Do you want the icing or the cake? -HaliPawz

Sometimes it is important to take the time to make sure all of the ingredients are correct in the relationship before you add the “icing” to the cake. Remember, if you don’t put the correct ingredients in or cook for the right amount of time, the cake isn’t worth eating.  Once it’s done, it has to cool before adding the icing or it doesn’t stick to the cake.

Take your time and your cake will be amazing.

Why is my vision worse when I drink soda – HaliPawz

Why is my vision worse when I drink soda, or for my Michigan friends and family, when I drink pop? It’s a random question, I know, but the optician in me has been bothered by this question for a while.  

Since I have been trying to lose weight, I have not been drinking as much soda.  I still drink it, I just make sure to include it in MyFitnessPal calories, so when I do drink it, it is usually one can of Coke followed by one or more glasses of water. On rare occasions, I have a “I don’t care” day and don’t track all of my calories. These days are usually when I have plans with friends and I just want to enjoy myself.  Last night was one of those nights.  I had plans to go out with friends so I was careful to not eat too much during the day, keeping my available calories on the high side. 

Our plans changed slightly, so we ended up going to a local bar I had never been to before. They served Pepsi, not Coke. I would usually opt for water with lemon, but I wanted something more and didn’t feel like drinking alcohol. I had three glasses and no water for the night. 

I fell asleep on the couch watching tv, nothing unusual, but Bella, my Mastiff, woke me up at 3am. I still had lights on, the tv was loud, and I had to throw a load of clothes in the laundry, so I stood up to fix all of it and go to bed.  I looked out my patio door to see what the dogs were doing and noticed halos all around the lights.  My eyes felt heavy and dry, I couldn’t focus clearly on the clock. Since my LASIK surgery, I hate when my vision is blurry but I know it’s temporary. I really hate halos. I always notice them more after I’ve consumed a larger amount of soda (last time was after leaving a movie theater). 

I saw the pattern, the question still loomed as to WHY….now, common sense tells me it is because I’m dehydrated and dehydration affects your whole body, including the vision, but I wondered if there was more too it.  I began my Google search, since there is always an answer in Google, it might not always be right, but there is always an answer.  First five results were about caffeine affecting your vision.  Great! There are answers.  Until I started reading them. The answers were about a study showing where consuming coffee daily can affect your vision health. I’m not a coffee drinker but kept reading because I thought it might be the same thing, until I get to the line….

Researchers found that participants who reported drinking three cups or more of caffeinated coffee per day were at a higher risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma. The results were interesting though in the fact that they linked coffee consumption to exfoliation glaucoma, and ruled out other drinks and foods that were caffeinated.

The optician in me was interested in learning more about this study, but I wanted to stay on track. I found a blog where someone noticed worse vision after sugar binging since they went paleo. Of course, everyone went to diabetic conclusions, which I have been tested often for diabetes and I do not have it, plus my vision isn’t affected when I eat chocolate, only when I consume soda.  Still no answer.  

I then when to my scale, not that I wanted to check my weight after a “cheat” evening, but my scale also measures BMI, body fat, and water. 3:48am and I’m stepping on a scale. 26%. I knew it was lower then my typical percentage of anywhere from 33-37% but I realized I had no idea what it should be. Back to Google.  

Google Results for what should my water percentage be


50%!?!? I was currently at 26%. First thing I did mentally was set a goal, not only for weight loss, but to also get to 40% water; steps to the goal of 5o+%. After reading a couple articles, I realized my water percentage should go up as I lose weight, but I still need to step up my water intake in general. 

I think it’s safe to conclude consuming so much soda isn’t the sole contributor to my halo vision, but the lack of consuming enough water to counterbalance the soda consumption. I’m dehydrated, clearly, and my eyes are warning me to do something about it before it affects more of my health. 

Health through eye exam, hazel eyes
As an optician, I understand your eyes are the window to your health, so it is important to listen to what your eyes are telling you.  When your vision changes in any way, process what was different in your day, if you can conclude what the cause was, great, if you cannot, make an appointment.  It could be your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. 

So now I know, if I’ve consumed a large amount of soda, I need to make sure I also drink plenty of water. If you are someone who notices a lot of halos at night, you might want to check your water percentage. For now, I will drink a glass of water, put some Refresh in my eyes and get a couple more hours of sleep.

Optician PSA: Even if your vision is perfect, get an eye exam ever 12-18 months. It truly is so much more than just a prescription for glasses or contacts. 

Know what the band is playing before jumping on the bandwagon – HaliPawz

I recently watched a video being shared on Facebook regarding Donald Trump being a racist.  I know the intent was to show a protester not fully informed about the subject of his protests, but I saw so much more. 

