Fully Vetted

Dogs aren’t tough to understand. At least when it comes to my boy Luka, no words are needed to communicate just how much he hates the vet. Between the whining, crying, tail between the legs, ears back, and frantic escape attempts, it’s impossible to miss. Although my reaction isn’t so visceral, I have to admit, I don’t enjoy those visits much more. I’ve seen all too many upsetting scenes of mistreatment and outright disrespectful that I’ve come to dread even a routine checkup as if it was a personal assault.

No matter where we go, it always turns into an ordeal. After one too many borderline traumatizing experiences, we were both at wit’s end. In search of a better way, The Vets hit my radar as a completely new approach. Rather than piling into the car for an interminable ride of terror, they come to you for in-home services. The theory being that our pets, like ourselves, are much more comfortable at home, without enduring the stress or wasted time sitting around in a sterile waiting room.

Though naturally defensive of his territory, Luka knows dog people when he meets them, and quickly calmed down after spending a few minutes with our incredibly kind and compassionate vet techs. It wasn’t a numbers game, so we had time to talk, get to know one another, and build trust with my loving but inherently fearful pup. Lots of treats and a little play with his favorite toys went a long way. Finally, we were able to get baseline numbers and certifications where other vets had failed to even discern an accurate weight, given Luka’s typical state of hysteria at that point.

What services do The Vets provide?

  • Wellness exams for routine health maintenance
  • Emergency sick visits, available as next-day or same-day appointments
  • Microchipping and puppy exams for new additions to the family
  • Health certificates needed for travel, housing, and more
  • Vaccines such as Rabies, Parvo, Distemper, Leptospirosis, and Bordetella
  • Ultrasounds for pregnant pups (and cats!)
  • Dermatology that includes skin and nail care
  • Lab testing for diagnostic analysis
  • Euthanasia

The experience was in stark contrast to the misery we suffered just a few weeks ago to update Luka’s rabies vaccination at a nearby walk-in clinic. Despite arriving 15 minutes before the doors opened, we were already 18th in line, behind pet parents with multiples and a wide range of complex needs. We sat in the car (to stay away from aggressive dogs in the lobby) for over two hours, giving Luka plenty of time to build up a solid case of anxiety. By the time a technician could finally see us, Luka wasn’t having any of it. They muzzled my poor boy who wouldn’t hurt a soul because he was deemed “reactive,” only heightening his fight-or-flight response.

If only we could have waited. Here, on the same couch where he loves to nap and watch TV in my lap, he took his annual shots without so much as a yip. The difference was night and day. My one and only disappointment, personally, is that these vets don’t see human patients too!

Have you seen The Vets yet?

The Vets serve most major cities in the United States 7 days a week, morning to night. There is a better way to get help for our fur babies when they need it most. It’s a personalized, compassionate approach, creating a new standard for preventative pet care.

This post was made possible as a collaboration with Moms Meet and The Vets. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

Way Better Whey

Some animal products can lurk just beyond detection on ingredient labels, hidden in plain sight. Adopting new names like false identities, they masquerade as benign, unremarkable ingredients, only called out by an allergen statement in small print like an afterthought. There are certain euphemisms you learn early on; even a child could tell you that “beef” means cow, and “pork” means pig. Beyond that, things get a little bit hazy. Whey is a particularly problematic ingredient, so far removed from the milk it came from that it can legally be labeled as lactose-free. Make no mistake, conventional whey is still 100% dairy-based and absolutely not vegan. However, in this golden age of plant-based alternatives, I’d like to think that those tides are turning.

California Performance Co. is on the cutting edge of food technology, working to redefine the entire concept of whey. V-Whey is the world’s first animal-free whey protein, made with Perfect Day to make a DNA-identical protein, bearing all the same nutrients, minus the cow. That’s why you’ll still see dairy as a potential allergen on the label. This dairy, however, is all vegan.

What are the benefits of V-Whey?

  • Anyone who has difficulty digesting other plant proteins like soy, wheat or, pea should take comfort knowing that whey is typically better tolerated by those with sensitive stomachs.
  • It’s a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. These are the building blocks for creating muscle, creating new immune cells, healing wounds, growing strong hair and healthy skin, and so much more.
  • Cruelty-free, sustainable, and better for the environment, this one goes well beyond personal health. Even if you’re not vegan, everyone should be concerned about the impact that feedlots have on soil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and beyond.

V-Whey by California Performance Co. comes in three favors: Vanilla Sundae, Chocolate Brownie, and Mixed Berry. You have a classic neopolitan array of dessert-inspired tastes to quell cravings with 0 grams of added sugar. They’re sweetened with stevia to prevent blood sugar spikes, keep calories low, and still taste like a treat.

Most importantly, this is something you’ll WANT to drink. 23 grams of protein per serving are great, but useless if you can’t choke them down. It’s not a struggle with the silky-smooth consistency of V-Whey, mixing easily with water, non-dairy milk, or juice without a machine.

