It's possible to trade profitably on the Forex, the nearly $2 trillion worldwide currency exchange market. But the odds are against you, even more so if you don't prepare and plan your trades. According to a 2014 Bloomberg report, several analyses of retail Forex trading, including one by the National Futures Association (NFA), the industry's regulatory body, concluded that more than two out of three Forex traders lose money. This suggests that self-education and caution are recommended. Here are some approaches that may improve your odds of taking a profit. Prepare Before You Begin Trading Because the Forex market is highly leveraged -- as much as 50 to 1 -- it can have the same appeal as buying a lottery ticket: some small chance of making a killing. This, however, isn't trading; it's gambling, with the odds long against you. A better way of entering the Forex market is to carefully prepare. Beginning with a practice account is helpful and risk-free. While you're trading in your practice account, read the most frequently recommended Forex trading books, among them Currency Forecasting: A Guide to Fundamental and Technical Models of Exchange Rate Determination, by Michael R. Rosenberg is short, not too sweet and highly admired introduction to the Forex market. Forex Strategies: Best Forex Strategies for High Profits and Reduced Risk, by Matthew Maybury is an excellent introduction to Forex trading. The Little Book of Currency Trading: How to Make Big Profits in the World of Forex, by Kathy Lien is another concise introduction that has stood the test of time. All three are available on Amazon. Rosenberg's book, unfortunately, is pricey, but it's widely available in public libraries. "Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude," by Mark Douglas is another good book that's available on Amazon, and, again, somewhat pricey, although the Kindle edition is not. Use the information gained from your reading to plan your trades before plunging in. The more you change your plan, the more you end up in trouble and the less likely that elusive forex profit will end up in your pocket. Diversify and Limit Your Risks Two strategies that belong in every trader's arsenal are: Diversification: Traders who execute many small traders, particularly in different markets where the correlation between markets is low, have a better chance of making a profit. Putting all your money in one big trade is always a bad idea. Familiarize yourself with ways guaranteeing a profit on an already profitable order, such as a trailing stop, and of limiting losses using stop and limit orders. These strategies and more are covered in the recommended books. Novice traders often make the mistake of concentrating on how to win; it's even more important to understand how to limit your losses. Be Patient Forex traders, particularly beginners, are prone to getting nervous if a trade does not go their way immediately, or if the trade goes into a little profit they get itchy to pull the plug and walk away with a small profit that could have been a significant profit with little downside risk using appropriate risk reduction strategies. In "On Any Given Sunday," Al Pacino reminds us that "football is a game of inches." That's a winning attitude in the Forex market as well. Remember that you are going to win some trades and lose others. Take satisfaction in the accumulation of a few more wins than losses. Over time, that could make you rich!

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY MUFFINS (VEGAN + GF)

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY MUFFINS (VEGAN + GF)
AMAZING PB&J Muffins that are tender on the inside and so flavorful. Just 1 bowl required, naturally sweetened, and entirely vegan and gluten free!
Ingredients
  • 2 batches flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp water as original recipe is written)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or sub cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, grape seed oil or olive oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup salted creamy or crunchy peanut butter (+ more for topping)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or water
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend* (if not gluten-free, sub whole-wheat pastry or unbleached all-purpose)
  • 8-9 tsp strawberry jam (look for naturally sweetened to keep these refined sugar-free)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (196 C) and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners, or lightly grease and flour (with GF flour) and shake out excess (which I found to work well!).
  2. Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for a few minutes.
  3. Add maple syrup, coconut sugar, oil and whisk vigorously to combine and dissolve sugar crystals.
  4. Add applesauce, peanut butter, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and apple cider vinegar and whisk to combine.
  5. Add almond milk and whisk again to combine.
  6. Lastly, add gluten free flour, almond meal, and oats and whisk or stir until just combined. The batter should be quite thick but NOT pourable – rather, scoopable.
  7. Pour batter into muffin tins a generous 3/4 full and top with 3/4 tsp strawberry jam and 1/4 tsp more peanut butter. Swirl with a toothpick to distribute (see photo), being careful not to get the jam too close to the edges or it can seep over while baking and get too browned.
  8. Bake on a center-positioned rack for 26-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (be sure to poke a spot that isn’t too jam heavy or you can get a little residual moisture).
  9. Let cool for 20 minutes in the pan (to continue baking/firming up a little), then loosen with a butter knife and gently lift out, using the knife to help if needed, to let cool completely on a plate. Can be a little tender before completely cooled, so be patient my young ones!
  10. Will keep covered at room temperature for several days. Freeze for long-term storage.
Notes
*I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF Baking Blend, but you could also use my go-to gluten-free mix or another blend with varied results.
*I think adding a crumble top to these would be fun! Find the crumble recipe here and swap the flour for gluten-free, as well as the cane for coconut, brown or muscovado! Both coconut oil and vegan butter will work fine.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated using coconut oil and almond milk.

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