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Mindful Kids
February 2011

Inner Awareness Brings Calm and Well-Being

When I walk outside, students run to me from the school playground, but they don’t yell out my last name as they circle around and grab onto my legs, as it can be a bit much to remember and pronounce correctly. Instead, I usually hear “Hey, Mr. Mindfulness,” or even, “The Mindfulness Dude!”

My job is to help to bring the art and science of mindfulness to students and teachers in schools, juvenile detention centers and sports teams, as well as to clients in my private psychotherapy practice. Happily, research is beginning to show that applying mindfulness can decrease stress, attention deficit issues, depression, anxiety and hostility in children, while benefiting their health, well-being, social relations and academic performance. Children can easily learn the techniques, and when learned young, they become lifelong tools.

 
Achieve Emotional Freedom
February 2011

Dr. Judith Orloff Shows You How in Her New Book

emotional_freedomWhat if we all had the power to change our world, both now and in the future, simply by understanding and embracing our emotions? According to Dr. Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and author of the new Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, we do.

“Emotional freedom is being able to increase your ability to love, both yourself and others, by cultivating positive emotions and by compassionately witnessing and transforming negative ones,” says Orloff.

It’s about learning how to approach life from a heart-centered place, instead of simply reacting when our buttons are pushed. This loving disposition includes all situations in life, the challenging ones as well as the good ones.

“I believe that the point of being alive is to develop our souls,” Orloff says. “I want to blend all aspects—the spiritual, psychological and biological.”

 
On the Secrets of a Healthy Relationship
February 2011

A Conversation with Harville Hendrix, Marriage Whisperer

secrets_healthy_relationsHarville Hendrix, Ph.D., knows the sorrow of a broken relationship. In 1975, after a 16-year struggle to make a failing marriage work, Hendrix and his wife decided to split up. On the day the divorce was final, he was scheduled to teach a class on marriage at a university graduate school. As Hendrix responded to audience questions, he realized that everyone wants to know the secrets of successful marriages—including him.

That “Aha!” moment spurred years of research with couples and led to his seminal book, Getting the Love You Want, and the creation of Imago Relationship Therapy with his second wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. Their partnership of 28 years has produced nine books on intimate relationships and parenting, most recently Receiving Love, and six grown children. Imago Therapy seeks to unearth the hidden agendas that we all bring to our relationships and address them with openness, compassion and fearlessness.

 
Purring for Protein
February 2011

Why Canned Food is Best for Cat Healthpurring_protein

Just as with humans, diet comprises the bricks and mortar of health for our pets. Unfortunately, as we have strayed from a healthy diet, so have the feline friends that are dependent upon us for their food.

Often ignored principles of proper feline nutrition explain why cats have a better chance at optimal health if they are fed canned food instead of dry nuggets or kibble. Putting a little thought into what we feed our cats can pay big dividends over their lifetime and likely help them avoid experiencing serious, painful and costly illnesses.

To begin, it is vital to understand that cats are obligate (strict) carnivores, and are very different from dogs in their nutritional requirements. Cats are designed to have their nutritional needs met by the consumption of a large amount of animal proteins (meat/organs), instead of those found in plants (grains/vegetables). Plant proteins are less complete than meat proteins.

A wild cat’s diet typically consists of rodents, birds, rabbits, lizards and insects. Such natural feline prey are high in animal protein, high in water content (about 70 percent) and low in carbohydrates (less than 5 percent). Most canned foods are of similar proportions.

Now, consider three key negative issues associated with dry cat food: 1) as a protein source, it’s too high in plant (grain or vegetable) protein and too low in animal protein; 2) the water content is far too low, at just 5 to 10 percent; and 3) its carbohydrate load is too high, as much as 50 percent. This is not what is needed to support a healthy animal.

 
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