Busy Bones

Ever look at your dog, like really really look at your dog?

Black Lab SadfaceYeah, it sounds so wonderful to be a dog–no work, no stress, no responsibilities…But if you take a deep gander into their furry souls, often times you’ll see a lot of boredom pent up in there. They can go stir-crazy too, ya know.

Insert “Homemade” busy bones!!!!

These are the easiest dog treats that will keep ’em occupied for a little while, or at least until you have a moment to get them out for some fresh air. You do walk them every day, right?

PB Bone 2All you need is a few 2″-4″ Beef Marrow Bones and some all-natural peanut butter.

Simply give your pups the bones to chew/slurp the marrow out of, then fill ’em up again and again with peanut butter for them to eat and repeat. I use peanut butter that is just peanuts. There is no need for added salts and oils, especially when my boys get high-quality salts and oils in their homemade dog food that I prepare for them. <-Post to come soon!

PB Bone 3I like to throw these into the freezer for a few hours so the peanut butter hardens,  making it extra challenging (i.e. time-consuming) for them to enjoy.

Bear Hike 10-16 008That’s better!


Can You See Me Now?

King- Awkward Lab Sleep PositionI can’t imagine how on Earth this was even a remotely comfortable sleeping position for King.

Most of the time, especially in low light settings, it’s hard to get a good shot of this pup. His blackness is just so black that the camera can hardly catch his features.

How ’bout those chompers though? You can’t miss ’em!

Fast Food

Rice and Bean Salad Over Spring Mix with ParsleyI get a kick out of people who say they simply don’t have time to eat healthy.

My lunch came together in minutes!!! I tossed some cannellini beans and a bit of brown rice I had in the fridge with a dollop each of vegan mayo and dijon mustard. I then placed it on a bed of greens, topped it with some fresh parsley, and sprinkled on some ground pepper.

The parsley stole the show! My, oh my, if only more people kept fresh herbs on hand and used them. I think we could change the world 😉

Just Peekin’ In

photoJust peekin’ in to say I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

“The Hill”

January Run3 1/2 miles up and down the mountain via 5th & 10th Streets with my two boys

My friends and I fondly know this quick ‘n dirty workout as “The Hill” and boy, does it hurt so good. I love being able to climb the 525 feet of elevation in such a short loop right out my front door. The first mile is perfect for warming up as it starts out flat and gradually inclines. Then it’s up-up-and away from there! The best part is getting a solid workout takes only 35 minutes (it’ll be closer to 30 soon, I promise). There’s just no excuse to skip out.

Who is up for the challenge with me next time??

The answer is, yeah, probably!

Carcinogenic MilksWhy??

Because most milk-alternatives like those pictured above contain the  food additives carrageenan or “natural flavors”, and in some cases both.

A quick search on Wiki shows that carrageenan undoubtedly causes inflammation, a biological process activated by harmful stimuli in the body’s attempt to rid itself of the irritant. And simply put, chronic inflammation causes disease. So, no, drinking a bit of carrageenan-laden-hippy-milk won’t give you cancer, but the cumulative effect of ingesting products with food-additives day-in-and-day-out (which, yes, you probably do!) can. And in the interim you may develop early warning signs like a food allergy or asthmatic symptoms. Wiki addresses carrageenan’s safety as controversial, yet suggests it more than likely induces gastrointestinal issues and disease.

Understanding “natural flavors” is next to impossible and I can only safely conclude that they are chemically processed (which I read as junk or Frankenfood) and, to me, if an ingredient is that curiously vague we probably shouldn’t be consuming it.

Have no fear. There is an alternative to the alternative!!!

Make your own. My favorite is…

Hemp Milk 7Nut Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free, Vegan

This milk alternative is super easy to make, tastes great, and boasts around 7 grams of protein per cup!!! Hemp seed is low-carbohydrate and a complete protein with a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids making it promote brain and heart health, lower triglycerides, boost the immune system, and (unlike those aforementioned processed milk alternatives) reduces inflammation.

As long as you stock up on maple syrup and hulled hemp seeds you’ll never be out of milk for your cereal again. Unfortunately, this milk does not heat up well and shouldn’t be used in recipes like my homemade hot chocolate. It does seem to do okay in small quantities for baking and is great for things like smoothies and iced coffee!

Yield: About 3x 1 cup servings

*You’ll need a cheese cloth or Nut Milk Bag* <-I use this because it’s super easy to use and clean! I throw mine right in the wash on a cool delicate cycle.

  1. 3 cups water
  2. 1/2 cup hulled/shelled hemp seeds (I stock up on Nutiva Organic Shelled Hemp Seed*)
  3. 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Hemp Milk 2Simply throw all your ingredients into a high-powered blender. I use am obsessed with my Vitamix*and use it every s-i-n-g-l-e day!

Hemp Milk 3Whir it on high for about a minute-or so.

Hemp Milk 4Then strain into a pitcher with a nut milk bag or cheese cloth.

Hemp Milk 5Grab the milk bag with both hands and carefully squeeze out all the liquid. You’ll end up with hemp remnants that you can simply rinse down your garbage disposal or save to use for making dehydrated crackers or some other edible hippy thing. Eventually I’ll post something you can do with it <-Please hold me to this.

Refrigerate  in a sealed container and enjoy for up to a week.

Shake well before using!!

Let me know in the comments what you think of the hemp flavor. What recipes have you tried with it?? I’d love to know, especially with a picture or two.


*I, Laura Decker, am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com (i.e. so I don’t starve to death.) That being said, I do personally use and LOVE this product!!

We were blessed with not one, but TWO days of perfectly fluffy snow to play in over the weekend! Without too much hesitation (It was only in the single digits) Evan and I put on a few layers and loaded up the car with our skis and poles.

XC Skiing January '14 -4We made our way to the local fields where some of our friends had already laid down some nice tracks.

XC Skiing January '14 -2No paw prints here…much to the dogs’ dismay they were not invited along on this adventure. Denali has a history of running away while we’re cross country skiing so he’s lost privileges. Poor King has to suffer for it, but that’s a small price he pays for having a brother. We do the best we can, what can I say?

XC Skiing January '14Cross country skiing is such a new sport to me since I’ve only ever been a handful of times. Even though I’ve had my own pair of skis now for 4 season they’ve only really been used as many times. Needless to say, I only wiped out once.

XC Skiing January '14 -3It proved to be a fantastic workout. I enjoyed it, but the best part about cross country skiing is always peeling off all your wet layers afterward.

Homemade Hot ChocolateOn second thought, it might actually be snuggling up in some blankets with a piping hot cup of hot chocolate especially if it’s homemade!

Homemade Hot Chocolate 3

Vegan & Sugar-Free

This recipe uses only 3 ingredients! It’s almost as easy as making those preservative-laden packets of instant hot cocoa. It makes a single serving. No worries though. If you have an army of snow bunnies simply multiply each ingredient by the number of bunnies.

  1. 1 cup dairy-free milk of choice (I used Suzie’s Quinoamilk Beverage, Plain Unsweetened* This product does not have the carcinogenic food additives carrageenan and “natural flavors” like most other dairy alternatives.)
  2. 3/4-1 tablespoon raw cacoa cocao powder
  3. 1 tablespoon honey (or agave for vegan)

Heat the milk in a saucepan on low for about 5 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and sweetener of choice. Stir until all lumps and stickiness have dissolved, about 5-8 more minutes. And serve.

*I, Laura Decker, am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com (i.e. so I don’t starve to death.) That being said, I do personally use and LOVE this product!!

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