The Joys of Sweating

Saturday, July 30, 2011
There are so many ways to measure and maximize the benefits of exercise. You can take your pulse as you exercise to monitor your increased heart rate to make sure you get to the ideal fat-burning rate. You can set your treadmill to a certain pace to burn a certain number of calories. Or you can watch the clock for a certain amount of time to meet an expectation of effort or time logged.

There is an even simpler way to know you are putting real effort into your work out and getting the benefit out of it that you should. It is called sweating. The other day when I was doing my endurance training and was producing a very unladylike sweat I thought back to the conversation I had with my doctor 4 years ago when I was with her for my annual check up, having just turned 50. She asked me if I exercised and I wholeheartedly answered "yes". She then asked me if I sweat when I exercised. I thought for a moment and realized my answer was "no". I "glowed" when I worked out but I didn't really sweat. She then explained to me that without sweat I wasn't really getting the workout I needed to stay healthy and maintain my weight. If fact, she said I was guaranteed to gain weight over time if I didn't sweat and sweat regularly. And if I wanted to lose weight I really needed to sweat!

I struggled with the idea of sweating for a while. There were lots of excuses why it wasn't convenient to sweat...not enough time to face gets all red and blotchy...I get hot and stay hot for a while after exercising...I continue to sweat long after I finish exercising...But in the back of my mind I kept hearing my doctor's voice reminding me how important it was to sweat. Then when I kept gaining weight and finally faced my need to create a healthier lifestyle I embraced my "sweaty" self.

Like so many things I how found on this journey to a healthy lifestyle, what is good for you often has many positive attributes. Turns-out sweating is very good for your health beyond indicating you are having a worthwhile workout. Here is what I found (Benefits of Sweating):

Health Benefits of Sweating

Sweating has many health benefits. As a person sweats, it removes toxins and disease out of the body. The kidneys can take up to 24 hours to remove harmful toxins like lead and mercury out of the body, while sweating removes these metals much faster.  Sweating can also rid the body of harmful substances like alcohol, cholesterol and salt. Research has found that as much as thirty percent of the body’s waste is eliminated through sweat.

Sweating can also aid in improving cardiovascular health. As the body heats and produces sweat, the heart works harder to improve circulation. By regularly working up a good sweat, these benefits can have long-term health benefits.

Beauty Benefits of Sweating

Skin care begins with a good diet and proper exercise. However, sweating also provides benefits for skin. Sweat contains small amounts of antibiotics that can combat some of the bacteria that are found naturally on the skin. Sweating can also unclog pores which will help improve the skin's tone, clarity and texture. Profuse sweating can also slow the signs of early aging and help reduce the effects of skin damage.  Since sweat also contains toxins that are being cleansed from the body, skin should be cleansed after a good sweat.

Weight Loss and Sweating

We know that exercising is good for the body and aids in weight loss. Aside from the benefits of exercising, sweating can also aid in weight loss. As the body is heated through exercise, fat becomes water soluble and exits the body through sweat. Sweating can burn 300 calories an hour.

Sweating Can Lower Stress

The act of sweating may not lower stress or boost your mood. However, increasing your body heat by exercise or saunas does have a positive effect on mood and stress levels. Endorphins and other chemicals are released during exercise that naturally improve mood and lower stress levels. Also, heating the muscles through various methods can relax them which also aides in lowering stress levels. This can also help you sleep better.

So as you can see, there are many "joys" of sweating. I now wear my red, blotchy, sweaty face with pride!


Summer Reading List--Good For The Mind & Spirit

Friday, July 29, 2011
 Here we are getting a signed copy of Portrait of a Spy from Daniel Silva

Despite the fear and trepidation of the "Summer Reading List" we all had to survive when we were in school, I love to read, especially in the summer. I usually have at least 4 or 5 books that I am in the process of reading at any one time. Why you ask? Because it depends on my mood. Sometimes I just need something that is mindless. Sometimes I want to learn about the life of someone famous or historical. I am always a sucker for a mystery novel...then there are the self-help books...who doesn't need a few of those by their bedside on a constant basis? Particularly in the summer I relish all the good reads that are available. Somehow I even make more time to read. I love the summer for the weather, the picnics & hikes, the fresh produce at the farmer's market and also for the time to read. This is clearly good for my health. How could it be otherwise? It challenges my curious mind and satisfies one of my passions.

