Raw Cat Food Recipe

Raw Cat Food Recipe

About six months ago, I decided to start making raw cat food for my cats. 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

homemade cat food

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. Pick it up at your local healthy pet store and not on Amazon. I feel like Amazon’s quality is not as good as the ones at the store.

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.

Raw Cat Food – Cornish Hen Recipe

  • 2 1/2 lbs of Cornish hen with bone
  • 1/2 lb (200 g) of raw chicken heart
  • 1/4 lbs (100 g) of raw chicken liver
  • 2 high quality raw egg yolk
  • 1 cup (or more) filtered water
  • 2000 mg salmon oil ( I use Nortic Natural Omega 3 Pets, which comes in original flavor. Do not use flavored salmon oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kelp
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dulse (look for it at your local health food store. If you can’t find it, then just omit it)
  • 50 mg vitamin B complex (Use the powder ones. If you can’t find them, look for capsules you can pull apart. Unflavored only.)
  • 400 IU vitamin E (Look for powdered capsules you can pull apart)
  • 2 Glandular Capsules

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

  • 2 1/2 lbs of chicken with bone
  • 1/2 lb (200 g) of raw chicken heart
  • 1/4 lbs (100 g) of raw chicken liver
  • 2 high quality raw egg yolk
  • 1 cup (or more) filtered water
  • 2000 mg salmon oil ( I use Nortic Natural Omega 3 Pets, which comes in original flavor. Do not use flavored salmon oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kelp
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dulse (look for it at your local health food store. If you can’t find it, then just omit it)
  • 50 mg vitamin B complex (Use the powder ones. If you can’t find them, look for capsules you can pull apart. Unflavored only.)
  • 400 IU vitamin E (Look for powdered capsules you can pull apart)
  • 2 Glandular Capsules

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

Day Trip to Galveston Island

Day Trip to Galveston Island

Living in Texas has many benefits:  Lots of sun light, great economy and being close to the water. One of my favorite quick get aways when visiting family in Houston is to take a day trip to Galveston Island, about 45 minutes drive from Houston.  As you approach Galveston Island, a warm salty breeze greets you, and you know you have arrived. During the week day, the long boardwalk is quiet and there is a sense of serenity. Time slows down and relaxation sets in as you take in the sights of the island: The gentle waves washing into the sand, the sea gulls gliding majestically through the air, and little sand pipers running across the beach.

I am always grateful for quiet moments of solitude to reflect on the joy and abundance I have in my life.  So often we are caught up in this fast paced world, but being at the Galveston Island on the beach, I am reminded of the simple pleasures of life: Basking in sunlight, listening to the waves, watching a child play in the water, and seeing the joy in my dogs eyes as they wrestle in the sand. Being in Galveston has a magical transformational effect, if you take a moment and allow yourself to let go and just enjoy the laid back pace of life.

 

The day trip to Galveston Island reminds me of a time in my lives when I slowed down and appreciated the simple things in life. When you think about it, when was the last real conversation you had with your neighbors? With your family? With your friends? Being here makes me think of afternoons in my earlier years where making time for the people closest to me mattered the most and I vow to make more time for my friends and family this year

As the day comes to a close, I head to East Beach on the far end of Galveston Island and watch one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen. Happy and rested, I head back to the city of Houston, refresh and relaxed.

Eat Healthier When Traveling

Eat Healthier When Traveling

Is it possible to eat healthy while you are traveling?  There is always a new restaurant to try, tasty appetizers to share, fun conversations followed by a drink or two (or three!).   It’s almost impossible to resist taking an extra bite of that tasty meal, event though your stomach is about to explode.  And when the waiter brings out the dessert tray, you think, #yolo. Well, after a few months of trial and error, the answer is yes, you can eat healthy while you travel, but it will require you to make a few changes and rethink what a typical “meal” should look like.

