Refreshing No Calorie & No Sweetener Summer Drink

Friday, June 28, 2013
Cold Brewed Iced Tea with Green Tea & Mint @livligahome
I get so thirsty in the summer. I love cool, quenching drinks. They seem to be hard to find. Iced tea has seemed pretty tasteless to me but I keep trying. Thanks to my willingness to keep trying different brands, I came across a truly delicious "cold brewed" ice tea from Twinings. Amazingly it combines two of my favorite flavors in tea- green tea and mint! This means not only is it tasty, it is also packed full of healthy antioxidants. It is also easy to prepare since you do not need to boil water or let it sit in the sun for hours to brew. I now have a pitcher with iced tea sitting in my refrigerator waiting to be served for any time I new a thirst quenching drink.

Do you have some healthy great summer time drinks you enjoy? Please share!


Livliga makes it into a national magazine!~Today's Dietitian

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Livliga Live Vibrant friends and readers-

I wanted to let you know that Livliga was written up in Today's Dietitian magazine in their July issue which was released today. You can find us both on line and in the printed version.

It is very exciting to have them notice our product and give it a mention in the area of their magazine where they showcase new ideas (page 61).

Please check it out:

Please feel free to forward this information on to others you think might be interested. It is our first coverage in a national publication.

Here's to making a healthy difference and living vibrant!


Surviving Menopause...and becoming fitter than ever!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Here is what I found out from Jillian Michaels, Everyday Health Life and Fitness Coach, about overcoming the health challenges associated with menopause. I especially like the fact she tells us we "CAN get healthy and turn things around at any point". Here is what she said:

Many blame the weight changes their body goes through with age as menopause when it’s really the manifestation of years of neglect.

Here is the good news, you CAN get healthy and turn things around at any point. The answer is simple: healthy diet, exercise, and clean living. While it’s true you can’t continue to burn the candle at both ends like you did when you were younger, you can reclaim your health in every way if you work at it.

Many think that the solution to “their” weight loss dilemma is unique. They say things like “how do I lose the baby weight?” or “How do I lose the weight gained during menopause” as though these supposed reasons require a special solution. The good and bad news is that there is only one answer to weight loss: diet and exercise. Here are a few simple tips to get your body back on track:

1. Count calories.I have said this many times — and I’m certainly not changing my tune now. Remember, no matter who you are or what your circumstance, to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. A pound is 3,500 calories so in order to lose two pounds a week you must burn an additional 7,000 calories than you eat. My suggestion is to set your calorie intake at 1,200 a day — with the only exception being that you can eat as many raw, grilled, or steamed green vegetables as you want.

2. Workout. Hard. Exercise releases many anti-aging, fat-burning hormones. And the harder you workout, the better your results will be. Many think that because they’re older they’re fragile and weak. Absolutely not so. In fact, I believe it’s quite the opposite. When I used to have the time to personal train clients, I always noticed that the moms in their 50s were often stronger than their daughters in their 20s. (I have a theory on this, although it’s not science based. I believe that we manifest the mental strength we’ve built over the years to overcome struggles and adversity into our physical strength, enhancing our fitness capabilities.) Obviously talk to your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen and get proper advice on fitness form, etc., but don’t be afraid to push yourself. Lift weights and I don’t mean 2 pounds. Start running, not power walking. Take a kickboxing class, not Curves®. You get the idea.

3. Eliminate chemicals from your life. While it’s true that for your metabolism to function optimally you must balance your hormones, the best way to do this is with clean living. Toxins in our food, water, cosmetics, cleaning products, and so on are filled with chemicals that throw our weight and overall health into a state of havoc. The simple solution is to go natural. Use baking soda or lemon water to clean your counter tops. Use olive oil as a moisturizer instead of the expensive face cream loaded with chemicals. Eat as clean as you can and go organic whenever possible to avoid pesticides, preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics in foods.

While I know this probably isn’t the advice you wanted, it’s the advice that will work for you over time. I’ve found that hormone supplementation is a dangerous thing. Studies have linked it to different types of cancers, stroke, blood clots, gallstones, dementia and the list goes on. You should do your own research, too. In my experience, the natural solution is always the right one.

No Recipe-- Grilled Chicken Legs

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Grilled Chicken Legs @livlighome
There is nothing like grilled chicken in the summertime! These chicken legs were marinated first in a wet marinade, then grilled with occasional basting.

Grilled Chicken Legs
Marinate for at least 20 minutes (check out my marinade choices on previous blogs like Place the chicken legs on a hot grill, grilling 4 sides for at least 4 minutes, or until cooked. Serve 1 -2 chicken legs per person (kids will most likely want one).

