Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Doggie Day: Consistency

There are many lessons I have learned from being a Mommy to two dogs. Two dogs who are, very hyper, active, stubborn, dominate, do not like to listen, sound like any kids you have, but love their Mom more than anything.

I know my Mom has always told me one of the keys to raising well behaved children, is consistency. Until having Mungo and Otto, I did not realize just how important this is with dogs as well. In many ways dogs are similar to children and consistency is one them.

Dogs now when you are not being consistent. When you do not mean what you are telling them to do, they have some innate abilities that make us crazy. I think sometimes, they know more about us than we know about ourselves. Consistency is very key.

This can be very hard some days, when I have told them no for the 20th time, which they know I do not mean it so they will not stop, when I am frazzled, upset or not in a good frame of mind. They now this and will play on it. I have to remind myself, I have to stay on top of their behaviors, especially with the breeds an their personalities. If I do not, they are not going to be good dogs. I also have to look inside myself and ask what I am doing wrong for why they are not listening. Then I have to be consistent in my training.

If I tell them no and discipline this time, but not the next, the dog will also be confused as to what he is to do or not do. Right up front you have to decided what you are going to allow them to do and not do. Can they be on the furniture, do they sleep in bed or in a kennel, can they be around the table at dinner time or do they need to be in a down stay. When they do something, you have to decide right then and there, is this behavior acceptable? If it is not, then it needs to be nipped in the bud right then and there and every time they do this behavior. Most of the time, if you correct the first time and another one or two times, they will stop.

If you have an older dog that you adopted or even your own dog who is older, and has behaviors you do not like, getting into the trash can, putting paws on the counter, whatever it is, you will have to work more consistently with them, for longer periods of time and depending on what it is, not leaving them alone unsupervised. If you are gone, they are in a kennel or where ever it is so they can not do this behavior with out you there. Strive to take the temptation away from them. Do not leave things on the counter until they are well trained. You can get there even with an older dog, they can be taught new tricks.

If you are consistent, they will learn and stop. If you are not consistent, they will run your house. Dogs like order and discipline, it makes them feel safe, they know what they can and not do, they are less destructive. In the wild, if a dog is out of line, he could potentially put the whole pack in danger. Therefore, consistent disciple is always given for the order and safety of the pack. Your pack is no different. You are giving the dog what he is seeking any way, knowing his place in the pack and how he is to behave. If you give your dog consistency, you will be loving them and they will be a much better companion dog who you love to have around.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many graces be showered upon you,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Recipe: Hiding Highly Nutritious Food

Obviously not a real recipe! But, have you ever thought, I want to get more real, nutritious food into my family, but I do not know how to mask it so they do not know it is there? I know I have asked myself this question. Even though we do not have kids and the dogs will eat about anything, I have to ask it for my Hublet. Do not tell him my secrets, I could end up in trouble!

Once your taste buds have changed as you begin eating more real, whole foods, this can become less of a problem, but there are still some things that you and your family might not like, but know you should be eating. Here are some of the ways I have been incorporating them into our way of eating.

One of the healthiest foods on the planet, is organ meat.  I know what you are already thinking, NO THEY ARE NOT!!!!!! They have told us organs are very bad, full of cholesterol and saturated fat. If you follow my blog or do any back reading, you will remember that I do not believe this lie, cholesterol and saturated fat are both very healthy for us. If you do any research into how we used to eat, great places to begin are: Weston Price Foundation and Mark's Daily Apple,  you will begin to understand that organs and fat were the most highly prized foods. They would through the lean meat to the dogs and eat the fat and organs themselves, very different from today. These people did not have the diseases we have today, so they must have known something about real health. Because most of us have not grown up eating organ meats, we do not like the taste, texture, smell or thought of eating organs. However, masking them, is very easily done!
This is what I do.
Grind liver in my meat grinder and mix it right into ground beef. Anytime I make something with ground beef, I put liver right into it and you would never know it is there. Hublet has eaten hamburgers many times in the last few weeks with liver, not knowingly, and said they were very tasty. Once the meat is seasoned and mixed with other ingredients, it taste like hamburger. This can be done with any organ meat. Try a verity of different organs, they all have something different and healthy to offer.
From watching Iron Chief America and Chopped I have picked up a few ideas to try as well. One of them is when making bone broth, stick organs right into the broth and let it simmer along side the bones. Then you can eat the organ, or give it your dogs. Mouses, patatas, sausages, brawts and many other dishes traditionally have organ in them. I truly believe some of them were created so people would eat these highly nutritious pieces of meat. Try some that have been prepared with the organs and I am sure you would not even know you were eating organ.

