SMOOTHIES!!!

Berry smoothie for dogs

You too can make your HOL dog a smoothie that he will LOVE.

Basically, any fruit will do, and the recipe is largely the same except for the fruit. You could drink it yourself, except that the Answers raw, fermented goats milk I use in all of them is not for human consumption b/c it’s not pasteurized. So, here’s you some options to get you started. All recipes are for a 50lb dog. Adjust according to your dog’s size.

SMOOTH AWAY!

Straw-Monkey

  • 1 whole banana, peeled (duh) and broken into pieces
  • 5 strawberries, topped
  • 1 kiwi, peeled
  • small bunch of fresh mint leaves without the stems
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Berry Blitz

  • 2 oz Blueberries
  • 2 oz Raspberries
  • 2 oz Strawberries
  • small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Orange Crush

  • 3-4 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric or cinnamon
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Green Goblin

  • 1 small avocado, pitted and peeled
  • small bunch of mint and basil, stems removed
  • 1 tsp dried kelp
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8oz.

I make an 8oz smoothie every morning and divide it between Pearl and Truman. That is their breakfast. They get their meat meal at night.

The goats milk provides them with protein, as well as probiotics to start their day. The cinnamon or turmeric act as natural anti-inflammatories, as well as digestive aids (among other things–enough to fill their own blog post). The garlic is for flea & tick avoidance. Such a small amount should not bother your dog, but some dogs may be hyper-sensitive to garlic. So try a little and see how your dog reacts. If he doesn’t have a reaction, go with it. If he does, please use your brain and quit giving it to him. The raw, local honey is an antimicrobial, contains wonderful phytonutrients, and helps keep seasonal allergies in check.

Give them a try! Simple as pie!

pugs & kisses,

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Where’s that little green vomit emoji when you need it?

Bet you thought I quit again. Nope! Just been super busy.

Raw Roundup 2015 has changed us. My biggest take-away so far comes from noted Australian veterinary surgeon, Dr. Ian Billinghurst who coined the term BARF.

BARF isn’t just a verb in all caps. It isn’t even merely an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It’s an also the adjective that describes what the food we should be feeding our dogs is supposed to look like… at least when it comes to fruits and vegetables.

Gross, right?

(not as gross as a raw cow liver, or the dried cow trachea I touched by accident yesterday).

On the “biologically appropriate” point, Dr. B discussed the evolution of dogs, and kept coming back to the point that if you have a question about whether a dog should eat something, ask yourself whether the dog evolved eating it. When you ask that question about cooked grains and processed, complex carbohydrates, the answer will be ‘no’ every time.

Dogs may eventually evolve to adequately digest these things, but they’ve only been around a couple of hundred years, which is not enough time for dogs to have successfully evolved to derive nuritional benefit from them. Some pet food manufacturers and even veterinarians assert that dogs can not only digest cooked grains, but live long, healthy lives on a diet that consists mostly of them (cooked grains are cheap, yo). (Insert lecture about the power of the almighty dollar here). But they cannot dispute, because the facts are irrefutable, that a dog’s physiology is not genetically equipped to properly digest and absorb complex carbohydrates and cooked grains. (Note: “Breed-appropriate” is a marketing ploy. Don’t fall for it. There is no biological distinction in the dietary requirements of a Great Dane and a Chihuahua).

A dog’s digestive tract is much, much shorter than an herbivore’s. For example, cows have 4 stomachs to digest the grasses and grains they are designed to cosume. Dogs don’t have true molars (look in your dog’s mouth. Does he have flat teeth? No.) or the tendecy to grind up their food in their mouths before swallowing.

I’ve made this point before when discussing the need to cook some vegetables I feed to Pearl & Truman. But it still didn’t occur to me that the cell structure of all plants, with that rigid cell wall surrounding each individual cell, is just as present in a banana as it is in a potato, despite the softness of the fruit and the fact that it is edible raw.

Dr. B says we must “pulverize” any fruit or vegetable to break down that cellulose for fruits and vegetables to have any positive nutritional benefit for the dog. Chopping into chuncks may satisfy the need to chomp something, but it’s not doing much nutritionally. But when an ancestral dog killed a prey animal that was an herbivore (as most are), and consumed its stomach contents, the grasses, fruits and other vegetation were partially digested. The prey animal had broken the cell wall of the plant material, which left it absorbable for the canine carnivore. Makes total sense.

Ergo, BARF

My eyes were opened.

I’ve been cutting fruit for breakfast for months. The Pugs love it, and they seem to be thriving. But in the past 3 weeks since the Roundup, I’ve been ”pulverizing” and it’s made a difference.