The video – Black Lives Matter protester regarding Donald Trump

Video courtesy of Dennis Michael Lynch

  

Screenshot of Dennis Michael Lynch’s video regarding Black Lives Matter protester

As you can see, it has been shared over 8000 times. People are reacting in many ways to it.  

 This is an example of too many issues in our country today. Not just with racism or Donald Trump…we have a society where people jump on bandwagons without truly knowing facts. They follow crowds, spouting off “facts” that may or may not be true. Stop following others. Stop sharing things you do not know are true. Do your own research from sources OUTSIDE your comfort level. I’m not a Trump fan because he encourages the racial division and the violence that follows, because he knows it helps hype him up. He’s made a living over sensationalizing media moments and he continues to do it with his political campaign. Encouraging racial division for media sensation IS NOT the same as him being racist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. I don’t know because I haven’t done enough research on that topic. I know he LOVES Omarosa for all the money she helped make him when she was on his show, so he can’t be 100% racist LOL. The point is….verify before you spout off. Don’t just be a follower. Before you jump on a bandwagon, know what the band is playing! 

#knowthefacts 

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

Carginia Cambogia, my experience with it -HaliPawz

I am trying to lose weight.  I was at the doctor’s office, stepped on the scale, and was saddened by the weight they were recording.  I had gotten off track and it wasn’t good. I’ve always been overweight. Sometimes it bothers me, most of the time it doesn’t but this time, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I needed to do something NOW. I really needed something to help me kick-start my weight loss. I had read about Garcinia Cambogia before but honestly, I thought it was a gimmick so I brushed it off. I went back and started doing more research.  It seemed to have mixed reviews. One thing that seemed consistent in all my reading is the purity of the product really made a difference.  I looked at the product at Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart but it was only 50% pure.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have been using Amazon more and found a product that claimed to be 95% pure and had a 4 star rating based on over 1600 reviews. I decided to dig a little deeper about this product.  Let’s face it, they couldn’t buy that many positive reviews. It was worth reading a few of them.

I was pleased with the reviews, found them to be credible, and decided it would be worth the $20 to try it. I spoke with a co-worker who decided she wanted to try it as well, so we ordered two bottles.

The day I placed the order, I decided to start watching my caloric intake before the product arrived.  I logged into the My Fitness Pal app and updated all of my information. It calculated my daily allowance of calories at 1732 based on my current weight with a desire to lose 2 lbs per week with a sedentary lifestyle.  I decided I was going to start realistically and then any exercise I did would just be a bonus.

About 2-3 days after ordering, I received an informative email telling me how to get the most out of the product.  It stated to take 1-2 pills 45-60 minutes before eating on an empty stomach. Of course, my skeptical mind thought….oh sure, just a gimmick to get me to buy more because my “month supply” just turned into a 15 day supply if I wanted to “Maximize” my results.  I decided it didn’t matter, I was going to follow their instructions and track my results.

The product arrived and I started taking it on February 24, 2016. The bottle looked just like the pictures.


The capsules were fairly easy to swallow. The only complaint I have is, since they are gel capsules, they sometimes seem to lodge themselves in your throat and you have to drink 2+ glasses of water to get them down.  This doesn’t happen all of the time and I can’t explain why it happens sometimes and doesn’t others.

I knew I was stopping at Chipotle for dinner so I didn’t really eat lunch that day.  I had a handful of cashews with sea salt for lunch.  I needed extra calories because I wanted to be able to have chips with my dinner!  I took 2 pills in the parking lot, went in to order dinner, then headed home. To be honest, I didn’t notice a lot of difference.  I ate my normal Chipotle meal. I was full when I was done, but I usually am. (Side note….I LOVE Chipotle and could eat it 1-2 times a week…am I the only one who wishes they have a “frequent diner” type card?)  To be fair, I had only waited about 35 minutes because I didn’t want my food to get cold.

The next day, we had a meeting at lunchtime and we were having Panera.  I ordered a salad along with some Macaroni & cheese.  I took 2 capsules 45 minutes before the meeting was supposed to start.  It ended up starting a little later, so I was closer to the hour before I started eating my salad.  I finished my salad and started on the macaroni & cheese.  I couldn’t even eat half of the first container! (Panera puts the to go Mac & Cheese in 2 containers). I was shocked.  I closed it up and put the two containers in the refrigerator.

After the meeting, I went back to work and had no desire to snack on anything during the afternoon.

