You will not pay more than $6 for any of those books. If you bought all of them, you would pay under $40.
$3.99 would save you hundreds, even thousands, in future medical bills.
$2.99 would save you untold amounts of money when you apply the frugal living principles in the book.
$2.99 would help you leave the work force and live most of your adult life on your own terms – with more money in a nest egg than many people have even by the time they finish a 40-year career at a job they don’t like.
$5.99 would lead you to the life of your dreams.
If you’re serious about changing your life, you will invest money in books that will help you to do so.
Thanks in advance for checking out those resources! 🙂
Researchers aren’t absolutely positive that an 100% whole-foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest diet, but they are sure that people who eat a nutrient-rich diet that contains no more than a small serving of animal product every day are going to dramatically reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and a host of other chronic and terminal health problems.
And the more days you can eat 100% animal product-free, the better!
But if you’re like a lot of people, you may not know much about no-meat, no-dairy meal preparation. You may also think it takes more time to prepare a homemade vegan meal than a homemade meat-based meal.
I’m about to prove you wrong! Not only that, but I’m also going to show you how easy it can be to prepare a whole-foods, 100% plant-based meal.
A disclaimer: when I say “whole foods,” I mean foods that are purchased in their natural form, cooked or otherwise. Canned goods aren’t strictly “whole,” having been cooked, but unless they’ve been coated in syrup or otherwise doctored, I count canned vegetables as “whole” for our purposes.
These are, after all, supposed to be easy recipes. And cooking beans and cutting corn off the cob aren’t exactly easy tasks!
A word of warning: I have photos for very few of the following recipes. I’m certainly not going to have photos of every step for any of the recipes. This isn’t a food or cooking blog, this a blog to encourage and inspire people to live a more fulfilling life, of which good health is key. You don’t need photos, just an ability to read and follow directions, and a tongue that can taste.
Now that we understand each other, on to the recipes…
Recipe #1: Simple tofu stir-fry with rice
If you don’t like tofu or are allergic to soy, omit the tofu. Make up the protein later with a handful of pumpkin seeds for a snack.
2-3 carrots, each at least six inches long, cut into ½ inch slices
(if you’re not used to vegetable-heavy dishes, or have a small-ish skillet, go with the two cups broccoli and two carrots)
2 teaspoons onion or garlic powder, or 1 teaspoon each, optional (if you want to bother chopping up fresh onion or garlic, you may, but these recipes are supposed to be easy. 😉 )
1 cup rice
2-1/2 cups water
Do this first part a couple of hours before you want to eat.
Cut the block of tofu into two-inch cubes. Set the cubes in a glass cake pan in one layer.
Pour the sauce over the cubes, then set the pan in the refrigerator. Let tofu marinate at least two hours.
Just before cooking, remove tofu from refrigerator.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
Add rice, reduce heat, and simmer for about half an hour. If you don’t have a rice cooker, keep an eye on the mixture so that it won’t boil over, or the simmering won’t come to a stand-still.
When all the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and prepare the stir-fry.
Heat oil in wok or skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to sizzle.
If you’re going to bother with fresh onion or garlic, put it in the skillet now and stir it while it cooks for about one minute.
Pour the carrot slices into the skillet. Stir every few seconds for two minutes.
Add the broccoli and do the same. Continue stirring every few seconds until the vegetables take on a bright color and are crisp-tender.
Toss in the tofu cubes and pour in whatever sauce remains. Add enough extra sauce so that all the veggie pieces get a little coating, if necessary. Stir all until tofu is warm.
Serve with hot rice.
Recipe #2: Vegan wrap
Packet of large Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain tortillas
Mashed black or garbanzo beans OR almond or peanut butter, optional
A variety of wrap-friendly veggies:
Shredded romaine or leaf lettuce
Cut-up red pepper
Any other veggie you enjoy on a sandwich!
Your favorite vegan condiment – salsa, ketchup, mustard, vegan mayo, etc.
Really? Do you seriously need directions for this one. *SIGH.* Okay.
Lay tortilla out on large plate.
If using mashed beans or nut butter, spread it over the tortilla.
