An eco-conscious, lifestyle blog by Tampa, FL mom Jenny Hodges,who lost 212lbs and is keeping it off thru healthy family living, creative cooking, and CrossFit

26. August 2014 18:42
by jennifer

Keep your dog safe from heartworms with help from Banfield Pet Hospital

26. August 2014 18:42 by jennifer | 3 Comments

Disclosure: The Optimum Wellness Plan and information have been provided by Banfield Pet Hospital.

Today is National Dog Day, so in honor of keeping our dogs happy and healthy, I'm going to talk about a very serious matter: Heartworm Disease.

Heartworm disease is a very serious, yet preventable disease.  Matthew, the #bigyellowdog was taking Trifexis, which is a combination heartworm/flea/tick medication all in one. He took it every month, on the 22nd. But he HATED it. I tried to hide it in his food. He'd sniff it out. I'd try to put it in his mouth and hold his muzzle shut. He'd drool so much all over my hand that I'd lose my grip, and he'd spit the pill out. More often than not I had to resort to hiding it in Peanut Butter. But that's not good for him. And Trifexis is expensive. Because of Matthew's size he has to take 2 doses, totaling $249.90 for 6 months Surprised

But there is another option.  ProHeart® 6:

  • ProHeart® 6 is an injectable heartworm preventive that can be prescribed to healthy dogs over the age of 6 months, which delivers six months of protection in a single dose—offering both convenience and peace of mind to pet owners.
  • ProHeart® 6 can protect dogs from dangerous heartworm disease by preventing immature worms from maturing into adults that cause damage in the pet’s heart.
  • Before a pet can start on heartworm preventive, he/she needs to be tested to make sure they are free of adult heartworms —this is done through a quick, simple blood test at your veterinarian’s office.

Matthew's test was very quick, took about 10 minutes. He tested negative and received his vaccine. I'll admit it. I was nervous about ProHeart 6. I did my research beforehand and there was a lot of negative press about this vaccine, but the majority was prior to 2008. They did pull the vaccine back then and made some recommendations and then re-released it. But just like I do with my own children, I staggered Matthew's vaccines. This was the ONLY shot he got today. The vet also recommended that Matthew be vaccinated for Leptospirosis, it's a vaccine he's NEVER had so I was extremely uncomfortable giving him 2 unknown vaccines at the same time. I'll go back in a few weeks for the Lepto, as it's included in my Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan.


Just in case you are unsure what exactly heartworm disease is, here's a brief recap from Banfield:

  • Heartworm disease is one of the most serious and potentially fatal parasites affecting dogs and cats. Pets can contract heartworm disease through a single bite from an infected mosquito.
  • Treatment of heartworm disease in dogs is difficult and painful for the dog, as well as expensive for the pet owner. Heartworm disease can be deadly to cats and there is no approved heartworm treatment in the U.S. for cats today. 
  • Check out the heartworm relevance in your state using this interactive map from Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health™ 2014 Report.  
  • Heartworm prevention is easy, safe and affordable. To properly protect pets from heartworm infection, Banfield Pet Hospital recommends annual heartworm testing and year-round preventive medication for both dogs and cats.

As I mentioned above I have the Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan®. Included in the essential wellness plan is:

  • Heartworm testing  can be administered during a routine office visit. Office visits are always free through Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plan®, and many plans include annual heartworm tests.
  • Banfield believes in preventive veterinary care as the best way to improve the quality and longevity of a pet’s life by reducing the risk of developing serious, costly and sometimes fatal diseases, such as heartworm disease.
  • Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans can be customizable based on the needs of the individual pet, and combine physical exams, routinely recommended vaccinations and screenings, unlimited free office visits, service discounts and more into one affordable veterinary care package.

The Essential Wellness Plan is $26.95 per month, plus a one time membership fee of $42.95

The ProHeart 6 vaccine is $94.95 every 6 months. Though that only covers heartworm. Your dog will still need flea/tick protection. But I did my math. The flea/tick is $79.16, so add that to the cost of ProHeart6, and I'm looking at 174.11 every 6 months compared to $249.90 for the Trifexis! That's quite the savings!

Banfield really cares about pets, and Banfield will donate $1 per reader comment to Banfield Charitable Trust. Banfield Charitable Trust is a donor-supported non-profit whose mission it is to preserve the human animal bond by keeping pets with their families who love them. Each year, BCT helps 100,000 struggling families through seven programs ranging from life-saving emergency care to assistance with pet food or other urgent pet care needs.

Matthew's Vet and Vet Assistant, Chelsey, took GREAT care of him!


And Banfield also wants to give one of my readers a free office visit at Banfield Pet Hospital for a dog to receive a free heartworm test and free 6-months of Proheart® 6 (dogs only).

How can you win? Simply leave me a comment letting me know what type of dog you have and which Banfield Hospital is closest to you. You can use THIS MAP to find a location near you. Winner will be randomly chosen on September 5th.

Just in case you don't win,here is a link to a coupon for $10 off a 6-month injectable heartworm preventive.

You can also connect with Banfield on Twitter and Facebook.