Over the weeks, I tried diligently to keep my calorie count under my daily goal. I tracked every mint, every tootsie roll, etc. I still drank my Coke, I stillate my Chipotle and chips, I would still stop at Culvers….but I also cooked more at home, made smart decisions to balance my calories for the day.  I would have 1 day a week where I wasn’t as careful and would have about 2000-2200 calories but I would also have days where I only had 800 calories.  For the most part, I stayed around 1500 calories.

Some things I noticed during those times….I didn’t have cravings.  I wasn’t starving, even on the days I did the lower calorie counts.  I would balance the number of pills I took based on the size of the meal I was going to eat.  For example, if I was going to sit down and eat a full size meal, I would take two pills, but if I was just going to run through McDonalds and order a Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap, I would only take one. I do have to say, if you need something quick and tasty, those are one of the best 350 calorie items.  They are tasty, they are filling.  You can also order them grilled for a few less calories.   I think by balancing the pills, planning my meals, I was able to maximize on the effectiveness of them.

One day in particular was especially evident.  I had been taking the pills for 3 1/2 weeks and noticed some pleasant changes:

Saturday March 19, 2016

I spent the day with friends at Horsefest in Springfield, MO. I took my pills but I did not take them while I was there due to time constraints with meals and just not planning efficiently. I had also decided I wasn’t going to track my calories for the day. Here are a few things I noticed.  I wasn’t in the back of the pack struggling to keep up with my friends.  We went down a flight of stairs to look at some vendors and I noticed when I climbed back up them I wasn’t winded or felt like it was a struggle to do so.  Does this mean I am gaining more lean muscle like it claims? I’m not sure. What I do know is I felt better about myself and my movements.

We went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse (you can read about a previous experience here) and yes, I ate a few of the rolls. I said I wasn’t keeping a calorie count for the day, I was out with friends and I wanted to enjoy myself.  The interesting thing is….I wasn’t able to finish my steak dinner! I took about half of it home. In the past I would have ate 3-4 rolls AND finished my steak.  The less meat consumption was even with me not taking any pills all day, so it is obvious my stomach has shrunk slightly. Even with the additional calories and not taking the pills, I only gained 2.2lbs from the day before.  I will admit though, I had a difficult time losing those 2.2 lbs.  Seemed to take me 3-4 days.  Makes me wonder if it would have been that difficult if I had taken the pills before eating that large of a meal.
Here are the results after taking for 4 weeks (28 days) exactly.

14.6 Lbs lost

2.5 Inches lost in my waist

1 Inch lost in my hips

0.4 Inches lost in my neck (no clue why My Fitness Pal tracks the neck but it does)

Now, those changes aren’t overwhelming, by any means….but they were done simply by taking the Garcinia Cambosia and watching my caloric intake on a track designed for 2 pounds of weight loss per week. I wasn’t perfect with that track. I probably had 6 cheat days, including one where I drank a can of Coke and ate 5 Girl Scout caramel delight cookies….and let me tell you, they WERE a delight! But I paid for it in the calories that day!


So I consider inches lost and pounds reduced to be a win. I am continuing with the Carginia Cambosia.  I am getting ready to spend a week in Orlando, going to Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World where I do not plan on watching my calories as closesly as I have been, but I do plan on continuing with the Garcinia Cambosia.

I have also recently read that they work better when you pair them with Pure Green Coffee Bean Extract which I have decided to order from Amazon.  I did see some at Wal-Mart where the percents were too off, so I will be trying them while I’m away but won’t share my true experiences until I have tried the strong, purer, product.  I will be sure to share them.

I do want to say at the time I am posting this, I have currently lost 19.8lbs.  I wish it was more, but again, for only taking a little over 4 weeks and not including any major exercise, I am pleased with the results.
Have you personally tried Garcinia Cambosia? Have you tried the Green Coffee Bean Extract?   I would love to hear your experiences, both good and bad.

 

Stranger Danger! Why a puppy in a window should have you running away

I remember growing up, walking past a pet store window, and going “Awww look at the puppy! I want one!” Much like stores placing candy at the checkout aisles in a grocery store, pet stores who sell puppies rely on the impulse factor to get you to buy one. You see one you just HAVE to have, you go in, you play with them, and you are hooked. I have even fallen under the pet store impulse spell. Back in 1997, my ex husband and I went in “just to look” but we were NOT going to purchase one.  $800+ later, we walked out with Jake, my first dog as an adult.

Jake

Jake

Jake was an adorable rat terrier. The sales associate explained he was UKC registered but not AKC registered and had us convinced how unimportant that was.  Looking back, I have to appreciate how great he was at his job! This was 1997, I didn’t know then what I know now.  I don’t regret buying Jake, he was an amazing dog, but I will never purchase another dog from a pet store.

