The Flourishing Experiment

Veterinarian and author Dr. Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT, talks about why all dog breeds may make good running partners, the proper way to run away from a dog if you think he or she is about to attack, the importance of vaccinations, and Lyme disease. Serena Marie, RD, shares some of her favorite unique vegan/vegetarian protein options.

Featured Guest and Runner of the Week: Dr. Ernie Ward

North Carolinian, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, Dr. Ernie Ward, (who also happens to be an Ironman, certified personal coach, surfer, and fantastic dad and husband) stops by to talk about best dog running breed qualities, how to start running with your dog, and more.

  • He wrote Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter -A Vet's Plan to Save Their Lives.
  • He gives dog owners tips on how to run with their dogs:
    • #1: It has to be the dog’s idea. The dog’s personality and lifestyle have to match that of a runner.
      • Just because a breed is predisposed to running well, doesn’t mean each individual dog will be an amazing runner.
      • He’s seen beagles who can outrun greyhounds by leaps and bounds. He’s seen whippets that can hold their own against labradors.
      • Short, stubby dogs might not be well suited for all climates or conditions, but don’t let the breed be the persuading factor in choosing a canine running companion.
    • #2: Start out slow and easy. Even people try to do too much too fast (which can lead to injury), so the same concept applies to our doggie friends.
      • If you and your dog haven’t been running together, start out with a short run around the block of a quarter mile. Then gradually let your dog work their way up in mileage.
      • He has treated dogs for overuse injuries, so be aware that that could be an issue.
    • #3: Evaluate your gear. Develop a system that works for you and your dog. Consider using the following:
      • A handheld, short, four-to-five-foot leash (don’t use retractable leashes for running—think “lanyard of death”)
      • A running belt attachment
      • Collapsable water bowl for longer runs—account for your dog’s ability to stay hydrated and take a rest break every thirty minutes (dogs don’t perspire like we do)
    • He believes that all dogs have the potential to make great running partners.
    • For both runners and cyclists, sometimes dogs may appear ferocious or like they’re about to attack. In these instances, Dr. Ernie gives the following advice:
      • Steer clear, and avoid the situation. Do not approach dogs. Move to the opposite side of the road or trail.
      • Most often dogs react out of a fear response. Forward-posturing behaviors (elevated stature, erect ears or tails, hypervigilant posture) signal fear.
      • Don’t try to run away. If you do, try to seek protection like a nearby house or a car if possible.
      • Stand still, be like a tree, and avoid eye contact. Most dogs will rapidly approach you and then stop inches away from you.
      • If the dog tries to bite you, focus on getting out of the situation and causing as little harm as possible to the animal and yourself.
      • Some people try to strike the dog if it’s biting, and he suggests not doing so.
      • Ninety percent of all potential harmful situations are avoidable in his opinion.
    • What if you’re running with your dog, and you’re approached by another oncoming dog?
      • Optimism bias: This is a mindset that says, “My dog is a nice dog and likes other dogs. Therefore, all other dogs like my dog.”
      • Try to remain as calm as possible, and try not to provoke the dog. Put as much distance between you and the dog as possible.
