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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dry Rubs--Great for Summertime Grilling


I grew up in Kansas City. It is the home of great barbecue...the best by some standards. It is all about the sauce. I never even knew there was such a thing as "dry rub" until we took our kids on a Spring-break to Memphis, Tennessee. We went to a well know barbecue place there and it was a dry rub. It was good food but it seemed strange to call it barbecue.

Then a couple of years ago we went on the Fat Flush Diet developed by Ann Louise Gittleman. She is big on spices in all recipes. In particular, she suggests certain spices as a dry rub on meats. We really liked the flavor combinations and how it enhances the taste of the meats when grilled. My husband does a super job of grilling meats so he enjoyed developing combinations of spices for flavoring each type of meat.

There are many benefits of a dry rub. They are very aromatic so your meat smells great as it is grilling and also while you eat it. Additionally the rubs make the meat wonderfully flavorful and therefore more interesting to eat. And since you are just using spices, the aroma and flavor come with zero calories (my personal favorite benefit for using a dry rub!).

The health benefits of spices are many. They can enhance your health by boosting your metabolism to evening out your moods. As examples, Cayenne is known to boost your metabolism and the production of adrenal hormones which speeds up the breakdown of fat by 25 percent.  Basil helps with anxiety and depression. Each spice has its own benefits.

In another blog posting I plan on sharing the recipes for my husband's grilling rubs. Can't wait to hear how you enjoy them!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great Healthy Living Quote #2




"Being deprived is not a great way to enjoy life."

From Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, Ph.D. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Delicious Recipe for Salmon!

We fixed this delicious recipe for Salmon last night. It is Salmon with Mustard Crust and Sauteed Spinach from Rocco Dispirito's Now Eat This! on page 88. It amazingly only has 242 calories per serving. It is packed full of flavor with the mustard, red onion and garlic. The surprise ingredient is real bacon bits. The bacon bits add texture and heighten the flavor even though there are only 2 tablespoons in the recipe for 4. Dispirito uses bacon bits in a number of his recipes I  have noticed. I think he does because, for the calories, the bacon bits add a lot to the satisfying flavor of the dish. It was truly yummy and a repeat for this family.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Important Lifestyle Question #1

A friend of mine, knowing the journey I am on, just sent me a great book called Mindless Eating- Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, Ph.D. His view on food and how we manage our relationship to it comes from a researchers point of view and provides great insight. He is the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and Nutritional Science at Cornell University, where he is director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

In the first chapter of his book he poses a question I have always wondered about- "Why do we overeat food that doesn't even taste good?" His answer is-

"We overeat because there are signals and cues around us that tell us to eat. It's simply not in our nature to pause after every bite and contemplate whether we are full. As we eat, we unknowingly-- mindlessly-- look for signals or cues that we have had enough...like everyone else has finished eating and has left the table...or there is no more food to eat. "

This is why living in a super-sized world has made us become super-sized and morbidly obese as a society. The solution, as I am discovering in this book, is to take charge of our "signals" and "cues" so they do not debase our efforts but instead support them with "right eating" decisions....like not eating food that doesn't even taste good.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Diet Danger Zones

According to Brian Wansink, Ph.D in his book Mindless Eating there are 5 Danger Zones for Mindless Eating. They describe types of people and their mode of mindless eating. He challenges us to look in the mirror and discover what type of mindless eater we may be. The descriptions are-

#1. The Meal Stuffer
Stuffers eat primarily during mealtimes, but then they eat to excess, cleaning everything on their plate. They often eat so quickly that they're uncomfortably full after they finish. Meal stuffers consider themselves to have "healthy appetites." They often take second helpings at home.

#2. The Snack Grazer
Grazers reach for whatever food is available, typically about three times a day. While they love the 4 C's, convenience is usually more important to them than taste. They seldom pass up a candy dish. For these people, snacking can be a nervous habit, something that gives them an excuse to get up and walk around, or something they can do with their hands while watching TV or reading. They might be hungry when they snack, but it's almost done more out of habit than hunger.

#3 The Party Binger
Parties--buffets, receptions, tailgates, and happy hours-- these are high-distraction environments where the food is the backdrop for either business or fun, and it's easy to lose track of how much they've eaten or drunk. Party bingers are often professionals who frequently wine and dine, or single, stay-out-late people.

