Save more on selected beef treats

From December 19th through 25th, you can save more on Selected beef treats.

**Free Range Grass-fed Brazilian beef gullet strip 5″-6″

5″-6″ Free Range Grass-fed Brazilian beef gullet strip made in Brazil.

These are made from Free range beef that received No antibiotic,No growth hormone in their life.

Since gullet is great source of natural Glucosamine,it is especially great for Arthritis dogs.

th Free Range Brazilian Gullet strips

Single: Normally,it is $1.60,but with sales price,it will be $1.25

10 pieces: Normally,it is $12.89, but with sales price,it will be $10.09

**Free Range Natural Cow Ears with base

These are made from Free Range beef in Argentina that received No antibiotic,No growth hormone in their life,and no smoke is used.

Due to natural dog treats,length of the ear can vary.

th Natural Cow Ears with Base

Single: Normally,it is $1.22,with sales price,it will be $0.61

*** Bulk treats of the Month ~ December ~ ***

** Dehydrated Grass-fed beef tripe strip 50 count $18.09

** Himalayan Dog Chew (hard cheese stick chew) small 3.5 oz (3-5 pieces/pack) 4 packages $30.26

*** Palette’s K9 Foodie Mystery bag ~ December;Special Deluxe bag ~ ***

Palette’s K9 Foodie Mystery Bag Deluxe is the mystery bag that consists of all natural dog treats and toy.

Each bag contains 6-9 products per bag and, shipping and handling is already included in the price.The shipping method will be determined by us.

** Palette’s k9 Foodie Mystery Bag Grain Free Beef Deluxe $39.26

This offer is valid while supply lasts. These menu can be found under “Bulk treats of the month&Palette’s K9 Foodie Mystery bag” category.

Please enjoy treat hunt for your furry friends!!

** Selected Dog toys on sale.Please click here to visit Dog toys page.

** You can get Free shipping with order over $100 (No coupon code required)

** We ship the order on every Monday,Tuesday, every other Wednesday.

** You can get FREE one count of Buffalo trachea strip (Buffalo version of Moo-tubes sliced into strip) with every order!

** Watch how much Palette enjoy her Buffalo Trachea strip below.

Palette and Buffalo Trachea strip

** We accept only US order,no international order please.

**If you become a fan of our Facebook page,you can get “Fan only” offer,and discounts. Please find “Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen” on Facebook.

To visit our store,please click here or paste and copy the link below into your browser.


Dec 19, 2014 | 0 | Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

Yassy’s note: First step into IVF journey


In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Note:Impossible dream made possible“,I wrote that 12 years ago, I came to the states via marriage and,after spending about 2 years ourselves alone, we started thinking about starting a family. However, doctor has found the toxic fluid for babies in one of the tubes and the other tube was closed , plus I had the wall in heart shaped uterus (bicornate uterus). Therefore, both tubes had to be removed.

 Since my uterus had so little space for the babies to grow, our first doctor told us that our option for our dream of life will be achieved via surrogate program,which runs up 60,000 dollars.

 However, when we went to the fertility clinic to talk about option in detail, we were told that the another doctor could perform the surgery to remove the wall in my uterus so the babies can grow, and that I could carry my own baby via IVF as option.
 In the another previous entry titled “Yassy’s Note: One step closer to our IVF journey“,  I wrote that the infertility evaluation process is recommended first before the treatment such as IVF if the couple has attempted to conceive more than a year without success. Then, I have explained what kinds of evaluation tests we went through and how they are performed.

 In this entry, I would like to write about how our very first IVF journey has begun.

Mock Egg transfer/Hsteroscopy..

 After all the evaluation is done, fertility clinic scheduled me for the mock Egg transfer/Hysteroscopy,by which physicians would be able to see the uterine anatomy (condition of the uterine cavity,and where the fallopian tubes enter the uterus.It also tells the physician if there were any adhesion,growth of tissue, fibroid in the uterus), and he/she could plan what technique/tool/method to use as well as the planned location of the embryos; exactly where they would like to place the embryos when the real egg transfer date, to help increase the odds of implantation.The physician would also check your cervix

 It was April 2010. This procedure is often done between day 6-11 of your cycle and,you would feel like pap smear.It is not a painful procedure although since you come with full bladder, it is a little uncomfortable during the procedure.

 The procedure itself is done as following steps.

Often times, the clinic will ask you to call when your cycle has begun;day 1. Then, schedule your mock egg transfer/Hysteroscopy.

 The clinic would ask you to take the antibiotic on the day of mock egg transfer/Hsteroscopy day. At the clinic we went to, they also asked us to take the painkiller such as ibprofen to decrease the cramping one hour before the procedure.

 The procedure itself is done by inserting a speculum into your vagina,and then local anesthetic is injected to numb the cervix. The physician would then gently insert the hysteroscope to look inside the uterus.
 After the procedure is done, you will be asked to rest for 15 minutes in the room.

 The clinic we went to did mock egg transfer when they scheduled me for the hysteroscopy at the same time.

  The mock egg transfer will be done under abdominal ultrasound, and they will check the cervix. This procedure is to simulate the conditions of the embryo transfer.

 The clinic we went to asked me to start drinking water 2 hours prior to the appointment and drink at least 8 cups of water. However, I had long drive to the clinic and it would have been so uncomfortable if I drank that much. Therefore, I simply drank the water just enough to have my bladder full without feeling too full.

  This mock egg transfer/Hysteroscopy procedure were not included in the IVF program,and we had to pay roughly $500 through our insurance company for them.

  When you think about trying IVF program, ask the financial staff as to what are included in the program,what are not included in the program and at the same time, ask your insurance company whether what are not included in the IVF program at your chosen clinic would be covered or not beforehand.

 When everything in the uterus looked ok, they gave us long pages of Treatment agreement sheet,which we had to read it,sign it, date it and one of them had to be notarized and submitted to the office. It was May 2010.

What the treatment agreement basically said was risk and benefit of the treatment such as the fact that the treatment is not something they can guarantee that the treatment will be effective to maintain the pregnancy or the pregnancy will result in the delivery of the healthy,living child.

 Also, it is to allow them to test us, and to remind us that the IVF treatment could result in multiple pregnancy,consequences of multiple pregnancy, Ectopic pregnancy, and could have risk of fertility drugs along with the information what would happen if the doctor thinks pregnancy should be terminated because of the medical reasons.

Another one we received was the statistic information sheet,which we had to read and sign it. Below is the copy of the success rate chart we have received. You can click the image to view the enlarged image.

IVF Success rate chart

In VA, law requires all the physicians who are performing IVF to submit the statistics to patients.Therefore, we had the chart given to us prior to the treatment and know that the chance of the success with IVF that are related to the age,and the cause of infertility.

Interesting thing it said was that, you can call American society for reproductive medicine  to find out the statistics of particular clinic in the states if you wish to find out about it by yourself.

If you would like to know the statistic of your particular fertility clinic’s success rate of IVF treatment, you can call at 205-933-8494 also.

The IVF clinic also submit the statistic data to CDC and  SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies). These tables are then published and available online to the public. You can click the link here, at the SART website,then, click your state to find out about the success rates at your preferred IVF clinic. Their data format is very easy to read.

How to read the IVF success rate chart..

Donor OVA; Donor egg
ICSI; (ICSI;Intracytoplasmic sperm injection ) is the method where each egg is individually injected with a single sperm using a tiny needle under microscopic guidance in hope of fertilization.
Stimulation; Stimulated IVF program patient number
Retrievals; attempted number of patients who did egg retrieval procedure
Transfer; number of patients whose embryos were transferred
pregnancies; number of pregnancies
Pregnant/stimulation; % of patients who got pregnant after stimulated IVF program

Pregnant/Retrieval; % of patients whose eggs were retrieved and got pregnant

 Pregnant/transfer; % of patients who undergo the embryo transfer and got pregnant

The national infertility association suggests that we should focus on the % of the embryo transfers that resulted in the pregnancy/live birth. The association says that this statistic tells you how many babies were born for each IVF cycle, as opposed to the numbers of babies conceived.

The clinic we went to gave us the data sheet prior to the treatment but the data we got was not that clear if you try to look for the implantation rate that resulted in the live birth but SART got that information and you can find it out very easily. 

For example, looking at the 2012 data submitted to SART via the clinic we went to, 35 years old and younger had 71 embryo transfer,then the percentage of transfer resulted in the live birth was 35.2% (using thawed own eggs). With the fresh egg from their own, 35 years old and younger had 36.4%  of success rate that resulted in live birth.

