Introducing Diabetes Room

Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Review: Liz Bull’s “Itty Bitty Diet FREE Weight Loss Book”

Don’t we all want to identify the ways we can live a healthier life and lose the weight we want? And wouldn’t it be great if somebody helped us to break down how to do this into 15 Key Steps to a Body and a Life You Will Love?

This book is very much a truth-as-advertised kind of book. It is “itty bitty” and all about our relationship with food and what influences our relationship, particularly around weight gain and weight loss. What this book so effectively brings to light is that weight gain and the reasons behind being overweight and obese are complex. It is not simply because we eat too much. Its sources are physical, emotional and environmental. No surprise to any of us who have struggled with weight.

This Diet FREE Weight Loss book takes on the meaty roots and causes of weight gain and provides the tips and steps to confront those reasons. It also discusses the barriers to weight loss and how to break them down. There are concrete solutions offered.

The book starts out by explaining why diets don’t work. Three reasons struck me:

  • Everyone’s body has a different set-point for weight, designed to keep you safe.
  • If you are starving emotionally, your body will compensate for that with weight.
  • The things that force your body to lose weight are not the same things that get your body to want to be thin.

I found the discussion and tips on stress, tension and sleep helpful and a great reminder of the specific things we can do to get a handle on our personal challenges in these areas. They do affect our health and we need to be reminded it is worth our while to work on managing them.

It may be a small book but the ideas are big and profound. It made me think. It is a good first step in defining what you need to work on to get a handle on what influences your weight and honestly, quality of life. The issues may be complex yet this Itty Bitty book makes the big point that we can define the steps and address them.

This book reminds me that there is always more to learn. It contributes to our ongoing learning and self-discovery.

A little bit about the author Liz Bull: Liz is a professional with a healing and medical intuitive practice. For full disclosure, Liz is a Livliga Affiliate. We both recognize that weight management is not just about how much we eat but also about the kind of food we eat, our environment, and the psychology around food. Livliga and Liz are offering solutions to help people live healthier lives. For more information about her and what she does please check out this link on our website.

She also shares great recipes. Here’s one you might like to try out! Sautéed Apples.

Click here to download your FREE Livliga  Bariatric eBook with Recipes & Resources

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Adventures of a Healthy Lifestyle Start Up -- Going for Awards

Livliga is fortunate to have been honored with awards. We now have three national awards recognizing different products we have developed.

Our first award was given to our children’s adventure book, Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal. It received the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for health issues, 2013 Bronze Medal.

The second recognition we received was for our Aveq Wine Glass. It was acknowledged as a finalist for the 2014 Martha Stewart Made in America contest.

The third accolade Livliga was bestowed was for our LivSpoon® as the 2016 Editor’s Pick for Best New Product from The Gourmet Retailer.

People have asked how we got these awards. 

The reality is that awards don’t find you, you find them. We submitted our product for consideration and were fortunate that our product was picked for recognition.

Why did we decide to seek out awards?

It’s actually very simple. We believed awards could help us with credibility, brand awareness and exposure. When you are a new product that is innovative and paradigm shifting it provides a big boost to get recognized by established experts and institutions.

How important are awards?

In our experience awards have helped us tell our story. They also add a seal of approval. Because our product is science-based and uses psychology in the actual design, giving people a frame work for its credibility and authenticity is very important whether we are working directly with our customers or with the clinicians, dietitians, diabetes educators or bariatric coordinators who are often the gatekeepers of information for their clients.

What kind of awards should you go for?

This totally depends on what type of product you have. No doubt there is an award out there for your product. You just have to find it.

How do you find specific awards and categories?

We did it on the internet. We searched for awards related to children’s books, innovation, design and health. Timing and cost also factor in. Often you have to submit an application within a certain timeframe within which you have launched your product. Sometimes the fees for submitting your application can also seem expensive. Not all are so look for options. Most have nominal entry fees.

How has it helped us?

Each award has introduced us to new communities and new consumers who most likely will be interested in a product like ours. It provides a great way to have a conversation about our products because it adds depth to our company story and about a specific product. And it always helps when we are putting together presentations and proposals. It adds instant credibility and added interest, giving us a leg up and hopefully in to the group or company we want to work with.

Make a wish list.

We still have a wish list. Because our product is unique in its category and is relevant internationally, we want to go for an international design award. As we introduce new product we also plan to explore ways to go for additional recognition. It is not our first priority but it is part of the plan.

We are now approaching our fifth year of selling our first product. Within that time we are proud to say we have received 3 utility patents and 3 national awards for our product. We are grateful and growing and geared up for more!

Download our FREE Whitepaper:

Friday, April 6, 2018

8 Great Tips for Right Sizing Your Food Environment

Our eyes make all the decisions about the food we eat. That is why our food environment has such a profound effect on us, and the decisions we make about the food we eat. Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the brand and food lab at Cornell University, has shown us the power of our food environment on our decision- making through his research. From his research we see there are ways we can be mindful in how we set up our environment for long-term success. Not surprisingly, much of what is recommended makes a lot of sense--common sense. Below are 8 great tips for right sizing your food environment to help you live a healthier lifestyle and sustain it long term.

1. Choose colors in your kitchen and where you eat that are calming and non-triggering. Think about color in the kitchen and where you eat. Color influences our mood. It is important that we pay attention to the colors we use in our lives, especially around food. Think blues and greens rather than reds and oranges.

2. Trim down your dinnerware. Assess the size of your tableware. Measure your bowls and plates. Dinner plates should not be larger than 10 inches. More importantly the well of the plate should not be larger that 7 inches. All plates should have rims. Bowls should hold no more than 14 ounces. Ideally you want a bowl just large enough to accommodate 1½ cups for servings of foods like soup, pasta and certain cereals with milk. (Check out Livliga dinnerware for what right-sized looks like.)

3. Make the first thing you see in your kitchen something healthy. Studies show we tend to pick the first thing we see so strategically placing a healthy food will help us choose better. A bowl of fruit is an easy visual that is also visually appealing. This is also true in your refrigerator…put the healthy foods in the front of each shelf.

4. Drink out of glassware that makes measuring 8 ounces easy. If we drink out of a large glass we are going to drink large amounts of whatever beverage is in our glass. This might not be an issue if it is water but the problem is we use the same glass for everything we drink. Our eyes automatically adjust to whatever size we live with. If we use large glasses we will over serve ourselves every time. Right sizing our glassware allows us to right size what we consume and gives our eyes an ability to adjust to right-sized servings. (Click here to see what right-sized glassware looks like.)

5. Hide trigger foods and make them difficult to get to. We make over 200 decisions a day about the food we eat. A lot of those decisions are about what we will or won’t eat. Most of the time it is about resisting tempting foods we see. Hide them from our visual field and you don’t have to keep looping that decision making to resist eating something we really don’t want to eat. “Out of sight, out of mind” is true.

6. Serve food away from the table where you eat. It is easier and psychologically helpful to serve up in the kitchen. Foods sitting on the table while you eat are too accessible and trigger us to think we want seconds. Put as much food as possible away as you are serving up, or portion it into storage containers, so it is ready for another meal for another time and not visible from your table.

7. Set an attractive table and sit down to eat. Attractiveness has a powerful affect on our sense of satisfaction. Placemats frame your plate allowing the plate and the food on it to look attractive and appealing. Setting the table and sitting down to eat both help us be mindful that we are eating a meal. We can enjoy the moment and process of eating which contributes to our sense of feeling full and satisfied at the end of a meal.

8. Scale down your food. Bring smaller amounts into your house and repackage your food into 1, 2 or 4 servings before putting it way so it fits with how your are preparing and serving your food.

Download our FREE Managing Your  Diabetes Through Portion Control eBook!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018

Livliga has TWO big announcements for our Diabetes Community!

It is with great excitement and gladness that we introduce our new Diabetes Room—Living Life to the Fullest with Diabetes—on our Livliga website. It is a room that focuses on information specifically relevant for those with pre-diabetes or who are living with diabetes. Living a healthy lifestyle is important for all of us. Understanding how Livliga is helpful to those living with diabetes is what this room is all about.

We highlight how Livliga is an easy-to-use yet precise system to help you prepare, measure and eat well. It explains how a Livliga plate is the new and improved 9 inch Diabetes Portion Control Plate...still with the 7 inch well required but also with the added benefit of our psychology of eating built in! We even illustrate how Livliga dinnerware is a fabulous solution for managing your carbs.