My current good reads are:

Portrait of a Spy
by Daniel Silva
A great summer thriller, of a series, by my favorite author

The New Girl
by Daniel Silva
This is his brand new book out as of July 16, 2019
Can't wait to read it!

Lulu in Marrakech
by Diane Johnson
Interesting Female protagonist caught up in the world of espionage

31 Bond Street
by Ellen Horan
Historic mystery based on a gruesome crime which occurred in NYC in 1857

The Last Dickens
by Matthew Pearl
Fun novel about  what might have happened to the last manuscript of Charles Dickens

Predictably Irrational
by Dan Ariely
Thought-provoking book that explores why we do what we do, even if it is irrational

Get your FREE  Get Started Guide!


First Picnic using Blog menu and picnic paraphrenalia

Thursday, July 28, 2011
I thought it would be fun to follow up on the menu I designed and posted on my blog. We did go on our first Healthy Living Picnic this past weekend. It was so hot, it was the perfect night for a picnic. We got out our new picnic basket, plates, silverware and cups...none of which had even been washed!
I also got busy preparing the food. This is what we had-

Appetizer- Green Olives
Main Course- Oven Baked Fried Chicken
Salad- Tropical Cucumber Salad & Blanched Haricot Vert in Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette
Dessert- Rainier Cherries & Homemade Date Bars

The green olives I got from the Deli in our local Safeway. I chose the ones marinated in garlic. The Oven Fried chicken was delicious. I used the recipe I posted in my "Picnic" blog. Definitely a was moist and satisfied the "fried" part of the expectation. One of the tricks to making it crispy was the baking soda added to the flour worked! The Tropical Cucumber Salad was also the same recipe I posted in the picnic blog. It is made with fresh mango and has avocado in it as well. It was the perfect summer salad. It was bursting with flavor. The Haricot Vert were so easy to make and a fun finger food to nosh on. The Rainier cherries were "to die for". They have such a brief season they make for a very special treat. Our friend brought the date bars which were a healthy version, although I know were not the lowest in calorie! A worthy treat on a hot summer's night shared with friends and family.

All-in-all it was a great picnic and re-affirmed that picnics can be fun, pretty easy to organize and possible to make healthy. A part of a Healthy Living Lifestyle.

Note: The cheese you see in the photo was brought for our vegetarian friend...

Easy Cool-down in the Hot Summer Heat

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Easy Cool-Down in the Hot Summer Heat

We went to the movies last Saturday. It was so hot I was already perspiring thinking about sitting outside on the hot asphalt of the parking lot where the outdoor movies are shown. The word "sweltering" instantly came to mind. I knew I needed to bring a lot of various drinks like water, iced tea, lemonade and, of course, iced cold beer. I also planned on wearing my big straw hat and Foster Grant sunglasses. These actions and accoutrements would help keep me from melting but how to actually add coolness to the experience?

Then I remembered that we used to send my daughter to camp mid-summer with a hand-held fan and a water spritzer to keep cool in the intense heat of Excelsior Springs, Missouri.  We didn't have the fan but I could fix up a spray bottle. My easy solution was to fill a spray bottle with fresh, cool water. I added a couple of ice cubes to keep it cooler longer. Then I put a couple of teaspoons of lemon into the bottle. I also added a few slices of lemon rind. It did the trick!

Spraying above my head and letting the mist fall down over my face and shoulders really did cool me down. It was actually refreshing. Everyone else liked it too. A quick solution for a hot day...and night.


Get Your FREE Download of Our Healthy Lifestyle & Weight Loss eBook

Flavorful Double-Ginger Ginger Snaps

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Double-Ginger Ginger Snap Cookies (by LivligaHome)
Double-Ginger Ginger Snap Cookies (by LivligaHome)

I have found another great cookie to bake. It is packed full of ginger. It is called a Double-Ginger Ginger Snap cookie. It uses both ground ginger and crystallized ginger.  

