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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Movies to Fight Holiday Depression

Research actually shows that suspending reality for a couple of hours while watching a movie can help with holiday depression (photo by LivligaHome).

As the holidays approach many of us face depression. It is very common, in fact. There are many reasons that contribute to this shared feeling of hopelessness and unhappiness. Maybe it is because the days are short and the light is limited. Or maybe it is because we are expected to be part of occasions we do not enjoy and do not want to be part of. Then there are the memories that make us sad. There are those we loved who are no longer with us but we wish they were. It is a time when our feelings are the most vulnerable and are most heightened.

Sometimes it is good to give our hearts and brains a break. Research actually shows that suspending reality for a couple of hours while watching a movie can help. It allows those suffering from depression to stop the negative loop of unhappy thoughts. The right kind of movies can also trigger the release of endorphins that can help us feel better. Movies are not a cure-all but they can be a positive tool for relief.

Click here to read the entire article and see the depression-busting list of movies...




Reposted from Sheila's Blog on The Epoch Times.


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Monday, December 29, 2014

Great Healthy Living Quote # 127-- the best things are felt with the heart

Great Healthy Living Quote #127-- the best things are felt with the heart (photo by LivligaHome).


#MotivationMonday
#Inspiration
#NewYearNewYou
#FeelWithYourHeart
#LivligaQuote
#LiveVibrant
#Livliga

Friday, December 26, 2014

Health Benefits of Salmon


Health Benefits of Salmon (photo by LivligaHome).
As we continue to focus on our healthy lifestyle goals, it is a good time to remind ourselves of the benefits of key foods in our diet. Designing menus with more fish is good for our health. Salmon is a particularly healthy fish. Eating it 2 to 3 times a week is the common recommendation. Good news is there are many different ways to prepare salmon for tasty meals. Check out my blog or myrecipes.com to be inspired and motivated. I have been recently introduced to Jen Reviews where you can also find out more information and recipes regarding Salmon.

Here is what I found as a summary of the health benefits of salmon. It is quite a list!


Seven health benefits of salmon

1. Eating salmon is beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions. Salmon contains small proteins called bioactive peptides. One in particular, called calcitonin, has been shown to increase, regulate and stabilize collagen synthesis in human osteoarthritic cartilage. This salmon-found protein also improves bone density and strength.

2. Eating salmon makes you smarter and happier. The brain is 60 percent fat and most of that is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. Thirty percent of the grey matter in the brain is DHA showing how critical it is to brain function and a healthy nervous system. Eating salmon regularly has been shown to reduce the risk and incidence of depression, hostility in young adults and cognitive decline in the elderly.

3. Eating salmon increases your cardiovascular health. As noted, salmon contains high levels of the omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA. These fats are responsible for many cardiovascular benefits such as reducing inflammation, keeping the blood from clotting excessively and relaxing and dilating the arteries. When eaten two to three times per week, salmon can protect you from problems such as heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, high blood pressure and high triglycerides.

4. Salmon protects your eyes. Eating salmon twice a week has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of macular degeneration — a chronic eye condition that leads to loss of vision. For the treatment and prevention of a condition called dry eye syndrome, eat two to four servings per week.

5. Salmon helps build children’s brains. Eating salmon while pregnant and nursing can boost learning capability and academic performance in children. Salmon contains high levels of DHA (decosahexaenoic acid) which is the main structural fatty acid in the central nervous system and retina. Feeding salmon to preschool children also aids in the prevention of ADHD and can even boost academic performance.

6. Salmon’s an excellent source of vitamin D. Sufficient vitamin D is crucial to maintaining optimal health. A deficiency of this essential vitamin has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type-1 diabetes. One can of salmon, for example, contains a day’s worth of vitamin D.

7. Salmon helps you sleep. Salmon is an excellent source of tryptophan, an all-natural sedative. Studies show that tryptophan increases sleepiness in subjects with mild insomnia and helps to shorten the time it takes to fall asleep.


Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Giving is Good for our Hearts and Our Health

Giving is Good for our Hearts and Our Health (photo by LivligaHome)

It is true; research has proven “it is better to give than to receive”. Giving is good for our hearts and our overall physical health. Stephen G. Post, PhD, a professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine sites two large studies, which found that older adults who volunteered reaped benefits in their health and well being. Those who volunteered were living longer than non-volunteers. Another large study found a 44% reduction in early death among those who volunteered a lot — a greater effect than exercising four times a week. To read more click here.



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


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Monday, December 22, 2014

Great Healthy Living Quote #126-- Giving Multiplies

Great Healthy Living Quote #126-- Giving Multiplies (photo by LivligaHome).

How can you multiply all that is of value in your life?

#MotivationMonday
#Inspiration
#GivingMultiplies
#MakeADifference
#GivingBetterThanReceiving
#LivligaQuote
#LiveVibrant
#Livliga

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Healthy Lifestyle Holiday Gift Ideas

There is nothing more meaningful than giving the Gift of Health. Check out these Healthy Lifestyle Holiday Gifts to complete your list (photo by LivligaHome.com)

This is a fun time of year when we can dream of the gifts we would like to receive as well as those gifts we would like to give. There are so many possibilities. As I have focused more and more on healthy living I have come to realize that the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and those we love is a Gift of Health. I have compiled a list of kitchen gear, gadgets, apps, movies and books that have helped me in living a healthier lifestyle.