 Another sheet we got was voice mail consent form, and informed consent for assisted reproduction.
The informed consent for assisted reproduction basically tells you what procedure and steps are involved,what types of medicines are involved for what reasons,as well as other information such as risks to offsprings, risk of multiple pregnancies,Ovarian Hyperstimulation syndrome (OHS),birth defect,legal matters and more. You are to read it and sign it,date it and submit to the clinic.

IVF types and procedure..

At the clinic we went to, they offer two types of treatment when you use your own egg and your husband’s own sperm.

 One is stimulated IVF,which basically use the drug to grew multiple eggs and hoping to have more chance to succeed. The other one was natural cycle,which no drugs are involved to grew multiple eggs and treatment will be done based upon your cycle,using your naturally produced single egg.

 This method would be more natural to the body,I think but downside of it is that you have only one chance and it is only if your egg were present in the ovary and and be ready to be fertilized.

 Both treatment has pro and cons.

 The difference between the natural cycle vs stimulated IVF program is not just about number of eggs and usage of the fertility drugs. The frequency of office visit to be monitored, frequency of blood tests and sonogram will be different as well. Also, the cost for the natural cycle is different from the stimulated IVF program and the clinic we went offered $4,400 for one natural cycle treatment (exclude assisted hatching,blastocyst culture).

 Depending on the treatment you choose, the step is slightly different as well as medications that are given, but generally, IVF treatment with stimulated cycle would go as followings. Since we have tried stimulated IVF program as the first try, I will explain about the stimulated IVF program first in detail.

** You will be given the medication to grew multiple eggs
** Retrieval of the eggs from ovaries
** insemination of eggs with sperm
** culture of any fertilized eggs (embryos)
** transfer of the embryos into the uterus
** medication (hormone) to support the lining of the uterus,to permit the pregnancy and to maintain the pregnancy
** If you used the stimulated IVF, and if you had more embryos that survived 5 days fertilization outside your uterus than you would hope to be transferred to you, you can ask to freeze them for a fee

IVF Medications..

 If you choose the stimulated IVF treatment, you will receive more fertility drugs than you would with natural cycle treatment. Below is the list of typical medication given to you for the IVF treatment.
  • Gonadotropins, or injectable fertility drugs; Follistim, Gonal-F, Bravelle, Menopur

These hormone drugs are to stimulate the ovary in hopes of  encouraging the growth of several eggs over the span of 8 or more days

All injectable fertility drugs have FSH ( follicle stimulating hormone) that will stimulate the growth of the ovarian follicles which contains the eggs, and some of them have LH (Luteinizing hormone) ; that will work with FSH to increase the production of estrogen and growth of the follicles.

The dosage of the drugs,timing of the drugs, timing of the egg retrieval date are unique to the individuals,and it will be determined by your physician in response to the frequent blood tests to check the hormone level as well as the images of the ovaries via ultrasound.

  • Lupron; injectable medication that will prevent a premature LH surge,which could result in the release of the eggs before they are ready to be retrieved. This drugs also be used to start the growth of the follicles or initiate the final stage of egg maturation.
  • HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) ;Profast, Novarel, Pregnyl,ovidrel

HCG is a hormone used in IVF to induce the egg to become mature and fertilizable. Physician will tell you the exact timing to receive this medication right before the egg retrieval day.

  • Progesterone, estradiol; hormones normally produced by the ovary after ovulation. After the egg retrieval, since ovaries in some women will not produce the enough level of the hormones for long enough to fully support the pregnancy, physicians would prescribe these hormone.

            Also, supplemental progesterone, and some cases esradiol are given to ensure the enough hormone support of the uterine lining. Progesterone medication is often continued for some weeks after pregnancy has being confirmed.

  • Oral  contraceptive pills; Birth control pills are to be taken for 2-4 weeks before gonadotropin injections are started to suppress the hormone production or to schedule a cycle (when you take birth control pills, it will regulate the cycle and it is much easier for them to give you the best timing possible for the treatment medications)
  • Oral antibiotics; antibiotics are to be taken for a short time during the treatment cycle to reduce the risk of infections associated with egg retrievals, and egg transfer.
  • Baby aspirin; to help keep open the blood vessels in the placenta, to  improve blood flow to the ovary, and prevent the blood clots.It would lead to better stimulation and implantation;giving us healthier eggs and embryos.

With us, our insurance company could cover the stimulated IVF program for up to maximum $10,000 in life time. Therefore, we have chosen the stimulated IVF cycle for the first try.

After all the evaluation, and physician’s consultation on our case, I was asked to start taking the prenatal vitamins besides fertility drugs they would ask me to take.

 The fertility drugs were covered by our insurance company but it was still expensive; $350. Without the insurance, it would have been much more  expensive drugs. If you were thinking of trying IVF, I would recommend to check what are covered,what are not covered by your insurance company beforehand.

And it is good to check to see if your insurance company would cover the certain amount of IVF cost. It was such a big help for us,regardless of the result at the end.

Egg Retrievals..

  After ovaries were stimulated, and produced multiple follicles, next step you would take is egg retrieval.

  Egg retrieval from the ovary is done by ultrasound probe to see the ovaries and the egg containing follicles within the ovaries.

  A long needle would be guided into each follicles and the content will be aspirated. This procedure will be done under the anesthesia. Then, aspirated eggs will be transferred into the lab where they are kept in condition that support their need and growth. Then, eggs and sperms will be placed together in specialized condition, in hopes of fertilization.

 In some case, individual sperm are injected into each egg in a technique called ICSI; Intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

Prior to this egg retrieval procedure,you will be asked to take the antibiotics to reduce the risk of infections. Also,physician may prescribe you to take diazepam to make you relax.

After the egg retrievals..

  The fertilized eggs;embryos are placed in small dishes/tube containing culture medium,which is the special fluid developed to support development of the embryos made to resemble that found in fallopian tubes or uterus. 

 Then, the dishes containing the embryo will be placed into incubators,which control the temperature and atmospheric gasses the embryos experience.

  Then, lab technicians would watch over the embryo’s growth every day. 2 days after the insemination, normal embryos would have 4 cells . Three days after, normally developed embryos would have 8 cells. 5 days after, normally developed embryos would develop into the blastocyst stage here embryos would have more than 8- cells.

 When you get eggs taken for fertilization, not all eggs would fertilized, and not all embryos would develop the same rate or develop normally. At the same time, even if the embryo could develop at the normal rate,it does not mean that the embryos are genetically normal. 

 Embryo transfer..

 After the embryos are kept in the lab being checked for the growth for a certain days (the days kept at the la can vary depending on the clinic you go to), lab technician will select the best embryo from the bunch for the transfer into your uterus.

With the clinic we went to, they kept the fertilized eggs for 5 days to grow, and selected the best one of the bunch and then transferred into my uterus. You will be asked how many embryos you would like to be transferred prior to the procedure. To help curtail the problems of multiple pregnancy, national guideline limits the number of the embryos to be transferred into your uterus depending on your age.

For example, for the 5-6 days old embryos to be transferred, women up to age 35, they recommend to 1 embryo to be transferred, and for the women between 35 to 37,they would recommend 2 embryos to be transferred.

On the day of embryo transfer, the embryo will be placed in placed in the uterus with the thin tube. The physician would use the ultrasound to guide the catheter and select the best spot for the implantation.

You will be asked to arrive with full bladder for this procedure so the uterus will be straighten up and easier for the physician to look the image and guide the catheter into the uterus for the best chance of pregnancy..

In some cases, if you had good fertilized remaining eggs that survived 5 days in the dishes/tube than you would transfer into your uterus, you can freeze the embryos for the later use. The freezing cost was $1,500 per cycle,and annual storage fee per year was $500 at the clinic we went.

Freezing can save your cost,and another fertility drugs to take to stimulate your ovaries again to retrieve the eggs in the future.

That being said, I was informed that the success rate of pregnancy using the frozen embryo is lower at the national level than with fresh embryos.

 After the embryo transfer..

After the embryo transfer, in hopes of successful implantation of the embryo to the lining of the uterus, you would be asked to take hormone medications such as estradiol, and progesterone.

Both hormone medication is given to keep the lining of the uterus thick and gooey so the embryo has more chance to implant.

