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Monday, November 28, 2016

Healthy Lifetyle Tip-- Feel Full With Food Scented Candles



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Monday, November 21, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip-- Set the Mood for a Meal




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Friday, November 18, 2016

Switching Up our Thanksgiving Traditions for our Health and Happiness

Thanksgiving is a day that embodies many things for us. It is a time we look forward to as we gather with family and friends, many of whom we may only see at holidays. It is also a time seeped in all variety of traditions from the decorations we use, the table we set and the foods we prepare.


Over time we can see these traditions as a source of comfort and goodwill or we can see them as a burden and the bane of our existence. The last thing we want on a holiday is to be held captive by our traditions. We should only keep the ones we like and pitch the ones we don't. Old habits, especially bad habits, are hard to break. So how do we break out of the traditions we no longer want as part of our lives because we want better times? Switch it up. This is particularly true when it comes to the foods we eat and the amount we eat.

There is no reason we can't have our favorite foods. If they are made from recipes that have a lot of fat, sugar or salt it is possible to change up the recipe to find an updated version that is tasty yet healthier. I have a friend I recently enjoyed a dinner with who mentioned to me how years ago I had recommended Cooking Light to her and how she loves the magazine and almost exclusively cooks from it. Cooking Light is a great example of a resource where the recipes are all delicious, made with real ingredients, and are well conceived for a healthier lifestyle. There are many other great online resources for healthy recipes when you are looking to update a family favorite or be inspired by something new. Switch it up this Thanksgiving by trying out an updated version of a family favorite recipe.


The other tradition we have which is truly unhealthy and ultimately something we find unenjoyable  is how we gorge ourselves at Thanksgiving. I can hear the groans from stuffed family members now! Why have we made this a ubiquitous American tradition, especially when it makes us miserable? It is definitely time to switch up this bloating and burdensome holiday tradition. How? One way is to set up a buffet in another room from where you are eating so people have to get up to go get more food. That way it won't be sitting on the table for people to keep serving up spoonfuls of the food in front of them. Another great trick is to pre-portion your foods. It can be as easy as fixing just enough food for everyone attending or pre-cutting portions of food and arranging it on platters as discrete servings. Another great way we have found to help keep portions to a just-right size is to use LivSpoons, serving spoons with measurement. They are actually designed to hook on a side of a bowl so you can place the size you want on the bowl of food you are serving up. They are super easy to use, attractive, and a new way to switch up how you serve up.


Eight years ago our family decided to switch up our Thanksgiving traditions. We chose new updated recipes of our family favorites to make our meal healthier without giving up the foods we love. Our meals are no longer so complicated or burdensome. There are so many less calories too!

We also started a new tradition of taking a family walk before we sit down to our meal. I still love working hard to make our special dinner, and now I also relish our beautiful, long walks in the morning as a family enjoying our time of being together. On this day of thanksgiving there is nothing better than reveling in the beauty of the day, being with family and working up an appetite on our walk.

As I firmly believe and see more and more people embrace: The greatest gift we can give ourselves and the ones we love is the gift of health.

May you have a Happy and Health-filled Thanksgiving!


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Monday, November 14, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip-- Breathe Deeply








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Friday, November 11, 2016

Roasted Root Salads

When you think of root vegetables they make us think of Autumn, don't they? We think of them in our favorite pot roast, stew or soup. The idea of making them into a salad, however, is a new and different idea. That's because we think of roots as hardy, somewhat gnarly and sometimes even bitter. With this idea of exploring the more delicate side of roots I set about testing and creating a new way of enjoying roots--in salads.

There are in reality many different roots we can use from carrots, onions and parsnips to rutabaga, turnip and celeriac to sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, beets and, of course, ginger and garlic. It is fun to imagine all the ways we can prepare and combine these various roots. In the fall we are ready for a change in foods and it seems our palette is searching for a seasonal change to hardier richer flavors. Root vegetables are the perfect way to meet our need for healthy hardier meals without having to be heavy or hefty.

Let's talk about how you prepare Root Vegetables- to peel or not to peel. It depends on the skin. Most of the time if your vegetables are fresh there is not need to peel them, just wash them. There are a few exceptions like the gnarly celeriac root with its thick skin. I always peel it. Ginger is another root where peeling is recommended. And on occasion, with older vegetables there may be parts of a root vegetable that will need peeling or cutting out. The great thing is you can make it easier on yourself by not peeling the skins and cut down on your prep time when making a meal.



The other "trick" for prepping root vegetables for salads is to chop them finely. They are much sweeter in small nuggets. The key is to have a sharp knife to make the chopping easier.

