Thursday, September 19, 2019

Are Plant Burgers BS?


As a cancer survivor, I'm all about healthier living compared to when I started out.  Daily tequila shots have been replaced by flavored coconut water and the occasional tobacco or other leafy product is...gone.  This food journey has been quite the trip but in some ways, vegan products have disappointed me the most.  From baked goods that are too dry and sweet to pasta made from cornmeal that can only be enjoyed al dente because it disintegrates once hot marinara and veggies get mixed in.

However, the plant protein burger is where I have mixed emotions.  One thing I like is that these have fiber and don't come with the same heart challenges as their meat (except turkey) cousin.  As far as the taste goes, it's not a favorite.

While I haven't had the casual/fast food restaurant offering, I have made these at home more than once.  This is the time when a person may want to prepare some onion or garlic toppers because the cooked smell is beyond horrid.  Like old beans, cheese, and processed pork products that have expired.

The taste to me is somewhat unfamiliar and this comes from someone who enjoys everything from Angus to venison, so I know my meats.  Although you may not care, what I did find interest was some factors I've learned through working with a client that's one of the two big names.

  • Although these are marketed as vegan, Impossible Foods (Burger) has joined forces with the OSI Group, a meat producer whose biggest client is McDonald's.  While contamination is an obvious concern, a separate production facility is being built.

  • According to Harvard Medical, the use of coconut oil in these burgers doesn't provide the right kind of heart-healthy properties. As far as calorie and fat content goes, there's not much difference in the numbers.  However, the best choice is to eat all burgers (even those bean-based patties) sparingly.
Even better, make your own at home.  I still love food as much as I did before the cancer but cooking has become a second love.  Here's a few burger brecipes worth trying..and they probably cost less than a pack of plant burgers from the supermarket freezer sections

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

You Spend Too Much Money

Yep, I said it. You...that person that must live at the mall for hours or spend hours at the computer while life is happening.  And you know better...the question is will you do better now that the holidays are around the corner?  Like anything else, rather than say you'll do the right thing to save face, first understand why you do the wrong thing.

You probably know about the many millionaires that live the frugal life but what are your plans?  Do you have plans?  Trust me, if you work for someone need plans for the day your services are no longer needed.
Shopping is both a necessity and a vice for some women.  Many of us were brought up to believe that the fiercest looking chick would become the woman who got ahead.  Really?  Well, some cultures (namely AA/ADOS/Black communities) generally would rather look fly rather than invest...NOT ALL but enough to make a difference.  Although dressing "to the nines" is a form of communication that says 'take me seriously', there's a happy medium that'll help you save money instead of wasting it.


So, getting back to the matter at hand.  Whether your shopping is a planned extravaganza or starts off simple but escalates out of control habitually, knowing the reason why can help reel things in.  The answer(s) may be surprising and it may be something you've never thought about.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Excellent Advice from Women Entrepreneurs

Barbara Corcoran is one of my business sheroes.  Seriously, ever since I read her bio Shark Tales more than a couple of years ago, I think of her when things are down.  When women choose someone who inspires them to do better, it's more effective when there is a common ground.

For those who don't know, Barbara built her fortune without a lot of money (it was something like $1K, I think), college, or marrying someone rich.  While she's one of the most prolific, there are many others who are creating their own path to success...even if it strays from the norm or what others may expect.

This Entrepreneur blog post features three women who struck out on their own and give a realistic POV of what really goes down.  When a person starts a business, it takes the ability to balance many factors - family obligations, preexisting money issues, time management and most importantly -- self-care.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Are You Cheap or Frugal?

When I worked in corporate America and found myself dealing with the "office diva".  She made it known to anyone willing to listen that she spent near top dollar for everything on her person...all so that she could sit in the clerical pool with the rest of us cheap-ass peasants.  She once found it amusing that I chose to brown bag it instead of being seen at the numerous food franchises nearby.  Yeah right, lose money and gain more salt, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and animal oil in my diet.

So while munching on my instant brown rice and salsa (don't knock it 'til you try it), l slowly figured that my frugal living allowed me many freedoms this person didn't have.  For one, I wasn't trapped by my job and didn't have to sacrifice my principles.  When it was time for me to go, I was able to give myself a nice little vacay from the office and begin writing part-time.

Never Flip Backwards
Fast forward a couple of decades, I still use some of the same principles but have learned more about what to do with savings.  Starting a business is good for those with the stomach for it or investing can be a good idea.  However, long after leaving that job, I began to fall into the "cheapness" trap.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Bitcoin Email Hack Alert...Beware

If you received a rather vile message from in the last day or two, it didn't come from me.  Seems there's a new kind of asshole out there that wants to extort folks for watching "fun" movies (even if you don't).  And they want their compensation in the form of nice!