With naturally conceived situation, ovaries would make adequate level of the hormone, but with IVF treatment, the level of those hormones are not at the favorable level. Therefore, often times progesterone, estradiol will be given to take for 2 to 10 weeks.

Then, you will have 2 weeks to wait till the pregnancy test (blood test), and finally, you will know if you are pregnant or not pregnant then. If you were a pregnant, your physicians will ask you to keep taking the baby aspirin,prenatal supplement and other hormone medication;progesterone and estradiol to maintain the pregnancy.

 The cost for one stimulated IVF program..

 The cost of the treatment is different depending on the clinic you will go to, and the area you are located at. Also,the costs for fertility treatments will vary widely among programs as well. 

 In average, the cost for one IVF cycle with no insurance coverage is approximately $10,000 plus the cost of medications in the Washington, D.C. area.

The clinic we went to included ovarian monitoring with sonograms, blood estrogen and progesterone measurement, egg collection,culture of eggs and embryos, ultrasound guided embryo transfer, anesthesia, supplies, cycle review,facility fees in the single stimulated IVF cycle without insurance coverage.

Medications, prescreening, cryopreservation,ICSI, assisted hatching, culture of eggs, gender selection, storage fees, complication of therapy,pregnancy testing and monitoring were not included in the program above.

What is ICSI..

(ICSI;Intracytoplasmic sperm injection ) is the method where each egg is individually injected with a single sperm using a tiny needle under microscopic guidance in hope of fertilization. The resulting embryo is then cultured similarly to an embryo produced in a non-ICSI IVF treatment.

What is assisted hatching…

 The human embryo hatches out of the eggshell (zona pellucida) at the blastocyst stage of development. Assisted hatching involves making a small hole in the shell that is surrounding the embryo prior to the embryo transfer and help the embryo emerge following its transfer into the uterus after IVF. It is believed that it increases implantation and pregnancy rates.

Just like our insurance company, some insurance companies do cover IVF program. The clinic we went to needed pre-authorization (written form) from the insurance company before starting the program.

What would happen if the IVF cycle has failed?

 The clinic we went to refunded us the fee we did not complete; fee for service. Then, if you wish to continue to try another IVF, you would schedule the appointment for the cycle review.

What would happen if you get pregnant?

 The clinic we went to did not include the office visits,sonogram,monitoring etc after the pregnancy confirmation in the IVF program package deal. The wanted the separate fee of $500.It included all the office visits,blood test,sonogram monitoring etc.. I was being monitored until I was at 6 week pregnant.

 This is how stimulated IVF program is done.

 After we have signed the all necessary paperwork,we were scheduled to visit the office to learn about how to give ourselves shots for fertility drugs, and also we were asked to go to lab to draw blood for the hormone/HIV Hep B Surface AG/Hep C ab test for me. My husband had to get his blood drawn to be tested for HIV,Hep B Surface AG/Hep C ab. These blood test will be required to do every 6 months.

 Now, We were ready to plunge into our first IVF cycle.

 It is best to schedule injection teaching, cycle review about 2 weeks before the estimated cycle day 1 because insurance company’s authorization for the fertility drugs could/would take 2 weeks.

 Unfortunately, our first try did not result in positive result, and it  took us long,long time to finally meet our little son “Liam”, but it was worth waiting for him to arrive in our arms.

 I love him.I love spending a day with our little star “Liam” and enjoy his smile each and every single day.


Dec 16, 2014 | 0 | IVF

Yassy’s note: One step closer to our IVF journey

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Note:Impossible dream made possible“,I wrote that 12 years ago, I came to the states via marriage and,after spending about 2 years ourselves alone, we started thinking about starting a family. However, doctor has found the toxic fluid for babies in one of the tubes and the other tube was closed , plus I had the wall in heart shaped uterus (bicornate uterus). Therefore, both tubes had to be removed.

 Since my uterus had so little space for the babies to grow, our first doctor told us that our option for our dream of life will be achieved via surrogate program,which runs up 60,000 dollars.

 However, when we went to the fertility clinic to talk about option in detail, we were told that the another doctor could perform the surgery to remove the wall in my uterus so the babies can grow, and that I could carry my own baby via IVF as option.
 We were really lucky to find the doctor who could help us to have a little one that way. Otherwise, we would still be thinking that our option is only the surrogacy..

 Our journey to finally be able to hold our own child has all started from 12 years ago;the summer in the year of  2004.

 July 15 Liam feeding time 2014

Our little prince “Liam” 2 days old..

Our regular OBGYN at the time referred us to the reproductive Endocrinology& Infertility Gynecology specialist first. The doctor there wanted to evaluate the infertility issue for both of us,and has sent me to the test called Hysterosalpingogram a.k.a. HSG to check if the tubes are opened;this is to check if the infertility issue was one of female factors. Then,she has sent my husband for the semen analysis  to check if Infertility was make factor.

 It was clear that the issue was not male factor. Therefore, I was tested more in detail to see what was resulting to the infertility issue.

According to the doctor, the infertility evaluation process is recommended first before the treatment such as IVF if the couple has attempted to conceive more than a year without success. This evaluation is to find the possible cause of infertility.

 What kinds of tests are performed to identify the cause of infertility? Here is the list of tests done.

  • Medical history of both partners
  • Physical exam of female;pelvic organs (ovaries,uterus, and cervix) will be evaluated for abnormalities
  • PAP smear
  • Semen analysis;the lab will test for sperm function and presence of infection
  • Blood test on the cycle day 3 for the hormone FSH and LH to check ovarian function, blood test for hormone imbalance etc..You will be checked for more such as TSH,PRL,ABO and Rh, Rubella, HIV,Hep B&C and RRR,
  • HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) on the cycle day 7 -10 to check if fallopian tubes are opened, and to evaluate the internal architecture of uterine cavity

What is HSG?How is it performed?

HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) is the test to check fallopian tubes are opened, and to evaluate the internal architecture of uterine cavity.

The test is done in between your cycle’s day #7-10, in a radiology department at the hospital.

In the room, the contrast medium or dye is injected through your cervix and it will outline the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes so that they may be photographed on the X-ray.

You will be instructed to take an antibiotic before and after the procedure. Then, you will be instructed to take Advil or Motrin 1 hour prior to the procedure to prevent the cramping after the procedure.

  • Between cycle day 13 to 16, you should be ovulating and ultrasound test will be performed to see both uterus and ovaries. This test can confirm at least one follicle containing an egg is present in the ovary and it goes away after ovulation. This test also can evaluate the thickness and pattern of endometrial lining. This ovary function,uterus lining thickness etc can effect the potential of an embryo to implant after fertilization. As for the uterus, ultrasound can check pathological abnormality on the uterus as well.
  • On the cycle day 21, you will get blood test  to check the progesterone level. The progesterone level rises dramatically after an egg is released from the ovary.The progesterone prime the lining of your uterus to both becoming a pregnant and maintain the pregnancy
  • Cycle day 27, endometrial biopsy to evaluate the response of the uterus lining to the progesterone if needed. I did not have to do this biopsy.

 As you can see, there are many tests before actual treatment and often times, to evaluate the female side of infertility factor, tests are done based on your cycle day,and there are so many tests to be done.

 At the time, I was working for Japanese Airline at the Airport near us,but I had to take multiple days off without advanced notice now and then because of that. At the end, I came to the conclusion that I could not do the job and do the Infertility tests or IVF at the same time,and I have ended up leaving the job.

I liked the job but it was for the good, and I have no regret for that.

  As a result of all of these tests, the doctor has found out that I have got a bicornate uterus (heart shaped uterus), ovarian cysts (which turned out to be it was simply abnormal cell,not a cancer), and one of the fallopian tubes were closed.

 She has scheduled me then to remove the cyst on the ovary and when she looked inside me to retrieve the cyst, she has found out that there was a large number of endometriosis around the ovary as well.

She could removed some of the endometriosis on me, but too many to remove all of them and she has put me on the birth control pills first to remove the rest of the endometriosis.

  Having a birth control pill was opposite idea for our ultimate goal,which was to be able to get pregnant,but she has told me that the pill will regulate the cycle,and also treat the endometriosis and I should be on it for a while until endometrosis is gone.

Therefore,I was on the birth control pill for a while to treat the endometriosis.

Looking at all the tests results, the doctor has us seated and basically told us that since I have got a bicornate uterus with wall in the center, even if I got good opened fallopian tubes, and I could conceive naturally, chances are I would more likely miscarriage.