You get to hear from those living with diabetes and why they love and use Livliga. Additionally, there is an area filled with useful resources just for those looking for information on diabetes. If you want to learn more about how to manage diabetes through portion control and the many ways Livliga can help, this room is for you!

Wait! We are not finished with our big announcements! We’d next like to introduce you to our new Diabetes Ebook. Livliga has created a handy FREE downloadable ebook—Manage Your Diabetes Through Portion Control—to provide tips and how to’s.

This easy-to-read ebook includes ways Livliga can help those living with diabetes achieve a healthy lifestyle, easily count and measure their carbs, as well as include their family and friends in what can be an enjoyable experience for everyone. It is all about supporting you in living life to the fullest with diabetes!

Download our FREE Managing Your  Diabetes Through Portion Control eBook!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Product Review & Healthy Recipe: Cuisinart Waffle Maker

I have noticed that there are families that are pancake makers and there are families that are waffle makers…just like there are dog lovers and cat lovers. Then there are the crossover foodies who like variety and exploring new options. As we say at Livliga - “Variety is the spice of life!”

Recently there has been a surge in interest in waffles and waffle making. I honestly had not made homemade waffles since our last big move 13 years ago. The ancient waffle irons did not make the cut for the move.

A lot has changed with waffle irons in 13 years. They are no longer clunky and heavy. They are also so much easier to clean. Many have reversible plates so you can also use them for Paninis, baked eggs or even… pancakes. After doing due diligence on the variety of waffle makers out there today, my husband decided on the Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker with Pancake Plates as a gift for me.

This is a fun machine. It is simple and easy to use. You can pick your degree of brownness. It beeps when the waffles are done. The plates pop in and out with ease. And cleaning the plates and the outside of the waffle maker is as easy as it gets—you can choose to clean the plates in your dishwasher, if you so desire. Even diehard pancake makers will like this versatile machine.

I am an advocate for splurges like making weekend waffles. There is a reason to make special meals. They are a wonderful way to share great food, good conversation and create memories. The challenge is finding recipes and designing menus that are healthy, tasty and suit the occasion. In addition to recipe make overs that improve the quality of the foods we cook my focus is on balancing the flavors with both savory and sweet so the foods are ultimately more satisfying. This is a particular challenge with a food that is known to be sweet, in fact, very sweet, like waffles with syrup. It seemed like a worthy task to take on. I focused on the waffle recipe and the sauce to top it with.

Golden Oatmeal Waffles with Cinnamon Apple & Raisin Sauce

Golden Oatmeal Waffles 


1 ½ cup rolled oats (Quaker)
¼ cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
3-⅛ cups unsweetened almond milk (may need more if it gets too thick before use)
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the waffle maker. Pick your desired brownness. It should be nice and hot before using.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender, one at a time, and process on high until the oats have fully broken down and the batter is smooth and frothy.
  3. Coat waffle maker with brushed on oil or cooking spray.
  4. Pour batter in the middle and smooth to the corners. Pour serving sizes according to the waffle grid of your waffle maker. If your waffle maker makes 4 waffles at a time divide your batter in half to make two batches.
  5. Serve waffles immediately and top with Cinnamon Apple & Raisin Sauce. Freeze leftover waffles individually for future breakfasts or snack.

Servings 4; Serving size: 2 waffles; Carbs: 39; Calories per serving: 262.

Classic Sweetness: Cinnamon Apple & Raisin Sauce


1 cup unsweetened applesauce (Motts)
1 apple, skin on, chopped
2 Tablespoons raisins
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Add first 4 ingredients to a medium saucepan. Heat on low.
  2. Remove cinnamon stick before adding final ingredients.
  3. Add butter and lemon juice right before serving. Stir until butter is melted and all ingredients are integrated.
  4. Serve warm, topping waffles with sauce.

Servings: 6; Serving size: ¼ cup; Carbs: 16; Calories per serving: 57.

Total Calories for 2 waffles and ¼ cup sauce: 319; Carbs: 55.

To make it a meal--add a fried egg or turkey sausage patty.