Layer the raw veggies in the middle third of the tortilla.
Top with desired condiment.
Roll up and eat!
RECIPE #3: Chickpeas and quinoa
3 cups water
1 cup dry quinoa
1-2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Heat water in medium saucepan to boiling.
Return water to a low simmer.
Cover pan and let simmer for twenty minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Lift lid to release steam if it does, or if a lot of steam is coming out, and reduce heat. If you use an electric burner, you may have to go back and forth between a medium setting a low setting.
After twenty minutes, no water should be visible in the pan, just quinoa. Remove pan from heat, keeping covered. Let sit for ten minutes.
Heat beans in the meantime.
Scoop quinoa onto dish. Spoon over beans and top with seasonings or condiments to taste.
Recipe #4: Sprouted mung bean and sweet potato salad
1 cup dry mung beans
2 cups water
1-2 large sweet potatoes (depending on how many are eating)
1 head romaine lettuce, or 1 package romaine hearts
Balsamic or apple cider vinegar
Two days prior, soak the beans in a container of at least four cups, in the two cups of water.
Eight to fifteen hours later, drain the beans in a strainer or colander. Return to the container and let sit for at least another twelve hours. They should have sprouted little white tails by then.
Dump the beans by quarter-cups onto a glass plate. Dump each cup onto empty glass, not onto the beans you’ve already dumped. If you hear something hard clinking when you dump out the beans, you have an unsprouted bean that will not be nice to crunch on. Find it and remove it.
Peel the sweet potato if you want, then cut it up into pieces no more than two inches wide and two inches and diameter.
Bring about an inch and a half of water in the bottom of a saucepan to a boil.
Put the sweet potato chunks either directly into the water, or in a steamer basket set above the water.
Cover and cook until all the pieces are soft, five to ten minutes.
In the meantime, wash and shred the lettuce. Put into a bowl.
Set out the bowl of lettuce, sweet potatoes, container of mung beans, and vinegar.
Let each person partaking of the meal heap their plates with however much lettuce, potato, and sprouted mung beans they desire.
Top with vinegar, sprinkle with salt, mix together, and enjoy.
Recipe #5: Tex-Mex Vegan Salad
1 can corn
1 can black beans
2 large bunches kale
Jar of salsa
Tear the kale leaves off the stems, which are hard to chew and leave annoying green strings between your teeth.
Cut up the kale leaves.
Pour an inch of water in the bottom of a saucepan.
Bring water to a boil.
Either drop the kale right into the water, or place the kale in a steamer basket and place it in the saucepan.
Steam the kale for about seven minutes.
If you put the greens into the water, pour off the water.
While the kale cooks, drain and heat up the black beans and corn in the same saucepan (optional – you may not want to do this if you’re making the meal during the summer).
Place the kale, beans, and corn in a large bowl and stir together.
When served on plates, top with salsa to taste.
These easy and healthy vegan recipes are a great way to ramp up your nutrition and generally improve your health.
If you want even more tips on how to improve your diet, including more simple recipes, check out my book, Simple Diet, Beautiful You. While it’s not strictly vegan, because I wrote it to reach a more general audience, it will still give you plenty of tips on how to eat healthier with more plants, and without spending hours in the kitchen!
If you’re asking about how to make money online, you are far from alone. Which can be discouraging, because doesn’t that mean you have so much competition you have only the slightest chance of succeeding with an online business?
It depends. Mainly, it depends on your persistence. I once heard a blog consultant state that around 90% of people who start blogs with a view to making money from them, quit within the first year. If you look around YouTube long enough, you’ll find a lot of channels that haven’t had any new content posted for the past two to three years.
While many people set off on a journey to build a profitable online business, a huge percentage eventually quit. Why?
They don’t profit. Some even lose a lot of money. I know of one YouTube channel where the guy obviously put a lot of money into video-making equipment, and a lot of time into making each video. But he got frustrated with some change the algorithm made, and gave up…with several hundred subscribers panting for more of his videos.
I don’t want you to give up on your dreams of shaking off the chains that tie you to a job that doesn’t fulfill you. So in this post, I’m going to share four ideas on how you can start an online business that will begin profiting after about thirty days.