For veggies
I think this is one of the easier ones personally, but still might be difficult for some. Here a few things I do.
When making my protein pancakes, I put in pumpkin or the like in them. This makes them very moist. I have Swiss chard that has grown out of control in my garden, so I will cut it, blanch it and then put it into the blender when mixing my pancake batter. About the only way you know there is Swiss chard, is the green dots you find. All the nutrition, without the taste. In a batter, you can out any fruit or vegetable in it. Fro sweet things, apples and pears, bananas, berries can all work well. Most vegetables are good in either sweet or savory dishes, try different ones and varying amounts to figure out what works for you.
Use veggies or fruit as the boat for a meal. Meaning, something stuffed like, zucchini, apples, potatoes, peppers, anything will work. This way, it is playful and fun, which could entice some to try these veggies or fruit.
When cooking a sauce, put in extra veggies, like zucchini, carrots, kale, spinach, collards, chard, any veggies. Once the sauce has cooked, blend all of these vegetables and put back into the sauce. Instead of seeing big chunks of vegetables, they are purred and look more like spices. Their flavor will also be more mild due to being purred as well. Be creative and try different ways of using vegetables, just like the organs.

Some odds and ends.
When I made a healthy dessert the other day, to thicken it, I used freshly ground chia seeds. The seeds are amazing and work wonders as a thickening agent while adding tremendous nutritional benefits. Instead of using other thickening agents, try chia seeds. You do not need a lot, they are supper absorbent. These seeds as well as flax seeds can also be ground and put into homemade desserts and breads. Vegetables can also be put into desserts, especially when there is chocolate, the dark color will hide the color of the veggies. If you drink coffee, put cinnamon in your coffee grounds. I have also heard rosemary is good as well and pumpkin spices are supper tasty. Many of these spices, cinnamon especially, will help take out some of the bitterness of the coffee as well as adding health benefits. Be sure to cook with many spices and seasonings. They add flavor and nutrition beyond imagination.

I hope you can see, it is really not all that difficult to add different foods to meals to take them over the top for nutritional value, you just have to be a little creative.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessings upon you,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Doggy Day: Stimulating Dog Brain

A good friend of mine asked me to do this post, so here you go!

Dogs are EXTREMELY intelligent, maybe we should have them as our security. Need an example, Otto was at the park playing with his doggy friend several days ago. I was tossing a ball for him, which he loves, he is a ball dog. About anything else can be going on around him and he will ignore it because he is hunting his ball, he is crazy about it. So, after I threw the ball and he went and retrieved it, his friend came over to take it from him. Otto put it down, ran to another spot like he was "looking" for the ball. Once his friend was convinced he was still "looking" for it, he ran back over to his ball, picked it up and brought it to me. I laughed so hard! His friend was still looking for it while Otto fetched several times. We finally had to call his friend so she would stop looking for the ball that was not there. That is my Otto!

Because dogs are so smart, we need to stimulate their minds, not just give them exercise to stay healthy. Having them use their minds will also help them be more calm, it takes a lot of energy to think. Here are a few things I do use for Mungo and Otto.