#4 The Restaurant Indulger
While many of us eat lunch away from home, the restaurant indulger also eats dinner out at least three days a week. Like party bingers, restaurant indulgers are often on an expense account. They might also be affluent gourmets or DINKs (double income, no kids) in their thirty-something years.

#5 The Desktop Diner (or Dashboard Diner)
Both speed-eat while multi-tasking at their desk or in their car. Desktop diners eat at their desk partly to save time, but more often to save the hassle of getting a real lunch. It's not that they are overly busy-- they're under-motivated. If the right person were to stop by to ask them to lunch, they'd probably go. But more often, they snack out of the vending machine or grab a donut from the mail room.

For each of these mindless eaters, Dr. Wansink offers eating changes which can help defuse each of their eating danger zones.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Healthy Tip- Use Recipes That Breakdown Calories and Measurements

The reality about getting used to a healthier lifestyle is that you have to be intentional in the way you live your life. This is particularly true if there are ways of doing things from eating to exercise that haven't come naturally or are not yet part of a healthy life style pattern. You have to consciously adopt and then adapt to the better way of doing things. And I have found, you need to find supportive mechanisms to help you be mindful.

Since I haven't a clue what the right amount of any food looks like, it is important for me to measure and weigh so I end up eating the appropriate amount of food. In order to plan a meal, I need to know what calories are in each food and how many people each recipe serves. Ideally, I like to know the specific measurement of food as well.

Most recipes will tell you how many servings the recipe makes but it is amazing how many recipes don't provide calories per serving. Especially our older cookbooks. This is a red flag. You need to know how many servings and how many calories are in each recipe. If you don't, how can you be intentional and how can you plan?

There are so many wonderful cookbooks out there these days that do provide both the calorie count and size of serving that it isn't hard to find. In fact, there are great resources on the internet as well. A few times I have really wanted to use an old favorite recipe, I have gone online to see if I can find something similar that does provide the calories and portion size. When I am really wanting to use something where I can't find a similar alternative, I will sit down with a calorie counter and try and figure it out. Not a great solution, but at least I have a sense of what I am dealing with. For instance, there is a fabulous marinade for a Butterflied Leg of Lamb from the Silver Palate Cookbook...an old time favorite from a stained and tattered page. There is no great alternative. The closest I got was was a Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce from sparkpeople.com. Not really what I want so I am probably going to have figure the calories out myself...I will let you know...and post it. It is a marinade that truly can't be beat and is not filled with bad calories...I hope!

Healthy Tip- To make life easy and manageable, the only way to go is to use recipes that define servings and calories. All the cookbooks I have listed on the blog do.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Favorite Sweet--PBJ Cookies

Sweets have always been a big trigger for me. It is hard for me to stop at one...and if two...why not three? I think I have finally figured out what causes this compulsion...refined sugar...it messes with my glycemic level. I seem to be very sensitive to this...like lots of other folk. Not only does it compel me to eat many more sweets than I want to, but no matter how many I eat, I am never satisfied. What is with that, anyway?!

Chef Rocco Dispirito appears to be very aware of the refined sugar trigger. He has replaced it with natural ingredients like Stevia and Agave nectar which are sweeteners that don't mess with your glycemic level. He also adds beans, believe it or not, to sweets so they are more filling and "stick to you ribs" longer. Eating just one then becomes enough.



My new favorite sweet is the PBJ Cookie I found in Now Eat This! Diet by Rocco Dispirito on page 254. One cookie has just 55 calories. Ingredients of the cookie include dried cranberries, unsweetened cocoa powder, cannellini beans, reduced fat peanut butter, agave nectar, stevia, puffed millet cereal and peanut butter chips. Interesting combination, right? It is very tasty and has great texture and complexity of flavor. I can eat just one!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Confronting a Food Crisis--okay, challenge

It is amazing how I am regularly reminded how much food is wrapped up in our emotions and psyche. Food is so much a part of who we are, how we express who we are and how we choose to spend our time. And it is certainly how many of us express our love for others.

I love fixing food for others. It makes me happy to see people enjoy a meal I have fixed. When my children are home, I am eager to fix their favorite foods. It is important to me that they have good food, enough food and that they do not go wanting. Hence the crisis...