Each cookie has 70 calories. These fresh baked cookies are chewy and moist. I think the chopped up crystallized ginger helps with the chewy texture and provides a burst of additional flavor. The cookies are nice sized and have a satisfying quality due both to the intense ginger flavor and also to the mix of whole wheat flour and unbleached all-purpose flour called for in the recipe. Here is the recipe:

Double-Ginger Ginger Snaps

1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup molasses
⅓ cup light butter
1 egg or equivalent egg substitute
Cooking Spray

1. Combine the flours and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl mix together the sugar with the next 3 ingredients.
3. Add the sugar mixture with the flour mixture until fully combined. The mixture might be stiff so feel free to mix with your hands if you do not have an electric mixer.
4. Roll the dough into tablespoon-size balls. To measure exactly use a tablespoon-size cookie scoop. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Then flatten them with the bottom of a drinking glass. If the dough sticks to the glass spray the bottom with cooking spray and then dip it into some brown sugar, then flatten the cookie dough.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until browned.

Serve up your cookies on right-sized, beautifully designed dishware. Livliga and Kidliga make great holiday gifts! Check out our blog and Facebook for special holiday savings!

Download Our Free  Sammie & Sax Activity Book

Warming Up before Exercising

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Warming Up Before Exercising

The hotter it is, the harder it is for me to be motivated to do workouts. I have hit the Summer Doldrums. I have discovered something, though. Just getting to the "warm-up" part of my routine makes all the difference in terms of my getting going and succeeding in maintaining my work out program.

I never got why my trainer always insisted on my taking 10 minutes at the beginning of each work out to "warm up" on a cycle, treadmill or elliptical. To me it seemed like a "waste of time". It is meant to be light paced and non-demanding in content. Not a great calorie burner or muscle builder. It was pleasant, though, and I got to watch my morning news shows. Then I hit the Summer Doldrums. My expectations have lowered considerably.

It is so hot, it is hard to sleep well, even with the windows open. So first I convince myself to get out of bed in the morning...then to get on my exercise clothes. Then I start the "just" conversations. "Just go to the "Y" and do a little rote exercise"..."Just get on the cycle and do 10 minutes and then see how you feel".  I don't ask too much of myself..."just" to get going and do something. That seems to do the trick.

Once I do get going, I am set. What I have found is that the simple warm up has great power. It warms up my muscles AND my brain. After 10 minutes on the stationary bicycle my ability and capacity to go for the total routine is in gear. It doesn't seem impossible to lift weights or interact with machines. In fact, I always enjoy it.

So now I get the importance of my 10 minute warm up and the gumption it gives me.


Get Your FREE Download of Our Healthy Lifestyle & Weight Loss eBook

Healthy Tip-Best Calorie Counter App

Thursday, July 21, 2011
If you are watching the amounts you are eating, there is a lot of information you need to know and choices you want to make as you are shopping or deciding on what you will eat. Amounts are a big issue for me since I don't have a natural sense of serving size. My resource for calories and quantities is going to the internet. Until recently I would always just Google what I was looking for. That was until my husband found this great app for my phone. It is called Calorie Counter by FatSecret. It has many different features. And it is free!

Some of the features are-
- A food diary to plan and keep track of what you're eating.
- An exercise diary to record all the calories you burn.
- A barcode scanner and manual barcode input
- A quick pick to find calorie and nutrition info for your favorite foods, brands and restaurants.
- A diet calendar to see your calories consumed and burned.
- A weight tracker.
- A journal to record your progress.
- Recipes and meal ideas
You can also sync your account online to access your info anywhere, any time.

It is the best I have found. I especially like that you can look up restaurants and find menu items as well as food brands. Calorie Counter is simple to use and has all the cool tools to help you manage what you eat.

Swimming is a Great Passtime in the Hot Summer

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
It is about this time every summer that I am eager to put my toe in the pool. It is a delicious way to cool off when the temperatures are soaring. It is supposed to be 95 again today!

It is so refreshing to get in the pool. My whole body has the chance to cool off. I imagine my entire body releasing a long and grateful sign of relief.

