Yep, that sums up my post for the day. It is going to be a short one, as the Ryan and I are very tired. We started the pre-approval process on a mortgage loan today (holy crap, that means we’re becoming grown ups!! *gasp*) and have, in general, spent the day running around doing errands. I have plenty of leftover soup to feed us, so nothing new and exciting dinner-wise is really happening in my kitchen today.
That being said, the other day I made my chicken tortilla soup again. The Ryan and I bought a rotisserie chicken on our way home on Memorial Day, and I used the leftovers in the tortilla soup. Since I posted in my recipe entry that I’d work out the calories, I went ahead and did so this time and am providing them to you here per ingredient so you can get the per serving calorie count:
Enchilada Sauce (10 oz): 70 cal
Tomato Paste (6 oz): 150 cal
RoTel Diced Tomatoes and Jalapenos (10 oz): 63 cal
Goya Pinto Beans (I’m not sure if the calorie count includes the juices that I drained off the beans??? If so, the count will probably be much lower; 16 oz): 280 cal
1/2 Red Onion: 40 cal
1 ear of corn, kernels off the cob: 80 cal
6 cloves of garlic: 24 cal
4 thin sliced chicken breasts: 480 cal
Cumin: 13 cal
Mexican Oregano: 10 cal
Chili Powder: 12 cal
Pepper: 8 cal
Cayenne: 1.4 cal.
**Anything that was on my ingredient list but that has not been listed above can be assumed to be ZERO calories**
All of this adds up to 1231.4 calories. In the pot, there were 42 oz of liquid. If you take 8 oz (one cup), that means there are 5.25 eight ounce servings per pot which works out to be approximately 234.5 calories per serving. So there you have it! If I have done my math wrong, please let me know. ^__^ The inclusion of the meat/beans/veggies may actually bring the count down since I only took the liquid in the pot into account.
Moving on, I also have “cat food” in my title. Why am I writing about cat food in my blog? Because humans aren’t the only ones that need good nutrition, and the Ryan and I are in the process of moving our cats over to a raw diet from kibble.
Dear god, why?
Well, for starters, our tiny black cat is a diva and likes to just generally be a jerk. This means that our surprise “treat” of wet food to the kitties resulted in Lestat basically refusing to eat his kibble from that point forward. Both cats, though, have had issues with diarrhea in the past, and wet food runs through them, well..like poop through a goose. In researching the plight of Lestat’s refusal to eat and “the runs” issue, the Ryan came across a few raw diet information sites for kitties, and we have truly learned a great deal about our furbabies and their anatomy and diet needs. For starters, kitties are obligate carnivores. That means they weren’t built to process grains and vegetal material found in cat foods today, especially dry kibble – they are only built to process meat. Their bodies lack the enzymes necessary to process vegetables and grains and are therefore not gaining essential nutrients in their diet. They additionally have a low thirst drive and in nature would receive their water through eating their prey. This is why a lot of vets recommend wet food for cats, as the wet food allows cats to consume a lot more liquid. Finally, cats need animal-based protein to derive the necessary amino acids that are beneficial to their health, and plants just don’t provide that to cats. Certainly, they eat grass to relieve some tension in their bellies, but if you own a cat that likes to chow down on grass, you will notice that they always throw up the pieces and they are never digested.
We also learned that Science Diet, which is the kind of kibble I have been feeding my cats (with lots and lots of fiber to help with the diarrhea) is actually not good food – instead, Science Diet pays vets (and vets get a lot of money) to recommend their brand. When the Ryan was explaining all of this to me, I was quite skeptical. So what did I do? I looked at the ingredients list on the bag of Science Diet I’ve been feeding our cats and I found rice, corn gluten meal, powdered cellulose, whole grain corn, soybean oil, and rosemary extract. All sorts of wonderful things our cats can’t digest. If they can’t digest it, what the hell is my business putting it in their system and what the hell is Science Diet’s business knowingly manufacturing this crap? Right on the bag at the bottom of the ingredients list, it says, “With all the goodness of whole grain, carefully prepared to promote healthy digestion.” Promote healthy digestion by feeding our cats a bunch of stuff they can’t digest? Up yours, Science Diet.
So long story short, after a lot of research, we have decided to make the transition to raw food, which entails weaning them off of dry kibble (which, come to find out, contains entirely too much fiber for a cat’s system, despite the fact that it helps diarrhea. Funny thing about why wet food gives them diarrhea – it doesn’t contain the same amount of fiber as dry kibble, so even the “right” amount of fiber is too little to a cat that has been on a kibble diet. Who knew, right?) and onto wet food, (supplementing fiber – good ol’ Metamucil – to make it less crazy on the kitties’ systems) and then slowly over to raw food. To solidify our decision, the other night when I was making my chicken noodle soup, I cut some of the chicken into tiny pieces and fed each cat a very small amount. They were both greatly enthusiastic and gobbled it right up. And, after they ate the chicken, they were both extraordinarily peppy and ran around like headless chickens in their glee. Decision? Raw diet.
Now, you can’t just give your cats raw chicken and walk away. To give a cat a raw food diet, you basically have to reverse engineer a mouse – which means you have to fortify the food (which loses nutrients during processing at our hands anyway) with calcium, taurine, fiber, and all of the other important nutrients cats get from their prey in the wild. But it will promise to make kitty’s digestive tract much happier, kitty will be much healthier in the long run, and you are definitely saving yourself (and your cat) agony and vet bills in the future.
If you would like more information, visit these links:
Catinfo.org – It is run by a Veterinarian who explains in great and thorough detail all about your kitty and her system.
Feline-Nutrition.org – Also run by a Veterinarian and advocate of raw diet, and she gives all the necessary information on supplements and reverse engineering a mouse.
Feline’s Pride – Offers pre-made raw food (which the Vet at Feline-Nutrition.org recommends) that is already fortified with essential nutrients for cats. This site also gives tips for feeding your cat and more information on their nutritional and dietary needs.
The last thing on my list of things to talk about today is A Lot On Your Plate’s Bake Off! It is her first ever bake off, and I am totally going to bake my heart out for it. It is a “use what you have in your house” type deal, so that works out killer well for me. I found a recipe the other day for vanilla cupcakes and I have all of the ingredients in my house to make them. I must make these cupcakes. I am on a cupcake binge lately – probably because I really need to use the cupcake wrappers I got for the Mother’s Day muffins. They keep falling off the pantry shelf. 😦 The only thing I did today was pick up a can of frosting while I was out because fun fact: I don’t always make my own frosting!! I am looking forward to her announcing the “category” of the bake off so I can get started. The Ryan’s co-workers will be pleased as well, I am sure, and it will be the first blog event I will have ever entered in, so I’m pretty pumped.
In the mean time, stay tuned and enjoy the rest of your Saturday!