Daily Archives: November 23, 2011

Top 5 Thanksgiving Treats for Pets

Top 5 Thanksgiving Treats for Pets

  • posted by Samantha, selected from Animal Planet

By Joy H. Montgomery, Animal Planet

As you gather around the table this Thanksgiving and give thanks for good food, good friends and even your cranky family members, don’t forget the furry or feathery member of the family — your pet. Of course, a pet doesn’t need a toast in its honor to feel appreciated, but a special treat would probably elicit an extra lick or cuddle from your best four-legged friend. Just remember that the holidays aren’t an excuse to break from tradition and serve your pet chocolate or other foods that might upset its sensitive stomach. However, there are some terrific Thanksgiving treats that are perfectly pet-safe and guaranteed to make your critter feel extra-thankful for such a thoughtful pet parent. Here are just five.

 

5. Fruits and Veggies

Not all pets can eat meat, including most pocket pets like gerbils, hamsters, rats and birds. Many people love these small pets, but often overlook them when it comes to holiday treats. Pocket pets can have small treats occasionally, but according to the educational staff at Drs. Foster and Smith, they tend to like treats better than real food, so it’s best to dish them out sparingly. In general, raw vegetables like carrots and broccoli are OK to give a small rodent, so when you’re preparing your Thanksgiving meal, save a few pieces for your pet. Pet birds also love fresh veggies and fruits, including cooked sweet potatoes and cranberries, which are both common staples on many Thanksgiving tables. Cooked vegetables like pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and peas are terrific options for cats and dogs, too.

 

4. Bones and Chews

It might be tempting to toss a turkey bone your dog’s way during the holiday, but according to L.A. Animal Services, turkey bones can easily break, and the sharp splinters could cause damage to your dog’s intestines. If your pooch goes nuts for bones, look for store-bought bones or chews in special Thanksgiving flavors that will be a real treat without the risk. Pet trend expert Janet McCulley recommends turkey-flavored bones, or even organic dog chews made out of sweet potatoes or apples. Make no bones about it, you will be thankful your canine has a yummy Thanksgiving treat without the threat of a visit to the emergency animal hospital

 

3.Turkey Treats

If you like a traditional feast with a big turkey as the main dish, your pet is in luck. There are quite a few ways you can prepare some of your leftover turkey that will be paw-licking good. Be sure to remove any skin and bones and don’t serve your pet any turkey that’s been sitting out longer than two hours to avoid risk of salmonella poisoning. Skinless, boneless turkey is a great treat for most cats and dogs. Cut up a few pieces and add it to your dog’s regular food to give it its own Thanksgiving meal. For cats, try pureeing turkey with sweet potatoes or pumpkin and adding it to their regular food or letting them lick it straight from the spoon. And if you’ve ever wondered what to do with turkey giblets, try boiling them up for a yummy pet treat.

 

2.Biscuits and Other Treats

If you aren’t up for making your own treats or don’t have any leftovers, you can find a large variety of treats available at pet superstores or even your local market that will leave your pet feeling gracious. McCulley says ingredients like pomegranate, acai berry and quinoa, which have been fads in people food for the past few years, are now crossing over into pet treats. Look for items that are made with human-grade ingredients to ensure your furry friend is getting the very best. Many organic treats are made with natural ingredients such as pumpkin, sweet potato, and apple with ginger or cinnamon for a fun Thanksgiving twist.

 

1. Toys

If your pet is on a restricted diet or doesn’t usually handle new food well, pick out a toy that your animal will go gaga for. Consider a squeaky toy shaped like a turkey bone or a carrot. Some retailers carry “pampered pet” lines, in which you’ll find toys shaped like wine bottles or sushi (if turkey and all the fixings isn’t your thing). McCulley recommends interactive toys that dispense treats as a great way to keep your pet occupied while you’re entertaining human guests. By the time your furry friend has gotten all of the kibble out of the toy, you’ll be cleaning off the table and ready to spend the afternoon curled up in a turkey-induced coma with your pet.

Food to Avoid

  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Sage
  • Turkey skin and bones

Some one-on-one time like this is probably the best treat of all for your pet, but any of these five ideas can also help make sure your pet is a grateful gobbler this Thanksgiving.

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Healthy Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Healthy Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

  • posted by Brandi, selected from Diets in Review

The day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday, is practically a food holiday too considering refrigerators across the country are still bursting with leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes and plenty of turkey. If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your size this holiday season, indulging in seconds and thirds of your favorite holiday dishes can really derail your efforts. As if one 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving meal wasn’t enough!

We don’t want that food to go to waste any more than you do, so here are some ideas to break up the monotony of that roasted turkey without turning a one-day calorie fest into a weekend smorgasbord.

