Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Raw Pets

A few months ago, we switched our pets to raw food because our black labrador retriever, Nova got sick from the dry food we had bought. When we first switched, we bought a product called Primal Patties, which is somewhat expensive. Then we decided to make our own to save money.

The information out there can be overwhelming and daunting. Somehow we get it in our heads that pets need a precise nutrional balance, this supplement or that, yet that's not what would happen in the wild. They would eat instinctively and get what they needed when they needed it. Or they would make do with what's available. It's not precise or accurate.

So we stopped worrying about finding the perfect formula. We bought a meat grinder and grind up whole chickens so that they get every part - organs, skin, meat, bones - in the balance that nature would provide. We add in whatever we have on hand for vegetable scraps and a light sprinkle of sea salt. The dogs, being omnivores, get some brown rice or oatmeal mixed in occasionally. The cats, being true carnivores, get some veggies, but no grains. In fact, when we give them a mix with grains, they pick it out! They know what they should and shouldn't be eating.

The results? All animals are at a healthy weight now. Nova had joints problems and they have completely cleared up. Her coat is so shiny and soft now. It has truly helped her. But alas, as I will always maintain, raw food is not a pancea or a cure for everything. Unfortunatley, it wasn't enough to help our other dog Tagger, who we had to put down recently because of a tumor in his head. But despite this, I will still keep feeding my pets this way because I see it helps. Not because I see it as some sort of miracle that could have stopped Tagger from getting his angel wings. We'll miss you Tagger.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cleansing time

Spring is the perfect time for cleansing and renewal. It's as if everything is being born again. The energy of it can be so palpable, even people who've lost their touch with nature can feel it. What better time than now to reinvent the body with a change in diet?

One of my favorite cleanse books is If the Buddha Came to Dinner: How to Nourish Your Body to Awaken Your Spirit: Hale Sofia Schatz, Shira Shaiman The messages is lovely and so spiritual, the recipes are so great, I wish there were more. I still refer back to this book time and time again and make many of the recipes.

There are so many ways to cleanse, you can find one that suits you. Give up meat for a week. OR - cut out flour, dairy, and sugar. OR - Go raw. OR - Try macrobiotic. Alkalize. Drink you meals as smoothies and blended soups. The possibilities are endless! If you're feeling less than optimal, try something other than what you are currently doing, but something that resonates with you, and isn't so different and weird your sure to stop on the first day. The best part about a cleanse is that it has a start and an end. Which makes it easier and gives you that little bit of release to make it through. And maybe, just maybe, you'll feel so good you want to continue feeding yourself foods that make you feel great.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring is here....I can feel it.

For one thing, I'm in a Walt Whitman kind of mood:

"The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the distillation, it is odorless, It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it, I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, I am mad for it to be in contact with me."
-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

OK, it's still a little cold to go running off into the woods naked, and I'm not likely to do it even when it's warm. But I am started to crave GREENS, and WALKS. And I am MAD to be back in contact with my slumbering body. It feels like it's been asleep all winter. I normally love the winter, I snow-shoe, cross country ski, walk. But not this year, for various reasons. But I can feel myself coming back to life and it feels good.

There was was a month this winter where I was eating all cooked foods, and not very good ones at that. Luckily that didn't last long. My health feels so much better doing some raw. So why not all raw, one might ask? Well I've done 100% - and to be honest, I didn't have the experience of feeling better, or off the charts with my energy. Staunch raw-foodist would say 'well you haven't given it a chance' but if I ate junk food for that amount of time they would say 'the toxins are why you don't feel better'. Or if I got sick on raw food it would be 'you're detoxing and cleansing' but with cooked food the answer would be 'it's the food being cooked that making you sick'. See the double standard? I can say that I have experienced not having any raw, and feeling worse.

But is it the fact that it's raw, or the fact that you are eating more fruits and veggies? Or when you eat raw, you aren't ingesting certain things? That, my friends, is another post for another time.

Welcome to Raw Food for Every Body

I am starting this blog to give another perspective on raw food - that of integration within the human diet, whatever diet one decides is best for themselves. I like eating and preparing raw foods, and showing others how to do the same. But I am not a raw foodist. Eating raw food does not have to be all or nothing. We can experience health benefits at any percentage of raw we choose to add. We can also experience health problems being 100% raw if that's not what your particular physiology needs for fuel. It's not about raw vs. cook, vegan vs. meat-eater. It's about what your body needs at this particular moment in time. Think your body can't be trusted? Think that the health professionals, the nutritionists, people with their own agendas, and the diet police 'out there' know more than the Spirit that's inside of you? Think you can't be healthy if you don't eat the perfect diet, or if you're not a size zero? Think again. Or better yet - think for yourself :)

"Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self."

-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

I'm just here to offer up some good food, a bit of psychology, and just a smidge of irreverence.