For as long as I can remember I have loved to swim. I never was on a swim team, or took classes. I just like getting in the water and doing laps. Your whole body gets to stretch out through each stroke. No joints are pounded or unduly stressed. You can do it no matter how athletic you are or in how good a shape you are. It is an "Every Man/Person" activity. Just floating in the water is delightful and freeing. No matter how big you are, you are buoyant in the water.

One fun memory I have was when I was in College. We would sneak into the pool after hours by sliding one of the enclosure panels up and down. It made it a guilty pleasure and that much more enjoyable. Maybe that is the secret to all exercising...make it your own guilty pleasure!

Going under water, wearing my goggles and ear plugs (it is true, I do not win a glamour award when I swim), creates a quiet world for me...more so than when I put my ear plugs in to listen to music or watch TV as I work out on the treadmill. It is my own little world to think about things...or nothing at all. The rhythm of my strokes lulls me to that contemplative state. I feel at peace and relaxed at the end of my laps.

Swimming in the Hot Summer keeps me cool both physically and mentally. Can't argue with that!

Tasty recipe for a muffin- Banana Walnut

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It is hard to find a muffin that is tasty, moist AND the right amount of calories. Rocco Dispirito scores big with his Banana Walnut Muffin. I can't believe this muffin has only 163 calories! It is full of taste, and is very satisfying to eat.  I think his adding both ripe bananas and banana extract are key to how he makes it so flavorful. Also, just adding a walnut half on top adds texture but not the calories you might have if they were throughout the muffin. This is definitely a "keeper" recipe. You can find the recipe in the Now Eat This! Diet cookbook by Rocco Dispirito on page 278.

Of course a fresh muffin recently out of the oven is heavenly but what to do with the remaining muffins? A trick I have found to keep the muffins fresh and available when I want them, is to individually wrap them in Glad Wrap, stick them in a Ziplock bag, which I have labeled and dated, and put them in the freezer. I take a muffin out as I need it, usually at the beginning of the day so it has time to thaw by the time I plan to eat it. Leaving muffins out on the counter or in the refrigerator didn't work for me. Either they were too tempting and I ate more than I should or they grew stale. Now there is no waste and in the freezer they are "out of sight and out of mind" so I am not unduly tempted.

Great Healthy Living Quote #4

Monday, July 18, 2011

"While most Americans stop eating when they're full, those in leaner cultures stop eating when they're no longer hungry."

From Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.


Just went on my first 20 mile(21.55 actually) bike ride!--So much fun!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011
If you had asked me last year if I would want to go on a 20 mile bike ride, I am sure the answer would have been - "No, thanks". But since I have been working out regularly and consistently since January, I have come to feel a lot more able. Then adding in endurance training on top of the work outs and I now feel like I have capacity!

One of my goals this summer was to go on a 20 mile bike ride. I may have done bike rides as long as this when I was younger but I don't remember it. This to me was a milestone. To be almost 55 and go on a 20 mile bike ride seems like it would definitely qualify as an achievement.

My husband is a regular cyclist. He was game to go on the 20 mile ride with me. In fact, knowing the pathways far better than I do, he volunteered to map out our ride. He did a beautiful job.

Most of the first part of the ride was up hill, but at a light grade. We went through all sorts of terrain. I even had to cycle on gravel...a little harder and a bit "scarier" than pavement. But it was worth it. That part of the ride was in a conservation area...filled with panoramic views, picturesque pastureland overflowing with all variety of wildflowers and so many birds eager to share their song. We even encountered a garter snake sacheting across the path.
There were a few challenges along the way. There has been so much water from the run off of the snow and the constant rain, that parts of the pathways were closed. Keeping to our course required a little more work on our part...but we went along streets we hadn't ever been on before which added to the adventure.
The key thing I was worried about was keeping my energy up for the whole ride. As part of the strategy we planned to stop for a picnic around halfway. We also brought two bottles of water for each of us and an added Power Bar. That did the trick. We also stopped to take a few photos and to take "water breaks". We didn't stop too often, but just enough to allow me time to re-energize.
This first time around I wasn't worried about speed, just completing the trek. And, I did! I also wanted to make it as enjoyable as possible so it seemed more like an adventure than a drudgery merely to achieve a goal. Thanks to my super supportive husband, who was game, I did have a great time. So much so, I want to go for a 30 mile bike ride next month! I am thinking it is appealing to become "jock-like" during the second half of my life...why not?
To more fun ahead!

