The China Study Cookbook Giveaway (MIMM)

Good morning everyone and happy Monday.

As I mentioned on Friday, I have a special treat for you today. A few weeks ago I was contacted by a marketing associate from BenBella Books wondering if I would like to review one of their more recently published cookbooks. I’ve worked with them in the past on reviewing a copy of Happy Herbivore Abroad last December and that was such a great experience that I didn’t even hesitate to agree again.

Now, some of you may question why I am reviewing a vegan cookbook when some of my blog’s recipes contain animals products. Really it is quite simple. First and foremost my reasoning is that I just plain love cookbooks. I’ve said this before, but I actually read them like novels in bed as I go to sleep, and this one was no exception. Second, I really appreciate the focus on vegetables and fruits that vegan books tend to have, unlike many of my (while still thoroughly enjoyed) dessert cookbooks. Finally, as someone with a dairy and egg allergy, vegan cookbooks offer a host of wonderful recipes and techniques that benefit me and others with allergies greatly.

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With that explained, let me give you a run down of what all you are going to see in this review post of The China Study Cookbook. First I am going to start off with a summary of the book and a little background information of the author. Then we will dive right into the recipes that I have made from the cookbook so far, one being an excerpt that you can try out for yourself. After discussing the recipes I will sum up my final thoughts on the cookbook and give you all of the details on the best part – the giveaway!

Let’s get started.

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Here is the book summary taken right from the publisher’s website:

The China Study, with 850,000 copies sold, has been hailed as one of the most important health and nutrition books ever published. It revealed that the traditional Western diet has led to our modern health crisis and the widespread growth of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Based on the most comprehensive nutrition study ever conducted, the book reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health with the power to halt or reverse many diseases.

The China Study Cookbook takes these scientific findings and puts them to action. Written by LeAnne Campbell, daughter of The China Study author T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and mother of two hungry teenagers, The China Study Cookbook features delicious, easily prepared plant-based recipes with no added fat and minimal sugar and salt that promote optimal health.

From her Breakfast Home-Fry Hash and Fabulous Sweet Potato Enchiladas to No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars and Cheese(less) Cake, all of LeAnne’s recipes follow three important principles:

1. Optimal nutrition is based on eating food rather than nutrient supplements

2. The closer that foods are to their native states—prepared with minimal cooking, salting, and processing—the greater the long-term health benefits of eating them

3. It is best to choose locally and organically grown produce whenever possible

Filled with helpful tips on substitutions, keeping foods nutrient-rich, and transitioning to a plant-based diet, The China Study Cookbook shows how to transform individual health and the health of the entire family.

From inside the back cover here is a little more information about the author:

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Leanne Campbell, PhD, lives in Durham, North Carolina. She has been preparing meals based on a whole food, plant-based diet for almost twenty years. LeAnne has raised two sons—Steven and Nelson, now nineteen and eighteen years of age—on this diet. As a working mother, LeAnne has found ways to prepare quick and easy meals without using animals products or added oils.

These are the recipes that I have tried so far and a further explanation of what the book includes:

The book starts with a nice summary of the author’s personal transition to a plant-based diet and goes on to explain in great detail how to transition to a plant-based diet if you choose, and what essentials you will need to know on that journey. This section was one of my favorite parts of the book. Whether or not you agree with a vegan, plant-based lifestyle, you can’t help but be inspired by LeAnne’s dedication to health for both herself and her family. Also, the Q&A where the author was asked about her sons’ experiences with a plant-based diet really resonated with me since I too have to follow a diet that is out of the norm among my college classmates.

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Still, while I very much enjoyed reading this introduction to the cookbook, the recipes were obviously the main focus for me. They were divided into several sections based on what type of recipe they were (Breakfast Dishes, Soups, Sandwiches, Desserts, etc.) and in each section the recipes were listed in alphabetical order for ease of use which I appreciated.

A few of the recipes that stood out to me were the Sesame Noodle Salad, Tasty Tostados, Veggie Fajita Wraps, African Vegetables, Dominican Beans, Mama’s Kitchen Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Cranberry Applesauce, Vegan Chocolate Cake, Garlic Green Beans and Mushrooms, Quick Butternut Squash, Date Fruit Pie, and Nutty Noodles with Vegetables. Alright, so maybe these were more than a few. There were just so many to pick from!

Ultimately I settled on making two recipes to share in this review.

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The first one was the Vegan Chocolate Cake which I made for my brother in cupcake form. I had to substitute in a few ingredients (pumpkin puree for the applesauce and whole wheat pastry flour for the spelt) but it still came out wonderful. There was also a frosting recipe given that was supposed to be paired along with the vegan cake, however I’ll admit that I didn’t want to push my luck with a tofu frosting on my brother. Instead I just made a basic chocolate glaze. I would encourage you to try out the frosting recipe though because it sounds delicious and probably would fool most (excluding my brother who has had one too many healthy dessert terrors thanks to yours truly).

