Sunday, May 30, 2021
Saturday, May 22, 2021
TO MASK UP OR NOT
THAT IS THE QUESTION
For over a year now, most of us have been wearing a mask. Mona Lisa did not have to wear one so when the CDC guidelines changed and said if we have been vaccinated then we are perfectly safe not wearing our masks out. It is all OK. Mona Lisa did not have to make this decision. The new guidelines still leave it up to individuals and business owners as to how they want to go about wearing a mask or not.
Local restaurants, stores, and customers are trying to figure this all out. The health directive now states the businesses can choose whether to require customers and employees to wear masks or not. This puts them in a difficult position. Every store has new signs put up to let customers know whether they must wear a mask while in their store or not. Some have decided to insist that all of their employees and customers wear a mask at all times. This is creating difficult issues for the managers of these businesses. Everyone wants to be safe and there is no way to tell if a person has been vaccinated or not.
Since wearing a mask is not required by law, it makes it hard to enforce. Many are trying to simply go by the word of Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts. Many customers and employees are still wearing their masks. The guidelines are just too ambiguous and puts the responsibilities all on the business owners. Most are asking the general public to be respectful and considerate of all business owners who must decide which way to go with wearing masks.
People that say they have had COVID already so they have antibodies and do not need the vaccine do not know how long they will have the antibodies. In all fairness, no one knows so far, how long vaccinated people will have the antibodies. However, there is on-going research to know when it is time and necessary to get a booster vaccine. This is not the case for those who claim they have the antibodies due to having the virus. And how do their numbers add up? Do they go and get tested weekly or monthly? At least if they had the vaccines, it would be a more scientific and safe way to know when a booster may be required.
It is also very hard to reduce one's anxiety about now going maskless in public. People that have been vaccinated already feel anxious about going without their masks now. It was stated that as long as you have had your vaccinations, then you are safe to go inside without the mask now. Apparently, the big concern is that people who are not vaccinated are also going maskless. If the crowd gets too large, Dr. Fauci said the masks should still be worn by all. There was hope that when it was stated that no masks are necessary in most cases that this would encourage more people to go out and get vaccinated. Instead, it seems to have made some people feel that they can get away with whatever they want.
If you are fully vaccinated and are nervous about going out in public then according to Alicia Clark, author of Hack Your Anxiety, you should go easy on yourself. Everyone who has been following guidelines and wearing masks have become used to it. It is second nature to put the mask on to go out. Dr. Thomas Russo, professor and chief of infectious diseases at the University of Buffalo in New York put it in these terms: "The mask has been their security blanket for 14+ months."
There still are a high number of people who have not been vaccinated. According to the CDC these people should most definitely be wearing a mask. Keep up to date on what is safe according to the experts. If we are being told it is safe to remove your mask in public then it is safe. However, if you don't feel comfortable yet, that is OK too. Take small steps. Eat on patios outside if you are not comfortable inside the restaurant. It will take time for many of us to feel comfortable going maskless in public again.
Please be patient!
We all must navigate through the guidelines in our own way and time.
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Zoomies can happen in any breed and any age, although it is more common in younger dogs. Our younger doodle, Maggie Mae is shown below zooming around and around without a care.
Zoomies can start off with your dog going down on his front haunches, staring at you and then the frantic behavior begins. It is a natural dog behavior that is most often no cause for any alarm and providing they are in a safe environment. They truly seem out of control and you would not want them to get injured if they do not have enough room or are near a street.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
There is rarely a day that goes by without hearing something to the effect that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even going as far as saying that you should not leave home without it as you begin your day. Most definitely, do not let your children leave home without fuel for their busy day at school.
To be honest it was not until after doing some research that I realized breakfast was two words meaning to break the fast. While sleeping we are fasting. If you sleep 8 hours, your body has been in a fasting mode for 8 hours. Add on getting up and showering and dressing, you can probably add another hour on to that.
Then there is the big theory going around that we should do intermittent fasting in order to allow our bodies to burn more fat. Of course, children at school are on a time schedule and can't just pull out something to eat at anytime they feel hungry so fasting can't apply to them. They really do need to eat something to get them through their morning.
Let's start at the beginning. A lot of people get the wrong concept in believing that they need to eat breakfast right when they wake up. In a culture with an abundance of food, people started to break the fast as soon as they woke up, when actually it has no correlation when to eat. In reality, you can't skip breakfast, you can only delay it. Also, one should not eat breakfast because people tell you so. Get to know your body. Your breakfast could be at 7 a.m. or 2 p.m. Just know when you are hungry as well as when you are suffering from blood sugar spikes and brain fogs.
