February is Responsible Pet Owners Month
How to be a “pawsome” pet parent in 6 easy steps

The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: 125+ Plant-Based Vegan Recipes for a Fit, Happy, Healthy You

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Sending Organic Flowers This Year

HealthSMART for a Better Brew

From the Jungle inspires kids to make a difference

nature conserve

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month
How to be a “pawsome” pet parent in 6 easy steps

Including a pet in your family can be incredibly rewarding. But leading a happy, healthy pack is also a large responsibility. February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, so it’s an opportune time for all of us to brush up on our pet parenting skills.

“It takes lots of love and commitment,” comments Don Tomala, Managing Director of Matrix Partners, a Chicago-based marketing firm that’s been Passionate About PetsSM since 1987. “You’re entering into a lifelong relationship when you bring a pet into your home.” Fortunately, there are some surprisingly simple steps to becoming a more conscious, caring pet owner. Here are just a few:

1. Spay or neuter your dog, cat, rabbit or ferret. To prevent the companion animal overpopulation from getting worse, spaying or neutering is the most effective means. The ASPCA estimates that five to seven million animals enter shelters nationwide each year.

2. Schedule an annual veterinary checkup. Most animals are experts at concealing pain and illness, that’s why it’s so important for your pet to visit the vet each year for a full check-up. Remember, a healthy lifestyle and regular vet visits are the first steps to a long, happy life with your pet.

3. ID and/or microchip your pet. Current ID tags on your dog or cat’s collar can help ensure that they get home safe and sound if they should wander out of your sight. Also, talk to your veterinarian about getting a microchip for your pet. If your pet is ever lost, a quick scan will provide rescuers with important phone numbers and addresses to help them reunite you with your pet.

4. Be prepared. Most first aid kits can be purchased fully stocked, but no kit is complete without The Company of Animals’ Baskerville Ultra Muzzle. This ultra-comfortable muzzle is perfect for when introducing pets to new situations or when trying to restrain and treat a wounded or hurt pet. The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is the first of its kind that allows panting, drinking and treating. Plus, it provides two secure attachment points with an optional over-head safety strap for added comfort and security. www.CompanyOfAnimals.us

5. Travel Safely. You wouldn’t ride without using a seatbelt and neither should your pet. Also from The Company of Animals is the CLIXTM CarSafe, a dual-purpose lead and harness that easily clicks into the car’s seat buckle. Besides riding in safety, your pet will enjoy the CLIX’s unique “X-Cross” design made from double-sided adjustable buckles and soft neoprene padding for optimum fit and comfort.

6. Pet proof your home. Dogs and cats are curious by nature, so there’s always the possibility that they’ll get into anything. Because of this, it’s important to avoid bringing potentially hazardous products into your home. Being educated about the dangers of certain houseplants (yes, there are some plants that are lethal to pets) and choosing more “bio-friendly” products are usually a good place to start.

Today’s most advanced, responsible pet products are made from safe, eco-friendly materials – like Swheat Scoop® natural, clumping cat litter. Made from naturally processed wheat, Swheat Scoop is completely biodegradable and a 100% renewable resource. Swheat Scoop is clay and chemical free, unlike other litters on the market that are mined and never decompose. Through Swheat Scoop’s patented process, the wheat’s natural enzymes destroy odors instantly, while the natural starches form firm and fast clumps when exposed to moisture. Swheat Scoop’s granular texture means less dust and tracking around the house, and is recommended by veterinarians for kittens and post-surgical cats. Newly reformulated for even more effective performance, Swheat Scoop is available in Original Formula, Multi-Cat and Lightly Scented varieties at fine pet supply retailers near you. www.SwheatScoop.com

7. Feed your pet right. Today, pet parents have more healthier options than ever when it comes to selecting a proper diet of dinners, treats and supplements for their furry friends.

Spring NaturalsTM is a fresh approach to nurturing pets, offering a complete line of natural canned and dry dinners for dogs. Real meat, poultry or fish is the first ingredient, plus a balanced blend of whole vegetables and fruits – like spinach, blueberries and carrots. And because their recipes are made with more real meat, poultry and fish instead of rendered meals, no high-glycemic ingredients need to be added such as corn, wheat, soy, tapioca, potato starch or rice. Since launching in January of 2012, Spring Naturals has been recognized by Pet Product News International Magazine, Pet Business Magazine and were added to The Whole Dog Journal’s “Top Recommended” list. Available in Whole Grain and Grain Free varieties, Spring Naturals products are made by a family-owned company, right here in the USA. Look for them at an independent pet store near you. www.SpringNaturals.com

