Plant-based nutrition and an urban homesteading giveaway!

Fall is really here. It is gray, rainy, and has us all thinking of baking bread, pumpkin patches, hot apple cider, and snuggling up in front of the fireplace. The leaves on the trees are starting to turn as our lifestyle changes from being outside as much as possible to more indoor activities.

Did you know that October is also Vegetarian Awareness Month? Saturday, October 1, was World Vegetarian Day and the kick-off of a month of awareness about the benefits of a vegetarian, plant-based diet, especially one that is grown locally and sustainably.

I was recently sent a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever, which was perfect for this month.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition“What we used to call being a vegan or vegetarian is more accurately called a plant-based diet. What makes a plant-based diet different from veganism or vegetarianism is that it defines the composition of what is included in the diet, opposed to what is excluded from the diet,” says Herver.

I love that the author mentions the difference between focusing on what to exclude from your diet and what to include. This leaves room for those that don’t exclude all animal products, but are willing to look at the health end environmental benefits of a plant-centered diet. Although the more you learn, the more you may lean toward that whole-food, plant-based diet.
Baby steps. You know I am a big believer in small steps as the key to real and permanent change.

Hippocrates said, “Let thy food by thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” You are what you eat. And if you eat foods that promote health and well-being… well you’re all not idiots and can certainly figure that out. The latest information and research about a plant-based diet is proving that it protects against many of our health-related illnesses (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis).

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition guides readers through the transition to a plant-only eating ensuring you get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients. In addition, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition helps clarify myths and facts about plant-based diets, offers special diets for athletes, pregnant women, seniors and children, and shares specific exercises that enhance a plant-based diet.

This is not a book for idiots. It is a book for anyone that is interested in learning more about a whole-food, plant-based diet or a seasoned expert looking for the latest research and delicious recipes. I have been a vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) for 18 years and even I learned a lot from this book.

Another book that I am excited about reading throughout this season to get me ready for when the weather warms and help keep me educated about new things I can do during the short, cold months to be gentle on the environment is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading by Sundari Elizabeth Kraft.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban HomesteadingThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading gives clear, practical advice on how to live sustainably and responsibly—and save money and time—in any urban environment. Expert urban homesteader, Sundari Elizabeth Kraft, shares her hands-on knowledge of growing and preserving organic foods, composting, raising small livestock, saving money on transportation, creative recycling and more.

An urban homesteader is something that I aspire to be, even with my somewhat brown-thumb. And it is a big part of my family’s plans for the coming year.

What exactly is urban homesteading? Kraft defines it as, “a collection of practices, which can be done within a city, with the aim of meeting basic daily needs in a self-sufficient and sustainable way.”

If we want to make a real, positive impact on the next generation, I believe that this movement is one way to do that. As a society, we have lost our taste for self-sufficiency, for understanding where (and how) the products we consume are made and what it entails, and for quality.

I will never forget when friends brought over some eggs for us from their backyard chickens and having my husband exclaim every time he cracked one about the incredible color! And we all were excited about their incredible flavor. We have lost that knowledge somewhere along the way. This is the book that can bring us back to it.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading has a wonderful section on gardening for any situation you might encounter in urban living: from small containers to windowsill micro-gardening, converting your yard to growing in someone else’s there is something for everyone and more information about “how-to” than any other resource I have found.

My family and I are planning on raising backyard chickens next year and I was excited about the section on livestock (chickens, goats, rabbits, bees, and aquaponics) in the city, but was again impressed with the breadth of information from the basics to the advanced. Between this book and many trips to the Urban Farm Store, I think we will be ready.

One area that I think is so important to work toward a green lifestyle is making what you need (compost!) and making do with what you have (water conservation!). This book covers all that and more, even urban foraging! If you have any inclination toward urban homesteading, even if just one small piece is appealing, then you will find yourself coming back to this book again and again.

Want to win a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading of your own?

Enter to Win: Leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to win.

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Contest Deadline: October 16 @ 9 pm PST.

Contest eligibility and fine print: Open to all US and Canadian residents that are not me. The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond, so make sure I have a valid email address. Email addresses will not be sold or used in any other way than to notify the winner.

See my disclosure policy here. All opinions are my own.

Good luck!

This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to Kate, the winner of a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading who said, “I want to win because I was just looking at this book the other day,really want to read it.”


Plant-based nutrition and an urban homesteading giveaway! — 114 Comments

  1. Looks like a great book! I would love that. If I don’t win, I’ll have to check it out somewhere else :). We have definitely been moving the family more and more in that direction, so a book with some more tips would be appreciated.