My middle son, a tall, athletic fellow with a hallow leg and zero weight issues, has come home to live over the summer. The moment he arrived home it was clear that the amount of food and kinds of food we have around was just not going to be enough. Fortunately with my new lifestyle regime, the food is tasty, attractive and worthy of anyone's palette. The problem is that a 400 calorie meal is about half to two-thirds of what my son needs and the snacks are so low in calories they don't help much either. I realized I needed to ramp up the amount of food at a meal for him as well as the types of snack foods. But how to do this and avoid getting me totally off track. I may be on the right road but temptation is temptation!

Could I just add more bread and desserts at meals and not partake? Of course, anyone reading this would instantly know that would be a bad idea. I faltered through last weekend with that false notion and ended up eating 1/3 of a pan of brownies before forcing them out of sight (before I would have eaten 1/2 of the pan...is this progress?...). With my bloated brownie belly I realized I needed a better plan. It was time to take a hot bath and think.

I had to think through my emotions about providing my son food and the truth about how I could still be a loving mom and not have a plate of brownies ever ready on the kitchen counter. Is this possible? My answer was a resounding "YES"! After all my journey is about lifestyle solutions...living a better life WITH my family. So I talked it over with my husband and he encouraged the simple solution of sticking with the same meal plans and recipes but increasing the quantity for 6 servings instead of 4. I liked this idea a lot, my son would get a double helping of food and we would even have leftovers, which I like for lunches so I don't always have to spend time prepping food for each meal of the day. This was sounding like a really good idea. So the next morning I spent time revamping meals I had already planned so I could get more of what I needed at the grocery store and also sat down to plan this next weeks meals. All is good with the world again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Great Healthy Living Quote #1



"The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."

From Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summertime Salads

This is the week for salads. It is summer time and when it is hot outside there is nothing better than a salad to cool you down! I also especially like them for lunch since they can tend to be lighter in calories, saving some for afternoon snacks or a bigger dinner.

Here are a few I have had and liked recently-

 
 Mediterranean Tuna, Bread, and Cheese Salad

This was yummy with bocconcini, kalamata olives, cucumber, red onion and seared Tuna. You can find the recipe in Now Eat This! Diet by Rocco Dispirito on page 157. Only 278 calories.
Cobb Salad
This salad was also a winner. It was filled with a variety of ingredients from grilled chicken, avocado and bacon bits to heirloom tomato, crumbled blue cheese and scallions. You can find it in Now Eat This! by Rocco Dispirito on page 57. Only 235 calories.
Spinach and Bacon Salad
This salad may look like the simplest of the salads but is in fact filled with delicious ingredients like mushrooms, red onion, garbanzo beans and bacon bits. What makes it really tasty is the warmed dressing. You can find the recipe in Now Eat This! Diet by Rocco Dispirito on page 151. It does have the least calories with only 226 calories.

There are many more to try like Boston Blue Chicken and Apple Salad (NETD p 160/294 cal),  Sliced Steak with Tomato and Spinach Salad (NETD p 149/224 cal), Chinese Chicken Salad (NET p 59/221 cal), Lemony Shrimp Salad (NET p 61/175 cal) and Skinny Chef's Salad (NETD p 65/245 cal), to name a few. I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Confronting and Conquering Sleeplessness

I don't know what it is, but somehow the older you get, the harder it is to get to sleep and stay asleep. I wonder if it is the layers of life which accumulate, adding a heaviness to our hearts and minds, making it harder and harder for us to shrug off the worries, stress and challenges of life. I know at my most stressed, I was sleeping only 4 to 5 hours a night on average. Bad news... bad for my weight and bad for my mind and spirit. So this is a subject I have spent time on confronting and have taken steps to conquer.

They say the 3 keys to a healthy life are eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep. My personal experience confirms this. When I am scooting along on all three wheels of my Life Tricycle, things are pretty good. When one wheel is out of balance, life is not so good. And each wheel effects the other. For example, if I eat too much, I feel crummy, don't want to exercise and certainly don't sleep as well.

It is interesting to me, though, that even with my eating right and exercising as I should these days, I am still facing sleeplessness. For a while I just try to "overcome it", hanging out in bed trying to force myself to sleep or, when I can't stand it any more, I get up and go watch TV. When too many days go by without enough sleep, then I put planning and effort into helping myself fall and stay asleep. Like everything, there is no quick fix or instant cure...just persistence to improve the condition.

I hate taking pills for sleep. I will take a Tylenol PM on occasion, for a couple of nights, when I am really struggling in order to break the cycle. But I know that taking a pill every night for the rest of my life isn't the answer. It is my life and how I live it that is what will help me address my sleeplessness in the long run.