25. August 2014 09:33
by jennifer

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

25. August 2014 09:33 by jennifer | 0 Comments

Disclosure:  My children will participate in Startup Weekend Tampa Bay through a partnership with Tampa Bay Bloggers and the Startup Weekend Tampa Bay. All opinions shared are my own.   This year my two daughters (Haley age 10, Ella age 9) will be participating in their first Startup Weekend Tampa Bay Youth. To say that they are excited would be an under statment. Both of my girls are extremely creative, in the fine arts, and in computer science. They are both busy brainstorming which of the three categories they'd most like to sign up for: 1. Creative/Design: Applies to any student with the desire for creativity and design. 2. Coding/Programming: Applies to software/engineers/coders/developers - in short, any student who can and will write code.  3. Business/Finance: Applies to business, marketing & PR, and any student with a non-technical background. Personally, I'm trying to steer them towards the creative/design, or business/finance, because they are just starting to get their feet wet with coding/programming. Their dad is a software developer (literally one of the best in the United States) but they are just so new to software development/coding that I think they'd get frustrated. And even though they love Minecraft they haven't yet ventured out into coding something for the game. What is UP Global? UP Global is a non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities. UP Global is on a mission to make the world a more innovative and prosperous place, one community at a time. We believe that entrepreneurs are critical to driving a strong global economy and a better world. We do our part by supporting the grassroots leaders who are at the core of every strong entrepreneurial community. Through the efforts of its grassroots community leaders, UP Global operates programs that foster entrepreneurship in hundreds of cities across the world. UP Global's flagship programs & initatives include Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Next, Startup Education, and Entrepreneurs Across Borders. Startup Weekend Youth Edition is specially designed for the next generation’s entrepreneurs, 5th–8th graders. If you’ve participated in a Startup Weekend in the past, this is something different, something special. We will create an atmosphere of exercises and experiences that will inspire creative ideas in young minds and help kids to learn how to move those ideas forward towards action, and in the process, collaborate with their peers. Today’s youth are full of creative ideas for how to make lives and the world a better place. This will be a place for them to take those ideas and move them towards reality. This event will also help build confidence in creating and sharing ideas for those that tend to keep them inward. They will jump in with hands on activities that help them identify a challenge to solve, learn to understand the end customer or user, work effectively with others, and in the end, build something they are proud of. This is a 3 day event, and for the low cost of $25 (total, not per day) your child will get the chance to see their idea brought to life. They'll get to work with amazing mentors. They'll learn more about themselves and what they are capable of. They'll get to work with peers and professionals. So don't delay. REGISTER HERE!! Have you ever heard of Startup Weekend??

24. August 2014 10:33
by jennifer

Things I'm loving-WIN Detergent and Harvest Snaps

24. August 2014 10:33 by jennifer | 3 Comments

I've recently been sent quite a few products to review. Some really great products!! First, WIN detergent. As an ambassador for Fit Fluential, I was sent 2 bottles of WIN Sports detergent to try out. I sweat a LOT in CrossFit. We workout without air-conditioning, so just standing still causes me to sweat. Through in some burpees, or wall balls, and I'm drenched with sweat before I know it! My workout clothing always seems to have a perma stench smell. I washed my workout clothing, and only my workout clothing with WIN. Feetures socks, Reebok shorts, and my plethora of CrossFit En Fuego tank tops were put to the test! And you know what? IT WORKED!! My clothing came out of the dryer smelling well, like NOTHING!! Please don't mind my "clean" dirty Feetures. I'm really hard on my socks. But I love WIN for more than the reason that it got out my perma-stench. The environment is VERY important to me and my family. We're big time tree-huggers. WIN GREEN meets the EPA "Designed for the Environment" standards for environmentally sustainable sourcing. It is designed to meet the Whole Foods "Yellow" standard in their Eco-Scale rating system (certification is still pending.) WIN is optimized to remove the odor-causing oils and bacteria from the synthetic fabrics used in today's sports apparel. Most detergents are optimized to get stains out of cotton fabrics. Cotton naturally repels oil, so it doesn't get the same sweaty smell as synthetics. Synthetics work so well for workout apparel because they repel (wick) water, but that means they attract oil. The buildup of that oil is what makes synthetics smell so much more than cotton. WIN is formulated specifically for synthetics, and specifically to break the bonds between the fabric and the oils from your skin. By removing the oil, we remove the source of the smell, so your gear is truly clean. PLUS, with the oil gone the fabrics can wick moisture much more efficiently.  WIN is biodegradable and septic safe. It is never tested on animals. The WIN bottle is 25% or more post-consumer recycled plastic, and is also recyclable. The bottle comes sealed with a foil seal to prevent leaking in transit. You can purchase WIN on Amazon.     Recently, I also received 6 packs of Harvest Snaps to sample and review. And let me tell you...they are OUTSTANDING!! Harvest Snaps are designed to give you some tasty flavor while delivering essential nutrients such as Vitamin B, calcium, potassium and fiber.  The two varieties, Lentil Snaps and Snapea Crisps are the brands and each brand offers different snacking options. All are gluten free, and in my honest opinion super yummy. The #TampaTrio totally devoured the Caesar Snapea Crisps! It had a mild, light flavor with a very "kid friendly" crunch. As for me...I totally devoured the Lentil Snaps Onion Thyme. I ate the entire bag for lunch. It was THAT good. And for the husband....he loved the Snapea Crisps Wasabi Ranch. He was really hoping for something a little more spicy, actually a lot more spicy. But they were still very good. And for the other 3 bags we received the black pepper, lightly salted and tomato basil were really delicious too. In fact...all 6 bags didn't last more than 24 hours in our house. Oops. I posted pictures of the snacks on Instagram and Facebook and I was surprised by the amount of friends who had already tired these and loved them! I had never heard of them. So if you are like me to track down Harvest Snaps in your neighborhood, use the zip code look up on the Harvest Snaps web page. This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.   Have you tried WIN detergent or Harvest Snaps? What products are you loving these days??