Health Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs

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When administrating natural products to our pets, there are – for a good reason – some serious questions that come up
Today, I am answering the top 4 questions asked related to the health benefits of coconut oil for dogs.

Most common questions people ask me, when the topic of adding coconut oil to a dog’s diet comes up are:

1. Is coconut oil safe for dogs?
2. Why should I give my dogs coconut oil?
3. What is the best type of coconut oil for dogs?
4. How to administer coconut oil to the dog

Is coconut oil safe for dogs?
Generally speaking, it is safe for most dogs. Like people, animals can present allergies, so as with all new medication, remedies and food changes, watch your dog very closely.The most common side effects of giving coconut oil is  some greasy stool and upset stomach, which occurs most often because it was introduced too quickly to the dogs diet. If your dog shows severe signs of upset, is vomiting or has excessive diarrhea contact your vet, and disclose that you are introducing coconut oil.

 

Why should I give my dogs coconut oil?
Coconut oil has a wide variety of health benefits for your pets as well as for you. The health benefits for your dogs
are the following:

– antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties
– aids in recovery and prevention of allergic reactions
– balances thyroid and weight issues
– reduces doggy odor
– improves digestion
– aids in healing from wounds and scrapes
– aids in the reduction and healing of dry spots
– helps reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis and joint dysfunction
– reduces bad breath
– prevents diabetes

What is the best type of coconut oil for dogs?
Make sure you read the label of your coconut oil closely. You should always use organic coconut oil that is
non-gmo (I would highly recommend that you choose the same if you are planning to use it for cooking human food)
Coconut oils vary in their flavors – some of them greatly. For your pet, you want to look for a coconut oil that has little
or no coconut flavor, like this Island Fresh Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which is my dogs favorite. It is also cold-pressed, which assures that it is of highest quality
How to administer coconut oil to the dog:
While some dogs are eager to try new things, others – like one of my own – need a little bit of convincing. But there
are some ways to make giving coconut oil a little easier to your dog, by making your own dog treats or by purchasing
dog treats made with coconut oil. Some dogs love the taste so much so, that they will enjoy licking it off a spoon!

 

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER – DO NOT START WITH THE RECOMMENDED DOSE!
Gently introduce coconut oil to your dog’s diet, by including it into your homemade dog food or treats. Start with a fourth
of the dose, then slowly increase the dose over the next 4 weeks. This will prevent stomach upset, and the dreaded greasy
diarrhea, that comes from introducing coconut oil too quickly. The recommended dose of coconut oil for your dog depends on its weight:

Coconut Oil Dosage: 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight

 

 

 

Do you have any additional questions regarding coconut oil for dogs? Leave me a comment below!

 

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Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara (Creamy Coconut Leek Sauce)

Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara

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I like eating creamy dishes – which is why I almost always have coconut milk in the house. It is no wonder then, that I had to find a replacement for one of my favorite pasta dishes – carbonara. Not exactly the most healthy meal in its original form,
but yummy enough to break all of the rules.
But now I don’t have to feel guilty about my creamy indulgence anymore because I came up with a carbonara that replaces the real thing. I hope you like it as much as I do, just one warning – it is addicting.

You will need:

1 package whole-grain pasta (you can use gluten-free, or regular whole-wheat, whichever you prefer)
1 leek
2 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 can (about 250 ml) coconut milk (for this do not use the low-fat variety – trust me on this, it is time to splurge)
salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg to taste

Preparation:
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Rinse and set aside.
Meanwhile, cut the white part of the leeks in thin rings. Add the coconut oil into a deep pan, cook until the leek becomes
somewhat translucent, similar to cooking onions. Add the coconut milk to the leek and simmer for 5 minutes, or until
the leak becomes soft. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Top your pasta with the creamy coconut sauce – and you are done!

Another simple, yet yummy meal, that is easy to make, and satisfying enough for a meat eater. If you are participating in the Meatless Mondays’ this is the perfect easy, and decadent meal for you, that keeps you full, energized, and will not make you miss the meat, dairy or any other animal product!
Variety: I have made a variety of this dish by adding broccoli instead of leek to the sauce. It is just as yummy!

To make the creation of this dish even easier, and keep your food from sticking, use this great CuliChef Silicone & Stainless Steel Spatula that I have recently discovered. I love this heavy duty kitchen instrument, as it can hold some weight, does not stick and can handle heat up to 445 Degrees Fahrenheit (220 Celcius). I have become a fan of anything silicone when it comes to kitchen gadgets, and this spatula is no exception. It has a long handle, which prevents any splattering on your hands, which is great, especially when you are trying to teach children how to cook. As an extra bonus, I found it very easy to clean, no matter what sticky mess I made.  Try it out, it is available on Amazon now.

(Disclaimer: I have received the CuliChef Silicone & Stainless Steel Spatula for free in return for an honest and unbiased review. )

 

Have a wonderful day!

