Connection and intimacy is a very important part of life, whether you choose to van life or to live in a traditional housing structure, like a home or an apartment. Dating in vanlife however is a bit different. First of all, unlike most people, I am not tied down to a specific city or state. In order to maximize my chances of success, which is to have a happy long term relationship and find a partner I can build a life with, I only targeted cities I would consider as a home base. Secondly, a single girl living in a van conjures up some interesting fantasies in the male population, which makes for some interesting opening lines. Last but certainly not least, all singles who are seeking to find the right person goes through the challenge of finding real connection in a busy digital world. So is it possible to find real love in vanlife? Is it possible to find stable meaningful connections with people when you are living an lifestyle that is considered unstable?
One of my first dates on the road was in Palmer, Alaska. Driving up from Texas, I felt a deep connection to the state, a combination of being fascinated by the idea of living in the last frontier and the romantic notion of living off gird with a man who could live off the land excited me. After setting up my profile location on Hinge to Palmer, which I decided would be a good starting point, since I was planning to be there for a couple of weeks for the State Fair of Alaska, my vanlife dating experience began.
Most of my matches were intrigued by the idea of a single girl living traveling in a van. Of course, it is safe to assume my profile would only peak the interest of the more adventurous, free spirited types. If a guy was looking for a local girl with a traditional 9 to 5 job, he would have left swiped me. There was all kinds of messages. There were the: “That so cool you are traveling in a van!” and “Take me with you!”. Some of the guys who reached out were former vanlifers or had traveled in a very similar fashion. Quite a few guys were fascinated with the vanlife lifestyle and wanted to hangout to hear about my adventures.
Of course, there were messages from guys who wanted to live out their teenage fantasy of shacking up in a van “down by the river”. I even had few guys reached out to me offering their home for me to stay with them, thinking that I needed a hero to save me from vanlife. One even said, “If we work out, I have plenty of room for you and your pets in the house.” One of the strangest request was from a guy who after sending me an unsolicited dick pic, asked if I would be open to meeting him and his friend, which I immediately detected as the beginnings of a threesome van fantasy. Weird. After careful selection process, I decided to meet a few of the guys I matched with.
The first guy was an early 30’s something professional who just recently moved back Anchorage, Alaska after living in the lower 48 for a few years for work. The Lover 48, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Alaskan lingo, refers to all the other states out side of Alaska and Hawaii. We decided to meet at the State Fair of Alaska in Palmer and spend the day exploring the fair activities. Dressed in what can only be described as hipster chic, “Tom” was dressed head to toe in black: Skinny jeans and punk band t-shirt. He was a far cry from my typical type. With a friendly smile and striking blue eyes, we both were eager to see what the fair has to offer. As far as dates goes, this one is definitely one of the most interesting dates, complete with my very first ax throwing session, which is quite a satisfying and fun experience. After sharing a plate of fried halibut, we went to see the famous giant vegetables, grown in midnight sun. During April 22 to August 20, the Alaskan sun doesn’t really set, making it possible to grow 130-pound cabbage and pumpkins the size of a miniature loveseat. The date ended when I had to go back to work. Although I had a great time, we both realized we were not relationship compatible, so it was back to the digital dating jungle for me.
Date number two in Alaska was a guy in his early 40’s, who worked in the real estate business. Stable and seemingly mature, he was nice, but not quite my type. Wanting to keep an open mind, I decided to meet him for a quick coffee. As Carry Bradshaw once said, ”He was like the flesh and blood version of a DKNY dress; you know it’s not your style but you try it on anyway.” During our date, everything was fine except for one thing: I was mildly distracted by the high pitched sound of his voice. While some people may call this shallow, I quickly realized early in my dating life this truth: If there is something about a guy that is a bit annoying in the beginning, it will certainly always get worse. To make things worse, he admitted he was only interested in me because I was “kinda cute, “ which I took as a backhanded compliment. It was the final nail on the coffin. After a short coffee date, we parted ways amicably, and thus ended date number 2.
