Cryo Therapy-Dog Therapy

Hi All,

Happy Tuesday aka 27 more hours of the work week left to go.  #Wompwompwomp

I’ve become somewhat of a gym fanatic over the past 2 years. I got two tickets to the gun show right here for ya. Due to my “hardcore” training, I’ve developed wrist pain, hip pain, and tendinitis in my right foot. The worst part of my weekend was when the Doc said “no more squats, zumba, stair-master” (the list goes on-basically anything that can irritate my foot). The best thing I heard all weekend was when the Doc said, “no burpees.” I texted my trainer immediately to let her know the severity of the situation and under no circumstance can we do burpees anymore.

In an effort to fix myself, I gave cryo therapy a shot and of course my Husband joined me because he is my biggest cheerleader. I understand that cryo is not a quick fix nor is it the end all be all but I’ve heard good things so #yolo. They place you in a big tank for 3 min and your skin reaches about -1F. I have a pretty high pain threshold but a very low tolerance for cold weather and to me, 75-80 is cold. I was a bit nervous hearing how cold it gets in that chamber but they assured me that it’s just the skin that gets cold and it really isn’t THAT bad.

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Bbbbrrrrr….

It was a strange sensation. I was so cold on the outside and shaking involuntarily but my insides were totally normal. Sometimes it’s so cold you feel it in your bones, you know? This wasn’t the case with cryo. I felt totally normal on the inside but so so-very cold on the outside. After the three minutes, you warm up in front of a bunch of heat lamps and it’s all good in da hood. My body felt as if I just got the best massage ever. I felt so relaxed and had zero tension in my neck and back.

I woke up the next day with ZERO pain in my ankle. I thought I was cured! So, to celebrate I did an intense hour of zumba (this instructor is no joke) and spent the rest of the weekend feeling like an idiot because my ankle was throbbing. Does cryo help- I think yes. Will I do it again- most definitely.

Feeling a bit down for a few weeks now. Nothing too serious but still making me feel bleh. Sometimes all you need is some dog therapy.

My dog is the best. Marty- part Chihuahua part Jack Russell total maniac total lush. I always wondered who loved me more; my dad, my mom or my husband but that’s such a silly question, it’s obviously Marty. Who else will share a pie of pizza and pint of ice cream with you and not pass judgement and since you’re lactose intolerant you’re experiencing your own Chernobyl-like consequences but that loyal dog will sit there quietly as if nothing is happening. That my friends is the ultimate #judgementfreezone. If you don’t have a dog, you should get one. They will melt the coldest of hearts and fill your every day mundane life with love, laughter, and kisses. As always, adopt don’t shop! I hope everyone experiences a Marty in their lives ❤

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Look- it’s my Marty

Stay tuned for a low carb comfort soup recipe…..

xoxo,

Rachel

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Feeding Herman Canine

Just as I’m suspicious of processed foods for humans, I am (almost) equally concerned about what I feed my doggie.

This isn’t to say I’m a complete crazy person. Yet.
But I am crazy enough that I regularly cook for my dog. #yikes

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Herman loves dress-up 🙂

Here are my three concerns:

  1. Nutrition. What nutrition does the dog food contain?
    • Some commercial dog food is messed up.  And by messed up, I mean messed up beyond belief.
  2. Health Concerns. My dog is tiny, and tiny dogs are prone to three issues specifically:
    • weight gain;
    • knee problems;
    • anal gland problems
  3. Supporting Animal Cruelty. If you think about the cruelty that goes into making human food, I can only IMAGINE the cruelty that goes into making dog food. I want to vote with my wallet. To whatever extent reasonably possible, I’d like to avoid supporting cruel practices.

A Resource!

DogFoodAdvisor.com  is an excellent resource.  They use a 1-5 star rating system to help you find the ideal food for your dog.

Whether your dog eats Wet Food, Dry Food, or Raw Food – you can easily find the top rated products. You can also use the search feature to look for more details on a specific food.

It’s very simple. Each category of food is broken down according to the site’s rating:

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a screenshot

What I LOVE about this site is the level of specificity that they apply to each analysis.

  • Their database is EXHAUSTIVE
  • They examine each and every ingredient of a given product
  • But they also offer a bottom line w/ regards to each product so that you don’t get bogged down in the details
  • They offer levels of confidence with regards to statements they make about the safety and/or nutrition of any particular ingredient
  • They even show a recall history for the brand you’re looking at

One of the foods I regularly feed Herman is Primal Freeze-Dried Raw Food.  Here is just a small part of their analysis on this product:

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More to Learn

Just as there is more to learn about human nutrition, there is also more to learn about the perfect doggy diet.

