The Reason Meat and Animal Products Can Negatively Impact Your Weight Loss and Diet Plan

In my previous articles I explained how we basically get our nutrition from 3 main “food” sources: plant (fruits and vegetables), animal (beef, cheese, chicken, eggs, etc.) and laboratory synthesized (high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, hydrogenated oils, etc). I then went on to explain how the fruit and vegetables of today are grossly lacking in the nutrition that they once possessed years ago.

Today, I want to talk about out meat based foods and explain that the problem with these is not with what they are lacking, but what is being added. You need to understand the reasons that meat and animal products can negatively impact your weight loss and diet plan.

Let’s look at beef as an example. Personally, a good steak or a slice of prime rib is one of my favourite meals. But where does beef come from?

Well duh! It comes from cows.

And who raises cows?

Well the answer to that should be a “no brainer” as well. Farmers raise cows. And that is the way it should be.

I live in rural Quebec. My neighbours are all farmers and they all raise cows. I see these cows out in the fields every day in the spring, summer and fall happily grazing on grass. In the winter, they have a huge barn which they have access to which is full of fresh hay for them to eat. These are the cows that I eat.

But are these the cows that you purchase in your local grocery store?

Sadly they are not. My neighbours barely make enough money from their herds to cover the expenses of these animals. First the calf has to purchased, then it has veterinary expenses, then it needs nutritional supplements (farmers know that the soil is missing certain elements and thus compensate for that. In our region, our soil is completely lacking in selenium.), then there is the electricity the barn uses for lights and to keep the water from freezing, and lastly there are tons of fuel expenses for cutting and transporting the hay.

Most small rural farmers raise cattle as a side income only. “Farmers” can’t make much money raising cattle because they have to compete with “industry” who are the primary cattle raisers in North America. Some of the largest cattle “ranches” in the USA are found in Arizona. In fact, they aren’t even called ranches or farms. They are called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). 97% of all beef in the U.S. comes from CAFOs.

“So what is wrong with Arizona?” you may ask.

What do naturally eat? Grass.

What type of environment is Arizona? It’s a desert. So… no grass.

Cows have 4 stomachs. They evolved in this manner as they are a grazing animals that are meant to eat grass at a leisurely pace and slowly digest it in their stomachs. But since raising cows in these feed lots is not about producing food, it’s about producing money, CAFOs don’t have the time to fatten their cows naturally.

So in these feed lots cows are primarily fed a mixture of grain and corn, and in some cases rendered protein and even concrete dust! Rendered protein is the ground up carcasses of dead pigs (this is a problem because cows are herbivores, not carnivores). Concrete dust was found to increase the weight of cows at auction (heavier cows sell for more money!).

In the CAFOs, living conditions are not quite the same as here on my neighbouring farms and the cows are stressed. Stressed animals have weakened immune systems. Cows with weak immune systems are at greater risk for illness. Living in such high density corrals means that if one cow gets sick, they likely all will. So to reduce the risk of losing a cow, most cattle are fed prophylactic antibiotics to keep them “healthy”.

Don’t think of CAFOs as farms, they are cattle factories just like a car factory. Do you think Ford wants to spend a full month getting a car through the assembly line? No they want that car to be built and out of there as quickly as possible. It’s the same with the beef. The more cattle they can pump through in a year, the more money they make.

To encourage growth in these cows they are also administered growth hormones and steroids. So here you have cows that are taking regular injections of antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones, eating a diet that is completely unnatural to them, and packed into a super small living space. On top of that, the feed that they are fed is itself genetically modified and loaded with herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.

These are the cows that are sent to slaughter and end up in your grocery stores! This is the beef you are eating. Pigs, chickens, lambs, and even fish are all raised in pretty much the same manner and experience the same outcome.

Just think about it. If your food is full of antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals, what makes you immune to them?

Have you noticed how big kids are these days? Have you noticed how early young girls start to physically mature? The kids today look a lot different now than when I went to public school just 30 short years ago. Do think this might have something to do with all the steroids and growth hormones they are getting second hand in their milk and meat products?

In the case of vegetables, your body is being placed under stress due to a lack of nutrition. In the case of meat, your body is being placed under stress due to the added chemicals and hormones. In an upcoming article, I’ll discuss how it is these stressors on the body, and not the number of calories that are primarily responsible for weight gain and excess body and visceral fat.

Keeping Your Pet Healthy With Natural Pet Care

The way pet-owners are caring for their pets is rapidly changing. Many pet owners are choosing to go with natural pet care. These individuals are using medicines, treats and herbal supplements that are all natural. Therefore, why the change to natural pet items? Most owners seem to think that these items provide nutrients that will keep them healthier and happier over the long run.