      • Keep your dog restrained.
    • If you’re running near swamp lands, alligators, like most reptiles are very docile. They’re not looking for a fight.
    • Accessibility: If you have access to calorically dense foods, you’ll be more apt to overeat. If you have access to safe trails or sidewalks or a nearby gym, you’re more likely to exercise.
    • The same thing applies to our pets—do you have access to safe areas to exercise like a dog park?
    • Ernie is passionate about vaccinations and end-of-life care for pets. There’s been an ongoing debate in pediatric and veterinarian circles about how many vaccines are absolutely necessary. There’s a concern in cats with a devastating form of cancer that is believed to be related to the rabies vaccine. This led Dr. Ernie to question the old adage of vaccinating every year for everything.
    • He suggests making sure that your cat is only getting the distemper vaccine every three years.
    • Ernie mentions Leptospirosis, which is a disease that raccoons, deer, and rats carry. It causes kidney failure, and your dog can give it to you. There is a vaccine that has to be administered once a year.
    • When you visit your vet, ask these three important questions: What are we here for? Is that necessary? Why is that necessary?
    • Lyme disease is more of a threat for humans than pets. If you’re trail running, protect yourself against ticks (especially deer ticks). For dogs, there are vaccines out there. Ask your vet to explain each type of vaccine on the market.
    • If you have a dog, this year will be terrible for fleas and ticks. If your dog is a reservoir for ticks, and those ticks detach in your home and make their way onto you, they can transmit Lyme disease. There are newer preventatives out there that will last more than a month at a time.
    • Kari asks about hypoallergenic dogs and allergies. He says there’s really no hypoallergenic dogs. Dogs shed hair and skin cells, so until we have a dog that doesn’t shed those, there will always be some type of issue for folks with allergies to dogs. There are dogs that are less likely to cause allergic reactions, such as Havanese.
    • Allergy shots are a series of injections (weekly, then bi-weekly, then every two to three months or so) that work for some people (about 50–60 percent of the time), but it’s not a great solution.
    • He founded the Association for Pet Obesity Awareness, because he saw in his clinic an alarming rate of overweight dogs and cats. About 54 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats are classified as obese.
    • Type II diabetes and osteoarthritis are both highly influenced by your pet’s weight.
    • Find out why Dr. Ernie will never encourage anyone to do an Ironman!
    • He’s found through experience that in his 20s, he focused on building strength, in his 30s, he began to develop endurance, in his 40s, he pushed for ultra endurance, and in his 50s, his focus is on developing a strong core (long-distance ocean paddling) and enhancing flexibility (like yoga). In his 60s, he’ll start to dial things back to focus mostly on yoga and pilates.
    • He discusses the telltale signs of overuse injuries in dogs. If you’re on a run, look for sudden shifts in pace, belabored panting/breathing, limping, or refusal to continue to run.
    • Dogs recovery considerably faster than humans, due to muscle mass and they’re more adaptive to cellular injury and repair than humans.
    • Kari asks if bearded dragons are really the dogs of the reptile family. (The Big Kahuna has a bearded dragon as a class pet.) Sometimes their environments can get too hot or too cold.
    • Ernie’s three web sites include the following:

