Tunnel People Book

Teun Voeten is an anthropologist and war photographer. He sent me this Tunnel People book which now has become one of my favorite books I have read in years!

Tunnel People

in the 90's New York City was a bit different than it is now. There were many "homeless" people living on the streets, and in the many tunnels of the subway and train system of NYC.

"Mole people (also called tunnel people or tunnel dwellers) are homeless people living under large cities in abandoned subwayrailroadfloodsewage tunnels, and heating shafts.[1][2] The term may also refer to the speculative fiction trope of an entirely subterranean society." - Wikipedia

About the Tunnel People book

Teun Voeten went to explore the tunnels of New York City and befriended a few of the many "tunnel people" living there. He actually ended up living with a few of them for a couple of months, and you can read about his experiences with the "tunnel people" in this book. The tunnel he explored was the Amtrak one running alongside the Hudson River. I love reading non-fiction, to learn about history and experiences of people. That's why this book was a perfect gift! What I also liked was the font and language Teun used, as it very easy-to-read. The book really gave me a good idea of how these people lived. I also love reading about the history of my hometown of New York City!

What I will remember after reading this book

Even though the people living in the tunnel were having a hard time, many of them made the tunnel their home and even built their own shelter spaces. They seemed to have kind of a daily rhythm and were trying to make some money usually by collecting empty bottles with a bottle deposit fee for recycling. This gave them purpose in life and many took it seriously. Also, they seemed to care to find something to enjoy each day. Whether it was a nice "home cooked" meal, or smoking illegal substances. The main characters really came to life.  Bernard, Bob, Ment, Frankie, Tony, Joe & Kathy to name a few formed in my head, and when I was halfway down the book I realized there were photographs in the book as well! It was interesting to see that what I had in my head really matched the people in the photographs.

What happend to the tunnel people

Interesting fact is that eventually Amtrak and the City helped the people out of the tunnel and closed off the tunnel. The reason was that Donald Trump (the current President of the United States of America) was going to develop new construction and a park there, and so the tunnel people had to go. That area has since really developed into a nice place. And while the tunnel people found a new place to live, they did seemed to long for their days in the tunnel.

READ MORE: Helping the homeless on cold days

About Teun Voeten

As I mentioned earlier in this review he contacted me through Twitter. I am very straightforward about different issues on Twitter and maybe he liked that. When he visited NYC recently, we met and we talked about these different topics. What is intriguing is that he travels the World to the most dangerous places to record what is going on. His bio is extensive! He received his doctoral degree in 2018 from the University of Leiden after his PhD research on the drug wars of Mexico. Right now he is focused on mapping global trends in drugs, and especially drug-related crime in Antwerp, Belgium.

Get the book

if you want to read an easy-to-read true story which gives a good idea about life on the streets of NYC in the 90's, this is the book for you:

If you know of other great true story books, please send them to me!

Love, Lonneke


Green to Gold book

I love reading Green Entrepreneur business books! Here is another one I recommend: "Green to Gold: How Smart Companies use environmental strategy to innovate, create value, and build competitive advantage", written by Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston.


Green to gold book

Going from Green to Gold

"Going Green" has been big business this past decade, it is nice to read this book Green to Gold, for which the authors, who are experts from Yale, have done extensive research within the industry, and had an opportunity to get access to a lot of companies. First published in 2009, Green to Gold shows what companies have made mistakes, and did or did not fix it, and what companies  take Green to a next level. (there probably have been changes made by these companies since then, but that doesn't mean you can't take the tips and tricks for your business from it, and also see where you can go wrong, and make sure you don't) It is the perfect guide for the Green entrepreneur, and if you want to make your business more eco-friendly. By finding your "eco-advantage" as they call it, you not only make your business greener but can also make it more profitable. How big or small your  company is, it does not matter, Green to Gold has many tips to make your business Greener & Better!

The book itself

The book is also printed on acid-free post-consumer recycled paper with soy ink.

Get more information or order the book by clicking on the picture below:

Love, Lonneke

 First published on November 11th 2013, updated in 2019

Avocado on bread

More Bread Please.. or not?

I  love to get fresh baked, organic bread.  Eating it with some fresh organic butter, yum! Many people say it is not so good for your body ( think bloating, gaining weight etc.), and some say it is especially a bad idea when you suffer from an autoimmune disease like Celiac disease or Hashimoto's disease. Scientists think people who have an autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto's disease like I have, have a body that sees gluten as an foreign invader and want to fight it, but accidentally mistake thyroid cells for gluten therefore also attacking the thyroid, oops! But I LOVE bread! How can I live without bread? Is that even possible? It is! I have been gluten-free and eating no bread for almost 10 months now on the AutoImmune Protocol diet, and it is hard, but my bloodwork does come back better with 35% less inflammation if I strictly stick to this AIP Diet. But I still crave bread every day. I think I always will have a bread addiction, even if I don't eat it. Let's explore my love of bread a little more!