  2. my family is making steps toward homesteading and although we don’t live in an urban area, we don’t have a lot of land. i’d love to read this book and then pass it on to a friend who would also love this!

  3. Hello, like you, I’m really interested in raising chickens and this year was the first year I planted a garden, and although I had a little success early in the season, with all the rain my crops didn’t fair too well mid to late. So I need help. This book sounds great, like one I will use. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  4. As an avid gardener and nature lover I have always been looking for new ways to make my home more comfortable and efficient. I would love to have this book as a good reference for composting and small range livestock as well as beekeeping.

  5. “Baby steps. You know I am a big believer in small steps as the key to real and permanent change.”

    Amen to that. I have a number of friends who are urban homesteaders. I think it is very cool and one day I hope to follow in their footsteps. Got to persuade my husband first though. He thinks my ideas of having chickens is mad! ;-)

  6. I have chickens but I would love this book -new ideas on ways to do more would be wonderful.

  7. Would like to win because I am trying to change my eating habits to a more natural and plant based eating. This book would give me some instructions on how to do this, this would be a good guide for someone who does not know how to go about doing this.

  8. Pingback: Be An Urban Homesteader | Glenns Garden

  9. Thank you for the recommendation for the Urban Homesteader book. I’d like a copy of the book because I agree with you completely that we’ve lost so many skills that would enable us to be self-sufficient. When I think about all of the things that my grandparents raised in their North Hollywood yard, I am filled with wonder (and envy). Having been farmers until the Dust Bowl, it just made sense to them to create a mini-farm in their big back yard the suburbs!

    Have you read “Radical Homemakers” yet? I started to read it but I didn’t finish it before having to return it to the library.

  10. I’d love to win this book! I’m working bit by bit on my own urban homesteading so this would be great. I follow you on twitter and G+ and Stumbled the post.

  11. This looks like a great book to get started! We’ve just bought a house, and I am looking forward to growing a garden next year…if I can keep the children and dogs out of it! Thanks for the chance!

  12. I would love to win because I have recently gotten into raised beds and container gardening and could use some tips!

  13. Pingback: Anonymous

  14. I would love to win this book for the following reasons:
    I used to live in the big city, and recently bought 12 acres out in the middle of nowhere, and am trying to wrap my head around having so much space. I find ANY homesteading book is a GREAT book, it has so many hints and helps no matter where one lives! Thanks for a chance at a GREAT prize!

  15. I would love to win because I really need to learn this stuff so I can help teach it to others. Basic, healthy survival is just so important for everyone.

  16. We are moving and will finally have some yard! I was doing research on homesteading when I came across this post. I really think my Hubby and I need to read this book!

  17. I would love to win as right now we live just on the outskirts of a city and while we would love to move to the country right now that isn’t possible. This book would be invaluable!

  18. my husband and i are trying a plant based diet this year. we even planted a garden – but i can use all the help i can get! since we live in the city this book sounds totally helpful.

  19. I’ve always wanted to learn more about homesteading…I’d love to read this book!

  20. I’d love to have this book because I love gardening — I’m just never sure what I should be doing.

  21. We’ve always had the dream to move out to the middle of nowhere and live self-sufficiently – off the grid. Well, things haven’t turned out as planned, so I think that we can make the best of our situation by living as close to our dream as possible. I know nothing about urban homesteading (I’ve spent all of my time reading up on regular old homesteading!) I’d love to use this book as a place to start.
    ohmiss14 at yahoo dot com

  22. Yes! This! This is what I need! We live in the city and have a little place to grow vegetables in our tiny backyard, and I have no idea what to do with it. This would be wonderful!

  23. I ma trying to eat healthier and this would be really great way to save money doing so.
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  24. WE are a green determined famly and basically just started a few years ago but have alot of ways to improve

  25. I do several things that fall under homesteading, but would love to incorporate more, especially as I will be transitioning into a new chapter in my life. This book would surely help with ideas and hopefully successful implementation. :)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  26. I really believe the everyone, even us in urban/suburban areas need to start providing for ourselves and switch to local options whenever possible.

  27. Well I have been trying to convince hubby to start composting and my next thing I am looking into is backyard chickens so I would love to have the book to help me convince him that among other things I am not crazy and that these are easy ways of going green and becoming more self sustaining.

  28. I would like to win because little by little we are trying to get to a self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle. Any new ideas would be great to try out and see how they work for us.

  29. I am a teacher in an urban neighborhood. We can’t afford much but these books will certainly help in our lessons!

  30. Been reading alot lately on the net about becoming green, vegan, and homesteading so would love this prize.

  31. Thanks for the giveaway…would like to win a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading for guidance on how to lessen our ties to “the grid” i.e. be more self sustainable in the 21st Century for food, energy, etc.

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com