Anyway, I'm pretty pissed because this is a paid email account and I've got the latest paid malware.  Now, what I understood from many who've chimed in online as potential victims, this is a scare only.  No one has images of you doing strange things or whatever.

So, the essential 411 is to block the sender and delete the message.  Do not click on any parts of the message or reply to tell them off.  If possible, change your email password or any passwords to sites you feel will compromise your professional image.

The above video is a non-sales (yes, many freelance techies are using this unfortunate event to sell their services) account as to what to look for and how the consumer should handle things on their end.  If you don't have six minutes to spare I can sum it up - don't give these people SHIT.  Also, no account I looked up recommends contacting the host to solve the problem (too busy collecting your money, I guess).  I got one of these both my Gmail (free) and paid host what does that tell you?

While this seems to be happening worldwide, I want to express that I do understand your frustration.  Especially if you've come to know us over the years and suddenly run across this crap.  We're not part of the bitcoin movement and have nothing to gain by seeing what you (or anyone else) do under the covers.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April is Financial Literacy Month

Courtesy of

Yep, along with the deadline for filing taxes, this month is ideal for getting that cabbage together.  While some people need a reason to take a close look at their finances, taking control means monitoring more than once a month.  You may be looking to pay for a summer wedding, decorate right after spring cleaning, or make a large purchase but there's no feeling like having extra money without having to get a part-time job.

Extra money can make a difference in starting that business venture, take an extended vacation, or just prepare for the unexpected.  I'm sure you can relate to having to pull that dreaded credit card when it comes time for car repairs.  If you're young (or young-ish) you're in the perfect position to rebuild your finances.

For us well-seasoned hens, this takes a little more patience.  Especially if there are loans to be paid off or we're doing an aggressive saving plan to supplement retirement but there are some support groups that can help those transitioning from a divorce.  The Women's Institute for Financial Education (WIFE) has a lot of resources for those looking to get their footing back.

Speaking from experience, there's no one way for you to bounce back financially.  It's like cleaning a physical home where some need a little dusting and others may require a deep cleaning from the ground up.  If one were to start with the fundamentals, taking a good look at current accounts and credit score for any inaccuracies will certainly help.

While you may not have the time or energy to attend a live financial literacy course (a lot of non-profits and churches host these at low/no-cost), there are some online classes that serve the same purpose.  Visit the MoneySmart site for free classes and resources or the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB)if you have questions about a particular area.  The great thing about the latter option is they will investigate any company or institution with questionable practices.

Although the journey is seldom easy for those who have made not-so-great choices, it's possible to come out on top.  The best way to stay focused is to create milestones and keep going until you reach your goal(s). 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Celebrate the End of a Long Week with Popcorn

chicago popcorn day
Whether you like it salty, sweet, or loaded with melted butter, few snacks are as diverse and health as popcorn.  While it seems like every snack that tastes good is bad for a person, this versatile treat is the true exception, as it's loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and is safe for those who may have minor digestive issues.

In honor of Popcorn Day (yep, it's really a holiday), we'd like to explore the do's and don'ts of how this snack can be a regular part of any diet.  But let's get past some misconceptions, as these things can happen to the best of us.  Okay, let's go!

You're in the mall and after a long day of looking for that special something and finding it for less than expected (winning) decide that a post-lunch snack wouldn't be such a bad thing.  I mean, it's better than having that extra fancy coffee drink or cinnamon rolls drenched in butter and cream cheese icing, right?

Well, if the popcorn is covered with caramel, fudge, or copious amounts of powdered cheese, chances are strong that a bag that stands more than a foot tall will help with your mall workout.  In fact, making homemade ice cream may be a better bet.  Additionally, like most mall food, not everything is fresh.

Let's just say that you can learn things when talking that early morning stroll inside the mall before it officially opens.

Making healthy popcorn at home does not mean eating corn-flavored styrofoam.  There are some ways anyone can be creative without breaking the calorie count by too much.  You can try -

  1.  Cooking in flavored oil, like garlic, hot pepper, or rosemary.  Or use olive or sesame oil as a butter substitute.
  2.  Use raw honey as a substitute for caramel or chocolate.  These days, hot honey is the latest foodie rage but you can learn to make your own here.
  3.  Mix in a few roasted nuts like cashews, pecans, or walnut halves.  These can up the fiber ante and with your favorite water, can make you feel fuller after a couple of bites.
Lastly, popcorn is pretty economical.  Buy it in bulk and you'll see what I'm talking about.  Also, it's healthier than the those little bags that have been sitting in oil for months.