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In college I worked 30-40 hours a week at my internships on top of classes, homework and a weekend job. After college I worked at a start-up ad firm 60-70 hours a week. Anyone who has lived like that (looking at you, college students, new moms and CEOs) knows what that kind of schedule does to one's eating habits.
My food pyramid referred not to a balanced diet, but to the pile of trash bags from breakfast bar wrappers and fast food bags that piled up each week in the backseat of my car. Thankfully, I have a little more time to do things besides work these days, like pursue my own projects, go to grad school, write for pet blogs and, oh yeah, eat. I'm trying to be more conscious of what I'm fueling my body with.
The organic movement is great. It's an effort to get back to "real" in both the way we produce food and the way we consume it. Even if you're not a health nut, you can appreciate the smart simplicity of a diet that cuts down on trans fats, chemicals and ingredients that you can make or harvest outside of a lab.
The organic movement happens to be great for pets, too. Their bodies are a lot like ours, and as our society becomes more conscientious about our diets, we should become just as critical about what we're feeding our furry and feathered friends.
My dog, Zsu Zsu, has a very sensitive little constitution. She's allergic to red dye and new dog food can make her queasy for a few days. So I've tried out some simple, natural recipes that seem to work well for her. Like any new diet regime, you should consult your vet before starting it and consider any special restrictions or needs your pet may have.
Turkey is a lean meat and typically an overall better choice for meat. Here’s a delicious recipe from Money Crashers for your pet’s dinner. And since it’s from Money Crashers, it’s budget-conscious, too.
4 cups of water
1 pound of ground turkey
2 cups of brown rice
1 cup of carrots, chopped
1 cup of green beans, chopped
1 tablespoon of fish oil (optional)
Cook the turkey in a skillet over medium heat until the meat is cooked through. (I always use a thermometer
Add the brown rice, turkey and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until the rice is soft and tender.
Add the carrots and green beans. Cook for an additional 5 - 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Allow to cool.
Store extra dinners in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Pro Tip: Avoid using heavy oil to brown the turkey. The high fat content of the oil may upset your dog's stomach.
The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook is also a great cookbook for organic dog treat recipes. Most include ingredients that you or I would eat, so don’t feel bad if you’re tempted to try one or two. And yes, I bought it because of the cute cover. Don't judge me.
Megan Lovely lives in the Midwest and has one mutt mix named Zsu Zsu, though she also spends quite a lot of time with her parents' dogs, Piper and Murphy. She can often be found pulling over and picking up lost dogs and surreptitiously feeding the family of raccoons that live in her garden shed, although she'll swear to her roommates that she's not.