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Friday, October 20, 2017

Live…Laugh...Love...Learn—finding your own “om”


De-stressing is hard for many of us to achieve. It is one of the cornerstones to living a healthy lifestyle. It is as equally important as eating right, building in exercise, getting the required sleep we need, and drinking enough water. Learning how to take our lives down a notch and unwind, at strategic times of the day, can actually add years to our lives. So how do we do it?


Many people we admire from celebrities to doctors espouse the benefits of yoga. Research shows us that those who make time to practice yoga improve their mood, lower their blood pressure, sleep better and are more likely to succeed in their weight loss/management. My middle son was the living proof I needed that yoga really does make a difference. In high school my son broke his pelvis because his bones were growing faster than his muscles could keep up (he is now 6ft 8in). When this happened our pediatrician asked him if he planned on playing sports again. Of course! He absolutely planned on playing ice hockey, running track, climbing mountains and joining the rugby team…you name it. Well the doctor then said if he did plan on continuing with sports he was going to have to incorporate yoga into his life to keep his muscles stretched and his core strong in order to avoid recurring problems. My son did learn and practice yoga throughout high school. He chose Bikram yoga because it required a special kind of endurance since you practice in a room that is kept extremely hot. In his mind it qualified as an extreme sport. It worked for him both physically and mentally. He was our most centered kid growing up. And he still practices today, finding Bikram yoga studios wherever he lives and travels.

It may be hard to go to a yoga class regularly but there are elements of yoga we can easily incorporate into out daily lives. One element we can easily practice as a discrete activity is stretching. Stretching our legs, calves, thighs, tendons, arms, neck and shoulders can be done at the beginning and end of the day as well as through out the day when we need a brief break. It can take as a little as a minute to do and can make you suddenly feel so much better.

Another element to practice is breathing. Taking deep breathes and then letting them out completely is incredibly effective for de-stressing. It can be done at any time and in any place, including meetings and when talking on the phone. It is something that is not distracting to do so it can be done anywhere and can help you in any situation. My favorite place to deep breath is in the car when driving from one meeting to another or to my workouts or grocery store. It is a great “unwinder” at the end of the day when I am headed home.


Then there is the benefit of mindfulness. Being present while doing yoga or any repetitive activity can help you let go of what is worrying you and help you focus on what you can control…like the steps you take, the breathing you are performing and the awareness of your environment that keeps you alert to all that surrounds you. It hones your skill to stay focused as well. I enjoy mindfulness mediation when I take my walks, which I wrote about in a previous blog.

My favorite recent practice is finding my own “Om” that I can use and repeat when I am having trouble letting go of negative thoughts or situations. Like many, I have memories and worries that keep replaying in my mind…over and over again. These become recurring loops that are a vicious cycle I have a hard time stopping and replacing with peaceful or at least constructive thoughts. The classic Om is a unique sound that you discover and is specific to you. It is a sound that you keep and use just for yourself when practicing yoga. The Om I use and now share is more about words that help us think better thoughts and shake the negative loops we find ourselves caught in. It too can be used at any time of day in any place since no sounds need be uttered or particular pose taken. I find it especially useful at night when I am trying to get to bed. When nothing else seems to work, I start repeating my Om. It does indeed help me break the negative loop and allows my mind to empty of the bad gunk to then fill with my good words and their positive meaning. What I repeat over and over again as my simple Om is: Live.Laugh.Love.Learn…it reminds me of what I hold dear, how I want to embrace the good parts of my life and what will help me achieve my goals. Really? All that with just 4 words? Yep, all that with my very own Om. Try it out and see how it fits and how it morphs to become your very own healthy lifestyle Om.


Yoga is both a spiritual and physical discipline that can help us in our daily lives. Elements of its practice can be used to help us manage the stress in our lives and add to our enjoyment of life. We lead complicated lives with plenty of challenges. Learning to leverage the good to help manage the not-so-good parts is incredibly important for the quality of our lives. For me it is all about remembering to live, laugh, love and learn. What is it all about for you?