1st, the poops are even more dense & almost totally stink-free. And the dogs create less poop! There’s less waste because the nutrients are being absorbed and used.

Total bonus. Less to pick up at the park.

Dr. B says you can use a blender, macerator, or juicer. Drink the juice yourself, and give your dogs the ground up pulp. I have a juicer, but it is a big ol’ pain in the butt to use, and extremely difficult to clean. (Thanks anyway, Jack LaLane.)

I also have a big fancy blender that is also a hassle to clean, especially for such a small amount of fruit.

So, I found an individual-serving blender at my trusty neighborhood Target for the low, low price of $19.99, and we are in business, baby!

Now, every day I make SMOOTHIES!! Faster and simpler than chopping so much fruit first thing in the morning.

Not getting any complaints either.

recipes in the next post.

pugs & kisses!

Time to Plant those Herbs!

After we finished laying the ground work for fame and glory on Saturday at Railroad Park, I decided it was time to plant an herb garden.

I’ve been talking about it for months. I don’t really know what I’m doing, though.

It is surprisingly difficult to get good quality, fresh, pesticide-free herbs in the grocery store.

I know you’re shocked. Try to calm down.

I’ve become quite fascinated with the healing power of herbs, my favorite being Basil.

I’ve tried all during the winter months to grow Basil in a glass on my kitchen counter, and I have failed again and again. It’s been quite discouraging.

But now that the weather has begun to warm, and Spring has officially sprung here in the ‘Ham, I decided to dig in the dirt.

It was therapeutic.

I have a window box on the front of my house that should be a perfect spot. Direct sun in the mornings, and protected from extreme heat by tall pines.

…But then I read on each little plastic spear that they all need FULL SUN…

Womp Womp!

I may have wasted my money. We’ll just have to see.

Here’s a poor shot of the fledgling collection of sage, arugula, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, peppermint and spearmint.

It was dark and about to pour rain by the time I finished. Here's hoping they don't die! Fingers crossed!
It was dark and about to pour rain by the time I finished. Here’s hoping they don’t die! Fingers crossed!

IF they grow, (and that’s a big IF) I’ll have my own stash that I know is grown organically, away from highway fumes, and without chemical pesticides. Perfect for incorporating into our diets. Perfect for use in herbal healing home remedies.

I’m so excited!

pugs & kisses,

HOLy Basil

I was going to title this post “HOLy Basil, Batman!”, but somebody beat me to it. Oh, well.

Basil is worshipped in some cultures. They even call it HOLy. Because it’s a blooming miracle plant, that’s why!

It contains vitamins K, C, and A, and trace amounts of iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.

Whoopty-do. Lots of plants have vitamins & minerals.

But more than that, basil has been studied (like for real scientific studies) for its positive effects on bacteria, respiratory ailments, blood sugar levels, and the digestive tract. It has a low glycemic index, and is an antioxidant (reduces free radicals). There’s a gajillion articles on how awesome it is. Just fire up the Google, and you’ll see.

I’ve been making a medicinal tea with basil since the weather turned cold, and it is delicious.

Liquid. Gold.

Just bring a pot of water (2-4 cups) to a boil, remove it from heat, and add a 3-4 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves, cover and let it steep.

That’s it. Simple.

I let mine sit overnight so it’s good and strong. I keep it in a glass jar with a tight lid in the fridge.

Recently, I bought some dried peppermint, and I added it to my decoction in a steel mesh tea ball. It brings a refreshing note to the taste, but really, you’ll be surprised at how delightful the basil is all by itself. Drink it warm with a teaspoon of raw honey, and you are golden. (You will feel golden. You will feel like a Buddhist monk on a Tibetan hillside. Gong optional). It will soothe your spirit and calm your nerves. I love to drink it before bedtime.

It finally dawned on me that I needed to be sharing this gift of the gods with my dogs. Duh. In fact, Truman about knocked my mug from my hands to get at it. So, I added it to the breakfast rotation.

Simply pour it over whatever is in the bowl. I have also begun to mince a couple of basil leaves to sprinkle atop their morning meal, and both dogs are coo-coo for it. (Truman more than Pearl. She’s got more of a sweet tooth, but she still enjoys it).

I keep a basil plant in my kitchen in a glass of water, and it keeps us supplied.

Trust me. Ancient cultures were more selective in their choice of objects of worship than our modern-American, Kardashian-infused culture is. They didn’t waste their reverence on b*llsh*t like we do. (I’m just guessing. I like to think they were too busy to fool with nonsense. I could be wrong). But this could change your world.

pugs & kisses,