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The second recipe that I made was the Domincan Beans from the Entrees section of the cookbook. This recipe was so incredibly easy to make. I came home at about 12:00pm from church and by 1:00pm I was plating up the meal for my parents to devour. Once again I had to make some substitutions based on what we had in house, but it turned out fabulous and we will be making the bean portion of the recipe again and again for a quick side to round out future meals.

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Lucky for you all, I have been given permission to share the recipe for the beans with you today straight from the pages of The China Study Cookbook.

Dominican Beans

Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes

Makes 6–8 servings

What really makes this dish is the salad served on top. The crunchy freshness of the vegetables and the tanginess of the dressing make for a perfect combination.

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For the beans

  • ¼ cup vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup diced butternut squash
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • ½ tablespoon Mexican oregano leaves, dried
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, dried
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice, for serving

For the salad

  • 2 cups sliced lettuce
  • 2 cups cabbage, sliced into strips
  • ¾ cup sliced cucumber
  • ¾ cup sliced cooked beets
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Balsamic rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

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 Directions

  1. For the beans, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable broth in a large stock pot and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-high heat until soft. Add green pepper, squash, cilantro, and two more tablespoons vegetable broth. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add water, tomato paste, beans, oregano, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. If needed, add an additional 1/2 cup water. Season with salt.
  3. While the beans are cooking, make the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  4. Serve beans over rice and top with salad.

Tip – Black or red beans can be substituted for the pinto beans.

Recipe notes from me: Like I said above, I had to make a few substitutions when making this recipe, so I will include them here. Instead of the fresh garlic and herbs which were not available at my grocery store, I used organic dried replacements. Instead of the pinto beans and tomato paste I used the organic navy beans and tomato puree that we had on hand (increasing the tomato puree to about 1/3 cup). Also, in place of the sliced lettuce and cabbage I just bought a bag of pre-washed organic lettuce mix that included red cabbage. We don’t usually eat rice at home so I just made some cauliflower rice instead. (Oh, and I also forgot to add the tomatoes… Whoops!).

This is my review of the cookbook from GoodReads.com:

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The China Study Cookbook will appeal to both herbivores and carnivores alike. What’s important is its focus on whole foods and the emphasis that it places on including a lot of fresh produce in one’s diet. I really enjoyed the introduction from the author and her personal story of going plant-based as it did a great job of setting the stage and putting me in the right mindset for looking at the vegan recipes. Also, the two recipes that I have tried so far were great. The Vegan Chocolate Cake and Dominican Beans are a must if you buy this cookbook. In the future I hope to also make the Nutty Noodles with Vegetables! (Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book to review but all thoughts and opinions are my own).

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I hope that after this post you are now even more excited to get your own copy of The China Study Cookbook!

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Here is how you can participate in this great giveaway…

There are five ways that you can win a free copy of The China Study Cookbook (for international citizens residing  outside of the U.S. or Canada you will receive an e-book version of the cookbook):

1. Follow Eating 4 Balance via Bloglovin.

2. Follow me on my (very new) Instagram account.

3. Follow me on Pinterest.

4. Share your favorite vegan cookbook/author/blogger.

5. Follow BenBella Books on Twitter to see their latest releases.

Leave a separate comment below for each entry. Make sure to include a valid e-mail address so that I can get a hold of you if (when) you win. This giveaway will last a total of 7 days. It starts on October 14, and ends on October 21 at midnight EST. No entries will be counted after that time.

I will pick the winner randomly, and announce who won here on Monday, October 22 as long as all goes according to plan. The winner will also receive an e-mail from me. If the winner does not respond back with their full name and a viable shipping address (if from the U.S. or Canada) within one week, then I will randomly pick another winner, of which the same rules apply.

My Weekend Baking Adventures

Did anyone else’s school have fundraisers growing up? Wrapping paper. Candles. Frozen pizzas. Chocolate. Magazines.

My brother is currently in the midst of a magazine fundraiser to raise money for when the high school band goes to Disney this next Spring.

I’m kind of a magazine addict. Really, I should show you all my stacks and drawers of magazines sometime. It’s ridiculous.

Currently I get Eating Well, Cooking Light, Seventeen and Nutrition Action. In the past I’ve also gotten Fitness Magazine and a few other less than stellar choices like Discovery Girls and some dog magazine… From library sales I’ve acquired back issues of magazines as well like Shape, Self, Prevention, Weight Watchers, Health, etc.

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The main point of all of this is that I need some advice this year on what to choose. I’m looking for any suggestions on magazines that you’d think that I’d like. Whether they be food, fitness, fashion, whatever. Just leave your suggestion in the comments and I’d be really appreciative!