Turkey Quesadillas: Typically we think of quesadillas being filled with cheese, which equates to fat and calories. Try putting a healthy spin on quesadillas and top them with fresh salsa, which has practically no calories.

Hot Turkey Club Sandwich: After an indulgent dinner like Thanksgiving, keeping your diet simple the next day is the easiest way to stay on track. Prepare a simple club sandwich by layering roasted turkey, tomato, spinach leaves or romaine lettuce, and a smear of guacamole or avocados (instead of mayo) on two slices of whole grain bread.

Turkey Waldorf Salad: Instead of a rich, turkey salad laden with mayonnaise and calories, opt for a lighter version of Waldorf salad. Add leftover apples, raisins, and walnuts for a satisfying crunch.

Turkey Apple Pita: Instead of grazing aimlessly during your Black Friday lunch, add roasted turkey to a whole wheat pita topped with apple slices and your favorite vegetables for a little savory and sweet flavor.

Red Beans and Rice: Let simmer all day and then serve a piping hot bowl of this New Orleans favorite while you watch football. Add any leftover roasted turkey for a leaner addition than the traditional andouille sausage.

Of course, turkey isn’t the only thing left in the fridge. Here are a few other ideas for cleaning out without pigging out.

  • Cranberries. Add a tablespoon of fresh cranberry salad to a plain, honey, or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt for a sweet way to start your morning. If you have leftover pumpkin pie filling you can do the same with it.
  • Stuffing. Put leftover stuffing inside acorn squash or bell peppers and bake for a simple and healthy dinner.
  • Vegetables. Any leftover green beans, carrots, celery, onions, or other vegetables should be saved while you’re preparing the meal. Toss it all in a stock pot, cover with water, season with salt and pepper, and let simmer on low for several hours. Then strain the liquid off and you’ve got a homemade vegetarian broth.
  • Potatoes. Use any remaining roasted red or sweet potatoes to make a delicious side with an omelet. Heat a skillet, mist with cooking spray, and cook until warm and slightly browned.
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This Thanksgiving Thank A Farmer

This Thanksgiving Thank A Farmer

  • posted by Judi Gerber

As I do every year at this time, I am writing about something that may seem obvious, but that we often take for granted: the connection between Thanksgiving and farming. Whether you are a vegan or a meat lover, the holiday is all about food. As we sit down at the table with the ones we love and count the things that we are thankful for, take time to acknowledge and thank the people who grew that food; our farmers.

While many of us grow a large percentage of our own food, most of us don’t grow it all, or depending on our climate, can’t grow it and we turn to local farmers. And if we didn’t’ have local farmers, whether urban or rural, we would have no fresh, local food.

As I have also written about often, not only is this week, Thanksgiving Week, it is also National Farm City-Week (November 18 – November 24, 2011). It’s a week designed by the National Farm City Council to highlight the important roles that urban and rural partnerships play in food and fiber production and to enhance the links between farm families and urban residents. Since 1955, the President of the United States has annually proclaimed the week leading to and including Thanksgiving Day as National Farm-City Week.

Many people, especially those who grow their own food may think that agriculture doesn’t directly affect them. But, this is simply not true. From the time you crawl out of the cotton sheets on your bed in the morning, until you brush your teeth at night, agriculture is there. And, if we want a sustainable, local system of agriculture, then we must do all we can to help support and protect it.

First, educate yourself on farm issues, learn all about legislation and policy. A good starting point is to familiarize yourself with the Farm Bill. Also check out the issues and actions that are the focus of family farm organizations like Farm Aid and American Farmland Trust. Both of these groups work solely for the purpose of keeping family farmers on the land.

Whenever possible, buy directly from farmers. Even those of us living in urban areas can shop at a local farmers’ market or join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

Buying from farmers not only helps them keep farming, but it helps keep the dollars in the local economy. You can also look for locally grown produce and other foods when shopping at the supermarket. Look for “Buy Local” or “Locally Grown” signs showing that the food was made in your region or at least, your state. If you don’t see them where you shop, then ask for them to buy local products, ask where your food is grown, and ask them to change their buying habits.

Use social media to thank our farmers, to spread the word and encourage others to thank them as well. Are you on Twitter? Then, send out a message with #ThankAFarmer hashtag in it. Or, share links to Farm Aid or other farm organizations on your Facebook wall and encourage others to do the same.

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.
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Myths About Turkeys

Myths About Turkeys

  • posted by Megan Zehnder

Benjamin Franklin, who considered the turkey to be “more respectable” than the eagle, argued the turkey should be the treasured national bird. Somewhere down the line, the turkey took a fall in many American minds to become nothing but a standard meal. Over 280 million turkeys are killed each year for humans in the U.S. alone. Factory farms have altered domestic turkeys so much to meet consumer demand, that many people don’t even connect them with their wild cousins.