Vanilla Sundae lives up to the promise such a decadent title implies. Even when blended with just water alone, it tastes undeniably creamy, smooth, and sweet as dessert. It straddles the line between cake batter and frosting, which makes it a perfect ice cream alternative if you simply add ice. Cravings don’t stand a chance against this mix, which is ideal for adding into other recipes for its easily paired, agreeable flavor profile.

Mixed Berry underwent a startling transformation the second liquid hit. That stark white powder instantly blossomed into a florescent neon pink, stunningly rich in color as it poured from the shaker. Each sip was equally striking, starting with fresh strawberry notes in the lead, then morphing into a candy-like sweetness, and rounded out by a subtly tart, tangy finish. Genuine floral notes of whole fruit punctuated the experience for a fully immersive drinking experience.

Chocolate Brownie was my personal favorite of the bunch. It’s dark and deep, subtly bitter like a good bar of 80% cacao, tempered with just enough sweetness to soften the hard edges. Such incredible creaminess brings to mind truffles, ganache, and chocolate fondue, all melting together in one luxurious drink. This one is clearly designed with chocolate lovers in mind, doing proper justice to the world’s favorite aphrodisiac.

How else can you use V-Whey?

  • Smoothies and smoothie bowls
  • Hot oatmeal or overnight oats
  • Homemade protein bars
  • Add a scoop to pancake or waffle batter
  • Replace some of the flour in muffins or cookies
  • Mix with nut butter and spread on toast

Forget the gritty, chalky health tonics of yesteryear and welcome to the future. This is way better than conventional whey.

This post was made possible as a collaboration with California Performance Co. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

Be Pro-Active

In this age of antibacterial soaps, lotions, sprays, gels, and for all I know, mouthwashes, it’s easy to lose sight of this simple fact: Bacteria are not the enemy. In fact, we are bacteria, more than anything else! Numbers vary per person, but bacteria and other microbes in our body outnumber our own cells by about 10:1. While we’re working hard to kill the nasty ones that can spread disease, we might be doing more harm than good in the long run.

Just like any compelling story, there’s more than just a good guy and bad guy at play in the human microbiome. Slick marketing likes to lump all bacteria into those two categories, dumbing down the concept to make a quick buck, but there’s much more nuance within this world of single cell microorganisms. Existing everywhere on earth, different strains work in concert to make the most potent cocktail of beneficial probiotics.

That’s why I take probiotic supplements religiously, no matter how much yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut I eat. To make sure I get the full gamut of diverse probiotic species, my go-to booster is Kyo-Dophilus Pro+ Synbiotic. These unassuming, shelf-stable tablets boast beneficial bacteria counts that you can count on.

Kyo-Dophilus Pro+ Synbiotic are berry-flavored, chewable tablets that come in convenient, single-serving packets for easy daily dosage. Each tablet contains powerful prebiotics and nine probiotic strains, working together in harmony to boost everything from immunity to digestion, and far beyond. Non-GMO and free of soy, gluten, dairy, and artificial colors and flavors, this is the probiotic for everyone, despite the inherent intricacies of each person’s highly individual microbiome.

Though I’ve been taking various probiotic supplements for as long as I could open the medicine cabinet unsupervised, they haven’t all worked the same way, to say the least. Generally, your body needs 30 – 60 days to feel the full impact of regular probiotic use, but I knew right away when this one was working. Let’s just say it’s a genuine relief to merely experience basic regularity, and leave it at that.

While the price point is a bit higher than my usual go-to, this is a case where you do get what you pay for. The added prebiotics are essentially fiber that provides food for the probiotics to eat, powering their important work. You’re guaranteed 20 billion CFU (colony forming units) ready to spring into action, packed into every dose. As a believer in being proactive with my health, it’s a smart investment to make.

This post was made possible as a collaboration with Moms Meet and Wakunaga of America. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

Supplements Get Personal

Isn’t it time that nutritional recommendations got personal? Wellness is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but should give you the same comfort as your favorite pair of stretchy sweatpants when tailored properly. Vegans especially need to be cautious of common dietary shortfalls, such as Vitamin B-12 and Omega-3, while steering clear of fishy sources or bovine gelatin capsules. Unless you’re a doctor, it’s pretty overwhelming to navigate the sea of supplements alone.

Meet Persona Nutrition, your new ally and advocate. They don’t just bundle together a bunch of popular pills and send you on your way. Recommendations are made based on an in-depth assessment of your existing conditions, lifestyle choices, concerns, current prescriptions, and health goals. Beyond the science-based, doctor-approved algorithms, a genuine human touch is what sets this service apart from the rest. Private consultations with qualified dietitians are there to answer questions, provide support, or help adjust your program as needed. Health is a moving target, so whenever your circumstances change, Persona has the agility to adapt to your needs.

I’ve been through the ringer trying to piece together a patchwork of appropriate supplements over the years. Customer reviews on massive online shopping websites can only go so far, though, which leads to a whole lot of trial and error. It’s taken the better part of two decades to find some suitable regime, and even then, I don’t have complete confidence that I’ve gotten it exactly right. After a month using Persona, I discovered that the answer is obvious: You really can feel the difference.