  After all, ovaries were functioning as it supposed to,and since I had one closed fallopian tubes and I got a bicornate uterus with wall in the center, she thought I would no way that I could carry my own child via IVF successfully. Even if I could get a pregnant,she thought it would more likely end with miscarriage.

  Her suggestion was to talk to the Infertility specialist for the surrogate program after endometriosis was treated,and go from there.

  We were then referred to other Infertility clinic in our local area to talk to the option we have got to be able to have a baby.

  She also suggested to join in the support group called “Resolve“. You can find the support there as well as many IVF,surrogacy or any other family building related information.

As you can imagine, we were both shocked to find out that the only option for us to have a child was via surrogacy, and it was very hard for us to accept the fact that I was not being able to  carry a child on our own.

 Not only that, when you get pregnant, what you eat or drink and all other things in your daily life really effects unborn child and, I was worried thinking how would I know the person who would be carrying our child would be eating and drinking and spending a day as she should.

 Controlling what you would eat or drink is easy, but it would be hard to  control somebody else’s daily habit. Plus, the program itself I heard was super expensive and when you think about it, program does not guarantee the successful pregnancy of course and, the dream to be able to have a child of our own looked so far away.

  Because of the cost issue and, the fact that we were thinking that surrogacy was the only choice for us to have a children of our own, we were debating what we should do next, and we were putting off to visit the Infertility clinic  until 2008 winter.

 That is something I would regret a little because the doctor at the Infertility clinic has told us that having the wall in the uterus would not  be a big deal for us because he knew other doctor who could remove the wall in the uterus and repair the uterus so my uterus would have more chance to be able to carry our children on our own.

  You could imagine how much we got relieved and at the same time, we were so happy to find out about that. If we knew that much earlier, we could try building a family a little bit earlier then.

 The infertility clinic has sent me to the hospital to be tested for fallopian tubes and uterus abnormality via HSG again. It showed that one of the tubes was closed as our first doctor has told us and the other tube was filled with toxic fluid for the babies to grow. Therefore, both of my fallopian tubes were no good, and they had to be removed while uterus surgery.

  Of course, the uterus surgery needed some painful recovery time and we could not start the IVF treatment right away. Another time to delay the building the family. However, end result at the end, as you already know, was a good one so, I am grateful for that.

 One step closer to our dream.

 Long road to go but we were determined and faithful that we would be able to have a child of our own someday. I knew that Celine Dion has tried IVF 7 times and the last one ended up with successful outcome;twin boys.

 Therefore, I wanted to believe that we could end up with successful result like theirs at the end. We had to believe that to be strong. Infertility issue is really emotional and stressful for both. I needed something to hold on to and it was Celine’s story and it was my husband’s emotional support.

 Our real journey to be able to meet our little prince “Liam” has started in winter 2010.

 It was such an emotional roller coaster but, every time I see Liam’s face now and see his arms and legs flapping around for the excitement and smiles, it makes me smile.

 It was real hard to go through the whole IVF program especially when we were told “You are not a pregnant” over and over again, but it was worth it. One little smile from Liam is priceless and,I am glad that we could find the clinic that could make our dream come true.


Dec 08, 2014 | 0 | IVF

Fresh food in the bowl;Turkey menu

 If you follow my blog entries, you would notice that our Corgi “Palette” is on fresh food diet a.k.a. raw diet, and she eats all kinds of stuff.

 She loves the fresh food menu very much. She always start her day by trotting to the kitchen,nose up in the air to sniff out what is for breakfast today. Then, when she knows it is her meal time, she waits “nice sit” at the spot where I normally place her food mat on.

 She already learned her meal routine very well and, I do not need to call her for the meal time.

 I, on the other hand, enjoy watching how much she loves her meal and I feel great knowing that I am providing the best menu possible for her for healthy,long,happy life.

 It has been 7 years since her first raw diet menu.

 I started off by introducing chicken menu without organ and then, introduced another protein one at a time.

 She did pretty good on the menu except a few learning curves,where I learned that she has sensitive tummy for fat % in one sitting and I need to trim some fat from fatty protein source such as Duck or limit the amount of food served due to higher fat content in the menu such as lamb tongue.

 Once I learned that, feeding became second nature to me and, I am being able to adjust to my own personal preferable way of feeding.

 Personally, I Prefer to provide variety of protein source in shorter period of times as opposed to buying single protein source meat in bulk and feed through over a month or two months or more, and then switch to other protein source.

 Therefore, you would find more than 10 variety of protein source in Palette’s freezer.

 Yes, Palette does have her own freezer and,having freezer for storage for raw feeding is the great to stock up the various kinds of protein source at once.

 For that personal purpose, what I did during the introductory phase of the diet was that, I wrote down I like to feed to her, and let her get used to the protein source one by one.

 Then, after about 2-3 round of feeding following the list of items I wanted to feed, I started feeding mixed/match menu.

 Therefore, sometimes, her meal is not just one protein source such as beef menu at AM, Turkey Menu for PM, and  sometimes both breakfast and dinner are the same protein source but different menu. It all depends.

 As I have been writing in many entries in the past, after switching her diet to the  fresh food diet, I started learning more about overall health topics such as over vaccination, nutrition, along with dog treats,dog food matters and more..

 One of my goals for this blog has always been trying to focus on educating readers by passing all of those information that I have learned over the years and, at the same time, I wanted to raise the awareness of healthy, nutritious fresh food diet for dogs, and encourage people to start trying to add fresh food diet menu in their doggy bowl, or start switching training treats or chews to healthier ones to start with; start  switching what they get throughout the day via a small steps at a time for the sake of dog’s health.

 Since I have started the series titled “Decoding kibble”, I am hoping that the series help people to understand what are in the kibble, how you can pick the better brands of kibble if fresh food diet was not their option.

 If one was trying to switch their diet to fresh food diet a.k.a. raw diet like I did for Palette’s, then, I wanted to provide information how I feed her as fresh food diet guide so they can see what it is like to feed fresh food diet to dogs.

 As you know,the good diet is the base of overall health.

 When you go to human doctor, not many doctors would discourage you to eat fresh food, and they would not push you to include processed food in our diet. They do not have canned soup or frozen food for you to purchase to bring home to enjoy.They are more likely to tell you to eat fresh food for your over all health.

 Processed food is convenient and quick and easy for you, but if you were on total processed food diet without fresh food, will you be healthy? Imagine your diet consists of canned soup, frozen food etc only,day in, day out.

 Now, I cannot wrap my head around why so called “Medical expert” for animals should be pushing you or recommending you to feed the process food as opposed to encouraging you to feed fresh food for the overall health.

 Even Rachael Ray,who is very passionate about bringing fresh food menu for school lunch is having her own line of kibble, pre-made wet food and I find there is a little discrepancy in the message she is sending to the public. I am sad about that.

 If she were real passionate about dog diet as much as she does for kids’ lunch menu at school, then, she could have worked on freezer dried/dehydrated food instead of kibble or wet dog food; much simpler, less processed food, and she could promote healthy diet for dogs and cats as well.

 I feel that medical expert on  animal field is moving backward in stead of moving  forward focusing more on dog’s health.

 I strongly feel that vet is moving backward on the diet issue for animals especially because all of my cousins and neighbors who I grew up with fed fresh food all the time and, I had an impression back then that it was what dogs eat until I came to the states.

Raw diet menu for dogs, for example, is unique in a way that each menu is served fresh, without fillers, and offer quality of food and, it will leads to good overall health.

 Ultimately, you can tweak the diet menu if problems arise accordingly. That is the virtue of this raw diet method.
  As you have noticed, I have started the new series on raw diet titled “Fresh food in the bowl”, where you get to sneak peek what Palette is eating.

 Generally, Palette’s regular meal is consists of one meal with bone, and the other meal without bones.

 Meal with bone can be portion cut poultry, 4 leg animal’s ribs, whole fish with poultry feet etc..

 Other half of the meal is whatever planned to feed in the menu list in order,and it is boneless meat along with organ such as liver with or without miscellaneous items such as a whole Egg.

 I usually feed the same menu item two times per week and move on to the other menu except organ such as liver or poultry giblet such as gizzard.

 The amount of food served is roughly around 10 oz to 12 oz per day. I consider her ideal weight is 30 lb since she is a tall corgi (14″ tall; 2″ taller than average Corgi).

 Then,I go by 2 % of ideal weight to calculate her daily amount.

 Calculation goes like this.

