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Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Chai Tea is an Ancient Remedy and Great Reboot for Our Health

Chai Tea is an Ancient Remedy and Great Reboot for Our Health (photo by LivligaHome)

Chai Tea is an ancient remedy and great reboot for our health. Something we particularly need around very stressful times, like the holidays. It is an ancient beverage dating back to 2737 BC. Chai is the generic term for “tea” in Hindi. Its tradition can be found both in China and India.  It has always been promoted as having both medicinal as well as spiritual healing powers. It is not only the black tea that is found to be beneficial because of its antioxidants but it is also the many spices used to create the unique flavor of chai tea that give a boost to our health. Some common spices used are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, ginger and anise. In combination these spices boost our metabolism, wake up our immune system and generally promote our body’s well being.


Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on TheEpochTimes.com.
 
 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Happy Healthy Holidays!
Wishing you and yours the gifts of happiness, health, joy, abundance and exuberance to Live Vibrant now and in the New Year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Easy Crockpot Soup for a Cold, Busy Night--Potato Soup

Crockpot Potato Soup (photo by LivligaHome)

During the holidays I am really reminded of the meaning of the word "harried". I just don't seem to have enough time to do all the things I need and want to do. Cooking becomes a lower and lower prioirty. In order to cook a healthy meal at home it has to be easy and comforting. It needs to ease my stress. Crockpot recipes can often be the solution. One such recipe is Potato Soup.
Potato Soup with a Homemade muffin for a perfect supper (photo by LivligaHome)


Here is how I do it:

Ingredients-
5 small to medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1 medium onion, diced
3 gloves garlic, diced
Cooking Spray, Olive Oil flavored
pinch of sea salt
dash of ground pepper
3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 or 4 pats
¼ cup unbleached flour
1 ½ cups reduced fat milk (1 %)
7 tablespoons reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


Directions-
1. Place first 4 prepared ingredients into the crockpot.
2. Sautee the onion and garlic in a cast-iron skillet sprayed with olive oil flavored cooking spray until softened and translucent. Once cooked place the onion mixture in the crockpot.
3. Add sea salt, pepper and butter to the mixture in the crockpot. Cook on low for 7 hours.
4. Place flour in a bowl, gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended.
5. Stir into soup. Cook uncovered 25 minutes on high or until thickened.
6. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of the cheddar

Yield 7 servings. Calories:  194

Serve with a tossed green salad (45 calories) and muffin (137 calories) for a total calorie count of 376. The soup was a creamy color, not white because I sauteed the onions and garlic. To make it a more visually attractive dish the cheddar helps; I might also suggest some parsley on top. The salad on the side makes it a more attractive plate for sure. The taste was delicious. It will be a cozy, comfort food repeat, for sure.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Savory Bread Pudding for a Vegetarian Supper


Savory Bread Pudding for a Vegetarian Supper (photo by LivligaHome)
My husband reminded me the other day that he loves bread pudding. It inspired me to roam around in my old cookbooks and favorite recipe sites to get inspired. For me a bread pudding is a dessert. Something yummy and gooey, usually with a caramel sauce. This would not be good for our healthy living goals.

I was amazed and pleased to find there are many different kinds of bread puddings. There are both savory and sweet versions. They can be used as a main meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They exist with or without meat.

My goal as we headed towards the big holiday was to find a vegetarian variety I could make for dinner (I am only preparing vegetarian dinners up until the holiday to help control the holiday bloat and girth growth). I found a bread pudding that used butternut squash in it from one of my Cooking Light cookbooks. Happily, I also found it online. It is called Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding. The recipe serves 6. Calories per serving are 304.

It was delicious and surprisingly hardy. I served it with sauteed Kale (60 cal). Total calorie count for the meal was 364. It is easy to make. Cooking time is 45 minutes. This makes for a great savory supper on a cold night. I could also see serving it up for a brunch as an alternative to the typical sausage and egg casserole. The whole family liked it. No one did the usual complaining about having "only vegetarian" for dinner. A definite repeat.
Butternut Squash Bread Pudding served with Kale (photo by LivligaHome.com)
As an easy, one casserole supper you can't beat a bread pudding. Click here for more Savory Bread Pudding recipes.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Great Healthy Living Quote #73-- Do Something Today for Your Future Self

Livliga Healthy Living Quote
Great Healthy Living Quote #73 (LivligaHome)
Even in the midst of the holidays we can imagine and act for our healthier future.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Special Holiday Bread- Pear Poppy Seed

Special Holiday Bread- Pear Poppy Seed (photo by LivligaHome)

The smells of baking and spices fill the air at holiday time. In fact, it just doesn't seem like the holidays without them. Each year I add a new bread to my repertoire. I search for breads that use less sugar, oil and salt. I also try to make recipes that celebrate seasonal produce.

This year I decided to experiment with pears and poppy seeds. The original poppy seed bread I having been baking for years had a cup of vegetable oil per recipe. This new recipe has 2 tablespoons of butter, that is it, in lieu of the enormous amount of oil. There is less refined sugar and salt as well.