Patterns and nightly rituals seem to really help. It is my winding down time. I need time to relax and to eliminate the "Lights, Action, Camera!" that each day is filled with, the moment I open my eyes. I say good night to everyone and go to my bedroom. I turn off the TV, lower the lights in our bedroom and often take a warm bath with Epsom salts. Reading is a key part of the ritual. I have a whole stack of books by my bedside. There is fiction and non-fiction and, of course, self-help books. I pick one up, depending on my mood, and read at least 20 minutes before the lights go out. Sometimes I fix a cup of tea, one of my favorites is Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Camomile (http://www.celestialseasonings.com).

Something I have tried recently is listening to a relation mediation online. One that is not too long, free, and effective is from the Quiet Mind Cafe (http://www.quietmindcafe.com). It doesn't take too long but is a great one for taking you through the steps towards deep relaxation. I found it very helpful.

Now for a couple of nights of restful sleep....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spice Rub for Squash

This is a great rub my husband developed for squash. It is particularly good on Butternut Squash and Spaghetti Squash.

Ingredients
1 T ground clove
1 T cinnamon
1 T ground ginger

Directions: Mix ingredients for rub. Lightly sprinkle rub mixture over your squash until all areas of the squash are lightly dusted and then roast/bake your squash according to the directions provided. Put the remaining amount of rub in a Ziploc and label it to be easily identified for later use.

Squash a great alternative to traditional carbohydrates

One of the hardest things to give up for me and my family has been the traditional carbohydrates like mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, white rice and semolina flour pasta. We were brought up to think that a balanced meal meant you need to have your meat, your vegetable and your starch. So how do you satisfy the need for that balanced looking plate with the need to balance your calories and better nutritional value for each bite you take? You can certainly go the whole grain route for pasta, switch white rice to brown rice and go to sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes. The biggest surprise for us was discovering squash as a great alternate choice for a starch on your plate.

Spaghetti Squash is great on its own or as the "pasta" for a spaghetti dish.

Butternut Squash is a starchy vegetable that can be cubed and roasted, just like potatoes, for a delicious dish. Add a spice rub and you have a flavorful dish that adds dimension to any meal. It is not a substitute. It has actually become a favorite choice of ours for various meals. One of our favorites is Roasted Butternut Squash with my husband's delicious spice rub, Roasted Asparagus with Herbes de Provence and Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Rosemary. Yum!

Look for my upcoming post with the recipe for the spice rub for squash so you can try it out yourself!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cranberry-Lemonade Cocktail (Part of our Livliga Summer Giveaway Series)

Refreshing Cranberry-Lemonade in a Livliga Beverage Glass (photo by LivligaHome)

This is a refreshing drink which is ideal for summer and a great alternative to alcohol all year long.

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Stevia, or to taste
Sparkling Mineral Water
Ice
Sprig of mint (optional)

Directions
Use a 10 oz. Tom Collins glass and place the cranberry juice, lemon juice and Stevia in the bottom of the glass. Slowly pour in the sparkling water (i.e., S. Pellegrino or Perrier) and fill the glass about 2/3rds full. You need to pour slowly because the Stevia causes the liquid to foam at first. Add ice to fill to the top. Garnish with a spring of mint.



Looking for a way to serve up refreshing drinks in right-sized glasses? Check out Livliga’s elegant portion control dinnerware! Portion control never looked so good…or plentiful!



FOR SOME ADDED FUN: Win a set of Aveq Drinking glasses! Just share your favorite summer drink and tag it by June 18. For more information go to Livliga Summer Giveaway. 


Enjoy! And Live Vibrant! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Livliga Fruit Smoothie

Tasty Fruit Smoothie in an Attractive Livliga Beverage Glass 
(photo by LivligaHome)

This Fruit Smoothie is something we started consuming when we were on the Fat Flush Diet - Fat Flush Plan. We drink it almost every morning as part of our daily routine. Here is our modified version-

Ingredients
1 Cup frozen fruit (i.e., pineapple, mango, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, peach, banana)
1 serving whey protein powder (i.e., French Vanilla Designer Whey or Whole Foods 365)
1 Cup/ 8 oz. cranberry water*
¼ tsp. Stevia, or to taste
1 tablespoon Flaxseed oil
½ cup crushed ice

Directions
To make the *Cranberry Water you need to buy pure, unsweetened Cranberry Juice. Make sure to check the label to avoid buying a cranberry juice sweetened with sugar or other juices. Knudsen makes an unsweetened cranberry juice that can be bought at Safeway. Use a 32 oz. jar/bottle (can be an empty juice bottle) and pour 4 oz. of cranberry juice in the bottom. Fill the bottle full with water. Use for Long Life Cocktails and Smoothies as directed.
 