Do you have a question that you’d like answered on air? Run on over to, and select the Send Voicemail blue button on the right-hand side of the home page.

Final announcement The Delaware Marathon Festival in Wilmington, DE, will be held on Saturday, May 7 (5K and kids race) along with a TRLS meetup at noon EST on Saturday, May 7 at the Riverfront Market in the upstairs section. On Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8), the marathon, half marathon, and the relay races will take place. Kari will be the relay race finish line announcer. Go to the Contact tab of the TRL site to let Kari know that you’ll be at the meetup!

There is a full review of the Side Stitchy by Ginny page on the TRLS site! You can get a Side Stitch by Ginny headband with the TRLS logo on it too!

Head over to, because you’ll get an exclusive invitation to something super big and exciting that Kari is launching soon!

Serena Marie, RD
Serena Marie, RD, answers listeners’ questions about building muscle by using vegan or vegetarian protein sources.

  • Even if you are a meat eater, it’s always nice to have variety in your diet!
  • Serena shares some unique ideas, such as the following:
    • Powdered peanut butter like PB2: Because the manufacturers have removed the fat from it, it’s now a food where most of the calories are coming from protein instead of fat. While peanuts are a healthy source of fat, if you’re someone who doesn’t have a problem getting enough fat but do have a tough time getting enough protein, this could be a good option for you. Warning: It has added sugar, so consider the Jiff powdered peanut butter. Add it to smoothies, oatmeal, desserts, cottage cheese, and so on.
    • Hemp seeds: Most of the calories come from fat, but for 3 TBSP, you get 11 grams of protein. It has all nine of the essential amino acids (the amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own). Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. You need to eat them in order to get them into your body, and your body needs these amino acids. They work almost like a puzzle to fit together and build protein.
    • Edamame: Add this to stir-frys with rice, quinoa, or with vegetables. Most of the calories are from protein and fat. One cup has about 17 grams of protein. It also has the essential amino acids. Buy organic if you can so that it’s not genetically modified. Add some salt if you're looking for a salty snack.
    • Seitan: This is a gluten-containing source of protein. In terms of alternatives to meats like tofu and tempeh, seitan is by far the highest in protein and lowest in fat and carbohydrates. Three ounces of seitan has 18 grams of protein. You can make gluten-free versions using buckwheat.
  • After a hard workout or run, you want to ideally eat 20–30 grams of protein, and these four options are something new or different to try!
  • Kari asks how often Serena likes to eat soy personally. If you’re eating it from a whole-food source, you can’t consume so much phytoestrogen (a molecule that mimics estrogen) to cause hormonal disruptions or damage. If you’re consuming it in a processed form (soy milk, soy protein bars, soy nuggets), the protein, fat, and fiber are stripped, and you’re apt to consume more of it. In that case, she recommends staying away from it, because your body can’t regulate the amount of phytoestrogen you’re being exposed to.
  • Kari mentions that soba noodles are very expensive and asks listeners if they know why.
  • Kari also talks about sundaes that she makes that include defrosted strawberries and blueberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sometimes some Navitas cacao or coconut, and she thinks that might be another good alternative as a yummy protein source.
  • Serena answers why omega-6s aren’t the greatest. The body needs a balance of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3s are the anti-inflammatory fats, and omega-6s are the pro-inflammatory fats. We need to go out of our way to eat omega-3-rich foods. Examples include tuna, salmon, seaweed or kelp, anchovies, nuts (macadamia and walnuts), grass-fed, fatty meat, and grass-fed pastured yogurt or butter..

Gratitude Jar (Woot! Woot!)

This week, Kari is grateful for the opportunity for the first time to eat a grass-fed burger at a restaurant called Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. She’s also grateful for Siggi’s 4% yogurt.

Serena is grateful for experiencing her first Passover. She made some great memories with her friend Jane’s family and got to try gefilte fish. She also found the hidden afikoman, which is is a half-piece of matzo which is broken in two during the early stages of the Passover Seder and set aside to be eaten as a dessert after the meal.

Kari announces the three upcoming books for the TRL Book Club!

May 2016
The Champion’s Comeback: How Great Athletes Recover, Reflect, and Reignite by Jim Afremow, PhD

June 2016
Super Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live a Richer and Happier Life through Transcendental Meditation by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD

July 2016
Runners of North America, A Definitive Guide to the Species by Mark Remy

Kari was recently featured on the Marathon Training Academy podcast in an episode called “Running a Marathon for Charity—Interview with Kari Gormley.” She was also on a podcast called Faster Than Normal in an episode titled “ADHD Runner, Podcaster, Wife and Mom, Kari Gormley.”

Finally, Kari was featured on Swedish National Television talking about the presidential primaries in Delaware.

Next week, Kari is thrilled to have Dr. Elena Fried on the show. She specializes in Lyme disease, busts some Lyme disease myths, and discusses what we can do to prevent it.


Ernie Ward:
Facebook: /DrErnieWard
Twitter: @DrErnieWard
YouTube: /DrErnieWard
Instagram: @drernieward

Serena Marie, RD:
Facebook: /SerenaMarieRD
Twitter: @SerenaMarieRD
Instagram: SerenaMarieRD

Kari Gormley:
final unedited 2 (1 of 1)
Facebook: The Running Lifestyle Show
Twitter: @KariGormley
Instagram: @KariGormley

Direct download: ernie-ward-05-05-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT