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Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook Paperback – June 7, 2011

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Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook + Vegan on the Cheap + Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: 200 Ultra-Convenient, Super-Tasty, Completely Animal-Free Recipes
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

At 58, Ellen Jaffe Jones is "THE VEG COACH." She is a personal trainer, running coach, author, and is a cooking instructor with The Cancer Project, a program of the prestigious Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. She spent eighteen years in TV news as an investigative reporter, morning anchor, and producer for network affiliates around the country, winning two regional Emmys among other awards.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Book Publishing (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570672571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570672576
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellen Jaffe Jones was voted the current PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Sexiest Vegan over 50 after a global contest that included hundreds of contestants. She is currently 1st in her age group in FL in the 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 meters which qualifies her again to compete in Nationals in 2015. She is a certified personal trainer and running coach. Ellen spent 18 years in television news as an investigative reporter and anchor and has eaten a vegan diet for most of the past 35 years.

Ellen is currently 7th in the US in her age group (National Senior Games '13) in the 1500 meters, 10th in the 400, 16th in the 200, and 19th in the 100 meters.

She was 3rd in State (FL) in 2012 in the 200, 400 and 1500 meters, 4th in State in the 100 meters. She had to finish in the top 3 locally, then the top 4 in State to qualify for Nationals. Her 100 meter times were :06 slower than NCAA girls' personal records listed in the University of Southern California Track & Field Media Guide.

She has currently placed in 84 5K or longer races for her age group since '06 including 4 Senior Grand Masters awards. She has finished 2 marathons (5th oldest female at '10 Palm Beaches Marathon), 8 half marathons, placing in one of those. It is rare for anyone with her sprint times to have ever finished a marathon. She reports plenty of energy and easy recovery on a plant-based diet, even though many tell her at races that running vegan is impossible/difficult.

Ellen has won the highest awards in broadcasting, including two Emmys and 1st Place for the National Press Club's Consumer Reporting Award. After leaving television, she earned high returns for her clients as a financial consultant at Smith Barney, where she was dedicated to socially responsible investing. She is a certified personal trainer and running coach. After a New York Times reporter wrote how her marathon time improved greatly after vegan coaching from Ellen, Ellen now coaches clients all over the globe in vegan and athletic pursuits.

As the only healthy person in her immediate family, Ellen's passion is helping others avoid the pain and suffering she's witnessed since early childhood. Her mother, aunt, and both sisters had breast cancer, and much more. After nearly dying from a colon blockage at age twenty-eight, Ellen was told by her doctors that she needed to do things differently to avoid her family's fate.

The media have reported on the significant weight loss (up to 120 pounds) and improved health that Ellen's students have experienced after taking her cooking classes affiliated with The Cancer Project, part of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a national nonprofit. As a trained cooking instructor, Ellen taught as many as 2 cooking classes a day, 5 days a week during her 6 years with The Cancer Project. The media have called Ellen's life "an experiment to beat the odds."

Ellen races frequently...once placing 1st in her age group in a 5K race in Bradenton, FL, then 6th in age group the next day in a half marathon...just to show you get plenty of calories, energy, calcium, protein and anything else you need to do all this. Recently she raced 5 weekends in a row. One of them, the marathon in Celebration, FL, followed by a weekend of the local Senior Games where she was the overall female finisher in the 5K, then went on to place first in AG in the 50, 100, 400, 800 & 1500 meters.

Ellen is certified by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America as a personal trainer, and by Road Runners Club of America as a running coach. Ellen blogs at and her monthly column, "Running Fitness," appears in the Running Journal. She is the "Veg Koach" on the social media health site, "Kurriosity." Her "Eat Vegan on $4 a Day" Facebook page has 36,000 fans and growing. She teaches cooking classes on Anna Maria Island, FL.

Ellen wrote "Eat Vegan on $4 a Day" after watching too many news stories that said food stamp recipients could only afford Twinkies and mac & cheese. She wrote "Kitchen Divided-Vegan Dishes for Semi-Vegan Households" after asking her audiences, "How many of you live in mixed marriages," and hearing many groans. The popular "Paleo Vegan," was the first book in print to give vegans the option to follow the popular paleo diet, if they so chose.

Visit Ellen's website at

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

451 of 465 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were things I really liked about this book and things I didn't like about it. I am a vegetarian who is striving to move to a totally vegan diet and I really liked the premise of this book. I thought it would really help me make the transition and do it inexpensively.

In a way, it did help me. The first 29 pages of the book are very helpful - packed with info on shopping inexpensively for vegan food. The rest of the book contains a 7 day menu [3 meals per day] and recipes. The author is clear and concise without being preachy. I found her writing easy & enjoyable to read.