Note that I’m NOT saying you’ll be able to pay any bills with that profit, let alone quit your job. But if you can see even twenty, fifty, a hundred dollars in the first month, without having had to put any money into your new start-up, you will be motivated to continue to work hard and ramp up your efforts so as to gradually build up that income.
Let’s get into those ideas.
#1. The social media coach/consultant
Do you have an area of expertise that you know others are wanting help in? Whether it’s health and fitness, marketing, relationships, or any number of other topics, you can set yourself up as a coach or consultant and find your first client within the first week or two.
How? Join a group on your social media platform of choice (probably Facebook or LinkedIn) and start participating by helping the members of the group. You can set up a free blog at blogger.com, or a Facebook page, and include your contact information, a summary of your services, and the offer for a free consultation call. If you’re allowed, put the link to this page or website in your signature for the groups.
When you encounter someone in a group who seems to be in a bind that you know you can help with, message them and offer them a free consultation.
If you decide to go this route, I suggest you read a book about coaching or consulting before you get started.
#2. Selling your products via YouTube
This one will take a little more legwork if you want to profit within the first thirty days, because a brand new video on a brand new YouTube channel isn’t going to get many, if any, views for days, perhaps even weeks. And it takes a lot of viewers before one decides to purchase from you.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. If you’ve written a comprehensive book or created a video course on a topic a lot of people would be interested in – relationships, health, career change, videography, etc. – you could start a YouTube channel based on whatever niche your book or course is related to. Upload at least three content-rich videos a week in the first couple of weeks to give your channel immediate momentum within YouTube. Then, go to fiverr.com and find a few people there who promote YouTube videos. The people they promote to who end up watching your video may not want to purchase your product, but the higher view numbers will tell YouTube to start suggesting your video to more and more YouTube browsers.
If you can get a total of, say, a thousand of more views among your videos within the first thirty-days, and you promote your product at the beginning and end of each video (be sure to offer some bonus to sweeten the deal), you will probably get at least one sale your first month.
And all it takes to make a quality video is a smart phone and a video editor, and there are several video editors that have free versions.
#3. Becoming a virtual assistant
Are you good at creating beautiful pins for Pinterest? How about doing online research, or connecting with bloggers on behalf of clients? What about writing 1,000-word articles, or proofreading or editing? Maybe you’ve delved into video-making as a hobby, and are well-versed in the in’s and out’s of video editing.
While a virtual assistant should have some online savvy in a few areas, you don’t have to know everything about every administrative task in order to set yourself up as a V.A. As a matter of fact, sometimes people who hire V.A.’s walk them through the specifics of the task they want done.
Eventually, you’ll want a paid blog as your home base for this one. But you can start with a free blog.
If you’re a mother, join Hire My Mom. Women or men can sites like Upwork or Guru. Yes, there are a lot of competition on those sites. So start by taking on a few jobs for free, or at a very low cost so you can get some good reviews. Let all your online and offline networks know that you’ve put out your shingle as a V.A., and ask them to put you in touch with anyone they know who might need their services.
If you work long enough to make enough of the right connections, you will likely have received your first paying gig within the first month.
#4. Website design for local businesses.
Don’t skip over this one if you know nothing about website or graphic design! Look for free courses about web design, and after a few weeks to a few months you’ll have enough expertise to begin to approach local businesses to offer your services as a web designer.
But don’t take my word for it. Click here to listen to a podcast episode from one of my favorite podcasts, “Side Hustle Nation,” to hear how one man who knew nothing about website design turned it into a significant income within a few months of taking a free course about it.
Remember: you’re not going for a “significant income” in thirty days, just a profit. And once you have the skills and get out and start soliciting them to local business owners, this is totally possible.
I know I haven’t hit on all the possible ways that you can start making money online without any money, and begin to make a profit in your first month. But the above ideas are a great place to start, and might inspire you to come up with a completely different idea that suits your unique skill sets, interests, and gifting.