As I dated my way across North America, I’ve met many nice guys who had great careers and a great sense of humor. One of my most memorable dates involved driving together for 2 and a half hours to go catch roller coasters. Recently, another guy offered to show me around Seattle, showing me the local wine scene and tourist attractions. While he was great company and a wonderful tour guide, he had just gotten out of a relationship. Nevertheless, it was a fun first date.
One of the most interesting and slightly odd first dates was when a guy offered to have me come by to do my laundry at his house. In all fairness, he was about to start his vanlife adventures after selling his house in Seattle and wanted to pay it forward. We actually hung out a few times trading favorite travel spots and drinking good wine. Another time, I met up with another vanlifer outside the parking lot of a Costco. I had been shopping and was planning to leave town later that night, and decided to meet up. “Jake” was a full time carpenter and had been living vanlife in Seattle for a year. He pulled up right next to me in the back of the Costco parking lot in his Ford 350 Transit. I said “Hi! Nice to meet you. Do you want some eggs? I have way too much and it won’t fit in the van.” The things you say on a first date in van… (head shake). We had a fun time checking out each other’s rig. As I stepped in to his rig, I was hit with the biggest case of van envy. Custom white cabinetry, ample space, and a diesel heater made me almost drool with envy. My pets and I had been in 30 degree weather, and the idea of having on demand heat was like close to heaven. He gave me some great tips and we parted way as friends.
After going on many great first dates in vanlife, I’ve discovered this truth: There are a lot of great guys out there. What it boils down to is finding the right fit for you. Living and traveling in a van attracts a certain type of guy, usually current vanlifers, past vanlifers, or people who are interested in an alternative lifestyle. Ultimately, it boils down to whether or not the two of you have enough things in common: lifestyle choices, personal values and if there is a spark. And boys, you will not be getting lucky in the van down by the river.
“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free till they find someone just as wild to run with them.”
Craving Korean food? Instead of ordering out, try out this easy Korean Noodle Soup recipe instead. You should have most items in your pantry. I like to use Kimchee in this noodle soup for flavor. Kimchee is fermented cabbage with korean spices and is very tasty. Kimchee (or kimchi) also is a great probiotic, aids with digestion, helps with weight management AND help boost your immune system. It is a staple in Korean food and is usually served as a side dish at every meal.
Since Covid19, most of us have been social distancing and trying to boost our immune system, so now is a great time to have kimchi. If you don’t have kimchee or don’t like kimchi, you can omit it and add in a couple of other ingredients instead.
I came up with this Korean noodle soup recipe when I was camping in Oregon. I was in my van and it was cold and wet. I was craving Korean noodle soup and since the closest Korean restaurant was 2 hours away, I decided to look in my fridge to see what I can make. This Korean Noodle Soup recipe is so easy I made it on my Coleman Camper Stove in the Van in less than 10 minutes.
Best of all, you just need one medium size pot so there is almost no dishes to wash!
Easy Korean Noodle Soup
Noodles (one serving) – You can use any noodles you have on hand Vegetables – 1 to 2 cups (I prefer spinach or any leafy greens) 1 Egg (optional) Cauliflower rice – 1 cup (fresh or frozen) Meat or seafood- (raw or cooked) Soy Sauce Sesame oil Kimchee (optional) Siracha (optional) 1 medium Tomato Fresh Ginger
1) Put the noodles in the medium size pot.
2) Add water to fill about 2/3 of the pot and start to boil on medium heat.
3) Cut up tomato into pot.
4) Add in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ginger. I use scissors to cut it into tiny pieces directly into the pot. If you are using frozen cauliflower rice, add it in now.
5) Add soy sauce to taste. You can always add more at the end.
6) Add in meat or seafood (If you use raw meat, make sure it is thinly sliced)
7) Once the water begins to boil, put it in low heat. Add cauliflower rice.
8) Cook until the noodles are ready, usually total time of 8 to 10 mins or less. Check to make sure meat or seafood is cooked.
8) Add in raw egg and leafy vegetables and turn off heat. Stir in to soup
9) Add sesame oil and to taste
10) Add in kimchee. If you are not using kimchee, add in a little vinegar for flavor. Add siracha if you desire more spice.