I may be an advocate for adopting but that doesn’t mean I am 100% against buying a purebred dog also.  I just want everyone to understand the pros and cons as well as clear up some myths or, in reality, some ignorance, about purebred dogs, shelters, rescues, and pet stores.

First, I understand wanting a purebred dog.  It is OK if you want a specific breed. You want a particular look.  There is nothing wrong with it. The first question I would ask is “why?” Why do you want a purebred? Is it the look? Ok. Is it the love of the breed? Ok Is it because they are better dogs? NOT TRUE!

Fact: You can find purebred dogs in shelters and rescues. You can even find AKC registered dogs in shelters and rescues.

Neapolitan Mastiff, Dog, big dog, Blue

@BellaTheMastiff

My Neapolitan Mastiff, Bella, is one. Have I ever sent for her papers? Of course not. (For the record, I never sent in for Jake’s either) I wasn’t going to breed either one of them so why spend the money? Yes, getting a piece of paper that says who their mom and dad is costs money. What are you going to do with it? Tuck it in a drawer just to say you have it.  Just because someone spent a lot of money on a purebred dog doesn’t mean the dog was given a forever home.  They get abandoned, turned in, re-homed, etc., all the time.  Talk to your local shelter about what breed you are looking for and they can give you the names of the ones they work with.  Sometimes if a purebred dog is in the shelter, the shelter will call a local (or sometimes a not so local) rescue group for that breed. The group will take the dog out of the shelter and into a foster home and then they work to find a new family for the dog.  This frees up another cage in the shelter, gets the dog out of a cage and into a home where the foster parent(s) most likely loves and understands the breed, and the rescue group works to find a new family.  Another way to find a breed specific rescue group is to just search the Internet.  Type in the breed you want followed by the word “rescue” and your search will begin.  Like everything, never wire money, make sure the group has their 501(C)3 status, and they are legitimate organization.  Another way is to search “Dog Friendly Events” in your area, especially in the spring and fall, to see what events are taking place where there are a lot of dog friendly vendors and rescue groups.

“I want a puppy”

Fact: shelters and rescues have puppies!!! I am always surprised how many times I hear someone say shelters only have adult dogs.  Puppies are abandoned, dropped off, found, all the time.  Sometimes a dog gets pregnant and the owner doesn’t want to deal with it, so they drop it off at the shelter.  Friends of mine found seven puppies outside of our dog park, with their feral mom and dad running around.  All seven puppies lived, were cared for until old enough to be adopted, and found great homes. The mom and dad were also caught. The dad is super sweet, was adopted and doing great.  The mom is still feral but in a foster home where they are working with her.  Puppies might not be available every day in a shelter, but tell them you want a puppy and they will let you know what they have and when they will be up for adoption.  You might not always SEE puppies in the actual shelter because they might be out in foster homes where they can play, learn, and grow in a better environment than a shelter.

“I want a small dog”

FACT: Small dogs are available at shelters & rescues.  There might not be as many of them, but they are there. Sometimes they are picked up by breed specific rescues like I mentioned earlier.  Talk to the shelter, if they don’t have the size you are looking for, I’m sure they can get you in touch with a local rescue.

“I don’t want a dog with problems”

FACT: A puppy from a pet store is a PUPPY MILL DOG!!! Talk about potential problems.  Let’s start with the fact that mom, you know, the AKC dog the sales person talked about, is kept in a cage and just gets to produce puppies. That’s all she does.  The papers may have a sweet sounding name like “Beautiful Acres Farms” (I made this name up, so if the business exists, it is in no way affiliated with the puppy mill business as far as I know). You want to picture dogs running free, having puppies in the lap of luxury but that is not the case.  These dogs are only good to the owners as long as they produce puppies.  Then, often, they are destroyed when they age out.  The puppy mill owners do not care about these dogs.  They don’t get love, attention.  They don’t get human interaction outside of food and water and shots.  Can you imagine the only time you feel a human hand on you is followed by a needle prick? Until they go to a pet store for sale, where they are handled from one person to another, often by people who don’t even know how to handle a puppy, supervised by people who collect a paycheck & a commission when they sell the puppy….all of this followed by being ripped from the only security they know, their mom, without an appropriate weaning time and transition.  Do you really think this doesn’t cause behavioral problems???

puppy mills, ozarks, dogs in cages

Photo Courtesy Ozark Humane Society

FACT: Like every “business” you have some bad associates, but for the most part, associates and VOLUNTEERS at rescues and shelters are there because they love animals and want to help them.  They aren’t there to get rich, trust me.  They want the animals placed in good, loving, forever homes so they will work with potential adopters to find the right dog for you.  There are dogs out in foster homes where the foster parent will discuss openly and honestly the good and, sometimes, the bad of the dog.  They will tell you if they are good with kids, with other dogs, cats, etc. Their sole purpose is to find a good home for the dog so it does not end up back in a shelter.  Can they get over zealous about ONLY adoption, etc? Yes, they can. But please understand what they see everyday and what they deal with. Appreciate their passion and understand it comes from the right place.

