Festive Feel-good Friday

Trying hard not to be naughty….it’s too close to Christmas!

Jia Jia & Santa

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, but if it runs out I’ll drink Red.

Cheers to the weekend!

 

Advertisements

Food for Thought – the Best Dog Food!

Below is a link to a very helpful article on what is best to feed your dog….aside from the usual kibble.

Photo: Tamara Gauthier
Photo: d. king

I’ve been meaning to publish this for months but put it on the back burner.  I strongly believe that dogs deserve to eat real food the same as humans for health purposes mostly.

All living creatures deserve real food. 

It is narrow-minded to think that dogs should eat only kibble.  Perhaps the thought of eating kibbles for the rest of your own life helps make the point that pets forced to do so are being shortchanged.

I’ve been making simple real food meals for my dogs for dinner since day one (day one being the day they came into my care).  Unless we’re travelling they get homemade.  Not in the morning, just in the evenings.  Sometimes in the morning they get oatmeal or eggs  but mostly good quality kibble. Aside from health benefits, the enjoyment of watching them polish off  a bowl of freshly prepared food, knowing how much they love to eat it, is enough for me to want to make it.

My male sheltie is almost sixteen.  I met him when he was eight, and he became mine furever when he was ten.  He was used to eating only kibble once a day. But on several occasions he went into a hypoglycemia shock where he could hardly function.  Twice I didn’t think he’d even recover.  So I decided to change his diet by feeding him twice a day with the second meal consisting of ‘real’ meat & veggies.  No filler. Since doing so, he has not gone into shock syndrome once.

Cost wise, buying real food is not as much as you think.  You can buy stir-fry beef or chicken on sale, mix it with plain rice, add steamed veggies like yam, sweet potato, zucchini and carrots. Then mix in frozen or canned peas. Ground turkey & fish such as salmon are also good choices.  Just like us, they like variety.   You can buy canned pure pumpkin and give them a bit of that too.  Make enough for several days and refrigerate in portions.  Your dog will love you even more for it.

Photo: d. king
Selfie in the Park

When it comes to buying kibble for your dog please carefully read the label.  Animal protein should be at the top of the ingredient list with whole vegetables, fruits and grains next.  Don’t forget to check the best before date.

Let’s keep our furry family happy and healthy for as long as we can.  It’s the least we can do for them.  They enhance our lives, we should do the same for them.

ARTICLE:

https://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/health/articles/feeding-homemade-dog-food.html

 

Full of Goodness Soup

 Winter vegetable soup for the soul

Photo: d. king

A friend requested I post a vegetarian/vegan soup recipe.   I’ve never followed one so this is a kind of non-recipe recipe.  All you need are a variety of vegetables and patience for chopping. Because literally you just chop & toss everything into a pot.  This soup is chock full of nutrients & tons of flavor.  Because vegetable soup can lean towards being more bland than other kinds, you can play with your spices. Add 21 vegetable spice mix, pepper, sea salt and Herbs de Provence.  Of course ***bay leaves  are a necessary addition while cooking.

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
4 cups of vegetables, roughly chopped.  Use a mix of spinach, kale, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yam, sweet potato, parsley, etc.
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic,  chopped
2 Tbsp coconut oil or *ghee (Note: if using ghee, the recipe is no longer vegetarian/vegan)
**4-6 cups vegetable broth (I made mine from scratch but you can use better than bouillon.
Or; water to cover
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice
Spices

When serving add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil & sprig of parsley to garnish

Directions
1. Heat coconut oil or *ghee in large pot or a Dutch oven.
2. Add onions and garlic, stirring until fragrant, then add vegetables and stir for a minute or two longer.
3. Add broth or enough water to cover the vegetables. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender and puree in a high speed blender (or with a hand blender) until smooth.
4. Season as desired and serve with a squeeze of lemon, a splash of olive oil and some sea salt (Maldon is a good choice).

*Ghee is a type of clarified butter that’s made from heating butter and allowing the liquid and milk portion to separate from the fat. The milk caramelizes and becomes a solid, and the remaining oil is ghee.  Ghee has a long-standing reputation as one of the healthiest cooking fats available.  You can buy it at many grocery health-food stores like Whole Foods.