 30 x 16 x 0.02= daily feeding amount 9.6 oz (roughly 10 oz)

 With some menu items, it is not likely to be able to cut to the piece into exact amount that I would like to feed as her portion, so her daily amount can vary some.

 Generally, dogs’ feeding amount guideline starts with 2% of ideal adult weight. If that daily feeding amount was too little, you would up the % to 3% , 4% ideal adult weight as needed.

 To calculate your dog’s daily feeding amount fill the blank below

 ideal weight of dog x 16 x 0.02 for 2 % = daily feeding amount

 If you go by 3% of ideal weight,then fill the blank below

 ideal weight of dog x 16 x 0.03 for 3% = daily feeding amount

 By observing how your dogs do, up and down the percentage of ideal weight.
 Palette’s menu detail goes about 80% meat,10% bone, 10% organ.

 When I have organ other than liver such as kidney, I feed 5% liver, 5% kidney a day but when I have only liver,I feed 10% liver a day.

 I feed her 2 times a day on regular feeding time,and I feed 1 time a day when I feed her big meal once a month.

 If you go by 80 % -10 % -10 % guideline exactly with Palette’s feeding amount, you will get 8 oz boneless meat, 1 oz bone, 1 oz organ, but as you can see, I feed her 2 times a day and when I portion cut her menu, often times, boneless meat is cut to about 4 oz wt, meat with bone such as portion cut chicken etc will be cut to about weighing  around 5 oz to 7 oz, and organ portion gets chopped to about half an ounce and then I bag them in the zip bag and put those in the freezer bag to freeze them.

 With my way, the amount of bone gets up and down depending on what you will feed. When fish meal day, the amount of bones are very low and when I feed neck or ribs as part of her daily menu, the amount of bones in the meal gets higher than fish meal day.

 The week I took the picture of her meal was Turkey meal day.

 What she got? Here is what she got on Turkey meal day.

AM&PM meal combined;Turkey Drumstick

  I do not consider the Turkey drumstick big meal day menu, but one drumstick weighed about 14 oz,which is a little over Palette’s one day worth  of meal amount. So, when I feed Turkey parts weighing that much,I feed Palette one item around 1-3 pm as brunch,if you will.

 Parts like breast area would be able to cut into her portion for PM feeding amount,for example, and when I feed  that, then, I would feed her two times a day with different protein source on the other side of the meal time.

*** Preparing the Turkey meal ***

 Now and then, I find people asking how they can feed Turkey.

 At the grocery store, with poultry items, you can get to have options of purchases;whether you buy parts by part vs whole bird.

 If you simply look at price,then, parts by parts might look cheaper but, I would suggest you buy the whole bird because it will end up feeding your dog cheaper than you would with bony parts by parts items.

Chicken will be a good example for this. Lets say you would buy leg quarter. That would be ok for a couple of days on it but know that those items are bone heavy items and you would probably want to feed less bony parts like breast with rib bone area here and there if you feed once a day, or more boneless meat on the other side of the meal if you feed twice a day to balance out the bone amount over time,and to prevent them from getting constipated from too much bone in the meal.

Not only that, if you do buy a whole bird,your dog can eat various parts of bird over time, and more balanced in terms of bone amount and probably nutrition as well.

I personally buy a whole bird, and cut them into Palette’s portion.Then, bag them up in zip bag,put those in the freezer bag,store them and feed it through over time.

  What I usually do for any poultry is that, I buy the whole bird,cut the bird along the spine,which makes the bird split into half.

From there, you can cut the half bird into your dog’s portion.If you look at the net weight on the label, it is easier for you to find out how many pieces you would want to cut the half the bird into for your dog. It does not have to be exact number,but you cut them into rough estimated size of the portion and you are good to go!

With big bird like Turkey, I do not bother to cut the leg or wing into portion size and just simply leave it “as is”  for the day like today;brunch meal day.

 When it comes to tools that I use to cut the bird, with Chicken,Pheasant,Duck,I find myself use Joyce Chen scissors more. With big bird like Turkey, I ted to use both Joyce Chen scissors plus clever.

  The best time of the year to stick up the Turkey is the day after the Thanksgiving day. The price drops down and I normally get Turkey for her after the Thanksgiving day for that reason..One big Turkey gives Palette large number of meals.


 As you can see, her meal is very simple.

  In this entry, I would like to share Palette’s “Fresh food in the bowl; Turkey menu”.

For this entry, you would see her eating Turkey drumstick portion but,she is getting various parts of whole Turkey cut into her portion on other Turkey meal day. You can feed all parts of Turkey,although with itty bitty size dog like chihuahua, the bone itself might be harder than they could make dent to.

  If you were not sure if your dog can eat the Turkey bone or not, you can give the meal and let them be for about 10-15 minutes and see if they can make any dent to it. If they could not make any dent to the bone during the time, then, the bone will be something they cannot eat on their own. I use this personal guideline to decide whether bone is edible for Palette or not.

 I think if you already feeding your dogs raw diet for a while and if you know your dogs do good on each items that you see in this entry, then, you can use Palette’s sample meal as example for the feeding.

 However, if you were new to the raw diet, please do not feed variety of things all at once. During the introductory phase, each protein source menu must be introduced to your dogs one at a time,and keep the dogs on the protein source until your dogs do good on, and then, you can move on to the next protein source and as they get used to the menu, keep introducing new stuff slowly one at a time to be able to feed variety of items.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part 21: Feeding Turkey“, I wrote about what to look for when you buy a whole Turkey,and the nutrition information for Turkey liver, and about what bones you should avoid feeding them etc…

 It is good to read the entry if you were new to feeding Turkey to your dog.

By the way, I have seen the online retail store sells dehydrated Turkey neck and Dehydrated Turkey feet,but be careful for those.

I have fed raw Turkey neck,raw Turkey feet before,but bone in those parts are rather harder than other parts of the Turkey. I am not personally comfortable with the idea those hard parts of Turkey being dehydrated and offered as treats and I have not purchased it to try with Palette.

Turkey feet 1

Palette with raw Turkey feet..

I am much comfortable with other similar treats such as dehydrated chicken feet,dehydrated duck feet,which both we,Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen, carry for dogs to enjoy. Those treats are not hard to chew and, Palette loves them.

 Good thing about poultry feet is that poultry feet is great natural source of glucosamine/chondroitin, and considering Palette’s past limping history, it is a good choice. I usually have raw/dehydrated Chicken feet or raw/dehydrated Duck feet to trade with big meal day also.

Here are some of the pictures and video on the Turkey meal day to share with you.

Palette Turkey blog 1


Palette Turkey blog2


Palette Turkey blog3

Pausing with my Turkey meal..

Palette Turkey blog4

Close to da finish..

Palette Turkey blog5

Soo good!Look at my wet nose…

Palette Turkey blog6


Look at my pearly white teethy too!

Palette and turkey drumstick..

What fresh food did your dog get in their bowl today?


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Nov 18, 2014 | 0 | Dog Diet

Yassy’s note; Impossible dream made possible

Family. What is “Family” to you?

To me, “Family” is the place where you find happiness,laughter and love. Also share and overcome any difficulties together. It is where I find “the rock” in my life.

12 years ago, I came to the states via marriage and,after spending about 2 years ourselves alone, we started thinking about starting a family. We both love kids and, we wanted the kids who would call us “mom” and “dad”.

Unfortunately, doctor has found the toxic fluid for babies in one of the tubes and the other tube was closed , plus I had the wall in heart shaped uterus (bicornate uterus). Therefore, both tubes had to be removed.

Since my uterus had so little space for the babies to grow, our first doctor told us that our option for our dream of life will be achieved via surrogate program,which runs up 60,000 dollars.

I had a chance to connect with one who had used surrogacy program and she told me how the expense is assigned.

According to the program she used, for the medical fee, the price can vary depending on the decision whether you will use your own egg or not. I do not know how the price would run when the egg was donors,but I was told..

$20,000- compensation to the surrogate mother
$5,000- in extra expenses to her ($500 maternity clothing, $200 per month in an allowance to reimburse her for mileage/childcare, $500 for the embryo transfer fee,  $200 for a life insurance policy, and some to compensate for the missing work to go to the appointments with the IVF clinic.)
$4,000- legal fees
$3,500-matching fee- to the matching agents to match you with a surrogate
$3,000- to the surrogate’s attorney. 
$25,000- medical

Hearing this, we thought having a little one;our long long dream, is going to be so far far away or it looked like impossible dream for our own.
Since we wanted our own kids, it was so hard to accept the fact that our dream might be impossible dream.

