Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa's Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle, How About You?

Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle

How About You?

We all know how important it is to eat right and exercise; some people are better than others at fitting exercise into their daily routine. Statistics reveal that
in just the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity throughout the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the only state in 2008 that had a prevalence of obesity less than 20% was Colorado. Thirty-two states showed a prevalence of equal or greater than 25%. Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.

Why should we care?
An obese population means more health problems and potential consequences from obesity, such as the increase of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Unless we reverse this trend, diabetes alone could become a major public health crisis.
Can we reverse
the obesity trend across America? Time will tell -- I sure hope we can.

Healthy Santa
Simple physical activity and exercise can reduce your and your family's risk of premature mortality, in general, and of coronary heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and diabetes mellitus. If Santa can do it, we can too! Just don't forget to get a medical check up first and get your Doc's okay.

Enjoy this humorous Santa's Boot Camp video, which was
made a few years ago courtesy of the Ministry of Fun Movies on YouTube. The message is timeless:
Whatever your inspiration, incorporate exercise and physical activity into your lifestyle!

Happy Holidays from GardenCuizine
Best Wishes for a Happy,
New Year

Related Links
CDC U.S. Obesity Trends

American Heart Association Overweight and Obesity – Statistics

Copyright © 2009 Wind. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

GardenCuizine Recipe: Healthy, Homemade DOG Treats

All Natural
Healthy, Holly DOG Treats
with Peanut Butter and Molasses!
Low Fat, Low Sodium

Today, a member of the Food and Culinary Professionals Group of the American Dietetic Association asked me if I had a recipe for healthy, homemade Dog biscuits. Hmmmm, I thought...of all the recipes and baking that I do, I really didn't have a tried and true recipe for dog biscuits. Usually we cheat and
purchase store-bought.

After quickly looking at the ingredients on the box of our dog Holly's favorite dog biscuits, I whipped up this recipe for a quick and easy homemade version. When you make dog treats at home, you control the quality of and exactly how much of each ingredient your pet will get.  

Note that on the package of store-bought pet treats, FDA pet product labels are different than people food nutrition facts labels. For example, a box of dog biscuits lists ingredients in the order of predominance by weight and may show Guaranteed Analysis of crude fat, protein and fiber percentages.

Holly responded to her invitation to be our taste tester with a series of happy barks before devouring her doggie samples. Watching Holly lick her chops and bark for more was her approval that dogs will love these healthy, all natural treats!

Holiday Fun

Don't leave out your friends! Healthy, Holly Dog Treats make a fun gift to bring to a Holiday or dinner party of dog loving friends. Baggie up the fresh baked treats after they have thoroughly cooled and be sure to clearly label them as DOG treats with peanut butter.

Bow-Wowzer Gift
Doggie treat jars can be purchased at discount stores. They make a thoughtful gift when filled with healthy dog treats and decorated with festive ribbon and a homemade gift card.

For families and friends with peanut allergies, be sure to let them know the ingredients, or omit the peanut butter and substitute SoyNut Butter.

Putting it all together
Yields: approximately 4 dozen, 2 inch (5cm) treats
Preheat oven to 350
° F (177° C)

2 1/2 cups (312g) unbleached white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (40g) quick cooking rolled oats
1 Tablespoon (10g) milled flax seeds
1 Tablespoon (4g) nonfat dry milk
1 Tablespoon Brewers yeast (optional - adds minerals, B vitamins, protein and fiber)
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1g) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (3g) salt

2 eggs
1/4 cup (59g) water
1/4 cup (65g) peanut butter (we use natural, no salt)
1/4 cup (54g) canola oil
1/3 cup (112g) black strap molasses

  • In a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, set aside
  • In another, main mixing bowl - mix together the peanut butter and oil; add the eggs
  • Beat in the molasses and water
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended
  • Divide the dough in half, forming even balls with your hands. Flatten them into round disks and wrap in clear wrap
  • Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before using
  • Roll out the dough just like people cookies and cut out using cookie cutters -- have fun! They all don't have to be dog bone shaped; Holly loves all shapes, especially dogs and cats
  • Place on foil lined baking sheets (no need to oil or spray)
Bake for 12 minutes. Remove and cool, leaving on baking sheet. Turn the dog biscuits over and bake again for another 8-10 minutes. This will make the cookies harder and more crunchy, similar to twice-baked biscotti cookies. 

GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis: based on USDA Nutrient data for people
Serving size 1 biscuit (1/48 of recipe, 13g): calories 46, calories from fat 19, total fat 2g (3%DV), saturated fat 0, trans fat 0, cholesterol 9mg, sodium 29mg (1%DV), total carbohydrate 6g, dietary fiber 1g (3%DV), sugars 2g, protein 1g 

Photos and recipe Copyright © 2009 Wind. All rights reserved
.Rev. 11/18/11

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unknown Cats in your Garden?

Unknown Cats in your Garden?
If the unknown cats in your garden are not your own or your neighbor's, it is likely they are neighborhood feral cats. I was shocked to find feral cats in our backyard garden. And now that my family and I are aware of them, we see feral cats everywhere.

Maryann Mott, of National Geographic News reported in 2004, that according to feline experts, there were 70 million feral cats living in the United States. Today, 5 years later, we know the estimate would be even higher. Mott suggested the high feral cat population was due to weak efforts in controlling populations, and the fact that cat's reproduce so fast.

After finding -- not one, but four -- feral cats in our home garden, I was inspired to write the story, 'Tango the Garden Cat'.

Tango, the Garden Cat part 3: Home for Christmas
'Tango the Garden Cat' is a 3-part mini-series. The third and last part of this feral cat garden story, 'Home for Christmas', will be published December 23, 3009
on the website of Dave's Garden. You can read the story that day or you can find the story anytime after that on Dave's Garden, or by an online search (Google, etc).

What can you do to help feral cats in your community?
Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR). TNR has been shown to humanely reduce unwanted feral cats. Learn more from this informative video presented by The Humane Society of the United States.

Read Tango's Story
Tango the Garden Cat part 1: Tango Arrives by Diana Wind
Tango the Garden Cat part 2: Tango's Garden Adventure 

Tango the Garden Cat part 3: Home for Christmas

Related Links:

Keeping cats out of gardens and yards, Neighboorhood Cats
The Humane Society
Effectively Managing Feral Cats DVD,
The Humane Society
Alley Cat Allies
Managing a feral cat colony, Neighborhood Cats
U.S. Faces Growing Feral Cat Problem by Maryann Mott Carol Moore, ARTIST for the Tango mini-series

Video by The Humane Society of the U.S.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a strategy for improving the lives of feral cats and reducing their numbers.