Weight Loss Update--June's net loss 5 lbs!

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Phew! Another month with a net loss in pounds. The cumulative total is 18 lbs. Now that sounds like an accomplishment! This is not an easy journey, though. I may have woken up one day and said I wanted to change my life, which is true, but I didn't wake up with out all the years of bad habits. I am still working to undo all of those nasty, insidious and mindless practices. It is way too easy to pop something in my mouth without even realizing what I have done! Every morsel has a it had better be worth it. Truth is, a lot of what I have eaten in the past wasn't because the food was worth reality it was just because it was there. Many times I haven't eaten because I was hungry either. These inclinations are still there just below the surface...ready to take advantage of any moment or opportunity of weakness.

My main weapon seems to be "mindfulness"...paying attention to me and the world around me. Since I am not fully conscious of my destructive eating tendencies, I have to be awake and present each day. I find that if I weigh myself each day, pre-plan my meals, think about the treats I will eat ahead of time, work exercise into EVERY day...I can make progress. It does not come "naturally" to me. I have to believe it will get easier...but not without a lot of practice and effort.

It does feel good to be on the winning side of the effort! We just came back from our vacation in the mountains. We did 6 - 7 mile hikes almost each day. I smoked it! My husband mentioned on more than one occasion that my stamina was wholly different. Between the weight loss, taking better care of myself and working out consistently, I really am making healthy progress.

Another Good Resource for Restful Sleep

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I am always looking for ways and remedies to help me sleep. Between the aches and pains of my body and the constant cavalry of thoughts in my brain, I have a hard time slipping into a restful slumber.

A recent recommendation I have tried is a product from Bach called Rescue Sleep. It is made of a combination of flower essences. They are all natural, non-narcotic and therefore also non-habit forming. There are a variety of products developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1920s. The website is: Bach's Rescue Remedy for Sleep . I have noticed a difference in how long it takes me to get to sleep. I think it has really helped. I use the spray version. I actually went to Whole Foods where I purchased my spray. They carry a variety of the Rescue Remedy products there and are very helpful in answering questions.

Hope this can help someone else out there who struggles with the same sleep challenges!

Four-legged Hiking

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My husband gave me hiking poles a few years ago, soon after we moved into hiking country. I have always loved hiking. In fact, it may be my favorite way to spend my free time...other than cooking, of course! Climbing up hill has been the easy part for me, coming down would often take me longer than going up....the reverse of what it is supposed to be. I have this thing about falling...hate it, actually. So I take smaller and smaller steps which makes me a lot slower. Hence the reason why my husband bought me walking sticks.

I resisted using them for a while...they made me fell like I was getting old. And honestly, I often just didn't remember them. Slowly but surely I have gotten better and better at remembering and using them. It is amazing the difference they have made in my speed coming down. I have so much more confidence because of the stability they give me. Being in better shape has also helped me.

Taking a hike recently with a friend who was also using hiking poles she mentioned to me that her doctor had told her that the poles take 30% of the pressure off your knees. For those, like her, with knee issues, this is great news. We also started talking about how using poles is actually more aerobic since your arms and legs are working in tandem. This made me think it would be interesting to find out all the benefits of hiking poles. Turns out there are many!

Hiking poles provide stability and balance. They also provide joint relief by redistributing your weight which is beneficial to those with back, hip or knee problems (  Because if the aerobic nature of your movement with walking sticks you actually burn more calories by using them (Fitness Walking). How good is that!?! By using sticks you also improve your posture which helps reduce fatigue. So we may be burning more calories but we don't feel as tired by the end of our hike  ( The other benefits I deduced from my reading is that walking poles can also protect you. They can aid in pushing back thorny vegetation on the trail but more importantly they can protect you from mountain lions! Why? For one, they make you seem bigger than you are by creating a bigger outline of your frame. They can also be used defensively if you are confronted by a wild animal or rabid hiker...

