Tag Archives: healthy eating

Thirty Pounds in Four Months…can be YOURS

By golly! The long-awaited (by me, anyway…) diet guide and cookbook is live and well at Amazon! You can get it here, or click on the brand-new widget I just installed, at left, for your unending convenience.

This book, which contains four chapters on commonsense healthy eating and 125+ easy recipes, came about when an enthusiastic doctor tried to put me on blood pressure pills. He envisioned me swallowing the things for the rest of my life.

Well, they made me so dizzy I couldn’t drive my car. Since I live alone in a city with no credible public transport, that presented a problem. Cardiodoc didn’t seem to recognize the dilemma: he refused to adjust the dosage or the chemical.

My blood pressure was slightly high — not excessively so, unless I was having one of my occasional sh!t-fits — because a) middle-age creep had done crept up on me and because b) my idea of exercise was a brisk walk from the computer to the refrigerator.

Cardiodoc thought I needed to lose 22 pounds and made no secret of his heart-felt belief that I couldn’t do it.

I thought I needed to lose about 25 to 30 pounds, and, after some study at sites like the Mayo Clinic’s, I learned that the standard approach to slightly elevated blood pressure is actually to see if the patient can lose weight before prescribing drugs, and if so, to monitor the BP steadily to determine whether weight loss in fact helped and whether it continued to help.

So, without Cardiodoc’s permission, I quietly got off the vertigo-inducing, rash-making pills and built my own diet.

It’s based on the idea that salt and sugar have baleful effects, as do many of the chemicals used to make the various food-like substances that these days take the place of real food.

I designed what I called a “real-food diet” for myself, took 40 minutes each day to indulge in mild, non-excessive exercise (I hate banging myself around and am not a-gonna do it!), and started to watch the scale.

Lo! Forthwith I started to drop about two pounds a week. And incredibly, the weight loss continued at that pace until I got down to my target weight: 128 pounds, exactly in the mid-range of the recommended BMI for someone my height and gender.

Meanwhile, the blood pressure followed the same trajectory. Within four months, it dropped to a steady 125/75 — not bad for a 70-year-old woman!

This diet plan works. It’s easy, it involves no extreme theories or schemes, it’s not a crash diet, it’s not a fad diet, and it does not require joining a club or paying to subscribe to a commercial product.

How I Lost 30 Pounds in Four Months is a guide that simply engages common sense. Buy it. Try it. Review it.

Seriously: I do need reviews. If you will review the book at Amazon or Goodreads and in the comments section of any Writers Plain & Simple post, let me know, which review is yours and what books you’ve published, I will cheerfully return the favor with a purchase and an honest review of yours.


Diet/Cookbook Almost Ready to Go!

HAY cook book3 3-16-2015How do you like the cover design for How I Lost 30 Pounds in Four Months…without Hardly Trying?

It needs a little adjustment for the PoD version, but I think it’s fine for the e-book. The byline needs to be a little larger, I think. The subtitle looks microscopic in this WordPress post-drafting mode and presumably will need an electron microscope to be visible in a thumbnail.

HAY cook book3 3-16-2015Oh heck. Let’s try that in WP… Ohhh WordPress WordPress on the laptop, which font is tiniest of them all?

Hmmm… We’ll be asking for a couple of adjustments on that thing. But the artwork’s kinda cool, isn’t it? Original stuff from multi-award-winning artist and former art director of Arizona Highways Gary Bennett. Apple…apple a day…get it? 😀

For the interior copy I used the “Pulp” design in a Word template from Book Design Templates. As I remarked awhile back, “Pulp” is one of several two-way templates that allow you, with just one upload of your copy, to convert from Wyrd to e-book formats and also to do a print-on-design layout.

It worked reasonably well. The cookbook is pretty complex because of all the lists, but once you figure out the styles (which could use a little better organizing IMHO), the template goes a long way toward ensuring consistency in all your design elements.

However, things are never so simple as you think. Preparing a manuscript for e-book and print incarnations requires a fair amount of fiddling around: the basic design needs are not the same. For example, in a print book you’d like chapters to open on recto (odd-numbered) pages. For an e-book, that not only is unnecessary, it’s undesirable.

Thirty Pounds in Four Months has two sections: one consisting of four chapters describing how I managed to lose one-fifth of my body weight (and drop the elevated blood pressure into the “normal” range) without starving myself and without beating myself up at the gym, and one that offers over 125 recipes. Setting every one of those recipes on a recto page would have required hundreds of Wyrd commands that would have to be inserted when I went to create a hard-copy layout (or undone if I started with the PoD layout).

So, I decided to lay out the first section in the traditional hard-copy manner but let the recipes appear on whatever page they would naturally fall on — this, by the way, is what “Pulp” was designed to do in the first place. Said scheme then requires me to do the PoD version first, save it to disk, and then go back and delete only the three odd-page section breaks in Section 1 for the e-book’s purposes.

That is much easier than deleting 130 or 140 of the things!

The result looks OK, I think. Certainly good enough for government work.

But I think I’ll spring for a full multi-use license for the “Focus” design that I used to lay out Slave Labor (which will be ready for the printer as soon as the hard-copy cover is done! wahoo!). At the time I purchased a single-use license, I was in pure experimental mode — had no idea how this was going to work and didn’t want to spend any more than necessary.

Now that I see how they work, though, I think I really like “Focus.” Even though its typeface and design will create more pages in any given hard-copy book, it’s really very attractive AND — big, very big! — it’s more streamlined and simpler to use. The template’s “styles” are easier to find and more intuitive to select, and the effect is quite handsome.

Most of the books I get up to self-publishing are likely to sell best as e-books. The ability to print a few on demand for the occasional buyer who craves to feel pages under the fingers will be good, but I don’t think I’ll need so many of them that a dollar or so difference in price will matter much.

The entire Fire-Rider series and the next book that’s in hand will be produced as serial electronic “bookoids” through Amazon. I may produce a hard-copy “collector’s edition” that I could give away for free to people who buy X number of e-books (enough to cover the cost of printing), or to those who have bought the whole series. Those who would like to have just a hard-copy version, then, would have to pay the freight for printing plus enough for me to turn a little profit. Or I might give it away to those who buy XX numbers of the next book’s serials.

Which is to say…I hope to use the PoD version as a marketing tool.

Last night I installed the content of the first Fire-Rider serial in “Focus,” just to see what would happen. It was extremely easy.

There’ll be 18 of those. I figure to do a “Save As” for each serial, but meanwhile have a larger file for the PoD version into which I paste the formatted material out of each serial’s file into the longer PoD file. Then when all is said and done, I can get into the file for PoD, adjust the formatting, have a wrap-around cover done, et voilà!

The Book Design Templates folks allow you to upgrade from single to multi-use, so that’s what I’m going to do with “Focus.”

So, I’m excited about it. Is this enterprise gonna make any money for me? I’ll be surprised. But thrilled beyond measure if it does — cannot tell you how much I never want to slog through another turgid scholarly work or another awful freshman comp essay. Probably the best way to make money through self-publishing is by writing porn…and that this point, I am not above that!