Some gifts help us prepare and cook fresh food. Others help us with providing us with advice and information so we can continue to make better decisions about the food we eat. For those seeking motivation in the area of increasing daily activity there are gifts to help us out in ramping up and sustaining our exercise routine. Then there are the gifts I list that help people get started with their journey of weight loss and/or living a healthier life. I call them the “wake up call” gifts. The great thing about gift giving this time of year is that the New Year is right around the corner so some gifts can be a “set up” for getting in gear next year.


Here is my list of Gifts of Health to consider:

Kitchen and Dining

Nothing is easier, tastes better or prepares food so healthily.

Keeps freshly brewed coffee hot longer without waste or using any electricity-a great earth friendly gift.

Livliga Mugs ($48.00)
To go a long with the French Press Thermos are artist-designed, right-sized mugs with discrete 8 ounce fill lines; made of porcelain- also earth-friendly.

These glasses with 2 discrete fill lines, at 4 ounces and 6 ounces, were 2014 Martha Stewart Made in America Finalists; a great gift of health that can be used all year.

Healthy Cookbooks
My current go to favorite is: fresh food fast: 24/7 by Cooking Light ($17.71).

A magazine subscription for those who are really into developing cooking skills and knowledge.

Gadgets

My sons gave me a Scosche Rhythm arm heart monitor for my birthday that integrates with apps like Wahoo to show you real time results as you strive to optimize your workouts. This is a monitor that doesn’t have to go around your chest, which is a huge improvement for those who are big chested or wear wire bras. I really love mine.

Flex Belt ($199.99)
This is not a miracle machine but it can add to your results in slimming your waist and torso. It has the added benefit of being effortless to use. You can go about your daily routine using it.

Apps

Thyme-Kitchen Timer
A timer for cooking. A great app on your phone to help you set timers for multiple things you have cooking. It helps you keep track and can go where you go. FREE

This app helps you pre-plan your snacks. It also helps you figure out best options when you are at work or traveling and need to come up with healthy options on the go. FREE

This is an app that keeps track of your movement and route when you are running, cycling or being otherwise outdoorsy. FREE

Movies

Fed Up ($9.96)
This is an eye-opening movie about the consequences of refined sugar, which is pervasive in our diets, overall eating too much and the social consequences of our super sized world. It was produced by Katie Couric and is very informative.

Books

Slim by Design by Brian Wansink ($16.67)
This is the latest book by Brian Wansink. I have been a great advocate his work ever since I read his book Mindless Eating. He provides a very different approach to helping us take control of our eating through environmental changes we can make. His recommendations are based on the scientific research he has done.

The Portion Teller Plan by Lisa Young ($11.33)
It is amazing how we have no idea what a right sized portion for any given food looks like. This book is a very practical guide to “right sizing” our eyes.


Children’s Gifts

This is a fun, beautifully illustrated, interactive children’s book ideal for ages 4-8.

This is a place setting with portion control built in using the characters from the book. Subtle, fun and effective.

Looking for something fun for the kids to do when they are hanging out that might subtle reinforce healthy eating habits? This puzzle provides just that.

For more gift ideas click here.

Happy Healthy Holidays!  May you give and get the Gifts of Health! 



This article was orginally published in the Epoch Times.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Top 10 tips to help kids avoid Holiday overeating

Serving food on right-sized dishes for kids can help avoid Holiday overeating (photo by Kevin Carlyle of Blazing Circle Photography).
This is the time of year when overindulgence becomes our middle name. This is also true for our kids. It is hard to resist when there are commercials on TV with beautiful footage of candy, enticing our children to eat more of it. Then there are the displays at the grocery store, drug store and our favorite box stores that are designed just for kids, are in every aisle and scream “pick me”, “eat me” and “buy more”. The displays don’t stop until we get through New Year’s Day; they just change out the colors and themes. Hard to imagine we can get any of our kids to look at a fresh piece of fruit much less a vegetable at this time of year.

It is no wonder our kids are now battling weight gain in similar ways as their parents. And as we all know, it is much harder to take it off than to never gain it in the first place. Not to mention how important it is to learn healthy habits when young.

