Category: Foods

Best Food For Your Docile Bearded Dragon

Your bearded dragon has a variety of food needs. It is vital that you know what a healthy diet for your pet dragon consists to make sure that it will stay healthy longer. Feeding your dragon less frequently or otherwise may cause several health issues. Hence, it is best that you make sure that the food that you offer your docile dragon matches its health needs.

If you are looking for the best food that you can offer to your bearded dragon friend, you have landed on the right page. We provide a list of what your pet will consider palatable food sources. You will find a variety of food choices below so you can pick the best among them. This list details the most appropriate food options, including those commercially available, for your pet dragon.

Basic information about bearded dragons

This docile reptile has been a well-favored pet for many animals keepers today. Many have found this tiny creature very easy to maintain and also an interesting animal to keep as a pet. Even though they spend much of their lives in the desert, they can easily adjust to a new habitat, provided that the appropriate setting is created for them. This necessitates the setting up of an enclosure that is just the right size for them to roam around, bask in the manually-adjusted lighting and temperature set up, as well as enjoy the substrates and the food choices offered to them.

A bearded dragon can live for more than a decade, so if you know the proper husbandry for this reptile, you are sure to enjoy years and years of satisfying moments with your pet. It is best that you fully understand how your pet behaves and what kind of foods that it likes too much on, so you can offer the best food for it.

Best Diet for Bearded Dragons

Best diet for Bearded Dragons docile lizard is an omnivore. That means it can live either on animal or plant food sources. However, animal-food sources comprise about 75% of what they eat. Here are the most common and well-suited foods for your dragon.

Vegetables

Note that bearded dragons can live solely on animal food sources. However, to provide them with the best nutrient that can support their health and growth, you will have to replicate their diet in the wild. That will mean that you need to have about 25% of fruits and vegetables in their diet.

Some of the best food that you can offer to your pet, considering the nutritional value that each can provide, are as follows:

1 Collard greens

Collard greens are an excellent staple for dragons. It is a rich source of calcium and goitrogens (substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones). Chop dried pieces of this green and see how your dragon will eat them piece by piece. You can also store cut, dried pieces of these greens in a resealable bag, together with other plant matters, and wrapped with paper towels.

2. Dandelion Green

Dandelion is also an excellent staple that is high in calcium. It is also a rich source of Vitamin A, C, and K. Leave out the flowers and offer only the leaves to your beardie. You can cut the greens into larger pieces or strips. Then finely chop before offering to the dragon. For future feeding, cut dried pieces and store in a plastic bag with other greens and wrap in paper towels.

3. Endive

Endive can also be an excellent staple for reptiles when it’s mixed with other greens. It is high in vitamins, A. C, K, and Calcium. Cut into small pieces before you offer to your pet dragon.

4. Mustard Greens

Mustard is also an excellent choice for greens. It is also a rich source of calcium and in goitrogens. Like any other green leaves that you offer for your pet dragon, you can tear mustard leaves before offering it to your pet lizard.

5. Turnip Greens

The leaves of turnips are an excellent source of calcium. It is also a good source of vitamins A, C, K, Folate, Oxalates, and Goitrogens. Make sure you serve small pieces or strips of this greens to your dragon.

6. Watercress

This is also an excellent source of calcium for your bearded dragon.

7. Other excellent plant food sources

Acorn Squash (fiber), Butternut Squash (fiber), Green Beans, Kabocha Squash, Okra, Parsnip (high in fiber and carbohydrates), Snap Peas, Sweet Potato, blueberries, tomatoes, figs, and Yucca Root (Cassava).

Fruits

Fruits that may be offered as staple food sources for your dragon include Cactus Leaves (Prickly Pear), Mango, and Papaya. Just make sure that you offer small pieces (crushed, finely chopped, or shred) and have removed the peel, the pit, or the core before offering to your bearded dragon.

These fruits should be served occasionally, however: apples, bananas, blackberries, cantaloupe, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, peaches, pears, raspberries, and strawberries.