11) Eat 😋
You can add in any kind of noodles and it’s a great way to use up left overs. Let me know what you think. 😁
How to be productive during Covid19 requires some planning. For those of us who have wanderlust, Covid19 has put a halt on our travel plans, interrupted our lives and put fear in our hearts. Feeling stir crazy from social distancing and not having anywhere to go, it’s like being a hamster running in the wheel. With most of us either working from home and spending more time at home than ever before, finding ways to entertain ourself often resorts to binge watching Netflix while daydreaming of live before Covid19. Instead of just binge watching TV while expanding our waistline (let’s face it, who binge watches TV without snacks?!), here are some ways to satisfy the wanderlust and also be productive during Covid19.
Learn a New Language – Are you a wine lover with dreams of wandering the vineyard with a glass of red wine in your hands in Bordeaux, France? Does traveling to historical sites excite you as you step back in time visiting the Aztec ruins in the heart of Mexico? How about seeing the temples in Thailand? No matter where your wanderlust dreams may take you, speaking the local language is a great way to get more connected to the culture and enrich your experience on your travels. My favorite app for language is Duolingo, which has a great free program and many languages to learn including Spanish, Italian and Chinese Mandarin. Another great program is Busuu, which has less languages to learn on their platform but is more thorough. Both have a paid version as well. I’m currently learning to improve my Spanish, Chinese as well as French. Learning a new language give me a sense of accomplishment and make me feel like I am being productive during Covid19.
Plan Your Next Trip: With all this extra time on our hands, start planning for your next escape. Covid19 has severely impacted the travel industry since most of us are under quarantine and social distancing, but once things get back to normal, there will be amazing deals to travel. Take this time to do research, join Facebook groups and learn more about your next global destination. Whether you are wanting to book an epic cruise adventure to Alaska or explore the temples in Bali, you can be sure to get incredible discounts travel in the near future.
Explore the Great Outdoors: Social distancing during Covid19 means gone are the days of bar hopping and restaurant going, but there is still the great outdoors. Take a walk and listen to the sounds of birds, enjoy the cool breeze under the big blue sky and breath in the fresh air. Take advantage of the empty parking lots and go roller blading. Dust off that bicycle and explore your own neighborhood. Instead of driving, take the bike and run errands. Not only will your body feel better from the exercise, but you will also get Vitamin D as well as serotonin, which is the feel good hormone. Serotonin helps boost your mood as well as create more calm and focus.
Try a new Receipe: One of my favorite things to do during my travels is eating the local foods. Taking my taste buds on an adventure of flavors is one of the joys of traveling. Bring your inner chef to life by learning how to make new and delicious foods. Whether it is Tuna Poke or Thai Curry Chicken, now is a great time to try our some new recipes at home. Plus, you can save money during Covid19 by not eating out while learning how to make new and exciting dishes.
Have a Cultural Submersion Night– Take the edge off of wanderlust and create a virtual travel experience at home. Bring out the inner child and use your imagination. Pick a favorite city or country and create an evening around it. For example, if you are missing the beauty of Italy, plays some Italian music as you cook or order in Italian food. Have a glass of Chianti red wine and savor your meal. Watch Italian movies such as A Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn or the DaVinci Code. Or get the full experience by finding an Italian movie with subtitles. Miss the vibrant life in Mexico? Try cooking up some delicious fajitas on the grill while drinking margaritas. Plays some salsa music and maybe even learn to dance watching YouTube salsa dancing videos? Anything is possible.
Finding ways to be production during Covid19 while staying healthy both physically and mentally is the most important thing right now. As we all figure this out together, it is more important than ever to stay calm, be kind, and take care of each other. Take this time to slow it down, relax and enjoy the time off from our regular life. Have a great tip on how to stay productive during Covid19? Share with us in the comments below. =)
Being healthy has never been more important than the last few months. With COVID-19 spreading world wide, social distancing is the new trend and toilet paper is the hot commodity. As we all become expert hand washers (wash vigorously for 30 seconds), learning how to make your immune system stronger is more important than ever. As we may recall from Science class, the immune system protects the body against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies including viruses, bacteria and parasites, i.e. corona virus. By building our immune system, the immune system can more effectively defend us from getting sick. So what can you do to keep your body’s immune system healthy?
