How You Can Live Healthy with Less Money with John Robbins : The Renegade Health Show Episode #624

Friday Jul 30 | BY |
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In this last installment with John Robbins, we talk about being healthy and living lighter…

What’s cooler than eating healthy and living lighter while saving money?

Today, John Robbins talks about how you can leave a lighter footprint and have a more satisfied life.

Be sure to listen to the end, because the example he gives with the sweater is an important lesson in value. I use this type of comparison for myself all the time!

Take a look…

Your question of the day: What can you do to live lighter?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

To get John’s new book “The New Good Life” click here!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. TimG says:

    I find living on a raw food diet to be very expensive. Therefore, I have not completely made the transition because of the costs. I was hoping today’s show would focus on how raw food living can be done on the cheap! For those of us who travel a great deal, it’s very difficult to find restaurants/fast food joints that can accommodate our diets. Grocery stores have come around slowly in providing bottle green smoothies. I can get these easily at Whole Foods, I mean “Whole Paycheck.” We really need more economical means to be raw food survivalists.

  2. Ginny Fisher says:

    Living light is what I strive to do every day. I make all our food from scratch so it’s better, cleaner and healthier than any box you can find on any shelf or freezer in the grocery store.

    Another thing I do is to grocery shop light. That means I don’t buy a huge amount of produce at any one time, so that none gets old and has to be thrown away. I process it when I get it home so it’s ready to go for lots of salads during the week.

    I made shopping bags out of old T-shirts that I keep in our car, so don’t use a lot of plastic bags from stores. The T-shirt bags are very light, and can be washed easily.

    Besides eating lots of raw foods, I make soups often. When I have vegetables that might be heading ‘south’ before I can use them, I chop then in the food processor and freeze in zip-lock bags to use in soups later. Also I reuse my zip-lock bags over and over and over. I throw them away only if they have contained something greasy or sticky.

    I’m a huge proponent of sprouting which is about the most economical way ever to get healthy fresh greens.

    Thanks for this show guys. We need to get out of this rabid consumerism. God bless you. ginny

  3. Karen says:

    I find buying nothing but fruit and veggies very cheap compared to buying fast food and meat. I don’t eat 100% raw all the time (I have been 99% for a while though) and as long as I make my meals at home with the fruit or veggies I already have at home I can survive on about $40 or $50 a week. I just have to be sure to buy ahead so I don’t run out b/c that’s when Mr. Temptation knocks at my door lol!

  4. Kristine says:

    Loved these interviews. It is an interesting question. Eating mostly raw simple foods is definitely a ‘lightening’ experience. I don’t have a car and always bring my own bags/baskets for shopping. I don’t have a television. I think I am moving away from listening to the news via the radio or internet as much as I do as something I would like to tone down in my life. It is good to be informed, but this constant repetition of the same stuff, well, it is quickly no longer news, just chatter. Yes, definitely, tone down the media reports in my life.

  5. Jillian says:

    One of the things that I do, and it works well quite often, is when I have an urge to buy something or feel I need something or that I really want something, I just wait a few days or a week longer before buying it and usually the supposed “need” that I had for it fizzles away and I end up not purchasing it. If the “need” has not dwindled, I make sure that I reevaluate my reason for needing it and if it all adds up to still needing it, then I buy.

  6. Veronika says:

    I LOVED this video! I’ve been living this way for a while now because I’ve chosen to work part time since college so that I have time to pursue my passions. Now my passions are starting to blossom because I’ve put time and energy toward them.

    He hit the nail on the head with the sweater example. I almost had tears in my eyes because it was said so beautifully!

    I save money by going to farmers markets and consolidating my personal/beauty “needs”. I only buy the food I’m going to really eat so it doesn’t go to waste. I only buy clothing (usually from thrift stores) after I’ve gone through my closet and donated the items I no longer wear (to feel lighter). And still, I don’t shop often because I find I still have a lot of clothing left. My beauty items are multi-use, so I purchase bulk rhassoul clay to wash & exfoliate my skin, and to use as a mask. I use aloe as a moisturizer. I’m also starting to grow my own food. I don’t own a TV.

    All of these things I DON’T do actually make me feel more FULLFILLED, not emptier. It’s amazing how that works. However, the one thing I want to have more money for is for vacation traveling.

  7. Bonie(Bonnie) Loiselle says:

    I am one of those that do watch TV because of being disabled and not able to do too much moving around without physical pain that will make me inmobile. I watch “Clean House” and “Hoarders” and I am in the process of decluttering my life. Iam doing it one room at a time and even one box at a time,but I am finding it refreshing!
    My sister and I are going to do a yard sell and everything left goes to the nearest charity place. We both have a lot of medical and living bills that cause us stress so we think this is one way to lower the stress and clutter at the same time.
    Declutter your house will help declutter your life so it can be lived more productive.
    Take Care

  8. (I also bring her some of my pears)
    When we travel:
    We take everything needed to do basic food prep for picnic-style meals when we travel. I keep a clean cutting board, good knife, clean source-water in GLASS containers, organic dish soap and place-settings in the car in a simple sturdy carboard box at all times.
    We love to shop for organic food when we travel. It’s how we meet other people who are interested in the same things we are. In large-or-small towns, we are invited to: drummings, music jams, parties, secret swimming holes, horse-back-riding, raw-meet-ups, even to people’s homes for dinner! All FREE, just by taking time to scout out good clean food and water. (Foodies will be present where there is good food, so we ask for recommendations from fellow foodies. If you ask the random person at the gas station, “Hey where can I get organic food in this town?” you will be directed to Whole-paycheck or hear, “We don’t have that here”.)
    After we find the food, we find a park or recreational area where we can eat and relax. These are the sites and places we like, so it all works out!
    We also collect up recommendations for Raw, vegan food from locals BEFORE we travel by contacting the organizers of Raw Food Meet-ups in the areas we will be visiting. It’s easy, go to “” type in the zip code (I look up the zip of a business or hotel that can be easily found on-line) and search for raw food meet-up groups with in a 50- or 100-mile area. In Pheonix, AZ we meet 15 other foodies who gave us all kinds of tips and suggestions and some of them invited us home for dinner! (Val is a raw food chef, so she usually fixes the food for the hosting family.) Some had gardens and shared their food with us! We didn’t even ask or say we were poor or on a budget. We look normal. People are just great! Amazing.

    At home: Grow herbs! Grow anything.We got together with other organic-minded people and started a food-buying club for bulk purchases. Pick-your-own wild and traditional foods! Berries are everywhere this time of year. Find old people with fruit trees and grapes who will share just for you doing the picking for their consumption. I have 92-yr old friend that keeps track of when the cherries are ripe and gives me a heads-up to come get-um! All she asks is that I give her some and help her pit them for freezing. Bonus: I learn so much from her!

  9. Heyward says:


    “I make all our food from scratch.” Please, move into my house and take care of me. Do all the things you said in your post. There is no pay, but I am hilarious, and being in my presence is an amazing, inspiring experience, worth about $5,000 a day. Thank you and I look forward to eating your meals.

    your future employer,
    Heyward Boyce

  10. Kelly says:

    I am saving money switching over to 80/10/10 diet and it is working much better for my body. This saves me on spending money on expensive raw food and supplements. Being a nutrition counselor I am blessed to trade my services with a local farmer! Also, one of my local grocery stores sells discount ripe bananas (the only way I eat them) for 19cent a pound! I also make my own beauty creams ordering bulk shea butter, essential oils, bulk coconut butter, coffeeberry. the spice turmeric and other all natural oils!

  11. Angie says:

    Raw milk is a life-saver for me. Besides just feeling more nourished & balanced from using it, I did a cost and nutrient analysis of raw grass-fed milk versus raw organic almonds because they’re sorta similar on calories and both provide protein, fat, calcium, etc. The raw milk is almost half the price of the almonds per calorie, and the milk provides more protein and a lot more calcium, as well as providing preformed vitamin A (which I personally require & have to take as a supplement if I don’t eat animal products) and vitamin B12. When I make it into kefir, I get even more benefit from it.