But, in another way, I felt kind of ripped off. The first 29 pages were full of info and were great reading, but they weren't worth the price of the book by a long shot. The recipes were OK - some of them are extremely simplistic [like the one for oatmeal: water, oats, salt. Put it in a pot and cook it]. I did not find many recipes that I found appealing - in fact, I doubt I'll try any recipes in the book [other than oatmeal, which I already eat on a regular basis....]. So, it was kind of frustrating - it took me less than 45 minutes [literally] to read this entire book [it is a slim volume, even padded with simple recipes]. I really did not feel I got my money's worth out of the book - I could have done better spending one hour on the internet googling vegan meals and tips.

I also felt that the claim that you can eat vegan for $4 a day was a bit exaggerated. For one thing, the portion sizes she gives are extremely small - for example, on day one you are supposed to eat half a cup of oatmeal for breakfast [and that is it.] For most people, one half a cup of plain oatmeal would not be enough to get them through till lunch. Can you imagine a 180 lb guy trying to get by on that?
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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful By sleebick on June 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After recently reading The China Study and seeing the documentary Forks Over Knives, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that there was a cookbook that is based on a plant-based diet. Not only does it contain recipes to create wonderfully delicious and nutritious meals, it shows us how to do this on a very modest budget! Also, many of the recipes have only a few ingredients - these are actually doable (unlike some of the recipes I have seen where the mountain of ingredients is so extensive it turns me off before I could even think about attempting to prepare it). She also includes a very nice table indicating the grain:water ratio in cooking different types of grains. Now I don't have to go to the internet everytime to find out what the ratio is for preparing couscous, quinoa, bulgar . . . so on and so forth. Information to save our health and our money at the same time - sounds like a WIN/WIN in my book! Thanks Ellen for sharing your creativity and wisdom.
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80 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Kelly T. on October 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
I really wanted to love this book. The author has great credentials, both as an investigative reporter and in the financial world. Plus she is a personal trainer and nutrition educator. It has some amazing recipes (the sweet potato muffins are worth the price of the book). However, my big problem came yesterday when I dove deeper into the actual meal plans and figured out the calorie content and protein/fat/carb percentages. I am on a weight loss journey and these numbers are important to me.

Here is what I did so anyone can replicate it...

I used an online program for the calorie counts (dotFit, but any program should work) and broke down each recipe to its components. (Since they are all whole foods, this is actually pretty easy, although time-consuming). I then divided each recipe by how many servings it was supposed to make. I wrote down calories, protein grams, fat grams, carbohydrate grams, and fiber grams. I then multiplied each of the macronutrient grams by their calorie equivalent (protein has 4 calories, fat has 9 calories, and carbs have 4 calories). I rounded like this: 2.25 down to 2, 2.5 stayed at 2.5, and 2.75 rounded up to 3. After I added up the calories for the day, I divided the calories for each macronutrient by the total calories to get the percentages. The daily total calories from the recipes slightly varies from the total calories when you add up the macronutrient equivalents, so I only divided by the macronutrient equivalents to be more accurate.

Here are the figures:

Day 1: Total calories=1118
Breakfast: 152
Lunch: 312
Dinner: 314
Dessert/Snack: 340
Total protein=46g
Total fat=15g
Total carb=209.5g
Total fiber=35.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By William J. Kleinbauer on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was writing a "Thank You" e-mail to Ellen and stopped to look here. The ten other 5-star reviewers, so far, have guided you correctly. What can I add?

I have been a "Healthy Lifestyle Advocate" for the last nine years after my family of four participated in Dr. John McDougall's "Total Health Solution" ten-day clinic.

For the last four years I have communicated frequently with Ellen as a fellow volunteer "PCRM Heart Health Speaker". She is also a PCRM Cancer Project Educator and Chef.) Her just-published book is all that you need to quickly and cheaply put into practice what the many "Healthy Lifestyle Educators" practice and teach. Besides lower food costs, your medical costs will be much less

-- Examples: type-two diabetics and high blood pressure patients usually can reverse their food-caused maladies and get off of medications that only treat symptoms.

For best health, you need optimal human nutrition and good exercise. We all have to eat, and lucky for us, 80% of the health and long life benefits come from good foods and only 20% comes from better exercise. So first and foremost, learn much better eating from Ellen.

You don't need to become the high-level running athlete that she is, but do increase your strength and aerobic efforts.

Making changes in life is difficult. Eating out is a big habit. It would be so great if someone else in the family would take the recipes in this book and run with them for the whole family! Don't expect that - get started yourself and make it exciting, fun, MONEY-SAVING, and so much easier using these recipes.
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