Different kinds of bread that I love

The famous Italian ciabatta, the French baguette, the multi-grain breads that you can find in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden to name a few countries with great heave multi-grain breads. Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods in the world. Nothing gives a house a nicer smell in my opinion, than a loaf of fresh baked bread.

Lonneke at a farmers market looking at organic bre
Lonneke at a farmers market looking at organic bread

A few fun facts on bread

  • *Bread is usually made with simple ingredients, love & attention. You only need (wheat) flour, water, yeast and salt to make the bread. An oven to bake it, and some time to spend to make it. Bread is usually eaten the day it is baked.
  • *You know the French bread goes stale pretty quickly, as they are not allowed by law to use preservatives. That's why some French people buy fresh bread twice, in morning, and afternoon for dinner time (imagine the image of a French person on a bike with baguettes in the front basket or on the back of the bike under the carrier straps) You can revive stale baguettes by spraying it lightly with cold water, wrap it in a towel, and then put in a preheated oven on 350F for 5 minutes. You can also use stale baguettes by chopping it, spraying it with olive oil, and putting it in a preheated oven on 350F until the pieces get a brown color and become crunchy. Great addition for soups or salads. Talking about recycling!
  • French toast, a worldwide favorite sweet dish, is made with leftover bread slices. (another great way to recycle bread) Dipped in a mixture of lightly beaten eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon and then baked in a bit of butter. In my home country it is called "Wentelteefjes". Adding a bit of maple syrup, agave syrup or anything else sweet you like, it is a great Sunday Morning breakfast. There are so many different varieties in the world!.

    French Toast
    French toast
  • Another great thing is bread machines, if you are not that great of a baker. You can add all the ingredients and after about 4 hours you have fresh baked bread. There is a timer so you can time it. You can wake up in the morning with a great smelling house and warm bread! I can also add flaxseeds, raisins, cinnamon, nuts. Or olives, dried tomatoes for savory bread. The shape is not really like what you are used to for a loaf of bread, but it does taste good!

Abigail O'Neill shared a great recipe to make your own sourdough bread.

Avocado toast is my favorite

Check out this earlier article I wrote about Avocado Toast

Avocado on bread by Cafe Gitane
The famous Cafe Gitane avocado toast!

Going gluten-free

I was very sad when I found out I should not eat gluten anymore. I now only look and sniff at organic breads at farmers markets and bakeries. But luckily, more bakeries bake gluten-free bread, which is a great idea! You can also bake it at home, and I will go into gluten-free baking more on organiceyourlife.com in the future.

Le Pain Quotidien has their own loaf of bread made of seeds and gluten-free grains.

In Memory of Bread

To get over my mourning over bread, I read this great book called "In Memory of Bread" by a guy who was just like me obsessed with bread (and he was also obsessed with beer) until he found out that was exactly what was making him sick. (He suffers from a serious wheat allergy). His book shows him mourning over the loss of bread, his memories of eating freshly baked bread, brewing beer and his road back to health. While sharing reasons why he got to suffer from a serious wheat allergy, he is also finding solace in his gluten-free food future.

book in Memory of Bread by Paul Graham
Book in Memory of Bread by Paul Graham

I will always love bread, and if you can still eat it, please enjoy it as much as I always did!

Love, Lonneke


Put Your Life on a Diet by Gregory Johnson


Put your Life on a Diet by gregory Johnson
Put your Life on a Diet by gregory Johnson

If you want to know what living in 140 square feet is like, read this book!

I read it, and I found that the writer, Gregory Johnson, has a lot of the same ideas as we have at Organice Your Life®, on living an organized life. So that's why I would totally recommend this book! (it is not expensive to buy!)

The Story of Put Your Life on a Diet

Gregory was overweight, unhappy and not in the right place in his life. He started to detox his life and started living in a super small house of 140 square feet. He showers at the gym and only has the basic necessary things in his home (which turns out that you don't need that much really). Now he became more active, lost weight, and feels happier!

He believes that most people just work to be able to pay for their living expenses. They want to live in a big house that comes with costs, not because they really need it, but they want the space and the status. If you live in a smaller house, you have less expenses, less things to take care of, and then either you have more money in the end or you can work less, and then you have more time to spend with loved ones and friends....