It turned out deliciously. I served it as a tea bread, fresh out of the oven, to some out of town friends who came to call. I am happy to say they were "wowed". Everyone commented on the bread. I served it with slices of sharp cheddar and a green tea chai. It made for the perfect Afternoon Tea for a happy gathering and great conversation.

Here is the recipe: Pear and Poppy Seed Bread

Ingredients-
1 ½ cups unbleached flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
teaspoon cardamom
1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped (@ 1 cup)
3 tablespoons egg substitute
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable Cooking Spray

Directions-
1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Stir in pear and make a well in the center of the mixture.
3. Combine egg substitute and next 5 ingredients; stir well with a wire whisk.
4. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients become moist.
5. Pour batter into a 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 3 inch loafpan coated with cooking spray.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 16 slices. Calories: 151 per slice.

Here is another idea for bread making you might enjoy from a previous blog: Banana-Date Flaxseed Bread

Happy Healthy Holidays!






Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Healthy Gifts for the Holidays!

Healthy Gifts for the Holdays the Greatest of Gifts (photo by LivligaHome)

It is very interesting to me that so many people think it is contrary to gift giving to give healthy gifts for the holidays. Somehow there is this myth that by giving someone something for their good health we will be affronting or offending them. To me the greatest gift we can give someone is a gift supporting and promoting his or her good health. Click here to read the entire article...


Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on TheEpochTimes.com

Monday, December 9, 2013

Great Healthy Living Quote #72- Take Care of Your Body

Great Healthy Living Quote #72 (LivligaHome)


As the pressure of the holidays increases to a crescendo, remember to take care of you!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Yummy & Healthy Holiday Muffin- Maple Squash Muffin


Yummy & Healthy Holiday Muffin- Maple Squash Muffin (by LivligaHome)

Muffins can be so easy to make. They can also be healthy, tasty and beautiful to behold. Better yet, they can be modest in their calorie count. Muffins go well with just about anything from eggs at breakfast to salads at lunch or stews at dinner. They also freeze well. This makes them an ideal holiday gift. 

When I think of the holidays I think of pumpkin or squash, nuts and the aroma of spices like cinnamon. Why not combine all those holiday ingredients in a delicious muffin? 

Maple Squash Muffin

Ingredients-
1 cup unbleached flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¼ cup pecans, chopped
2 egg whites, lightly beaten (or scant ⅓ cup egg beaters)
¾ cup butternut squash, cooked & mash (or canned pumpkin)
⅔ cup plain yogurt, nonfat
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Vegetable Cooking Spray

Directions-
1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
2. Combine egg whites and next 4 ingredients. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Spoon batter evenly into muffin pans coated with cooking spray.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until tops are golden.
5. Remove from pans promptly.

Yield: 1 dozen. Calories per muffin: 153.

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!


Like the delicious look of this Maple Squash Muffin on a Livliga plate? It can be yours! Go to LivligaHome.com.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Great Book for Gift Giving–State of Slim

State of Slim

Great Book for Gift Giving–State of Slim

photo by LivligaHome


I am always looking for good books to read and recommend. Usually I think of novels that provide a great escape that take me to a place where people overcome great odds, do the impossible and arrive at a happy ending. This year I am offering up the same kind of book…but in non-fiction. It is called State of Slim by James O. Hill, PhD, and Holly R. Wyatt, MD. This published work meets all the requirements of a great book and it has the facts, research and statistics to back it up. Some might call it a “diet” book or a “self-help” book. It is really a book about adopting and succeeding in living a healthy lifestyle.

The message of the book is all about the possible. It is based on years of research done at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center , practical application and the results from actual participants in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR).  From the very beginning it is an honest, straight-forward and concrete guide that provides advice gleaned from real people who have succeeded in losing weight, keeping it off and living a healthier lifestyle long-term.

Within the first pages of the book the authors explain “Most diets aim to stop bad habits. Ours focuses on instilling good ones.” What is the difference you might ask? It may seem subtle but it is based on creating a world you want and will enjoy living in where new habits reinforce your will power to make healthy choices automatic and mundane.

It is about establishing new habits, routines and rituals that build and sustain a healthy lifestyle. Included in the guide is an explanation of 6 key factors that make healthy living easy and manageable. They are “Be Active Every Day”, “Fuel Up on Real Food”, “Create Your Own Healthy Environment”, “Stay True to Your Purpose”, “Believe You Can Succeed” and, “Make Healthy Living Fun”. Examples of each are provided from true-life stories.

Just when you were losing hope and reaching for another cookie here is a book that will bring you real sustenance. Looking for a great book to give or receive? Put this one on your list!


For more recommended books check out the resource list on the Livliga Live Vibrant blog.


Looking for Solutions? Livliga and Kidliga help support a healthier lifestyle and they make great gifts too! 


http://lp.livligahome.com/science-behind-the-plate


 Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on TheEpochTimes.com.





Monday, December 2, 2013