I’m upset. Judy & Peggy named their other blog CATNIP because they think catnip makes you feel mellow.
If naming the blog CATNIP isn’t bad enough, they dedicated CATNIPblog to Peggy’s cat Maui*.
Personally, I think catnip makes you crazy, drives cats wild with desire and the blog should be dedicated to me.
Tell Judy & Peggy to read this, come to their senses and see that their CATNIPblog is going to pot.
DID you know what’s going on in your cat’s mind when exposed to catnip is similar to what happens to human minds on marijuana?
The oil within a catnip plant is what gives kitties the “high” feeling.
“Nepetalactone is a stimulant when sniffed by a cat, producing a “high”that is described as being similar to either marijuana or LSD. (don’t ask us how they figured this out),” veterinarian Jennifer Coates writes in PetMD:
“When a cat eats catnip, it acts as a sedative, but when smelled, it causes the cat to go crazy. It is thought to mimic feline pheromones and trigger those receptors.”
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb, specifically a member of the mint family. It’s been compared to marijuana because it looks similar to pot when both are dried.
“Control the amount of catnip and let your cats know it’s better to nip responsibly at home rather than on the street and use it only on occasion since frequent use can lead to the loss of a cat’s ability to get “high”.
“Not all cats are affected by catnip. According to Cat Behavior Associates, the “catnip response” is hereditary, and one-third of all cats lack the gene that enables them to feel the high. Even a cat who does have the gene won’t be affected by catnip until they’re at least six months old.”
Catnip definitely won’t get you humans high (don’t even think about it . . . ), and don’t give your kitty a catnip treat for working so hard at protecting you in the bathroom and bringing you presents of mice and birds (we canines would never bring you vermin).
Peggy & judy want to help you find your mellow but if it drives you wild with desire for more CATNIP I won’t be pleased.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, B.E.
*CATNIPblog was inspired by and is dedicated to Peggy’s cat Maui who lived to prove the brain can be rewired and healing is possible.
Those of you who have followed this blog or CATNIPblog know I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1996. That’s approximately when my battle with eating too much – preferably carbohydrates mixed with liberal doses of refined sugar – began. I eat constantly throughout the day. If I’m bored, depressed, upset, happy, sad, tired, excited, I eat. My theory was I was self medicating, creating a dopamine surge in my brain to dull the fibro pain. Mice are now disproving my rationalization. Mice of all things. Who knew?
The Mouse “Knows” by judy
Penn neuroscientists have found that animals’ brains can suppress feelings of chronic pain when they are hungry.
The study, which was published in the science journal Cell, found that temporarily shutting down chronic pain is part of animals’ survival behaviors when searching for food.
According to a press release, approximately 300 neurons are capable of shifting the brain’s focus to hunger, thus eclipsing the effect of chronic pain.
The researchers apparently didn’t set out expecting that hunger would influence pain sensation so significantly, but when they saw these behaviors unfold, it made sense to them. “If you’re an animal, it doesn’t matter if you have an injury, you need to be able to overcome that in order to go find the nutrients you need to survive.”
Experiments were conducted on mice and found that compared to their well-fed counterparts, hungry mice had less of a response to inflammatory pain. The effect of hunger on mice is similar to that of an anti-inflammatory painkiller, the report said.
The Penn team also discovered that the neurotransmitter NPY is primarily responsible for selectively suppressing pain responses. This research could potentially be applied in humans to ameliorate chronic pain after injuries and serve as an alternative to opioid medications.
Naked Mole Rat sez: “At your service. We rodents are here to help”.
Pepsi was the beverage of choice because water was for bathing, not drinking.
The only edible food was brown and white (unless it contained copious amounts of sugar), green food should be reserved for insects or chimpanzees
Fruit was only safe to eat if it was in a pie.
If he had known that June 17 was National Eat Your Vegetables Day he would have celebrated with a loaf of french bread & butter downed it with a Pepsi and a cinnamon roll for desert.
On June 17 – National Eat Your Vitamins, Phytochemicals, Fiber, Potassium Day:
Take a vegetable to lunch
June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and National Eat Your Vegetables Day is one more opportunity to remind everyone to continue with this part of a healthy diet.
Each vegetable has its own nutritional content though generally, they contain a little protein or fat and varying proportions of :
Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6, provitamins, dietary minerals and carbohydrates.
Phytochemicals, some of which have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties.
Fiber which is important for gastrointestinal function.
Essential nutrients that are necessary for healthy hair and skin.
Potassium may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
When eating a diet consisting of the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, it may help
Lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Decrease bone loss and protect against some cancers
It is recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. This recommendation may vary, however, depending on age and gender. For most vegetables, one serving is equivalent of 1/2 to 1 cup and can be eaten either raw or cooked.
“In the forests of New Guinea, lizards scurry around with green bones, green hearts, green tongues, and green blood. At least six species share this enigmatic trait, which didn’t originate from one bizarre mutation but evolved four different times, according to new research in Science Advances.”
“These lizards have green insides because their bile carries super high levels of a deadly compound called biliverdin, the product of old red blood cells. People make the same pigment—you can see it when you get a gnarly, green-tinged bruise—but our livers filter it from our blood. Trace amounts of biliverdin cause jaundice, a disease common in infants and adults with liver failure.”