Make sure that you clean every fruit or vegetable piece that you offer to your bearded dragon. Remember that bacteria, fungi, germs, and other harmful microorganisms can easily transfer to their bloodstream from the food that they eat, so it is best that you offer them only properly washed greens or fruits.

It is also best that you offer a variety of foods to your dragon to ensure that it gets to consume different minerals and nutrients from different food sources.

Best Food for Bearded Dragon

Even while natural foods for your pets are in abundance, there are times when the preparation of this food is just too time-consuming. Fortunately, you can now find commercially-made foods online and at your local store that you can give best food for Bearded Dragon. They are also mixed or formulated with vitamins and minerals, so you are assured that your dragon will love what you offer them.

Even though there are a wide variety of brands available, you still need to do your due diligence of researching for related information and reviews about a product. Make sure that you are not buying a filler brand.

Best Worms for Bearded Dragons

Majority of your pet’s diet should consist of animal matter. Since they are not so picky eaters, you won’t have any problem finding the best animal-based food for them.

Pet dragons will eat these insects: crickets, roaches, mealworms, superworms, waxworms, butterworms, pinkies.

When feeding your beardie animal matters like insects, you can first gut-load them to improve their nutritional value. Allow them to eat throw-away fruit and vegetables. You can also dust insects with calcium supplement or vitamin additive. Just placed the insects inside a closed container and shake well. Then you can feed them to your pet.

Feeding Frequency

The best way to provide enough nutrition for your pet, especially when they are still young, is to feed them as much as they want, twice a day, every day. You know when they have enough when they stop chasing their prey or have stopped feasting on the food that you offer them.

With this simple guide, we hope you find useful information that can guide you to care for your pet dragon properly.

WFD: O Avocado by David Lazar

My urges for certain foods are completely clear to me—I loved to eat saltines and tomato juice when I was in nursery school (much nicer to say than pre-k, which introduces children to the harsh world of consonants and attenuation—we don’t have time, even then, to say kindergarden) and I like to drink tomato juice and eat crackers now. Lots of salt, and tomato juice seemed novel when I was a child. Some adults drank tomato juice, it seemed, before expensive meals. This is a cultural fashion that has passed. I don’t recall the last time I was in a restaurant and witnessed a Heinz apertif. But when I was a boy, and still now, it gave and gives tomato juice a bit of juice. Some people have an aversion to tomatoes, especially children. My own son looks at a tomato, sliced, juiced (I never understood the exception for sauced) as a food horror, perhaps the seeds, in the slices, waiting to invade, and the texture of the juice, unfit for a drink. Sometimes I’ll go several months without having tomato juice and a strange need will overtake me. I’m not sure if it’s emotional or physiological necessity, some combination. But I have to rush out and buy and drink several glasses of tomato juice at once, like some kind of tomato junky. I have visions of being found, sprawled, with a can of V-8 beside me, detectives shaking their head: “He got a bad case. Up from Mexico. Tomato Cartel.”

Other urges from my childhood are more resistable. I think of having liver every so often. I used to love liver. If you really needed to, you could say I was a liver lover. You could even taunt me by saying that. Liver lover. But apparently I don’t crave it enough to yield to the desire. Will I ever again eat liver? Not chopped, but an actual cooked piece of liver, with onions. I’m working myself up into a yen by writing about it. “Yen” is a word that isn’t much in vogue anymore. I love “yen.” I’d love to bring yen into vogue through the good offices of liver.

I like very fresh bread, and slightly stale bread. Slightly stale rye bread from a bakery, with butter. My father used to say that he liked stale bread, and he did, very stale bread, capable of crumbling, for birds. This intrigued me as a child, and I’ve inherited a modified version of it, as though the grip of the Depression were lightening generation by generation through the relative freshness of foods of we consume. I like to put a single slice of slightly stale rye bread, well-buttered, on a plate, and eat it while watching an old sitcom, like Bob Newhart, or Dick Van Dyke. Then the difficult decision of whether to have another is muted by the involvement of the show, which I’ve invariably seen. I frequently decide to have half a slice, because to have another full slice would be too self-indulgent. Little pleasures pushed too far fall over the edge and land on the carpet, butter side down.

