Dogs Love Carrots, and Other Family Secrets: An Oklahoma Girl Prioritizes Healthy Living


Dogs love carrots, hungry cats will eat dog food, and your body must remain alkaline for true health and happiness. That’s right, alkaline. Much more than you think. All the drugs in the world cannot save a life if the body has become acidic from, say, necrosis from internal bleeding. Or from Candida that spreads to the organs. Or from a parasitic infection that kills too much of your body’s good bacteria and leaves too much toxic waste in your bloodstream. To live and be healthy, we must be alkaline. Dairy, meat, and sugar are acidic. Gluten seems to be just as bad for our health.

People with chronic illness are acidic, and many may also suffer from mineral imbalances evidenced by pica. Pica is when people and animals crave what seems to be absolutely the wrong thing. For example, if a person is eating the paint off pencils, and doesn’t know why, they are suffering from a form of pica, which is a mineral imbalance. See Dr. Wallach’s book Dead Doctors Don’t Lie to learn more.

The book, Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, will teach you the facts about the dog and cat food industry and how you can feed carrots to your dogs (and kelp, broccoli, potatoes… the list goes on). Veterinary Parasitology, which is the book that veterinarians rely on, is the guide I use to perform fecals for my horses and llamas (yes, this geek has a microscope). This book is a vivid guide to all the parasites that coexist within us; the pictorial guides explain how animals host these parasites throughout their life cycle. The veterinarians know what’s up.

People today in the United States also have problems with dehydration. See Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., for his work on chronic dehydration. A classic book of his, which I’ve personally use, is ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus. I see people all the time with extra-large 64-ounce jugs of soda as their hydration for the day. All the soda in the world will not hydrate cells. Dr. Batmanghelidj says an asthma attack can be stopped cold by eating a teaspoon of salt and a quart of fresh water. Allergies mysteriously disappear with the same treatment. I’ve seen this water and salt combo work wonders time and time again with my own eyes.

Finally, salt. Sea salt is good for you. Iodized salt instantly kills fermentation. If you can’t use iodized salt to ferment your vegetables, then why eat it at all? What people lack is healthy salt and enough water; what they instead consume is sugar (acidic) and gluten-ridden slime that coats the intestines. Excess meat sits in the colon, undigested, rotting and becoming necrotic. Add some bread to the meat and dairy combo and you’ve got a real disaster cooking down there, as acid and alkaline battle it out. No wonder colons are dying every day here in America.

Then there are the drugs people take to relieve chronic pain. Mostly what happens is specifically-targeted brain receptors are affected by agonist or antagonist drugs, which leads the patient to believe their pain has been relieved. The pain is still there, the brain just doesn’t tell you. The majority of people I met while working in the ER as a paramedic in training will never consider that the soda, the cake, the steak, or Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs with mozzarella and fresh garlic bread are feeding disease.

This article is for those who can believe that the innocent, tasty, beautiful foods they grew up with are killing them.

Figuring Out the Path to Health

Julie (author) and her dog in her kitchen
Julie and Little Shana

How did I figure all this out? I grew up in Lawton, Oklahoma, working in the fast food industry, eating every Pork T sandwich and greasy hotdog that crossed my path for 10 years. I got fat, I smoked, I ate meat and meat by-products, I ate cream cheese by the block and entire loaves of bread, and I drank like a fish. Mmmm, red wine. My body suffered through this and, as I grew older, the symptoms built up. I finally walked away from my last food addiction (sugar) after a two-year bout with Lyme.

One thing I never did was take prescription drugs for anything. I’ve been known to pop quite a few Ibuprofens though, so even I’m not immune at 57 years old.

Change comes slowly. If you are willing to learn one new thing per month, and enact small changes that grow into bigger changes, you can feel better. I’m sharing our farm family secrets with you so that you can see how it is possible to effect real change in increments.

Our Farm Family Secrets

Here’s my typical morning at our farm. I get up at 5 AM, make green tea with stevia (and, yes, a little soy milk), and turn on the pressure cooker, which is filled with last night’s pre-load of organic short grain brown rice, organic lentils, toasted sesame oil, and black pepper. Cook for nine minutes on high pressure, then set aside. I head with my tea to the yoga room, where I perform a series of mostly restorative yoga asanas, with a few crunches to tighten up the belly, then morning prayers at the end. Sometimes I set the stove timer so that I can come out of my reverie easily. I quickly rinse the gallon of lentil sprouts on the window sill. In a few more days, they will be ready to eat.