This ingredient has been used in Indian and Pakistani cultures for thousands of years. When used in place of butter, ghee has several benefits.   Ghee is rich in conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, a fatty acid known to be protective against carcinogens, artery plaque and diabetes.  So it is known.

**Homemade Veggie Stock: I’ve been freezing ends and skins of vegetables like carrots, onions and herbs like parsley, cilantro, etc. to use for making stock.  I wash everything before freezing then place them in a pot & heat with covered water.  It offers more flavor rather than using plain water.  Of course you must discard the vegetables and use only the stock when making veggie soup.

***Nutrient Packed Bay leaves offer us a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, and iron. Bay leaves apparently help to soothe body aches. You can add 4-5 bay leaves in 1 litre of water and add to bathwater to relieve sore muscles and rejuvenate the body. Supposed to ease joint pain from arthritis.  Try it!

Hope you enjoy it.  Let me know how it turned out. xo

EVEN in Eugene

A Happy Hotel

EVEN is the name of a new hotel concept by InterContinental Hotels Group which is marketed to travelers’ holistic wellness needs. It’s a hotel with a conscience. It was the first overnight stay on my drive from Vancouver to Palm Springs.  And it will be the last on my return.

My very first thought when I walked through the reception area was “they’re onto something.”

For a reasonably priced hotel they offer a lot.  Others should follow suit.  They set out to defy that travel needs to be a total disruption to your routine.  They give you choices designed to help you stay on track. You can rest easy, keep active, eat well all under one very well designed roof.

Photo: d. king

The rooms not only have natural eucalyptus fiber bedding which create a cooling effect to promote deeper sleep, they also have workout equipment inside each room.  Aside from a co-ed gym with cork flooring and fitness videos.  Bonus: you can also get Netflix in your room.

Photo: d. king

The room:

Photo: d. king

The restaurant offers delicious healthy calorie-counting options. You can count on it whether you want to or not.  Great cocktails too. Fresh squeezed orange juice and local organic coffee roasters make for a perfect morning start.

Photo: d. king

Stay hydrated with fill your bottle water options like lime/ginger + lemon/mint.

Photo: d. king

Did I mention the friendly, savvy hotel staff?

Not bad right?

Locations to date: New York, Washington, Miami, Sarasota, Fl., Eugene, Or., Seattle (new).  More to follow.

The writing’s on the wall.
Photo: d. king

Visit: https://www.ihg.com/evenhotels/hotels/us/en/reservation

 

 

 

Moving forward as another year comes to a close…

Reflections on what 2018 taught me

About Staying Strong: while I lean towards improving overall bodily strength in the new year, 2018 was mostly about building inner strength.  Inner strength will help get you through tough times and give you the courage to move forward.  That, plus a good glass of wine and a hearty laugh.  Speaking of;

My witty friend Michael has this to say about humour: humour is like a tickle with a pitchfork.   The purpose of using humour is about expressing aggression, fear, taboo desires and life’s absurdities in an engaging and entertaining way.

About Feeling it Fully – the good, the bad and the ugly.  Learning to embrace it all whatever that may be.  Staying open. Learning to accept whatever life throws my way has been a happy, hurtful, grateful, sad, sometimes infuriating, overall empowering learning experience.

I like this excerpt from Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chödrön:

You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself.

About Relationships: when you spend more time analyzing a relationship than enjoying it – something is wrong.  But you know what? – maybe we should try to analyze what’s wrong.  Because maybe we can resolve it; or not! If it’s worthwhile it will be resolved. In the meantime….respect is essential and enjoyment is key.  As Oscar Wilde once said:

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.

About Good Girlfriends: always keep your girlfriends close – they are a gift.  They’re the ones who know you, know what’s good for you and how to make you laugh. A good friend will always stab you in the front. ― Oscar Wilde

About Dogs.  No matter what, they never change.  They love you for all that you are and all you’re not.  I aspire to be the person my dogs think I am.

About Life: it’s pretty simple actually….if you keep it simple.  Confucius said: Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated. 

About making a leap:

Most importantly of all, there’s hope, perhaps the most powerful force in life.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday!

Website:  https://www.ihg.com/evenhotels/hotels/us/en/reservation