*Long walks with them having to listen and watch Mom, it is so hard sometimes when another dog is barking or someone else is there. Good training and mind usage. Mom has had to become a better Mom because of this.
*Having Otto hunt his ball at the park. This can be tricky. I have to through the ball without him paying attention so he does not know where it it. I do manage this sometimes. This is one of the best mind stimulating games as well as using up some of his energy. The days when he hunts the most and runs the longest, he is the most calm. If your dog has a good ball and retrieve drive,  I cannot recommend this enough. Mungo likes to hunt as well, he found a mouse in our garage and trapped for us.
*Playing tug aware. You do need to be careful with this one. Dogs play this game for dominance. Be sure you initiate the play, you win and you say when the play session is over. Both of mine love this game. I have a hard time playing with Otto, when I need a good workout this is what I do. We also have a plastic sled for snow that Hublet brought into the house. We will sit on it and allow Otto to pull us across the flour. It is so much fun! A great workout for Otto and he really has to think and use his noggin. Mungo plays along as well. It is great family fun time.
*Chewing. Dogs love to chew! I am sure most dog owners can give many examples of their beloved dog chewing something of value. If they do not have a chew toy, they will find their own, just like their own entertainment. If you do not have something for them, they will find it, this is what we do not like. Have plenty of chew toys and bones for them. Have one for different times. When you leave, they have a special toy with treats that they have to figure out how to get out and then can chew the toy. Once you come home, the toy is put away. This will also help create routine and something special when you are gone. Raw meaty bones are awesome. They can chew, entertain themselves and get really good nutritional benefits from the bone and marrow. Chewing is also a great stress reliever for dogs.
*Teaching them a new trick.
*Hiding toys or food for them to find. This can be done in many ways and for several things. When you are gone, having toys and treats hidden for them to find, is entertainment. It keeps them stimulated, using their minds and less of your house is destroyed. This can be used for fooding time. If you feed kibble, hide food piles throughout the house or yard. They have to think and this slows down their eating. You can hide raw food outside. Food can be hidden in toys. Mungo loves when I put his food in a kong type toy and freeze it. He is entertained for some time getting all the food out and then playing with the toy. One of the best things I have done for Mungo, Otto is not sure about this.
*Training. Training your dog to be obedient and follow your commands. This takes a lot of brain power. Making them lie down in a down stay where you tell them to and for as long as you tell them, for example.  Works wonders for cleaning your house! Whatever it is you want your dog to do, train him.

There are always new toys and tips I do receive from the online trainer I receive info from. His web page is: I cannot highly recommend Adam enough. If you are having dog problems, he is the man to go to. He did have a toy the other day for his new puppy that I want to try and find. It is a large ball you put sand or water into and then they can role it around and play.

Be creative with your dog. You do not have to go out and spend lots of money on toys and such. Make things up, use your mind as well. What are your dogs interests and build from there for toys and entertainment. This will make you both happier and more creative.

A side note, if you are going to be gone for the day, try and exercise your dog before you leave. I know this is not possible for everyone, but try if you can. Great time to get in your exercise in as well. Take your dog(s) for a walk, work on on some training, a combination for maximum benefits. Then feed. In the wild this is what they do, run, hunt, catch prey, eat prey and other food and then rest and sleep. If you can reenact this for them, they will be more calm throughout the day and less likely to be destructive. When you come home, make sure they get some exercise and stimulation. I do this for Mungo and Otto and they are so much happier and better behaved when I am gone, but also when I am home.

Above all, have fun with your dog. Get out and exercise and play together. Be creative in their toys, create a routine for them, stimulate their minds and they will love you unconditionally.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday Doggie Days: Ear Care

I have a Weimaraner!!! Which I am sure you already know, if not, consider yourself informed. For those of you who do not know me,  know you might understand just how crazy I am. Great dogs! I also have a Scottish Terrier, explains everything.

One of the things you have to watch out for in a floppy eared dog, is ear problems. You can also have some ear problems in dogs without the floppy ears, like Scotties, mine growing up did. Usually this is due to a yeast overgrowth. Or after bathing them, not drying out their ears. But for floppy ears, this is another story. Due to their ear being down over the opening of the ear, moisture can be trapped in the ear itself. Of course, a warm, dark place with  moisture is the perfect breading ground of bacteria as well as yeast.

How to prevent problems.
One of the best things is always prevention. Prevention is the key is pretty much everything. Prevention is the best policy. I have said it enough.

Steps to take to help prevent problems for you floppy eared doggies. Nutrition is one of the biggest key factors, just like for humans. If you have a healthy immune system, you are going to be able to ward off illness and be able to better fight it off infections and viruses. This is very important for dogs in all areas of their lives as well. Good nutrition will go a long to help your dog, or any animal, have a long happy life. Good nutrition will also help the body keep yeast in check. A yeast over growth is horrible for dogs and no fun. By keeping their diets clean and healthy for them, eating what they should, and giving them good bacteria is a perfect remedy for long healthy lives.

