Whatever Wednesday: Pet Fooled

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Have you watched Pet Fooled yet? All pet owners need to watch it.

A few weeks ago, Pet Fooled was recommended to me by a friend. It’s an investigative documentary about the commercial pet food industry. I was intrigued. Xena’s been showing food sensitivities to her food for the past 3 months all of sudden so I’ve been doing some research online about different pet food. I rented it from Amazon and watched it with curiosity.

Our pets are part of our family and we want to give them the best of the world. Do you know exactly what is in the food you give to your pets? Until this documentary film, there has been no other film to study the pet food industry. Remember Food, Inc from 2008? That documentary started a passionate movement that has had a positive impact on consumer education and buying choices, animal welfare, national health advocacy, food industry and farming. Ultimately, having a positive impact on the food we eat today. There is still a lot to be improved so the movement is ongoing. Now it’s time to take a closer look at the commercial pet food industry.

Fast forward to 3 weeks, I had a pleasure meeting Kohl Harrington, the director of Pet Fooled in person! He was super nice in person and I wanted to learn more about the stories of making this documentary. Lucky for us, Kohl agreed to do a Q&A for our readers! Yeah~! Meanwhile, go watch the film and let me know what you think. 🙂 It’s available on Netflix and Amazon.

Xoxo

Whatever Wednesday: Ginger Tea

When I was young, my mom made ginger tea all throughout the winter. My palate wasn’t fully developed yet so I wasn’t a fan of the taste but enjoyed the aroma of spicy yet warm ginger filled the whole house.

My mom’s tea had two ingredients: ginger and dried Jujube. You can get dried Jujubes at any Korean or Chinese grocery store. It’s also known as Korean dates or Chinese dates. It’s sold at Amazon.com and other online stores as well but it is more expensive (approx. $10/bag). Jujubes are good for strengthening immune system. You can eat fresh Jujubes raw. They have an apple-like texture. Yum!

In my 30s, I began to make my own tea during the cold season and added couple new ingredients to it. As many people know already, ginger has many health benefits. To name a few, it helps digestion, reduces nausea including morning sickness and has anti-inflammatory effects.

Ingredients:

  • 2oz (50g) peeled and coarsely chopped ginger
  • 2-3 dried Jujubes – make a slit in them
  • 1 clove
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups of water

Using a crock pot:

Add all ingredients in to a crock pot and cook it at low heat for couple hours.

Using a stove:

Add all ingredients in to a pot or a tea kettle. Cover and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 10 min then turn off the heat. Let it sit for 5 min.

Make yourself a cup. Add a slice of lemon and some honey if you’d like. Enjoy!

Ingredients can be used up to 2-3 more times depending on your liking.

Whatever Wednesday: Matcha Green Tea Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c (organic) steel cut oats
  • 1 tbsp (organic) chia seeds
  • 1 tsp (organic) matcha green tea powder
  • 1 c (organic) soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp (organic) maple syrup
  • 1/8 c chopped unsalted dry roasted almonds
  • 1 tsp golden raisins

I use my lunch crock food warmer to make this oatmeal but you can make it on a stove.

Add first 5 ingredients in to the food warmer. Whisk gently until the green tea powder is dissolved in to the liquid. Plug in the crock food warmer then go for a walk or check your emails.

Cooking time: 1 hour

Add almonds and raisins and enjoy!

XoXo 💕

Eat, Hike and Relax in Big Bear Lake

If you’ve been following my blog, you know Xena is an anxious passenger. She sits up against the backseat and shakes entire time on the road. She tolerates it though because she knows an adventure is waiting for her at the end of the ride. She has gotten better as she got older and some of my effort to relax her work sometimes. During our recent 2 hour drive to Big Bear, Xena did great. I praised her many times. On the other hand, I felt uneasy driving up the mountains on a narrow winding road so I kept imagining the worst scenario. Views from State Route 330 were incredible but I kept my focus on the road right in front me and told myself to relax repeatly. With my acrophobia and Xena’s car ride anxiety, we sure make great traveling partners. 😂

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Here is a picture I took after I pulled over to a turnout on the way back.

Relax

We arrived at Big Bear Frontier before 11 AM. At an altitude of 7,000 feet, it was much cooler than back home in LA. What a relief. Luckily the hotel was ready for us early. This lakefront establishment received Fido’s Favorite Award from BringFido this year. I had to check it out myself. Big Bear Frontier has a hotel and cabins. We stayed at the hotel which felt like a cabin. I’d love to stay in one of those cabins on the water next time! Plenty of grass areas were on the property and poop bag dispensers were a nice touch. We enjoyed staying there for two nights. It will be our go to place when we visit Big Bear for sure.

I unpacked and we hung out on the patio while waiting for Hazel. My sister was going to join us for overnight. It was going to be a nice weekend.

Eat

Rain was in the forecast next day. Hazel and I agreed that we should hike after lunch instead of doing it next morning. We walked to a BBQ place called Bone-Side Down Barbecue & Grill across the street. It’s a little shack with a BBQ grill outside. There was a white picnic table but we decided to take the food back to the room and eat on the patio instead. While we were waiting for our carryout, the woman who took our order came out with bits of brisket for the waiting dogs. Xena never had brisket before. I am sure her palette went in to a shock. Big Bear is such a great place to travel with your dogs!

I forgot to take a picture of our sandwiches. But, O-M-G, definitely not a healthy choice but excellent choice! Both pull pork sandwich and brisket sandwich were the best I ever had. My mouth is watering from just thinking about them right now. It’s a must try.

Hike

We drove less than 5 miles to Big Bear Discovery Center. There is a parking lot at the trailhead as well but we wanted to add more mileage by starting from the discovery center.

There was a sign near the entrance says the discovery center is pet friendly, asking the visitors to not leave their pets in the car. After using the restroom, picking up a map of nearby trails and getting pet by little kids (Xena only), we followed the sign for the Cougar Crest Trail. The trailhead was only 0.6 miles away.

First thing I noticed on the trail was the scent of pine trees. Ahhhh  This trail is popular so we came across plenty of human and canine hikers but it never felt crowded. We couldn’t ask for a better weather for this hike. We had a great view of the lake once we reached a certain altitude.

Xena and Hazel are waiting for me in the shade.

Xena and Hazel are waiting for me in the shade thinking they are not in the picture. Ha!

Taking in the view with my girl

Due to popularity of the trail, the trail is well maintained. or is it the other way around? We came across a section where about 25-30 volunteers were working together to restore a section of the trail. How nice. I would love to do that!

Cougar Crest eventually meets Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

Cougar Crest meets Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)

Cougar Crest meets Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)

If you go about 1.5 miles more on PCT, you will reach Bertha Peak. However, we made this as our turnaround point as we needed to get back to get ready for our dinner reservation. Next time!

We had a lovely time at Peppercorn Grille. We had a seafood pasta and a pork chop. Both dishes were delicious and all ingredients were very fresh. Service was great too. They were happy to accommodate my food allergies. We both gave the dinner experience two thumbs up.

Next day, though it did rain, Xena and I still enjoyed exploring the lake. You can check out my previous post – Rainy Day in Big Bear.


Good to Know:

  • Hike Date: 10.3.15
  • Distance: 6.5 miles RT
  • Carry chains at all times from November to April. Be prepared to show chains at all times.
  • Adventure Pass is required to park at the Cougar Crest trailhead parking lot. You can buy it at the Big Bear Discovery Center. A daily pass is $5.

Happy Hiking!