So here are 10 fun, creative ways to help you and your kids from overindulging to the point of gaining unwanted weight over the holidays:

  1. Start a new and healthier tradition. Make healthier homemade treats that you can make with your kids and share with your friends and neighbors. This way you can control the ingredients and the size you make the treats which helps manage the nutrition and calories. (Try a maple squash muffin or see my blog for  healthy cookies, breads and cake.)
  2. Make up your own “Just Dance” game. After dinner put on some fun “dancing” music and dance with your kids or play an active game of Charades. Burning a few extra calories will help off set any extra indulgences over the holidays. (Spotify is free and has many genres to choose from. I like “Club/House” for dancing.)
  3. Get some help in the kitchen at mealtime. Have your kids design a couple of meals using recipes. The one rule is it has to be a balanced meal. Have them go to the grocery store to help pick out the ingredients. Then when it is time to prepare the food have them participate. You will be amazed at how much they enjoy the fruits of their labor! (Check out the LivligaHome.com website for menus and recipes; myrecipes.com is another great resource.)
  4. Structure is key. When your kids have days off of school over the holidays, make sure their days are structured…not necessarily completely programmed, just organized so they don’t end up in front of the TV for hours where overeating is easy. (Have your kids pick what they want to do and make a schedule so they are more likely to follow it.)
  5. Read good books together. Visit the library and choose books that are about adventure, people helping each other or learning about being healthy (an award winning example is Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal. I confess, I wrote it!) Avoid books focused on the excesses of the holidays.
  6. Right size your kids’ plates. Treat your kids to plates that are right-sized for them. Serving them on adult sized plates encourages eating adult sized portions. Plates right-sized for kids will allow them to naturally choose portions scaled to age appropriate servings. (Kidliga offers two choices of right-sized, beautifully designed sets.)
  7. “How much are my kids really eating?” game. Start talking about serving sizes of the different types of foods. Then have them serve themselves up a typical serving of their favorite food. Have them figure out how many servings they are actually eating and the calories they are consuming. (Most people and kids are really shocked when they do this with the cereal they eat for breakfast.)
  8. Pay it forward. Volunteer as a family at a food panty or soup kitchen. Spend some time helping others while growing in your understanding of how nutrition is really important for everyone. (What a gift you can give your kids about how feeding your heart with good deeds is an important part of a truly balanced diet of life.)
  9. Go harvest your own food. There is nothing better than picking your own food right off the tree or vine. Find a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch and spend an afternoon in the open air choosing and harvesting the food you want. Guaranteed it will taste better than anything you have ever bought in the store! (You can often find great deals and discounts in your local paper or online through LivingSocial.com deals.)
  10. Find the “Glee” in singing. There is nothing more fun or festive than singing! Join a group that goes to area nursing homes to sing carols and spread some cheer. Or volunteer for a couple of hours for the Salvation Army and sing songs for donations. Even better, create your own group and ring your neighbors’ doorbells and when they answer share a song of good cheer. (Calling a local church or senior center is an easy way to get connected.)

As you may have noticed with the above suggestions about how to help your kids and you from over eating through the holidays, they are mainly about focusing your attention on activities other than eating. The best counter balance to overeating over the holidays is to take control of the preparation of the food you eat and the amounts you serve. They are also about getting up and out doing things you don’t ordinarily do to make the holidays special, more active and way more fun because you are doing what the holidays are really all about—spending time together as a family in fun and creative ways. The best way to help your kids through the holidays is to participate in healthy eating and healthy activities.

Happy, Healthy Holidays!

Reposted from Sheila's Blog on The Epoch Time.


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Great Healthy Living Quote #125-- Focus on Goodness

Great Healthy Living Quote #125-- Think of the Beauty (photo by LivligaHome).

What goodness can you focus on today?


#MotivationMonday
#Inspiration
#FocusOnGoodness
#CreateMoreGoodness
#LivligaQuote
#LiveVibrant
#Livliga

Friday, December 12, 2014

More Good News About Eating Chocolate

More Good News About Eating Chocolate (photo by LivligaHome.com).

For those of us who work hard to keep on top of what we eat, work out regularly and stay abreast of the current health news, here is some welcome information. It is more good news about chocolate. I found this in the November 14, 2014 issue of The Week and thought it was an important morsel to share...especially at this time of year when temptation lurks around every corner and every once in a while we just have to give in! As for me, I am baking another batch of Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies in celebration of the news. I plan on wrapping most of them up to give to friends and family. Honest. And yes, I plan on remembering I wrote that! Here is what I found out:

Eating chocolate has long been known to improve mood and increase blood flow, but new research indicates it may have an even bigger benefit: reducing age-related memory loss. The key ingredient, reports LATimes.com, is epicatechin, a flavanol found in cocoa beans. In a small study, researchers looked at two groups of healthy individuals ages 50 to 69. Half were given a daily drink that contained 900 milligrams of epicatechin, while the others consumed just 10 milligrams a day. After three months, the high-dose group performed significantly better on memory tests, and subsequent brain scans confirmed improved blood flow to the dentate gyrus, a region of the brain that’s been linked to age-related memory loss. Researchers caution that the typical candy bar contains minuscule amounts of the flavanol (with dark chocolate having more than milk chocolate), and that people would have to eat up to 25 chocolate bars a day to get as much as the group in the experiment. “It would make a lot of people happy,” said study author Scott Small, “but it would also make them unhealthy.” Researchers plan another, larger study on the memory-protective effects of epicatechin.

