Categories
Nutrition

Healthy Recipes

I looked at cooking, meal planning and diet from three different angles and in the end all three perspectives brought me to a certain type of menu. The result of my “diet research” is a selection of recipes made from low cost ingredients, that is healthy, tastes great and can be stored without refrigeration. This healthy diet works for me. I realize that everyone has different tastes, so I hope that you can find something of value here that you can use in your own diet. No need to follow the recipes as if they were rules, look at them as a starting point.

Healthy Menu

I am always trying to lose a few pounds. While not really obese, I am roundish, and always feel that I could stand to lose 20 pounds or so. After looking at a lot of diet plans, it became clear that one needs to stay away from sugars, carbohydrates and foods that the body easily turns to sugar: processed wheat products, potatoes and white rice. Some diets claim fats are bad, others say they are not a problem, but most diet gurus recommend a low carb approach, and seem to agree that sugar and starchy foods create health problems. I tried the Atkin’s Diet for a while but it didn’t take long before I got tired of the food and I did not enjoy eating so much meat. I’m not really a steak eater, I guess. It didn’t feel right and it seemed too strange to center your diet around meats. I decided to try a different approach, to ban sugars, processed carbs and starches, and eat as much vegetables and complex carbohydrates (whole grains) as I wanted, with chicken, fish and dairy products added for flavor and protein. I also eat fruit because it tastes good, has vitamins and is good for the digestion. This diet is more in line with the Zone diet or Mediterranean diet, although it doesn’t really fit in any established diet plan. These recipes would be a good way to try vegetarian cooking, although I frequently add fish and fowl to the meal plan. I enjoy eating this food because the food tastes delicious and when I have finished, I know that I have chosen foods that are good for my health.

Low Cost Menu

It didn’t take long to realize that by eliminating a lot of meat from my diet, that my grocery bills dropped considerably. One of my life goals is to retire early and to enjoy many years without stress from employment, so I am trying to save and invest for the future. There are really two goals here, one is to reduce my current budget so I can put money away into savings, and second, to develop a low cost lifestyle that will allow me to live well on little money when I retire. So I am looking for a menu that I can use for the long term, that doesn’t involve suffering or force feeding. I need healthy food that tastes good and can be part of a long term lifestyle menu. By basing my meals on grains and rice, and then topping them with vegetables, spices, legumes, fish and fowl, I can achieve a low cost diet that is very satisfying to eat. I look forward to dinner because it TASTES GREAT and after I have finished, I have pride in how I was able to create a delicious meal out of low cost ingredients.

Liveaboard Non-Refrigerated Menu

I enjoy boating, and my favorite thing to do is to sail to a remote wilderness bay, drop the anchor, and spend time exploring the area. I do not have refrigeration on my boat, and ice only lasts a few days. I could install refrigeration, at the cost of several thousand dollars, or I could figure out how to cook foods from ingredients that do not require refrigeration. I identified a number of vegetables that keep for a week or more, such as cabbage, onions, carrots, etc., and then found ways to combine those vegetables with dried foods such as rice, whole wheat pasta and grains to create a varied menu plan. Using the same basic ingredients and a number of herbs and spices, you can make a number of meals that taste different and add variety to your diet. I originally discovered these recipes while looking for foods that do not require refrigeration for use on board my boat. After testing them at home, I realized that the recipes were delicious and were made of healthy ingredients, and could be used for everyday cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle diet.

Curious about what this diet plan looks like? Tired of the Adkins diet and still want to eat healthy food? Take a look at the low carb recipes above, and consider them a starting point to develop your own healthy diet plan.

Categories
Finance

Planning Financial Independence

Retire Early

Just about everyone dreams of early retirement and financial independence. With a little planning and determination, you too can retire early. This site is written to show one way to achieve early retirement, by maintaining a regular savings plan. Even with a moderate income, you can achieve financial independence.

Many people have questions on early retirement, and how to be financially independent.

Could I really retire early?

Most people capable of earning an income of over $50,000 (more or less) have the opportunity to retire early by saving money on a monthly basis.

How much do I need to retire?

This depends on your budget as a retiree. A minimal early retirement budget would be about $20,000 a year in today’s dollars. In order to earn $20,000 from investments, you will need roughly 25 times this amount in investments, or $500,000. This is a small retirement income, used as an example, and you may want to have more retirement income than this.

How much do I have to save each month?

A good goal to start with is roughly the amount that you would like to retire on each month, and to increase the amount that you save by 5% each year. As an example, to achieve the retirement income of $20,000 per year, adjusted for inflation, you could start with saving $1500 per month.

How long will it take to save?

Using our example of $1500 per month, increasing the savings amount 5% each year, it will take 15 years to save $500,000. This is assuming a 5% real return on your investments, and includes an adjustment for inflation.

Where should I invest the money?

If you are starting out and have 15 years to go, use a tax deferred savings program like a 401k, and invest in low fee index mutual funds, for example, a Vanguard S&P; 500 fund. As you build up your savings and approach your retirement, you will want to reassess your investments every year or two.

How do I get the money to save?

Assuming you have maximized your income potential, learn to live well on a budget, and consider lifestyle changes that may reduce your expenses.

I don’t want to sacrifice my lifestyle today!

Saving for early retirement is not for everyone. But by trying to make the right financial decisions, and learning to live well on little money, you may be able to improve the quality of your life and still reduce your household budget enough to save for early retirement.

Wouldn’t it be nice to choose what you want to do with your time?

Time goes by quickly. If you start your savings plan now, you will enjoy the rewards sooner than you might think.

Wouldn’t it be nice not to be tied to a job that you dislike?

For most people, the alternative to saving for retirement is to work until you turn 65 years old. There is another way!