- Lickety StikTM and Feline Lickety StikTM are liquid treats uniquely packaged in a roller-top dispenser bottle to offer dogs and cats an incredibly tasty reward without all the calories of conventional biscuit treats. Simply remove the cap, give the bottle a shake and get ready to interact with your pet in an entirely new way. Made with 100% all-natural ingredients, Lickety Stik is ideal for treating on the spot, and is a favorite among groomers and trainers. Plus, you can feel good that you’re providing a between-meal treat that won’t pack on excess pounds. Lickety Stik and Feline Lickety Stik serve only one calorie in every 10 canine licks, or 20 feline licks, and are available in a range of savory flavors. Exclusively from PetSafe, purveyor of innovative pet solutions and services since 1991. www.PetSafe.net

Wholistic Pet Organics has made it their mission to maximize the health and wellbeing of pets since 1998 with their superior supplements for dogs, cats and horses. Insisting on using only the finest ingredients, the majority of which are not only Certified Organic but also whole, unprocessed foods to retain their potency and taste appeal every step of the way. New Canine CompleteTM Soft Chews are the latest addition to the all-in-one supplement line and provide a complete daily nutritional regimen for Total Body Health™ in an easy-to-serve form. And because each batch of products is blended and packaged in the Phillips’ family-owned and operated New Hampshire facility, pet parents will love serving these healthful chews as much as their pet enjoys snacking on them. www.WholisticPetOrganics.com

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The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: 125+ Plant-Based Vegan Recipes for a Fit, Happy, Healthy You

The more than 7 million vegetarians and 3 million vegans in the United States alone are proving that chowing down on planet-friendly fare not only helps them look and feel better, but it can be delicious too.  In her debut cookbook, Karma Chow creator and celebrity chef, Melissa Costello shares an exciting collection of 125+ recipes that will be a welcome addition for anyone already following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle or for the growing number of people embracing more plant-based meals. As personal chef to celebrity fitness guru Tony Horton, creator of the bestselling P90X® fitness system, Melissa is constantly finding creative ways to keep Tony and her other clients happy, fit, and fueled.

With her "keep it simple" and "make it tasty" approach, she offers a smorgasbord of dairy- and animal-free appetizers and desserts, breakfasts, and dinners, as well as holiday- and company-worthy menus. Recipes include: Mac & Cheeze, Karma Burgers with Chipotle "Mayo," Thai-Style Tempeh Lettuce Wraps, Supreme-Oh Burritos, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Korean-Style Tempeh Tacos with Red Dijon Slaw, Enchilada Casserole with Ranchero Sauce, Artichoke and White Bean Dip, Cilantro Cauliflower Smash, Pad Thai in Peanut Coconut Sauce, Stuffed Mushroom Poppers, Indian Spiced Coconut Yam Soup, Chili Sweet Potato Fries, Un-Shepherd's Pie, Strawberry Crème Mousse with Pistachio Nut Topping, Banana Carob Bread Pudding, Apple/Pear Crisp, Brownie Bites, Chocolate Truffles, and Cardamom Chocolate Chippers (a Tony Horton favorite!).

The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook (HCI Books -- $18.95) shows anyone how to reconnect with their food and honor it as Earth's source for keeping us alive—all while finding it easier to rock their workouts and sculpt a well-defined physique. It's a winning recipe for success for anyone looking to transition to a healthier way of life!  For more information, please visit: www.karmachow.com.  HCI; October 2012 $18.95/Paperback/ISBN-13: 978-0757316333. www.hcibooks.com

Melissa Costello, founder of Karma Chow and creator of The Vital Life Cleanse, is the personal chef to celebrity fitness guru Tony Horton, creator of the highly popular workout system, P90X®. A Certified Nutritionist and wellness coach, Melissa is constantly finding creative ways to keep Tony and her many other clients happy, fit, and healthy through a whole foods, plant-based way of life. She works one-on-one with clients as well as leads thirty-day food-based cleanses with large groups, teaching them how to implement changes in their diet that will last a lifetime as well as offering skills on how to relate to food differently. Melissa was featured on TV Guide's Secrets of the Hollywood Body as well as CNBC's How I Made My Millions with Tony Horton.

These energy nuggets are great to make as a snack for your kids. Actually, your kids will love to help you make them! They are loaded with protein, healthy fats, natural sugars, and flavor. They are great for marathon runners or athletes who need to restore their glycogen levels on the go. Who needs a candy bar anyway?

Karmic Health Tip: Agave nectar is a lower glycemic sweetener, but make sure you buy the raw dark blue agave to ensure the least amount of processing.

Recipe reproduced with permisison from The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook by Melissa Costello

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Happy Valentine’s Day!
Sending Organic Flowers This Year

Organic Bouquet is the largest online provider of eco-friendly and organic floral gifts. All of their flowers are grown in a manner that is not only environmentally friendly but also provides outstanding resources for farm workers and artisans.

Organic Bouquet partners with select flower farms in California, Ecuador and Colombia. All of their flower farms follow stringent growing practices which are monitored by multiple certification agencies and associations. When you purchase flowers from Organic Bouquet, you are helping to improve the life of a flower farm worker, their family and the local floral community.

