A Higher Commitment to Whole Foods

It’s certainly no secret how I feel about food — I love it!  But I especially love my real,  never processed, whole foods manner of eating.  I have done more posts on this subject than any other.  Yes, I am food obsessed… but in the best of ways.

Wilbur, Bella, mama and I settled in with a brilliant food-related movie this week:  Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (which is available streaming through Netflix).  Ok, the title might sound like a downer, but it’s not.  This is a fabulous documentary about an Aussie bloke named Joe Cross who had become obese and ill because of his over indulgences.

After consulting with doctors, Joe embarked on a radical and amazing journey — both within his digestive tract and across the United States.  For 60 days, Joe survived (and thrived) with a diet of only juicing fruits and vegetables.  He rented a car, and with juicer in tow, travelled across the country evangelizing the benefits of this healthy elixir to anyone who would listen.

Am I the picture of health, or what? It's all due to real food -- loads of veggies & no kibble

Just as Wilbur and I have done, Joe decided to cure his body with diet, and guess what?  A clean, whole, unprocessed diet works in peeps just as well as with pups!  I have already proven this truth in my own body and it thrilled me to view a movie chronicling the process with a human.

Joe is an affable mate and I thoroughly enjoyed his road trip and his transformation.  Joe remains completely motivated and committed throughout his travels, even when faced with tempting circumstances.  Isn’t this the picture of commitment — eyes on the higher prize kind of thinking?  I was uplifted witnessing his complete dedication to the cause:  his own health and edifying others.

Joe’s story is not just about health and healing our bodies through fresh, real foods.  His adventure is one of deep inspiration, hope and human connection.  Life lessons with a funny Aussie bloke — almost as good as life lessons from a Canadian/Brit dog!

You loyal readers know that when I review media I only choose the best of the best to share with you.  Why would I waste my precious laptop time telling you about something I didn’t enjoy?  I am a discriminating pup, you know.

Four big, furry paws-up for this amazing flick!

I would love to hear your thoughts about food as medicine, juicing, and fasting.  Cheers to your health, friends!  And thank you, Joe, for reenforcing our commitment to real food.

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Calling Dr. Food

It has been 9 months since Wilbur and I began our real foods diet makeover adventure and we couldn’t be happier (or healthier!).  I’m pleased to report that I have converted a few of my friends and readers to this simple and fresh program with positive results.

posterboy of health!

Today, I will be summarizing our program using quite a few links to some of the previous posts I’ve penned on this topic.  If you are considering this change in diet for your dog, or yourself, I encourage you to click through for deeper details.  (A complete listing of these posts can be found in the food & recipes category in the right sidebar.)

Our diet makeover was initially sparked by the rash of processed pet food recalls last year.  And upon further investigation, we realized that we could no longer fuel ourselves with unnamed and unknown poisons.

As we were honing our new food plan, it dawned on me that our balance of protein, grains, fruits and vegetables is exactly how humans should be eating too.   Blimey, I thought!  Perhaps I can encourage humans to eat healthier by first engaging them in caring better for their pets.  And we all know that often people put more effort into the care and well-being of their pets than themselves.

Generically, the magic ratio for people and pups is 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% protein and 25% non-wheat/non-corn grain.  Easy peasy, right?  And, according to our consulting vet, 50% of all ailments can be cured with diet alone.  In adopting this plan, both Wilbur and I are now allergy free.  For me, spring has always meant warmth, sunshine, flowers and inevitable ear infections.  Not any more!  (the ear infection part — everything else is the same).

And Wilbur, with his fair complexion and terrier attributes, had the constant runny-eye thing going on.  And that’s completely cleared up too.  We can finally appreciate his beautiful eyes without looking beyond the tar-like goo seeping from them.  Plus his once sparse and coarse fur has become soft, silky and thick.   And all these improvements are solely due to dietary changes.

beautiful, clear eyes

Remarkably, similar results are noted in humans who are heavily fueling on fruits and veggies.  When mama goes on one of her “cream of green” kicks for a couple of weeks her skin is glowing and her hair is softer.  Friends have even asked if she’s using a new moisturizer or if she’s had a little “work” done.  No readers, it’s just the byproduct of fresh, real foods.

I’ve previously declared myself the Jamie Oliver of pups and I take my responsibility very seriously.  I am deeply committed to encouraging health and healing through diet for pups and their peeps.

Who’s ready to join me?

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Food Shouldn’t Be a Four-Letter Word

I’ve got food on my mind… I know what you are thinking, dedicated readers — I always have food on the brain — but I’m talking about more than just my next snack adventure.

Food on my mind (and a bone in between my paws)

There’s been some chat in my blogging group (The Circulation Desk) around food, and I don’t mean only recipes, but real conversation about real food.  Privately, I’ve had chats with a number of our members and when the subject of food comes up we are always sparked into serious debate.