Keeping their ears dry. I know this can be a challenge for many. If your dog loves the water, this could be a daily task of drying. If you live in a humid climate, you will need to dry them daily as well.  When moisture is present, and the warmth from the dogs ear, everything will grow very quickly. Today your dog's ear(s) will be fine, tomorrow an infection and then they do not want you to touch their ears and can become very sick. The best way to dry their ears is to stick cotton balls into the ears. Do not stick it down as far as you can, you can hurt their ear drum. I normally try and stick it in to where the ear begins to narrow for going into the ear canal. Allow the cotton ball to sit for a few seconds, if the dog allows you, and then pull it out. If there is any discoloration on the cotton ball, then there is something going on, more on this in a minute. Repeat this process as often as you need too, it could be daily, it could be weekly, I would suggest at least weekly.

If there is discoloration, an odor, discharge coming from the ear, there is probably an infection or a yest over growth happening. The first thing I would do is, call your veterinary and ask them what you should do. I am not a vet or a vet tech, nothing. Do NOT listen to me, talk with your vet.

Begin feeding a raw diet and giving good bacteria to help the animals body heal.
Next, a more aggressive cleaning of the ear is going to need to happen. I mix a solution together that I received from a holistic health vet.

Ear cleaning solution:
Mix equal parts of:
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix these both together well and store in a container.

Once this is mixed, I place a cotton ball that has been broken in half into the solution. Squeeze the cotton balls so they are not saturated, but still have some of the mixture in them. If you have it, put a drop or two of oregano oil on the ball as well. Oregano oil is the gran-daddy of them all for killing bacteria, viruses and yeast. Do not put the oil directly into the ear, make sure it is diluted, like putting it with this mixture. Place the ball into the ear and squeeze into the ear. Take the cotton ball out and rub the ears all the way down the neck keeping the ear held down so the the mixture stays inside. You have to be quick because the dog is not going to be happy having liquid in his ears. Allow it to be in there for as long as you can, usually a several seconds and them let him shake. You might want to do this either in a bath tube or outside so it does not go all over your house. After the dog has stopped shacking his head like a made dog, put another cotton ball in to wick up the rest of the moisture. Do this every day until the cotton ball comes out clean and no more smell. If there is some nastyness on the folds of the ear, you can take this out with a cotton ball or Q-tip. However, do not go down the ear canal. If it does not begin to heal in a few days, again call your vet.

For a dog that does not have floppy ears, it is a good idea to make sure they do not get an infection in them. Stick a dry cotton ball into the ear as before and check for any discoloration or smell. If there is some, follow above, calling your vet first and then the rest.
When you are bathing a dog with ears that stick up, you can place a cotton ball into each ear to help ensure water does not go into the ear. Also, wash from the collar back, not forward.


I hope this helps you to keep your dog's ear clean, dry and healthy.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessings,

Monday, August 6, 2012

What to do When You are Sick

Being sick sucks. I am very lucky that I do not get sick very often. In the rare occasion I do, I remember why I eat the way I do to help my body stay very healthy and ward off illness. Also remember, being sick once every three years is really not all that bad. Occasionally being ill can be very good for our bodies, as much as being sick is no fun. Having our bodies fight off a bug will help our bodies to remember what to fight and how to fight. Think about our soldiers, if they did not have their war games and practices, how would they be able to go into a battle and win? They need to be practicing every day to be on top of their game. Our bodies are very similar. Yes, we do fight off many different bugs on a daily basis just from living in the toxic, sick world we live in. This will help our bodies then once they do get sick on remembering how to fight and what to fight.The other great thing about getting the occasional cold, is lowering our risk for an autoimmune disease. A big part in autoimmune diseases, is our bodies forget what to fight. So, they begin attacking themselves. This is a great way for our bodies to get ride of cells that might not be functioning well and are "sick" themselves. There are many benefits to the occasional "under the weather" bug. Even if it is once a year thing you fight a cold, it is really not that big of a deal, especially if you are healthy the rest of the time. Give your body some good rest and TLC and you are going to be healthier in the end

