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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.



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. To read the entire article and see the list of gifts click here...

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.

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