I will confess, there was a time when I first started traveling where I was eating breakfast tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner (I know, absolutely tragic). It turns out that finding “the green” stuff has become even more challenging. There’s not a lot of really great selections at airports, and even less selections at gas stations. After about 2 months of traveling, I noticed that I gained a little bit of weight around my stomach.  Part of the reason was because my exercise level also dropped down significantly during this time.  Before when I worked from home, I was working out 4 to 5 days a week.  In my typical travel day now, I am lucky to even walk a mile or two because of my new lifestyle.  What’s even more scary is that I’m probably sitting 95% of the time in my day.  According to an article from the Mayo Clinic, “Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”  Yikes.

Since 80% of physical health starts with the types of foods consumed, I started tweeking my eating habits.  I had to how figure out how to find healthy meals without having to cook or meal plan.  Since I’m eating about 90% of my meals each week while travelling, looking for healthy options was an active challenge.  I knew I was missing many nutrients which I use to get when I cooked, such as Omega-3’s, which I use to get from consuming seafoods like salmon and mackerel.  While I am not a huge fan of relying on supplemental vitamins, sometimes you have to do what you have to do to, especially when your only options are fried chicken or gas station pizza.  Clearly, the best form of nutrition is through the whole food itself, but if you don’t have time or do not have the selection of food readily available, I recommend using supplements.

I started adding an omega 3 supplement, algae (which you can also get from seaweed), collagen (which has a plethora of benefits including cardiovascular health AND healthier nails and hair) and royal jelly (boosting immune system and a helps with ton of other chronic ailments). If you look at my travel bag, you would laugh. I look like a pill lady.  I carry this zip lock bag of pills.  I am waiting from the day TSA pulls me aside to ask me about my “drug problem”.

Looking at my old eating habits, I used to eat only 15 to 20% of my total calories as carbohydrates.  My new diet while travelling consisted of breakfast tacos and sandwiches, closer to 40% carbohydrates.  And most of the carbs were refined carbs and bread.  Obviously the tacos had to go.  Instead of a breakfast taco or sandwich in the morning, I now have a salad for breakfast.  Now, it may seem weird eating a salad first thing in the morning, especially when it is 5:30-6 o’clock in the morning and everyone else is having a breakfast taco at the airport.  However, when you look at the components of a Cobb salad you’ll notice it has is the same types of foods you would normally get from breakfast:  Hard boiled eggs, bacon, avocado (healthy fats essential to our overall well-being), and healthy green vegetables. This is a wonderful low-carbohydrate breakfast option.  On days where I need a little extra substance, I will have a banana or apple as well.  The morning cup of coffee, which is absolutely critical to my well-being, is part of my morning meal.

For lunch, I started off by swapping the wrap or sandwich for foods with more fiber and healthy fats.  On days where I can find  salmon or some kind of seafood with a lot of omega 3’s, I’ll skip the omega 3 supplements.  If I’m really craving carbs, I’ll have a very small serving of potatoes, sweet potatoes, or black beans usually two or three tablespoons.  If they have avocados, it is definitely on my plate.  The rest of the plate consists of steamed vegetables or a salad.

I stopped snacking because I really didn’t need the extra calories, since my activity levels have decreased substantially.  If I’m really craving something sweet, I’ll dig in to my bag and grab an  an organic apple, or an orange, which travels quite well.   As much as I like bananas, I quickly realized they do not travel well (hello banana scented iPad case!)

Dinner is probably one of the easiest meals for me. Almost every place will have a seafood or chicken option.  The easiest thing to do is to substitute out any carbohydrates with a double serving of steamed vegetables.  Get dressing on the side with salads and have the sauce from any entree on the side as well.  This gives you the flexibility to add as much or as little as you want.  I often find restaurants tend to drown the salad in dressing.  A hardy salad with steak or salmon on top is a favorite of mine.  Avoid temptation by having the bread bowl removed from the table.  A squeeze of lime or lemon gives an extra flavor boost as well as add in some antioxidants and vitamin C.  I try to eat dinner earlier, around 5:30-6:30 if possible, because if you eat too late, it’s harder for you to digest.

Instead of carbs, I now add in more healthy fats, such as coconut oil, avocado, and even bacon.  The healthy fats keep me energized.  Since I’ve been on this new regiment, I have lost inches off my waist line with no exercise and very limited activity.  People have noticed that I am visibly slimmer and it has given me a lot of energy.