Eating anything very late at night . . . I have to eat alone—that’s the essence of guilty pleasure in food. I can’t experience guilty pleasure eating with anyone else. It’s completely masturbatory. I sometimes worry that my son will catch me eating something after he’s gone to bed. When he finds out that I’ve eaten something after he’s gone to bed, he sometimes acts betrayed.

I frequently don’t eat what I really had the urge to eat, and I’m filled with regret. And I don’t understand why I didn’t order, buy or make what I really wanted. I don’t understand why I sabotaged my pleasure. And then I dislike what I’m eating, and my meal or snack becomes work-eating. I have to just get through it. And I’m annoyed at myself, because the idea of interrupting the meal to reclaim the desire is more than I can muster. It must be put off for another time! I must be disappointed! And the idea of beautiful, moist egg salad, warm of course, sits on my pleasure hope chest and whimpers, mutters.

Right now I’m thinking about herring. It’s the first food I remember eating, creamed, the herring, not me, with my grandfather in his kitchen. I must have been five or so. I like to buy the little jars and dip crackers into them for a day or two. I do that two or three times a year. But why not more, why not less? Why do our urges press when they do, and then recede?

Many of our urges are charmingly regressive. Some less so, no doubt. Some best left unsatisfied, less the urge curdles. I’d love to go to the circus again! But the odds are it would leave me dyspeptic if it were the standard Barnum and Bailey run. The circumference of my amazement and the standards of performance have both changed too much. This is true with certain foods, too, which can no longer be replicated. Or my own taste too far down a certain road. I shiver at the salvers of sliced tongue we used to have on Sundays, piled onto sandwiches alongside potato sandwiches, and occasionally have the urge to try again. But I just know this one wouldn’t go anywhere if tested. The conceptual tide has turned. Tongue is best—sorry—licking the contours of memory.

Sometimes one experience can fuel a lifetime of urges. Before I had moved to California in the late nineteen seventies, I had never tasted an avocado. Mexican restaurants hardly existed in New York in the sixties, and they weren’t in our cultural milieu. I was in grad school in California, and riding home from the supermarket with my bag and stopped along the way. I took out the avocado I had bought, and used my pocket knife to cut the oval top off, and ate the fruit from the skin. It was the most orgiastic taste experience of my life. I devoured the whole thing. I loved eating that avocado so much that I kept the pit for a few years. Avocados, to me, tasted like nothing else I had ever eaten—I couldn’t find a category for them—neither quite sweet, nor tart, when perfect they were soft but had texture. O the avocado! I’ve kept eating them since, my urge for them unabated, trying always to recreate that first swoon. But, interestingly, the pleasure so strong, both in tasting again, and in memory, that disappointment, even when the occasional unripe agent of my urges appears, isn’t a cause for alarm. I suppose that’s the definition of mature love when it comes to urges, and food that is, my avocado love.

david-lazar

David Lazar‘s books include Occasional Desire (Nebraska), The Body of Brooklyn and Truth in Nonfiction (both Iowa), Essaying the Essay(Welcome Table). Powder Town (Pecan Grove), Michael Powell: Interviews and Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher (both Mississippi). Forthcoming are After Montaigne (University of Georgia) and Who’s Afraid of Helen of Troy (Etruscan Press). In 2014-15 he is curating a digital chapbook on nonfiction editing for The Conversant.org/Essay Press. Six of his essays have been “Notable Essays of the Year” according to Best American Essays, the latest in 2014. He created the undergraduate and Ph.D. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Ohio University and directed the creation of the undergraduate and M.F.A. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago where he is Professor of Creative Writing. He is the founding editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika, now in its thirteenth year.

