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Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking Forward to a Fresh Start


We are just days away from the New Year. At this point at the end of the year most of us can hardly wait until it is over. We want to start fresh. The year we are in has a year’s worth of baggage we would just as soon let go off by starting a new year and starting the clock over.

Some of that baggage is the weight we have gained, particularly over the past month of holiday parties and treats we couldn’t say “no” to. Now we are bloated, the pants are too tight and we are tired of feeling this way.

In comes the New Year.  It comes with all new possibility. We don’t have to be the way we were. We don’t have to hold on to the same bad habits. We can have a do-over.

Change may not be that easy to accomplish but we love, in fact, we need to believe it is possible. And when we look back on our lives we can point to many times we have changed. As my mom always loved to remind me: Change is inevitable, it is how you manage that change that makes the difference in how you succeed in life.


Sometimes the most important element in our success is believing it is possible. If we don’t think we can do something we probably can’t. On the other hand, if we really want to change and we believe it is possible to change we are already on the road to succeeding in sustaining that change.

A little planning helps too. It is hard to create change if we continue to do things the way we have always done them. Hitting our heads against the wall over and over again will get the same result—a sore head! If we really want change we need to switch things up. In our kitchen we need to get rid of the old prepackaged snacks and carbs to then bring in the new bowl full of fresh fruit and precut veggies in the fridge.  We need to make a plan for exercising, which includes some form of accountability so we can help ourselves achieve our goals in fitness and weight loss. And we need to invest in the tools for living a healthier lifestyle from getting right-sized dishes to help right size your meals; to purchasing an easy to fill water bottle that is also dishwasher safe; to finding the right fitness tracker, like a Fitbit, to help you stay mindful of your movement; to getting a well-fitting new pair of running shoes you need to make exercising more enjoyable and less painful on the feet and joints. And don’t forget to seek out friends who want to achieve the same thing and who care about living a healthy lifestyle. Mutual support goes a long way towards helping us make real, long term change.

As we look forward to the New Year let’s embrace the hope of a healthy start that opens the door to learning new ways of doing things so we can, in fact, live a healthier life and share it with our friends and family.

Wishing you a Health-Filled New Year! Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Invest in Your Health



#InvestInYourHealth
#HealthyLiving
#HealthyEating
#ChooseHealth
#Nutrition
#HealthyLifestyleTip
#WhyLivligaWorks   
#Livliga  
#LiveVibrant

Friday, December 23, 2016

Baking as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle


The smell of baking in your kitchen that wafts throughout your home makes people feel dreamy, brings a content smile to their faces and evokes happy memories. I love baking for my family and friends. The act of baking satisfies my need to nurture them. This is especially true over the holidays when we gather as family and with friends.

In the past what I baked for my family was not so healthy. It was filled with butter, sugar and more salt than humans should consume in a week or more. Increasingly, I have come to realize that my love of baking and my need to nurture was made even better by being mindful of the ingredients I use. To care about what I am baking is part of what makes up the nurturing I need to offer. Providing healthy baked goods is actually more in line with my need to nurture and nourish the ones I love than what I was producing previously.


Introducing new treats that have ingredients that promote health is a true act of love and nurturing. I have had so much fun experimenting with savory herbs in muffins, cookies and cakes. Adding more puréed fruits and alternative natural sweeteners to reduce the amount of refined sugar I use has allowed me to discover better ways of creating baked goods.

I think we have a false belief that healthier means less tasty and unattractive foods. This may have been the case at the beginning of the Whole Foods and organic movements but is hardly the case today. There are pastry chefs like Vanessa Musi who have opened our eyes to what is possible...and beautiful to our eye and palette. No more do we need to hang on to the old notion that healthy means crunchy granola.

Today when so many we know, including ourselves,  are struggling with weight and health issues we need to embrace doing things differently, including what we bake for the holidays. We give up nothing in doing this. Instead we add the gift of health to the love of nurturing. It is true, our baked goods can become a part of a healthy lifestyle.

As we gather for Hanukkah and Christmas as well as look to the New Year here are some delectable and healthy cookie recipes to enjoy and share:

Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thyme-infused Cardamom-Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Double-Ginger Ginger Snaps

Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!




 
Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Looking for an easy way to measure in the kitchen and serve up right-sized portions at the table? Check out the award winning LivSpoons and make them part of your daily living.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip-- Create New Healthy Eating Traditions




#HolidayIdea
#HolidayCooking
#HolidayBaking
#HolidayGifting
#HealthyEating
#ChooseHealth
#Nutrition
#HealthyLifestyleTip
#WhyLivligaWorks   
#Livliga  
#LiveVibrant

Friday, December 9, 2016

Giving the Gift of Health and the Challenge of Giving Health-minded Gifts

We are all on our journey to healthier living. Many of us are challenged with health concerns that require we pay more attention to what we eat and how we live. More of us are faced with weight management and all the health issues that come with being overweight or obese. A growing part of the population, me included, are aging and are seeking ways to maximize our quality of life by embracing a healthy lifestyle.




I have come to truly believe that the greatest gift we can give ourselves and the ones we love is the gift of health. If this is true and we all agree, then why is it so taboo for us to give gifts that support this greatest gift, the gift of health?

As someone who believes we need the tools and environment to support us in the healthy lifestyle we seek-- and went so far as to create a company, Livliga, dedicated toward this end-- I see the need for the conversation to change.  Instead of focusing on the visible symptoms like someone being overweight, why don’t we focus on the solution of healthy living?