Besides the fact that there is variety and abundance of root vegetables in the fall, are there other reasons we should want to eat them? You bet. They are incredibly good for us. Here are some reasons they are so healthy for us to eat:

  • They grow in the ground and absorb the nutrients and minerals in the earth.
  • As the base of a plant they hold all the nourishment to feed and grow it.
  • They are packed with a high concentration of antioxidants, Vitamins C, B, A, and iron, helping to cleanse your system.
  • They are also filled with slow-burning carbohydrates and fiber, which make you feel full, and help regulate your blood sugar and digestive system.
  • Roots are excellent for people who are trying to lose weight, or simply stay healthy because they are filling and slow burning so you stay full longer.
  • Adding up all of the nutrient qualities, root vegetables are disease-fighting, immunity and energy-boosting, and are also extremely versatile in cooking. 

Another important part of making sure you enjoy the deliciousness of root vegetables it to make sure you choose the freshest available. To choose the best root vegetables make sure they feel firm and do not have big brown blemishes. If you do end up with one that has a blemish you can always cut it out if the rest of the vegetable is still firm.

How you store your root vegetables is also important for maximizing the best result. Storing them in your refrigerator is not ideal. If you plan to use your roots in a day or two they will be fine but they do soften quickly. The best place to store them is in a cool dry place. I use a basket on the floor in my pantry. They can stay there for a number of days.

During my experimenting I came up with three different root salads. You can find these recipes and their vinaigrettes on the Livliga website in our recipe section. I have also included my simple Root Salad with Fried Egg with this blog to get you inspired to explore all three recipes.



Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Looking for a way to make cooking, measuring and serving easier? Try out the award-winning LivSpoons!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip-- Sit Down When You Eat




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Friday, November 4, 2016

Guest Blog: Living With Diabetes--How to Manage Choice

As part of our partnership with DiabetesSisters during National Diabetes Month, Livliga is posting this guest blog from a member of the DiabetesSisters' community. As you can see from this blog, portion control is a key aspect of managing and living with diabetes. Livliga is all about portion control. That is why we want to share this important story.




Thanksgiving is THE time of year for over-eating. I don’t know about you, but I usually eat myself sick! It’s the darn mashed potatoes and gravy! You see, I tend to rationalize my turkey-day binging by pointing out, “oh…well, it is only once a year, right?” Family is gathered in one place for the first time this year, and they are all splurging. Going overboard is okay, then. Right?! I’m just following suit?

In the aftermath of the family gorge, after everyone takes a nap (tryptophan is what we blame the sleepiness on, but it actually is just over-eating), they wake up feeling warm and just the right amount of full. However, I don’t. Over-eating for me, a person with diabetes, requires a longer recovery period. I can’t just power-nap it off. My blood glucose levels become much more variable, and consequently, so does my mood. That’s right, I get cranky and antisocial after every Thanksgiving meal because the experience I have with my body fluctuates with the roller-coaster that my blood glucose levels become.

Every Thanksgiving I fall into the same trap. Here is the good news, though, I know about the trap now. I am aware. I’ve been through enough of them to see this pattern and decide to do something about it. I will not make an impossible goal of not partaking in the festive eating at all, but instead will make a goal to focus on my portions and keep them small.

Adam Brown enlightened the Diabetes Online Community with his n=1 study. In the article published by DiaTribe, he unraveled the results of an experiment he conducted on himself (he is a person with diabetes). One thing he found is that any meal containing over 30 grams of carbohydrate introduced greater variability in his blood glucose levels. He cautioned readers to consult their health care provider before making any changes to their diet regimen (of course), but offered a moment of reflection. That moment of reflection lead me to question my own carbohydrate threshold. What amount of carbohydrate introduces that variability for me and my diabetes? Just a little food for thought during this Thanksgiving holiday.




So, this Thanksgiving, I’ll taste everything (even the mashed potatoes and gravy), but not got overboard! Small portions means I can try everything I want to try, without feeling sick later. This year, I am making a promise to myself to not over-eat and thus be happy and social during the one time of year we all gather in one place.



Healthy Lifestyle Idea
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Right-size your eating environment with Livliga Lifestyle Products designed to help you embrace healthy eating in a way that celebrates beauty, food and sharing.



About the Guest Blogger
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Heather Gabel is a PhD student researcher studying peer-support in the context of diabetes at University of Illinois at Chicago. Gabel has a background working in the non-profit sector with organizations like DiabetesSisters and Diabetes Hands Foundation. In her blog www.TheChronicScholar.com, Gabel writes about the intersection of patient experience and academia.  

About DiabetesSisters

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DiabetesSisters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and quality of women with diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf. Founded in 2008, the organization offers a safe environment for women living with diabetes through online (www.diabetessisters.org) and in-person programs such as forums, blogs, webinars, National Conferences, Leadership Institutes, and monthly peer support group meetings throughout the United States.