Sunday, March 16, 2014

On Dogs, Psychology, & Dog Psychology: foodchain on the Radio!

Adelaide sits on the therapy couch, recalling the events of her puppyhood.
"And how does that make you feel, Adelaide?"

What does love mean in canine?

Last Wednesday, I was the special guest on Tanya Yarbrough's radio show, That Dog Training Show.

Don't worry if you missed it live! It's archived, so it's available for download any time! 

If you'd like to listen to this 30 minute show in which I discuss with Tanya my experience with human psychology; my experience with being a human companion to a dog (i.e., a "dog owner"); and my discovery of the similarities and differences between human psychology and dog psychology, then you should definitely check it out. If that link doesn't work, then go to the list of episodes and clink on the link for "Episode 06: 03/12/2014."

I speak from my personal experience, as well as my experience as a clinical psychologist (that's not licensed yet, but that's besides the point). 

Tanya is a Los Angeles-based, "mixed methods" dog trainer who's not only very well-informed (she's got a background in animal science plus tons of experience) but also SUPER hilarious. I highly recommend you listen to some of her other episodes while you're at it! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What To Do If You Missed the Vegan MoFo 2013 Deadline

If you're like me and you're kicking yourself right now for having missed the August 28th deadline for Vegan MoFo 2013, you don't have to cry in your vegan soup! But I'm here to tell you THERE IS HOPE.

I know it's a huge bummer to have missed the deadline, because your blog doesn't get nearly the same amount of hits and exposure that it would by being listed in the official MoFo RSS Feed and on the official MoFo Blogroll.

Still want to be a part of the Vegan MoFo 2013 fun? 

Here's what we all can do. In true MoFo spirit, I'm reaching out to all of you late-comers, procrastinators, and out-of-the-loopers, because I'm going to compile a second MoFo blogroll for all of you (er, all of us)! Mind you, I'm not creating my own version of Vegan MoFo or anything - I just want to give everyone an opportunity to be on a public blogroll / list of some kind. Once I have everybody's blog name, blog link, and blog category, I will organize the list by category and publish it on my blog in one handy blogpost. You can then link to that blogpost, post it on your facebook, tweet it, put it on your blog, spread the word, etc., and...viola!

...Even the people who missed the deadline will have a greater chance to be discovered!

If you want to be included, provide the following information in the comments section of this post: 

1. The name of your blog. 
2. A link to your blog (make sure it works!).
3. Which Vegan MoFo 2013 Category you would like to be classified under (CHOOSE ONLY ONE). To review the categories, click on the link right above.
4. Complete steps 1 through 3 by no later than Saturday, September 7th, 11:59 PST.
We won't have an RSS feed, because frankly, I have no idea how to do that - hey, if anybody knows how and wants to take on that project, please do it! :) 

Happy MoFo-ing! 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Some info about the "treats" we give our dogs

Good information about the source of products contained in dog bones/treats/food...  Dog lovers, you'll want to know this before feeding your precious pup!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Support Vegan Fashion - Jewelry by foodchain!

Hello, chooseyourownfoodchain Readers.

Check out my latest jewelry designs:

If you see something you like but you want it personalized to your own style, know that I am always happy to custom-design a piece of jewelry for you that suits your specific aesthetic preferences! Just shoot me an email and we'll work together! 

email me-->



Sunday, January 20, 2013


Good day, readers! It's been ever so long since I've posted and I'm glad to be back!

In the time between then and now, I've adopted a beautiful mixed-breed puppy, who I named Adelaide. She is my heart. She's also called to mind some interesting vegan-related issues, which I will share with you in the coming posts, in no particular order.

Me & Adelaide, on our way to hike at Griffith Park

Issue #1: Can dogs thrive - not just survive - but thrive on a vegan diet? 

In short, here is my opinion on vegan diets for dogs: I think there is a good chance, based on the reading I've done, that a dog can survive and thrive on a vegan diet, BUT I don't feel that deep-level certainty I feel about vegan diets for humans. I am absolutely without-a-doubt sure that humans can thrive like hell on a vegan diet, but I need more evidence (or maybe just a sign?) to feel that sure about veganism for dogs. Also, I really want to feel that sure about it for dogs, but I am trying to hold my bias. I want to know what other vegans with dogs (or anyone who's seriously considered feeding their dog a vegan diet) think about this, so please share in the comments!!! 

I've experimented with feeding Adelaide different sorts of vegan meals. I've never been able to find V-Dog in stores, but I've heard good things about that brand of vegan dog food. We've tried Natural Balance's vegan dry and wet foods, but it seems like it's not very nutritional - it's not "bad" per se, but doesn't have a lot of nutritionally rich ingredients, in my opinion.