Red wine and chocolate, in moderation, of course, continues to be a great, healthy combination!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top 10 Ways to Fight The Battle of the Bulge over the Holidays

There's no need to undo an entire year of healthy habits and weight loss over the holidays. Just follow the Top 10 tips to avoid the pitfalls (photo by LivligaHome).

Thanksgiving is the launching pad for more than a month filled with holiday parties, cocktails, festive holiday foods and celebrations. As a mother of 3 and inventor of Livliga and Kidliga, elegant portion control dishware for adults and children, I know there is no need to undo an entire year of healthy habits and weight loss during the holiday season.

Here are my–  “Top 10 Ways To Fight The Battle of the Bulge over the Holidays.”


1. Have the party at your house. This way, you can make sure you have a healthy selection to serve up, control portion sizes, and keep beverage pours in check. Your friends and family will thank you, since most people want to be healthy around the holidays but have too many distracting temptations. Show them that delicious and right-sized options can be good and good for you!

2. Bring your own drinks and low calorie appetizers. Different party hosts stock vastly different selections of beverages. 1 cup of eggnog can pack upwards of 406 calories, whereas a 5 ounce serving of white wine is only around 120 calories.

3. Set a time limit. Knowing what time to leave the party before you arrive is an easy trick to keep you from overstaying, overeating and overindulging – and that applies to both food and alcohol.

4. Eat before you go. Never go starving to a party. It is a sure-fire guarantee you will over eat. Eating ahead can be as simple as an apple and a big glass of water; or if the party doesn’t start until later, go ahead and eat a light and healthy dinner like soup or a salad. Then you can enjoy a glass of wine or dessert at the party.

5. Drink a glass of water between drinks. It is a great way to pace yourself and will help you feel full. It also keeps down your overall calorie count by limiting alcoholic drinks while keeping your hands occupied so you aren’t as likely to snag a snack. Another added plus: it helps prevent that next day bloat and lethargy from too many alcoholic drinks.

6. Fill one plate, including dessert. Use dessert or salad plates, or invest in right-sized dishware like Livliga, to guide you and your guests in serving appropriate portions. If you’re at a party, remember to use the same principals – balance your plate with colorful, diverse, healthy items and don’t overfill. Absolutely choose foods you will enjoy. Reminder to self: Don’t go back for seconds.

7. Dress up. Dressing up will maximize your awareness and desire to look and feel your best. Feeling attractive will make you more in control and able to resist tempting foods or drinks.

8. Make a pact with a friend. Before you go to the party, agree to a plan with your friend on how much you want to eat or drink and when you want to leave. Decide ahead of time if it’s okay to say something if your friend is straying off track or what the “code” is for a friendly reminder to help each other stay connected to the game plan.

9. If you love to bake pick single serving items like bars, cookies or muffins. Research new recipes on health-centric websites to pick healthier versions of your favorites. Don’t forget to stick to the recommended serving sizes. Check out my blog which has healthy and extremely delicious recipes perfect for the holiday season. Here is a link to my new holiday cookie recipe: Thyme-infused Cardamom-Orange Oatmeal Cookie. Holiday giving never tasted or felt so good!

10. Get the whole family involved. Kids tend to overindulge over the holidays as well. It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about healthy eating choices. There is a great award-winning storybook that can help everyone learn more about healthy eating as a family as you enjoy reading and cozying up by the fire together over the holidays. It is Sammie and Sax in the Land of Quinoa: the Search for a Balanced Meal. Enjoying the holidays in a healthy and happy way is good for the whole family. Make it the new tradition.


Enjoy the holidays! May they be healthy and happy!




Reposted from Sheila's Blog on The Epoch Time.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Great Healthy Living Quote #124-- Try Approving of Yourself

Great Healthy Living Quote #124-- Try Approving of Yourself (photo by LivligaHome).

You are pretty wonderful, you know!


#MotivationMonday
#Inspiration
#YouAreWonderful
#ApproveOfYourself
#NoMoreCriticism
#LivligaQuote
#LiveVibrant
#Livliga

Friday, December 5, 2014

A New Adenture- Winter Hiking in the Snow



On Top of Deer Mountain in RMNP after hiking on a snowy trail (photo by LivligaHome)

My family and some friends went up to the mountains for Thanksgiving. We were fortunate in that the weather was cold but we were not socked in with snow. In fact, it was so beautiful we wanted to go hiking!

I have always been a fair weather hiker. I tend to be a wimp when it is too wet, too cold, too hot or too snowy. Give me perfect conditions and I am rearing to go.

This past weekend the sun was shining, it was sweater and vest cold, which means it was pretty mild, and there was some snow on the ground. We called the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) info line and asked about trails that would be good to hike. They recommended Deer Mountain. It is a 6 mile hike round trip. It is fairly steep going up and a downhill dream on the return.

My husband had the foresight to recommend I take my walkingsticks and that we get some ICETrekker traction cleats for my boots.  He figured, correctly, that as we ascended we would probably see more and more snow in addition to some ice. I resisted the “fuss” at first but then decided it wouldn’t hurt to have all the equipment handy if we did, in fact, need it.