However, when we went to the fertility clinic to talk about option in detail, we were told that the another doctor could perform the surgery to remove the wall in my uterus so the babies can grow, and that I could carry my own baby via IVF as option.

We were really lucky to find the doctor who could help us to have a little one that way. Otherwise, we would still be thinking that our option is only the surrogacy..

Fast forward for 10 years since the day we were told our option to our dream is via surrogacy, we have a son who would call us “mom” and “dad”:Liam, who came to meet us against all the odds.I have carried my own son and in July this year, he finally came to meet us.

Needless to say,it was the happiest day of my life. He is the joy of our life.

Liam smile of the day Oct 23 2014

Our son “Liam” smiling, now age 3 months old..

This “Yassy’s note” series is where you get to read about IVF, my pregnancy, parenting,and things that I liked to use during my pregnancy time and the things that I Liked when raising our little son “Liam”.

Through this series, I wanted to share our IVF story with you so I can give others who are in the same situation to ours hope to their own dream.

Stay tuned to read more about how he came about,and more. He is the strong little guy who came to meet us against all the odds and, he gives us smile each and every day.


Nov 12, 2014 | 0 | IVF

Clover Dinner Rolls

If you have been reading food/cooking entries from the past, you would notice that I love to cook/bake and, I like to make pizza/bread now and then.

Since I was a pregnant,then became mother to a newborn son, I have been busy and rarely have time to make things like bread but, I do love bread baking.

For me, bread baking is like comforting in many ways from kneading the dough, aroma while bread is being proofed or being baked,sound of crust when you slice into the bread.. There is something about bread baking that makes the whole experience special.

When I started baking bread,I got myself a book for bread baking,and I tried one type of recipe for French bread (Baguette) over and over until I get satisfied result from making one. I made so many French bread to learn the basic technique,and get to know more about bread baking in general.

I find that making artisan bread has depth in learning and more technique,and I have got a lot more to learn about it.

In the past, I have made a Clover dinner roll.This one is without pre-fermented dough or sponge. It came out good; buttery,soft roll and it was good. So, I thought I would share how to make it with you.

Homemade Clover dinner roll 2

Clover dinner roll…

Ingredients for Clover Dinner roll

1C    milk
4tbs butter
1/8C white sugar
1 /2   whole egg lightly beaten
2 tsp active dry yeast
4/3tsp salt
1 3/8C unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/8C unbleached bread flour

0. Preheat the oven at 200F and when it reached to 200F,turn the oven off

1. In the sauce pan, pour 1C milk and let it come to luke warm (110F-115F)

2. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and mix in the 4 tbs butter, 1/8C sugar and stir until melted

3. Pour the milk mixture into a large bowl

4. Add lightly beaten 1/2 whole egg and 2 tsp dry yeast ,1 3/8C unbleached all purpose flour,3/4tsp salt, and mix

** If you use jar of dry yeast, make sure the yeast is at room temperature. Cold yeast would not make your dough rise properly.

** Milk temperature to rise the dough (proof the dough) should be at 110F-115F. Lower temperature milk would not proof the dough properly, and higher temperature Milk would kill the yeast and would not proof the dough

5. Add 1 3/8C unbleached bread flour and mix well

. When dough came together,sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter to begin kneading the dough until the dough is smooth,elastic dough about 6-8 minutes

** Using silpat mat is easy to work with

7.You can test your dough to see if you knead it more. Do the Windowpane test.

What is windowpane test??

Windowpane test is the test the gluten development in the dough.

What you do is to cut off small piece of dough,and gently stretch out/pulling to see if it will hold a paper-thin membrane.If it tore apart,you would knead a bit more and do the test again.

8. When dough becomes supple,smooth,elastic dough, drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto empty bowl and smear it around side and inside bottom to make easy for you to take the dough out later

9. Place the dough into the bowl,drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the dough and smear the olive oil all around the dough

10. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place the dough in the oven,set the timer for 90 minutes

11. 90 minutes later, dough will be larger size in volume

12. Once the dough gets nearly double in volume, take the dough out from the bowl onto the silpat mat/slightly floured surface

13. Divide the dough into 18 small round pieces of the dough and form the dough into small ball

** How to make round dinner roll shape**

1. Swift off any flour left on the counter and swipe the counter with wet cloth for the better frisction

2. For your hand into a cup,holding the small piece of dough,and flip your hand over so the roll is under your hand

3. Firmly press the dough onto the counter while you are rotating your hand in the circular motion over the counter

4. The roll will be shaped like a tight roll


14. Place them clover shape;3 round rolls piece together onto pan sheet where you sprinkle yellow cornmeal over non stick foil

clover roll dough 1

Clover roll dough on the pan sheet..

15. Cover the pan with plastic wrap loosely over the roll,and put it back into oven for another 30-45 minutes until dough gets nearly double in volume

14. Prepare for baking

15. Preheat the oven at 375F

16. Brush the dough top with milk, and bake them for about 15-20 minutes until golden

** Color should be golden

** Bread temperature should be at 205F in the center

(Put the meat thermometer on back of the bread and read the temperature)

** This recipe can yield about 6 clover rolls or 18 small round rolls

** You can also shape the dough into burger bun or hot dog buns




Oct 29, 2014 | 0 | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Brenda with Malamute “Lakoda”;October 15th,2014

Today,I would like to introduce the Malamute furriends “Lakoda”.

Recently, we have received feedback from Lakoda’s mom Brenda from ME, along with a beautiful picture of Lakoda.


 We live in rural Maine and are surrounded by literally thousands of acres of woodlands.  My malamute, Lakoda Raven, and I walk these woods every day, except during the winter when he either runs the trails with me while I cross country ski or pulls me in a kick sled. 

Lakoda in the woods 1 blog fdbk

Lakoda playing with the water..

 He is energetic, adventurous, and always hoping that he will be able to cajole me into following him into new territory and that I will oblige him.  Sometimes he gets his way but usually I pick him up at a rendezvous spot some distance from the house. 

 If I don’t do that he will race back to the house, and while I’m happy that he’s anxious to return home, I worry about his crossing the road in front of the house and continuing up another road where he visits with two other dogs at neighboring properties.

Lakoda in the woods 2 blog fdbk

Lakoda in the woods..

 I originally used a piece of the lamb weasand twists to call him back to me for pick up until he decided that it was more fun to try to beat me back to the house.  Then I switched to the Down Under Roo Jerky and surf/turf jerky and that has made all the difference.

Lakoda enjoying lamb weasand twists

Lakoda enjoying Lamb weasand Twists…

 Now he turns to watch me as we approach the rendezvous spot and he waits there, smiling and with tail wagging, for me to catch up and give him the jerky.  Sometimes he dances while I take it from my fanny pack. 

 As soon as he finishes the piece he turns for home and connected to our life line, the leash, we start back together, but not without my giving him a big bear hug and receiving a face licking in return.

 Thanks, Yassy, for producing these treats for us.  We are both grateful for them.  I am happiest when my little beast is happy, and I love to see the fire in his eyes when he knows he is about to receive something wonderful!



***Feedback and picture are used with permission***

We always enjoy reading feedback from furry friends and their mom & dad/seeing pictures/watching videos of furry friends enjoying our treats/chews

 We are very happy to hear how much Lakoda’s enjoys our treats. It makes us happy knowing that we are offering healthier treats and chews to make the furriends smile big.

 What treats does your furriennd love most from our K9 restaurant “Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen“?


Oct 15, 2014 | 0 | Paw up?Paw down? Treats from Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

Raw feeding 911 Part 26: Feeding Green tripe

One thing I am passionate about is to provide my family and our furriends healthy meals/snacks. I cook for my family everyday, and I make lunch for my husband to bring to work, and we barely have process food on our plate/in his lunch box.

 For our stumpy little dog “Palette” the Corgi,we have switched her diet to fresh food diet a.k.a. raw diet 7 years ago, and you would not find processed food items on her feeding mat on her meal time.

  First lady Michelle Obama has started organic garden at the White house, and hope to encourage people to eat fresh food more. According to cbs news article (For the full article, please click here), the organic garden has 55 kinds of vegetable,berries,and herbs.

 I have grown sweet peppers,herbs etc and,I must say that sweet peppers right off the plant tastes much better than the one you will get at grocery stores.