WFD Summer Tour: Packing and Kale Chips

We leave for the first leg of our WFD Summer Tour in six days. We’ll be having dinner with Randon Noble and Richard Peabody in DC, Laura Bogart in Baltimore, and Anna March in Rehoboth Beach, and then on our way back, Rob Bennett in Baltimore again. I’m heavily involved in The First Stage of Packing: doing laundry, lining up the suitcases and duffle bags, making shopping lists, and getting the tires checked. This is the part of things that makes me anxious, because it’s the part where I have to plan for things that could wrong. But also the part that makes me itch to get on the road, because now we have concrete plans. We’ll be dining at Vidalia in DC and Clementine on our first pass through Baltimore. Like any good foodie, I’m spending almost as much time looking at the menus and planning my miles as I am looking at maps and planning our route. Where we will eat in Rehoboth depends on the availability of crabs.

chaatmas

But that really isn’t what this blog post is about. This blog post is really about kale chips. I’m very late to this party, I admit. I bought a bag of kale chips when the craze started and found them pretty awful, but like a lot of foods, the productized, mass market version has nothing on the homemade. Still, my first batch, made with sea salt and olive oil, still didn’t do anything for me. (I’m one of those people who isn’t crazy about the taste of kale itself.) I probably wouldn’t have tried again if it weren’t for the early abundance of kale at the Athens Farmers Market and an end-of-the-semester burst of cooking energy. But, finally, I have found the perfect kale chip “recipe.” (I hesitate to call this a recipe, actually. It’s kind of not.) This is so good I wanted to share the secret with you: Shan Indian spice blends. Before I put the kale in the oven (300 degrees for 23 minutes), I spritz a little olive oil on it (but not much, because it doesn’t take much) and then GENEROUSLY sprinkle the kale with chaat or chana masala. (I like the chaat best, but that’s because I love the sulfery taste of the black salt, a taste which I recognize many people do not like at all.) And I mean it when I put “generously” in all caps. A dusting won’t do it. You want to really pour the spice mix on.

kale-chips-fotilia

These are currently “my thing.” After Dominik said, “You know, the smell of kale roasting in the oven is a little hard to take first thing in the morning,” I have put off making them until he’s hadkale chips in a bowl his cup of tea, but I make a batch pretty much every day and have for the last month or so. I’m aware of the problems with food gentrification. but frankly we are a low income family–though in that shabby-chic, graduate student kind of way–and the kale I buy comes from local farmers who are also, for the most part, living on less than most folk. We are not turning kale into biofuel for our BMW or anything. Plus, I’ve read that kale is good for brain health. (Although I read it on HuffPo and, frankly, I take their articles about nutrition with a very, very big grain of salt, so who knows.) And these are seriously yummy.

A note of caution: I tried this with a few other spice blends and it was AWFUL. Regular old grocery store curry powder was overpoweringly sweet and “dusty” in a way that too much turmeric can be. Tikka masala was too mild and the bitterness of the kale overwhelmed it. Experiment, but I suggest leaning toward the bolder flavors.

Thank You!

Our Kickstarter is funded. It reached full funding last week, and I apologize that I’m just now posting this thank you. We spent much of that week trying to figure out what to say. To figure out how to express as much gratitude as we feel. And still, I’m not sure we’ve got it right, because every time I sit down to draft this thank you note to all of you, it falls short and I delete it.

 

(For some reason, I also always seem to fall a little bit into “Stephen Elliott Writing the Daily Rumpus Voice” when I try. But that’s a nice voice, and I would be happy to write half as well as Stephen Elliott, so there you go.)

Two fortune cookie fortunes. One reads “You will journey to pleasant places.” The other reads, “A thrilling time is in your immediate future.”
Our fortunes from last night. No, really.

We are very excited about our list of cities and writers, and we look forward to bringing you tales from the road–and our guests’ short pieces about food–over the course of the summer. We are. But right now, our overwhelming emotion is gratitude rather than wanderlust.

(Here, really, is where the blog post usually begins to derail. It starts to sound to me like an Oscar’s acceptance speech, which then feels pretentious. And we are humbled by this experience, not made more full of ourselves by it.)