Wondering how to save money with children? Wonder no more! As a recovering cheapskate and forever-saver, I can tell you with confidence that we didn’t spend more than $500 on our son during his first two years of life (he was born in 2006) – and I’m pretty sure that number is overblown. And while he has gotten more expensive as he’s grown older, we don’t spend nearly as much on him as the average middle-class family spends on each child per year.
And no, he’s not unhappy. Au contraire.
So if you need some ideas on how to make children fit into your monthly budget without blowing it, following are twenty-two ways to save money with kids that most anyone can do.
*1. Use cloth diapers. I know, gross, right? But as long as your baby is consuming only breastmilk, their feces is not a horror to contend with. If you’re feeding them formula, or once they start eating solid food, that’s when the poop gets…interesting.
Breathe through your mouth and deal with it. How to “deal with it” is beyond the scope of this article, and I’ll readily admit that there were a few months before our son turned two and poop-potty trained himself when we used disposable diapers. However, if you really need to save money, using cloth diapers instead of disposables will help you a lot.
*2. Purchase baby items from kid consignment stores. Cribs, changing tables, clothes, baby toys, bedding, all of these can be purchased second-hand at consignment stores for much cheaper than the in-store prices.
*3. Don’t buy a changing table. If you have lower back problems, skip this one. If not, you can change a baby on a bed or on the floor.
*4. Practice co-sleeping. Letting Baby sleep in your bed is a highly personal, and therefore somewhat volatile, issue. But if you don’t buy a crib, you save some money. One popular co-sleeping method is temporarily putting the bed frame and box spring mattress in storage, and sleeping on the mattress on the floor. As your child grows, you can put a crib mattress on the floor next to your mattress.
*5. Hold a baby shower, and register for absolutely everything you think you’ll need for the next three years.
Yes, I said three years. Imagine not having to worry about buying clothing until your child is four years old!
*6. Breastfeed your baby for at least a year. Join your local La Leche League to get the support you need in order not to give up on it sooner. The women who lead those meetings have a wealth of experience and a passion to help mothers keep their babies on the breast.
*7. Don’t force your baby to wean. Wait until they are “asking” for regular food. At this point, they will more than likely have several teeth and be mature enough to know how to eat non-pureed/blended food. Our son was eleven months old when this happened, and he ate a small piece of apple.
*8. OR, make your own baby food. Blend apples into applesauce, peas and corn into mush, and so on. It’s a lot cheaper than buying jarred baby food, and doesn’t take long to prepare.
*9. On gift-giving holidays, give toys from garage sales and thrift stores. Unless they have older siblings or cousins telling them otherwise, they won’t know the difference.
*10. Keep gifts simple. When he was a toddler, our son had more fun playing with the boxes and wrapping paper the gifts came in than with the gifts themselves.
*11. Or, abstain from starting gift-giving traditions altogether. There’s no law stating that a child must receive gifts on their birthdays, Christmas, or Chanukah.
*12. OR, limit the gifts. No one receives more than, say three gifts on their birthdays or other gift-giving holidays. Keep this the rule every year in perpetuity.
*13. Purchase second-hand clothing (underwear/socks being the exception). If you haven’t discovered swap.com or thredup.com yet, now is the perfect time to explore those sites.
*14. Never take them into toy store or toy aisle of department store. Out of sight, out of mind.
Along those lines…
*15. Don’t let your children watch television programs that are loaded with toy commercials. What they don’t know about, they can’t ask about.
*16. Purchase plastic dishes from thrift stores. Plastic won’t break with the usual dropping/falling accidents.
*17. If they’re picky about fashion, purchase brand-new for clothes that they’ll wear in public. Purchase at-home clothes from thrift or consignment stores.
*18. Budget “fun” spending for each child each month, and stick to the amount. This could be in lieu of gift-giving at holidays.
*19. Take advantage of craigslist for large ticket items, such as bicycles or computers.
*20. Find online coupons for everything possible, from entertainment venues to restaurants to online purchases.
*21. Feed your clan homemade meals and snacks, made from whole foods. For example, breakfast cereal can be homemade muesli or oatmeal or rice topped with fruit and/or honey and/or cinnamon or Allspice. Snacks can be a piece of fruit, a few nuts (if they’re old enough to chew them properly), or cookies that you bake yourself using natural sweeteners and low-gluten flour (such as einkorn or emmer). Make restaurant food (take-out, slow, or fast) a rare treat.