 I think that bringing the fresh food more on our plate is good thing,and better for our health. Less preservatives, less sodium, less sugar, less additives..all of these  benefit for our health.

As you already know, I am expecting our little son to be born in this summer, and we recently visited a few pediatricians to be ready to be seen when little Liam (That is his name to be) is born.

Both small practices,which I like because our little Liam would not see bunch of different doctors and doctors would get to know him better and Liam will get to know the doctor better and we were looking for the small practice.

The first one turned us down because they were swamped,and we were told they were not accepting new patients at the moment. They gave us list of other pediatricians in the area to try, but none did not sound good to us.

 After all, just recently, visited another pediatrician,who we think she is very unique in the field.

 Why? She believes that the key to keeping kids healthy is to teach the kids how to eat good healthy food. Therefore, she tries to teach not only kids but also their parents how to cook the healthy food and eat better, and also how to shop smarter. Yes,she has back yard garden,and own kitchen right next to the examination room:-)

Then, each exam room is named after vegetables; newborn baby room is called sweet pea room, toddler exam room is blueberry room, and other examine room had carrot room etc..

  Every now and then, the doctor hold cooking class inviting all the patients (kids) and parents. Therefore, not only we get to learn healthy eating there, but also we get to mingle with others and kids can make friends there as well.

  The practice is run by a single doctor so, we know Liam will get to see her every time we come so, we liked that part as well.

  I thought her philosophy behind the practice and my own belief for both human and for dogs click and we decided to have her as Liam’s pediatrician.

  I think it will be great to see more doctor like her in the medical field for human.

  For doctors for animals, we should be getting doctors who push the fresh food diet as opposed to process food because I believe that whether it is for human or animals, the base of the good diet effects overall health and I do not see that highly processed food be any good for animals’ health.

  It is sad to see that animal doctors are not promoting real issue that largely effect animal’s health; importance of the fresh food in the diet.

  Through the raw feeding 911 series on this blog, I have shared many of the topics you might find it interesting to read from the basic of raw feeding such as what to feed,how much to feed,where you can get the food etc… to other specific topic such as how to feed fish to your dog etc.

In this entry, I would like to focus on Green Tripe.

If you have started feeding raw diet, you would have heard of the term “Green Tripe” and some of you already got them in your freezer and feeding it to your dogs.

What are they? And Are there any benefit to feed them to your dogs?

Green Tripe dinner with Palette

Palette;What is that? What is that? Is it my Favorite Tripe??

What is Green tripe?

 When you start shopping for fresh food menu for your furriends, many of the stuff to be on their plate can be found at the grocery store. However,there is one thing you would not find at regular grocery stores.

 That is green tripe. It is unwashed stomach from ruminants (who graze grasses) such as cow and lamb. Ruminants animals have 4 stomachs; rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum.

 According to website, when animals swallow grass, the grass goes to rumen and reticulum, and grass gets regurgitated,chewed,and regurgitated grass goes down to 3rd,4th chamber,namely, omasum and abomasum. There,grass gets broke down with gastric juice,enzyme,and amino acid.

 To read more on green tripe at website,please click here.

 You may find the scalded,deodorized white colored tripe at grocery store, but it is not what we raw feeders would feed to our dogs.

 The one we feed is unwashed,unprocessed tripe, and it cannot be sold as human consumption. You would never find those at grocery stores near you.

 The color of the tripe is brown/grey and sometimes it has green tint from grass cow has eaten.

 You can get them through raw feeding vendors or your local co-op in your area.

  With Green tripe, you can get them in 2 forms;ground or unground,uncut.

Green beef tripe

Green tripe in ground form..

Green Beef Tripe 

Green tripe unground, whole cut into Palette’s portion..

 If I feed the ground form of green tripe,I usually feed them as side dish about size of ice cube. It is just my preference. When you feed the small sized green tripe, its smell is minimized.

 The tripe smells like .. barn in the hot humid summer. Since I feed small sized tripe, it gets gobbled it up by Palette in a blink of an eye and I barely smell the tripe. I usually cut the ground form one into ice cube size when it is about 20% thaw when we receive it in the tube and then, bag them up to freeze. 

  When I get the whole unground,uncut Green tripe, I cut them into Palette’s portion and feed it as part of regular meal,not side dish. The whole tripe looks like well used rug.

  I find that ground tripe smell more than hunk of tripe. Therefore, I usually get unground,uncut Green Tripe for Palette.

  With hunk of tripe, it does not  get eaten right away and I find her chew,chew,chew to eat it but the smell is much less compared to the ground form of green tripe and I do not smell as much.

With tripe, people might find a little offensive odor but for dogs, it is their favorite menu in the world, waiting for it to be served with their tail wagging,huge smile on their face:-)

Many dogs loves them very much.

Now you may be wondering what are so good about these smelly things. Do you know why?

What are the benefit of feeding tripe?

Good thing about green tripe is that it still has enzyme in the tripe and it helps your dogs to digest their food easier. It also has good bacteria for guts (lactic acid bacteria),which you would often find in yogurt or probiotics.

These good bacteria can support the good immune system and keep the bad bacteria such as e-coli,salmonella in check in the gut.

Besides probiotic effect in the gut, the green tripe is said to have 1:1 ratio of calcium : phosphorus.

Also, Green tripe has good ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids ( linolenic acid ) and Omega 6 fatty acids ( linoleic acids ).

However, as with any food items, more is not always better. As I understand it, green tripe lacks in tyrosine (amino acid), which you can find a lot in the red meat. So, even if you will feed the green tripe, you will still need the variety of food on their menu. Do not feed Green tripe exclusively.

Is Tripe being fed as organ?

This is the very question that I had when I started feeding raw green tripe. I was not sure if it fed tiny amount as organ or if it can be fed the same amount to regular boneless meat menu.

Turned out, tripe can be fed as regular meal,not organ.Palette did not have any digestive problems when I fed the same amount that I normally feed the boneless meat in her combo meal;She gets 2 meals a day usually,and one meal is bone-in,m the other meal is boneless meal.

Therefore, when I have unground,uncut, portion cut Green tripe, her menu with green tripe would look like this.

 AM:Green beef tripe, beef liver

 PM: portion cut chicken

Canned green tripe vs raw frozen tripe..

Because of the popularity of green tripe, now pet food industries start offering more variety in the tripe products.

 There are canned version of green tripe, but canned items whether they are canned soup or canned anything, it is cooked with heat. This means, enzyme may be destroyed and nutrient might be less than the amount your furry friends can get through raw green tripe.

According to the article written by Sally Fallon Morell with Mary G. Enig, PhD on real milk website, all enzymes are deactivated at a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and a dry-heat temperature of about 150 degrees.

You can read the full article written by Sally Fallon Morell with Mary G. Enig, PhD here.

 Not only that, with canned tripe, the tripe is not the only ingredient.

 Ingredients goes.. tripe,garlic,and vegetable gum.

 Too much garlic can cause anemia in dogs, and when you have choice of getting the plain raw green tripe, why do you choose processed tripe?

 I noticed some of the canned tripe has fish oil in it as well, but as I understand it, supplement like Fish oil gets effected by heat,light,and air. So, I wonder if the fish oil in the tripe does not get effected by the heat during the production process.

 I would,personally prefer to give omega3 fatty acids by “real” fresh oily fish (sardine,mackerel,salmon) or give fish body oil capsule.

Green tripe treats..

Again,because of the popularity of green tripe, now you find variety of tripe treats as well.However, take a time to read the ingredients list before purchasing them. Some of the treats are not worth the money to pay for because too much fillers (extra ingredients) are in them to keep them price down.

For example, I found this Bison tripe treats. Look at the ingredients list; Green Bison Tripe, Chicken, Potato, Beet Syrup, Pure Vegetable Glycerin, Sea Salt, Natural Smoke Flavor, Potassium Sorbate, Garlic

 If I wanted to offer tripe treats, only ingredient I would use will be Bison tripe. The one simple ingredients would be enough for the dogs to love the treats. There will be no need for makers to add flavor enhancer such as syrup or liquid smoke.

 If you simply look at the front of the bag “Bison tripe”, you would find it unique and might buy them but it got chicken too! Also, I do not understand why they need vegetables and sweetener,natural smoke flavor (liquid smoke), and salt (to preserve longer?) etc..

What I am trying to say is that, take the time and read the ingredient so you know what you are getting.

