Good Choices, Good Nutrition…by Lisa Harmon

Good Choices, Good Nutrition…by Lisa Harmon

It’s been a little while since I’ve put up a post here, and I hope your holidays were enjoyable. We got catching up to do!

I’ve been knitting and crocheting alot, and the more sedentary I’ve become the more my fatigue and fibro has bothered me. I have to be careful not to get too much physical activity, but it seems I’ve not been getting quite enough activity, either. That, combined thwith what I believe will be a year of higher costs of living vs a fixed income… I’m motiviated once again to re-start building my veggie garden.

I’ve got my landscape fabric, and I’m buying 1/2″ chat to create the walkways with. It’s cheaper than mulch and I don’t have to add more every year or two. If I can get the fabric down this month, I’m hoping by March the existing grass will have died down under it, and I can use my small Mantis tiller to work in some compost and stuff.

My body can stand up to moving one or two loads (half a ton each) of chat one day, and resting the next okay. Of course, the pain levels go up, so I’ve gone to the maximum 3 a day of the generic gabapentin (Lyrica type med), and that makes it managable. At least for awhile.

I’m hoping to reduce my grocery bills, yes, but I don’t use a bunch of chemicals and sprays if I can help it. And I use organic fertilizers and such. So my own veggies are healthier and more nutritious than what I can get at the store without going broke buying organic.

Got my fingers crossed that I can get a decent sized garden going this spring. Getting the right amount of exercise when you have FMS/CFS is a bit of an art! Each person is different, and needs to listen closely to their body’s signals.

I know this is a “dog blog”, so here’s my transition from personal to dog: getting the right amount of exercise and good nutrition for your dog is just as important, and just as much of an art! Poor nutrition and either not enough or too much exercise can be a cause of health problems like obesity and allergies. It can also be the culprit in behavioral problems such as destructive chewing or hyperactivity.

Dogs can’t talk verbally, but they do communicate! Learning how to read your dog’s behavior and physical reactions may not always be easy, but boy can it help treat and prevent problems. For instance, I personally don’t allow my dogs to run wild in the house, such as having zoomies or leaping on and off the furniture. If I got a puppy doing that, it’s time for a good run OUTSIDE.

1337040162_dd8378c302_oI know some folks who think that’s okay, or just normal puppy crazies, but a giant dog on a rampage can do serious damage to flooring and furniture, and you too. Not okay with me! Out we go, right now.

My philosophy is there is a place for hard exercise, and a place to play more gently. Dogs can quickly learn what we do here but not there, so if you start them as puppies running and zooming in the yard, but chewing bones and playing less exhuberantly with squeekies inside, they will usually continue that throughout their lives.

If a dog feels free to run on a rampage indoors, it can not only damage your home and belongings when they weigh 150+ pounds, it can damage you. I don’t like it, and I think it’s just not a good idea to allow. Especially if there are children in the house.

But they do need a place to really stretch their legs, and a good sized patch-o-grass is ideal. Lots of studies prove that exercise releases hormones and neurotransmitters that create a sense of contentment and happiness in dogs and humans both. It also can prevent health problems, like getting fat and its complications, constipation, even depression. So go play!

Dehydrated Carrots - Dog 11 lbsAs for nutrition, I’ve got a product I think would be good for raw feeding owners especially to consider adding to their dog’s diet. It’s a natural, and can help with diarrhea and many digestive issues in both raw or kibble fed dogs.

Olewo has two formulas I’m particularly interested in; the carrots and the beets. The carrots are supposedly very good at helping diarrhea and poor appetite, which most puppies will have at some point for various reasons. The beets are reported to help control allergies and inflammation, too.

When I feed raw, I like to add veggies for bulk and fiber. Not everyone agrees with that, prefering only meat and bone. But I am a bit of a ninny about controlling the amount of calicum and other minerals in a giant breed dog’s food. Bones and meat are loaded with minerals. So I prefer to reduce the bone and meat amounts and add veggies.

Being a gardener, I would have my own carrot and beet patch, but in the winter, I’d need to supplement my frozen stash with a purchased product. I like how rigorously Olewo is tested, and that it is a fully natural product.

A puppy in my home is still the goal, but I’ve got two issues that have to be sorted before I’ll buy a new baby boy. One is my own health and finances: I need to reduce some bills (food!) so I can more comfortably afford any food my puppy may need, even if it’s expensive. The other is Mom; she must be independantly functioning, not depleting my physical energy and emotions all the time.

th (1)I’m taking positive action towards those goals: the garden, and the fact that I flatly refuse to “do for” anymore. My New Year’s resolution is to extract myself from Mom, regardless of the fuss. It’s going to be a rough transition, since she’s shifted total responsibility for herself onto me for years now.

I know it sounds mean, but there is no reason she cannot be independant other that not wanting to. She stays up watching TV until 2am or 3am, then expects me to spend hours trying to get her out of bed at 7am.

It’s not happening, it frustrates the hell out of me every single day, and it’s a totally unneccessary intrusion on my own schedule. She can make appointments in the afternoon, and get up late on her own. There are a thousand excuses why she doesn’t want to, but too bad.

She is responsible also for what and when and if she eats. I’m not a short order cook, and if she chooses to snack n graze rather than making an actual meal for herself, that’s her choice. I don’t want to hear about her upset tummy from not eating or being tired if she can’t be bothered with her own physical needs. Not my choice, not my consequences.

There’s other things too, but I’m not here to whine, not anymore. My life is my own, and I am sovereign: I’ll decide what I do and don’t do. That isn’t going to be decided anymore by what she wants, feels, or finds convenient at my expense. Baby steps don’t work with her, and I’ve tried for years to take it one problem at a time with her. But it’s like wrestling with an octopus: pry one arm off there are new ones to take its place. So it’s cold-turkey time.

Until she can function on her own, and make choices based on what’s healthy for her rather than a whim or lazy impulse, I won’t get a puppy. She’d just use him too, enjoying him when she wants then neglecting his care as she had with BB and Taj and all the others. Truth is I  don’t want to live with her like this, so I won’t subject a puppy to a house full of chronic complaining and poor me.

I’ve become something of a frustrated, anxiety ridden nag the past year or so, because I’ve allowed her to use my love and concern for her well being as leverage to continue destructive habits. New year, better life, even if it’s only better by my reckoning.

Posted by greatdaneservicedog on January 13, 2013

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