Asparagus Vinaigrette
Clean and snap the ends off a bunch of asparagus. Bring water to a boil in a steamer. Stem the asparagus 5 - 6 minutes. Let it cool. Add 2 tablespoons of the light lemony vinaigrette. This can be made ahead of time, even the day before, refrigerated and then served when needed. Serve 5 - 6 spears per person.

Rice Pilaf
The rice pilaf was made with white rice because I wanted it to cook quickly. With forethought you could definitely use brown rice or even a grain like quinoa. After cooking it in chicken broth (1cup) and Water (1 cup), I added 1 tablespoon of chopped dates and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley to complete the pilaf. Each person received a 1/2 cup serving. Can easily serve 6- 8 people.

This meal is particularly kid-friendly because both the chicken and the asparagus can be picked up with your fingers. A fun and colorful summertime menu!


Great Healthy Living Quote-- #49

Monday, June 24, 2013
Great Healthy Living Quote-- #49

One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.

~Henry Miller

sourced from Daily Joy by National Geographic

Why Livliga works- its in the Design!

Friday, June 21, 2013
Why Livliga Works - Its in the Design!
The design on the plate helps you with your serving sizes

A central element of the Livliga dishware is its unique, already copyrighted and patent-pending design. The circles in the well of the plate are according to specific measurements. These measurements reflect the USDAs new MyPlate designations for the various types of food in proportion to each other. It also mirrors the measuring sizes used by cookbooks for serving sizes. Additionally, it provides spacing around each measurement to allow for each portion to look appealing as well as substantial sending the message to our brain that what we are eating is plenty so we can be satisfied and feel full when we finish what is on our plate. 
 Download Your Free Copy The Science & Psychology Behind the Plate

No Recipe Meal-- Swai

Thursday, June 20, 2013
No Recipe Meal--Swai @livligahome
This was the week of no recipe meals. This one was with Swai fish, sauteed spinach and rice pilaf. Again, I had all the ingredients on hand.

The Swai (about 4 ounces a person) was breaded with whole wheat panko that was flavored with a pinch of pepper, salt and garlic powder. It was "fried" a couple of minutes on each side in a cast iron skillet with olive oil cooking spray. I topped it with a sprig of parsley for appeal. That was it.

The spinach which came pre-washed and trimmed was sauteed with about 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth and some freshly chopped garlic. Everyone was served 1 cup of the cooked spinach which took maybe 5 minutes to prepare.

The rice was white rice because I wanted something to cook in 20 minutes or less. I used 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Once it was cooked I added about 1/4  cup of chopped fresh parsley from our garden and 2 tablespoons of chopped dates. Everyone was srved 1/2 cup each.

This was a super easy meal to prepare, was very flavorful, colorful and light on the calories. A similar meal I have prepared with recipes can be found with this link: The total for this meal was a mere 236 calories.

It felt great to fix such a healthy meal without a recipe. We still measured out the servings and I made sure it was a balanced meal with protein, carbs and vegetables. Can't wait for the next no recipe test!

Learn More About the Psychology That Makes Livliga Plates so Effective


Love Outdoor Bike Riding-- good for the soul and body!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Poppy In Bloom @livligahome

I love this time of year. Exercising becomes a joy as I move outside to bike, hike, walk, garden and swim. My husband and I cycled around on our bike paths. It was a joy to see all the flowers in bloom from the lilacs and poppies to the phlox and flax.

You also get to see the other families out and about walking, playing ball or biking together. Everyone seems to have bigger smiles on their faces. I certainly do.

There is so much to see and respond to. Our typical 13 - 15 mile ride takes us through neighborhoods and farmland. We see people gardening and tending to their homes. Then we see dogs lounging, horses grazing, cows ruminating and goats gazing. The birds are amazing to watch as well. There are so many varieties-- big and small. All busy talking, flocking and flitting about for food.

Just can't beat it. If you haven't yet, get out and enjoy the beauty around us. It inspires.

Live Vibrant!

No Recipe Meal--Turkey Burger

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Healthy Turkey Burger on Livliga Vivente Dinner Plate
No Recipe Meal-Turkey Burger @livligahome
Every once in a while I just don't want to follow a recipe. I want to do a meal "free hand", using up what I have in the refrigerator. It is a little scary in that I don't want to add calories where I don't need to, and I want to be able to serve appropriate serving sizes.

I decided to try my hand at a summer-time turkey burger meal. As you can see by the photo, The meal consisted of a turkey burger with bun topped with a slice of tomato, sweet potato fries and a cucumber salad. Everything was on hand in my home.

