Sugar Gliders, The Perfect Pocket Pet

If you have been thinking about getting a great small pet that is friendly, fun and entertaining then you should consider a sugar glider! Here is some great information about these cute little critters.

Sugar Gliders are marsupials which means that the babies are born extremely immature and then grow in a pouch on the mothers abdomen until they are mature enough to survive outside her body on their own.

The adult sugar gliders size is usually around 5-6 inches long with a weight of 4-6 ounces.

Between the wrist and the ankle, sugar gliders have a fur covered membrane called a patapium. To see an example of a sugar glider in flight visit By spreading out their hands and feet the sugar gliders patapium acts like a parachute allowing the sugar glider to float through the air.

Sugar gliders have large apposable toes on their hind feet which allows them to grip branches. This assists the sugar glider while gliding from limb to limb and while climbing. Sugar gliders second and third toes form a grooming comb which they can use to groom their fur.

Sugar gliders are extremely social and enjoy companionship. Because of this fact sugar gliders usually bond well with their owners. If you do not have a lot of time to spend with your sugar glider it is a good idea to keep more than one.

If you plan on keeping more than one sugar glider it is advisable to raise them together from a young age as it can be difficult introducing unaquainted adults.

Be sure to purchase an appropriate cage for your sugar glider. It is best to get the largest cage that you can afford to give your sugar gliders plenty of room.

Before purchasing a sugar glider as a pet, be sure to research their nutritional needs. Sugar gliders have some special dietary calcium requirements that are important to follow to keep your sugar glider in optimum health.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals, so if you plan on owning a sugar glider be prepared to have a pet that is most active during the night. Sugar gliders make a chainsaw like sound, so you may want to place their cage in an area where their talking does not disturb you while you sleep.

In spite of the fact that sugar gliders are nocturnal, they are usually happy to spend time with their owners during the day by sleeping in a pocket or pouch. Many sugar glider owners find this trait particularly charming and take their little sugar glider pocket pets with them everywhere they go.

Sugar: The Real Story Behind This Modern Poison – Part 1

Today I came home and threw out the rest of the brownie I made over the weekend, the remaining packet of biscuits friends bought over last night and emptied out the bottle of lemonade still in the fridge. Earlier I went for a walk and I was thinking, why am I constantly so tired? I sleep well, I’m busy but not too busy, I have no major diseases, I’m not sick or fighting any virus, so why am I constantly tired and the thought of having an afternoon sleep is always so appealing? The answer is sugar. Sugar has slowly crept into my diet more and more as I relaxed into the holiday vibe and it is a toxin. Saying it’s a ‘toxin’ makes it almost sound innocent. Sugar is a hugely under-rated, over-used, addictive, everyday common poison in our lives and it’s slowly killing us. It is a major ingredient in all processed foods and is slowly and silently increasing in our diets and deteriorating our health.

Sugar and chemical food additives are the number 1 reason for daily fatigue in my clinic. They are so rampant in our food chain that people don’t even realise they are eating them. Sugar (in various forms) drain and leach the body of vital nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are used through the demand sugar places of the digestive system, nervous system, liver and all organs of elimination. Our bodies are designed to deal with this as a one-off occurrence, but on an everyday basis, excess sugar turns the body into an over-acid environment and more and more minerals that the body has stored for later use are being leeched out in an attempt to balance the acid problem.

Initially sugar (glucose) in the blood is sent to the liver and turned into glycogen (energy) for the liver. Once the liver’s glycogen supplies are full, it returns the sugar to the blood in the form of circulating blood fats. These fatty acids are very dangerous and are fast becoming recognised in the Western world as the number 1 contributor to heart disease/cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, insulin resistance and so on. At first the fatty acids start to accumulate in inactive areas such as the belly breasts, buttocks, hips and thighs, but once these are full, the fatty acids then move to vital organs – heart, kidneys, and so on. These organs begin to slow down and the attack on our health continues. The whole body is affected, blood cells change, our nervous system changes (meaning our mental capabilities decrease and our ability to deal with stress, pressure at work or at home is compromised), circulatory and lymphatic systems are compromised, digestive system is severely compromised and bacteria’s and yeasts harmful to the body start to grow in abundance. And then, our immunity becomes limited. The body can no longer fend off viruses like it used to, our system as a whole become under attack.

The physical symptoms of too much sugar are numerous. Sugar makes you sleepy. This is the initial symptom that many people (including myself) have fallen victim to, but recognising it is something that many people fail to do. Too-much sugar in the diet can be responsible for obesity and weight management problems, diabetes and insulin resistance, heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, multiple nutritional deficiencies (all B vitamins, chromium, magnesium, zinc, and more), hypoglycaemia and blood sugar disturbances as well as alcoholism and abnormal carbohydrate metabolism, chronic digestive problems, yeast overgrowth throughout the body (may present as vaginal or oral thrush, athletes foot and digestive problems like bloating, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea), immune dysfunction and problems such as recurrent infections, menstrual problems and/or PMS, thyroid and adrenal problems, multiple nervous system problems including hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating, slower mental function, mood swings, anxiety, depression and more.

The list of problems associated with excess sugar intake is phenomenal. To give you an indication of just how much Western society has increased in dependence and addiction to sugar since the rise and rise of fast foods, snack foods, quick packaged foods and artificial foods began in the 70’s, statistics from the US Department of Agriculture tell us that the average US adult consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugar daily and the total intake of sugar and sweeteners is now a staggering 150 pounds (68.2kg) per person per year!!!