Funny thing is now, the other day, I had a cake ball in my moment of weakness and immediately I could feel the sugar crash.  I also felt sick to my stomach after about 10 minutes because my body is not used to all of this heavy, refined, processed foods anymore.  Bad foods definitely affects how you feel.  Despite having only 2-4 hours of sleep on a week day,  I still have lots of energy and am in good shape.  Obviously, sleep is important and it is something I’m going to start incorporating more it into my day to day routine, but I wanted to share this just to give you an idea of what a healthy day while traveling can look like. If you have any questions or if you are looking to know how you can get some ideas for healthy meals on the road that you can easily purchased, feel free to drop me a line and a comment.

Thanks, and make it a healthy day.

Why Checking Email Hurts Creativity

Why Checking Email Hurts Creativity

Why checking email hurts creativity… a true story.   Yesterday, a tragedy happened.  My smart phone’s microphone went out.  I couldn’t talk to anyone, and had to revert to using my not so smart phone.  I was worried because my work email was not set up on it.  What if someone needs to get a hold of me?  What if it is urgent?   Will my work life fall apart if I didn’t check my email on the hour?

Yes, I am an email addict.

 

email
 

In fact, I am guilty of checking my phone for emails first thing in the morning.

Even before I put on my contacts, when I am still groggy and disoriented, I will squint and reach for my cell phone to check email and make sure the world did not fall apart while I slept.

Apparently I am not alone.

According to IDC Research, 80% of smartphone users check their mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up each morning.

49% of the entire U.S. population uses a smartphone. By 2017, the percent of smartphone users is expected to reach 68%.  Four out of five smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. 80% of those say it’s the first thing they do in the morning.”

I guess I can take comfort in knowing I am makes me extra ambitious, since I check emails the moment I wake up.  Yea… I’m that girl.  The problem with checking email first thing in the morning is it clutters your  brain with things that may appear urgent, but are not truly important.  Checking emails hurts creativity because it puts you in a state of stress.  Taking time in the morning to reflect, clear your thoughts and set your intentions for the day, not only makes your more creative, but it allows you to be more productive as well.  In order for creativity to thrive, you have to have mental space.

Here is another way to look at it.  Imagine if you had closet and you filled it with all kinds of junk.  Boxes, clothes, hangers, shoes … you name it.  Now imagine trying to find something.  Just like you need space to get to all of your things easily in your closet, your brain works the same way.  Creativity needs space to breath, to develop, to grow and come to life.  If you clutter your brain with urgent but no important information or the ever growing “to do” list, you leave no space to create.

 

Smartphone-obsession
 

Since I have not been able to check my emails first thing in the morning on my phone (or Facebook, for that matter), I’ve felt more at peace.  The process of waking up feels more tranquil.  Upon waking up, I take a few moments to appreciate the new day, put my contacts on and get ready, grab a cup of coffee, and think about what I would like to accomplish today.  I feel lighter, less stressed, and ready to face my day instead of being anxious by things I need to add to my to-do list.  Yes, I still check email, but now, I only check it 3-4 times a day, not every 15 minutes.

I feel like I have room to breath again and the creative juices are flowing.  I have started writing again, and am inspired to tackle new projects as well.  Having downtime in our over stimulated world allows us to focus on channeling our creativity and expressing yourself in other ways, other posting an update on Facebook.  And much to my surprise, my world/ work/ life did not fall apart.

Although I am about to order a new smart phone, my goal is to develop a healthy relationship with it.  This time around, I will not be controlled by my email.  I’ve decided the mornings are to be an “email free zone”.  For the first several hours of the day, I will refocus on the important but perhaps “not so urgent” things.  Creativity comes from having the mental capacity to allow for ideas to flow in and I am excited about this new journey.   After all, we survived for thousands of years without emails and did just fine.  A few hours “sin” email will be okay. Oh, and Facebook … you are next.