Their eco-friendly flower arrangements include roses, calla lilies, tulips, gerbera daisies, hyacinths, sunflowers, alstromeria lilies and blue iris. In addition to a complete line of flower arrangements, they offer gift baskets, fruit baskets, nut baskets, gourmet chocolates, gourmet cookies, plants, wreaths, organic cotton apparel, organic towels, and organic linens. All of these products are certified eco-friendly and/or provide for environmental benefits through our participation in Carbon Offset programs.

Especially this Valentine’s Day…but whatever the occasion, their flowers make the perfect gift. Sending flowers from Organic Bouquet says that you care not only about the person receiving the flowers, but also about the environment. All of their gift items are shipped nationwide to all 50 states. To find out more, or to place an order, visit: www.organicbouquet.com

One World Flowers is a FairTrade USA licensed importer and distributor of Fair Trade Certified™ flowers. They currently sell our beautiful flowers to individuals through their website, as well as wholesale orders to customers throughout the United States.

Since the company was started in 2007, One World Flowers has been committed to working with only Fair Trade Certified™ farms to sell flowers that are not only environmentally sustainable but are also grown to promote social justice and economic development in the farming communities. For every order, One World Flowers pays a 10% Fair Trade Premium back into a workers’ fund located on the farms they work with. Workers organize democratically and vote on how to use these funds to improve living conditions and end poverty in their communities.

All of their flowers are shipped directly from Fair Trade Certified farms in Ecuador using premium shipping service, delivered in 48 hours, which means they are fresh.

They strive to be the market leader in Fair Trade Certified™ flowers by educating consumers about Fair Trade practices, and how to be aware of the human rights violations that happen every day in the global supply chain. One World Flowers doesn't just want to sell flowers; they want to make a world of difference. To find out more, or to place an order, visit: www.oneworldflowers.org/index.html


HealthSMART for a Better Brew

Written by special guest columnist Jennifer King

Still health-conscious since declaring your resolutions for the new year? Introducing the most significant innovation in coffee products since decaf—HealthSMART Coffee. This coffee is designed for your overall good health as well as your taste buds. Rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and none of those pesky nutraceuticals (nutritional-pharmaceuticals) found in other brands, HealthSMART is changing the dynamics of the health benefits found in coffee one cup at a time.

Traditionally coffee is roasted at an extreme high heat which in the process destroys pathogens and bacteria while simultaneously ruining the nutritional value found naturally in coffee beans. Not  HealthSMART Coffee! They use a roasting technique called, TechnoROASTING, where the beans are roasted using low heat, three times longer than traditional roasters. According to the company, this practice helps HealthSMART Coffee deliver more nutrients than any cocoa, red wine, or tea. When coffee beans are roasted in this fashion all bitterness is eliminated, leaving a cup of coffee that has no need for sweeteners or creamers thus completely reducing fats, calories and cholesterol from your morning cup of coffee. Without the bitterness, sufferers of heart burn can enjoy a cup of joe without being negatively affected by the acidity found in common coffee brands.

Although the roasting process takes away the bitterness of the beans, all of the beneficial minerals, B-vitamins, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and micro-nutrients remain to help keep HealthSMART Coffee drinkers trim, healthy, and feeling great. HealthSMART Coffee is truly all-natural and unadulterated USDA Organic and made using only fair trade 100 % Arabic-grade coffee beans.

Less is more when drinking HealthSMART Coffee, to brew a 16 ounce mug of coffee only requires a half teaspoon of grounds unlike the competitors where a full two tablespoons is needed to brew the same size mug. Sample packages are available on their website, www.healthsmartcoffee.com, for $1.25 each.  For more information visit their website: www.healthsmartcoffee.com


From the Jungle inspires kids to make a difference

Parents are often looking for ways to creatively inspire their children to read, learn and understand the world around them. From the Jungle, a newly released children’s book by author, fashion designer and social entrepreneur, Beth Doane, does just that.

From the Jungle, an award winning children’s book, features stories and original artwork from the perspectives of three children living in villages throughout Central and South America. Winnie, Mariela and Pablo share personal stories of how they experience the world around them – which often includes witnessing 100-year-old trees being cut down and the decline of indigenous animals and wildlife in their homelands. Through each story, children about the importance of protecting the Earth and ways they can help save our rainforests – right from their own backyards.

For every book purchased (available on Amazon.com, $15.95), a tree is replanted in rainforests throughout Central and South America.

Author and social entrepreneur, Beth Doane founded RainTees - a fashion brand that also plants a tree for every item sold. She has worked in villages throughout the world with a quest to save our most precious endangered ecosystems – the rainforests. Her work throughout Africa, Central and South America, has resulted in over 30,000 trees being replanted across the globe and school supplies donated to children in more than 28 countries. The children Beth met along the way inspired her to write From the Jungle. Beth speaks nationally about her journey from fashion runways to saving rainforests and the power of creating a social business.

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