*22. Always wait until late summer to purchase school supplies (glue, pens, notebooks, etc.), even if not used specifically for school use, and stock up then.
*23. Buy season passes to favorite entertainment venues (water parks, science museums, etc.).
*25. Take advantage of local public playgrounds and recreational areas, such as state parks.
*26. Make same-gender siblings share a bedroom. Contrary to popular belief, there is no law anywhere stating that every child in a given family must have their own bedroom. Embracing the “shared room” idea can save you big money when purchasing a house.
*27. Purchase evergreen toys. These are toys that a child is likely to come back to for years. Generic Lego® sets is a popular one. Girls will often play with dolls into their early and mid-teens (though they’d never admit that to their friends). Balls of all shapes, sizes, and materials. I could go on, but you get my drift.
The average cost to raise a child to age eighteen doesn’t have to be your family’s cost. Put on your cheapskate hat, pick some of these ideas on ways to save money with your children, and once you put them into practice, you just may find you finally have space not only to create, but work toward, financial goals.
All of these books have been authored by John McDougall during the past thirty years, all insisting that the healthiest diet is a low-fat, low-protein diet consisting of 80-90% cooked starches. A medical doctor, he became convinced early in his career that this diet – which many would call a healthy vegan diet – could cure a number of diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. And his experience with many of his patients have born that theory out, despite the efforts of his contemporaries to discredit it.
Is Dr. McDougall’s diet healthy?
Is a high-carb, plant-based diet the best? John McDougall and other medical doctors – along with a growing group of other health practitioners such as naturopaths, chiropractors, and doctors of osteopathy – have a lot of cumulative evidence that show the answers to these questions to be a resounding yes.
As a vegetarian and natural health and nutrition buff who is thrilled by the existence of medical doctors who base their practices on preventing disease through proper diet, I won’t argue with the fact that eliminating flour-based and sugar-filled foods along with animal products will go a long way to improve anyone’s health.
Umm…except…John McDougall’s “starch solution” allows for flour-based foods. I’ll get to that in a moment, but for now, let me throw out on the table that among the M.D.s, N.D.s, and other health care practitioners who advocate a plant-based, high-carb diet, McDougall is in the minority in believing there is anything healthy about flour-based products.
Because, there’s not.
Dr. John McDougall, author of “The Starch Solution.”
So for now, let’s take the baked goods out of the equation. Let’s say that this so-called “healthiest diet” only includes whole, non-flour starchy foods. In that case, I would agree that his diet plan is healthy for a lot of people.
But, is it the healthiest for everyone?
My first area of disagreement with Dr. McDougall
I have three problems with Dr. McDougall’s diet. The first problem is that whole grains are not healthy for a whole lot of people. If you ask the Paleo crowd, they’ll tell you that whole grains aren’t healthy for any human being.
Why not? Whole grains retain the outer “shell” of the grain, and that shell contains proteins that make it very hard to digest. The reason is that grains are the seeds of grasses, and the animals that consume grasses will also consume the grain once they appear. Being seeds, they don’t want to be digested, they want to be planted in the ground. God created this hard outer shell on grains so that they would go right through the digestive systems of ruminant animals and be planted into the ground.
See all that brown stuff covering these wheat berries? Though nutritious, it is NASTY for your digestive system!
While soaking and cooking whole grains neutralize the hard-to-digest proteins to some extent, it doesn’t neutralize them completely – or all of them. Gluten, for example, is only diminished by a small fraction when wheat berries or wheat flour is soaked for twenty-four hours. And gluten is in refined grains as well as whole.
What are the potential consequences of putting something into the digestive tract that is hard to digest? Uncomfortable gas and bloating, leaky gut (minuscule tears in the small intestines that allow substances to enter the blood which have no business being in the blood), and digestive diseases such as diverticulitis.
I believe whole grains are to be eaten in small quantities, if at all, because while they do provide a nice range of nutrients, they are basically not healthy for the human body. And if we take whole grains and flour out of the starchy diet equation, we’re left with white rice, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, corn, and green bananas.