How to Build Your Immune System:
Get enough sleep – This means 6 to 8 hours each night.
Eat whole foods and avoid processed foods.
Stop Smoking – Smoking increases your chances of catching COVID-19, plus it weakens your respiratory system.
Avoid Sugar or complex carbs – Sugar increases inflammation in your body, causing your immune system to run less efficiently.
Reduce Stress – Stress weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to getting sick.
So what do you do if you feel “under the weather” or if you have been exposed to people who are coughing or sneezing? When I was traveling during the winter time, I always use to get sick after a plane ride. Being in a closed confined space with hundreds of people on a plane, many who are sick or recovering from the cold or flu, I would always end up getting sick. Recently, I’ve started taking a immune building supplement called Host Defense Comprehensive Immune Builder. It is made from 17 different mushrooms, designed to build and strengthen the immune system while providing cellular support by fighting free radicals. After reseaching about the benefits of mushrooms, including building immune system *, cancer fighting properties**, lowering cholesterol, and high in Vitamin B & D. The reason I use Host Defense Comprehensive Immune Builder is because it is all natural, Non-GMO, most importantly, grown in the United States.
How I take the Host Defense Comprehensive Immune Building Supplement – I usually take the recommended dose of 2 supplements on an empty stomach because it is better absorbed. It doesn’t make me sick or queasy like some supplements. If I feel like I am coming down with something, I will take 2 pills immediately and then take another 2 pills a few hours later. Since I’ve started using this immune builder, I have never been sick, even when I am in close contact with people who are coughing and sneezing. As you know, I am not a doctor, so this is my recommended dosage and I have tested it out on myself, my friends and family member and it has always worked.
Other Immune Building Herbs & Supplements I recommend:
Propolis – Made from bees and is a great antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal. Propolis is a great immune builder. This is one of the supplements I always carry with me. With Propolis, using a very reputable brand is important. There were some brands I bought, even from Whole Foods, which were not as effective as others. My favorite one is Brazilian Green Bee Propolis. It works really well and can go in your carry on luggage.
Oil of Oregano– Known for for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, it works really well, but it tastes really awful. In fact, I use to video tape my friend’s reaction when they first try Oil of Oregano! My favorite go to Oil of Oregano liquid is from North America Herb & Spice – Oil of Oregano. This is also carry on airport friendly. If you prefer pills or capsules, try the Puritan’s Pride Oil of Oregano Soft Gels. No after taste and really reasonably priced.
Oil of Olive Leaf – Different from olive oil, the oil of olive leaf has antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune building properties. In my opinion, it tastes a little better than oil of oregano. My favorite liquid oil of olive leaf is Nature’s Answer Olive Leaf Extract. My favorite capsules is Health Harmony’s Olive Leaf Extract
I found with supplements, it is better to rotate every once in a while so your body doesn’t get use to it. Currently, I am taking the mushroom supplements daily and adding in Propolis as needed. Usually, I take the other herbal/nutritional supplements when I feel like I am coming down with something. My dosing is 1 dropper full every 2-3 hours when you feel like you are getting sick. Again, I am not a doctor, but I have found this dosage works really well for me and my friends and family. Hope this helps and be safe. =)
** Zhang, S., Sugawara, Y., Chen, S., Beelman, R., Tsuduki, T., Tomata, Y., Matsuyama, S., and Tsuji, I. (September 2019) Mushroom consumption and incident risk of prostate cancer in Japan: A pooled analysis of the Miyagi Cohort Study and the Ohsaki Cohort Study. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.32591
What comes to mind when you think of vanlife? For me, my first impressions of vanlife was when I was scrolling through Instagram, looking at a pair of happy couple’s feet as the majestic view of a mountain is in the background of their opened van door. Vanlife had a magical quality about it: Traveling throughout the country, having absolute freedom and being able to experience all kinds of new adventures. After my first months of being a full time vanlifer, this is what I’ve learned:
1. I used to waste a lot of water. Having a foot pump sync makes me realize just how much water I can conserve. I have a 6 gallon water tank that I use for hand washing, cleaning dishes, everything except for drinking. I can easily go for 1 week without having to refill it. I think of all the times I keep the water running when I brush my teeth (sorry! Yes, I was guilty of that.) and I realize how wasteful I was when I was living in a regular house. Having a foot pump sink also means I only run the water when it is time to rinse the dishes only, so water is not just running in the background. This makes a huge difference in conservation.
