Archives for November, 2014

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 | Comments are off | 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 | Comments are off | IVF