There are many different kinds of hiking sticks and/or poles depending on how you plan on using them and your preferences. I found a great link on REI that explains the various options and types ( They also provide videos on how best to use your poles. The poles I use are Black Diamond. They may be a few years old but they remain in great condition.

So after doing a little research I have discovered that using walking poles is a great thing with many benefits. Maybe why I also thought they were for older people is that with age you gain wisdom...and use your knowledge to greater benefit!

Great Healthy Living Quote #3

Friday, July 8, 2011

"The foods we don't bite can come back to bite us."

From Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

Cookies Packed with Goodies: Tasty & Healthy and Ideal for a Hiking Treat

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ideal Hiking Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips Oatemal and Cranberries
Cookies Packed with Goodies Served Up on Halsa!

These Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies are ones I used in designing my hiking menus. They are very tasty and were a big hit with the family. They are a hardy cookie filled with tastes and texture. How can you beat a cookie with oatmeal, cranberrys AND chocolate chips in them?! These cookies have brown sugar and honey in them--no refined sugar. I even took it a step further and substituted agave nectar for the honey. They were satisfying to eat and didn't trigger my need to eat more, as cookies with refined sugar seem to do. Since they are a hardy cookie, they travel well in a back pack for hikes. These cookies were inspired by a recipe in the 400 Calorie Fix cookbook by Liz Vaccariello. Each cookie has 55 calories.

Good Hiking Cookies with Oatmeal, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chips

Good Hiking Cookies Dough


  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dried, low sugar cranberries
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the oats, flours, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.
  3. Combine the brown sugar, oil, honey, egg, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
  4. Add the brown sugar mixture to the oat mixture and mix until well blended. The dough will be firm and sticky.
  5. Fold in the dried cranberries and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Press down with damp fingers
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Nutritional information

Serving size: 2 cookies. Calories: 110. Fat 4g; Sodium 90mg; Carbohydrates 18g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Protein 2g.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cranberry Hiking Cookies

Download Your Free Copy of The Get Started Guide

Hiking Menus: 600-500 Calories

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
 I have created 4 different initial menus for 4 hikes...all between 600 - 500 calories.

Protein Bar Menu
1 Protein Bar                                                                                          270
2 Clementines                                                                                          90
10 Cherry Tomatoes                                                                                30
2 Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies*                                   110
10 Unsalted Almonds                                                                              80
1/2 Red Pepper                                                                                        15

Sandwich Menu
1 Turkey & Cheddar Sandwich                                                              286
             2 oz. Turkey
             1 slice 25%Reduced Fat Cheddar
             2 slices Whole Wheat Bread (80 Calories per slice)
             1 Tsp nonfat mayonnaise
             1 Tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 sliced red pepper                                                                                15
5 Black Olives, pitted                                                                              25
1 Cup Bing Cherries                                                                                74
2 PBJ Cookies*                                                                                      110
10 Unsalted Almonds                                                                              80           

Cheese & Crackers Menu     
2 Slices Alpine 25% Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese                              140  
15 Rice Crackers                                                                                   140
10 Baby Carrots                                                                                      40
2 PBJ Cookies*                                                                                     110
1 Banana                                                                                               110

Hard Boiled Eggs Menu
2 Hard Boiled Eggs                                                                             140
1 Banana Walnut Muffin                                                                     163
10 Cherry Tomatoes                                                                              30
1 Small Apple                                                                                       60
2 Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies*                                 110

An additional option to add 200 more calories for men or for a really big hike is to make a homemade granola. A great one is Many Ways Granola*. The measurement is 1/2 Cup.

Remember:  pack plenty of water, tissues, a plastic bag (to place any trash in to carry out), sun screen, a sun hat, sun glasses, a water-proof wind breaker... You might also want to add in your fanny pack or back pack- chapstick, $20 cash, your phone, id, bandaids and hand sanitizer.