Healthy eating, GMO’s, gluten-free, chemical additives, hormones, lack of fresh produce in poorer neighborhoods, sustainability, and the general state of our food supply are only a few of the topics of discussion.  We all have a passion for food (some of us more than others) whether we realize it or not.

My Dog Diet Makeover Series proves my dedication towards healthy and real foods for pups and their humans.  And my partners in blogging are equally enthusiastic about voicing their opinions about the state of food and nutrition in our country (and world).

Darcie is curious about chemical additives and Judy is looking into the status of regional food banks.  Like me, Darcie’s passion has been further inspired by Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution.  As I often say, I am the pooch version of Jamie!

When humans comprehend the ingredients in their pet’s kibble, I believe that they will consider feeding their pups real food.  The next logical step for said humans is that they will think more deeply about what is really in their prepared foods.

I truly believe that dogs can be the leaders in this movement, creating a snowball effect.    People feel disgusted learning that the added calcium in kibble is from incinerated animals — yes, that is true — so, imagine how reviled they will be discovering what’s really in the lunch “meat” (or popsicle, or chicken nugget, or processed cheese, or soda) they feed themselves and their children?

Getting back to The Circulation Desk, we plan to launch a blogging challenge around food and it’s many off-shoot subjects soon.  The collection will be edifying and entertaining to be sure.   I will keep you posted on the challenge as I know you will all want to devour these delicious blogs!

I'm waiting to hear your thoughts....

I would like to hear from you, friends.  What are the food topics that you find most interesting and valuable?  Here are a few subjects to consider, but I’d really like to know your personal thoughts:  Vegetarian, GMO’s, additives, sustainable ranching and farming, organic, free-range vs. caged, recipes, vegan, diet plans, feeding the hungry, emotional eating, food addiction, access to whole foods, pricing and diet plans.

I’m excited to hear your thoughts!

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I’m the Bob Greene of Healthy Pups!

For over six months I’ve been preaching about my Dog Diet Makeover and am pleased to report that I have converted a few of you.  My plan is so simple; 50% vegetables and fruits, 25% protein and 25% non-wheat/non-corn grain.  This dietary formula is not only perfection for pooches, but for their humans too.

I was tickled this week when I watched fitness-guru Bob Greene on Oprah and he said “50% of what’s on your plate should be fruits and vegetables.”  I am thrilled that my diet already matches what experts advise.

catching my breath after a run

Greene’s new book, 20 Years Younger, is a four-tiered approach to overall health and fitness.  His 4 important areas to master for a healthier, younger body and mind are nutrition, exercise, sleep and skin care.  His book is geared towards bipeds, but this is a lifestyle that I fully support for dogs as well.

I already have a properly balanced diet that closely mimics my mama’s food intake, although my protein (& Wilbur’s) is often meat-based whereas my human no longer consumes land animals.  She still has fish occasionally, but her primary protein sources are tofu and other soy products, legumes and eggs.

Mr. Green suggests 300 minutes of exercise per week.  I hear some humans groan at this number, but it’s really quite easy to fit in those hours — only 5 hours out of 168.  Once or twice a day, Wilbur & I walk with mama, which averages about 30 minutes a day.  Plus, weather permitting, we hit the dog park 5-6 times a week and if it’s raining, we often have a play date with friends.  Our dog park play time can be up to 60 minutes per outing, so our exercise hours add up quickly.

Like humans, sometimes we exercise hard and sometimes we just put in our time with a mellow walk, but the important thing is we are moving consistently.  Leaving Wilbur and I to supervise Bella, mama adds a few hours of tennis and some yoga classes each week as well.

Needless to say, none of us is overweight, even though I sometimes stray from my diet plan (like my assault on the Easter pastries!).

While Wilbur and my eating and exercise habits closely mimic our mama’s, our regimens differ when it comes to sleep and skin care.  Adequate sleep is a challenge for my human, but she is getting better.  On the other paw, Wilbur and I snooze a solid 9 hours every night and we never scrimp on our daytime naps.

Wilbur in excellent health (with excellent skin!)

When it comes to skin care, our real food diet takes care of our dermatological needs.  Once we trashed the kibble, with all it’s processed ungodly (and undogly!) ingredients including wheat and corn, our skin issues magically disappeared.  I no longer get ear infections or scratchy skin and Wilbur’s eye goo is almost nonexistent.  My human is “of a certain age” so her skin care regimen involves various products, lotions and potions.

Humbly speaking of course, I think Mr. Greene and I should collaborate on a healthy lifestyle book that speaks to peeps and pups.  I am a picture of health!

How do you manage nutrition, exercise, sleep and skin care for a healthier you?

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