The Best Smoothie Recipe

Posted on November 28th, 2005 in Health and Fitness,Recipes by mynagirl

First off, to make good smoothies, you need a good blender. Being the Consumer Reports dork-heads we are, we picked the Braun MX2050, a steal at $50, and so far we have zero complaints:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S9H3/104-4355104-1337505?v=glance&n=284507&v=glance

Second of all, no ice. Ice is grody in a smoothie. One makes a good frozen smoothie with frozen ingredients. Here’s my recipe that I’ve put together with some trial and error.

Marie’s Favorite Smoothie Recipe
Note: put the ingredients in the blender in this order for best mixing results.

A handful of frozen strawberries — you can do ones from the freezer section, or once every couple weeks I buy organic ones and cut ‘em up and freeze ‘em in a big bag
A good slosh of Kefir probiotic milk (enough to almost cover the strawberries) — it’s like yogurt but has a more liquid texture. You can use regular yogurt (plain or vanilla) but it will take the blender a LONG time to mix it and you might have to stop it, stir the ingredients, etc, because the mixture is too thick to blend easily.
Half a banana. Mooshy is okay, you won’t even taste the mushiness. Beware of greenies, though.
Large heaping tablespoon of SMOOTH peanut butter — I recommend Laura Scudder’s Natural.
A bunch of honey. Try not to let the honey or the peanut butter touch the side of the blender, you’ll lose some of it to just sticking on the side.

Blend until smooth, and that’s about it! Many variations can be had (lose the peanut butter, add frozen pineapple, etc), but this one’s my favorite because it’s very protein-y. Sometimes I put some Stonyfield Farms organic Whole Milk Vanilla yogurt in on top of the Kefir to make it a bit thicker. But it’s good with just the Kefir.

Happy smoothing!

Canidae: The Best Dog Food our Dogs Have Ever Had!

Posted on November 5th, 2005 in Product Reviews by mynagirl

Well, it all started with that Anna Nicole Smith ad. Once the media flap started, I had to hear what the big shakeup was about the food we feed our cats and dogs. If you’re interested, here’s the big site dedicated to educating you about all the alleged abuses by Iams: http://www.iamscruelty.com/. Iam’s counterpoint site with video’s of “inside the pet facility” is here: http://www.iamstruth.com. The videos are very heartwarming and well, from my perspective, a bit hard to believe. PETA is a histrionic organization to be sure, but I’m more likely to believe what they say they found — or at the least the general tone of it — than a “damage control” belly-scratching video that Iams put out after the fact.

But regardless, that whole dust-up gave us a reason to search out a new pet food. The dogs hated Iams, but I wanted to feed them something “healthy” so that’s all we gave them — I figured Iams must be healthy since it was the most expensive stuff you could buy at the grocery store. I meant, the dogs would snarf up cheap stuff from the store but that’s hardly the best stuff for them, right? So, once Iams was out of the picture we started on a quest for a healthy food that they’d really like. Engineerboy came across the following link that rated pet foods by their ingredients:

http://animalark.eapps.com/animal/PetFoods.nsf/$$PetFoodsByRating?OpenForm

There were several dog foods in the four-star range that we thought we might try and find, with a couple local retailers listed. We ended up settling on Canidae, which we can buy locally at the yup-scale “hardware store” Bering’s (really a fancy gifts / chocolate / gewgaw store, but it does have feed store – type stuff there). Canidae sure sounded good — the first five ingredients listed were Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, and Lamb Meal. I mean, I’m a vegetarian, but I know that dogs evolved as carnivores and believe they should be fed meat. Those ingredients sure seemed pretty healthy for the hounds.

As a bonus, the dogs loved it as much (if not more) than any junk food cheap-o stuff from the grocery store, easily making its $45 price tag for a 40 lb bag worth it. Their coats look wonderful and shiny, and I think Biscuit the super-shedder might even be shedding a little less. One can hope. We also got their cat food, Felidae, and the cats seem to be snarfing that right up. Even our picky “can I please have wet food” tabby has calmed down a little and begged a bit less for the canned stuff, so that’s a miracle as far as I’m concerned.

As a side note, the PETA Iamscruelty.com site does not list Candidae Corporation responding to a survey saying that their organization doesn’t do animal testing, so I may give another of the four-star foods a try, since there is one listed (Azmira) that’s also on PETA’s list of