Myth: Turkeys are so dumb they look up in the rain and drown.

The rumor that turkeys are so dumb they will look up in the rain and drown is false. Contrary to common belief, animal researchers say turkeys are both intelligent and sociable animals. According to Farm Sanctuary, people tend to justify eating food-animals by saying they are dumb, and therefore less worthy of compassion.

Myth: Turkeys are too dumb to know how to reproduce on their own.

To meet the large consumer demand, commercial turkeys have been bred to be twice the size of what they would be in the wild. According to United Poultry Concerns, “If a 7-pound human baby grew as fast as baby turkeys are forced to grow, the human baby would weight 1500 pounds at 18 weeks old.” Because of their unnatural size, factory-farmed turkeys physically cannot reproduce naturally, so the industry relies on artificial insemination.

Myth: Turkeys can’t feel pain.

Turkeys raised in factory farms endure painful toe and beak mutilations. Since they typically live in an area that’s less than 3-square-feet, they endure psychological stress that leads them to attack other turkeys. To deter damage to other birds, their beaks and toes are burned off without anesthetic. In the wild, turkeys are social and nurturing beings.

Ways to Help a Turkey

1. Sponsor a turkey! Donate 30 dollars to Farm Sanctuary and you can get a certificate with a picture and details about a turkey you helped save.

2. Have a bird-free Thanksgiving! There are so many delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes out there. Here are some to get you started:

Roasted Pumpkin Cheese Fondue
Cornbread Stuffed Pumpkin With Greens and Walnuts
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

3. If you have the space, adopt a turkey. Fill out this application and provide a loving home for a turkey.

Start a new tradition this Thanksgiving and make a turkey friend.

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Feng Shui Tip of the Day for November 23

Arriving mere hours before a day that encourages being saucy with them, ‘Eat A Cranberry Day’ couldn’t come at a better time. Native to North America, cranberries were enjoyed as a culinary staple by Native American people a long time before they bogged down Pilgrim menus. According to lore, cranberries fall under the ‘protective’ foods umbrella and should be eaten when you’re feeling low, as it was believed that eating cranberries can raise your spirits. You are also advised to eat this tart and sweet berry whenever you feel like you’re absorbing negative energies from those around you. You can even gift that powerful protection to loved ones by giving away a little Thanksgiving Day party favor. Simply mix dried corn, cranberries, apples, grapes and pomegranates into your turkey stuffing and serve up some savvy protection. Or you can wrap these ingredients up in a gift pouch for a prosperous swag bag. Either way, this combination of ingredients has long been believed to bring protection, peace and prosperity, things to be truly grateful for on any given day!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Your Daily Number for Nov. 23: 9

You could feel an urge to clean up your immediate environment and get rid of things that no longer have a purpose. It’s a great day for problem solving and behind the scenes progress. Also a time for thanks; someone in your world is quietly in your corner.

Fast Facts

About the Number 9

Theme: Encompassing a love for all, Compassion, Patience, Selfless
Astro Association: Virgo
Tarot Association: Hermit
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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for Nov. 23 is 38: Diverging Interests

38: Diverging Interests

Hexagram 38

General Meaning: An image of estrangement is indicated here. One example used in ancient Chinese texts is how when brothers and sisters marry, they grow apart, since their allegiances now lie with new family groups. Though they will remain close enough to successfully deal with problems and share minor interests, they will be unable to undertake anything big together. Simply put, when people grow apart — even for the most natural of reasons — their points of view, values and interests start to diverge.

Diverging interests bring opposition into the world of human affairs. And when differences morph into alienation and enmity, no good results. But when opposition takes the form of healthy competition, or when contrasting energies or positions are seen as part of the natural order of things, good fortune is still possible.

Even when diverging energies make a situation seem stagnant or futile, there are always creative possibilities inherent in polarities. One is reminded of the yin-yang interplay that is fundamental to the creation of life itself. But when opposition arises from issues of principle, you must hold to your integrity and individuality. And avoid becoming involved with vulgar or base people who do not share your values. With both people and companies, one measure of stature is the quality of the competition.

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Today’s Runes for Wednesday, November 23 is Eoh

Today’s Runes

Spirit Runes are most commonly used for questions about mysticism, spirituality, and religion. Eoh refers to the Yew tree. The Yew does not go dormant and therefore represents endurance. Even the wood of the tree is strong, resilient, and pliable – the Yew bends, but does not break. The evergreen nature of the Yew is present even in the rune itself, as it cannot be changed even by reversal. This rune is historically symbolic of death, but, as in the Tarot and as suggested by the nature of the Yew tree itself, death is seen only as a transmutation of something eternal and unchanging – the spirit.
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