6 Gallon Fresh Water Supply
2. Walmart have so much stuff! As a vanlifer, Walmart becomes a sort of safe haven. Many of them will allow you to park overnight, which I am really grateful for. Each region also has special items. For example, when I was in Alaska, Walmart had a huge supply of dehydrated food for camping or emergencies. Just a few weeks ago, I was driving north towards cooler weather, I realized I needed another sleeping bag for the kitties to hide under. I was able to pick sleeping bags, cat litter, as well as groceries AND crash for the night, all at the same place. I know it sounds silly, but when you are doing vanlife, efficiency matters (fuel savings) and having a one stop shop is amazing.
3. Truck Stops are awesome. Not only do they have some of the coolest gadgets, most of they have amazing showers for around $10-15 dollars. I have seen some for only $5, but most are closer to $15. They are clean and they even supply towels and toiletries. Plus, many will allow overnight parking, which is amazing when you are sleepy and didn’t bother to plan ahead to figure out where you are going to stop for the night.
4. Everyday, you will have the opportunity to practice patience. I travel with my 6 pets: 4 cats and 2 dogs. When the pets and I live in a space of less than 150 sq feet, we step on each other’s toes (literally sometimes!) All the pets seem to have their own opinions and not everyone gets along. Factor in the dogs are both working breeds, well, now it gets even more interesting. To be fair, most of the time, the pets are really well behaved. They travel well, and get along with each other. However, practically every day, one out of six animals will misbehave.
I remember being asked, “Does it ever get lonely on the road?”
I replied,” I don’t have time to get lonely. I have 6 pets.”
5. I’ve become the “Marie Kondo” of Vanlife. Seriously. Organizing and cleaning up after yourself becomes an essential part of life. First of all, if anything is left out, it automatically becomes a huge clutter because there is so little space. On top of that, if it is not strapped down or put up, it will fly as I am driving and most likely hit me or the pets. I’ve learned to be creative to take advantage of every nook and cranny of the van. Downsizing becomes an every day fact of life due to lack of space. After a while, I realized I don’t need most of my things stored in my attic at the house. What am I suppose to do with 2 huge storage containers of cocktail dresses anyway? There was a time in my life when I use to go to weekly events where I would dress up, but now a days, my uniform consists of wearing yoga pants & a cotton top. There is a great amount of freedom with simplicity. Next time I am back at the house, it is downsize time.
6. If it is not secured down, bungee down or Velco down, it will fall off. Every single thing in the van has to be securely fastened in place. At the end of the day, it is still a moving vehicle. I remember when I was going to Instagram looking at all the beautiful vanlife pictures. Marveling a the beautiful ceramic mugs hanging on the wall, I was inspired to create that in my van. Real life is very different. When you drive, things move and vibrate. The clinking sounds of mugs on the wall becomes really annoying after the first 2 miles. Those beautiful magnetic strips for knifes? Just imagine what would happen if you had to emergency stop? … No thank you. Once, I accidentally forgot to strap down the slow cooker and it toppled over, right on top of the dog. Luckily, the latches on the lid did a great job and nothing spilled, but my dog was not too happy about being woken up by a flying crock pot. Bungee cords and heavy duty Velcro are definitely a staple in my tool box.
