ISSUE: Advice for Chocoholics, Paying Less in Taxes
So, Valentine's Day has come and gone...and here
in the Northeast, it was tough to get around, with over 2 feet of snow
dropping in less than 18 hours! I think it's possible there
were some men (and women) who had some 'splainin' to do Valentine's
I hope you weren't one of them!
Just in time for the holiday, I received an email from Harriet, a
reader, who asks:
"What strategies can be used if you are a chocoholic?"
I found it pretty ironic that at the very same moment I opened and read
her e-mail, I was stuffing my face with some Hershey's dark chocolate
my husband Chris bought me for V-Day. :-)
Fortunately, although I'm not a chocoholic, I have devised some
strategies for those times I do like to consume a Hershey's Kiss...or
two...or three...or four.
1) Simply compensate by cutting out some high-carb items like
pasta or bread that you routinely eat. I was at a party
yesterday and stuck to the meatballs and salad, because I'd had quite a
few pieces of chocolate since V-Day.
2) Compare chocolates. You might find one or two
Hershey's Kisses have a lot fewer carbs than that entire candy bar you
3) Try chocolate graham crackers. Mmmmm...they are
so good. But they can also be addictive, so watch out.
4) Try "good-carb" chocolate snack bars, like the South Beach
brand. They're not as good as the "real thing", of course,
but pretty close. I always keep at least one in my purse.
5) Know when you'll have your chocolate cravings and plan
ahead for the extra carbs. Notice you still get to eat your
chocolate (versus dieting, which tells you to plan for
alternatives). You just have to cut back on some OTHER food
items temporarily to get your chocolate fix in.
6) Get chocolate in small doses, like those little squares in
Hershey bars or the little Kisses themselves. Same with
candies like M&M's. Don't leave them out in a
bowl. Keep themin a cabinet, and let yourself reach in for a
few. Then seal up the bag and put it back in the cabinet.
Thanks for the question, Harriet. And if any of you out there
have additional tips for chocoholics, write and let me know!
*** REAL INFO
(FOR WHEN YOU'RE NOT EATING)~~
As you fire up the tax machine for 2007, you may be wondering how you
can keep more of your hard-earned money. Even though my
background is in accounting and I don't mind doing taxes, it's still
disturbing when I see how much we've paid and/or how much we still owe.
One of the best ways to reduce your tax bill: start a small
It's not as hard as you think to get a little business going. I used to
think it was "too hard" and "too complicated". Then I was
forced into giving it a try, when daycare for three kids began to
surpass paychecks and it was time to try making a "little bit" from
I've done medical transcription, party plan,
virtual assistant and of course, online publishing (and at one point I
did three at the same time!)
The possibilities are endless.
In case you also think it's "too hard" or "too complicated", or you're
"too young" or "too old" or "too busy", let me highlight three people
close to me that are running successful businesses, all from home, all
with MASSIVE amounts of tax deductions!
They are all very different, with different
backgrounds and different interests.
LEO QUINN ("HOW TO OWN YOUR PAYCHECK AGAIN")
Some of you already know Leo, as you may have
found Real People Don't Diet by reading his awesome weekly
For those of you who don't, Leo's been my friend
since kindergarten, and he sells a great program online that taught me
and my husband how to structure and pay off our debts so that we will
be debt-free (including our mortgage) in 15 years!
After that, we'll have several thousand a month to save and invest, and
if we do that for the extra 11 years we would have had on our mortgage,
we'll have over a half-million dollars EXTRA in our savings account at
retirement! (That's at a savings rate of just 5%, which we'll
probably beat if we invest in the stock market.)
Leo is a "real" person--I could publish his 1st grade photo online to
prove it, but I'd like to be his friend for another 30 years, so I'll
TAMMY MATTHEWS (BIZZIMOM PLANNERS, INC.)
One of my fellow school and church moms, Tammy Matthews, started her
own business out of frustration.
She had a hard time using standard daily planners to track her family's
She sat down at her kitchen table and sketched out a custom planner
that met her needs. It featured flip-out pages with lots of
room to write--and that was just the beginning!
I've seen Tammy grow this from prototype (I was a tester) to finished
product, complete with website. Her company is Bizzimom
Planners, Inc. and her website is www.Bizzi2Go.com.
I proudly own a large Christian Midnight Blue 2007 planner, and I'd bet
you'd find one useful too.
Even if you don't need a planner, check out her site and her business: Bizzi2Go.com
YES, she really does live right down the road from me, and NO,
I'm not going to explain the candle incident in her
downstairs bathroom this past summer.
KEVIN LEONARD (THE 'RAT CAGE' AND LEONARD
Okay, so I'm really biased when it comes to Kevin.
He's my brother.
But it's been inspiring to watch him tell us as early as high school
that he was going to be a stunt driver--and then see him go out and
actually do it!
Besides being a stunt driver, Kevin became a certified expert off-road
driver, first with Land Rovers and then with Hummers. He
taught at the prestigious Equinox school in Manchester, VT.
There isn't a 4x4 he can't master. And there are plenty of
"experts" he's pulled out of the woods.
In the process of teaching off-road driving, coordinating Hummer owner
events and taking folks out for personal driving lessons and adventure
tours, Kevin invented his own spare tire carrier that, well, does a LOT
more than just carry a tire.
He produced a few of the carriers on his own, then contracted with a
factory to make more. Now he's featured in several catalogs
and does a nice business, once again from home.
P.S. Want to know my favorite source of recipes?
I search by ingredients all the time, using whatever's left
in the pantry. For many recipes, you can get the nutritional
information per serving right on the site. Sign up for their
magazine--it's fantastic, and it's fr e.
P.P.P.S. My favorite cookbooks? Anything by www.GooseberryPatch.com.
I have to adapt some for my own personal tastes and
weight-loss needs, but you can't beat the tried-and-true recipes, as
well as the awesome decorating/entertaining/gift-giving tips throughout
P.P.S. In case you missed the links, visit the sites of
three people close to me that have all started home
businesses. I'm not sure what's worse, having to lose weight
or having to pay taxes. Start your own small business on the
side and pay less in taxes!
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Copyright (c) 2007 www.RealPeopleDontDiet.com and Cate Brizzell