That said, we probably know what a perfect doggy diet ISN’T. It’s not a diet full of processed junk and filler.

Some dog foods can be prohibitively expensive, so we can only do the best we can. But this is great resource to figure out where to get started.

How does your dog food stack up? 

*EDIT* If anyone knows of a similar resource for cats (or other pets), please share the wealth. I’ve just found BestCatFoodAdvisor.net, but I don’t have any personal experience with it.

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Six Ways Herman Helps Me Stay Fit

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This is my puppy Herman Cainine.

Herman is a Shih Tzu mix, which means he’s kind of an asshole. He is the cutest and fuzziest dictator you ever will see. He also votes Republican as a rule.

Herman keeps me fit in countless ways: 

1.  He loves the park

Well actually he hates it. But he does enjoy walking there and then immediately  throwing a tantrum until we leave.

I don’t get it, but I don’t question his highness. Or the exercise it brings. 

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some days he prefers to drive

2.  He sleeps on my laptop bag

Want to spend some time on the computer?

No such luck. Herman is sleeping on it. If you approach him, he will unleash all of his puppy anger. I suppose I’ll just lift some weights while I wait… 

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tiny but lethal

3. He eats all of my food, but never shares his. 

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Even my veggies 😦
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more coffee please!

4.  He only weighs 12 pounds.

Although I understand that target weights vary by species, I am inspired by Herman’s weight of only 12 pounds. #fitspo

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As a baby he weighed even less! Go Herman Go!

5. He Urinates. 

Herman is fully housebroken. But if he feels I’m taking too long to put on my coat or fumble for my keys, he will look me dead in the eye as he pees all over the kitchen floor.

Rushing to get Herman out the door, while stressing about the possibility of urine gets my heart rate up. And once urine happens, cleaning it also burns calories. Cardio, my friends.

6. He loves to play.

Once he’s done eating all of my food and peeing on my floor, Herman barks at me until I chase him around the apartment in circles. I am confident that my downstairs neighbors enjoy this just as much as I do.

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It’s 3 AM. Why aren’t we playing yet?

Incidentally, Herman is betting on Trump as our future president, but really he would have preferred Rand Paul. Herman recently devoured the “Art of the Deal,” but found it a bit difficult to digest.

Even though he spat most of it out, he continues to knock my books off the shelf, and chew on them until we play chase.  The exercise won’t end, even if I want it to. 

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Bad boy Herman! That book is for Democrats.

Even though he’s a Trump supporter, I love my Herman.

Luckily, I still have a bit more time to see if I can influence his vote. Lest ye forget Herman, who controls the treats in this home..

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Open Borders Herman! Open Borders!

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Gym Buddies

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This is my swolemate/hubby pushing me around the gym on my chariot (sorry for the terrible quality photograph). 

I used to love working out alone, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I still do. I love getting lost in the music and my own thoughts. It’s very rare that we get “me” time or “alone” time. Even though I am not the biggest fan of working out on the treadmill or elliptical (like I mentioned in an earlier post, I like to move around more), it’s sometimes nice to not think about what you are doing and just run and listen to music or sometimes, if I am feeling extra tech-savvy, I will bring my iPad to the gym and binge watch shows that I don’t normally watch when my Husband is around, like “Pretty Little Liars”. There is no excuse to be sitting home on the couch all day. At least go to the gym and move around while catching up on your favorite shows and burning those calories.

When my Husband and I first started working out together, we had a very basic routine. Pick a cardio machine, put our headphones on, and reconvene in about an hour or so. That got old pretty fast so we started to broaden our work out horizons. In addition to the gym, we joined a Pilates studio and fell in love with the Reformer (I highly suggest trying it out. The stretching is amazing and it helped relieve tension and any pain I had in my neck, shoulders and back).

We ended up canceling our gym membership to join a new more upgraded facility that provided classes. Spin classes, TRX, Zumba, Abs, oh my! Doing the same thing every day becomes so stale so having the class options really helped. We also have a Trainer who’s really opened our eyes to new techniques and moves that you can do anywhere. You don’t need the gym to get in a good work out (I will dedicate a post to a good at home work out routine).

