetarian life and what it felt like to make decisions that went against my social conditioning and what I’d always taken for granted. I grew up in Texas, after all—barbeque was always the first thing that was catered in for any kind of occasion. Definitely a challenge!

why love one

I love animals desperately, as you probably know by now. Also, one of the strongest drivers of human behavior is to live in a way that is consistent with what you believe. This is why what you tell yourself is so freakin’ important! You become what you believe or say you will be. So, your self-talk better be purposeful, supportive, and meaningful if you want that kind of life. Well, my turning point came when I realized that how I felt about animals didn’t square with my eating them. Here was another significant moment measured by a quotation, this time from Chrissie Hynde: “Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends.” This changed my whole life!

cow hug

I was a freshman and living in a dorm with no kitchen when I declared to my family I would no longer eat meat, much to my mother’s consternation. This time was a blur, but I do remember eating a lot of pasta and pizza and waffles (!)—no coincidence that I put on some weight. I called my extra layer my winter padding, like a seal has—what was I thinking? The ways you justify things to yourself! Well, I managed to screw up my digestive system in the process—I felt bloated and yucky constantly, lost my appetite, was malnourished, and didn’t even realize it. So, I went back to how I ate the last time I felt good, in high school in the cafeteria—a meat, two vegetables, a roll, a small dessert, and a carton of milk. I began feeling better, all while learning more about how to eat more healthfully. Eventually, I incorporated more grains and vegetables and got rid of the meat again. I wish I could say it was all pretty, but I was a college student on a budget, and there were a LOT of peanut butter and honey sandwiches involved. One particular shining moment was the day I fixed couscous from a box with canned carrots and canned green beans. Happiness!!

As time has passed, I’ve gained a few more kitchen skills, I’ve learned a lot more about nutrition, and although I have spent years pulling out recipes and squirreling them away to use someday, my vision of kitchen nirvana involving both the immaculate white kitchen and the va-va-voom of Giada De Laurentiis have not materialized. But I do have a basic plan that I follow that gives me a little bit of structure as I navigate my day.

Breakfast

lean protein, complex carb, simple carb, healthy fat

First: multivitamin + calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement + vegetarian omega-3s THEN breakfast

(Examples: protein breakfast smoothie [banana, strawberries, whey protein, almond milk, olive oil or flaxseeds, and nuts] OR scrambled eggs/egg whites and oatmeal with coconut oil, berries, walnuts, cinnamon, and Truvia)

Morning Snack

lean protein, complex or simple carbs

(Example: protein shake with a banana or ½ cup berries OR a green smoothie with power greens blend [arugula, chard, or kale], spinach, water, celery, pear, apple, and a banana)

Lunch

lean protein, complex carbs, simple carb , healthy fat

(Example: spicy black bean patty, couscous or rice, ½ avocado with lemon juice and sea salt AND a big, dark-green salad full of veggies, a bit of fruit and light shredded cheese [maybe], and nuts)

Pre-Workout Snack

lean protein, complex carbs, simple carb , healthy fat

(Example: leftover or extra scrambled eggs and oatmeal from the morning OR whole wheat English muffin, almond butter, ½ banana, few blueberries, flaxseeds, and drizzle of honey) + BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids)

Post-Workout Snack

lean protein, simple carb

BCAAs + glutamine + creatine (optional) THEN whey protein with almond milk and 1 cup grape juice or fruit

Dinner

lean protein, complex carbs, healthy fat (sometimes)

(Example: beans or bean or lentil soup, couscous or rice, green vegetables or large salad, ½ avocado with lemon juice and sea salt)

Bedtime Snack (if needed, usually yes!)

lean protein, healthy fat

(Example: protein shake (casein and whey) with almond milk OR Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, berries, and nuts)

Now, you’ll notice that I try to eat a good amount of complex, starchy carbs. Currently, my training goals include adding curves and weight by building lean muscle and lifting heavy, and I need fuel (probably still more than I’m getting) to do this. But if you’re trying to tighten up, you can dial back on the complex carbs and a little of the healthy fats at lunch and later in the day. This is just a plan that works for me. Vegetarian options abound these days, and I’ll share some more recipes as I find time to try them. Wish me luck! I can’t wait to hear about what works for you. So, let me know if you have some great ideas for strong, sexy, cruelty-free curves—I’m always listening.

Have a super week!

