Just Right Set™ Bariatric Launch

Just Right Set™ Bariatric Launch
NEW! Just Right Set™ bariatric

Friday, July 21, 2017

Oprah’s “Maya’s Smothered Chicken” with a Livliga Twist!

An Update Oprah Recipe with a Livliga Twist!

 It has been a fun journey to read from and discover recipes in Oprah’s first cookbook Food, Health and Happiness. It is an interesting insight into her life, loves and life long weight challenges. I relate. Most of us do. 

What surprised me about some of her recipes was how caloric they were and how much fat, flour and overall carbs there were in them. For a general cookbook I would totally get it but for one that is specifically tailored to the Weight Watchers community, I was a little more than surprised. Additionally, with so many people experiencing specialized diets like gluten free, dairy free, low carb, vegetarian, Paleo or Whole30, I thought there might be more sensitivity towards them in her range of recipes. This insight into her recipes gave me a challenge. I decided to pick a few and see how I might be able to stay true to the flavor, texture, smell and overall yumminess while making them more relevant to people’s needs today. My Oprah recipe updates focus on being Calorie Sensitive, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Whole30 and Paleo compliant, mainly Dairy Free and as Easy as possible to make. Below is one such offering—

Oprah’s “Maya’s Smothered Chicken” with a Livliga Twist

8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
2 lemons, juiced
¼ cup clarified butter
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup almond flour (not meal)
2 medium onions, sliced and rings separated
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 ¼ cups chicken stock, low sodium and with no added sugar (i.e., Imagine)
¼ cup arrowroot flour

1.     Wash chicken and place it in a sealable bag with the lemon juice and enough water to coat. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, turning every couple of minutes. Can be marinated longer in the refrigerator, up to an hour.
2.     Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Season with Salt and Pepper.
3.     In shallow bowl place the almond flour and dredge chicken, coating lightly.
4.     Place coated chicken in hot skillet with the heated butter and oil. Use a skillet that can hold all eight thighs.
5.     Cook chicken until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate or platter.
6.     Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms to the liquid left in the skillet. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes until onions are softened and translucent. Stir constantly scraping loose anything that starts to stick on the sides or bottom. When it seems too dry in the pan add up to a ¼ cup of chicken stock to avoid any burning.
7.     Return chicken to the pan and add the remainder of the chicken stock. Bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 25 – 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
8.     Remove the skillet from the oven. Add the arrowroot  roux (see Tip) and whisk into the mixture to thickened the liquid and make it more gravy like. Serve up hot. Eat mindfully.

 Serves: 8. Serving size: 1 chicken thigh with ½ cup vegetables with sauce. Calories: 348 (calories for Oprah’s original recipe: 536—that’s 188 calorie improvement!).

Make it a meal:
Serve over ½ cup roasted cauliflower“rice” crumbles (35 calories) and as your vegetable, serve up 1 cup steamed green beans with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (31 calories). Total calories for the meal: 414 (making it a meal is still less calories than Oprah’s original recipe AND more visually appealing!).

Make sure to only add the arrowroot flour to the liquid in the skillet at the very end when you are ready to serve up. Add some juice from the pan, about ¼ cup, to a small bowl, carefully adding the arrowroot and whisk until blended, then add it to the skillet to avoid clumps.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle--Your Very Own Kayak


Friday, July 14, 2017

What is this “Whole30” thing?

whole 30 program
I don’t know about you but more and more of my friends have been talking about the “Whole30.” When it started showing up on my Facebook feed I thought it was time to find out what this conversation is all about. The first thing I learned is that people call it a variety of terms like “program”, “lifestyle” and “diet.” Here is the definition on the Whole30 website:

The Whole30 is a 30-day diet that emphasizes whole foods and during which participants eliminate sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy from their diets.

It is a way of eating that was co-created by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig. A really healthy way of eating. It takes us back to whole foods, hence the “whole” in Whole30. What I find most interesting about this diet is that, unlike any other diet I have seen, it eliminates grains and legumes. I totally get removing highly processed and highly refined foods from our diets but I have not seen a diet that eliminates whole grains and legumes. Admittedly they are made up of carbohydrates too but unlike refined sugars that are simple carbohydrates, grains and legumes are complex carbohydrates so they take more energy to break down giving us longer lasting energy.

In researching Whole30 I found there is much controversy about this program. There are those that condemn the diet as being restrictive and misleading regarding whole grains and legumes. Then there are those who wholeheartedly support the diet emphasizing that grains and legumes are hard to digest and therefore too hard on our bodies to eat. From my point of view I do not see the harm in eliminating grains and legumes for 30 days, particularly with the goal of rerouting the brain to not be triggered by too many sugars/carbohydrates in our bodies, which has now become an addiction. On the other hand vilifying grains and legumes doesn’t make sense to me. They are a healthy source of carbohydrates and provide much needed vitamins and minerals not always found in other food. It is not logical to me to lump these in along with the gluten free issue. In what I read it seems people are confusing the two or at least combining them. They are not at all the same and the conversation needs to separate them.