He was so right. Just about a quarter mile into the hike it got icy. That is when I decided to put on the cleats. From then on there was ice and snow the whole way on the trail. Interestingly, the mountainside didn’t seem to have much snow, just the trail.

For a 58 year old it was quite a hike. Turns out hiking on snow covered trails is a lot like walking in sand on the beach. Your muscles are working hard as you sink in the snow or slide. It was quite a workout.

Thanks to having both my sticks and the cleats I was never afraid of falling. Normally when I feel vulnerable when hiking I tend to creep a long and take small steps. I can be a slow poke. But with my trekking gear I felt surefooted and gung-ho.

In the past I would never have imagined being willing to take a hike in the snow and ice on a RMNP trail at the end of November. It was very empowering to realize I am willing to take on new athletic adventures, with the right equipment, of course!

Taking a hike on a trail in the snow is beautiful. It is very different than a summertime experience. I am glad to have discovered this. The key, I have found, is the willingness to try new adventures and to make sure you have the right equipment to keep you safe. I am honestly looking forward to my next winter hike.

Here's to Living Vibrant!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thyme-infused Cardamom-Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Thyme-infused Cardamom-Orange Oatmeal Cookies are packed full of delicious and nutritious ingredients to keep everyone happy and healthy for the holidays (photo by LivligaHome.com).

Our taste buds love to be tantalized. The more tantalizing the flavors are the more satisfying we find them. That is why I love experimenting with flavors and discover new combinations that I find delicious. This is particularly true of cookies and muffins. Treats and desserts tend to be more about the “sweet” than about being filling and tasty. It is a fun challenge to find ways to make them delicious, nutritious AND satisfying…with just one or two.

I have been experimenting with a new recipe to add to my fresh herb repertoire of cookies. It has been a big hit. A great treat with a latte or a hot cup of green tea. It can also be a cookie to bake and share with friends during the holidays. These cookies are packed full of nutritious ingredients to keep everyone happy and healthy. Click here to read the entire article and see the recipe...




Reposted from Sheila's Blog on The Epoch Times.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Time For The #LivligaBigReveal! First 30 RTs Win BIG!


Get set! Here you go! 

As of 7 am (MST):

Retweet our #LivligaBigReveal tweet this morning and the first 30 who do will win!

The first 30 will receive a 50% discount on ANY and ALL Livliga product purchased within the next 48 hours! A direct message will be sent to the winners with the special code to use.

Thanks for joining in! May you be one of the lucky ones to win!

#CyberMonday
#CyberMondayDeal
#LivligaBigReveal

Great Healthy Living Quote #123-- Think of the Beauty

Great Healthy Living Quote #123-- Think of the Beauty (photo by LivligaHome).

What beauty can you identify in your life?

#MotivationMonday
#Inspiration
#Beauty
#NoMoreMisery
#BeingThankful
#LivligaQuote
#LiveVibrant
#Livliga

Sunday, November 30, 2014

1 Day Until You Can Win Big with the #LivligaBigReveal on Twitter!


One day until the Livliga Big Reveal! You can be one of the BIG winners just by checking in @LivligaHome on twitter. 30 people are going to be VERY LUCKY soon!
We are having fun building up to the big day. Livliga is in the midst of a #LivligaBigReveal on twitter. The Reveal will happen tomorrow-- Cyber Monday, December 1 at 7AM
We have been asking questions and sharing information to hopefully get all of us thinking about being healthy through the holidays.  Come join the fun and help us promote this fun event. Share with those you know-- we sure would appreciate it. Let's have some healthy fun and help some lucky people-- including you!-- win big tomorrow!
Go to twitter, become a @LivligaHome follower, and get ready to win!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Join in the Fun of #ShopSmall Saturday!



Livliga , elegant portion control dinnerware, is one of the many small businesses around the country and in your local community. As you prepare for the holidays and are buying special gifts for the ones you love, please consider buying from small businesses in your community and online. Thank you!


#ShopSmall
#Livliga
#LiveVibrant

Friday, November 28, 2014

Great Ways to Use Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers

Great Ways to Use Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers (photo by LivligaHome).
 It is the day after Thanksgiving and we are all tired of cooking and have lots of leftovers in our refrigerators. How do we face making the next meal? By using the leftovers in a new, easy, yet different way.

People seem to have strong feelings about leftovers. Many are adverse to leftovers, hating the idea of eating day old food. Others, like me, love leftovers because it means for me that I can leverage the efforts of cooking for more than one meal. I also save time and can have food ready to go in Tupperware for taking to work or for making measuring the next meal mindless.