Brooke

compassion is the new sexy

 

May 8, 2013

Picky Eater Options for a Non-Chef

Part of being a Healthy Housewife is doing one’s best to keep the entire home as healthy as possible. For me, that includes a husband, two teenagers, and two fur-babies. My step-daughter and I are surrounded by four other men in the household. I’m including both male pups along with the male humans. Ironically, both of us girls will pretty much each whatever; however, I have a sticky note with the following dietary preferences for the men:

Post Its

1. No onions, no chives, no humus, no cucumbers, no cauliflower, no mint gum

2. No mushrooms, no black olives, no spinach.

3. For both pups, separate feeding times, and peanut butter and ice cream are ideal treats. They love carrots and ice too.

Cooking is interesting and down-right frustrating on days I’m not feeling creative; however, I managed a few meals that won blue ribbons with the household, so I wanted to share:

Chicken-Nuggets-at-Home

“Organic Chicken Skinny-Nuggets”

Cut four organic chicken breasts into cubes

Mix in bowl #1: Chipotle-flavored Tabasco sauce and olive oil

Mix in bowl #2: gluten-free bread crumbs or croutons, sea salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese

You know the drill! Drop cubes of chicken into bowl #1 then bowl #2; coat evenly and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees; Flip and bake for 5-7 minutes more. Cool, and serve with dip of choice.

Mexican-Unfried-Ice-Cream

“Unfried Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • Greek vanilla frozen yogurt
  • Special K Cereal, crushed
  • ground cinnamon
  • crushed almonds
  • Hershey’s dark-chocolate syrup (optional)
  • cherries or almond for topping (optional)
  • Truwhip for topping (optional)

Mix the cereal, cinnamon, and crushed almonds in a bowl. Scoop your frozen yogurt as normal and roll (lightly) in a bowl of the crushed Special K mixture. (You can also make three smaller “balls” for a different display option.) Set in a bowl and top as desired (depending on person’s preferences.)

Pinwheels

“Pinwheels”

With such picky eaters, this is one of my favorite “go-to” items.

Ingredients:

Favorite wrap or tortilla (based on preferences, there are gluten-free, whole-wheat, regular, or vegetable options)

Spreads: I make humus, almond butter, or cream cheese pinwheels–just not altogether. 🙂

“Meats”: I use Amy’s Bean Burger crumbles or patty (crumbled up), Garden Burger, or Turkey burger; however, you can use nitrate-free turkey or chicken slices as well. I also pair the following with the almond butter: raisins, dried fruits, smashed banana, warmed organic apple horizontal slices. If I’m having a sweet tooth, or an allergy attack, I simply spread locally-grown honey the almond butter and wrap it up. Yum.

Veggies: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, or thinly-sliced squash

Roll your preferences, and slice into inch-thick slices. Arrange on your favorite platter or baggie them up for a boat cruise or family picnic.

NOTE: Bring peanut butter and a spoon for the pups.

I’m looking forward to learning so more picky-family friendly recipes, and I enjoy referencing the following on my journey.

http://www.skinnytaste.com

http://www.yummly.com

http://www.growingupherbal.com

IMG_0267

In health (and for the sake of keeping the peace), Lacey

January 25, 2013

For Our New Friends . . . Hello!

Mongoose heelo

Happy Friday to our Healthy Housewives family! My name is Brooke Berryhill, and I am your go-to gal for Health and Wellness as well as Animals (specifically, Pets). I’m really excited to be a part of this group of amazing women—each of us is blazing our own trail in healthy living as we lift each other up and hopefully inspire you along the way! I’ll share a little bit of my story, and I look forward to hearing from you as well.

I’m an East Texas girl, having grown up in the beautiful Piney Woods of Longview. If you have had the good fortune to pass through Longview, you’ll appreciate how very lovely it is. I went on to Texas A&M University, where my love affair with iced coffee drinks and staying up very late really took hold. Then I was blessed to meet my husband, John, and life became even sweeter. We’ve been married for 14 years, he makes me laugh every day, and thankfully he shares my love of animals, P.F. Chang’s, and America’s Next Top Model—really, what else could you ask for in a husband?

My love

My love

I graduated with a degree in English and proceeded to spend the next 10 years as a copyeditor, providing the grammatical spit and polish to everything that I could get my hands on—science textbooks, advertising copy, medical test-prep, and romance novels (my favorite!). Then, after spending years combing the written word, I felt called to nurture people more than manuscripts and became a licensed massage therapist. And what a beautiful gift massage therapy has been for me! As a therapist, I can provide a nurturing and safe place for people to rest, to heal, and to feel more peaceful than when they walked in. I also love educating my clients on how to take better care of themselves. As the Wellness Director at a lovely retirement community, I get to do this every day as I create brand-new health and wellness programs for our staff and residents.