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle--Owning A Yoga Mat

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Friday, October 13, 2017

In Honor of World Egg Day: Egg Salad with Lox

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The good news is that research has recently come out in praise of the egg! It is no longer considered the "deviled" egg when it comes to cholestrol. Additonally, eggs, as well as salmon, are cited as foods that keep you full longer and great to incorporate into a healthy diet. As we look for ways to eat healthier, combat diseases like breast cancer (yes, eggs have choline which reduces breast cancer risk!), and stay fit longer, let's take this day to celebrate the egg with a new recipe!

There are so many ways to create a tasty egg salad. There is no one way to prepare it. I am always open to new ways to make egg salad so when my husband challenged me to make it with lox I licked my lips and got to work with a new recipe. I took as my inspiration our long standing smoked salmon extravaganza we enjoy each New Year’s Day. We always receive a special package of smoked salmon for Christmas and then save it to ring in the New Year. We serve it up just like when fancy caviar is served in a 4 star restaurant. We use the whites and yolk from a hard-boiled egg, capers, onion and sour cream (now nonfat Greek yogurt). We serve it on top of party-sized cocktail pumpernickel or water crackers. It seemed a delicious idea to mix all those ingredients together for an egg salad recipe. It was a hit!

This is a celebratory way to prepare egg salad. It makes for a perfect, easy to prepare, brunch food or special occasion dish...like World Egg Day! To make it effortless to serve and in its most healthy version, prepare the servings ahead of time on a tray by filling leaves of Bibb lettuce and endive with either a ½ cup of egg salad or an ⅛ cup, respectively. It looks beautiful and makes it simple to serve.

Below is a new party-worthy recipe for egg salad that is rich, complex in flavors and makes you think of your favorite moments when eating bagels, lox and cream cheese yet with none of the unhealthy consequences.



Egg Salad with Lox

Ingredients:
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 ounce smoked salmon
1 tablespoon sweet onion, grated
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon capers
¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt, plain
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
½ summer savory (optional)

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Stir until blended.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serves: 4. Calories per serving: 156.

Tips:
For no fuss peeling of your hard boiled eggs check out this blog
For another healthy and classic egg salad recipe, go to this Livliga Live Vibrant blog
For easy measuring for this recipe and others try our LivSpoons

There are so many ways to create a tasty egg salad.
Try out Livliga's Summery Egg Salad, on the left, as well as our Egg Salad with Lox.



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Monday, October 9, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle--Lots of Kitchen Gadgets


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Friday, October 6, 2017

Ten Tips for Quick and Easy Diabetes-friendly Goal Rewards

Ten Tips for Quick and Easy Diabetes-friendly goal rewards-- 


When we live with diabetes, we really never get a day off. The responsibility to take care of our selves is always there 24/7. How do we keep motivated? One way is to reward ourselves as we reach milestones or to help us feel better on a tough day. We all need ways to help give us a “feel good” and “pick me up” when we have been working hard to improve and manage our healthy lifestyle goals. Some days we need a reward to acknowledge how well we have done. On other days we need to treat ourselves “just because”. Below are ten tips for goal rewards that can help us all along our healthy lifestyle journey. The key is to avoid food fixes.

Easy Tips for Rewards with Some Planning Needed

  1. Try a fun exercise class like Zumba or pound fitness
  2. Plan a night out with friends and build in a fun activity like square dancing
  3. Go on a walk in the park and take photos of the flowers you see that you can then look at on your phone as a de-stressor break at work or when you need to be reminded of the beauty there is in the world and the lovely walk you took…and can take again!
  4. Give yourself a mani/pedi (men this includes you too!) at home or make an appointment at your local nail salon
  5. Sign up for a healthy cooking class with a friend or significant other to learn new ways of cooking and meet others who also enjoy cooking…then make sure to have a set of LivSpoons in your kitchen for easy measuring and serving!
  6. Plan a weekend getaway 
  7. Curl up and watch a movie of your choosing
  8. Be bold and get a new hairstyle
  9. Splurge on a new pair of work out shoes
  10. Get a henna tattoo to celebrate a milestone

