Is Pet Food Good for Your Pet?


I recently began to make some of my own dog food.  Over the years, my dogs  routinely seem to have the same problems over and over again.  One of my dogs is now 16 years old, and has got hip problems.  Since she is some kind of mix (most curiously probably a Beagle/Greyhound mix), this is mostly due to old-age.  However, all my dogs have had non-cancerous growths on them, suspected (by the Veterinarian) to be caused by the dog food they eat.  A Vet who has since been fired for not advising pet-owners to pay for expensive unnecessary shots told me that a few years ago.  While I did change the dry dog food my dogs eat, I’m afraid that the damage has been done.

Do you know what is in most dog food?  First, there are the “rendered” products.  This includes the remains of animals slaughtered for human consumption – the entire left-overs, including rotting remains that have been left out in the hot sun for days.  Also, road-kill and euthanized dogs and cats collected from animal shelters, including the flea collars, and cancerous animals who were euthanized due to various diseases.  Spoiled human-grade meats are part of this rendering process, also.


Pesticides enter this food-stream from slaughtered livestock, along with the various medications that were given to them to increase their growth and milk production.   These include large quantities of steroids and antibiotics.  Fish filled with mercury and other heavy metals found in the ocean are also included.

I’ve been feeding my dogs a mix of dry and wet vegan dog food for a while now.  However, the cost of vegan canned food was too much for my budget, so I’ve begun making them their wet food.  They also get some left-over meat from my husband who is still a meat-eater.  I’ve noticed that they are more chipper since they’ve been on this diet, and they certainly love their food.

My dog food includes the following:  sweet potatoes, red and gold potatoes, cut-up carrots, peppers, rice, lentils, squash, peas and green beans.  I peel the sweet potatoes and red/gold potatoes then cook them with the carrots until they are soft.  While they are boiling, I cook up the lentils and peel and cut the squash and cut the peppers.  After the mix of potatoes is soft, I’ll drain them and then mash them up a little.  Then, I’ll add frozen peas and/or green beans to the pot.  Usually I’ve got a good amount of left-over cooked rice and I add that along with the lentils to the pot.  I wait for the peas and beans to get warmed up and then just mix it all together.  I usually add some A-1 sauce to the mix for some flavoring.  Once it’s cooled a little, I put it in glass jars.  This will last about a week.  So, for an hour or so once a week of chopping and cooking, my dogs get food that they really love.  Just a note of caution, if you decide to try this, make sure that your ingredients are pet-safe.  A quick search will let you know if any ingredient is good or bad for dogs.



What the Heck is Mindfulness?


I keep hearing about mindfulness.  It seems to be all over the place, most especially in regard to the workplace.  According to the definitions I’ve found, mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment by moment basis.  As far as employers are concerned, mindfulness is focusing all your thoughts on the task at hand.  Sounds good, but how easy is it to simply focus on what’s in front of you?  My mind jumps around flitting from one thing to the next like a jackrabbit.


The reason I practice Yoga is that for that half-hour to an hour during my day, I turn my focus to my breath.  If I force myself to think only “breathe in breathe out”, I can empty my mind of all other thoughts and relax my body.   The only other time I can do that is when I say my affirmations to myself while lying in bed waiting for the sleep fairy to knock me out.

I understand the concept of mindfulness, and when I try it while working, the longest I can manage it is in half-hour increments.  Although, I must admit, those are the most productive half-hours I have during the day.  But the effort to reel in my busy little mind that is usually running off in a hundred different directions can be exhausting.


Does anyone else try this?  And, if you do, how is it going?  Please let me know in the comments below.

Food – Additives, Sweeteners and Coloring – Get Healthy!


     I recently read the book Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark. It made me once again think about the food we eat, and what it contains. If you haven’t heard about the book, it’s about an additive called Sweetness #9. The book talks about the problems that we are in fact having with our American health. This fiction book claims that the problem is with The Nine (as the flavor is called), however, there is a real problem in the real world concerning additives, artificial sweeteners and artificial colorings.

      At one point when my kids were young, I was afflicted with the worst out-break of allergies. I found out that I was allergic to just about everything: mold, birch trees, ragweed, cut grass, cats, dogs, and certain flowers, everything you can imagine. So, I began to take those really pretty pink pills, otherwise known as Benadryl. Before long, I was screaming at my kids over things that I wouldn’t have cared about a month before. I took to running around my front yard yelling at the top of my lungs to avoid killing the kids. When I went to the doctor I told him my issues with anger. He wasn’t surprised to hear about this behavior, since as he told me, the issue was the red dye they put in the Benadryl. I immediately began to take the clear, non-colored Benadryl and within a week I didn’t have any problems with my anger. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who has had problems with red dye, and it’s still on the market along with the other dyes that have been linked to all kinds of health problems.

      When I first became a Vegetarian, about 15 years ago, I started looking at the ingredient lists of all the foods we ate. Of course we were “safe” from meat, but there were a number of ingredients that were surprising. I had no idea that something like Worcestershire Sauce had anchovies in it. My focus at the time was to keep meat and meat products out of our diet. I really didn’t look into additives, etc. at the time. I relied upon soy crumbles and other prepared foods not realizing that they had additives that I really shouldn’t have been feeding to my family.

      I’ve since become a Vegan, and once again started looking at the list of ingredients in the processed foods, I’ve now realized that unless I want to drive 40 minutes to the “local” Whole Foods store, I’ve got to make all my food from scratch. Since I can’t really afford to go to Whole Foods, I’ve been making all my own foods, and boy, am I happy to do so. I’ve looked at the ingredients on the back of the prepared foods, and have decided I won’t be feeding this to my family. Please keep in mind that whatever you put into your mouth goes into your body. If it’s not healthy, you won’t be either. Use this link and please educate yourselves.

The Fruits of Summer



There are great things about summer. All the wonderful fruits that are available have got to be up there on the list. Peaches, plums, cherries, blueberries, etc. For breakfast on most days, I eat cut-up peaches, blueberries and sweet cherries. A few weeks ago, when they were in season, I added strawberries to the bowl, too. What great flavors and colors! Not only do they taste good, but they look fantastic, too!

   What I love about eating fruit in the morning is that it’s both good for you and it tastes good. Sometimes the things that are good for you, don’t always taste good. I love to start my day out like this!

  What do you eat for breakfast?