Our k9 restaurant “Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen” carry tripe treats as followings. All treats are single ingredients and they do not contain extras/fillers.

** Grass-fed Moo!Angus Beef Tripe Twists 5″ (3-pack)

** PetKind (Dehydrated Green tripe treats) 5 oz

** Dehydrated Grass-fed Beef tripe strip

Make sure to wear the glove when you handle/touch Green beef tripe. Or the smell will linger on your finger.

Does your dog love Green tripe? Palette loves them very very much!

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Sep 24, 2014 | 0 | Dog Diet

Greek cooking:Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

I love Greek Food from Gyros, souviaki, Spanakopita (Greek Spinach pie) to green beans simmered in the tomato sauce etc… They are very delicious.

Back home in Japan, I had never had Greek food. It is something I have tried here in the states and came to like them.

Very first Greek dish I have tried making was Spanakopita.

Spanakopita is the pie made with spinach and feta cheese filling and, they are wrapped by phyllo dough and , shaped into triangle shape or crescent shape and baked in the oven.

Handling the phyllo dough was a little intimidating, but once you learn how to handle such a delicate phyllo dough, I could handle the delicate phyllo dough better.

Unfortunately, since I am an expecting mom, I cannot make them now, but I really like these.

Once I tried making them myself and done good, I have made it again for my in law family gathering and they loved them too.

Therefore, I thought I will share the recipe with you here. My version has 2 kinds of cheese; fresh feta cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. Traditionally, only feta cheese is used.

Before going in to the detail of how to make the dish, it is best to learn the important handling tips on delicate phyllo dough.

Phyllo dough handling tips..

** A day before you plan to make this dish, take the phyllo dough box out from the freezer and thaw it in the fridge.

** I also find that if you take the thawed phyllo dough box on the counter when you are making the filling to come to room temperature, it bakes well.

** Also, when you are not ready to wrap the filling, and still making the filling, then, it is wise to keep the box closed so the phyllo dough would not dried out while you are making the filling.

** Personally, I like to make my working section and, I like to unroll the phyllo dough on far left, and I like to place silpat mat to work on the shaping the filled phyllo dough and I like to place big clean dry plate on my far right so I can put wrapped pie on them. I like to cover the shaped pie under the wet cloth as well while working on filling,wrapping,shaping to make the pie so it would not dried out.

** Unlike other type of dough such as pastry dough, these phyllo dough is paper thin dough and, when it gets dried out, it gets broken very easily and, you would want to cover the unused phyllo dough under the wet clean cloth to keep them moist,preventing them from drying out.

** Another thing is that, the dough gets dried out very quickly, you would want to cover the unused dough under the wet cloth every time you take one phyllo dough from the pile.

** Once all the pies are made and if you had leftover phyllo dough, roll it up right away and, I usually like to wrap the roll with plastic wrap to make sure it is air tight in the box.


Spanakopita (Greek Spinach pie)..

Ingredients for Spanakopita;

1/8C chopped green onion
4 oz feta cheese crumbled (I like seasoned one too)
4 oz Chopped steamed fresh spinach
1 whole egg lightly beaten
1 tbs chopped fresh dill
2 oz low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese
pinch of ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Melted butter
8 sheets Phyllo dough (1 sheet per pie)


1. In the medium size bowl, add 1/8C chopped green onion, 4 oz feta cheese crumbled (I like seasoned one too), Chopped steamed fresh spinach 4 oz, 1 whole egg lightly beaten, 1 tbs chopped fresh dill, 2 oz low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese, pinch of ground black pepper and stir

** Make sure to squeeze out the water from the steamed spinach very well

2. Wrap the filling with phyllo dough and shape it into triangle as the picture shows.

** How to shape the pie into triangle shape

1. Unroll the phyllo dough

2. Cover the dough with wet cloth

3. Place silpat to work on the wrapping the filing, and shaping

4. Place the clean large dry plate on your right so you can put the filled pie there. Make sure to cover the wrapped pie under the wet cloth so it would not dry out

5. Take 1 sheet of phyllo dough from the pile and brush the dough gently with Extra virgin olive oil and then, fold them into half to make rectangle shape,and rotate it so the most closest part of the phyllo dough is short side.

spanakopita wrap step 1

6. Brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil and,place the filling on the very bottom of the rectangle sheet and wrap it up as followings.


spanakopita wrap step 2


spanakopita wrap step 3

Fold the left corner over the filling..


spanakopita wrap step 4

fold it up..


spanakopita wrap step 5

Fold it to side..


spanakopita wrap step 6

Fold it up..


spanakopita wrap step7

Fold it to side..

7. Place all the filled pie on the non stick foil lined baking sheet

8. Brush the melted butter on the each pie

9. Bake the pie at 375F for 20-25 minutes or until top gets golden

Makes: 8 pies with the amount of filling. Use 1 phyllo dough sheet per pie.


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Jul 08, 2014 | 0 | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Calcium oxalate bladder stone in dogs

 Dogs are just like people and, they can develop stones in bladder and kidney.

  The rock-like bladder stone is more common than kidney stone in dogs,and there are two forms. One is called “Calcium oxalate bladder stone” and the other is called “struvite stone”.

When dogs have stones, it is not always the case where the vet has to remove the stones.Hoewever, if you did not know which types of stones your dog got, your vet would not know what type of approach he/she should take to get your dogs feel better, how to prevent it to happen again..

Therefore, often times, surgically removed stones are sent to lab to analyze it.

In this entry, I would like to write about calcium Oxalate bladder stone in dogs.

Palette and snuggies bunnies4

Palette playing with Ms Snuggie bunny..

How these oxalate stones are formed?

According to VCAhospital website, normal dog’s urine is slightly acidic and contains waste products from metabolism  including dissolved mineral salt. These mineral salts will be remain dissolved in the urine.

 The current research shows that urine high in calcium,citrate, or oxalate is acidic and predisposed them to develop calcium oxalate crystals and stones.

Also, diet that causes high urine acidity (urine PH <6.5) may predispose the dog to form the calcium oxalate bladder stone.

Interesting thing they write is that, the dogs on antibiotic too much,too long may reduce the number of intestinal bacteria Oxalobacter formigenes,which  has sole nutrient of oxalate.

In dogs with low number of intestinal bacteria “Oxalobacter formigenes”, the excess oxalate will be secreted in urine and increase the high possibility of calcium oxalate crystals stones can form if the urine is highly concentrated or acidic.

  Another point to note is that the dog with Cushing’s disease produce more cortisol (cortisone) and predispose them to develop the calcium oxalate stone.

According toveterinarypartner website ,cortisone increases calcium excretion in urine,and extra calcium in urine promote the formation of the stone.

What are the symptoms for calcium oxalate stone?

Typically, you may see blood in urine, straining to urinate, frequent urination.

What can you do to prevent them to develop calcium oxalate stone in the future?

With this type of bladder stone, you can feed them customized meal to control the likelihood of developing another calcium oxalate stone.

It is very helpful if you know which food has most/least calcium oxalate in it to provide the diet that makes their urine less acidic.

Often times, grain, vegetables are high in oxalate, and since many kibble is made from grain and vegetables as the base, switching their diet to homemade diet or raw diet might help.

If you were not ready to switch their diet to homemade diet or raw diet, you can switch them to canned food to start. The canned food has more protein than dry kibble and it got more moisture in the food compared to the dry kibble.

To read the full article at vcahospital website,please click here.

To read the full article on calcium oxalate at ceterinarypartner website,please click here.

Foods/supplements known to have high level of calcium oxalate ..

Spinach, beets, eggplants,asparagus,sweet potato,okra,green beans,collard green,kale, beans, berries,nuts such as peanuts are some of the few known for having high level of oxalate,but you can check the chart designed for people who has developed oxalate bladder stone and use that chart to make your dog’s customized meal.

Often times, leafy green vegetables such as spinach,kale,collard green etc are high in oxalate amount.

Here are a few websites you can check the food high in oxalate.

Chart from ohf website here.It will open with pdf form.

List of oxalate amount found in various food in chart. The chart is from Childre’s Medical Center of Dayton here.This document also open as pdf form.

Another helpful read..

** 2nd chance website article on calcium oxalate stone here.

** Dogaware website article on oxalate stone here.

If your dog is prone to form the calcium oxalate stone, it is always a good idea to make sure they are getting plenty of water and, getting customized food if possible made with low oxalate in the ingredients.

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Jul 01, 2014 | 0 | Dog Health