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Now onto my Week in Review and MIMM post to link-up with Healthy Diva Eats and Clean Eats Fast Feets. Let’s start listing, shall we?

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  • At school before I left for home on Friday I downloaded Part 1 of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire on audiobook.

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  • Unfortunately I didn’t get to listen to it much though because I was too busy trying not to crash while it rained like crazy. Eventually I had to pull over at an exit and wait for the storm to calm down a bit.

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  • When I finally got home I was a little wiped out and decided to not go with my parents to the away football game. Instead I stayed in and made a new recipe. Pumpkin Pie Bars!

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  • Saturday was spent just lazing around and hanging with Lilly.

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  • We also did some grocery shopping and bought some delicious squash.

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  • Later my dad rented Now You See Me from Redbox. It was just as good as I expected!

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  • Sunday morning I made another pumpkin recipe… Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Rolls.

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  • And promptly burnt my arm when removing the cookie sheet from the oven. Drat.

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  • Before I left for school again I also made some roasted chicken and vegetables. I had a bite of the squash from the vegetables, and some of the chicken de-skinned and it was so good!

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  • My parents were super nice and decided to drive part of the way back with me later that day. Surprise surprise though when it started to rain again. Hard. Like on Friday we had to pull over. My dad took the lead and my mom and I followed him in my car until we made it until the half way point where we go our separate ways. We stopped at Wal-Mart while there to get some new windshield wipers for my car.

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  • Thanks Dad for installing them for me!

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  • I didn’t get back at school until it was already dark so I didn’t have any time to write up this post last night and instead focused my efforts on Accounting and Astronomy.

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In other news, I only have a three day week thanks to a Fall Break at my school. One day down. Two more to go 😀

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Magazine recommendations please!

What did you make over the weekend?

Was there any ridiculous rain where you live too?

I Just Remembered… (MIMM + WIR)

I just remembered that I have about one bazillion plus one pictures that I haven’t shared on here from my summer and back-to-school antics. Among these are the rest of my weekend trip in Michigan with my family, some pictures from a recent shopping excursion with my mom and her friend, as well as just some random these-don’t-belong-anywhere-else photos that I have no where else to put.

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Notice that none of these lay mention to my dorm room. That time will come eventually. I just need to clear out my computers from my internship and that will give me a ton of extra space.

Right, about that… It turns out that my school requires a username/password to access their internet, and the phone that I run through the internet is not setup to require a password. Ergo, I can’t do the internship any longer.

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I have two main thoughts on this:

  1. Oh my gosh. Money!! I really needed that money. Like A LOT.**
  2. This will free up a lot of time for studying and just doing whatever I please. Already in the two weeks since school starts without taking any calls (what I did for my internship for those that don’t know) I haven’t once felt like I had too much time on my hands. I also never feel rushed. So maybe it really is for the better.

** So that’s just me being melodramatic. I have enough money to cover my school bills in my bank account as of right now, and it won’t kill me to take out a loan. I know that there are people out there with actual money concerns and mine are not even near as dramatic as theirs.

Overall I think I am also a lot less stressed without the addition of work, but that’s both good and bad. Yes, I don’t want to be OVER-stressed; however it was good practice for the real world outside of college and having that constant commitment kept me on my toes.

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I’m going to be taking back my computer and phone equipment in the next few weeks and hopefully get to chat and say goodbye to my intern coordinator. She was such a nice lady and always responded to all of my questions (which were quite numerous as you can imagine). This trip will also lend itself to a trip to Whole Foods and/or Trader Joes so if that happens there will definitely be more Pictorial Deposits in the near future 😉

That’s all in the future though. Let’s wrap up the past and get crack a’ lackin!

Week-In-Review-Button-FinalI’m linking up today with Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for MIMM and Meghan at Clean Eats Fast Feets for Week in Review.

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I took a lot of self portraits at work.

Obviously.

But instead of being obnoxious and posting one every day… I decided to bombard you with them all at once.

It’s proof that I did not wear a t-shirt/jeans/shorts every single day. My parents will be so proud (if they read my blog 😉 ).

It seems that I have an affinity for long sleeves, stripes and plaid. Hmm. Go figure- I actually have a “style.”

Before I get too retrospective and lose everyone’s respect let’s move on. After all, this blog is not about fashion!

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Now here is Part 2 of my weekend with my family up in Michigan this past summer (sorry in advance for the inordinate amount of photos).

After going to Greenfield Village at the beginning of the day, we took a short break recouping during lunch and messing around on our respective technological devices. Then my dad got it in his head that it would be fun to walk around a nearby college campus. You can just imagine my brother’s groans in protest and my mother’s dubious looks (I probably complained too but must have just blocked that part out… 😉 ). Upon explaining that the campus was well-known for looking like the grounds of HOGWARTS though we were all on board!

