As some of you may know, we recently started working with the Farmer’s Dog and here is why..…On The Farmer’s Dog website, they state the following..

“You shouldn’t be the only one eating healthy. Like you, we love our pets and care about their health. That’s why we created The Farmer’s Dog — a service that delivers balanced, freshly made pet food with simple recipes, guided by science and driven by love.”

That statement aligns with 5Strands service and mission.. “Our mission is to empower families with a voice about their health care and that of their pets. 5Strands number one frequently asked question from pet parents is “what food do you recommend”. Throughout our entire existence we chose to keep our name separate from recommending any pet food company.

The pet food industry has so much negativity surrounding it due to the low grade quality food being mass produced for our pets to consume. Our 5Strands Pet Intolerance Test has helped determine all of the harmful preservatives & ingredients placed in a majority of the kibble & canned pet foods on the market today. Parents looking to alleviate their pets discomfort are forced to follow a raw food elimination diet. As a company, we found out that it was rather difficult to stay consistent with meal prepping and spending a reasonable dollar amount on our pets diet. Then we caught word of The Farmer’s Dog while speaking on the phone with a customer.

Here is Melissa’s personal story and experience with The Farmer’s Dog…

Before putting Lily on Farmer’s Dog she was throwing up about once to twice a day. I found out that she was throwing up because she was intolerant to several items in her dog food. I would have never known if I didn’t get her intolerances tested! I tried following a raw food diet but Lily seemed to not like any of the food I was making.

In September, I was going over a dog’s test results with a customer and she mentioned The Farmer’s Dog. She put me in contact with one of the employees and it has been a match made in heaven ever since!

The first thing I noticed about The Farmer’s Dog once I checked out their website was that they provided at home delivery of human grade dog food (Yes.. I did nibble on the food and tried it myself). The food is made in a kitchen and only has a few ingredients! They have three simple recipes that still provides Lily with all the necessary nutrition she needs. When Lily got her first shipment in the mail, she started going crazy before I even opened the box! Lily loves it so much that she basically swallows the food whole. My dog Lily has been on Farmer’s Dog since the end of October. Since then Lily, has not thrown up! I have the capability to rotate which recipe is delivered each month to make sure Lily does not build up an intolerance to a single recipe. I have finally found a food that is convenient and extremely healthy for my best friend to live a happier life!

Valentines DAy 2019

Cacao Vs Cocoa – Which Chocolate is Healthy For You?

Cacao is processed in five main steps. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted, crushed, and then ground. I think it’s easy to see how they lose their nutritional value. The fermentation process is where the flavor and smell we associate with chocolate begins. Once the beans are dry, they are sold to various chocolate makers, to become either raw cacao products or continued processing to eventually become cocoa powder. From there, on the way to become cocoa, the beans are roasted. This brings out more of the sweet flavor. The roasted beans are crushed, producing chunks that are sold as cacao nibs. Cacao nibs have become more popular as an alternative to chocolate chips or added to protein shakes for the benefits. The cacao nibs are ground up and pressed to remove the fat, leaving behind cocoa powder.

Everybody is different. Just like having a gluten sensitivity, anyone can also have reactions to chocolate or cocoa. We test for sensitivities and intolerances to over 500 food items, including cocoa powder, as well as six different preservatives (listed on our website as E 380, E 442, E 524, E525, E 526, and E 560) found in chocolate products. If you believe you’re having symptoms of an intolerance to chocolate, or symptoms of a nutritional deficiency (i.e. magnesium, iron) it only takes 10-15 strands of your hair to find out!

I stood in the candy aisle in Trader Joe’s for about 30 minutes deciding which chocolate to buy as research (and motivation) for me to write this post. It’s hard enough not to buy everything in the store, but to examine all of the different chocolate products without buying all of them took a lot of self control. I had to remind myself of all our blog posts from last month to keep myself accountable for my health goals. Go check them out!

chinese new year blog

Spring Roll Into The New Year MSG Free

Today is the start of the Chinese New Year. This year is the Year of the Pig, which represents luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty, general prosperity, symbolizing a hard working, a peace-loving person, a truthful, generous, indulgent, patient, reliable, trusting, sincere, giving, sociable person with a large sense of humor and understanding.

In celebration of the Chinese New Year, most of us may go out and eat Chinese Food. Some popular Chinese foods are Sweet and Sour Pork, Kung Pao Chicken, Ma Po Tofu, Orange Chicken, Wontons, Dumplings, Chow Mein, Spring Rolls, Sesame Chicken, and we can’t forget about the Fried Brown Rice. As these foods are delicious, they may contain multiple additives, flavorings, and preservatives. One of the most common food additive is Monosodium Glutamate. Better known as MSG. MSG is made up mostly of free glutamic acid, or glutamate, an amino acid found naturally in most foods. It’s produced by fermenting molasses, starch, or sugar cane. This fermentation process is like the process used to make wine and yogurt. The primary use is a food additive to enhance the flavor of some foods. (E-621) It has become an important additive for the food industry because it doesn’t compromise flavor if lower quality or less fresh ingredients are used.

Some people may experience adverse effects from consuming MSG. This condition is called the Chinese restaurant syndrome or MSG symptom complex. People may experience symptoms within two hours after eating foods that contain MSG. Symptoms can last a few hours to a couple of days. Common symptoms include:

Their are treatments for common symptoms: Mild symptoms usually don’t require treatment. Taking over-the-counter (OCT) pain relievers may ease your headache. Drinking several glasses of water may help flush the MSG out of your system and shorten the duration of your symptoms.

Evidence indicates that MSG is safe in moderate amounts. If you react adversely to MSG, you should not eat it. The adverse reaction could mean an allergy or intolerance to it. 5Strands Affordable Testing can help determine whether or not you have an intolerance to MSG as it is one of the items tested for under the Food Only and Deluxe testing packages.

If you know that you are intolerant to MSG, you will need to learn to read labels with the list of ingredients. When you eat out at a restaurant, you will need to find out if their food is MSG free. Some may indicate that on the menus, but if they don’t, you will need to ask.

In addition, MSG occurs naturally in certain foods. The foods include potatoes, peas, tomatoes and tomato juice, mushrooms, grapes, grape juice, parmesan cheese, and roquefort cheese.

It is important to know your intolerances so you do not have to cut out healthy foods unnecessarily.

5Strands Affordable Testing is here to help!