Many can eat 2 - 4 meals per day including snacks depending on calories that you allow yourself. Basically it is a matter of having a balanced diet with reduced processed sugars. Some people like to start their day with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea before they think about eating. If you truly find yourself not hungry in the morning one trick to try is to eat earlier and lighter the night before. Maybe you will find yourself hungrier in the morning. This does not mean that you need to dive into a huge breakfast. Keep it simple. Even if you simply grab a yogurt with some fruit or granola on top. Or perhaps an apple, cheese or berries.
The real deal is that breakfast is not always to be considered the most important meal of the day. For those people who tend to have blood sugar issues, it may be more important for them to have something in order to keep their bodies functioning normally. It has been proven that those people who try to eat one meal a day gain weight vs. those who try to go for 3 - 4 smaller meals. Plus, they don't feel hunger pains.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to the time to eat. It has been proven that your metabolism will speed up if you drink a glass of water when you wake up and then eat an apple or another piece of fruit. Later in the morning, you may start feeling hungry and that is when you can have those pancakes at the top of this blog.
Or perhaps you can keep it a little healthier for you and enjoy a hard boiled egg, wheat toast with a guacamole spread. Filling, yet great nutrients for your body. Eating a little something is better than nothing at all. Another good suggestion is to have a protein bar or a healthy smoothie. The most important thing is to get something in your body to keep it functioning properly. Being light-headed or having brain fog is not a good feeling so a small glass of juice or some fruit may be helpful until you are hungry.
Then going for something healthy may be the answer for you. I like to switch it up. Variety is the spice of life for me. Some people enjoy exercise as soon as they get up. If that works, then go for it. I know that I could not work out before I had breakfast and then after having, even a light breakfast, I don't quite feel like working out. Later in the day works best for me. As I have said before, we all need to listen to our bodies and do what is right for us.
Just to be clear: there is no definitive answer for if we all must eat breakfast when we get up in the morning. Find your body's schedule. Some ideas that popped up in my research was to carry healthy snacks with you feel hungry to munch on throughout the morning and/or early afternoon. Things like a banana, a granola bar, some trail mix or nuts/seeds or an apple. Then later, possibly around lunch or a late lunch have a bagel with eggs and bacon. The main thing is to not go out on a 2 miles walk on an empty stomach. Be smart.
Skipping meals especially breakfast, no matter the time that you have it has proven to lead to blood sugar issues and/or A1C issues. Pre-diabetic disorders are not something to mess around with. So go ahead and at some point in the morning, jump start your metabolism and get your brain going. Find what is right for you.
Looking at the traditional full English breakfast and the traditional American breakfast, it is of my opinion that this is better left to a later brunch and not weigh myself down with this much food first thing in the morning. You all know of the KISS theory? "Keep It Simple Stupid." My body would say that I now need a nap after eating all of this food too early.
Find your way to the breakfast that is healthy for you. There is no one way. For me, it is simply a matter of having a variety of choices at the times that my body is hungry. But first? There is coffee!
Sunday, May 2, 2021
One must admit that it is quite amusing to watch. Occasional tail-chasing that is not causing injury is definitely not something to worry about. It could be an indication that they may need more activity or brain games. For the most part, I am sure that it is just their silly antics to entertain us.
The next frequently asked question is why do dogs seem to love squeaky toys? You may find this one hard to believe of your loveable little pooch but it goes back long ago when their ancestors were predators. There is instant gratification from gnawing on that squeaker. They feel rewarded when that little squeak comes out, as if they caught their prey. An instinct to hunt and capture is strong.
Have you ever watched your dog turning in circles before settling down to sleep? We all, even as humans, have our little routines to get comfortable. It can be turning around in circles or sometimes scratching at his pillow like he is digging for treasure or even nuzzling his head into the side of the cushion. It is an instinctive trait inherited from their ancestors - wolves. As the story goes (all researched based) this circling is geared towards survival. He can turn around in the circle over and over to check out how safe he will be in that position from his predators or other threats like snakes or critters, rocks and branches just so that he may get a good night's rest. Even though our dogs have memory foam beds, they still have this instinct within them. He is just making himself comfortable.
The last question that pet owners ask is how do you stop a dog from barking? There are some reasons why your dog may bark excessively and there are some training tips to help curb the yapping.
Barking is one of the ways that dogs communicate with their immediate environment. Most of the time dogs bark out of fear, boredom, loneliness, or to seek your attention. They may also bark to defend their territory or as a form of greeting or play.
The most important thing is to be patient and consistent with your effort to stop the yapping. This means talking to your dog in a firm and calm voice. I starting holding my finger to my lips and making the "SHHHH" sound and calming saying, "No bark!" If I catch her before she gets herself all riled up, she will make eye contact with me and come to sit by me for a treat for being a good girl. This really does work. However, I believe that she knows if she barks, I will make the motions and sounds of no bark and she will get a treat. The trick is to never reward or pay attention to her when she does bark. Wait until she is quiet to reward her with any treat, praise, food or attention. She works well with hand motions so maybe in a few more months, either she will outgrow it and know that it is not good to be barking.