Feeding Herman Canine

Just as I’m suspicious of processed foods for humans, I am (almost) equally concerned about¬†what I feed my doggie.

This isn’t to say I’m a complete crazy person. Yet.
But I am crazy enough that I regularly cook for my dog. #yikes

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Herman loves dress-up ūüôā

Here are my three concerns:

  1. Nutrition. What nutrition does the dog food contain?
    • Some commercial dog food is¬†messed up. ¬†And by messed up, I mean messed up beyond belief.
  2. Health Concerns. My dog is tiny, and tiny dogs are prone to three issues specifically:
    • weight gain;
    • knee problems;
    • anal gland problems
  3. Supporting Animal Cruelty. If you think about the cruelty that goes into making human food, I can only IMAGINE the cruelty that goes into making dog food. I¬†want to vote with my wallet. To whatever extent reasonably possible, I’d like to avoid supporting cruel practices.

A Resource!

DogFoodAdvisor.com  is an excellent resource.  They use a 1-5 star rating system to help you find the ideal food for your dog.

Whether your dog eats Wet Food, Dry Food, or Raw Food – you can easily find the top rated products. You can also use the search feature to look for more details on a specific food.

It’s very simple.¬†Each category of food is broken down according to the site’s rating:

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a screenshot

What I LOVE about this site is the level of specificity that they apply to each analysis.

  • Their database is EXHAUSTIVE
  • They examine each and every ingredient of a given product
  • But they also offer a¬†bottom line¬†w/ regards to each product so that you don’t get bogged down in the details
  • They offer levels of confidence with regards to statements they make about the safety and/or nutrition of any particular ingredient
  • They even show a recall history for the brand you’re looking at

One of the foods I regularly feed Herman is Primal Freeze-Dried Raw Food.  Here is just a small part of their analysis on this product:

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More to Learn

Just as there is more to learn about human nutrition, there is also more to learn about the perfect doggy diet.

That said, we probably know what a perfect doggy diet¬†ISN’T. It’s not a diet full of processed junk and filler.

Some dog foods can be prohibitively expensive, so we can only do the best we can. But this is great resource to figure out where to get started.

How does your dog food stack up? 

*EDIT* If anyone knows of a similar resource for cats (or other pets), please share the wealth. I’ve just found BestCatFoodAdvisor.net, but I don’t have any personal experience with it.

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Help! I Just Drank Casper’s Friendly Urine

Welcome to beautiful West New York, New Jersey. This is what my drinking water looks like:

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Even outside of Flint, Michigan – it is apparent that are countless fuck-ups when it comes to drinking water.

I’m beginning to wonder – hey water authorities, you know¬†it’s suppose to be clear, right?

Here are things I won’t do with my town-supplied water:
1. drink it
2. cook with it
3. give it to my dog

Here are things I do do with it:
1. bathe (but only when I really start to smell)
2. brush my teeth (but only when they really start to smell)

What’s G00d.

Your drinking water (and bathing water)¬†may be harmful to you, and more likely – to your micro-biome. This is true even if it’s perfectly clear!

In the worst case scenario, your drinking water can poison you and slowly make you crazy.

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But most likely you were already crazy to begin with.

We still don’t understand much about the effects of certain chemicals in our drinking water on our health. There are just too many chemicals to even begin testing! Why do companies want to poison us so much??

What’s worse –¬†most of us aren’t even aware of what’s in our drinking water. And that’s partially because it varies so much based on so many factors. And partially because who gives a fuck.

Obligatory Gratitude

At this point I should note the following: I’m really thankful that our drinking water is treated. I realize that a sad micro-biome is less serious than let’s say oh…. typhoid.

But¬†that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek to limit those aspects of water treatment that might cause us intestinal distress, or worse – the feeling of drinking¬†the urine of a friendly ghost

Filters exist! And should probably be used in many areas. Filters even exist for your shower head. So now, you can shower EVEN WITHOUT your tin foil hat.

A Resource!

I want to learn what’s in my water. But I can’t because for some reason my town isn’t in this otherwise AWESOME database.

It’s the Environmental Working Group’s¬†National Tap Water Database. All you need to learn more about your water is your zip code and the name of your water utility.

Since my town wasn’t in the database, I captured the info for my hometown where I grew up. While I don’t understand any of it, I’m going to assume based on the little red circles that I should expect a second head or extra big toe to pop up at any moment.

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How am I not a mutant?

BTW, I checked a few towns on top of this. And even though my search was brief, I uncovered MANY towns whose water supply looks much worse than this. Sooooo many more red circles…

As I mentioned, I don’t know what’s in my town’s drinking water. But I’m not going to assume it’s anything good. Because:
1. It’s gray; and
2. when I use it for my humidifier, my ENTIRE APARTMENT smells like chlorine.

..so that scares me.

In Sum

You might not give too much thought to your drinking water. But it probably wouldn’t hurt to have throw a filter on your tap.

I don’t filter my water, just because our sink is weird. I buy jugs of water from 7/11 because I’m a class act. Eventually I’ll buy a Brita jug.

If you’re a total nutbag, you can even filter your shower water. Who knows – you might be right. Your shower water might be killing you.

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How to Find Good Food

Yesterday I wrote a post about decent fast food options. I know I know, I totally suck at Fitness.