One way I have found to make using leftovers more appealing to everyone is to use leftover ingredients in new recipes. Leftovers no longer have the baggage of "same old same old" if you use them up in different recipes. It is easy to add leftover turkey in salads, chilis, soups and sandwiches. And there is always the longtime tradition of making turkey tetrazzini with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Two other favorites of mine are a no cook Apricot Turkey Salad Sandwich and a Barley Salad with Dried Cherries and Roasted Turkey. These are both recipes that are easy to do and real crowd-pleasers. They are also recipes that can be adapted to feed any number of people which can be handy when you have extra family around during the holidays.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Spatchcocking a Turkey for Easy and Quick Roasting

Spatchcocking a Turkey for Easy and Quick Roasting (photo by LivligaHome).
 My husband has been talking about spatchcocking a turkey for Thanksgiving for a couple of years. This year we decided to do it. What is spatchcocking you may ask? Simply, it means taking the backbone out of a whole turkey. It is like butterflying a leg of lamb. The word and technique dates back to the 18th century. Spatchcocking a turkey has only recently become popular, however. One article I read attributes the popularity of spatchcocked turkeys to Mark Bittman, well-known food writer for the New York Times, who started talking about it in 2002 and then made a video of it in 2012.

The real reason you spatchcock a turkey is to cut your roasting time significantly. What used to take hours will now only take about 45 minutes! The other benefit is it fits into small ovens. Ever know of a situation where the stuffed turkey ends up being too big for the oven?

In researching the technique my husband landed on a recipe and video he liked from bon appétit. It is not difficult to do but it does require a sharp knife and a bit of force.
Spatchcocking requires a sharp knife and a bit of force (photo by LivligaHome).
 The suggested dry rub for the turkey was heady with smells of fresh orange zest and aniseed. Interestingly you do not cook the turkey with the rub. Instead you marinate it for a number of hours and then rinsing off the rub before roasting. We liked the rub a lot but you can prepare your spatchcocked turkey any number of ways.

So what is the verdict on spatchcocking? It is easy to do and does in fact allow you to cook your turkey in 45 minutes. Our turkey was also delicious.

Something to be aware of--no longer can you present a whole turkey at the Thanksgiving table with the same visual appeal. The new appeal is cutting up the turkey in the kitchen, arranging it attractively on a platter and then bringing it to the buffet ready to serve up.
The new appeal is cutting up the turkey in the kitchen (photo by LivligaHome).
 We will definitely repeat spatchcocking our turkeys. In fact, we just may eat whole turkeys more often in the future because it will no longer take so long to do and the meat is so juicy. We are thrilled to know about this new technique!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#LivligaBigReveal is coming up! Find out how you can win big!


Six days until the Livliga Big Reveal! 30 people are going to be VERY LUCKY! 
We are building up to the big day. Livliga is in the midst of a #LivligaBigReveal on twitter. The Reveal will happen on Cyber Monday, December 1 at 7AM. We have been asking questions and sharing information to hopefully get all of us thinking about being healthy through the holidays.  Come join the fun and help us promote this fun event. Share with those you know-- we sure would appreciate it. Let's have some healthy fun!
Go to twitter, become a @LivligaHome follower, and share your opinion on today's question!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Great Healthy Living Quote #122-- Being Thankful



How we view ourselves can make all the difference in the difference we can make...

#MotivationMonday
#Inspiration
#PriviledgedLife
#BeingGrateful
#BeingThankful
#Fit2Feast
#LiveVibrant
#Livliga

Friday, November 21, 2014

Recent Study Shows: Sugary Sodas Shorten Lives

Recent Study Shows: Sugary Sodas Shorten Lives (photo by LivligaHome).

A recent study performed by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and published in the American Journal of Public Health found that regular consumption of soda pop actually ages our cells. All it takes is drinking 20 ounces of sugary soda a day to age your body almost by 5 years in a matter of months. Diet soda does not have the same effect. Interestingly, the study showed that it didn't matter whether you were overweight or at your ideal weight, those that drank the sugary sodas aged at the same rate. 

The aging of our bodies most notably takes place in our chromosomes. As we age the telomeres at the tips of our chromosomes shorten. How short our telomeres are is a great way of understanding our age and the aging process of our bodies. What scientists are now discovering is that certain environmental factors can age us much more quickly. Because of this study sugary soda pop has been put in this category.

When we age we are more susceptible to disease. Not only are we shortening our lives we are also increasing our vulnerability to becoming chronically ill with diabetes, heart disease and various cancers. As Elissa Epel, PhD, professor of psychiatry at UCSF and senior author of the study states in a recent UCSF article, “Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body’s metabolic control of sugars, but also through accelerated cellular aging of tissues."

Anyway you look at it, sugary sodas are not good for our health. If you are hooked on sodas, its time to acquire a taste for diet soft drinks. You will feel better and live longer if you do.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Have a Healthy and Stress-free Party

A healthy and stress-free party is pre-planned with a healthy meal-making menu made complete with right-sized dishes and glasses, flowers, music and fun napkins (photo by LivligaHome).

The first thing you need to know when having a healthy and stress-free party or a Livliga Lifestyle party, as I like to say, is what “Livliga” means. It is a Swedish word that means lively, vibrant and vivid. The idea is that if you are providing visually appealing, healthy food and drinks people will feel better, have more energy to party and will definitely have way more fun.

