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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: Does “detox water” really work?

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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Water, H20, aqua: the most basic of necessities for human life. Water is a vital part of many bodily functions, including removal of waste products, but can we make water even “better” for us as a “detox water?"

Simple answer: no.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1F2t7Vg91U/?igshid=9icqe17xmslg

H20, i.e. two hydrogen atoms connected to an oxygen atom, is the chemical identity of water. This specific formation is what separates it from other molecules, and makes it the most vital substance to human existence.

Soaking things in your water like ginger, cinnamon, or cucumbers can alter the taste but will not chemically alter the structure. Water infusions like the ones listed in the post above can taste great, but water is still H20 and will function as such.

That being said, water infusions are not bad; in fact if you’re struggling to meet your daily intake, water infusions are often an idea I suggest to patients and clients. Mixing up the flavors can bring water can elevate the flavor, making it easier to drink throughout the day!

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you water can be changed to a magical detox; water is already an amazing life giving drink. Instead, use social media for inspiration for trying a new tasty drink that might help you get the adequate hydration you’ve been struggling to get!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: 30 Day Challenges

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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@DietBetch, a popular Instagram account with over 213k followers, tends to post memes that subtly poking fun at our diet culture. But recently, I was disappointed to see a post about a "30 Day Challenge" that reinforces the unhealthy, fad diet-obsessed world we live in.

This "30 Day Challenge" prohibits participants from consuming foods that many people often associate with being “unhealthy” like soda, candy, and doughnuts.

As a dietitian, I’m not going to disagree that the foods listed do tend to be higher in nutrients of concerns—like added sugars and salt, and overall calories—but, I absolutely believe they can be part of a balanced diet.

By completely removing foods from the diet with a 30 Day Challenge like this, one will simply think, “No…for this month." This purge-style challenge won't teach healthy sustainable eating habits like intuitive eating or portion control.

Take-away: Instead of tagging a friend for a restrictive diet challenge that doesn’t set either of you up for long-term success, try implementing a small sustainable change. Maybe instead of going out for fast food every day of the workweek with a friend, you both could try packing once a week and share recipes and meal ideas!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: “His” vs “Her” portions

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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It’s not uncommon to scroll through Instagram and see beautiful plates of food labeled “his” and “hers.” Typically the “his” plate is larger in all portions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

But, this depiction of portioning is inaccurate and can be damaging to the way women satisfy their hunger.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmBjeBnB5jb/

Gender does not determine the quantity of food people “should” eat. From a science perspective, there are so many variables that affect metabolic rates that are not specific to sex, such as amount of muscle mass, fat mass, location of these deposits, physical activity, and more. 

For example, a very active, self-identified woman with high lean body mass can have significantly higher maintenance caloric needs compared to a more sedentary male identifying person. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxnh7yaFftA/

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you that gender determines the amount you deserve to eat. Listen to your body and your hunger cues. Fuel your body for what you need!

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