For those of you who feel the same way, try taking a “break” from email for the first few hours of the day & see how you feel.  You can thank me later.  =)

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Make the Most of Each Day

Make the Most of Each Day

Each morning we wake up and we are faced with a new day.  In order to make the most of each day, you have to stop holding on to the issues that are holding us back.  It could be hurt feelings, or anger at a friend or family member.  Perhaps you are still mad at yourself for last night’s binge eating.  Maybe you are feeling guilty from skipping a workout.  Whatever it is, let it go.  Decide to be positive and take a happier outlook on life.  It’s a new day and anything is possible.  Just like you pick your clothes each day, pick your attitude for the day.  Decide what you want to achieve and make it happen. Make a commitment to live each day to the fullest and enjoy the moment.

Make the most of each day

No matter what you are going through or problems you have that’s weighing you down, you can decide how you are going to face them.  Deciding to be positive and looking on the bright side is the best way to make the most of each day and find inspiration in our lives.  It allows us to find happiness and face our challenges with humor and grace.
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#healthylivingjunkie #fitspiration #inspiration #weightloss #weightlossjourney #fitlife

30 Ways to Burn 300 Calories

30 Ways to Burn 300 Calories

Summer is around the corner and it is time for bikini season.  It’s time to shed the winter fat and get back in to swimsuits, bikinis, and tank tops.  If you are wanting to lose weight fast without making a lot of dramatic changes, I’ve got the perfect easy weightloss tips and tricks for you.  Here is 30 ways to burn 300 calories, without having to diet, exercise, or make any extreme changes to your lifestyle.

 

Remember:    One pound of fat is 3500 calories.

The goal is to lose fat and keep lean muscles.

 

Burning calories is an essential part of losing weight and being in shape. As long as you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.  It’s as easy as that.  Getting in shape isn’t about making huge changes to your daily life; it’s about making a series of smaller changes.

 

30 Ways to Burn 300 Calories

 

1. Sit Up Straight 

When you sit up straight, you engage your core, strengthening your abdominal and back muscles. You will also look taller and leaner as well.

2. Eat Breakfast

Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight – and keep it off. Eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism and it triggers your body to start burning fat. “People skip breakfast thinking they’re cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved,” says Milton Stokes, RD, MPH, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. “Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, binge-ing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure.” Read more at about the benefits of breakfast here.

3. Don’t Peel Your Fruits And Vegetables

The peel of the fruit and vegetables are often also the most nutritious part. Plus you will also get more fiber, which will keep you full longer.

4. Chew Your Food

Chewing your food helps you truly taste the food, causes you to eat slower, and also helping you feel fuller. It take your brain about 20 minutes before it is able to register from your stomach that you are full. Secondly, it uses bits of energy, so you’re burning as you eat. Try to aim to chew 20 times and set your fork down in between bites.

 

burn calories fast

5. Drink More Water

Drinking the right amount of water can easily save you 300 calories. Water boosts metabolism, so your body burns calories continuously. Most of us have trouble knowing the difference between being thirsty and hunger. Often times, we mistaken thirst for hunger. Instead, drink a cup of water when you think you’re hungry and see if the “hunger” goes away. When you are dehydrated, your metabolism also decreases. Drinking water throughout the day caused metabolic rates to increase by about 30 percent in a German study. You should drink half your body weight in oz. This is usually around 8-10 cups a day.

6. Get More Sleep

Getting fewer than four hours of sleep over an extended period of time slows the metabolism. There have been several researches showing how lack of sleep triggers and increases production of Ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Most experts recommend aiming for between seven and nine. To find out what your body needs, go to bed one weekend and don’t set the alarm. Wake up naturally. The hours you slept is how many hours you need to sleep each day.

7. Eat 4-5 Small Meals

Smaller meals are easier for the body to digest and helps increases your metabolism.

8. Relax

Relaxing feels so good, but it’s also good for your waistline. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, which causes more calories to be stored as fat, especially in your abdomen. Research also shows chronic stress is tied to an increase in appetite. Finding an effective way to reduce stress not only makes you happier, but it also makes your waistline smaller too.

 

Download your FREE  “30 Ways to Burn 300 Calorie” Report.  Just tell me where you want me to email your free report.

 








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