First, we are thankful to all the writers who have agreed to participate. The list is amazing: Sara Pritchard, Jesse Kalvitis and Rebecca Doverspike, Ami Iachini Shiffbauer, Silas Hansen, Randon Billings Noble, Richard Peabody, Laura Bogart, Rob Bennett, Anna March, Jill Talbot, and David Lazar. Many of the people on this list are also on my reading list for my Comprehensive Exams. I can’t believe their generosity in agreeing to share their work and their time with us. We are both a little giddy over this.

Next, we want to thank our families. Kickstarter didn’t turn out to work the way we had anticipated. We thought most of our money would come from interested strangers. It didn’t. Most of it came from the pockets of the people we love, and who love us. Thank you, kinfolk.

(Here, too, the post always falls apart. I want to say that I’m not sure we’d have done this if we’d known that so much of the funding would come from the people who are already enabling us to be middle-aged graduate students pursuing a writing life instead of responsible grown-ups with real jobs. But I’m afraid saying that sounds ungrateful, when really it’s just that we were already so very grateful that we didn’t want to ask for more. If I weren’t making an effort not to be pretentious, I’d say something about cups that are running over here.)

We want to thank our community of fellow writers/readers/editors. I think folk who don’t write imagine that it’s something we do alone in quiet rooms–maybe with a cup of tea, maybe with a glass of whiskey–and that we succeed or fail solely on our own merits. That’s not even a little bit true. (Well, sometimes I do have a cup of tea.) Most of being a writer is something that we do in community with one another: introducing the work of writers we admire to our friends, acting as readers for drafts of work by friends, reading for literary journals, and (particularly at this time of year) inviting one another to give AWP panels/readings/interviews. Writers and editors both got us off the ground and put us over the top on this project. Some of them are friends, some of them strangers I admire, two are crazy famous and sometimes at night I sit up in bed and say to Dominik, “Holy crap, Authors X and Y backed our Kickstarter. Is this really our life?”

“Yep,” he says. And then we both go back to sleep.

And finally, we are grateful to our friends who supported us in this and in so many other our harebrained schemes. We promise to be equally supportive of your next crackpot idea.

(Here, too, past attempts to write this have stalled. I’m sure I’m leaving someone out, and I don’t want to do that. We will be thanking each of you individually both when the Kickstarter is officially over and then, over and over again, for years. Really. Maybe enough that you’ll tell us to please, for the love of God, give it a rest. And probably some more after that.)

Here is the truth of it: we both wake up almost every morning amazed and grateful at the life we get to lead together. (Obviously, some mornings we just wake up grumpy about the papers we have to grade or worried about someone we love or angry over something we heard on the news before we fell asleep. We are grateful, but also human.) We stop in the middle of other conversations to say to one another, “I can’t believe we get to actually do the summer tour. I can’t believe that these amazing writers have agreed to be part of it. I can’t believe how generous and supportive our family and friends have been.” (Also, sometimes, “I can’t believe Brock Lesnar broke the Undertaker’s 21 year winning streak. Brock Lesnar? That’s just not right.” But that’s a whole other kettle of fish, and not related at all to what I was talking about.) We are reeling, in the best possible way, from the support and generosity you’ve shown to us.

(And now, when I know the whole thing is full-on pretentious and that I haven’t thanked anybody adequately, I usually hit delete. I want to do a better job than this. I know that, as a writer, I’m supposed to revise until I’m satisfied but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen, and I know that it’s more important to say “thank you” now than it is to screw around with craft issues in this blog post until I think I made pretty words. So, flaws and all, I’m going to hit send. Right after I say “thank you” this one last time.)

On Being a Fat Food Blogger

When Dominik and I decided to start Writers for Dinner, I was afraid it was a terrible idea. Not because so many folks who set out to blog do so without thinking about how much work it is. I knew that it would be work, but it’s work we both love. Not because I thought we couldn’t get great writer-guests. I’m a PhD student in Creative Writing at Ohio University… I know lots of great writers, and many of them are also broke graduate students, so I imagined it would not be that hard to get them to agree to let us feed them dinner. Not even because I was afraid nobody would read our blog. I knew that the great writing of our guests would bring an audience and it has. (Thank you, readers!)