What is wonderful about this diet is that it is all about eating fresh, whole foods low in carbohydrates. In looking over the menus and recipes provided by FREE downloads made available through Whole30, they also combine interesting ingredients and spices so the meals are tasty and visually appealing. Livliga believes strongly that it is important to have delicious foods served in an attractive manner to make meals filling and fully satisfying. Unlike this diet, however, we do believe you should always be mindful of the amounts you are eating.

When you look at other sources for recipe inspiration it is actually easy to find Whole30 compliant ones. I went through many of my recipes on my blog and found many of my own recipes that where already Whole30 easy. The main thing to remember is to eliminate legumes, grains and soy but also anything with peanuts or dairy. Rule exceptions include eggs, clarified butter, which are considered in the dairy category, as well as Green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas, that would normally be considered legumes. It is easy to substitute with Whole30 approved foods in just about any recipe you like so it is not as limiting as you might think.

From my admittedly focused view as someone well aware of the triggers and addictive nature of carbs…this program is really all about the limiting of carb intake. I see this as a good thing. In the culture and times we live in, we need all the help we can get to restructure our diet and overcome our sugar addiction.

Need some right-sized dishware to complement your new healthy lifestyle? Discover Livliga!

right-sized dishwater

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle--Convertible in the Garage


Friday, July 7, 2017

Ten Quick Tips for Bariatric Friendly Mindful Eating

bariatric friendly recipes

The key to mindful eating is being fully present when you eat. It is about eating with intention and attention. This allows you to be aware of your food environment and the food you are eating. Being mindful also creates a positive space for you to eat right-sized healthy foods, enjoy the process, and feel satisfied at the end of the meal.

Since we have spent most of our lives grazing when we eat, not paying attention to what we eat or the amounts we eat, it is a journey to become fully mindful and present when we eat. This is particularly true in the bariatric community. Thinking ahead about how to support ourselves in making a manageable space for being mindful when we eat helps us prepare to be present.

mindful eating recipes

  Below are Ten Quick Tips for Bariatric Friendly Mindful Eating:
  1.  Right size your food environment, starting with your dishes 
  2.  Eliminate any distractions at mealtime—turn off the TV
  3. Make time for your meal, don’t rush it, slow down and enjoy
  4. Sit down to eat
  5. Create an attractive environment to eat that makes your feel good as you eat. Feast your eyes as well as your stomach
  6. Chew slowly to allow you to savor the flavors
  7. Put your cutlery down between bites to help you slow down and appreciate your meal
  8. Plan out when you eat and what you eat for each day. Think about making your meals colorful and interesting. Vary your menus. 
  9. Measure your food. Busy week? Prepare your recipes and pre-measure multiple meals. This helps you become effortlessly mindful
  10. At the end of the meal take a moment to be aware of how you feel both physically and emotionally. Become aware of what it feels like to feel full and satisfied.

mindful eating

There are many benefits to becoming mindful. First and foremost it helps us succeed long term in living a healthy lifestyle. It assists us in changing our relationship with food. Other benefits for the bariatric community are:

    •    Knowing when you are full sooner
    •    Feeling satisfied with less food
    •    Reduces chances of over-eating
    •    Improved digestion


Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle--A Grill


Friday, June 30, 2017

Summery Egg Salad

Summery egg salad recipe

There are so many ways to create a tasty egg salad. There is no one way to prepare it. This makes it a very versatile dish that can be eaten any time of year and for whatever mood you are in. And now that we know eggs are no longer “bad” for us, creating a meal with eggs can not only be easy but also economical. I also love that it can be prepared ahead of time and pulled out of the refrigerator when you don’t feel like cooking, when you need a meal that accommodates a flexible schedule, and that makes for a quick clean up.

Egg salad can be eaten with crackers, as a sandwich with alfalfa sprouts and avocado or on a bed of lettuce. One of my favorite ways to eat egg salad is to slice a tomato in 6ths, from top to bottom, without cutting all the way through the base, so the tomato opens like a flower. Then I put my ½ cup of egg salad in the middle, surround it with baby spinach and sprinkle the top with a pinch of paprika. It looks so appealing and takes no time at all to prepare.  It makes for a very satisfying meal both visually and physically.

Below is a new recipe that is bright, light and feels like summer.

summery egg salad

Summery Egg Salad

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup celery, finely chopped
cup nonfat Greek yogurt, plain
cup light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
teaspoon ground pepper
½ fresh dill, coarsely chopped

1.     Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
2.     Stir until blended.
3.     Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serves: 4. Calories per serving:153.

·      For easy peeling of your hard boiled eggs check out this blog on the Negg
·      For another healthy and classic egg salad recipe go to this blog of mine