    I also grow a garden, raise chickens for eggs, make food from scratch, don’t have a cell phone, rarely buy clothes, shop sales on everything possible…I haven’t always been this way, though, so I am having a yard sale tomorrow to lighten up my storage area. 🙂

  12. Angie says:

    Oh, yeah – I also make my own lip balm, don’t wear make-up or color my hair, exercise outside or in my living room instead of paying for a gym membership…

  13. Moriah says:

    a really good listen thanks! my husband and i pledged to not buy any new clothes for a year! it started last december and it has made a huge $ difference and has not been hard at all…and through telling friends and family about the commitment to not purchase new things we have actually had a lot of donations of gently used clothes from them.
    another great $ saver…our garden!

  14. Cindy says:

    Loved this show!! I’m not a very materialistic person. I just never have been. I seriously could live in a one room house with a stack of books (from the library) & almost nothing else, & I’d be happy. I see buying things that aren’t necessities a huge waste of money. One of my sisters is into decorating & got addicted to buying things on eBay to decorate with. Her house is like a museum. It’s beautiful, but you almost can’t walk because there is so much stuff covering almost every bit of space. Literally, almost every wall space, floor space, & counter space is filled with something, even the ceilings. And then when she decides she likes a new theme, she’ll store stuff & just buy all new stuff. She doesn’t understand how I can live without hardly ever buying anything, & she doesn’t think I appreciate beauty. I try to tell her that I love beauty, but I don’t have to buy things to appreciate the beauty that’s all around us if you just look.

    One of my contributions to the planet is to try & buy whatever I need from garage sales & thrift stores.

  15. mk says:

    whatever turns you on folks – I live in a loving wealthy ABUNDANT universe …

  16. Mary Artemis says:

    We also lost more than a few hundreds of thousands of dollars last year in a stock market thing…so I have had some grit to live through. Bottom line is I am so much happier right now even going through the hardships I have had to go through – I have learned to appreciate life and the things in it and my own effort in my life. Instead of getting bummed about opportunities lost (those were many fine cars I could have had if I acted faster and bought them before losing the money), I focus on the value of having things instead of being afraid or hesitant to buy them, focus on the fineness of the fresh coconuts I do buy, appreciate all the produce and salads I can afford. All this heightened appreciation has led us to start a fine business and has honed us to use our talents, much as John Robbins was saying. Soon, it looks like I will have money again and it is beginning to trickle in. I know that my time if valuable and being with my husband most of the day is most valuable… I will appreciate my cars more and even my home and garden and flowers more than I ever have, more than I ever thought I could… I make more stuff myself, have become more pure, more simple. Somehow that seems richer.

  17. Anne says:

    Living light has been ingrained in me because I’ve had to move often to different countries or cities. I’ve been in Vancouver, Canada for about three years. I commute by bicycle, transit or walk, I have neither a TV nor a stereo system.

    I get all the news I need from the internet. More than enough when you think that most of the news is depressing and it’s better to keep oneself in a good frame of mind.

    I renegotiate with my phone/internet provider each time a competitor offers me a better deal.

    I shop around and do research if I need to join a gym/get a membership. I usually serve as a model for advanced hair dressing classes to save on haircut but always have fantastic cuts. I enter any competition to get free tickets to the movies and so I often feel rich without spending that much money. I can spend the money on those things I really value like organic food.

    I remember a multi level marketing guy once told me that only 1% of people over 50 would have financial freedom when he was trying to sign me up. I proceeded to tell him that real financial freedom comes from not needing that much money instead of increasingly spending and earning more.

  18. Dirk says:

    I find sprouting gives me the best bang for the buck. I am using a 3 tray sprouter and acidic water. I am also trying to grow wheatgrass in a ‘FreshLife’ automatic sprouter and haven’t had much success with that one.
    My wife and I started rawfooding 2 years ago and reached abt. 70%. We had some setback with that. My wife has Parkinson’s and our East Indian herbal medication supplier suggests more warm cooked foods because of her body type according to ajurvedic medical
    I enjoy your daily videos.