A few tips and tricks to help you over come your sickness quickly, should it come:
*Avoid sugar
*Sip on bone broths
*Stay hydrated with water, keferi kombucha and warm herbal teas
*Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep.
*Take some extra Vit. D
*Eat less. I know this sounds strange, but have you watched a dog? When they are sick, they stay near water and do not eat until they are feeling better and they sleep. This is true for colds and such, I am not talking about some major illness, use your noggin and common sense.
*Soak in the tub with Epsom salt. This is also a great way to get some magnesium into your body.
*DO NOT WORK OUT!!!!!! You might think I am crazy with this one, but I am not. Allow your body this time to recover and focus on healing. When you are working out, your body is going to take away from the immune system and healing the body needs to do and will instead be focused on rebuilding the muscles. By training while you are sick and the few days after for recovery, you can pro-long the illness and possibly relapse, which is worse. It is not going to be the end of the world if you do not work out. I know how hard this is to combat, I have struggled too many times with it from myself and coaches to get back to quickly. Even if it is a week or longer, you will be fine. After you begin to feel better, do not start hard works out the next day, be 100% better, give yourself a day or two and then slowly work your way back into your regular training. Again, too quickly and you can relapse, over train and do extensive damage to your body. Remember, we train for survival, not weight lose or maintenance.

I hope this helps a bit.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessing,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Vacation and Eating

I returned the other day from a nice relaxing vacation with my Mom to see my younger brother and his wife in Southern California. It was amazing, great to see my baby bro and his wife and be on the beach. At heart, I am a beach bum.

You might think I am going to talk about how to eat healthy while on vacation, but not this time. Maybe some other time. What I am wanting to talk about is the impact of relaxing and being calm while we are eating, being on vacation just helped my thoughts for this post.

While gone, I was not as strict with my diet. I did eat very well and watched my grain intake, due to my intolerance, but I did eat some. I still ate fat and protein, making up the most of my diet as usual, but what is more important was slowing down even more than normally while eating. For dinner, Hublet and I take our time and eat. We spend time together, talk about our day and mostly, enjoy each other's company. For breakfast and lunch, if I eat lunch, I am usually alone. I try to not eat too quickly because I do not feel well when I do, but we will usually eat faster alone or in front of the TV, computer, whatever it is, than when we are with others. The other big thing is not being so stressed. This is what I want to talk about.

When we are stressed out when we eat, our bodies release different hormones than when we are relaxed and eating. This also goes for anytime of the day. When stressed, our bodies release many hormones that make us gain weight. When we are eating and stressed, instead of digesting the food and using the nutrients the way our bodies need to, we store our food. Our bodies have better things to do at this point than good digestion, like saving us from the lion that is chasing us.

Another problem is, we will eat more because our bodies are not going to send the full hormone signal, remember, we are too busy making other hormones to flee, not tell us we are full. You also need more food for your body to have the energy it needs to flee to safety. When stressed, you will eat more. If our bodies are constantly thinking they need to flee from that lion and we are eating more and more, but never actually fleeing, we will gain more and more weight.

I could go on and on about the negative impacts of eating while stressed, but I hope you understand the jest. Stressed out eating is very bad for you. It leads to weight gain, eating too much and horrible health.

Things to do to help:
*Have more fun in your life!
*Get control of your stress. This can mean different things for different people, but figure out what will work for you and over come your stress levels as much as possible.
*Try not to eat when you are stressed out. I know for many people this will be difficult, when they are stressed out they eat. When you are stressed, try to do something else like taking several deep breaths, going for a walk, some other type of exercise, journaling, something to help calm you down. Once calm, reevaluate and ask yourself, am I really hungry, if yes, than eating something healthy, if not than do not eat. Simple I know, but it is the simple things in life that work the best.
*Eat more animal fats.
*Have more fun in your life!
*Have more fun in your life!
*Slow down. Here in America we think we always need to be going, always need to be doing, needing to work 50-80 hours instead of 40 and then coming home and enjoying our family and friends. Take the time to enjoy your life. When you are on your death bed, you are not going to be wishing you had worked more, you will be wishing you had slowen down, enjoyed your family and friends and done some of the other things you wanted to do in life.
*When eating, take your time. Between each bite, put your utensil down. Enjoy the food, savor the food, taste the food. Know that you have eaten.
*Do not eat while you are distracted, TV, computer, driving, any electronic device, whatever your distraction is, put it down and enjoy your meal. Enjoy the company of family and friends.
*Eat at least one meal a day with your family. Family time is very important and we do not take enough time to eat as a family. We need to get back to the family dinner. Enjoy this dinner.
*Enjoy the food you are eating. If you do not like what you are eating, then change it up. Try something new at least once a week. You never know, maybe you will find a creative side you never knew you had through cooking.
*Have more fun!!!

We live in an over stressed society today and we need to slow down and enjoy. Not only so we can enjoy the beauty around us, but for our health.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessings,