Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Great Way to Learn Social Media for Your Organization

Do you need to learn Social Media for your business or organization? Or maybe for yourself? I recommend attending the Social Media Tulsa Conference March 30-31 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It offers quality content, in an intimate setting, and excellent value for any company to send a staff member. Learn social media from some really smart, fun people who practice social media everyday in the real world. I'm a speaker this year too, hope to see you in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Register soon and save $50 off registration: http://bit.ly/2nBe834

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fiber, Gut Health, and the Second Brain

As humans, we are filled with bacteria. I'm not talking about the bacteria on the outside of our bodies, that is entirely another story. I'm referring to our microbiome (or the human flora). I've read an article in Scientific American that said inside us, there are more bacteria microbes than human cells. Some articles say it may be one-for one ratios. Either way, its true that we are filled with bacteria. We eat food to fuel our bodies with energy and sustain essential functions for our cells and organs. The foods we eat also "feed" the 100 trillion bacteria in our bodies, specifically within the gut and other vital organs. If we eat healthy foods, we can feed our bodies to produce good bacteria. If we consume overly processed, artificial chemicals or foods high in sugars, there is potential we produce bad bacteria, and the gut can get out of balance. In fact, different strains or species of bacteria can be formed based on the types of foods we eat, so truly we are what we eat, it transforms our intestinal composition.

The bacterial microbes that live inside us affect our health, weight, mood, mood disorders, behavior and how full we feel. The gut intestinal flora (bacteria) affects not only how we digest and process food, but it also contributes to the functionality and strength of our immune system, as well as playing a role to reduce inflammation. 

The digestive system is a complicated process, it literally starts with how we ingest and chew our food, how it travels through the esophagus into the stomach, small and large intestines and eventually exits the body. The wall of our gut, or the enteric nervous system (ENS) is what controls the digestive system. The gut breaks down our food, and generates energy, and our bodies can utilize the vitamins. Healthy digestion also helps create good bacteria to fight the bad (pathogenic) bacteria.

Latest studies and research all indicated that the key to good gut health is to consume more fiber, and a variety of different types. It is believed to be the most effective way to produce a more balanced gut bacteria environment. Every single day, choose from a variety of things like fresh leafy, stalky green vegetables, legumes (beans), lentils, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits to build up your microbial diversity. Many of these are considered prebiotic foods because they have the types of fiber that beneficial gut bacteria thrive on when they ferment in the gut. Also consider adding some probiotic bacteria by eating yogurts, fermented foods or take a probiotic supplement that is refrigerated. Don't bother with any probiotic that is room temperature, the bacteria needs to stay alive in order to work. 

Back to the enteric nervous system. The ENS is a huge network of neurons that are dispersed across layers of our gut tissue. This system is self-automated and maintains our biochemistry throughout the gut. It does things like keeping the correct pH levels and chemical configuration needed to enable digestive enzymes to kick into gear and break down and process the foods we ingested.

I first became interested in studying this topic a few years ago as part of improving my own health. As a Type 2 Diabetic, I needed to understand how I could change my diet to control my diabetes. After consulting with my medical doctor, nutritionists and health care professionals I learned what I needed. During this same time there were some synergies between my personal nutritional education and my work. My professional background has been in the pet industry, specifically pet food and nutrition. As such I spent several years studying the latest research of the leading nutritionists and scientists around health. Everything pointed back to diet, including fiber, digestion and gut health. The same principles apply for dogs and cats as in humans. I've been fortunate to have spent several years working closely with three of the world's leading experts on fiber and gut health. Gut health--through fiber is a key driver to better heath. I have been able to utilize much of this knowledge and latest research when we developed our new Lucy Pet Formulas for Life with P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber. We realized it was time that there was a super-premium pet food on the market that can help dogs and cats live a healthier life through better gut health. We pulled together the experts in gut health and animal nutrition to discuss the gut and digestive systems for dogs and cats.

The gut has some pretty serious functions, aside from processing food, it stops any dangerous pathogens, bacteria, viruses, etc from progressing through the body or to vital organs. The gut wall lining has immune cells which secrete histamines or other inflammatory secretions which can trigger the brain to induce vomiting, or initiate diarrhea. In either case its the method the body uses to "get the poison out", or make sure the pathogenic foreign bacteria gets out as quickly as possible. This helps explain how integral the gut is with the brain and to protect our bodies from sickness or disease. The gut truly is like a "second brain" in that it communicates with the brain and helps control many functions in the body. Until now, very few people understood just how important a healthy diet with high levels of fiber can be for better health and to enable the "second brain" to do its job.
There is a fascinating article on this at New Scientist, this image below is from that site and helps visually explain some of what I've shared in this post.
image credit: New Scientist

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Two Members of the Lucy Pet Taste Test Panel

Mr Sheldon, me and Miss Ellie
Today we had a little photo shoot at work, so naturally Mr Sheldon and Miss Ellie joined in. I try to take my four-legged kids to work every day so they are now regulars at the Lucy Pet offices. They are part of our official "taste test" panel, and give their opinions on our food and other products in development. Incidentally, my "Poodle" and "Doodle" both gave us two paws up votes for the new Lucy Pet Formulas for Life food. They started on the early feeding taste test panel for our Duck, Pumpkin and Quinoa formula and switched to it completely now.  Life is good for these four legged kids of mine.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fascinating Health Benefits to Animals from Certain Types of Sea Kelp

I've spent the past few years following various studies, research and findings into human and animal  nutrition. In particular there have been several major universities studying how some plant-based ingredients can provide health benefits not previously understood in animals. Through my work as a consultant in the pet industry I've had the opportunity to spend time with some of the world's leading nutritionists, animal physiologists, scientists and university professors. It is an honor and privilege to work so closely with women and men who have spent their entire careers studying animal and human health.

Perhaps what has impressed me so much are some of the research of how changes in our diets can have such an enormous impact in overall health. In particular the role of dietary fiber and what it can do to populate the gastrointestinal tract with prebiotics. I've recently written extensively about probiotics and their impact to the microbiome. There are many plant varieties that can offer prebiotic benefits to people and animals.  Whole grains, legumes (beans) pumpkin, chicory root, flaxseed, peas and more. Another fascinating plant is sea kelp. Through my studies few years ago, I learned about a particular variety of sea kelp called "Ascophyllum nodosum" that is grown and harvested off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. In my opinion, the benefits to dogs and cats of this particular variety are truly amazing.

There are four categories of key health supporting qualities of this sea kelp for animals. To find out more about the research we considered in formulating Lucy Pet Formulas for Life ™ with P.B.F Prebiotic Balanced Fiber ™, look further at these studies below.
  1. Gastro Intestinal Health: The unique fiber profile of this kelp acts as a prebiotic, supporting normal digestive function.
  2. Immune Defense System: The insoluble fiber and polyphenol compounds support the immune system in a unique way.
  3. Antioxidant protection: Studies indicate that the Polyphenolics, Flavonoids and Fucoxanthan act as antioxidants within the gastro intestinal tract, which is an important system function.
  4. Stress Reduction, particularly from heat: The bioactive molecules in Ascophyllum nodosum kelp support the animals natural ability to resist stress. We thought this was a wonderful benefit to animals.
It is so exciting to be able to incorporate what I learned about the benefits of this sea kelp into the new dog and cat foods we developed at Lucy Pet Products. The Lucy Pet Formulas for Life utilize some truly amazing nutritional studies that I believe can truly make a difference in the life of dogs and cats. If you are looking for a food for your dog or cat that has some of the latest, cutting edge technology in its formulations, check out these amazing foods we developed. They cost more that some of the other foods on the market, but believe me they are worth it. Anything we can do to help our beloved fur kids live longer is worth it in my opinion.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lucy Pet Products Highlights Gut Health with Debut of Pet Food Line

Earlier this week, we issued a press release about the upcoming launch of a new line of super-premium, natural dog and cat food focused that is designed for gut health in pets. I'm very proud of this new food because it brings a significant body of nutrition research on animal nutrition to the consumer so pets can benefit from healthier digestion. Here is the press release with details:

Joey Herrick, an Innovator in Natural Pet Foods,
has Teamed Up with the World’s Leading Expert on
Gut and Digestive Health to Debut Lucy Pet Formulas For Life

Lucy Pet Formulas for Life™️ uses Prebiotic Balanced Fiber™️ (PBF) in its unique blend which promotes a healthy gut and enables optimal digestion for
improved immunity.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Feb. 15, 2017 - Many of the leading pet foods on the market today were developed using formulas that are over 20 years old. Some use common ingredients that when combined with pet owners’ tendencies to overfeed, can lead to chronic disease, obesity and other conditions. A leading university professor, specializing in animal nutrition has spent the past 40 years studying the role of fiber and its health benefits for the digestive system.