This is v-dog, a vegan dog food that people tell me is awesome. I want to try it for Adelaide.

Recently, I saw something that gave a recommended ratio for a vegan meal for dogs: 2 parts high protein ingredients: 1 part green and/or orange vegetable: 1 part whole grain/oat. I can't remember the source, but that sounds reasonable to me.

Often, especially when I run low on store-bought doggie food, I will make up my own blend of store-bought food and one or more of the following "human" ingredients: brown rice, mashed up chickpeas, raw broccoli (she goes nuts for raw broccoli, it's funny), boiled carrots, baked apple pieces, parsley flakes, pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree from a can, quinoa, raw lettuce. I typically use store-bought food that contains meat, although once in a while I will leave meat out of the picture completely. For meat-containing commercial foods, lately I've been experimenting with Merrick's Puppy Formula, Pure Vita Chicken & Brown Rice, The Honest Kitchen's "Natural Dehydrated" food (just add water), and Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried raw meat patties. I don't feel super good about this, nor do I feel "more okay" with using meat that's said to be free range, raw, organic, or any of that other bullshit (also, not all of these brands make those claims, though some do). The reason I went for these specific brands was because they seem to contain less crap and more actual nutrient-containing ingredients.

A concoction of peas, brown rice, carrot, apple, and store-bought dog food that I recently made Adelaide. Doesn't look that appetizing, but she LOVED it.

Adelaide also loves peanut butter, bananas, and berries. I use these more as snack items because I read that it's best not to mix fruits in meals (something about digestion I think?). And peanut butter is just too much like crack for my dog, so I give it to her as a "high value" treat. For real, she gets like a power trip from certain types of treats. I've had to ban Kongs in my house for this reason. :)

Soooo sleepy... :)

Again, I want to know, what are your thoughts? Ideas? Stuff you've tried and seen good results or bad results? I'm interested in knowing as much as I can! Please share freely in the comments section below. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"But I Could Never Give Up Cheese"

If only I had a dollar for every time someone told me that.

Fellow humans, you absolutely can give up cheese. Like with anything else, you must first want to give it up.

"Give up?" I actually dislike that phrase intensely when it comes to transitioning to a vegan diet. Once you read books like Eat To Live and The China Study, you'll be running from cheese, trust me. Once you read about factory farming, you'll want absolutely nothing to do with the production, sales, and consumption of cheese (or milk, eggs, and meat, for that matter). Once you learn that so-called "organic" and "free range" farms do not actually translate to "cruelty free" farms, you'll know better than to put cheese anywhere near your mouth. You'll also know better than to trust the dairy industry, which thrives on America's cheese addiction.

Once you've stopped eating cheese for a while, and you feel more energetic, awake, and alive - not to mention, less bloated and less gassy - you'll become intoxicated with the way you feel when you don't eat this crap. You'll feel better about living in accordance with your beliefs, and that will be utterly empowering.

photo cred

Once you educate yourself about the truth, you'll realize there is nothing to "give up," but only more knowledge, wisdom, and empowerment to gain.

But don't take my word for it. Go, educate yourself. Learn. See. Experiment.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

I've been meaning to make this pie since, man, something like 2008, when my then-roommate, Muckford, made it for the first time. WOW, that was good cake. I've taken his recipe and published it here, with a few alterations.

I'll be honest; Muckford's was WAY better. Sadly, I don't know what he did to make it better, but I'm guessing it's because he's simply a good baker. Baking does not come as naturally to me as other culinary skills, although I do a great job of faking it. :-)

V e g a n  P u m p k i n  P i e  C h e e s e c a k e

8 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese - Look for the non-hydrogenated version in the yellow container.
12 ounces light firm silken tofu - Or extra-firm
1/2 cup agave nectar - Or unrefined sugar, which is what I used
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin puree - Canned, not pumpkin pie mix
2 teaspoons rum - Optional. I used it. Not sure what it added.
3 tablespoons brown sugar or natural, unrefined sugar - I used the latter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg - I wish I'd used this! I used dried, ground nutmeg, instead.

1 pre-made 8-inch graham cracker crust

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put the first set of ingredients (toffuti through vanilla) in a food processor and puree until completely smooth. It should be silky smooth--not chalky or lumpy.

Remove a cup of this mixture from the processor and spread it in the bottom of the crust.

Add the next set of ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg) to the ingredients remaining in the food processor and process until well blended. Smooth it carefully over the white layer in the crust, heaping it slightly in the middle. Bake until the center is almost set, about 50-60 minutes. Insert a toothpick. If it comes out liquidy and cold, give it more time, until the center is firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours. Serve to delighted guests.