  19. Tamikko says:

    I’ve really enjoyed these video’s because I’ve always looked up to John Robbins. His books and video on Diet for a new America were the first books to open my eyes to conscious eating and being aware of the lies of a SAD diet and the cruelty to animals. I think (and I haven’t read these books yet, I have one coming from the library right now) that his new books sound just like the advice I need in my life, yet again. His path is an amazing story and I really am taking his advice to heart.
    I’ve done some of the things others mentioned they do, donate clothes, buy used clothes, try to buy less and love the things I have or let them go. I need to work on this more as I still have a cluttered garage of things we don’t need, and I’ve felt lighter by just getting rid of the few things I have. Each box I go through is like revisiting that part of my life and then saying “it’s ok, I don’t need you anymore, you can go”. I love it. I’m also starting by bringing in less. I really don’t have money to spend on anything new anyway so I’m going to adapt the get rid of something to bring in something philosophy.
    I’m really looking forward to his new books. As always great interview and set of video’s you two.
    Thanks 🙂

  20. john says:

    Kevin I couldn’t agree with your guest more .Every thing he had to say I can identify with as well as his own experiences ,losses ,and responsibilities ,and out look on life. What he said was basically a mirror image of my own.All of us just want to work.We all have needs, wants,and desires in life but their needs to be a balance of priorities,discipline ,and a plan and not allowing greed and materialism take a hold on our lives .We all want to be loved ,wanted and accepted by those we love– family,friends,and peers Having said that we are all different some of us have more talent or mental abilities than others others are stronger than others , or some vary in looks shapes and sizes and attraction etc., this life is the TESTING grounds on how God watches us how we treat others in need weather good or bad and how are hearts are toward OTHERS ( as no one can fool God) . I think it was Dr. Richard Shultz had said give away 30% of what you have and be a blessing to a real person who has a REAL NEED for say an item that you do not need or will never use .Most people keep “THINGS” for decades and it rusts or item is by then old or out dated ,and who wants it so people need to share and care for their friend or neighbor because that person is Gods economy .Love thy neighbor as thy self as noted in scripture. Helping thy neighbor with a WANTINGNESS from the heart is a delight to the Lord. Give with a cheerful heart. (Ps. you can’t take it with when one dies) It is just one way to be Creative and lovingly with genuine sincerity in helping thy neighbor as your self . I F ,I F, I F Everyone were more concerned about their neighbors NEEDS rather than themselves in having more cars planes ,boats ,travel, bigger and bigger homes (more dust to clean) etc. Imagine what America would be like ! This sort of thin is what our parents did during the depression in 1929 and long before that . One can look back at the Pilgrims and Indians a mutual respect of caring and sharing ,a love for thy neighbor where ones mind was not focused on a greedy sale for me to make a buck. One needs to make a living and take care of ones family unit first and foremost as God expects this and holds the man as the bread winner .What I am saying is were one has beyond a surplus of money ,one needs to do some soul searching on giving out to help others there are many well to do people ,living beyond their means.So consequntly you have people that have and have nots with the haves saying -I did it in life so can you,as their justifiable answer.And the have nots who many have bad breaks in life from whatever,whatever ,whatever circumstance came their way they have not.Having said that no one man is worth millions or billions he never made it by himself ,it took the many ,many little guys to make it for HIM. This whole thing is quite simple being honest ,truthful ,fair minded,respecting others,being sincerely genuine doing what one says to another ,he says he will do,with a cheerful and happy heart. As humans we will fail and make mistakes ,but that is where people will forget your mistakes because they Know your are a sincere person of integrity of the first calibre.

  21. Jolie says:

    Simplicity is where it is at.
    I haven’t always been this way!!!
    I’ve learned over the years though.
    If you buy a new item it is thrilling for a little while but not for long. I used to spend money on clothing only to get it home and it doesn’t fit right. I think it is human to walk into a store and want everything which is just impulsive so I stay away from stores.
    I don’t watch TV…just have no interest in it.
    It is exciting to me to watch my roses bloom!
    I think when you don’t have alot of money, you appreciate things more. Like a good organic meal. Most people think I’m odd, but some are kind of jealous:)

  22. flek says:

    One of the many things I do is no matter where I live/travel, I learn ALL the free edible plants from nature in the area.
    (Be cautious and properly informed!)
    For instance, when I spent a year in Bra?ov, Romania I learned from the locals all the edible mushrooms, and wild plants in the Carpathians. One species of large mushroom is usually cooked on a BB-Q grill by the locals. My friend made a mixed mushroom goulash after an afternoon’s harvest. Amazing!
    Currently I live in Amsterdam, Netherlands and I have many free things I can eat. One of the most fulfilling freebies is stinging nettle, an amazing plant to add to your diet.
    Recipe calls for spinach, replace, or just mix in nettle. The best thing about harvesting the nettle is the questions, and I’m enthused to give an informative answer…which surprises and educates a lot of people…some even ask me if I can smoke it…lol, well it is Netherlands!
    There are many things one can do with nettle. Other local food examples are tea/tincture from red clover, many uses of elder flower/berries, same with dandelion, blackberries…etc.
    The other thing I promote is community farming/foraging and trading. This can keep the costs of food low.
    However, the GM garbage is becoming a problem and may very well compromise our very delicately balanced ecosystem. And ruin many small family/community farming efforts…but that’s the idea I suspect (tin foil hat on)…to control the food supply making us subservient and dependent.
    I don’t understand what is better than nature. You see, we came from the Earth, the Earth didn’t come from us. And although we can modify the minutia to do something we want, we have no idea of the long term effect on nature. We just aren’t qualified to modify nature on such a level yet.
    Life is a breath of time, so live as hard as a baby cries…with unabashed intensity!

  23. josanne says:

    I became vegan 7 months ago, saving money on animal products. Eating more raw foods, buying less processed foods, home sprouting also reduce costs. We use our public library for all reading material and dvds.

    Have always been consumer shy; prefer saving money, living simply.

    Right now we’re in the process of selling our small townhouse and downsizing. Am totally amazed at the vast amount of stuff we’ve donated to charity over the last month. Feels really good to have even less.

    An astute teenager I know has a motto on her desk: LESS IS MORE. I find that quite inspiring!

    Haven’t seen your show in about a month, hope to get caught up on missed episodes. Take care, Josanne

  24. Susan Bessette says:

    I think we live simply, but we still burn through about 60K a year. On What??
    This simple life can be very expensive.
    Last year I discovered the raw food world and “NEEDED” vitamix, dehydrator, juicer, raw organic fruits, vegs, nuts, seeds, sprouts
    Right now I “NEED”:
    Robbins’ new book
    to join the inner circle
    enzymes and probiotics
    more products from Donna Gates
    the books and products from all your guests

    At home we paid off mortgage but needed new roof, energy windows, HVAC system, water line, computer…
    Visiting family requires air travel, car rentals, etc.

    To live light we shop farmers’ markets, buy discount clothes, home make meals, give away clutter, drive old cars, dehydrate summer produce, mulch garden with newspaper and leaves, recycle trash…
    I am obviously fooling myself. Until we pare down to 30K or less, we are living way too heavy.

  25. Melissa says:

    Loved all these John Robbins videos!! This video is so, so important. I think everyone can say at some point in their life they wanted a lot things and they bought a lot of “things” but I hope that is changing. I’ve adopted the mentality of saving up for good quality items that I need instead of 10 cheap items that break on me. I also have started my own garden and so that has cut down on my grocery bill and trips to the store. I also love to shop at thrift stores. There are amazing clothes there (and many other fun things that you may need) that are practically brand new! The question he used with the sweater..I use that a lot:)

  26. Ryan says:

    One practice I have been doing for a while is running to as many places as possible. I often run to the bank on my lunch break from work. If I need to mail a letter I will run to the mailbox. It’s very simple but this physical act helps remind me that I do not need to rely on a car for everything.

  27. KAREN BEATTIE says:


  28. snowmoonelk says:

    Hey Bonie, have you heard of Flylady? Check out her website for how to declutter your life 15 minutes at a time! It’s awesome.

  29. julie roddy says:

    learn the difference between a want and a need

  30. Josephine says:

    Hi! I think you might also be interested in this article by John Robbins on happiness!

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