For more information on reproductive nutrition, pre-conception healthcare and fertility for both partners, please contact medical herbalist, fertility and nutrition specialist, Kimberly Taylor at her Natural Fertility Clinic in Wellington on 04 499 1439.

A Closer Look at Sugar-Sweetened Drinks – The Bitter Truth

It is no secret that soda and other sweetened beverages contain large amounts of sugar that can lead to tooth decay and cause weight gain. What some might not know is that multiple studies reveal that sugary drinks do more harm than cause cavities or make your clothes fit tighter. Heavy consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can have a significant, negative impact on overall health. Sugar-sweetened drinks include regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and sugar-sweetened water. Sugary drinks have been linked to obesity, bone fractures and osteoporosis, kidney issues, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The following information outlines the health complications that have been linked to the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and provides tips for a healthier lifestyle.

Kids are heavy consumers of sugary drinks, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and they are drinking it at alarmingly high rates. A recent National Health and Nutrition Examination study revealed the following facts on the consumption of sugar drinks by children and teens and the results are anything but sweet:

The consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks in the United States has increased over the last 30 years in both children and adults.
Teenagers and young adults consume more sugar drinks than other age groups.
Males consume more sugar drinks than females. Among boys aged 2-19, 70% consume sugar drinks on a given day.
A full third of teenage boys drink at least three cans of soda a day.

The consumption of sugar drinks, especially among young children and teens is a serious problem in our country. Sugar-sweetened beverages are an increasingly large part of children and teens’ diets. Just one 12-ounce can of soda contains anywhere from 31 to 46 grams of sugar depending on the type of soda. 46 grams of sugar is the equivalent of eleven teaspoons of sugar! The following are some of the serious health consequences linked to the prolonged consumption of sugar-filled drinks:

Lowered Bone Mass Density and Bone Fractures in Children
Osteoporosis, or the loss of bone density, is usually thought of as a geriatric condition. But the disease may have its roots in adolescence as bone mass reaches its peak level. Since your bones reach their peak mass and strength during your 20s, the more bone mineral density (BMD) you build when you are young, the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis later in life. Decreased intake of milk and excessive consumption of sugary carbonated beverages can lower bone marrow density and increase the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Animal studies also reveal that phosphorus, a common ingredient in soda, can deplete bones of calcium.

In addition, studies have found that consuming soft drinks is associated with an increased risk of bone fractures in school-age girls. In one of the studies, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers found that 14-year-old girls who drank the most cola were 3.6 times more likely to have bone fractures than those who drank the least.

Weight Gain
Sugary drinks are the main source of added sugar in the daily diet of children. Consuming these beverages increases the intake of calories – a factor potentially contributing to obesity among youth nationwide. Between 1977 and 2001 Americans’ daily calorie consumption increased by 250-300 calories, nearly half of which (43%) came from sugary drinks alone. Being overweight is now the most common medical condition of childhood. Nearly 1 of every 3 children is at risk of being overweight. Complications of obesity include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and many other health and social problems.

Erosion of Teeth Enamel and Stomach Lining
Excessive consumption of sugary carbonated beverages increases the risk of dental problems, especially in children. The phosphoric acid in carbonated soda can interfere with calcium absorption and weaken teeth. The acid strips teeth of enamel, leaving them brittle. Once enamel breaks down, bacteria can invade and cause decay. The acids in soda are also known to exacerbate gastroesophageal reflux disease and ulcers. Phosphoric acid from these drinks neutralizes the hydrochloric acid in your stomach and destroys the capacity of the body to absorb essential elements like iron, calcium and magnesium. Damaged stomach function can result in indigestion, bloating and worsening of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and several other stomach problems.

Kidney Stones
The high level of phosphoric acid in sodas has been known to change the urine in a way that promotes kidney stone formation and other renal problems.

Heart Disease
The latest research out of Harvard School of Public Health finds evidence of a link between sugary drink consumption and heart disease. The study found that those who drank more than two servings of a sugary beverage each day had a nearly 40% higher risk of heart disease than those who rarely drank sugary beverages. Drinking more than one soft drink a day is associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms such as elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol.

How to break your habit and what to drink in place of sugary drinks

The best way to counteract the negative effects of sugary drinks is to eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from your diet. Water, of course, is the best beverage option. But for some, plain water is just too plain and kicking the habit overnight may be unrealistic. Start by reducing the number of sugary drinks you have per day until you eliminate them completely.

Try drinking some of the following beverages for a tasty alternative:

Add slices of your favorite fruits and vegetables – lemons, oranges, cucumber, mint, or limes to a pitcher of ice-cold water for a refreshing and flavorful drink.
Add a splash of 100% fruit juice to sodium-free seltzer water – mix one part 100% cranberry or pomegranate juice with three parts seltzer.
Add a few slices of lime or lemon to tonic water.
Drink iced herbal teas or green tea – green tea is naturally high in antioxidants. If you like your teas sweetened, add a bit of honey.
Skim milk: a low fat alternative that is high in calcium.

Create the health you deserve by nourishing your body with healthy foods and eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages from your diet. Creating a healthy life is more than just eating and drinking right, however. It is about treating the whole person – mind, body, spirit and energy. Create a healthy and balanced mind and body by utilizing one of the many wellness treatments offered at Fairfield County Integrative Family Medicine and Healing Therapies: yoga, massage, reiki/healing touch therapy, acupuncture, guided imagery, reflexology and manual lymphatic drainage. We believe in giving our patients the opportunity to find healing in any one of our integrative wellness therapies, which are designed to heal and soothe the body, spirit and mind.