Claudia

Vegan Pink Curry Recipe With Red Beets

Vegan Pink Curry Recipe With Red BeetsFinding something to make for lunch that we can all eat safely, and that fits our different lifestyle choices can be challenging. So I like to experiment not only with different techniques, but also with flavors. which sometimes works, other times ends in total disaster – oh well. This recipe was inspired by my search through German vegan blogs, where someone used a lot of red beets, sometimes in combination with Indian flavors. Which in turn sparked my creativity, and made me come up with this now  family -tested and approved, Pink Curry Recipe With Red Beets. (I love cooking with coconut milk!)

 

Pink Curry Recipe With Red Beets.

 (feeds 2 hungry people) You will need:

1 large or 2 small fresh red beets, cleaned, peeled and diced into small cubes

1 medium size leek, cut into thin rings

1 small onion, finely diced

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

1 can of organic coconut milk (our can was 13 oz)

2 cups of veggie stock – use your favorite kind

salt, pepper and curry powder to taste – I like it a little spicier, so i tend to add more curry and pepper, but how much is totally up to you.

Olive oil

Instructions:

Add olive oil, leeks, and onions into the pan, cook until translucent. Add the veggie stock, potatoes, beets, coconut milk and spices, stirring well to combine. Bring to a simmer. Add more spices if necessary. Cook at medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are done, stirring often during the cooking process.

Serve hot.

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Simple, isn’t it? Yet it has such a wonderful combination of earthy flavors, and powerful spices that made it so delicious, even my husband, who is a dedicated meat-eater did not have a choice but to enjoy. A perfect recipe for anyday, or your Meatless Monday meals.

Have a wonderful, and healthy day!

Claudia

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P.S. No time to shop and plan a meal? Check out SunBasket’s Vegetarian Menu for this week here! Includes a yummy Lentil dish, that is absolutely delicious and soy free! Also available are gluten-free, and paleo meal options. Find out more here

 

 

 

5 Facts You Might Not Know About Bento Boxes

5 Facts You Might Not Know About Bento BoxesThe following post may contain affiliate links

Bento boxes are all of the rage, ranging from adorable boxes for children, to elaborate stackable wooden boxes,
with beautiful decor. Originating from Japan, they are a wonderful way to store and transport food wherever you go.

But how much do you really know about these traditional Japanese food boxes? I have collected 5 Bento facts you might not know, just for you:

I have collected 5 Bento facts you might not know, just for you:
1. Bento actually means convenience. And that is exactly what they are, a convenient way to take food with you, with
practical compartments keeping your food separate and clean.

2. In Japan you can be served Makunouchi Bento at a restaurant. These meals come arranged in elegant lacquered boxes, and are often very elegant.

3. There is such a thing as bento art. Featuring elaborate designs – cute, filled with humor, or just simply weird – Hongkiat
features a few of these well-designed bento art pieces. Check out the Starbucks bento box, which is my personal favorite

4. The difference between a bento box, and a lunch box is,…. well there is not any, because essentially a bento box is a
lunch box used in Japan. The biggest difference is probably, that a lunch box does not have to have separate compartments to be a lunch box, while a bento box usually has at least two compartments.
5. Great for eating healthy – bento boxes, because of their separate compartments allow for portion control. This is
especially great for those who are trying to reach their goal weight, or trying to ensure that they are consuming a balanced
meal. Use the largest compartments for veggies, and the smaller ones for proteins, starches, and even desserts.

My current favorite bento lunch boxes are these NimNik Kitchenette 3-Compartment Bento Boxes. Easily stackable, these three compartment boxes make it easy to transport a well-rounded lunch to the office, but are in my house mostly used for meal-prep. I like the prepare my healthy snacks and meals ahead of time, knowing that if I have the convenience of filled bento boxes at my fingertips, I am less likely to reach for an unhealthy snack. They are perfect for holding cold
lunches, such as sandwich and salad lunches, my favorite vegan wraps, or especially for a raw meal, like zucchini noodles with raw tomato sauce, with space left for some no-bake cookie balls, and fruit!. They come in a pack of ten, with a black bottom and a see-through plastic top, and are easy to clean. I love that the lid fits very tightly upon the box, making sure that there will be no mess, during transport. They are not of the thickest material, so I would not abuse them, as
it is possible with some other sturdier bento boxes, but I have had neither breakage or leakage issues with them, and we
have put them through the family test.

You can find the NimNik Kitchenette 3-Compartment Bento Boxes on Amazon right now!

 

Want to see how bento boxes can be used for a healthy, vegan meal prep? Check out one of my favorite YouTuber “Mind Over Munch” create Vegan Bento Boxes!

Disclaimer: I received the NimNik Bento boxes for free in return for an honest review

 

Wordless Wednesday: Wellness

Those who thinkthey have no time for healthy eating, will sooneror later have to make timefor illness.

