23 June 2010


So I realize for the third post it may be a bit much to jump into organ meats but I am stoked. My great friends Ted and Julia over at Greenbranch Organic Farm recently took two of their grass-fed cows to get processed. I met up with Ted and purchased approximately 50lbs of livers, hearts, tongues and oxtail. Sure I've picked up some ribeyes and ground beef from these cows previously, but this time I went for the generally unwanted goodies.

A part of the haul. Left to right: tongue, heart, liver, oxtail, and chicken livers.

Organ meats are not only amazingly nutritious (wild or grass-fed/pastured) they also allow you to purchase high quality animal products at a fraction of the price. Some skill is required in cooking these items, but with a good book like The River Cottage Meat Book, you will have no problem. Why eat these items? Don't. There will be more for me.

I kid. It is worth it for the adventure in the kitchen and, worst case, you'll have a quality treat for the dog(s). The tongue requires a bit of work, and the liver may be rough for people with texture issues, but the heart is a muscle and much like meat. Of the above haul, I've not cooked with oxtail, but it is first on my list. All this being said, I cannot stress how important it is you get these items from naturally raised sources. The standard grocery store items, should you be able to find any of them, are woefully substandard. So go, find a farmer, meet the animals, and then eat the animals. All of them, head to tail.

15 June 2010

Pack Profile: Cyprus


Last week my beautiful Cyprus turned 1 year old! I picked her up at 10 weeks old from a breeder in Ohio. Not even a week later she was in the back of my car with Shaman for a long ride from Maryland to Michigan for my first 50 mile race. I think the pups had 3 full days of meet and greet, so on top of all my concerns about running such a distance I worried that about the dogs getting along and my friends having to put up with them.

It was those amber eyes that sold me.

I've started including Cyprus in my shorter runs and a few times I've had her off leash. Watching any dog run off leash, unrestrained, is a beautiful sight. Cyprus has a more compact build than Shaman, is very light on her feet and has an impressive jumping ability. She has a strong prey-drive and is very stubborn, so the our off leash training sometimes ends with a half eaten squirrel or rabbit. Believe me, her victims do not go to waste.

We have been working hard on the 'Leave It' command and it is starting to pay off. I do my best to teach them that there will be a time to chase and play, but when we are running, lets focus on that.

Cyprus, my diva

01 June 2010


Nearly four years ago, at 8 weeks old, I brought home Shaman. Sure I had grown up with dogs, but never had I been the sole owner and never had they been a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Needless to say, he was a life changer. 

While raising this little wild guy, I wanted what was best for him. In terms of diet, I eventually started feeding him raw: meat, bones, organs, etc. Having quite an interest in evolutionary biology, it only made sense that the healthiest diet would be one that modeled what the wolf ate. We gave it a shot and have never looked back.

Taking a very similar view to myself, I came across the paleo/primal/caveman diet. It is definitely more of a lifestyle rather than a diet... and as with Shaman on the raw diet, I started to thrive eating and exercising that way. From leaning up to running faster and further, I was sold.

All that being said, here we go.