Quick Fix Reward Tips

  1. Put headphones on and spend 5 minutes listening to music that can improve your mood.
  2. Take a break. Get outside and take a 10-minute walk. Invite a colleague or friend to join you for a fun way to check in and catch up
  3. Stand up and stretch. Make sure to not only stretch your legs, neck and arms but also your smile muscles!
  4. Check out adorable pet photos on Instagram that are trending
  5. Meditate by emptying your mind and replacing negative thoughts with a favorite memory and deep breathing
  6. Enjoy a chat with your favorite person
  7. Make time to play with your pet…or a pet you know…or go visit an animal shelter
  8. Take a long luxurious bath with aromatic bath salts
  9. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers and place them where you will enjoy them most
  10. Fix a cup of green tea and savor every sip

There is always time we can make for ourselves to help us celebrate a milestone or feel better about our day. Just like with a fire drill, it is good to have our list ready so when we want to plan a reward or need that quick fix we have just the right idea at hand. That way we don’t give into our old not-so-good-for-us habits and reach for those brownies or that bottle of coke. Time for healthy lifestyle rewards that give us pleasure and sustain us, positively.

Enjoy, and Live Vibrant!


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Monday, October 2, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle-- Bookshelf Full of Healthy Cookbooks

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Healthy Living is a Family Affair


There are so many pressures in the world we live with today, which cause us to ignore or even eliminate the very behaviors that will help us and our families live a healthy, happier life. We don’t sit down for meals. When we eat we tend to do it in front of the TV or on the run in the car, not really paying attention to what we eat. When we do eat off a plate, it is a very large plate, and with no rim. Then we are so busy with work, children’s activities and the other action items on our to do list, we feel we don’t have time to add in exercise so instead we sit at our desk, sit watching our children in their activities or sit down for a little relaxation in front of the TV or on the weekends we may have some time to be with others to sit and have a meal or a few drinks at the bar. We even build in inactivity to our schedule as the fun in our lives. Compounding our lifestyle challenges is our lack of sleep. It is hard for any of us to go to bed early enough and get the 7-8 hours of sleep our bodies really need.

As parents, we have a tremendous influence on our children’s lives. Not only are we affecting our lives with the way we eat, our inactivity, and lack of sleep, but we are also role modeling these behaviors to our children. In order for our children to live a healthy lifestyle, we have to work to live a healthy lifestyle ourselves. They won’t be able to adopt healthier habits if we don’t help them not only by modeling these healthy behaviors but also by creating the necessary environment for our children to thrive and be healthy.

There are more and more studies that show the benefits of parents being involved in their children’s health and weight management, particularly when their child is challenged with obesity. The rate of successful outcomes dramatically increases when parent’s become involved in their child’s weight management program. It is not just a matter of children mirroring their parents’ healthy lifestyle behaviors, it is also about them having their parent’s support in making the long term changes they need in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. They are dependents, needing us to ensure they have the best possible environment to grow up healthy and happy. The truth is it does take a village to help raise healthy children.


The good news is that everybody wins when we talk about embracing a healthy lifestyle. It improves everyone’s quality of life. And the resources available to help us, and our children, have grown substantially. There are lifestyle programs, exercise choices and downright fun activities available through schools, local community centers, YWCAs, children’s hospitals and other nonprofits. It is super helpful to find a group that will support you and your children in the healthy habits you have chosen to integrate into your life and how you live everyday long term. It is hard enough as it is to make better choices to improve your health when it seems the rest of the world is not yet helping you get there… so finding others who get it, who are practicing those healthy habits AND want to support you in doing the same is essential for everyone’s ongoing success.



PLEASE MAKE NOTE: During September, all month long, as part of raising awareness for National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Livliga is offering our Kidliga children’s dishware at a significant savings ($29.99 instead of $59.95/includes our award winning book) AND each time you buy a set of Kidliga we are donating a set to a child participating in a healthy lifestyle and nutrition program including initiatives at the Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition in Missouri and The Children’s Hospital Colorado Weight Management program. This way each time you buy you are doubling the number of kids you are helping live a healthy life.


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