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As a nutritionist, it should have seemed obvious to me that I could heal my dog by changing his food. But honestly it took me a little while to realize just how radically important it was. I've always bought high quality food for my dog, but even organic, all natural pet food may cause problems if your pet is sensitive for some reason or another. Here's some very interesting facts I learned with my dog Rascal. If your pet has any health issues, consider our story and perhaps you can also heal them by switching their food!
A year ago, my 2 year-old Doberman, Rascal, developed a wart above his eye. It grew very quickly and was nearing his eyelid, so I scheduled him with the vet to have the wart removed. Three months post-op, the wart began to grow again. A repeat surgery was out of the question because his heart didn't do well under anesthesia. I had to think of another treatment. At that time, I was feeding him Whole Foods brand dry dog food with salmon oil drizzled on top. I thought that perhaps switching him to the more expensive grain-free dog food might make a difference. Sure enough, within a few days, the wart started to shrink. Within a few weeks, it was gone.
Fast forward to a few months later, Rascal started to seem stiff when he'd get up out of his armchair or off of his pillow. The stiffness appeared to progress into pain, to the point that he would rarely get up. Once he was up and running around, he seemed ok. But the pain and stiffness seemed to get worse and worse. I really didn't think it could be arthritis in such a young dog, but we tried glucosamine supplements, different fish oils, and probiotics. Nothing really seemed to help. Then I thought, maybe I should buy the very best raw meat dog food. The one I bought was called VitaEssentials, and contained the organ meats as well. Amazingly, within a week or so, we noticed that he was perkier and got up more easily. As the weeks went on, he just got better and better. I couldn't believe it, and at the same time, I thought "Of course!" I see good nutrition make such a huge difference for people on a daily basis. Why wouldn't it be exactly the same for my dog?
Eventually we decided to start to make the raw meat (and our cash!) go farther by combining the dry grain-free food with the raw meat. He did really well with that for a long time. Last week, however, we noticed a fast-growing wart on his nose. So... Rascal is back to all raw food. Now he's getting Steve's which combines raw meat with veggies and coconut oil. I'll post an update when the wart goes away, which I'm guessing it will!
Moral of the story: Good nutrition makes a radical difference with our pets just like it does for us humans. If your pet has any health issues, such as allergies, pain, skin conditions, or digestive trouble, consider paying more at the pet food or grocery store than at the veterinarian's. It's very likely that your pet will improve radically given the right food. Perhaps try grain-free to start, and then progress to all raw if that's not enough. You can buy it or make your own. My guess is that if you're reading this article, you care a lot about what goes into your mouth and will want the best for your pet as well.
Please share your story below if you've also healed your pet with food. I'd love to hear more stories like this!
If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from low blood sugar, you probably have been advised to eat frequent, small meals throughout your day. Believe it or not, this advice is totally the opposite of what traditional Ayurvedic medicine recommends. As you've likely heard me say a million times, Ayurveda teaches that the root cause of all disease is improper digestion. So with this focus, you can trust Ayurveda to have a very thorough understanding of what optimal digestion is! What I'm about to explain to you may be contrary to what you've heard, but if you'd like to uncover the underlying cause of your blood sugar instability, check this out.
What Happens When You Eat Frequently
In our society, food is everywhere. It's almost hard to avoid eating all the time! Except breakfast, which people tend to skip. (Click here to read about the importance of breakfast.) But let's say you eat breakfast, and then around 10 am you have a muffin, or fruit, or nuts. Healthy snack, right? Well your digestive fire, your metabolic process, now turns its attention to the new food coming in. The problem here is that during the 5 or so hours between meals, you are really supposed to be burning fat, not new food.
Fat is our calm, stable, non-emergency fuel.
Stored in there, too, are all the fat-soluble toxins from the environment. So fat burning is totally crucial! Not just for weight loss, but to detoxify our bodies and also release the essential fatty acids and stable fuels that regulate our blood sugar levels, and in turn our mood and energy level. If we're constantly giving our digestion new food to focus on, then we never enter fat-burning mode.
Even the most die-hard natural health devotee can be tempted to buy pharmaceutical allergy medication when the symptoms get really bad. Some just plow through the fatigue and congestion while constantly trying different herbal products to see if they'll help. If you're suffering from allergies because you still haven't found an effective natural remedy, you're in luck. Over the years I've put together an allergy treatment protocol that is easy to use and that really works. I'm going to lay it out step by step so that you can start your allergy relief program right away. Follow these steps and you'll be breathing and thinking clearly in no time.
There are so many theories about why we each are the way we are. While there's no one answer to this, the ancient science of Ayurveda offers a very logical, simple explanation based on the universal five elements found in nature and within each of us. People in the West are now becoming more familiar with this Ayurvedic concept of constitutional types, and you can easily find quizzes that are supposed to help you determine which Ayurvedic type you are. But it's actually very hard to discern the difference between your original constitution and your present imbalance. There are a million reasons why we might be experiencing a present imbalance. Here's an explanation of the difference between who you are meant to be, i.e. in a balanced state, and who you may be today.
How I Learned That I Wasn't Who I Thought I Was
My first exposure to Ayurveda was in 1991 through Dr. Vasant Lad's book, Ayurveda The Science of Self-Healing. I took the quiz in the book to determine which Ayurvedic type I was, and after answering all of the questions, I concluded that I was predominantly Kapha (earth + water). I began to identify with all of the attributes of a Kapha person and started to see myself in the world as that. There was a great deal of comfort in finally understanding why I was the way I was -- sometimes lazy, sometimes greedy, usually even-tempered, always congested, and adoring of my bed.
Do you ever feel like you're walking and thinking in a mud bog? Can you relate to feeling sluggish or stagnant, less vibrant than you know you can be? Maybe you suffer from extra weight or allergies? All of these are symptoms of your system being clogged. Before doing my first Ayurvedic detox, my "normal" was congested, lazy, and bloated. But after the cleanse, I experienced such a heightened level of mental clarity and physical vitality that I've made it something I do several times each year. It's actually pretty easy, and totally worth it, to take 8 days of your life and do everything in a different, clean way.
The Root Cause of Disease
According to Ayurveda, the root cause of all disease is the accumulation of toxins produced by improper digestion. The traditional method for removing deep-seated toxins is a seasonal cleanse called panchakarma. Nowadays you can go to Ayurvedic spas and clinics worldwide and spend significant time and money receiving this 2500-year-old detox treatment. You also can adapt these ancient principles and receive huge benefits by doing a home version on your own schedule.