No, I was scared because I’m a fat woman and, in spite of having worked pretty much my whole life to overcome my internalized fat prejudice, I still have a tiny voice inside me that says fat women shouldn’t eat in public… and food blogging seemed like eating in public taken to a new level.

A photograph from the early twentieth century of the head and shoulders of an older woman in a black dress. The photograph makes it obvious the woman is a person of size.
My great-great grandmother, Sheva Baila Polan ran a nobleman’s dairy on an estate in Lithuania.

First, let me say that, like our Summer Tour guest Laura Bogart, I acknowledge that I choose to be fat. Unlike Laura, my fat is not armor or tied in any way to unhappiness… my fat is half genetic predisposition and half a love of the voluptuary pleasures of great food. My fat is perhaps the most transgressive kind… it’s the joyful fat of taking pleasuring in, rather than disciplining, the body. It’s the fat of saying yes to second helpings and no to spending more hours than my body needs me to spend in order to be healthy trying to negate the calories of those second helpings at the gym. It’s the fat of my great-great grandmother Sheva Baila, of my great-grandmother Bertha, of soft-bodied women everywhere who spend their time and energies on things other than being thin.

I am most comfortable with my body at just about exactly 200 lbs. When I get above that weight (as I am right now… I’ve gained 15 lbs during this joyous first year of marriage, which I understand it actually a thing), I work to bring myself back to it, but when I get there, I stop. I know that I can get to 200 lbs by getting about 50 minutes worth of brisk exercise five times a week and eating sensibly. If I want to get below 200 lbs, I have to make losing weight one of my jobs. It takes a couple hours at the gym every day and the kind of obsessive food-tracking that, frankly, takes too much time away from my other work for me to be willing to do it. I want to be a good writer, a good professor, and a better-than-good partner. That takes a lot of time and effort and I’m not willing to cut back on the work I do in any of those areas in order to also be thin. It just doesn’t matter that much to me.

Dominik and Sarah sharing a piece of wedding cake. In the photo it is obvious that Sarah is a person of size and Dominik is not.

fat-and-happy-bride
The groom and the (fat and happy) bride share a piece of wedding cake.

But although I am comfortable at 200 lbs., the world is not comfortable with me at that weight. Last year, a colleague took a sweater-capey thing I keep in my office for chilly days and used it to costume her “Fat Sarah” performance in the hallway outside the main office of our department. I happened to catch her in the act, and she was so comfortable with the idea that fat-shaming is okay, she never even apologized. She just said, “I took this (the cape) because I was cold,” and then went right back to the conversation she had been having. During our recent trip to Austria, my husband’s aunt–after feeding us a lovely dinner–gave me a diet book written in German (which I don’t read) because she assumed I was unhappy about being fat and wanted to be helpful. I love Aunt Elizabeth very much, but I was heart-broken that she would feed me and then suggest I shouldn’t eat the very food she’d just served. These sorts of casual reminders that the world thinks I should care more about my size than I do are omni-present. Facebook constantly bombards me with diet ads. Friends often compliment me by telling me an outfit is “slimming,” which isn’t actually a compliment because it means that I look good because I’ve managed to find clothes which hide the reality of my body. It gets tiresome.

And so, when Dominik and I decided to launch a food blog, it took me a while to get comfortable with the idea that I was going to be public–as a fat woman–about my love of food. I’m lucky to have a partner who is supportive when I need to put in the effort to get back to the weight I want to be, but who isn’t invested in my being anyone or anything other than who I am. Who is okay with the fact that I am a person of size. It helps me to remember that I am also okay with it, and that it’s the result of choices I make and of which I am not ashamed.

So, won’t you come over and join us for dinner? Because I love food even more when it’s shared with good friends.