Pretty Lucy

Pretty Lucy

Something else that brings me (and you too, I hope) great joy are animals. I love all animals! Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to rush out and hug a snake or anything—but I will be the one rushing past you to the nearest door as I rescue that scary spider or tiny pink gecko (by holding a well-placed cup and sturdy envelope, of course)! My love of animals is deep and abiding, and it led me to become a vegetarian many years ago. I strive to live compassionately toward people and animals, and I’m always looking for fabulous products and fashions that are created cruelty free. Now, truth be told, if I could shelter and protect all the animals in the world, I would. But since my house is not quite big enough for that, I will introduce you to my current furry family members: Lucy (snow-white, very smart, snuggly, and has lots to say);  Tiki (brown-ticked tabby, ultra affectionate, very mischievous, and wheels-off crazy); and Bit Bit (small golden-orange tabby, Tiki’s brother/partner in crime, unbelievably sweet, and cute as a bug).

Happy New Year to Tiki

Happy New Year to Tiki

Bit Bit wants more toys!

Bit Bit wants more toys!

That’s my story for now. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and see you again next week!

Brooke

December 15, 2012

Happy and Safe Howlidays!

sweet doxy

Hi, there! This is Brooke, your pet-loving gal here. The holidays are in full swing, and you are probably up to your eyebrows in things to do, cookies to bake, and cards to send—I know I am! Here are some tips on keeping your cherished pets safe and happy during this festive season.

Christmas Trees

This is an example of a bad kitty!

This is an example of a bad kitty!

  1. Make sure to anchor your trees from adventurous kitties that climb and dogs with crazily wagging tails—you don’t want all your hard work “decking” the tree to come crashing down in the middle of your eggnog!
  2. If you have a live tree, keep your animals from drinking the tree water, which may be full of pesticides as well as bacteria from the stagnant water. Ingestion of these nasty things can cause diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach.
  3. Regardless of whether your tree is real or artificial, be sure to clean up the dropped needles often. Curious pets will eat those needles faster than you can say “No, don’t—!“ They are toxic and will cause vomiting, even if fake (trust me on this).
  4. Do not leave pets unattended with the Christmas tree, if possible. A fully decorated tree comes stocked with all kinds of dangerous “toys”:
    • Hot light strands can burn or electrocute dogs or cats, which have a tendency to chew on things. Keep light strands secured and covered or away from the lower levels of the tree.
    • Be sure to put glass or metal ornaments higher up on the tree, and watch for broken ornaments with sharp hooks or attachments—little paws can easily step on these items.
    • Tinsel may be beautiful, but it’s a big no-no, especially for cat households. Cats will ALWAYS find stringy, dangly items, and tinsel (along with other strings or wires) can be ingested and can get tangled in the stomach or intestines, leading to scary emergency surgery or even death if not caught in time. No thank you!!

Holiday Plants

Many plants that make our houses cherry and bright this time of year are bad news for our furry family members. For a more extensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants, check out this link from the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants. If you suspect your pet has gotten into anything suspicious, whether plant, food, or otherwise, be sure to call your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic IMMEDIATELY. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year: (888) 426-4435.

Common Holiday Plants Your Pets Should Avoid

  1. Lilies: deadly to cats, can cause kidney failure
  2. Mistletoe (especially the berries): highly toxic, causes upset stomach and potentially fatal heart problems
  3. Holly: causes nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy
  4. Poinsettias: not as toxic as often thought, these should still be avoided as they can upset pets’ digestive system
  5. Amaryllis: causes diarrhea and vomiting
  6. Certain species of ivy, namely English ivy: can be extremely harmful if ingested

Forbidden Food and Drinks

fridge danger

We all know that your animal friends are very skilled at watching you pitifully as you shove another yummy treat in your mouth. Their doleful eyes entreat you to share a bit of delicious food with them. Don’t do it!! You can show your pets that you love them in so many healthier ways.

  1. Be sure and feed your pets before dinner or party guests arrive—that way, Spot will have a full tummy and be less likely to beg for scraps from your guests. Also, give your animals some special treats made just for them when they have been good (or just because), and politely ask your guests to avoid passing along tasty morsels to your pets.
  2. This shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but be sure to keep the dogs and cats (and any other small creatures) in your house out of the booze and smokes. Even accidental ingestion of alcohol or nicotine by a curious pet can be deadly, so if your party is getting very merry—be careful!!
  3. Some foods that can be harmful to your furry friends are:
    • Turkey skin and gravy: can cause pancreatitis
    • Onions and onion powder: can destroy red blood cells, causing anemia
    • Chocolate: can damage the nervous system and urinary tract as well as the heart muscle; can be deadly
    • Grapes and raisins: grapes, especially, can cause kidney failure (who knew?)
    • Cooked bones, especially poultry bones: can tear or block the intestinal tract; these injuries can be fatal
    • Not a food but food items: strings that are used in turkeys or roast, as well as the little  “pop-up” thermometers; discarded aluminum foil; food and fixings garbage—make sure to keep these items picked up and thrown away, with garbage sealed tightly