Why Gym Buddies are Awesome

  • Bets: I can get super competitive especially with my Husband. Friendly wager ideas “Whoever does more squats in a minute wins. Loser has to clean the cat litter for the next week”. You bet your burning buns and thighs that I will win that bet.
  • Support system: You can still support your loved ones even if you are competitive. Listen, at the end of the day, I love my Husband more than anyone on this planet (although, if you ask him, I love my dog more than him) and I want to see him succeed. I will always support him. “You can do it!”
  • Motivation: Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing it. Sometimes you are just too tired. Excuses, excuses. Your gym buddy is there to remind you that you are about to eat a slice of pizza for dinner and you need to go to the gym!
  • Spotter: Your gym buddy is also there to dangle that slice of pizza on a fishing rod and you gotta keep lunging or running towards it if you want to eat said dinner above. And if you aren’t eating pizza for dinner, a spotter is good so you don’t drop that weight on your head. Fun story: the other week, my trainer had me doing kettle bell swings with a much heavier weight. I almost fell to my demise but my husband caught me just in time. Yay!
  • Bonding: Working out is a great group activity. No cell phones, tv, computer, no distractions. I truly cherish the time I get to spend with my husband doing things that we love to do and also benefits our health.

Dogs are also a great work out companion! Go to your local shelter and walk a dog for the day. Who knows, you may fall in love and go home with a new best friend.

New to town? Join a running, cycling or hiking group!

I am leaving you all an open invitation to join my future silver sneakers club when we retire. We can meet at the mall in matching sweatsuits and briskly walk in circles. Who’s in?

Do you prefer working out alone or in groups? Are you part of any groups? How did you get into it?

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Weekend + free time = wanting more food

Ahhh, Friday. Sweet, sweet, Friday. We impatiently wait for the weekend to come and while it’s awesome that we get two days to do whatever, I have a huge problem when it comes to food! Over time, I’ve learned self control (only took about 27 years), but I am human and I still love food and the temptation is always there.

So what do I do to control myself?

In my opinion, the most important thing to do is to keep ROUTINE.  Of course it’s ok to sleep in but I suggest staying as close to your daily routine as possible. The first thing I do when I wake up (besides brushing my teeth) is drink a bottle of water and about an hour later I have breakfast, usually a hard boiled egg with a serving of nuts or a Greek yogurt with a serving of fruit. Both options high in protein and not overly filling or time consuming to make! Let’s get real, time is precious and I don’t want to waste it.

Don’t graze. Grazing is the worst! Visualize this scenario… you are binge watching something awesome on Netflix, like, The Arrow (That Oliver Queen… isn’t he so dreamy?) and you want some popcorn. A cup or two is fine, but once you start, you can’t stop and now you binge watched a whole season of The Arrow and downed an entire bag of popcorn and life is sad because you finished the season and the bag and you feel guilt that you ate a whole bag of popcorn. My solution- keep a weight by you (kettle bell is totes my obsession right now) or a resistance band or even a chair.. wait, even better, you don’t need any equipment, just a wall (hamstring blasters, walk planks, wall squats). Your heart will be racing for more reasons other than Ollie… I mean, Oliver Queen aka The Arrow ::swoon::

I like to go to the gym first thing in the morning after my pre work out of walking my dog, Marty. He’s my best pal. And hey, if you guys don’t have a gym membership or don’t feel like going to the gym, go for a long walk with your four legged friend or take a shelter dog for a walk—adopt don’t shop! They will be happy and you’ve burned calories. That’s a win win in my book.

Anyway, if I work out in the morning, I am less inclined to cheat because that work out is not going to waste. No way, Jose.

Eat before you go out to dinner. “What do you mean eat before going out to eat… that’s what an appetizer is for!” No, no, no. You got it all wrong! Gosh, would you just listen to me! I think we are all visually hungry more so than physically. Those loaded cheese fries look appetizing, don’t they? Not anymore! Just stop, ok! Have a snack before you go out so you are just enough satisfied till the main course. Phew! look, we made it through the appetizer part of the dinner. I always lean toward the meats and substitute fries with veggies or a sweet potato but if you decide to indulge, upon receiving the food, cut your meal into 4 parts and have them doggie bag three out of the four parts. PORTION CONTROL!

I’d say you had a pretty successful weekend if you follow some of the pointers above.

Do you have any additional tips? I am always open to new suggestions.

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