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Benefits of having a dog!

Haley Cooke | May, 5, 2021

In this blog the focus is on dogs – man’s (and woman’s) best friend. However, don’t worry, other animals can boost your health, too!

Increase your “healthy years”. Though we all have our days numbered in our lifespan, those that are spent in good health are up to us! Studies have shown that having a pet, specifically a dog, increases a person’s healthy years by several years.

Keep you active. Similar to how it is when raising a child, we tend to pay attention to the personal needs of someone other than ourselves. As a pet owner – you know what to feed your pet, negative signs about their health, their favorite toy, and when they are ready for a walk. If they need a walk – guess who else gets to take a walk – YOU! 🙂

Lower your blood pressure. Pets help to calm their owners down which allows a person to have a lower heart rate and blood pressure. This calming effect is because we view our pets as supportive parts of our lives, similar to friends and spouses.

Counteract loneliness.  When a person feels isolated, they may also feel extremely lonely. Having a dog — an animal friend and companion — can make a big difference in the life of those who feel very alone. A live-in best friend!

Makes it easier to meet people. Dogs are more than four-legged friends. They can also help you make human friends! Pets can spark several different kinds of social interaction, such as neighborhood run-ins (when your dog wants to meet another dog) or a meet up at the dog groomers.

Hey and maybe a significant other! Studies show that it is very common for people to attract others when a dog is present. It is not one of the primary benefits of having a dog, but if you’re single, a pet is a great way to break the ice with new people. It could show potential partners you are loving, responsible, and caring.

Boost your playfulness. Dogs can help promote a sense of play for those who tend to be more serious-minded. Whether it is playing catch and fetch or laughing at your dog’s silly behaviors – this adds a sense of child-like fun back into your day.

Provide unconditional love.  A relationship with a dog is unconditional in all aspects. Free of any negativity, expectations, and disappointments that often make human relationships rather challenging. A dog can love like no one else!

Lower your stress and anxiety. Petting a dog (or a cat) for just 10 minutes can be enough to lower your stress levels! Looking a pet in the eyes can help as well. This can lower anxiety levels and even slow your heart rate for the owner and the dog!

Help you maintain or lose weight. Movement isn’t all about weight loss but being more active sure can help lose a couple pounds! Taking your dog for a walk or a jog not only helps the dog but can help a person to remain consistent in their workout routine.


Employee Spotlight – Nathan Kesler

Haley Cooke | April, 28, 2021

This week we are featuring a remote employee – Nathan Kesler! Nathan works as a Select Producer in the East Texas Region and has been with the company for almost 4 years! Read through what he had to say about his current wellness journey in our question and answer session.



What is your motivation in your wellness journey?

My daily motivation is simply to stay healthy for my family and to stay strong; I am the protector of my home and I am responsible for the well-being of my family.

What is your weekly exercise routine?

My weekly exercise routine is simple and I recognize is not quite enough, but this is what I am committed to always accomplishing: two weekly visits to my gym.  My workout takes between 1.5 hours and 2 hours depending on my pace and includes a majority of free weights (dumbbells) and a few machines.  The majority of my routine focuses on upper body, specifically biceps, triceps, deltoids and pectoral muscles.  I also do leg presses.

What has been the best part of this journey?

The best part of this journey is maintaining some measurable/recognizable level of fitness and staying healthy overall.

What do you find is a daily struggle?

My daily struggle is DIET.  Hands down, maintaining a clean diet free of excessive sugars, sweets, etc. is my struggle.

What is your favorite part of exercise?

My favorite part of exercise is the feeling of physical fatigue and rest following a good workout.

Where are you currently seeing success?

My workout is very predictable and routine so I see success in maintaining the same body weight and build over long periods of time.

What are you the most proud of?

I am proud of my consistency and following through with my workout routine.

If someone wanted to start their own journey – how would you encourage them?

I recommend they just start everything on a small scale and commit to two or three times weekly.  Then to clean up their diet and eating habits gradually in order to see best results.



I appreciate the realness of Nathan’s journey and though he knows he is busy – he finds the free time to spend some of that time in the gym! I know I say this often, but I will say it again. A small step forward is more than not taking a step at all. Let me know if you would like to take that small step in your wellness journey together!



Earth Day: Reducing Food Waste

Haley Cooke | April, 22, 2021

Let’s celebrate Earth Day and work to reduce food waste.



1. Upcycle Food

Have you ever thought of using food scraps like veggie peels for veggie stock? Next time you peel carrots, potatoes, onions, etc., save the scraps and freeze them until you have enough to make tasty veggie stock! Check out this link on smart ways to use food scraps!

2. Compost

Can’t get on board with using veggie scraps and upcycling for future food? Try composting! If you love to garden, your plants will enjoy the fertile soil that comes from composting. Learn more about the composting process here.

3.  Avoid Buying Too Much

Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid food waste is to only buy what is needed. That means potentially making multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the week and thoughtful meal planning. Take a few shopping trips during the month and see how it reduces your food waste instead of doing your usual grocery trip once or twice a month.

4. Grow Your Own Garden

Gardening is an excellent way to reduce food waste! When you have your own garden, you can plant what you need and use it as your recipes call for it. Plus, you can easily replant veggie seeds like avocados, bell peppers, etc. from store-bought ones to grow your own and pick fresh food from your garden! How rewarding is that? Have extra food that you won’t be able to use – bring it to work and allow your coworkers to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

5. Store Food Correctly

One of the biggest ways to waste food is to not store it correctly. Ensure that your fridge is set at 40 degrees or below to keep food fresh. Eat food within three to five days to avoid spoilage. Check out this link on more ways to store food and make it last longer!

6. Organize Your Food Spaces

Try to always eat the oldest foods first in the fridge. This will keep you from tossing out foods that get shoved into the back and forgotten about. When you store your food correctly (see above), it also makes it easier to organize it and consume it in a reasonable time frame. Take the time to organize your pantry and fridge on a weekly basis (preferably before grocery shopping), to see what you have and what you actually need.

7. Make a Shopping List

It’s always a good idea to plan ahead. That especially goes for reducing food waste. Next time you need to grocery shop, make a list.  Most importantly, don’t go food shopping hungry — you will end up buying more than you need every single time.


* If anyone would like to start taking home the peels of the fruit/veggies that I cut each day – let me know!

Reduce Food Waste to Do Your Part for Earth Day!

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