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If you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me, I’ll do my best to restore some balance to the universe with this post.

How?¬†By sharing a really awesome website I came across yesterday. It’s called EatWellGuide.org.

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EatWellGuide.org landing page

The premise: EatWellGuide.org helps you locate local healthy options. All you do is put in your Zip Code, town, or City.

Why I like It: 

  • I’ve been struggling to find a local Farmer’s Market. Even though I live just outside the city, I live just outside the city. So it’s a schlep to buy food there and bring it over on pubic transport.
  • It’s easier to use than Google Maps because the search is narrower.

Potential Downfall:

  • It seems like it may be focused on certain geographical areas, but I’m not 100% sure.
  • Try it out and see if it works for you!

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How to be a Hippie and also a Skeptic

Funny hippie man holding a love heart and pointing up.

Is Detoxifying Real? 

I am a skeptic. So I understand why words like ‚Äútoxin‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúliver‚ÄĚ sound made-up and stupid.

But I’m also a hippie. So at least once a week, you can find me in a meditative trance, removing “toxins” from my “liver” by way of¬†complete abstention from food. That’s right, I fast weekly. Fuck. You.

I Don’t Know What Toxins Are

What the hell are toxins? Where do they live?

I don’t like magical terminology because I love science. And in the name of science, I truly abhor catch-all words (like toxins).¬†But that doesn’t mean that toxins¬†aren’t real. In fact, I’m beginning to strongly suspect that livers might be real too.

Toxins may include, but are not limited to –>¬†pesticides, traces of antibiotics, chlorine (from your drinking water), MSG, BPA, preservatives, pollutants from various plastics and emissions. Dear god, even glucose is toxic to your blood (why do you think your body is so good at clearing it?).

Some of these toxins¬†live in your fat. When you lose weight, they are released into your blood. These are called “fat soluble.” Yikes.

Some toxins are stored in other places, like your left eye, or your right eye.¬†Maybe this explains why you can’t look at your mother straight.

Some of the above listed¬†compounds¬†might not even be toxic. Who knows? But some probably are. And some might not be toxic to you, per se. They simply destroy your microbiome and cause your ass to leak blood at the most inconvenient times (a phenomenon we fitness bloggers refer to as “anal menstruation.”)

It drives me crazy when people dismiss detoxifying as pseudo-science.

I apologize, on behalf of the hippies, for failing to effectively articulate their filthy-hippie points of view. ¬†Maybe they’re too busy¬†chanting at a crystal.

But despite never showering, the hippies might be onto something. And the hippie within me feels it intuitively.

Your so-called “liver”

Your body detoxifies constantly. Through sweat, through breath Рeven through your incontinent bladder. Your body is a homeostasis MACHINE. And it cannot LIVE without constantly detoxifying. How can you not respect its amazing homeostatic powers?

This¬†alleged “liver” of yours supposedly plays a role. Sure, whatever. Maybe Unicorns play a role too.

Imaginary or not, I don’t think that your so called “liver” is helped by a bed of rose petals, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, or whatever stupid thing you probably believe in. Namely, because all of those things are¬†moronic.

…But perhaps, just perhaps, we should at least consider the possibility that this mythical organ might be helped by a short break from the never ending onslaught of FOOD FOOD FOOD and chemicals that you’ve stuffed down your gullet every 3-5 hours (as recommended by ‘professionals’) for the past 38 years of your ¬†life.

Fasting and/or Just Not Taking in Toxins

Fasting is both ancient and new. Short fasts have shown health promise in so many ways. When there are problems with blood work, fasts often improve those problems.

I’m¬†not going to cite¬†specific studies here, because it’s so much easier to just make my claims without any support at all. But if you’d like to learn more – here are some great books that I love: “The Fast Diet” by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer and “Grain Brain” by Dr. Perlmutter. Dr. Joel Fuhrman also has great book on this topic, but it’s slightly dated.

If you don’t want to fast, you can detoxify in other ways. And in fact – fasting alone will never be enough.

You can simply reduce the amount of toxins you take in. And that’s real. Here is a story¬†about a family who went fully organic for just two weeks. ¬†The amount of pesticides in their blood plummeted. We still don’t know what effects, if any, this has on health. But I suspect that chemicals often have consequences. Why wouldn’t they?

Detoxifying Could Simply Mean Not Eating Weird Chemicals 

You don’t have to be a hippie to simply not eat weird chemicals.

Just try not to eat them, or at least to eat less of them. Chemicals go to the places where you put them. Why wouldn’t they? And even if your body is fantastic at getting rid of them, you don’t have to make it work so hard.

And while it is probably true that your liver is nothing but a¬†myth perpetuated¬†by the media, that doesn’t make¬†it¬†infallible. Everything degrades over time, even things¬†that were invented¬†in the cold sterile boardroom of some heartless corporation trying to sell you liver pills.

For more information on how you can avoid weird chemicals in your produce, check out EWG’s Clean Fifteen¬†and Dirty Dozen¬†lists. These lists tell you which fruits and veggies are most likely (and least likely) to be contaminated with pesticides.

It’s nice to create a nice environment for the things you love, and it’s nice not to take chances with your hot body. ¬†Treat your so-called liver with respect, and your so-called liver just might thank you by not killing you.

Peace. Love. Detox.

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