Most people don’t even consider green bananas a food because it doesn’t take much to make you sick to your stomach, so let’s toss that out altogether. (And to be fair, I don’t think green bananas are a part of Dr. McDougall’s starch diet.)
Not everyone tolerates beans well, even if they are pre-soaked and cooked for a long time. Sprouted mung beans and lentils, consumed raw, are much easier on the digestive system than any other bean (and most others, if not all others, need to be cooked).
That leaves us with white rice and sweet potatoes, as well as sprouted mung beans and lentils if you tolerate them well. If you can live with getting 1500+ calories per day from those foods, good on ya, mate! I would be bored to tears if I had to restrict my diet like that.
Let’s say you’re one of the minority of people whose digestive tract can handle whole grains, and you don’t have any problems with any of the other starchy foods. Fantastic! I hope you realize how blessed you are.
But there would still remain the second and third problems with McDougall’s diet.
The second problem with the McDougall program
When I got pregnant, I was underweight. I needed to gain weight. How did I do that?
I added more – a lot more – starchy foods to my diet.
Hmm. Interesting, because the healthy diet plan in question is supposed to help people to lose weight.
Look at the one- and two-star reviews for any of the good doctor’s books on Amazon, and you’ll see people complaining that they gained weight, rather than losing weight, on McDougall’s diet.
As well, you will find reviews from diabetics stating that his program made their blood sugar numbers worse, not better. From the vast reading I’ve done on the topic of diet and nutrition, this probably is the result of flour food consumption, rather than quinoa and lentil consumption.
So the second problem with this starch-based diet is that it doesn’t help everyone to have better health. Especially when flour is allowed in this supposedly healthy vegan diet.
My third area of disagreement with McDougall’s diet plan
John McDougall claims that the human diet has always consisted primarily of starchy foods.
That’s a pretty heavy claim to make, seeing as how the good doctor wasn’t born until 1947. Like the rest of us, he wasn’t around when the human race first began. So how does he know what we’ve always eaten?
Answer: he doesn’t.
But anthropologists have a pretty good idea of what the original human diet looked like. So do people who believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in evolution or creation. True experts on either side will tell you that the original human diet consisted of raw fruits and vegetables with a smattering of seeds and nuts. If they ate any animal foods early on, it was likely eggs from birds and reptiles. Tubers, such as potatoes, were probably on the menu fairly often, but not 80% of the diet. And they would have been consumed raw.
A raw food advocate Dr. McDougall is not.
The earliest humans were not growing tubers, beans, and grains. They found some in the wild sometimes, particularly the tubers, but any anthropologist worth their salt will tell you that agriculture was a long time coming in human history. And not until agriculture came along did people begin consuming starchy foods in large quantities.
A side issue here is the gluten factor. Let’s pretend that pre-agricultural humans did consume wheat. This wheat would have been a grain that is much lower in gluten than modern-day wheat that has been purposely hybrid to make flour that will make stickier bread dough.
More and more nutrition experts – including medical doctors – are condemning the consumption of hybrid wheat products. Watch the video below to hear one allergist’s opinion about gluten. (My BIL is an allergist, too, and shares the same opinion).
McDougall encourages people to eat flour-based foods such as pancakes and pasta.
Gluten is not good for you, PERIOD. The fact that McDougall ignores this fact should make you look twice at his so-called healthy eating diet.
All plant-based things in moderation
Is the starch solution diet good for you? Is the McDougall program healthy? Should we call it a “healthy vegan diet”, or “healthy vegan weight loss diet?” It depends on which starches, and your individual digestive abilities.
But is it the most natural diet for human beings? Even taking out the unnatural flour factor, my opinion is no. Moderation in all nutrient-dense, plant-based food. Lots of fresh (or fresh-frozen) fruits and vegetables, a handful or two of nuts and seeds, and some starchy foods mixed in.
If you have diabetes and want to be healthy, and/or feel the tug to become Vegan, better to try a no-flour, lowish-carb plant-based diet, such as what Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends.