Below are some of the resources we use ourselves and recommend often to other people on the path to Financial Independence to help you take control of your own health!
- The Flourish Fundamentals 30-Day Reset: Now calling beta testers for our January start reset! Find out more about being a beta tester here.
- Death by Food Pyramid: This book debunks many of the myths surrounding nutrition, explaining why we shouldn’t be afraid of fat and cholesterol (and their vital role in the body), and why we should avoid inflammatory foods like sugar and vegetable oils.
- Wired to Eat: The argument of this book is that we are wired to eat more and move less, and that that’s not a moral failing, but we can customize a style of eating that fits your specific body. We like this book and its author, Robb Wolf, because he’s very scientifically minded, but breaks things down in a very easy-to-understand and humorous way.
- The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook: Don’t let the word “paleo” scare you off. They are the ultimate resource books for anyone managing an autoimmune disease, and teach you about the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), a low-inflammation way of eating and lifestyle that helps regulate the immune system, giving the body a chance to heal. For anyone who’s looking to retire early, the cost management of chronic disease is a huge issue, and we highly recommend these books for anyone dealing with any chronic diseases.
- Deep Nutrition: All about ancestral health, looking to the way our great-grandparents (and earlier) ate to inform how we eat and live today.
- Eat Your Sunscreen: Rosemary’s book that is a complete guide on why sunlight is an essential nutrient, everything you need to know about safe sun exposure, and how to support your body’s ability to tan and resist sunburn.
- Chef’s knife: Any sharp chef’s knife will do, but the best bang for your buck is the Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife. It’s a good size and shape for nearly all prep needs, and Victorinox has a lifetime guarantee against defects in material and workmanship. Make sure to get it regularly professionally sharpened. A dull knife is a dangerous knife, since it’s prone to slipping.
- Paring knife: Ideal for smaller tasks and better control than a chef’s knife, like cutting up apple slices.
- Wood cutting boards: We recommend getting at least two cutting boards, one for meat and fish, and one for fruit and vegetables. We prefer wood over plastic, and always choose a board with a “juice groove” to prevent liquids from spilling onto the counter. If you or someone in your family has a gluten sensitivity or allergy, it’s also a good idea to have a separate dedicated cutting board you use with gluten-containing ingredients.
- Cast iron pan: Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. We love cast iron because you can use it on the stovetop or in the oven, it holds heat beautifully, it doesn’t have a harmful non-stick coating, and it will last a lifetime.
- Ceramic cookware set: We have and love this set. It provides the benefit of a non-stick surface without harmful non-stick coatings like Teflon, can go on the stovetop or in the oven (and the dishwasher!), and is pretty. And it’s under $100 for a set of five pots and pans. Tall order, but they did it!
- Instant Pot: We love the instant pot because it’s perfect for the unprepared cook: you can throw a bunch of stuff in and it’s done in minutes rather than slow-cooking something all day (though it does have a slow-cooking mode, too. It’s also a rice cooker, a steamer, a sauté pan, a yogurt maker, and a food warmer, natch. It also means less mess, because there are a plethora of one-pot meals for the Instant Pot you can find online.
- Walmart Grocery Pickup: We love online ordering and grocery pickup because it means we can always keep our order under budget, and we never have to go in the store and fight through the throngs of people. The link here will get you $10 off your first order with Walmart Grocery.
- Neiffer Ranch: These are our local farmers from whom we get grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and pastured chicken. They are in Oregon and have pick-up locations in Vancouver, WA, Walla Walla, WA, and Richland, WA. If you live in these areas, we highly recommend them!
- Butcher Box: If you can’t find a local, ethically-raised meat source, Butcher Box is a great delivery option. Butcher Box takes quality and animal welfare seriously, and only sells 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and heritage breed pork. You can choose from curated mixes or create your own custom assortment, and your order is then delivered for free with dry-ice in an insulated box right to your door. The link here will get you $30 off your first box.
- Imperfect Produce: Imperfect Produce brings delicious, in-season, organic fruits and vegetables right to your door for 30% less than buying them at the store. The catch? Some of the items may have somewhat unique shapes that picky consumer suckers might pass over. The fruits and veggies you get in your box might look different on the outside, but they are identical in flavor and nutrition on the inside, and that’s what counts, right?!
Non-Toxic Body & Home Care
- Beef Face: Created by Lara Neiffer from Neiffer Ranch, Beef Face is a line of grass-fed tallow balms for body, face, and lips (tallow is rendered beef fat). It’s something people have used for centuries as a moisturizer, and it’s enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Because it’s rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, it’s very therapeutic and soothing on inflamed skin, like eczema or psoriasis, but you can also just use it anywhere you have dry skin, like on cracked heels. I personally use it on my face after I shower, and in the morning as my moisturizer before I put on makeup. This stuff is a godsend for winter dry skin!
- OraWellness: Like health care, dental care can be crazy expensive without insurance. OraWellness is a company that has great non-toxic oral care products, plus a ton of free education around caring for your teeth, like how to naturally make teeth whiter, stop tooth decay, or stop receding gums (see their Resource Guides). They have scores of positive reviews, and many of their customers have reported that their cavities have healed once they began the recommended oral care regime recommended by the company. We purchased their Healthy Teeth & Gums Starter Kit for both of us and we love it.
- Manta Mask Sleep Mask: I (Rosemary) have tried probably a dozen sleep masks and the Manta really is the best. It doesn’t push on your eyelids so your eyes can still move for REM sleep. It completely blocks out all light; you can adjust the eye covers and it doesn’t even let light in from the bridge of your nose. I will probably always use this sleep mask from now on! If you’re a light sleeper like me, you also may find it helpful to sleep with earplugs.
- Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Colored Sunrise Simulation: This alarm clock uses light or both light and sound to wake you up. Especially useful for people who have a hard time waking up in the morning, especially during the darker days of winter.
- Orange Blue-Blocking Glasses (Regular) & Orange Blue-Blocking Glasses (F0r Over Glasses) : Blue light exposure in the evenings can keep you awake even when you should be going to sleep. Rosemary uses these totally-not-sexy-but-very-effective orange glasses at night (and John has these hip blue blockers). They filter out blue wavelengths of light, which inhibit the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Ideally, you would wear these as soon as the sun goes down, but more practically, 30-60 minutes before bed will do the trick.
- MARJUN Blackout Curtains: Blackout curtains help keep light from street lights, cars, or the moonlight out of your bedroom, ensuring a deeper sleep. We love these blackout curtains from IKEA, because they actually work, but they don’t obviously look like blackout curtains. We’ve tried a lot of curtains and they usually either have a nice look but don’t work that well, or, they are completely black and work great, but look weird. These are dark and thick, so they block out light well, but they are still stylish and look like normal curtains.
- Calm & Headspace: Meditation apps like Calm and Headspace are helpful for guided meditations! Meditation works best done not just as a “painkiller”, i.e. when you’re stressed, but as a preventative measure, done daily first thing in the morning. Really, it’s just a mindfulness practice that helps you stay more present throughout the day. Each of these are a subscription-based service, with new meditations being added daily.
Movement & Play
- Move Your DNA: This book is by Katy Bowman, a well-known biomechanist who teaches about natural forms of human movement. Her website is Nutritious Movement.
- Autoimmune Strong: People dealing with chronic disease need a different kind of exercise; that is, movement that doesn’t put your body into that fight or flight, chronic-stress mode that exacerbates a compromised immune system. Andrea Wool has created this great resource of an exercise program for people with chronic conditions.
- Simple: We always joke that Simple is banking for millennials. They’ve taken everything annoying about banking (the stuffy, bureaucratic, high-fee, impossible to get important information and nothing-makes-sense model), and fixed it. Everything has clearly been thought through well, and their customer service has never been anything other than top notch. We love their elegantly designed app and website, the ability to quickly create savings and expense “buckets” without having to create new accounts, a nifty “Safe-to-Spend” feature which shows you how much you have available after filling the above buckets, and access to 40,000 free ATMs. We will never go back.
- Personal Capital: Personal Capital offers a number of slick tools to track your spending, debts, savings, and investments. We use Simple for basic budgeting, but love Personal Capital’s nifty charts that quickly show changes in cash, assets, liabilities, and investments over time (though we try not to peek at our investments too often, since it messes with our emotions!). The most exciting use of the app so far? Seeing our Liabilities go to zero when we made our last debt payment!
- Vanguard: Don’t waste your money on actively managed funds, overpriced financial advisors, or casino style individual stock investing. Instead, reap the rewards of the entire market through low-cost index funds. There are many index funds to choose from, but we like and use VTSAX (the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund).
- Google FI: Once Google FI opened up their service to iPhone users, we cancelled our account with T-Mobile and jumped over right away. In one fell swoop, we instantly cut our monthly cell phone bill in half, and have seen no loss in service quality. In fact, we much prefer their useful app, the ability to get transcripts of voicemail messages, free international roaming, flexible data fees, and more. The link here will give you a $20 service credit.
- Trusted Housesitters: We were able to greatly accelerate our debt payoff when we did full-time housesitting for six months around the Pacific Northwest instead of paying rent. Even if you just want to housesit from time to time, it is a great way to travel for way cheaper, because your accommodation is free, in exchange for looking after a pet or two. And, there are housesits all over the world! Trusted Housesitters is one of the most famous and reliable sites. You pay an annual fee a little over $100 to be listed as a house sitter, create a profile for yourself and then apply for sits (it’s a little like Airbnb for housesitters). Our best advice is to sort by new sits, and then be the first to apply―most of the time, if you’re first, they will pick you! Get 25% off your annual fee with this link.
Want More Resources?
Enter your email below to get instant access to the Flourish Fundamentals Resource Pantry, which includes the following free guides:
- Guide to Healthy Fats [PDF]: Which you should eat, and which to avoid.
- How to Make Sauerkraut [PDF]: Cheaper than probiotics, and boosts immunity and gut health.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Liver, Nature’s Ultimate Superfood [PDF]
- Free E-Book Chapters [PDF]: From Rosemary’s books Radiant Reboot and Eat Your Sunscreen
You’ll also get our best recipes, healthy living tips, and other subscriber-only bonuses in our weekly Flourish Friday email.