 Livliga@ LivSpoons and the Aveq serving bowl
Of course, it is easier when someone asks for those healthy lifestyle tools. I have done a lot of that with my own family. I have asked for a new bike, better work out clothes, a kayak, a Fitbit and lots of cookbooks. By opening the door to acquiring, using and enjoying these healthy lifestyle products it has also encouraged my family and friends to give me cool new gifts I haven’t asked for and didn’t even know about. A great example of this was the online health coach and app “Vida” that my sons gave me for my birthday. Perhaps the greatest gift towards healthy living each of my family members has given me is the gift of support and participation. My husband works out with me every morning at the YMCA, my daughter has done the same and also loves going on walks with me, and my sons go cycling and hiking with me whenever they are home. And when it comes to my clean cooking they are all on board. They happily try out my new healthier recipes and are enthusiastic about the healthy lifestyle products I have created and use everyday in our own lives and at every meal.

So what do we do when we recognize someone could benefit from having healthy lifestyle tools in their life because of health issues or weight issues? Maybe it is about our living a healthy lifestyle and wanting to share it. As someone who has been overweight and on diets on and off for most of my life, I can tell you there is nothing more irritating than having someone tell you what you need or tell you what you need to do without them practicing what they are preaching to you.

It is all about being on the journey together. It is about discovery and having fun with it. It is so much more enjoyable and doable when we share in the journey. Nothing gives me more pleasure than giving a friend a healthy lifestyle cookbook I have tried, liked and use regularly. My new favorite is the America’s Test Kitchen Complete Vegetarian cookbook. Fabulous. I am also delighted to share Livliga product like our LivSpoons that are serving spoons and measuring spoons all in one. In fact, we were using them for Thanksgiving when a friend who was with us brought up how much he loves his LivSpoons and uses then all the time. His favorite is how well they work for him when he makes his weekend waffles; they are perfect for measuring the waffle batter and for serving up the maple syrup, he said. Can’t beat how sharing in a healthy lifestyle with the ones you love makes it a healthier and happier world for all of us to enjoy.




It is possible to change the conversation. Focusing on what is “wrong” with us or others will achieve nothing and may in fact make everyone feel worse. The better, more effective approach is to focus on a way of being that we can all share. The more you do it and the more you share it the more it becomes a natural part of who you are and what you do. A great example of this for me was when I recently traveled back to my hometown, Kansas City. A long time friend of mine I had not seen in a while asked if we could meet up. Instead of asking for a lunch date she asked if we could take a walk in a park. It makes me smile just to think about how wonderful it was to have a friend suggest a fun walk. We had a great time, talked up a storm and managed to walk around the park several times just so we could keep going with the conversation! What a wonderful way of being.

So this holiday season think about how you can give yourself the gift of health and then how you can share it with the ones you love.

Enjoy! And Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip-- Give Half Your Baked Cookies Away



#HolidayIdea
#HolidayCooking
#HolidayBaking
#HolidayGifting
#HealthyEating
#ChooseHealth
#Nutrition
#HealthyLifestyleTip
#WhyLivligaWorks   
#Livliga  
#LiveVibrant

Friday, December 2, 2016

Holiday mindfulness- how to stay in control




Truth be told we wake up everyday wanting to be in control and stay in control of what we eat. Every year we make a pact with ourselves during the holidays that we just aren’t going to eat too much and gain those unwanted pounds. Yet we don’t want to give up all the goodies—those one-time-a-year delectables we look forward to munching on during December. How can we have our cake and cookies and still stay in control? The answer: Holiday mindfulness.

The challenge we have with holidays is they are infused with tradition and ritual. This means we have set up a pattern to repeat the same activities over and over again. It doesn’t require that we be mindful. This lack of mindfulness is what gets us in trouble. We aren’t thinking about what we are doing so bad habits perpetuate.

We can only change out the bad habits with new healthier habits if we are aware of what we are doing. It is key that we are present as we navigate the holidays. We can’t make the better choice if we aren’t aware we have one because we merely repeat what we have always done—that extra glass of wine at the office party, the two extra sweets at our friend’s holiday party or the extra batch of holiday cookies we bake to make sure we have “enough” on hand. Doing what we have always done sets us up for “the same ol’ same ol’”.

If we really want to change and not gain the weight we don’t want to then we have to stop doing the same things over and over again just because we did them before. Being more mindful will allow us to stay more in control.

Here is a link to a blog I have written previously that gives 10 ways to fight the battle of the bulge over the holidays. There are simple tips like eating a healthy snack before going to a party so you don’t arrive famished, or drinking a tall glass of water between alcoholic drinks to help pace your consumption. Print these tips out and tape them up where you will see them, look at them and remind yourself of the ways you can be mindful each day during the holidays. Hopefully my list will get you started on making your own list that will work for you.


Another step is to actually help yourself become more mindfully through adopting certain practices like starting the day by deep breathing before you get out of bed, stretching before you get dressed or taking up a yoga class at your local gym or YMCA. Here is another blog to check out for more ideas on how to give temptation the slip during the holidays.

If you have kids and are looking for ways to help them avoid overindulging during the holidays too then click on my blog Top 10 tips to help kids avoid Holiday overeating .  Children are out of their routine during the holidays and without scheduled fun activities can get sedentary and bored. There are ways to avoid this by planning ahead and also including them in special activities of this joyful season.

Being mindful is relevant to everyone, no matter your age.  It is always the right time to set you and your loved ones up for a happy and healthy holiday season.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!