Because these are items I have cooked before the "recipe" I used to prepare each dish was based off of how I have prepared them before.

The turkey burger was made with 1 pound of turkey meat, 1/2 cup of cleaned and chopped watercress, 2 tablespoons of minced onion, some garlic powder and some cracked pepper. That was it. I kneaded it all together and made 4 patties. These were cooked in a cast-iron skillet about 4 minutes to a side. The burger was assembled with a Rudi's whole wheat hamburger bun, one side topped with a slice of tomato, 1 tablespoon of nonfat Greek yogurt and a healthy teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

The sweet potatoes where cleaned and cut into strips to look like fries. I used 2. Then I sprayed the bottom of a cookie sheet with olive oil flavored cooking spray, placed the sweet potatoes on the sheet and sprayed them again with the cooking spray. I topped them with a sprinkling of garlic powder (California style) and Herbes de Provence with a pinch of salt. These were baked in a 375 oven for about 35 minutes.

Next I put together the cucumber salad. This was really easy. I peeled and cored the cucumber then sliced it into half moon pieces. The dressing was 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar with 1 teaspoon agave and a pinch of salt.

Since I had done recipes many times before for similar dishes it was easy for me to assemble this meal. In looking at the ingredients I included I felt I had not strayed far from the original versions so the calories and portions would be similar.In fact, if anything, the calories were a little less becasue I didn't include as many of the ingredients. My version was simplified. Here is a link to the recipe version: That meal was a total of 536 calories.

It was fun doing a no recipe meal for a change. It felt good to feel like I knew what I was doing and that I was in control of the choices and quantities. I definitely want to try it again.

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Great Healthy Living Quote-- #48

Monday, June 17, 2013

Great Healthy Living Quote-- #48 @livligahome

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"

~Annie Dillard

sourced from Daily Joy by National Geographic


In Search of a Non-Sweetened Soda-- FOUND IT!

Friday, June 14, 2013
Seagram's: A Non-Sweetened Soda @livligahome
As you may have read in one of my previous blogs, I have been weaning myself of sweetened foods and beverages, including artificial sweeteners. I realized I was triggering my need for sweets all day long. I no longer add sweetener to my morning coffee/latte or brown sugar to my breakfast oatmeal. I buy plain yogurt now and add berries to it instead of buying the yogurt that already has the sugared fruit in it. The list goes on as I de-sugar my world.

The latest success is finding a non-sweetened soda. I know you might say "Why don't you just drink water?" Well, I do. The reality is that I want to be able to treat myself to a soda from time to time. I also want to be able to have a can in my hand like everybody else at the outdoor picnic. I found the solution!

Seagram's has great, naturally flavored, no sugar added sparkling seltzer waters. I have found them in both Orange Citrus and Blackberry Raspberry. They are tasty and refreshing. Good news is they are also low in sodium with only 35mg, which is really low for a soda.  It has the added benefit of being in a can so it is recyclable and isn't filling up our landfills every time we drink one (like bottled water does).

A great way to quench our thirst during the hot summer days ahead. 


Mediterranean Diet-- Striped Bass

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Mediterranean Sea Bass @livligahome
The closer we get to summer the more I seem to include lighter foods and meals in my menus.  My husband loves sea bass. It is a pricier fish so we don't have it that often so it is a real treat when we do.

I came across a recipe for sea bass that had lots of fresh ingredients and seemed easy to prepare. This Mediterranean Striped Bass (315/cal) recipe has basil, plum tomatoes, onion, capers, parsley and olives. It is colorful and flavorful.

To complete the meal I made Baby Potatoes with Kale and Garlic (168/cal). The total calories for the meal are 483. This was an especially delicious meal. The sea bass was "melt-in-you-mouth" amazing. We discovered that kale, garlic and potatoes are one of those perfect combinations. This meal is a definite repeat. 

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In Honor of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Livliga Fruits for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month! @livligahome

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month so in honor of it here is a list of why they are so important. Feel free to eat up!

Top 10 Reasons to Eat MORE Fruits & Vegetables

Why eat MORE fruits and veggies?

  1. Fruits & Veggies are Nutrtious AND Delicious
  2. Fun to Eat! Some crunch, some squirt, some you peel … some you don’t, and some grow right in your own backyard!
  3. Quick, Natural Snack. Fruits and veggies are nature’s treat and easy to grab for a snack.
  4. Variety. Fruits and veggies are available in an almost infinite variety…there’s always something new to try!
  5. Vitamins & Minerals. Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.
  6. May Reduce Disease Risk. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
  7. Low in Calories. Fruits and veggies are naturally low in calories.
  8. Fiber. Fruits and veggies provide fiber that helps fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy. 
  9. Convenience. Fruits and veggies are nutritious in any form – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice, so they’re ready when you are!
  10. Color & Texture. Fruits and veggies add color, texture … and appeal …  to your plate.