On the flip side, Pet Store clerks have little knowledge of animals and animal care outside what they are trained to say. Let’s be honest, if they REALLY knew and REALLY cared, they wouldn’t be working at a store that sells puppy mill puppies. They WANT you to buy the puppy so they get the commission. What happens after that, they don’t care. The money is in their pocket.  They are off to sell the next one.

Another unknown fact to many is many local animal shelters do not just have dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, but sometimes other animals as well, such as bunnies, chickens, and even a rooster from time to time.  While it may not be as common, any time an animal is picked up or confiscated from an owner, they have to have someplace to go until a new home can be found.

At the end of the day, there are too many GREAT dogs in shelters looking for their “furever” homes.  If you are looking to add a pet to your family and have no plans on entering that pet into the show world where registration papers may be required, please consider visiting your local animal shelter, look on social media for local rescue groups, or, if you’re looking for a new dog, go visit a local dog park.  Many owners there are friendly and usually willing to point you in the right direction.  There might even be someone there who works or volunteers with a shelter or animal rescue.

Do your homework.  If you want a purebred pet, please find a reputable, qualified breeder.  If you just want a loving pet to welcome into your home, please consider adoption over purchase.  You will truly be saving their life and the life of the pet who may be coming in to take their empty cage.

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

 

 

Pop the Bubbly but not your eye – HaliPawz

HaliPawz protect eye champagne cork

As the New Year’s Eve celebrations are fast approaching, it is important to think about some of the dangers you don’t hear about.  Champagne and sparkling wine is consumed in large amounts during all of the celebrations but take an extra minute to use the proper care so your celebration doesn’t end in a trip to the emergency room.  Remember when you pop the bubbly to do so in a safe manner!

According to Friedrich Balck of Clausethal Technical University in northwest Germany, a champagne cork reaches speeds of over 20 miles per hour when it is popped and, theoretically, depending on the conditions, could reach up to over 60 miles per hour.  There is more pressure from one bottle than there is in three car tires.  When you think about that velocity, you can only imagine what can happen if that cork should happen to hit an eye.  If you don’t lose your sight completely, you can pretty much guarantee it will never be the same as it is now.  Even if it doesn’t hit a person, proper care should always be used because it can break anything it hits such as a light, a window, or even a television.

Opening a bottle under pressure such as a champagne bottle, sparkling wine, or prosecco safely can be done.

First, studies have shown a cooler beverage results in less pressure of the cork.  Ideally, you would want the champagne chilled to around 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius).  This temperature also helps minimize the amount of champagne spraying out.

Next, remover the foil and the wire cage.  Usually you just untwist the wire key at the bottom, under the cork, until it is loose enough to slide over the cork.  Be careful not to do this until you are ready to uncork the bottle. Think of it as if you are removing the safety on a handgun. The minute the wire cage is off, the bottle should immediately be pointed in a safe direction away from anyone it can harm as the cork can pop out on it’s own depending on the pressure in the bottle.

Hold on to the main part of the bottle with one hand and place a dish towel or wine town over the cork with your other hand over the bulbous part of the cork and the towel.

Position the bottle against your hip or side to give you better control of the bottle and make sure it is aimed away from anyone and anything.  Slowly begin twisting the cork with your hand gently working it out of the bottle. You will feel the cork loosen and get easier to work;  then you should hear a soft pop when the cork slips out.

I know it is fun to hear that POP sound as the cork flies out.  If you HAVE to hear that popping sound, make sure the bottle is facing away from you and others, including animals, and is pointed towards a wall or ceiling and nothing breakable.  Look in the opposite direction UNTIL you hear the POP and then turn your head back.

While it is fun to enjoy any celebration with a bubbly drink, be sure to be smart and safe so the celebration can continue until YOU want it to end.

Happy New Year!

An added tip….if you choose to set off fireworks during your celebration, be sure to NOT drink too much champagne and always wear protective eye-wear and gloves!

champagne bottle popping and fireworks

Champagne popping and Fireworks