Joy to the Animals

Christmas rat

We can absolutely include our furry or feathered family members in the holiday festivities—we just have to be smart pet parents. Stuff your pets’ stockings with worry-free toys, like rubber dog toys, indestructible Kongs filled with special treats, durable rope “bones”, size-appropriate balls, catnip mice, interactive krinkle mats, and even nesting boxes and soft hammocks for your favorite little rat!

Ok, you guys. Get to jingling those bells, and stay warm!

Blessings,

Brooke

December 5, 2012

9 Stylish Ways to Wear Statement Leggings

Leggings are one of the easiest ways to update your wardrobe and you don’t have to spend a ton of money to achieve a stylish fresh look.  You can add leggings to tops, sweaters, dresses or a simple white tee and leather jacket for an edgy look.
You can find statement leggings in all kinds of designs, from classic black to leather to printed lace.  Leggings are everywhere in every style. You can choose different textures, sheens, prints and colors.
A couple of style notes to keep in mind when picking out your leggings:
1. If the leggings are really bright or super busy, make sure your top is a neutral and let the leggings be the focal point.
2.  If you have a little bit of thickness through the thighs and hips go for a vertical print or darker color legging that can have an embellishment to draw the eyes up and down.
3. To elongate shorter legs wear a shoe that matches your legging color.
4.  Have fun and buy whatever makes you happy or puts a smile on your face!
See the Romwe Starry Night leggings, I ordered them and can’t wait to wear with my Vera Wang motorcycle boots, picked up at the Maxx for about $69.00
Hope you all have a wonderful week! Yours truly, Kathy Fit Fashionista 🙂
October 12, 2012

So Nice to Meet You!

Happy Friday to our Healthy Housewives family! My name is Brooke Berryhill, and I am your go-to gal for Wellness and Animals (specifically, Pets). I’m really excited to be a part of this group of amazing women—each of us is blazing our own trail in healthy living as we lift each other up and hopefully inspire you along the way! I’ll share a little bit of my story, and I look forward to hearing from you as well.

I’m an East Texas girl, having grown up in the beautiful Piney Woods of Longview. If you have had the good fortune to pass through Longview, you’ll appreciate how very lovely it is. I went on to Texas A&M University, where my love affair with iced coffee drinks and staying up very late really took hold. Then I was blessed to meet my husband, John, and life became even sweeter. We’ve been married for 14 years, he makes me laugh every day, and thankfully he shares my love of animals, P.F. Chang’s, and America’s Next Top Model—really, what else could you ask for in a husband?Image

I graduated with a degree in English and proceeded to spend the next 10 years as a copyeditor, providing the grammatical spit and polish to everything that I could get my hands on—science textbooks, advertising copy, medical test-prep, and romance novels (my favorite!). Then, after spending years combing the written word, I felt called to nurture people more than manuscripts and became a licensed massage therapist. And what a beautiful gift massage therapy has been for me! As a therapist, I can provide a nurturing and safe place for people to rest, to heal, and to feel more peaceful than when they walked in. I also love educating my clients on how to take better care of themselves. As the Wellness Director at a lovely retirement community, I get to do this every day as I create brand-new health and wellness programs for our staff and residents.

Something else that brings me (and you too, I hope) great joy are animals. I love all animals! Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to rush out and hug a snake or anything—but I will be the one rushing past you to the nearest door as I rescue that scary spider or tiny pink gecko (by holding a well-placed cup and sturdy envelope, of course)! My love of animals is deep and abiding, and it led me to become a vegetarian many years ago. I strive to live compassionately toward people and animals, and I’m always looking for fabulous products and fashions that are created cruelty free. Now, truth be told, if I could shelter and protect all the animals in the world, I would. But since my house is not quite big enough for that, I will introduce you to my current furry family members: Lucy (snow-white, very smart, snuggly, and has lots to say);  Tiki (brown-ticked tabby, ultra affectionate, very mischievous, and wheels-off crazy); and Bit Bit (small golden-orange tabby, Tiki’s brother/partner in crime, unbelievably sweet, and cute as a bug).

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Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Blessings,

Brooke