The cats, who eat once per day in the evening, are sleeping in our bathroom. I let them all out. The dogs, who have slept all night, are let out too. Pups get some brown rice, dry dog food, and carrots. One of them is skinny, so I dump some vegetable oil on her snacks. They also will share in the llama food, in a communal bowl. No joke. I can’t stop them and the llamas don’t seem to mind.

horse and llama
Mama and Coco

I head outside to feed my horses and llamas. The horses get a small amount of whole oats, timothy grass pellets, and a local horse food made in Vermont, with apple cider vinegar, a natural wormer, powdered garlic, and their vitamins. The pups get some natural wormer with the llama food. By the time I put out feed, water, and hay, I’ve gotten some exercise. Who needs a gym when you live on a farm?

Back in the house, I pack up my two thermoses to take to work. Microwaves may kill the nutrients in your food, therefore I don’t use them. My thermoses will be packed with hot rice and lentils, kelp, some Daiya cheese, and tabasco sauce. I may go out to the garden and harvest some mustard greens and asparagus too. An apple is included for the end of the day ride home. My Mason jar contains an ounce of apple cider vinegar and is filled with water from our well.

At work, I walk around the State Campus once at 10:15 with co-workers, then again at lunch. That’s three opportunities for exercise, plus a yoga session – and it’s only noon.

After work, I come home, immediately change clothes into farm wear and boots, walk outside, and pick up after horses and dogs. The horses’ piles have a secret to them. Break it up and spread it out, then the fly life cycle is disrupted. We have barely any flies here. It’s hard to believe, but true. When it’s not raining constantly, I drive my ATV with chain harrow over everything, to break up manures the mechanical way. Otherwise it’s me and my lightweight scoopers. Everyone wants to know if I lift weights. Nope. It’s the poop scooping. I grab a horse and do some grooming, cleaning their feet. After cleaning, I spray apple cider vinegar directly into the hoof. Sometimes I also pack it with diatomaceous earth and bentonite clay. That dries up the thrush that lives in our very muddy, jungle-like soil. I make a bug spray out of essential oils, white or apple cider vinegar, neem oil, and a little castile soap. This I spray on them if they seem to be having a buggy day. We also use this on ourselves when venturing out to hike our 150-plus mountain acres.

The dog poop pile is a composting wonder. I throw hay and the horse bedding pellets we use for cat boxes on top. Right now the dog poop pile is over 13 years old. It’s got a number of plants growing out of it, including squash that will eventually be eaten by the dogs when it’s ripe.

two horses
Mama and Gracie

It’s time for fresh water for dogs, llamas, and horses. I turn on the hose, scrub and wash out my horses’ 75-gallon water container, then add a large dose of grapefruit seed extract to defeat the mosquito larvae and kill the green slime that wants to grow.

We regularly host wwoofers – people in a worldwide movement that connects interested visitors with sustainable farmers in an educational and cultural exchange – and students who want to learn permaculture, natural health, and homesteading. My favorite woofer teaching subjects on the farm are safety, fire, and bacteria. We wash our hands after touching any animal, or any animal-related anything. Shoes and boots are off inside the house. You get the picture. By the end of the day, we are tired. It’s time to enjoy some air-popped popcorn and raw rainbow carrots, and enjoy a nice Netflix or Amazon show or movie that doesn’t include raw sex, extreme violence, rape, or demonic horrors. I recommend Heartland if you haven’t seen it. Then I read the Bible and am in bed by 10 PM, asleep by 10:15pm.

I can talk about the 25-pound bags of organic brown rice we buy, and I can advise you on my favorite fake cheese, but really, how much will that help if you are chronically ill? What good is it if you are totally depressed? The best news I can give you is this: Train your brain to believe you are inherently healthy. Protect your brain by feeding it good news, good outdoor beauty, fine music, and healthy, sweet, redeeming TV shows.

Support your smallest efforts and keep on working towards elimination of what doesn’t serve you. Eliminate bad foods, bad news, bad energy, bad everything, and increase the light in your life. It’s always time to be healthy. If an Oklahoma girl like me who grew up eating thick fried pork skins from the hogs my uncles slaughtered themselves can learn to live right, anyone can do it.

Julie Harrell, a member of the Co-op since 1994, has a long list of publications and accomplishments, both as a writer, project manager -- as well as a farmer. To say that she is interesting and gets around is an understatement!