The levels found in these lizards would kill us. But for these lizards, it sure is easy beinggreen
“It’s possible there is no adaptive value,” says biologist Christopher Austin at Louisiana State University, “but it’s hard to imagine.” Over the course of 27 years, Austin, one of the authors of the study, has traveled to New Guinea in search of the bright green creatures. He’s captured hundreds of lizards by clamoring up trees and grabbing the critters. In his fieldwork, he discovered two new species, but he’s sure there are more. “New Guinea is like this black hole for biological discovery,” Austin says. “There’s no field guide.”
“Some species of fish and frogs also have green blood, but none come close to the levels of biliverdin found in Prasinohaema lizards
Austin’s effort to understand the lizards’ evolutionary history might explain why the heck toxic green blood would evolve in the New Guinea lizards more than once. One theory is that biliverdin could help fight off blood parasites, like malaria or blood-born worms, says Susan Perkins, a parasitologist at the American Museum of Natural History, another of the study’s authors.”
Twenty-eight days since fracturing my ankle (but who’s counting). I was looking forward to my doctor’s appointment yesterday (“looking forward to a doctor’s appointment” – now, that’s a first for me) thinking I will finally give the orthopedic boot the boot and be frrrrrrreeeeeeee. Not. I forgot the ligament was going to take longer to heal than the bone.
The good news: The bone is healing, I don’t have to wear the boot to bed, the wrapping is off and can take a shower without my foot sticking out into the room.
The mediocre news: I have to transition from the boot into an ankle brace sloooooooooowly . . . for a month.
The bad news: My ankle hurts if I walk and pain makes me crabby.
Elixir Fixer by Peggy
This would make a lesser person take to the bottle. Which reminds me, today is National Wine Day. Read this fascinating post on the benefits of wine which include things I need RIGHT NOW:
Anti-aging (who knew?)
Blood thinning (so it no longer boils)
Boosts immune system
Increases bone density
and . . . 6 more benefits (you’ll have to click on the link below to learn how all 10 benefits help you)
“A team of researchers from UCLA and the University of Adelaide studied 35 non-demented adults who were from 45 to 75 years old. They gave each study participant the International Physical Activity Questionnaire to determine how many hours on average they spent sitting and how much physical activity they got each day. Each study participant also underwent a high-resolution MRI scans of his or her brain.”
The researchers found that the more hours the subjects sat the thinner the medial temporal lobes of their brains tended to be. (Each hour of additional sitting correlated with a medial temporal lobe that’s 2% thinner.) This was regardless of how much physical activity they engaged in when not sitting.
Some of the possibilities of how sitting impacts your brain include:
Your blood may not be circulating as much throughout your body and therefore your brain. This could mean that your brain is not getting as much oxygen or the waste products in your brain aren’t being cleared out as effectively.
You don’t burn as many calories, which could lead to weight issues, which then alter a wide variety of mechanisms in your body.
Your body’s metabolic machinery and hormones may be impacted so that your brain is not getting as many nutrients or is being exposed to other conditions such as higher blood sugar.
More recuperation by Peggy
Correlations and associations do not mean cause-and-effect.
A study with only 35 people has many limitations and does not prove that sitting will make part of your brain thinner. “Maybe in this study, the people who were more likely to sit more each day also were more likely to be less active socially, have less stimulating jobs, or have other circumstances that could be affecting their brains. Alternatively, could thinning medial temporal lobes somehow be affecting their behaviors so that they sat more? More studies are needed to figure out what is actually happening.”
*The medial temporal lobe is part of the brain responsible for forming longer term memories. It tends to thin as you age to begin with!
“Nonetheless, this study does add to the concern that “sitting is the new smoking”, which by the way nothing to do with “cigarette butts.” Other studies have associated regularly sitting for lengthy periods of time with increased risks of obesity, diabetes, muscle and back problems, cancer, and other health problems.”
I don’t have a great memory. Never have. The worst is retrieving numbers. In the “olden days” when telephones were attached to land lines when you moved you got a new phone number. Every time I moved I immediately forgot my old number and it took months to learn the new one.
That hasn’t changed. What has changed is now not remembering why I just deliberately got up, walked into the bathroom and can’t remember why I’m there.
Now I’m learning that the brain centers largely responsible for remembering are connected to the creativity centers.
Fear and long-term stress
“We have a lot of knowledge about what happens when we are in a constant state of fight-or-flight. And those examples come from syndromes like PTSD, experiencing terrible situations for a long period of time. Here we come to a concept of brain plasticity, which basically means that what you’re experiencing can change your brain. It can make your brain grow so that it’s nice and fluffy and strong or it can shrink it down.”
“PTSD, high stress, can shrink the size of your temporal lobe and increase the size of the amygdala structure that is processing fear information. It also shrinks the size of a key brain area that I’ve studied for the last 25 years called the hippocampus, which is critical for long-term memory.”
“The hippocampus has been more recently implicated in creativity and imagination. Because what imagination is, is taking those things you have in your memory and putting them together in a new way. So just in the way that the hippocampus allows us to think about the past and memory, it also allows us to imagine the future. Long-term stress is literally killing the cells in your hippocampus that contribute to the deterioration of your memory. But it’s also zapping your creativity.”
I’ll put some art supplies in the bathroom so when I forget why I’m there I can sit down and do something creative.