So where does one start when getting organized for a Livliga Lifestyle party? First things first– it all starts with the menu. It is key that you pre-plan the menu and the preparation of the food. There are many dishes that can be made ahead of your party day. By thinking through the foods and dishes you choose you can make sure they are healthy choices and that they can all be prepared in time for the first doorbell ring. To read the entire article click here...



Reposted from Sheila's Blog on The Epoch Time

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Great Healthy Living Quote #121-- Catch Health & Happiness From Others

Great Healthy Living Quote #121-- Catch Health & Happiness From Others
What good things can you catch from others?

#MotivationMonday
#Inspiration
#SecretsToAHappyLife
#CatchHappiness
#Fit2Feast
#LiveVibrant
#Livliga 




Friday, November 14, 2014

Movie Review: Fed Up or “How We Have Been Duped, Drugged and Diseased”

Movie Review: Fed Up or “How We Have Been Duped, Drugged and Diseased”(photo by LivligaHome).


My husband and I finally found an evening this week when we could watch the movie Fed Up. I ordered it in early summer and have had it to watch for a while. Shows you how crazy our lives have been!

I am so glad we waited. It requires you to really pay attention and absorb a lot of information. Important information. Really important information about our sugar addiction, its direct influence on diabetes, heart disease and cancer and then how its consumption and consequence is completely wrapped up in the actions of our government and our politics.

The movie makes direct parallels between the sugar/food industry and the cigarette/tobacco industry. It is scary how similar the story is between the two. Just like with the tobacco industry, the food industry has known for decades that the sugar in the food we eat is killing us. Clear back in 1977, almost 40 years ago, the McGovern Commission issued a report identifying the coming surge of obesity and defined our first dietary goals for the USA. Then, just like the tobacco companies, the food companies lobbied to have key parts of the report removed or restated so it would avoid a negative impact for business and would, in fact, provide for a whole new line of foods we now know as “low fat”.  Instead of limiting sugar in take, as was initially recommended by the report, the rewrite allowed for even more sugar to be introduced into our diet, all under the guise of “low fat”.  The movie states the shocking fact that from 1977 to 2000 our intake of sugar has more than doubled. It is no wonder that by the year 2050 one in three people is expected to be living with diabetes.

Another important point the movie makes is how addictive sugar is. One of the research studies sited is one where rats have been given a steady dose of cocaine until they have become addicted to it. Then they are given a choice of choosing between more cocaine or sugar water. Guess which one they chose? Yep, you guessed it, the sugar water.  Just like the rats, people can’t seem to get enough of it. In fact, another study shows that the more sugar we eat the more our brain is altered into thinking we are hungry so we keep on eating…and eating…and eating.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, we are receiving cues constantly to eat more. This is particularly true of our children. Ever watched Saturday morning cartoons with a child? It is filled with commercials of sugary foods. Even the shows are filled with branding references to the same sugary foods. Or their favorite characters are co-branded with unhealthy foods to provoke parents to buy them to appease their kids. Kids can’t get away from the cues whether it is TV commercials, school cafeterias, the images in their gyms or sports fields, the check out isles at the grocery store, the photos in fast food restaurants, or the billboards on the way to school. From the moment kids are born we feed them sugar in just about all the foods they eat, including baby formula, and we brainwash them with images of sugary foods.

The movie makes the stunning point that sugar, like any addiction, is ruining our lives and our health. We are even killing our kids with it. Not only is our sugar addiction ruining our lives it is bankrupting our families and our government. And if that wasn’t bad enough it is also limiting our ability to perform.  We aren’t fit enough to protect our country or clear headed enough to be innovative. We are too focused on our addiction and the diseases it causes to be able to do anything else.

It does get you fighting mad. The movie clearly wants to get us all mad enough to do something about the obesity epidemic and one of its key culprits—sugar. This movie is a wake up call. There is no doubt we are obligated to get involved and force the change we need. Just like we did with the tobacco industry.

Sugar is a key culprit in the obesity epidemic but it is not the only culprit. It still goes back to the super sized world we live in and the quantity of food and calories we consume on a daily basis. We can’t just demonize sugar. We have to truly change the way we live and demand that the government support us in our change to a healthy lifestyle through its policies and mandates whether it be in the schools, our healthcare system, the USDA or FDA.  Fed Up clearly shows us the need for change.

This is an important movie for everyone to see. Just don’t watch it with a bowl of buttered popcorn. You will thank me later.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chili Made With Late Harvest Tomatoes

Our Late Harvest Tomatoes (photo by LivligaHome).
It is that time of year when we can have a hard frost. This thought prompts me into action in harvesting my remaining tomatoes. It is our first year with a real live vegetable garden. This is all new to me. We have an unbelievable bounty of tomatoes. The vines are laden with heirlooms, romas and big boys. I brought a huge bowl back in to my house vowing to use them all before they go bad. This meant planning multiple meals using tomatoes at each meal. It was actually a lot of fun! The heirlooms were used for Caprese salad and yummy BLTs. The big boys were used for an unbelievably delicious uncooked tomato pasta topped with feta. Then for the finale we had friends over and I made a Late Harvest Tomato Chili with the romas. The chili was a big hit so I thought I would share my recipe with you. To read the entire article and see the recipe click here...