Until recently, the importance of the gut in overall health wasn’t fully understood,” says Joey Herrick founder and President of Lucy Pet Products. The latest nutritional advancements now show that the digestive tract goes far beyond just processing the food your pet eats. Just like in humans, it is very important to create a healthy environment in the gut because it plays a key role in strengthening your pet’s immunity to chronic diseases.”

Dr. George C. Fahey, Professor Emeritus of Animal and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois, conducted extensive research on gastrointestinal tract health and the role of macronutrients in digestive physiology and health of the gut. He discovered the optimal sources and concentrations of dietary fibers in pet food to include identification of the relationship between fiber fermentability, nutrient digestibility and the effectiveness of prebiotics in dogs and cats.

Dr. Fahey’s compelling fiber research and findings are the basis of Lucy Pet’s P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber ™ technology. These industry leading formulations for dogs and cats promote good gut health, which helps the body absorb nutrients more efficiently and plays a key role in natural immunity.

Herrick is no stranger to innovation in the pet food market. It has been almost 30 years since he pioneered the natural pet food industry with his trademark brand Natural Balance. He began researching today’s pet food market and observed that everyone is making the same marketing claims among similar ingredients, which led him to start looking at animal health from a different point of view.

Herrick assembled a diverse team of pet food and nutrition experts with a combined 200 years of experience, including Rick Rockhill, Executive Vice President and partner at Lucy Pet. Rockhill has more than two decades experience in the pet industry that includes deep expertise of consumables, including super-premium natural dog and cat foods.

Herrick and Rockhill studied the nutritional research of Dr. George C. Fahey, one of the world’s leading experts on companion animal digestive health.  Fahey discovered that having a variety of fibers with a precise blend, can produce an optimal environment in the digestive tract that leads to an optimal balance of bacteria in the gut. They trademarked “Lucy Pet P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber™ to firmly establish Lucy Pet’s nutrition leadership in the pet industry.

“Recently the human gut has been identified to have hundreds of millions more neurons than the spinal cord, which is why it is often referred to as the second brain,” said Rockhill. (1) Our PBF technology goes far beyond other pet foods for digestion and gut health.”

Lucy Pet Formulas for Life™ with P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber is created using high quality proteins, a unique blend of quinoa, pumpkin and chickpeas for an ideal balance of more beneficial bacteria in the gut. Herrick sources high quality ingredients like duck and wild-caught Alaskan salmon globally from trusted suppliers he knows, with absolutely no ingredients coming from China. Lucy Pet Formulas for Life™ are manufactured in the United States in facilities that exceed industry-wide standards, and every production run is checked for contaminants before distribution.

“Our foods are made with truth in labeling, honesty in formulations, the latest in scientific research and attention to detail,” added Herrick. “I love all my animals and I would never want to be in a position where they weren’t healthy because I was not feeding them the best food possible. And that is the driving force behind everything that we do here at Lucy Pet Products.”

Lucy Pet’s Quality Assurance program gives consumers peace of mind. They check every production run of products for contaminants before distribution to assure they meet strict quality assurance standards.


Products With A Cause
Lucy Pet is committed to helping animals by donating to the Lucy PetFoundation, whose mission is to reduce pet overpopulation and support other animal welfare causes.

About Lucy Pet
Lucy Pet is a family-owned and operated pet product business based in Thousand Oaks, California. Proceeds from the brand directly fund its 501 (c) (3) non-profit Lucy Pet Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to reduce pet overpopulation and the euthanasia of over 80,000 dogs and cats per week in the United States.

From Formula for Life ™ dog and cat food, shampoos/leave-in conditioners to Lucy Pet Cats Incredible cat litter, Lucy Pet develops quality products for pets' health and wellness. Their products are made in the U.S.A and can be found in pet specialty stores across the U.S.A. and worldwide. For more information please go to www.lucypetfood.com or follow Lucy Pets and their spokesdog, Surfin' Jack on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @LucyPetProducts and @SurfinJackDog.


(1) Hall, John E. (2011). "General Principles of Gastrointestinal Function". Guyton and Hal Textbook of Medical Physiology (12th ed.). Saunders Elsevier. p. 755

Here is a link to the original PR Newswire release 

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This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

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