New Wave Savory Waffles and Tomato with Wine and Thyme Sauce

Substitute and Add:

Waffle recipe:
½ teaspoon thyme/Gayle’s Salt for the cinnamon
1 tablespoon minced shallot for the maple syrup
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar for vanilla extract

Tomato with Wine and Thyme Savory Topping :


1 Tablespoon butter
2 garlic gloves, chopped
1 ½ cup tomatoes, chopped
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon thyme/Gayle’s Salt
½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 eggs
Cooking Spray
2 Tablespoons parsley chopped to use as garnish (optional)


1.     Melt butter in a medium skillet at medium high heat.
2.     Add garlic and sauté for a minute until it becomes aromatic.
3.     Add next 5 ingredients. Sauté for 5 minutes until tomatoes are cooked and the sauce thickens slightly.
4.     Add lemon juice into sauce just before serving, stirring until mixed in.
5.     Keep sauce warm while you fry the eggs. Spray clean skillet with cooking spray while heating at medium high heat. Once hot, crack eggs into skillet and cook until desired doneness.
6.     Once eggs are cooked, top 2 waffles with ¼ cup of sauce and 1 egg. Serve immediately.

 Sauce Serves 4: serving size: 2 waffles, ¼ cup sauce and 1 fried egg

Enjoy! And Live vibrant!

Get your FREE Healthy  Baking Recipe ebook!

Friday, March 16, 2018

5 Reasons Why We Overeat

Like with most diseases, overeating can have its roots in our genes but can also be environmental. The world we live in has a profound affect on our weight. We are influenced by what we see and what we hear or read from the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed. It is hard to control everything but we can control much of our food environment. Despite the super-sized world we live in, it is possible to set up a positive food environment and set ourselves up for healthy lifestyle success.

There are some common causes of overeating that can be addressed and limited by the choices and changes we make.

Overeating after exercise. For many, we tend to overeat after we exercise. Research shows we think we have burned more calories than we really have and end up taking in more calories than we have actually burned. Our treadmill calorie counter is not our friend…nor is it really accurate. In a recent article in Parade magazine, Dr. Scott Kahan, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, states, “You can’t outrun your fork.”

Solution: Unless you’re running marathons, figure out how many calories you need to eat and stick to that, regardless of what you burn when you exercise.

Going out to Dine.  Our favorite social activity is dining out and it creates the perfect situation for overeating. Our brains tend to get set on autopilot so we fall into “mindless eating.” We order more than we should, thinking we’ll share. We drink more than one glass of wine or beer, which lowers our inhibitions. And according to Dr. Brian Wansink, an expert on behavioral economics at Cornell University, those large dinner plates prompt us to eat more, because portions appear smaller.

Solution: Integrate some fun and active social happenings with friends instead of focusing solely on eating. Consider pickle ball, bowling, line dancing, wall climbing, or visit a trampoline park.

Sleep deprivation. Dr. Michael Breus explains that our hormones are greatly affected by our lack of Sleep. As the author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, Breus tells us that ghrelin, the “hunger hormone” that stimulates appetite, increases, while leptin, the “satiety hormone” that triggers fullness, decreases with less sleep. Additionally, low levels of leptin have been shown to increase our cravings for carbohydrates, which more often than not don’t mitigate hunger.

Solution: Make it a priority to get in more sleep. Seven to ten hours is recommended. Create “sleep” rituals like turning off the TV, taking a warm bath or reading a book before bed to help increase your sleep.

Foods labeled “healthy” encourage us to eat more. A recent report published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research explained that when something is labeled healthy we tend to think eating more of it is better for us. It tricks us into over eating.

Solution: Always practice portion control no matter the labeling.

We exclude fats from our diet. So much of our lives we have spent eliminating fats from our diets. Now we know this is also limiting our success in avoiding overeating. Fats make food taste good and they contribute to helping us feel full. “Eating fat does not make you fat; rather, it’s critical for health and weight loss,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine.

Solution: Incorporate healthy fats into your diet as part of your daily meal plan. Include fats like those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon, olives, olive and canola oil. And make sure to avoid trans fats.