For the Fruit Smoothie combine any variety of frozen fruit together to make 1 Cup of fruit. Place the fruit and all other ingredients in a blender. Mix until rich and creamy. Serve with a straw.

If you want your smoothie thicker, add ½ cup of ice and blend with other ingredients until smooth.

If you want your smoothie thinner, add up to ½ cup water until you arrive at your desired consistency. Blend completely.

To add a twist of flavor include ½ teaspoon fresh crushed mint or a dash of ground ginger to any smoothie.

Calories: 235


Looking for a way to serve up refreshing drinks in right-sized glasses? Check out Livliga’s elegant portion control dinnerware! Portion control never looked so good…or plentiful!



Enjoy! And Live Vibrant! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Morning "Long Life" Cocktail (Part of our Livliga Summer Giveaway Series)


Long Life Cocktail easily measured in an etched Livliga beverage glass (photo by LivligaHome)

The Morning Long Life Cocktail is something we started consuming when we were on the Fat Flush Diet - http://www.annlouise.com/. We drink it every morning as part of our daily routine. Here is our modified version-

Ingredients
8 0z. Cranberry Water*
1 tsp. powdered whole flake psyllium husks (i.e., Whole Foods 365 organic)
1/8 tsp. stevia

Directions
To make the *Cranberry Water you need to buy pure, unsweetened Cranberry Juice. Make sure to check the label to avoid buying a cranberry juice sweetened with sugar or other juices. Knudsen makes an unsweetened cranberry juice that can be bought at Safeway. Use a 32 oz. jar/bottle (can be an empty juice bottle) and pour 4 oz. of cranberry juice in the bottom. Fill the bottle full with water. Use for Long Life Cocktails and Smoothies as directed.

For Long Life Cocktail place the psyllium husks and stevia in the bottom of a glass. Pour the cranberry water on top. Drink promptly with a straw.

Calories: 13


Looking for a way to serve up refreshing drinks in right-sized glasses? Check out Livliga’s elegant portion control dinnerware! Portion control never looked so good…or plentiful!



FOR SOME ADDED FUN: Win a set of Aveq Drinking glasses! Just share your favorite summer drink and tag it by June 18. For more information go to Livliga Summer Giveaway. 


Enjoy! And Live Vibrant! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Healthy Tip- When Exercizing- Countdown Down, Not Up

I love simple tips that are easy to do and have a new and better effect. In the June 2011 Men's Health (yes, I read my husband's magazine!) there was a great "2 second lifesaver" listed that I think is really great.

When doing your repetitions when exercising, count down (10, 9, 8, 7...) instead of doing the usual of counting up (1, 2, 3, 4...). Evidently research has been done on this and it has been found that you can actually lift better and longer if you count in a descending order. Its due to what psychologists call the Jacobsonian muscle relaxation principle ( http://www.progressiverelaxation.org/ ). By counting down you feel calmer which allows you to focus better and activate more muscle. Who knew?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stretching-- a must as part of sustaining a healthy lifestyle

All this exercise is taking a toll on my body. Frightening how much different parts of my body hurt. It is clear my body is not as flexible as it once was. I honestly took my body's "no holds bar" ability for granted. No such luck now. One false move, without dutifully warming-up and stretching, and I can all too easily pull something out of whack. Then it stays out of whack... seemingly forever.

A nagging ache I have is with my IT Band (   ). I have found a great video on YouTube that has helped stretch and relieve that part of my body - IT Band Stretching Video . These are easy stretches and I have found important to do first thing in the morning and last thing at night before going to bed. If I don't do stretches before I go to bed I often find I end up having to get out of bed and stretch just to ease the nagging of my aching, twitching muscles.

Another effective method to ease the tightness of my muscles is to roll on a foam roller. It is not very comfortable to do but does provide lasting  relief if you stick with it. I love the fact that on each video I have watched they all mention the discomfort...no joke. The best video I have found with a simple instruction is - IT Band Foam Roller Stretch.