It is an inspiring and interesting story. I wouldn't recommend living in 140 square feet, but Gregory does have a point, and you can learn a lot from his journey in finding out what works best for him!

About the author

"Gregory Paul Johnson is the founder and Director of Resources for Life, an outreach and public interest organization based in Iowa City, Iowa. His study of Urban and Regional Planning with the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) included travel to several South American countries including Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Today, as a technology consultant, Gregory works for the University of Iowa as well as clients served by his consulting firm, the Technology Services Resource Group."


Gregory Johnson and fiancee Makur Jain in front of their house

Gregory Johnson and fiancee Makur Jain in front of their house If you want more information on his house, click here. It is actually a really cute house and looks like it comes out of a fairy tale.

To Order Click here -->Put Your Life on a Diet by Gregory Johnson

Love, Lonneke 

First published on January 29th 2013, updated in 2020

Photos by Gregory Johnson

Abigail O'Neill's Model Chocolate book

5 recipes for chocolate lovers

Who doesn't love chocolate? Lonneke Engel and her fellow contributors shared their love of chocolate with you in these 5 recipes for chocolate lovers. 

First of all, did you know that Organice Your Life® contributor Abigail O'Neill even came out with a recipe book all about (raw) chocolate called "MODEL CHOCOLATE" ?

Model Chocolate

Whether it is Valentine's Day or not, here are 5 recipes for chocolate lovers you must try to make for the ones you love. (or just all for yourself!).

1. Chocolate Eco Block by Abigail O'Neill

Abigail O'Neill made this delicious piece of chocolate that should be a staple in your household!

Chocolate Eco Block recipe by Abigail O'Neill.

abi's chocolateee

2. Vegan black bean brownies by Lonneke Engel

This bean based vegan black bean brownie is delicious and a great snack for when you crave chocolate, or when you are just hungry! You might not even realize there are beans in it!

Vegan Black Bean Brownies recipe by Lonneke Engel


3. Healthy Brigadeiro by Carolina Fontaneti

Brazilian beauty Carolina Fontaneti tried to make a healthier version of the famous Brazilian Brigadeiros. Delicious!

Healthy Brigadeiro recipe by Carolina Fontaneti.


4. Raw chocolate fondue by Abigail O'Neill

Many people like any ingredient just better if there is a layer of chocolate melted on top of it. Abigail O'Neill gives some tips to maken amazing chocolate fondue!

Raw Chocolate Fondue recipe by Abigail O'Neill

Model Chocolate Raw Chocolate Fondue

5. Frosty Fruity Chocolate by Abigail O'Neill

Another favorite by Model Chocolate Author Abigail O'Neill: Yummy fruits mixed with chocolate are always a good idea!

Frosty Fruity Chocolate recipe by Abigail O'Neill

Frosty Fruity Chocolate


Team Organice Your Life®

Skinny Bitch book

 I love good books that are easy reads! Here is another one:

Skinny Bitch book

Years ago, I mean like 10 years or so, I came across this book Skinny Bitch. It is a very fun and easy-to-read book. Skinny Bitch tells you why it is better to eat a mostly vegan diet, and be hip and hot at the same time too! The authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin cut to the chase, and tell you like it is. But they are sometimes so funny too! The Skinny Bitch Series also got cookbooks and more. So If you really want to know the truth about how some of your (fast) food is made, please take time to read this easy book. Also try out the other books in this series: Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, Skinny Bitch: A Bun in the Oven and more!


Lonneke bookshelf

A part of my bookshelf with books on healthy food and living and if you look closely: Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

Love, Lonneke

Bill Jensen: The Simplicity Survival Handbook

We love good books that can help us "organice" our lives! Here is another good one:

The Simplicity survival handbook by Bill Jensen is about how you should manage your time at work, and help you be more productive.

The main idea? DO LESS! A few insights we got from the Simplicity Survival Handbook:

  • Filter all the stuff you receive through your phone and email and try to perfect the art of work not done.
  • Of 325 pages of info, only 5 you NEED!
  • Ask yourself what is in it for me?
  • Prevent information overload.
  • Every 550 days mails, texts and messages DOUBLES!
  • Pay attention during meetings! (don't check phone and mails)
  • 2 to 4 hours a day are wasted on communication.
  • This also about respect: Treat your colleges like you would want to be treated!
  • Find the guts to make changes!
  • There are only 1440 minutes a day! You don't get any more.

Interesting right?  [button color="green"]BUY THE BOOK[/button]

simplicity survival hand book