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies    400 Calorie Fix, Liz Vaccariello         page 391  
PBJ Cookies                                                      Now Eat This! Diet, Rocco Dispirito   page 254
Banana Walnut Muffin                                     Now Eat This! Diet, Rocco Dispirito    page 278
Many Ways Granola                                        400 Calorie Fix, Liz Vaccariello           page 206

Hiking Food

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The summertime is meant for fun. One of the fun activities I love is hiking. There are so many enjoyable hikes near where we live and where we go for vacation. They are all part of the Rocky Mountains. The views are so inspiring. There are short hikes and long hikes. There are easy hikes and demanding hikes. Each requires easy to organize food that provides healthy sustenance and the right amount of calories for the length and difficulty of the hike.

I always tend to over eat on hikes because you snack along the trail to help replenish the energy you have used up as you climb. It is easy to munch on protein bars, granola, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate candies. None are bad alone but cumulatively the calories can quickly add up!

As part of my Lifestyle shift to Healthy Solutions I thought it would be important to think about my up coming hikes and pre-plan the food I would eat on hikes. The criteria has to be that the food needs to be portable and "durable". It has to be tasty and provide a variety. There has to be enough to last through out the journey...up...and...down the trail. The key was to not deny myself anything or make me feel deprived of traditional hiking foods. I also wanted to create a number of menus to fit different hikes and to also create variety of choices. One thing I really know about myself is that I get bored when I have to eat the same thing over and over again...sure red flag for me to find the excuse to go "off plan". So I spent some time thinking through the options and planning to calories between 600-500 calories and then lighter menus from 500-400 calories, depending on the magnitude of the hikes. Check out my following posts that outline these menus...let me know what you think and if you end up using any of them! Oh, and don't forget to take lots of water for the hike!

Solutions for the Mindless Eater #3-The Party Binger

Monday, July 4, 2011
Thought these eating changes offered by Dr. Wansink for all of us about to indulge in various Independence Day celebrations might come in handy!

For Party Bingers...Party Less Hearty.
*Stay more than an arm's length away from the buffet tables and snack bowls.
*Put only two items on your plate during any given trip to the tailgate or the buffet table.
*Use the volume approach to make yourself feel full. Chow down on the big healthy stuff (like broccoli and carrots) and then see if you have room for the rest.
*When you think you'll be distracted by an important (or fun) conversation, set the food down and give the conversation your full attention. Remember, the more you focus on people (and the distractions like the big game on TV or the fireworks exploding overhead), the more you'll tend to eat.
*As you arrive at the party, tell yourself you're there first to enjoy those you are with and secondarily to eat. Be aware that unease or nervousness may be prompting you to refill your plate or your glass. The fact that this is not comfort food--you are there to be with the people around you, may strengthen your resolve to eat less or lighter food.
*If you plan to attend a cocktail party or a buffet-style dinner, arrive late or leave early. If you arrive late, most of the good stuff will be gone by the time you show up. Leave early and you'll make it easier to avoid a second (or third) helping of dessert.

Good luck to us all and may the power of "right-sized" eating be with us!

Dry Rubs for Meats

Friday, July 1, 2011
Livliga Grilling Dry Rub Recipes

These are great dry rubs that add flavor to your meats with no calories. Some of the ingredients can only be bought as seeds. Use a small coffee grinder or a mortar & pestle to make the seed a powder.

Livliga Beef Dry Rub for Grilling

For Beef

       1T cumin
       2T granulated garlic
       1T ground cloves

For Fish

       1T granulated garlic
       1T dill
       1T ground fennel seed
       1T ground ginger 

For Lamb

       1T cinnamon
       2T granulated garlic
       1T ground coriander

Livliga Pork Dry Rub for Grilling

For Pork

       1T cumin
       1T dry mustard
       2T granulated garlic
       1T herbes de Provence

Livliga Poultry Rub for Grilling

For Poultry

       1T dry mustard
       1T granulated garlic
       1T cayenne pepper (or, to taste)


Mix ingredients for desired rub. Lightly sprinkle rub mixture on both sides of your meat and let sit for 15 minutes before grilling. Put the remaining amount of rub in a Ziploc and label it to be easily identified for later use.

Looking for other great rubs? Try our other great rubs here.