Found on:

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Mediterranean Diet-- Pan-Seared Salmon with garlic, tomatoes & basil

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Pan-Seared Salmon with garlic, tomatoes & basil@livligahome
Salmon, I find, is my "fail safe" fish. It is flavorful with out being to "fishy". It is meaty so it does not fall apart as you are preparing it. It also adds color to the plate. It is one of my family's favorites.

Pan-searing is one of the easiest ways to prepare any meat. It is simple, doesn't have to add any calories and creates an appealing brown crust to the meat/fish. This past week I prepared Pan-Seared Salmon with Garlic, Tomatoes, and Basil (347/cal). This was a very easy meal to prepare. The salmon and tomato mixture are all done in the same pan. I recommend using a cast-iron skillet, it is particularly great for searing. The recipe includes 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous which is also super easy to prepare.

To make it a meal I added 1 cup of raspberries (60/cal) for a total calorie count of 407. It was a delicious, light and easy meal packed with flavor and texture. A family hit and a definite repeat.

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Great Healthy Living Quote #47

Monday, June 10, 2013


Why Livliga works- its specific shape!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Livliga has paid particular attention to the shape of each piece of dishware.  As an example, each plate has a rim. Studies have shown that rimless plates allow consumers to pile more food on their plates. Framing the well of a plate with a broad rim accomplishes two things: it frames the well and defines the area within which to place your food, therefore limiting the amount that can be placed on the plate; and, it further reinforces the visual message to the brain that the plate is nice sized so when the appropriate amount of food is placed on the plate it looks plentiful.


Mediterranean Diet-- Greek-Style Stuffed Eggplant

Thursday, June 6, 2013
Greek-Style Stuffed Eggplant @livligahome
Another delicious vegetarian meal-- Mediterranean-style. We tried a Greek-Style Stuffed Eggplant (250/cal) for one of our vegetarian meals this past week. It is not a difficult recipe to prepare but it does take a little extra time so should be on your weekly menu on a night you have time. Sunday suppers are great for us for these kinds of meals. It was filling and satisfying.

To complete the meal I added a spinach salad with oregano dressing (40/cal) and a slice of store-bought artisan olive bread (117/cal) for a total calorie count of 407. It was a great meal and a definite repeat.

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When Marriage is a Downer

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
In the height of wedding season I thought it was poignant to share this recent article from the week siting a study on the effects of bad marriages on our health. Read on:
A new study suggests that marrying the wrong person can dramatically increase your risk of major depression. 
People who are married, research has long shown, tend to be healthier than singles—especially if they’re men. But a new study suggests that marrying the wrong person can dramatically increase your risk of major depression, reports. Researchers asked more than 4,500 people between the ages of 20 and 80 to rate how supportive, understanding, or critical their spouses were of them and then followed up a decade later. Study subjects answered questions such as, “How much does your spouse or partner really understand the way you feel about things?’’ and “How much can you rely on him or her for help if you have a serious problem?’’ Other questions included, “How often does he or she criticize you?’’ People with the most negative relationships, the study found, were more than twice as likely to become severely depressed than people with the most positive unions. Not being married had no impact on a person’s likelihood to become depressed.

The lesson of this recent study-- think before you leap into marriage. Ask yourself the questions listed above. Make sure you feel better around the one you love, not worse. Each of us deserves to feel valued and appreciated. Bad marriages are bad for our mental and physical health. We all deserve to be in a healthy relationship!


Mediterranean Diet-- Chicken Tagine

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Chicken Tagine @livligahome
The rich flavors that can be created from combining spices and simmering them together for a period of time can be divine. We recently tried out a Chicken Tagine (345/cal) as part of our Mediterranean Diet journey. The chicken was simmered in a Dutch oven with garlic, cinnamon, ginger, along with chicken broth, onion and olives . Lemon rind, lemon juice, cilantro and parsley are added later. It was indeed tasty. It is not the most visually appealing dish, though. I think next time I prepare it I will add a slice of lemon and parsley to sprinkle on top before serving to make it more colorful.

To make it a meal I added 1/2 cup of quinoa (111 cal), a cup of mixed berries (52/cal) with a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt (2 Tbsp/35 cal) for a total calorie count of 543 calories for the meal. This was a Friday night meal for us. To make it closer to 500 calories just leave off the Greek yogurt. For those who love olives this is an ideal meal. It will be a repeat for us.


Great Healthy Living Quote #46

Monday, June 3, 2013