Truth be told, I didn’t want it to be quite so effective. It’s definitely more expensive than my previous regime, but this is a case where you do get what you pay for. Beyond the actual supplements, you get the backing of a full support team when you need it. I had questions right away about the sleep pack, since I had been taking a mega-dose of melatonin for years, and was concerned about transitioning down to 3mg. There’s a nutritionist waiting to talk to you for just such an occasion. No wait, no bad hold music, and no more confusion.

My friendly consultant gave me the rundown of what to expect and outlined a long term plan that would eventually wean me off of melatonin altogether. Having used it as a crutch for so long, it seemed impossible… Until I went to bed that night. Despite cutting my typical load by 1/4, I was out like a light.

It’s not magic; it’s science. Supplements designed to work with your unique body chemistry via customized vitamin packs delivered to your door every 28 days. No guesswork, no bottles, no refills, and absolutely no stress. Start the new year strong and finally take control of your health. Try Persona Nutrition now and get 30% off for 2 months. Rest assured that you’re in good hands here, because peace of mind is an important part of wellness, too.

This review was made possible as a collaboration with Moms Meet and Persona Nutrition. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

Drop Acid

‘Tis the season for excess. Extra dollops of whipped cream, second helpings of stuffing, more generous pours of gravy; the general consensus is that if your dinner plate doesn’t look like your final meal, trying to cram all things edible into one last hurrah, you’re not living your best life during the holidays. I’m all for seasonal indulgence, especially when celebratory moments feel far and few between, but sometimes that extravagance comes back to bite you later.

Heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, and bloating are all symptoms of a revelry gone awry. Call it a “food hangover” that doesn’t wait until the next morning to hit, taking swift revenge on immoderation. Little can be done to alleviate the pain until it passes, unless you have a homeopathic helper on your side.

Boiron Acidil meltaway tablets are made with plant-based active ingredients and can be taken on a full or empty stomach. Gentle and natural, there are no side effects nor drug interactions to worry about.

It’s important to note that as is the case for any supplement like Boiron Acidil, every person will have different results, because everyone’s body and digestive system is different. As an over-the-counter medicine, it’s not a gastrointestinal panacea, but a promising option that’s helped ease the suffering of many. There’s nothing to lose, since the key players A-galacto, Carbo Vegetabilis, and Lycopodium Clavatum have been proven safe and effective.

Finally, you can dig deep into your favorite comfort foods without any discomforting symptoms afterward! For me, that means another bowlful of Mac and Cheese, or if we’re getting fancy, an extra-large serving of Truffled Brussels Sprouts Gratin. You’ve got nothing to fear, except a food-induced nap later on! Enjoy the moment, the holidays, the memories, and the food, to the fullest.

This review was made possible as a collaboration with Moms Meet and Boiron. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

Respect Your Elders

Stay healthy. Take care. Be well.⁣

These common refrains are easier said than done right now, and naturally, everyone’s looking for that magic bullet to protect themselves against illness. As with life, it’s about how the little things add up, rather than one big thing that will make all the difference. Elderberries offer an easy first step towards a stronger immune system, critical even when not facing a global pandemic. Studies have shown promising results in protection against bacterial and viral infections, reducing the symptoms and duration of a cold, easing symptoms of allergies, and that’s to say nothing of their impressive antioxidant and vitamin A load.⁣

Both the flowers and berries have a long tradition of culinary and folk medicinal uses going back thousands of years. In fact, Hippocrates (often called the father of medicine) referred to the elderberry as a “medicine chest,” thanks to the seemingly endless benefits and applications. The stem, bark, leaves, flowers, berries, and root extracts of the plant have all been instrumental in historical recipes, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt.



There’s is a catch, of course. Raw, fresh, or dried, elderberries are not exactly a treat to eat. They’re rather tart at best, bitter and astringent at worst; not something you’d want to snack on out of hand, like blueberries. Of course, they have more than twice the natural antioxidant capacity of their blue brethren, but need a bit of help in the flavor department. Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies take care of that shortcoming by concentrating that nutritional potency into soft, bite-sized chews, sweetened only with pure cane sugar. Pectin, rather than gelatin, gives them their plant-based bounce, to the delight of children and adults alike. Make no mistake, these aren’t candy, but potent supplements wrapped up in a highly appealing package.

Enticing right out of the bottle, gleaming like faceted purple gems, it’s not a struggle to get your daily dose. However, they also offer ample opportunities for some healthy experimentation.

Thumbprint cookies, typically crowned with a dollop of humble fruit preserves get a superfood upgrade thanks to Sambucol. Softening into a jammy nugget within the gentle slope of a hearty oat and almond butter base, you might forget that such tasty treats are actually powerful immunity boosters.

Comfort food and health food don’t need to be mutually exclusive when armed with naturally delicious nourishment. Consider these simple morsels your secret weapon against the midday slump, and well beyond.

Continue reading “Respect Your Elders”