A friend who has lost 70 pounds this past year said to me recently—“You lose weight in the kitchen and get fit in the gym.” The more I think about it the more I realize the truth in this statement. Overeating is all about what we do around food. But to manage our ability to avoid overeating we need to tend to our whole selves and recognize we deserve this tending and are…oh…so…worth it!

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Barrier Buster - My Spouse Would Never Go For Changing Their Diet

Need some right-sized tableware to help change your food environment at home? Take a look at our fabulous options!

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Guest Blog: Turning 50 after Gastric By-pass Surgery--Happy Healthy Birthday to Me!

Everyday many people are facing the life-changing event of bariatric surgery. It does change everything....even how we celebrate our birthdays. What is worth celebrating is taking charge of our health, putting our health first and realizing there is this amazing community of people who have experienced or are about to experience similar events...just like how to still have fun and navigate a special, milestone birthday as a post-op. Dannelle Gay is a well-known blogger and prolific author. She has been gracious enough to share some of her journey with the Livliga Live Vibrant blog readers. Let's all wish her a Happy Healthy Birthday!

Happy Birthday To Me!
One thing I didn't really think about in this weight loss surgery journey was how my birthday would change! This month, I turn the big 5 - 0 and will be having a totally different kind of party than I have over the last 49 years. I was joking with my daughter (she is 11) that I am going to throw myself a surprise party. She kindly let me know that I couldn't do that. (sigh) I even practiced my "surprise" face...

Oh well.
My birthday is eight days after my RNY surgery so I will still be on a liquid diet. Soooo, no cake. It's not fair to make the birthday gal blow out candles when she can't eat the treat, right? I'm thinking Jell-O shots! Sugar free for me and a tad boozier for my friends. Maybe I will mix some of mine in with theirs to see if the placebo effect really works? Something like all red ones are something I could indulge in, but not let them all know that? It's starting to sound like I should have video of this event...

What gifts do you normally give a birthday person for eventful milestones? My go-to was always restaurant gift cards. Um, nope! I won't be eating "real" food until mid September.

My daughter's brilliant idea was to have everyone bring me a two pound bucket of protein powder - any flavor but chocolate or vanilla. She has followed my education with me and knows that I will be enjoying protein shakes until March first of next year. She also informed me that Wal-Mart now has whey protein for $16.98. To round it up to an even twenty dollars, she suggested a fun scented Softsoap body wash. (Again, at Wal-Mart). So much for our stock in Target.

At least I will smell great while I loose weight, right?

Black decorations are not allowed. At. All. I am taking control of my life and getting ready to live a longer and healthier life. I think that calls for balloons!

Add some goofy Minute to Win it games and we now have a non-food themed party! Anyone who follows my blog, or has read one of my cookbooks knows that is a HUGE thing for me to deviate from - it's always been about the food, the theme and how to make the treats beyond adorable. March first is the start of a new me. The first year of my new lifestyle. It's going to be a real party!

Dannelle Gay is the author of the popular lifestyle blog Operation $40K where she is now sharing her Gastric Bypass journey. You can find her books on Amazon and Nook.

Click here to download your FREE Livliga  Bariatric eBook with Recipes & Resources

Friday, March 2, 2018

10 Reasons Why LivSpoons Make Your Life Easier

It is fun to read all the reviews about why people are loving our LivSpoons. So many of the reviews include how the LivSpoon has made their lives easier and more convenient when they are measuring and serving for recipes and meals. Some talk about the ways they love using them for baking, canning and other everyday activities, like feeding their dogs just right portions.

Here is the collective list of the Top 10 Reasons people see LivSpoons making their lives easier:

1. Easy to hold
2. Hang on the side of the bowl as I am preparing a meal

3. Subtle way to track my portions
4. No messy clean up—the mess stays in the bowl
5. Measurements are etched on the bottom of the spoon so easy to find and read…but subtle
6. Well made and sturdy
7. Act as an extra pair of hands in the kitchen as I am measuring up items for a recipe
8. Great for entertaining

9. Don’t have to fish for my LivSpoon in a serving bowl like I do any other spoon that gets lost and messy inside my bowl
10. Makes right-sized servings look plentiful while making the measuring up of foods effortless

Ready to enjoy your own set of LivSpoons? Go to the Livliga website to learn more and shop now!

Enjoy! And Live vibrant!