For general stretching I have found this YouTube video a nice and easy one to follow- Simple Stretches. This is from Livestrong.com, a resource I have found to be really helpful.

Motto for today...and tomorrow....and the next day..."Just Do It...and Do It...and Do It!"











Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Exercise Update--looking back on the Month of May

Working out is still fun. I think I have a pretty good routine going. Monday-Wednesday-Friday I focus on my free weight routine, varying some of the exercises during the week. On Tuesday & Thursday I concentrate on my endurance training. I started last month with a 25 minute plan which includes 6 sets of 1:30 minute jogging spurts at 4.6 miles an hour. Now I am at 8 sets, still for 1:30 minute jogging spurts, but have increased my spurt speed to 4.8 miles per hour on the treadmill. It is clear I am giving myself a work out because I drip sweat. Nothing lady-like about it.

The weekends are still a bit up in the air. With the travel I have done, some pretty rainy weather and always feeling a bit tired out by Sunday, we haven't gotten into cycling yet. Having done some regular cycling with my husband last summer, I know how fun it is and that it is possible to work it out. We just need to get the habit started...hopefully this weekend.

My summer dream is to go for a 20 mile ride (most I have ever done is 16 miles) and take a picnic so we can stop somewhere fun about 2/3 the way through the ride to rest under the shade of a big tree on top of some lovely green grass...ahhhhh, summer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weight Loss Update--May's net loss 13 lbs!

It is hard to believe I have now been blogging for a month. I started on May 2. I have tried to keep up with documenting my weight, exercise and eating. I have successfully logged my weight, mostly daily. So what are the results? My net loss in pounds for the month of May was 13! Seeing it as one totally net number looks great! I had hoped to lose 10 lbs. so losing 13 lbs. feels really great!

There were times during the month when I would have figured I was not going to lose a net amount of weight. It just proves that we have to hang in there, pick ourselves up after a bad day...or bad couple of days and commit to a bigger picture of our lives.

Of course, right after I figured out my net weight loss for the month, my Aunt died and I got on an airplane to be with family and go to her service. Traveling, feeling sad and feeling emboldened by my last month's success did not play out well for my eating. Plain and simple, I ate too much and drank too much--a seriously bad combination. So I have gained back 6 of the 13 pounds and am shocked at how easily it happened. And then I was so tired yesterday that I was a lump on a log, did zero exercise and went out for gelato taboot!

Now what, you say? Well, Monday is a good day to get on board with "The Plan". I wish I were more perfect and that I had not over-eaten for my entire life, but I am not very perfect and I  am obese...I have a lot to permanently change. I am committed to my changing and I LOVE living the new lifestyle. Today I went and worked out, doing my usual hour-long Monday routine of  warm up, free weights routine, 2 kinds of stomach crunches, back extensions and Kenesis "wood chopper" pulls. I have eaten only according to my 1200 calorie plan and am feeling in control again.

Here's to a new month. Let's see what the progress in the month of June brings...at the end of the month.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Yummy Cheeseburger

I continue to love the recipes from Rocco Dispirito's Now Eat This! Diet cookbook. The recipes are easy to follow, not too time consuming, and yummy tasting. The latest we tried for lunch was his "Yes, a Cheeseburger!" on page 175. It is so piled high with melted cheese, tomato, red onion and lettuce I had to eat it with a fork and knife!

A main criteria a meal has to pass for me these days is- Is it satisfying? This meal passed with flying colors. Lots to chew, good texture and a combination of flavors to keep your mouth interested. I also like the whole wheat buns I chose. They are Rudi's organic buns. They are smaller than others but more dense and flavorful. I also like them because they fit the size of the actual hamburger. This will definitely be a regular in our household.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Food Pryamid Turns into Plate!

Big news was announced and will be unveiled today that the Food and Drug Administration is getting rid of the Pyramid icon and replacing it with a plate visual (Food Pyramid to be Replaced). The pyramid has been around for a long time so this is big news.

I like the idea. When you think about the fact that most our meals are eaten off a plate, it can only be helpful to have a visual reminder of the types of food that should be placed on the plate. With the obesity rate soaring and so many of us challenged with eating the right foods in the right proportions, this is a welcome attempt to better guide us.

Scientific American just posted an article discussing the positives and negatives of this change (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article). It highlights the issues well, I think.

Now for the unveiling of the new image....