Animal best friends & your health

My cats are always asking for food, treats, armpit scratches, and non-stop attention. One of them even yells at me anytime I’m anywhere near the kitchen, directing that I turn on the faucet so he can lap up running water straight from the source. Cats make a lot of demands, but I firmly believe that I’m the lucky one.

This Time Magazine article called “Pet Therapy: Science Says Your Pet Is Good for Your Mental Health” states that: People who have pets tend to have lower blood pressure, heart rate and heart-disease risk than those who don’t. Those health boons may come from the extra exercise that playing and walking require, and the stress relief of having a steady best friend on hand.

But your physical health isn’t the only way you benefit from having pets. The article shares: Scientists are now digging up evidence that animals can also help improve mental health, even for people with challenging disorders.

If you’re not lucky enough to have animal best friends, I hope this gif of a pair of cat & dog best friends warms your heart and makes your day.

And there’s more where these come from. Enjoy!

Essential Nutrients

Why do we need to eat? Because we get hungry! But why does our body need food? Our body requires nutrients. But why?

Our bodies are constantly changing! The atoms, molecules and cells in our bodies continuously move and change. For instance, your skin is replaced entirely every 7 years. Your red blood cells only live to be 120 days old. The entire lining of your digestion tract is renewed every 3 to 5 days. To maintain yourself, you must replenish the energy and nutrients. Aren’t our bodies amazing?

There are six major classes of nutrients: Carbohydrates, Lipids (fat), Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, and Water.

And within these nutrient classes, each has an essential nutrient. An essential nutrient MUST be obtained in the diet because the body does not make them.

Nutrient Class Essential Nutrient
Carbohydrate Glucose
Fat Linoleic acid; linolenic acid
Protein 9 amino acids of 20
Vitamins All 13!
Minerals At least 20-25
Water Yes!

It is important to feed your body and provide essential nutrients.

As for energy? Remember, calories are energy!

Happy eating!

Meditation Workshop

On behalf of the Healthy Workplace Working Group, please join us for a workshop on meditation on Wednesday, June 7. The workshop will be in LL 570 from 12pm to 1pm and will be led by Geshema Chopa Tenzin Lhadron and Geshema Lhamo Gurung.

Geshema Lhadron and Geshema Lhamo are from the Jamyang Choling Institute in Dharamsala, India and are among the first twenty nuns from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to receive the Geshema degree from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in December 2016. Geshema Lhadron is from the remote Ladakh region of Indian Himalayas, while Geshema Lhamo is a native of the isolated Mustang region of Nepalese Himalayas. Both nuns are fully ordained and it took them over 25 years to complete the highest Geshema degree in Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy.

This workshop is open to all: no prior experience with meditation or Buddhism is required!

Please email me (helregel@uci.edu) if you plan to attend (and if you’d like an invite to the calendar event).  

RSVPs are not required, but they will help us set up the room appropriately.

Vegetables and Happiness

We hear it all the time, eat more fruit and vegetables. Well, here’s another reason – it can increase your happiness.  In Australia several doctors concluded a study to explore if there were any changes in “psychological well-being after increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.”  After taking account for differences and variables, the end results did show “increased fruit and vegetable consumption was predictive of increased happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being.” With eating 8 portions a day the increase in life satisfaction “is equal in size to the psychological gain of moving from unemployment to employment.” Wow!

Read the full article on this study that was published July 2016 in the American Journal of Public Health. The article is called: Evolution of Well-Being and Happiness After Increases in Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables. All quotes came from the article.