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

Monday, November 10, 2014

Great Healthy Living Quote #120-- The Art of Being Wise

Great Healthy Living Quote #120-- The Art of Being Wise
Sometimes you just need to "let it go"!
 

#MotivationMonday
#ArtOfBeingWise
#LetItGo
#Fit2Feast
#LiveVibrant
#Livliga

Friday, November 7, 2014

Product Review—All-Clad 7QT. Electric Slow Cooker

Product Review—All-Clad 7QT. Electric Slow Cooker (photo by LivligaHome).

When the autumn comes, out comes my slow cooker. I love the ease of meals prepared with it. And you can’t beat the aromas wafting in the air as your meal cooks.

This year dear friends came to visit us and as a thank you they sent us an All-Clad 7QT. Electric Slow Cooker. Christmas came early. I am blessed with great friends who know how much I love to cook!

This slow cooker is definitely a major upgrade from my ancient crockpot. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved my crockpot and it has served me well. It was given to me by my mother-in-law 15 years ago.  I can only imagine the number of meals I have fixed for my family with it. The All-Clad is a next generation version with multiple new features.

The first time I used my new slow cooker was on Halloween. I wanted to make an easy chili with ingredients from my garden. Here is what I found out about the All-Clad 7QT. Electric Slow Cooker:

It is much bigger.  It holds 7 Quarts. I can’t tell you how many recipes I have made with my original 6 Quart crockpot where the lid would not fit on tight because the ingredients mounded over the pot. In making my chili in the All-Clad there was room to spare and the lid was nice and snug on top.

It is designed so you can brown ingredients in it right on the stove. This is a really cool feature. When browning my onions and meat I was able to place the insert of the pot right on the stove, brown my ingredients and then place the pot back in the slow cooker base. This makes cooking even easier and with less clean up.

It has a programmable feature where you can start on high and then go to low for cooking. Anybody who cooks regularly in a slow cooker knows how cool this feature is. Three-fourths of the recipes call for starting on High for the first hour or so and then setting it to Low for the rest of the cooking time. This is a hassle because you have to remember to do it or you are no longer around to do it. Now with this All-Clad I can set the heat as specified by the recipe and go about my day.  Super cool.

It has an attractive exterior. This slow cooker is really good looking. No more worries about serving from a slow cooker if you have friends over.

The insert is non-stick. This makes cooking in it a breeze. Cleaning it is also hassle-free. You just have to make sure you use non-metal utensils with it and when you clean it you can use abrasives.

The only slight drawback I see is that it is not dishwasher safe. You need to wash it by hand. In reality it would be hard to fit in the dishwasher and fit anything else in too so you would probably want to wash it separately anyway. 

The verdict is: I love the All-Clad 7QT. Electric Slow Cooker. It is my new favorite go-to gadget. I am eager to test out more recipes in it. It definitely makes a wonderful gift.

Live Vibrant!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November Challenge--#Fit2Feast


Fit2Feast Challenge: Kick off the holiday season the healthy way by completing at least 10 minutes of exercise each day November 1-26 (photo by LivligaHome).
Halloween seems to start the feeding frenzy of the holidays for all of us. Our good habits go out the window and our waistlines increase. At a certain point many of us stop stepping on the scale and hold on to the hope of the New Year. We check out mentally. But wait a minute; do we really want to end the year this way…again?

There is a way around this black hole to our healthy lifestyle. It does require hanging in there and being present. We do have to recognize the choice is ours. And no, I am not talking about giving up anything or skipping Thanksgiving. I am talking about choosing to continue to live our healthy lifestyle all the way through the holidays. Old habits die hard, believe me, I know. If we hang in there together we can start a new trend this holiday season.  

The only way I know to beat an old unhealthy habit is to deliberately do something new. It also has to be fun. And if it involves having fun and doing it with others chances are we will succeed. Here is the pitch: Why not join in a challenge?

SparkPeople has put out a challenge to have all of us to exercise everyday for the month of November for at least 10 minutes a day. How great is this?! By joining the challenge it will help us stay focused, do something good for ourselves instead of something not so good and we will really feel we have earned our Thanksgiving dinner by the time it rolls around.

Here are the challenge specifics: It's all about keeping your priorities front and center--and we're here to help you do just that with a month-long consistency challenge. Kick off the holiday season the healthy way by completing at least 10 minutes of exercise each day from November 1st to November 26th (the day before Thanksgiving). For bonus points, try to squeeze in 10 minutes on Thanksgiving Day, too! The best part? We'll be there to support you along the way. Each day of the challenge, you can post to FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest by using the hashtag #Fit2Feast to stay accountable and let us know how you're doing. Then, we'll serve up tips and encouragement to keep you headed in the right direction!

Are you with me?! #TeamLivliga is in. Come join in the challenge, have some fun and help the rest of us stay accountable too. Here’s to all of us having a Happy and Healthier Holiday Season!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

#Fit2Feast
#TeamLivliga