7. The road less traveled really is better. National parks are great but I found some of my most memorable days are spend in smaller or less well know state or national parks. Sometimes, I would turn into a small dirt road to find it leads to a beautiful lake. Some of my favorite spots include Dixie National Forest in Utah, right by the more famous Bryce National Park, where I was able to see hoodoos and camp for free as well. Navajo National Monument in Arizona was filled with amazing canyons and Lone Rock in Glen Canyon in Utah is still one of my favorite places, with beautiful beaches you can drive on and lot of space to roam. While national parks are great, national forest and other lesser know parks give you more privacy and a chance to truly escape into nature without the crowds or tour buses. And of course, when you boondock or go to these less know places, usually you can camp for free. In fact, I have only paid for camping once this last year of living in a van.
8. If you plan to travel with pets, people will stare. At any given time, I have 3 pets in the cock pit. The two dogs sit in the front and one or two cats will be sleeping in on the dashboard by the windshield, soaking up the sun. It really is a funny sight. Be ready for tourist to come with cameras in hand taking photos of the pets in the van. =)
9. People will react to you in two ways. They either think you are really cool living out of a van and traveling the country, or they think you are weird. Not that anyone has ever said it was weird, although a few have said I was “crazy” to traveling as a single girl by myself. Others people will think you are cool. When I was passing through Colorado I was looking for a healthy food shop to buy some supplements for the dog. There was a guy who looked like he was in his mid twenties skateboarding in the area. When he saw my van, he came up to me, with a huge smile and said he wanted to do the same thing. Once when I was washing my dog at the pet store, an older woman in her late 50’s came up to me and started asking me about my van. After walking my my van in the parking lot and seeing the pets, she hunted me down in the store so she can pick my brain. She was thinking about converting a van herself. After waiting for me to finish washing my dog, I gave her a tour. She was happy. =)
10. I’m a much nicer person with hot coffee in the morning. Especially when it’s 32 degrees Fahrenheit outside. After waking up to hungry cats meows and excited dogs pulling on their morning walks, having hot coffee really helps me with the practicing patience.
11) The secret to waking up at 6:00 am is simple. Go out to a place were there is no internet or cell phone service. Without social media, Netflix or the internet to keep me entertained, it is just me, the pets and a good book. Most nights, I’m asleep around 10:00 PM. Before vanlife, I am usually up until 2am in the morning.
At the end it wasn’t the beautiful places that I saw that made vanlife special. Visiting places like Yellowstone National Park, Zion, and Moab was great, but what truly makes vanlife special is the actual experience of living in a van, slowing down to enjoy the simple pleasures in life and really being able to live in the moment. Meeting new people, especially the elderly, and hearing about the adventures of their youth was one of the things I really enjoyed from my van travels. Taking time to prepare a hot meal while watching the sunset is one of life’s simple joys. Traveling in the van and living the vanlife isn’t really about the destination. Vanlife truly is a unique way to slow things down and live life in the moment.
About 7 years ago, I decided to start making raw cat food for my cats and started researching raw cat food recipes. Until then, I have been feeding them a combination of high quality grain free dry cat foods with canned foods. At almost $2.50 per can, it was costing me a small fortune. On top of that, my cats still had flaky skin and one of the cat, Kirby, still had chronic stomach problems. After doing lots of research, I decided to convert all the cats over to raw cat food because of the health benefits. Cat who are fed a raw diet have stronger immune systems, resistant to infections & parasites, shows no signs of allergies and have healthy guts.
What Homemade Raw Cat Food Looks Like
When I was first transitioning the cats over to a raw homemade diet, I was worried about them getting sick because the food was not cooked. After digging into lots of research, I discovered cat’s have a shorter digestive system than we do, which means the food doesn’t sit in their gut as long. In other words, cats do not get food poisoning from eating raw meat. Think of it this way: When did a tiger say, “I can’t eat this raw gazelle, I need it cooked.” Never. Feral cats eat mice, birds, and rabbits raw because that is what they are suppose to eat, not commercial dry cat food or cooked food. Cats are not humans and their body is very different than ours.
One of the study I found most impactful was by Dr. Pottenger from 1932 to 1942. Dr. Pottenger was conducting research on adrenal hormones in respiratory issues and used cats for lab testing. While conducting this research, she discovered cats who were fed a raw cats fed a raw diet were healthier and survived surgery more often cats who were fed a high quality cooked diet. Over the span of 10 years, Dr. Pottenger evaluated nutrition for over 900 hundred cat over the span of 10 years and the conclusion was all the same: Raw foods is better for cats than cooked foods.