We as pet-owners realize that pet manufacturers are concerned with making money and spending as little money as possible doing it. Pet food regulations are currently allowing these companies to have ingredients that most pet owners would never give their pets. If you knew what went in your favorite pet food you would probably be in shock.

Many of foods on the market today are made of sugars, preservatives and artificial flavorings. These ingredients are hard for pets to digest and are also low in protein. Animals and humans are no different when we are talking about eating healthy and nutritious food. Natural products can be used to guarantee your pet is receiving vegetables, meat, fruits, and grains that they need.

Natural pet-care is increasing in popularity due to owners realizing the benefits of natural products. The change in their pet’s behavior, energy levels, whiter teeth and shinier coats are just some of the benefits. The long-term benefits have shown that animals that eat natural products have fewer health issues and live longer.

Researchers have found that animals that are given low quality products have a tendency to have diabetes, heart trouble, allergies, dry skin, hypertension, weight problems, and nervousness, along with many other conditions that can be prevented. Many pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of these findings and are turning to natural pet care.

Pet owners that use natural products have noticed changes in their pets. These pets have less for fleas and worms, little or no body or mouth odor, little or no shedding, glossy eyes and most importantly fewer veterinary visits. Using these products is not only cost effective in the long run but a superior way to take care of your pet.

The internet provides many resources to find out about natural pet care products and supplements. Natural products are becoming more popular for there long term benefits and longer life expectancy for your pet. Natural products have long been thought to be better for humans, why not use natural products for the pets you love.

Feeding A Leopard Gecko 101 – What You Need To Know

When it comes to feeding a leopard gecko, it’s important to know both what to feed him and how to feed him. Unlike cats or dogs that eat whatever dry food from a box you put in front of them, a gecko won’t do that. Instead, it’s important to know what to feed them, and how often.

This article will explore the basics of feeding a leopard gecko, discuss the age-old question of crickets versus mealworms, as well as show you a gecko feeding schedule.

Crickets

This is actually one of the best foods to use when it comes to feeding a leopard gecko, otherwise known as a Leo. It’s nutritious, that’s what geckos want to eat, and they even get exercise trying to chase down live crickets. It’s important to get crickets the right size to make Leo feedings go easier.

A cricket that is too large will not be eaten, at least not easily. The cricket should be no bigger than the space between the gecko’s eyes. This makes it much easier when feeding a leopard gecko.

However, make sure they are live crickets. Feeding geckos dead crickets is a bad idea. The reason is because the cricket has already started to decompose and therefore you’re feeding him or her rotten food. Also, if the cricket died so easily, it was probably sick in the first-place. Either way, it’s not the best choice for feeding a leopard gecko.

The best advice about feeding geckos crickets is to only buy what you need and keep them in a cricketer terrarium until its leopard feeding time. Just remember, feeding a leopard gecko healthy food is how you keep him healthy.

Mealworms

Make no mistake, when it comes to feeding a leopard gecko, they love to eat meal worms. Many people make the mistake of feeding a Leo nothing but meal worms. They figure the gecko is eating, the gecko seems happy, so what could be the harm in feeding a leopard gecko nothing but mealworms? Not every creature needs variety in their diet, right?

Actually, when it comes to gecko feeding, mealworms should not be the only thing you give it. Mealworms to a gecko are actually like cake to us.

We love it, we want to eat it, but if we had all the time we get very sick and fat. It’s the same when it comes to feeding a leopard gecko; if you’re feeding your gecko a steady diet of nothing but mealworms you’re soon going to have a very fat and very sluggish Leopard with a shortened lifespan.

Maybe you have one now. If so, don’t despair, just like people, leopard geckos can lose that weight. All you have to do is start feeding a leopard gecko healthier right now. Crickets are the best choice for feeding a leopard gecko. Not only are they healthy and full of nutrition, the fact that they are going to be jumping around to get away from the gecko are going to provide him with exercise for leopard gecko feeding time.

How often?

Even though it’s the first question people have about feeding geckos; it’s been saved for last because before you know when to feed them, you need to know what they eat. So, ready to learn more about a gecko feeding schedule?

Like all animals, feeding a leopard gecko depends a lot on its age. A Leo can often live to be 25 years old and goes through many changes throughout its life.

A gecko feeding schedule looks but something like this:

Babies should get fed between 4 to 5 small crickets every day while adults can get by with 5 to 6 large crickets every 2 to 3 days. To get the most out of gecko feeding time, you should powder the crickets with calcium supplements, (only for adults, not for babies.)

This will give your gecko an extra boost of nutrition to keep them healthy and strong. And if you think of mealworms as cake, then you know you incorporate them into your geckos feeding schedule a few times a week and not every day.

So now that you know the basics of feeding a leopard gecko, you can be reassured in the knowledge that your leopards feeding time is giving your gecko the best nutrition possible to live a long and happy life with you.

Happy gecko feeding!