Archive for Health and Vitality

Porsche and the Green Bean Diet – Update

Just a quick update for those interested in Porsche and her progress with the Green Bean Diet for Dogs. Porsche has been on the diet for about a month now. When she started the diet, she weighed 69 pounds. We have not yet done a follow-up weighing. She is heavy and floundering when we try to lift her to get the weight with our bathroom scales. Her vet is located in Cassopolis, MI, which is a 30 or 40 minute drive each way. So we’re left with other observations about her diet.

The first and most obvious factor is that she is more active. I had thought that with fewer calories, she might be lethargic until she adjusted to having less food intake, but almost from the first few days, she started walking around more. She now walks with me up and down the stairs, instead of her old habit of walking to the top of the stairs and then plopping down, chin on paws, to wait for me to return. I guess it used to be too much trouble to walk down and back with me.

Kong dog toyPorsche also has become more energetic with her favorite toy, Kong. Kong is a long cylinder made of tennis-ball material attached to a thick yellow rope. She loves Kong and just the mention of the word has her up and waiting at the door. While formerly, my son would throw Kong and she would retrieve it 10-15 times before lying down and refusing to bring it back, she now has retrieved Kong a record 60 non-stop times.  My son actually made her stop at 60, because he was worried she would hurt herself.  So that mysterious extra energy is also helping Porsche to get more exercise and thus burn even more calories.

The green beans also seem to be helping with her less desirable habit of stealing food from the cats. She used to wait for a cat-food opportunity and we had to be very vigilant. While she has gotten to the cat food bowls a couple of times in the last month, she is much less interested in their food now. In fact, about two weeks ago, she got to the cat food bowls, gorged on all the cat food and then promptly threw it up. I was less than thrilled with the event and scolded her sharply. Later, I felt bad because she had really already gotten her punishment for being a glutton and obviously did not feel well when I was scolding her. I was also worried that maybe she was sick, but she recovered so quickly, we have assumed that it was sheer volume and speed of ingestion that caused it all to come back up.

We tried measuring her around the back trunk area. At the start of the diet, she measured 31″. When we tried measuring her again, she squirmed and escaped from the measuring tape. The best measurement I got seemed to also be 31″, maybe slightly less. She looks a little leaner, especially right above her back legs, but we have not gotten any reliable evidence.

All in all, we are pleased with the diet. Porsche’s coat seems glossier and she is more energetic. I may mix in carrots or other vegetables from time to time instead of green beans, just to give her a little more variety in vitamins. I’ll do some research first to find out which ones are the healthiest for dogs. I’m also considering occasionally giving her bits of lean, unseasoned cooked meats to give her a little more protein. I’m considering this because I discovered that the first, and most prominent, ingredient in her dry dog food is ground yellow corn meal instead of a meat product.

We’re also going to try to figure out how to weigh her. Maybe one of our farmer neighbors will have an answer!


Photo credit:  stock image from the store

It’s The Green Bean Dog Diet for Porsche

Our dog, Porsche, has received the dreaded news:  she weighs too much.  Her vet has recommended that she lose 20 pounds.  He suggested the Green Bean Diet for Dogs.

Porsche at 69 Pounds


The green bean diet is simple.  We replace one cup per day of Porsche’s regular dry dog food with one cup of green beans.  The green beans should be frozen or fresh, since canned green beans have far too much sodium for Porsche.

At her vet appointment last week, she weighed 69.2 pounds.  She should weigh about 49 pounds.  She has not dieted successfully in the past and we have a big issue with her stealing food from the other pets’ bowls.  So the green bean diet intrigued me.  Could it really be that simple?

Then I started thinking about whether it would be less expensive to just buy weight management food for her.  I wasn’t sure this was a good option, because when I feed Porsche special weight loss food, she acts hungry and restless all the time.  She will even lick her empty bowl and sniff the floor around her bowl for stray pieces of food.  Still, I thought to make the comparison.  Beneful Healthy Weight dog food is available at Sam’s Club, so I did some research with it.  Here is what I found:

Porsche’s Simply Right Dog Food costs $.41 a day based on the recommended 4.5 cups a day serving.

If we fed her Simply Right (less one cup) plus one cup of green beans, the daily cost is $.55 a day.

If we switched her to Beneful Healthy Weight Dog Food, the daily cost would be $.59 a day, based on the recommended 3.5 cup feeding amount.  However, I believe that with Beneful, we would still have to give Porsche a cup of green beans so that she would feel fuller and be less likely to bully the cats and steal their food.  In that case, the daily cost would be $.83 a day.

I’ve posted more details on The Fat Dollar website – The Green Bean Diet For Dogs – for more information on the research and the cost calculations.

So far, Porsche has surprised us by seeming to enjoy her new diet.  We stir the green beans in with her food, mixing it as well as we can. She is more energetic and has been less keenly interested in the cats’ food.  She seems very satisfied and has not had any digestive problems since we started the diet.  That is a relief, because she can have some mighty potent gas when she eats certain foods.

She has, on several occasions, left a few green beans in her bowl, probably on purpose.  However, she will return later and finish them off.

I’ll keep you posted.  We’ll try to report soon how she is doing with weight loss, if we can figure out how to actually weight her. If you have an overweight dog, this diet may be a very simple, easy, and effective way to help your pet lose weight, gain energy, and avoid some very expensive vet bills.

Now that’s the Fat Dollar way!







Impulsive Spending – Get it Under Control

Impulsive spending can wreck havoc with your budget.  A British survey by the energy company npower, showed that men spend about $41.00 per week on impulse purchases, while women showed a bit more control with spending of $30.00 per week.

An impulsive purchase is a purchase that is unplanned and is often for the purpose of making the buyer feel good.  Usually the purchases end up unwanted or unused.

Even if you fritter away only $25.00 a week, you have wasted $1,300.00 in a year.  What could you do with $1300.00?

Learning to reduce the amount of impulsive spending can make a big difference in your financial future.

Read The Fat Dollar’s article Impulsive Spending – Or How Not to Spend Money


A Juicy Tip for Saving Dollars – and Pounds, Too

Orange JuiceI like to take my vitamins with breakfast.  I also like orange juice with breakfast.  I pour the  sweet, lovely- colored juice into one of my favorite stemmed glasses and drinking it is just a luxurious experience.  At one time, I used to drink orange juice to take my vitamins, but eventually realized that with this method, my orange juice glass was soon empty and I hadn’t really been able to enjoy it.  To compensate,   I developed the habit of pouring extra orange juice into my glass to allow for taking vitamins.

Of course, me being my usual frugal self, I wondered how much I would save if I used a glass of water instead of orange juice to take my vitamins.  A little research revealed some surprising numbers, along with medical cautions for taking medications with fruit juices.

My calculations showed that switching from orange juice to filtered water for taking vitamins saved about $64.00 a year.  That was a nice savings which would be even larger if I paid more than Sam’s Club prices for orange juice (or other juice) or if I drank more than an extra 4 oz of juice for taking vitamins.  Yes, to both of those sometimes, but I’ll stay with the conservative savings figures for now.

While the dollar savings was a little anti-climatic, I found another savings that really was dramatic:  calorie savings.   Switching to 4 oz of water from 4  oz of orange juice created a savings of 20,440 calories a year.   That translates to 5.84 pounds of body fat.  Wow!  That is certainly a more powerful motivation than the money savings.

Read the entire article, along with some of the medical cautions, at