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Rediscovering Columbus: Wildlife

Yes, ‘goat yoga’ is a thing—and you’re gonna wanna try it. Meet the geniuses behind the workout we think is Greatest Of All-Time. Dana Bernstein and Katherine Harrison are a match made in nanny goat nirvana. Harrison herds a group of goats, and plenty of other critters on her farm. Bernstein is a capital city [...]
Jeni Ruisch

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Yes, ‘goat yoga’ is a thing—and you’re gonna wanna try it.

Meet the geniuses behind the workout we think is Greatest Of All-Time.

Dana Bernstein and Katherine Harrison are a match made in nanny goat nirvana. Harrison herds a group of goats, and plenty of other critters on her farm. Bernstein is a capital city yogi with a fondness for creatures, fitness, and wide open spaces. Harrison plans and hosts weddings and events at the Hangar at Harrison Farm. They met when they were introduced by a mutual friend as Bernstein planned her wedding. Harrison, who loves to share her earthy lifestyle with others, invited Bernstein to teach an open-air class on her property.

“She introduced me to yoga, and the goats adored her when she visited the farm.  As our friendship grew—knowing that we worked together so well on the coordination of her wedding—it made perfect sense to try bringing our loves of goats and yoga together,” Harrison said. For me and the animals this has truly been life-changing, as the support from our community has allowed the farm to grow in remarkable ways.”

And for those in central Ohio looking to find new ways to activate healthy habits, it’s a workout and a story. Sure, “goat yoga” sounds weird, but when you hear Bernstein describe it, it makes all the sense in the world. So…yoga, just with more cute?

“There are certain human-friendly goats out of the herd that don’t mind and maybe even like the attention—and also the extra feed,” she said. “The goats can be comic relief as they bicker over who gets the sweet feed first or race across a row of yogis. They can be a healing presence, curling up on a mat and falling asleep. They sometimes nudge a student for a pet and look at you with their sweet little faces. A lot of times they make weird noises. I personally am convinced that yoga classes are 100 percent more adorable, funny and heartwarming with goats. For some who are intimidated by yoga in the first place, Bernstein says there is nothing to fear—even if you’ve had a dark experience with a petting zoo buried in your past. The goats on the farm were bottle fed at birth so they are just some cute, docile, and curious little creatures roaming the area. And as they say, sometimes you just gotta face your fears…

“These goats are selected (or seemingly select themselves) to be around humans. Goats are most definitely not domesticated animals, but there are some that are super-sweet and friendly. These are the ones that come to our yoga classes,” she said. “The front row gets a lot of attention, but the back row might be a good place to start.”

Well, and if you do love goats, the front row will earn you a spot in the animals’ good graces, nearly immediately.

“It is fascinating to see how they associate the arrival of the yogis with the imminent opportunity to enjoy sweet feed,” Harrison said. “As yogis start placing their mats on the lawn in front of the barn, the yoga goats line up eagerly at the gate awaiting the moment they get to make their grand entrance!  Goats truly act on instinct—versus thought—and they have come to associate very good things with the arrival of yogis to the farm.”

Now, in their third season, Goat Yoga at Harrison is growing wildly in popularity,  with people taking part in the sessions from as far away as California, Texas, Iowa, Virginia—even Israel.

“I suspect people are first intrigued by the novelty of ‘goat yoga,’ but I perceive that many of them find something special about this farm and its animals which brings them back,” Harrison said. “We have numerous repeat attendees, and we have met so many amazing individuals because of the yoga classes. This farm has brought me comfort, challenge, and peace throughout my days. It gives me great joy to see it do that for others, as well. I always knew this farm was capable of so much, and I am incredibly grateful for the support which our community gives us.”

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Do lemons help with digestion?

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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Lemons have been used for years in cooking to add acidity to foods, but is there actually a health benefit to using lemons in your food regularly? According to this social media post below, yes. The post alleges that lemons are a key to improving digestion due to their pH.

But, let’s stop there and explore whether or not there's any truth to this claim.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzOtnFuACkO/?igshid=8d43kyu9c3fh

First of all, yes, lemons are acidic and have a low pH, and our gastric fluids or stomach acid is also acidic with a normal pH range being 1.5-3.5. So, lemons and our gastric juices do have similar pHs, and the acidity of stomach acid is vital for correct digestion processes. Thus, one might think lemons would be great to eat every day to keep our stomach acidic and digestion flowing,

However, it’s not common for stomach acid to get out of normal range. Our bodies have a strong capability to maintain homeostasis, meaning if things get outside “normal” levels, our bodies will try to correct it from within. If your stomach acid is not in the normal range, that could be indicative of other health conditions that lemons may not be able to cure.

Take-Away: Continue to use lemons in your foods for acidity, flavor, and color, or if you really enjoy eating them—they do count as a serving of fruit! But, there is no need to force yourself to add more lemons to your diet for digestive purposes. Our bodies work hard to keep us stable, and if your gastric juices are out of range, visiting your doctor is the only thing that will help.

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Pregnancy Fit Tea

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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We don’t have to be a woman to know that pregnancy can be difficult time, so a tea that helps with the nausea and discomfort seems like a great idea, right?

Wrong.

While many herbal teas are safe for the general public and pregnant women, there are some concerns.

https://www.instagram.com/p/By3mfoQn4gD/

First, some of the "beneficial" ingredients in the Flat Tummy tea above are not supported by any real evidence, let alone by information stating that they are safe to consume while pregnant. One of those ingredients is Rooibos (asparlathus linearis), which is touted as a "digestive aid" for pregnant women. However, this claim is not corroborated by a single study on The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database.

Ginger is yet another ingredient present in the tea that has not been proven undeniably healthy for pregnant woman.

"Although several studies have found no evidence of harm from taking ginger during pregnancy, it’s uncertain whether ginger is always safe for pregnant women," according to the National Institutes of Health.

Not only is ginger a questionable ingredient for a child-bearing woman to consume, the Flat Tummy tea fails to specify exactly how much ginger was used to make it.

Take Away: Please do not fall for the schemes of these “Fit Teas.” If you are pregnant, please be cautious of all ingredients you put in your body and discuss with your healthcare provider before starting any supplementations.

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Health & Fitness

Medical marijuana arrives in Columbus next week

Mike Thomas

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Got your card? Terrasana - central Ohio's first dispensary for medical marijuana - will open to patients in Ohio's medical marijuana program this Tuesday, March 26th.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpJ7V7gFgau/

The dispensary which also has plans for locations in Cleveland, Fremont, and Springfield Ohio will open at 656 Grandview Avenue.

According to the company's website, Terrasana's goal is to connect high quality cannabis to patients in need with a doctor-driven approach focused on education.

Prices for the dispensary's products start at 40 dollars per unit, though it's unclear what that equates to in quantity or dose at this time.

Will you line up to be a day-one patient in Columbus' growing MMJ scene? Let us know your thoughts in the comments

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