One of the books I found to be very helpful in helping me understand more about cats and what to feed them is called “Raising Cats Naturally” by Michele T. Bernard. She does an excellent job explaining the nutritional needs of cats and has great raw recipes. I highly recommend picking up a copy. My raw cat food recipe is adapted from her book.
Trying to get four cats with very distinct preferences was a challenge. One of my cats, Chew chu, a 13 year old tuxedo female, refused to ever eat wet food. The look she gives me says, “Why are you feeding me this garbage?” The other 2 cats ate wet food but were all very picky about which flavor they would eat. I only had one cat, Hashbrown, who was 1 year old at the time and would eat just about anything. I knew I had a challenge on my hands.
But with a little time & patience, all of my cats transitioned into raw cat food. When I am in a hurry and don’t have time to “cook” then I would either give them some raw cut up chicken or use Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dehydrated Cat Food.
Equipment for making raw cat food
If you are making this at home, getting a good meat grinder is a good investment. After evaluating many meat grinders, I settle on the Cabela’s 3/4 hp meat grinder for $399, which was the 2nd most expensive purchase after my Vitamix. The Cabela 3/4 hp meat grinder had great reviews and was heavy duty enough to grind chicken bones to make raw cat food. At 50lbs, it is definitely heavy duty. I also picked up a Cusibox Digital Food Scale for $13 to weigh out the ingredients. You will also need 2 large bowls and some small glass containers with lids for put the cat food in. I recommend using a soup ladle or a very large spoon to transfer the mix into the glass containers.
If you want to make raw cat food without a meat grinder, I recommend using the Ninja because it has the largest blades compared to other blenders. Get the Ninja like the one in the link. Do not use the smaller Ninja Fit. You need the bigger blades. I have only tested with the Ninja in the link and it works very well.
If you want to make raw cat food in the Ninja, you HAVE to use Cornish Hens. Do not use chicken thigh or wings because blenders are not powerful enough to handle the load. If you want to use chicken, make sure to get a good meat grinder instead.
Defrost the Cornish Hens (they usually come frozen). Using a pair of heavy duty kitchen scissors or knife, cut the Cornish hens into 2 -3 inch sections. This makes it easier for the blender to handle.
Putting everything in to a mixing bowl (except for the supplements).
Fill the Ninja only 1/5 of the way.Do not fill it more than this, otherwise you will break your blender. Blend for a 3 – 5 seconds. Put the blended cat food in to another large bowl. Repeat and add in the powder supplements into one of the mixes. Take the powder out of the capsules before blending.
Once you are done, take a spatula & mix the mixture well together by hand to make sure the supplements are distributed in the entire bowl.
Take a large ladle and spoon the raw cat foods into small glass containers and freeze. Make sure to use containers small enough for a 1 to 2 day serving. This keeps the cat food fresh.
Put the cat food in the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator the day before use to defrost.
Raw Cat Food – Chicken Formula using a Meat Grinder
Cut the chicken in to small enough pieces to feed through the meat grinder. Sprinkle the supplements and mix in by hand, making sure to spread it out evenly. Mix well to make sure the supplements are evenly distributed in the cat food.
Changes in the litter box
One thing you will notice is a difference in the litter box. Instead of having alot of poop, you will notice a decrease in the amount of solid waste your cat produces. You will also notice that the poop will look like Tootie rolls, which is what healthy kitty waste looks like. You will also notice more urine out put, which is normal.
What I saw in my cats once I fed them raw cat food
Raw homemade cat food has given my elderly cats a spunky kitten energy level. My elderly 11 year old cat Kirby, who was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and had never had anything but runny stool now has healthy stools as well. If I can make raw homemade cat food in a travel van on the road, I am confident you can make it in your kitchen. =)
*Pottenger, Francis., Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition, 2nd ed., Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc.: La Mesa, CA 1995, p.1