Instead of driving I pulled the directions up on Map Quest and suggested that we walk since it was only about a mile away.

Once we got closer I became increasingly more excited because it really DID look like Hogwarts.

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The weather was absolutely perfect!

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I felt like I was a student at Hogwarts… Just waiting for Harry Potter to walk around the corner.

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Way far in the distance you may be able to spot a person in a light-colored shirt. There were actually two kids getting there senior pictures taken that day on the campus grounds. I bet they turned out amazing!

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My mom.

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Thing #1

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Thing #2 (I’m guessing they were supposed to be monks?)

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Me in front of a “passageway.”

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Whomping Willow anyone?!

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There was a lot of construction going on while we were there, which I tried to avoid in all of my pictures because it just kind of ruined the mood.

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Madison Street!

I’d highly recommend for all of you Harry Potter fans out there to visit the campus whenever you’re in town. It didn’t take very long to walk around but I would love to go back there some time and have a picnic, take some more pictures, and if classes were in session maybe even take a look inside!

Alright…. Now let’s skip forward a few weeks to first of the September when I went shopping with my mom and her friend.

As I’ve mentioned before, coming from a small town we don’t have many specialty stores around to shop at. That limits the variety of things that we can buy as far as clothes, food, etc. More importantly, for my mom at least, it really puts a damper on the school supplies that she can buy for her classroom. We used to have a really great teacher store around us but that closed over five years ago so now we have to trek over an hour away to get to the nearest one.

Some may have found it boring, but growing up a teacher’s daughter I’ve gotten accustomed to teacher stores, quick trips into town for last-minute supplies, and helping with back-to-school crafts (<< one of my favorite parts aside from helping her grade tests!).

I know that there a few teachers that also blog out there, so this is for you all. I guess if you really like shopping/books/stickers you’ll like all of the pictures too… 😉

You Know You are in a Teacher Store When…

There are bulletin boards in the bathroom.

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There are aisles upon aisles of books.

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And stickers…

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I guess I should also specify that these stickers are AWESOME!

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Look closer… That’s right! Scratch and sniff. Stickers scented with the best foods known to man: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Pizza, Grape, Popcorn, Strawberry, Cola, Lemonade, Apple, Taco, Bubblegum and there was even MORE on the other side. Heaven.

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I even came across these. I think it’s safe to say though that our homemade versions were just as good and much cheaper 🙂

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Now to wrap up this post a little something to remember from a scientific genius who we have all learned from over the years:

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Well said Einstein. Well said.

I think I will take his advice and catch up on my fairy tales with Once Upon a Time this week to prepare for the new season. Who’s with me?

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Questions for you:

Have you ever gone anywhere that has reminded you of the set of a movie?

What scent would you want your scratch and sniff stickers to be? Cookie dough or cupcake. Duh.

What shows are you excited for this Fall? Or sad to see leave from the Summer? Excited for Once Upon a Time (but I’m WAY behind on my episodes…) and sad to see Rookie Blue end.

What I’ve Been Up To (MIMM)

Catchy title, no? A lot of blogging experts say that the best title is concise and straight to the point. You can’t get much more accurate than that.

Thanks to Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting the fun, weekly Marvelous in My Monday blog party where I am going to share what I’ve been up to for the past few days.

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The Iron Daughter

A modern fantasy novel about faeries, love, and adventure (sequel).

How Too Much Omega-6 and Not Enough Omega-3 is Making Us Sick

An interesting read for those health conscious individuals who consume nuts and oils on a daily basis.

The Honesty Dilemma

This post really made me stop and think about what it means to tell the truth.

I Never Got to Say

Alex wrote a really touching reflection post about how her friends helped her in the toughest of times.

I’m Not Lying

I think everyone needs to keep this in mind whether no matter the situation.

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The Glades

“Sunny with a chance of homicide.” What more do I need to say?

Rookie Blue

*Sigh* This is one of my favorite shows of all time. Andy + Sam forever.

Camp Rock 2

Sometimes you just need a movie that’s light and cuss-free. My brother and I watched this last night.

Goosebumps

I sat through maybe 5 minutes of this show before going to bed. I tried but I still am not a fan of the creep factor.

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Much less creepy. Apparently I fell asleep while watching it though and my brother said I was “out like a log” with my headphones still on.

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  • Going to a baseball game with my brother
  • Spending time with my family
  • Buying/watching a new movie
  • Seeing the local sights
  • Learning about history
  • (more about these later on in a recap!)

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A cinnamony, grain and dairy-free bread with vegan and nut-free substitution options.

(I’ll be sharing the recipe on Wednesday. It’s a good one 🙂 ).

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I want to know- What have you been…

  • Reading?
  • Watching?
  • Doing?
  • Making?