 

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Spring Digital Link Up

Wordless Wednesday (1)

Wordless Wednesday (2)

Wordless Wednesday by XMasDolly 

What Are You Doing In April – Blog Hop

Extra Veg – April Linky

Be Inspired 

How Should We Combat Hatred? – Offering A Prayer Of Peace

How Should We Combat Hatred- - Offering A Prayer Of Peace

This is not a post I usually write – frankly, this is not a post I want to write, because I do not want to talk
about hatred, negativity and politics in this blog.
But after I just heard the news that the Mother of my daughter’s boyfriend was attacked by someone using racial slurs,
and Donald Trump rhetoric, I had to speak out.
You see, we are a family of mixed decent. I am German, my husband is a mix of Irish, Native American, and Jewish decent, and my daughter is dating a wonderful,young hard-working Mexican-American man. His mother, equally hard working, and an upstanding citizen of this country was attacked by a white guy, this afternoon, telling her that all Mexicans should leave and that he is going to end them all. He continued to spew words about Donald Trump, repeated those hateful viewpoints, that have been brought into our homes via television over the last few months.
Thankfully she is okay, but it could have ended so much different. No one should have to experience this kind of behavior,
may it be because of their skin color, country of origin, gender or religion. It makes me angry – and I really do not try
to get angry – but it also makes me sad, that we now live in a space where people believe that it is okay to act this way.
This behavior of racism must stop now, may it be against African-Americans, Latin-Americans, or Native Americans, or anyone else.

I am asking you to offer a prayer for peace, no matter which religion you practice.

As a Pagan, I offer the following prayer:

“O Gracious Mother and Merciful Father,
We pray that you help the leaders and people of this world to have compassion in their hearts,
That you give them the wisdom to end the suffering caused by wars and hatred,
And the understanding that only through peace will we truly be happy;
We humbly ask you to guard and protect all of our brothers and sisters, no matter what skin color, origin, religion or gender.
And give comfort to the loved ones, who have lost family members due to these types of injustice.
May you lead us from death to live,
From falsehood to truth,
Lead us from despair to hope,
From fear to trust,
Lead us from hate to love,
From war to peace,
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our Universe;
Let our words be spoken in truth,
And our hearts show only love.”

So Mote It Be

Loosely based on a prayer found in “The Wicca Life”

Maybe you can find peace in your heart, and share a moment in prayer with me.

Thank you

I am grateful that she is okay.
I am grateful that none of her children were with her
I am grateful that despite this, she and her family are not answering with hatred
I am grateful that I know that there are good people in this world, standing up for what is right.
I am grateful for you.

Claudia

Blog Hops:

Thankful Thursdays

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

A Day Of Dog Pampering – A Dog Care Supply Haul I Am Excited About

A Day Of Dog Pampering

Disclaimer: I have received the products mentioned free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post also contains affiliate links. See disclosure page for details

Due to the many allergies my little-adopted furry dog  friends have, do I refrain from sending them to a groomer, and rather take care of their needs myself. Even if that means some extra work – and the occasional times when I end up wetter than the dogs taking a bath – I love pampering my pooches, while the cat watches on from the distance.

But before washing them with our favorite Burts Bee Hypoallergenic Shampoo (for Dogs), however we had to try out our new Furbabies Retractable Dog Leash, and the dogs had a blast with that thing.

Retractable Dog LeashI have been staying away from retractable dog leashes, as I had a bad experience with them, having been cut, after it wrapping itself around my leg. So I was pleasantly surprised when the Furbabies 15 ft retractable leash offered a flat soft leash, that will prevent these accidents from happening. While it states, that it is for small dogs – and I originally accepted the offer, because I wanted to use it on a small toy chihuahua, it is better suited for my medium dogs of 30 pounds (Welsh Corgi/Beagle mix), and a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix (45 pounds).The handle of the dog leash alone would have been heavier than our little friend, so we are sticking with a generic, non-retractable leash for our cute sweetheart.  But, for my two larger high energy dogs, this leash is now my favorite.

Adding the finishing touches to their day by using our Safari dog nail clippers, my dogs are again presentable, even if they might not have enjoyed the last part as much as the did the new leash. I contemplated the use of doggie nail polish, but I am pretty sure, my husband would have thought I was completely crazy, so I led that one go.

After the wellness treatment

After such adventure, we are usually all exhausted, as you can see by how one of my puppies passed out, watching us play Sorry!. 

 

Question: What are your favorite ways to pamper your pets? Do you have a special groomer you take them to, or do you also DIY their beauty routine at home?

 

This post is a part of the following blog hops:
March Week #4 Blog hop

What Are You Doing In March Blog Hop

Winter Is Leaving Blog Hop

No Rules Weekend Blog Party