You Ate An Ice Cream Sundae--Now What!?!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Sundae @livligahome

As it is Summertime it seems fitting to know about the consequences of eating that ice cream sundae... I came across a listing of foods we sometimes treat ourselves to. I like how the facts were broken down, including the various ways we could burn off what we just ate. Allows us to take responsibility and avoid the guilt. I hate looking at ice cream on my I can avoid it!

Here are the facts: 
You ate: an ice cream sundae
Calories: 300
Fat: 20 grams

Now burn it off with:
80 minutes of walking at 3.0 mph
55 minutes of mowing the lawn
40 minutes of jogging

Read More: You Ate What?!?! Now What!?!

Shrimp & Herb Salad with Parmesan Toast-- delish!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Shrimp & Herb Salad with Parmesan Toast @livligahome
My daughter loves any dish with shrimp. She is not so fond of vegetables. I look for ways to combine the things she loves with the things she doesn't love so much to see if she will end up eating a balanced meal and love it.

The other "trick" I use is to have her prepare the meal. This summer I have been choosing salads with ingredients she likes that are not too complicated to prepare. This Shrimp and Herb Salad was just such a recipe. She did a great job fixing the meal.

The recipe calls for shaved yellow squash. In order to shave the squash you really need to use a mandolin slicer. This is not for the faint of heart. It is a very sharp instrument. Not all adults can successfully use it, much less a young adult. Because it is so sharp you do need to pay attention to what you are doing. My daughter wanted to do the shaving and I am happy to report no limbs were lost in the process. She did a wonderful job!

Because of the simplicity of the salad, the bright flavors of the ingredients and the thinness of the squash, my daughter loved the dish! In fact, she has asked for us to have it again...soon! This is a big recommendation.

The Shrimp and Herb Salad was 194 calories.
The salad was served with homemade, simple-to-do, Garlic-Parmesan Toast (118/cal).
To complete the meal I added a cup of fresh blackberries (52/cal).
Total calories for the meal are 364.

It was the perfect summer salad, good for either lunch or dinner. All thumbs up from this family and a definite repeat!

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Great Healthy Living Quote # 54

Monday, July 29, 2013

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Portion Distortion- The Real Danger of Eating Out of The Bag

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bag of Potato Chips

I have so many bad habits. Some are harder to change than others. It is really about being mindless to what we are doing, a zombie-like state. I have had way too many repetitive, mindless moments. I came across a great article that reminded me NEVER to eat out of a bag. Pre-portioning is definitely the way to go before eating. You can do the whole bag at once in Ziplocs or count out the serving on to a plate before taking even one bite of your snack. Eating a piece of fruit before divvying up servings of a snack also helps me from going crazy and snacking without counting! No way around it, I have to help myself become mindful in all ways related to food.

Here is the link to the article I found a great reminder and helpful...

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Summer Grilling-- Chicken Marinade

Thursday, July 25, 2013
Livliga Grilling Marinade for Chicken on Halsa
Summer Grilling Marinade for Chicken @livligahome
I think we are all about spending more time outside in the summer time. There seems to be less cooking but more enjoyment of the fresh foods that abound.

We really like to grill on our patio for dinners. Then we sit outside for the meal. Often it is cooler outside rather than inside at that time of the day. So pleasant.

A kid friendly chicken marinade that is very easy to prepare is:

Summer Grilling Marinade for Chicken

1/4 cup low sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
3-4 Tbls. fresh lemon juice (Meyer Lemon the best!)
Pulp from the lemon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. chopped garlic

Pour, drizzle and sprinkle on top of the rinsed chicken that has been placed in a pyrex dish. Marinate for at least 20 minutes. Place on a hot grill. Grill chicken on 4 sides for 3 minutes each or until done.

If this is for a dinner with kids, I think using chicken legs is the best. So easy to pick up with your fingers/fist! They are also great for picnic fare, which includes adults.

As you can see from the photo, I paired the marinated grilled chicken with a rice pilaf and asparagus. It was a big hit, particularly the chicken!

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9 Ways to Shop Healthy and Save Money

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I found this article to be a good reminder. It also made me think about how I can save money AND eat healthy with just a few simple steps. Read on:

Grocery Shopping on a Budget: 9 Ways to Shop Healthy and Save Money

Grocery Shopping on a budget made healthy @livligahome

  • Plan, plan, plan. “If a family or head of household can take an hour to plan a week’s worth of meals and make a grocery shopping list and another hour to grocery shop, then the family can be good for a week,” says Shelley A. Rael, RD, a registered dietitian and health education consultant at the University of New Mexico’s Employee Health Promotion Program in Albuquerque. This is a win-win situation as food prepared at home is generally healthy and less expensive.
  • Buy in bulk. Whether it’s choosing a “family size” pack of skinless chicken breasts and freezing what you don’t use right away or one large container of nonfat yogurt instead of individual servings, buying big can equal big savings.
  • Cut those coupons. “Clipping coupons and shopping sales will never go out of style, especially when there are many mouths to feed,” says Amy Berns, RD, a registered dietitian with Medical Network One’s Michigan Institute for Health Enhancement in Trenton. Coupons are everywhere these days, from local flyers to the Internet. Check individual food companies’ Web sites for discounts, rebates, and coupons you can print yourself.
  • Shop the perimeter of the store. Most stores are organized with packaged foods in the middle. As much as possible, stick to the outer areas where you can find the healthier fruits and vegetables, meat, and dairy. Also, while these foods may seem expensive, be sure to consider actual serving sizes and how many meals you can get from one purchase. “Produce may appear expensive at the outset,” says Rael, “but it can be part of a meal or a snack. Many people see ‘$3.99 per pound,’ but don’t think about how that pound could potentially be spread across several meals or people.”
  • Try some substitutions. Instead of expensive and less healthy beef, buy more chicken and pork. Beans are another good source of protein and are usually much cheaper than meat. Fish can be bought frozen or canned to cut down on cost as well.
  • Try the “IKEA” style of eating. That means “some assembly required,” says Ashley Koff, RD, a registered dietitian in private practice in Los Angeles. “Rather than buying the salad already made, buy the pieces and assemble it yourself. Instead of the ready-to-eat pasta dish, buy the sauce, the cheese, the meatballs, and some organic frozen vegetables.” Not only is it less expensive to purchase items individually, but you will also be avoiding the preservatives used to increase a packaged food’s shelf life.
  • Skip the snack foods. Products like chips, cookies, and soda are unhealthy and represent an unnecessary expense for shoppers looking to save money. Popcorn, dried fruits, and nuts are good, nutritious substitutions for chips.
  • Go local and buy in-season. “Look for fresh local and in-season produce as this is usually more affordable than choosing imported produce,” says Erin Palinski, RD, a registered dietitian in private practice in northern New Jersey. “If fresh produce seems too expensive, try choosing frozen or canned. It is more affordable and has a longer shelf life. To cut down on the sodium content of canned vegetables, try rinsing them before cooking and serving.”
  • Be creative. Whether it’s trying a new recipe with ingredients bought using coupons or putting a new twist on an old favorite, shopping and preparing different foods can be fun. 
Sourced from:

Tunafish Salad- a healthy summer meal!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Easy Summertime Salad: Tunafish Salad @livligahome

There is something much more appealing about prepared foods in the summertime. To have the ingredients of a salad or sandwich ready to go makes meal planning and preparation much more manageable in the heat.

Tunafish salad is easy to make ahead and keep in the refrigerator for a lunch or light dinner. Below is an easy recipe that makes a great salad on top of lettuce or in a sandwich:

1 5 oz can tunafish, white albacore
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tsp capers
1 Tbls Dijon mustard
1 Tbls Light mayonnaise
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

  1. Drain the tunafish and put in a bowl.
  2. Add all other ingredients
  3. Mix the ingredients together.
  4. Divide the mixture 
For sandwich version (makes 3 servings)~ Place 1/3 of tunafish mixture onto a slice of toasted whole grain bread. Place a slice of tomato on top. Put another slice of toasted bread on top. Slice in half for serving. Calories: 344

For salad version (makes 2 servings)~ Place 1/2 of tunafish mixture on a bed of mixed greens and serve. Calories: 180


Great Healthy Living Quote # 53

Monday, July 22, 2013


Why Livliga works- its all about the lifestyle

Friday, July 19, 2013

Livliga is not a "Diet Plate" or "diet Dishware". Diets have a beginning and an end. Studies show people only follow diets for a brief time and then go back to their old habits. Some may even gain even more weight back after their diet. Its because feeling deprived and denied the foods we love is something we can only stand for a short time. This has certainly been true for me!


Time for Steak-- Seared Steaks with Red Wine & Fresh Cherry Sauce

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Seared Steaks with Red Wine & Fresh Cherry Sauce @livligahome
It is easier and easier to find quick and healthy recipes that are also tasty and visually appealing. This dinner came from the July 2013 Cooking Light magazine. I continue to be very impressed with their recipes and menus. In fact, they are hard to beat for consistently delivering as advertised. Remember, I am a mom with a start up business who is committed to providing meals that are healthy. Cooking Light has no idea who I am but they do know what I need, just like so many of us!

This dinner was completely prepared by my daughter. She is preparing more and more multi-recipe meals, a big step forward from the crock pot meals she did exclusively for a while. It is exciting to see her develop these complex skills of preparing different dishes and in a way that puts a meal on the table at one time! The key is in picking recipes that are not overwhelming in ingredients and steps.

My daughter did a fantastic job in preparing this dish. I was available for feedback, working on my computer in the kitchen.  We changed the dinner menu as suggested by Cooking Light. One change to simplify the dinner plan (steamed Chinese pea pods instead the more complicated Almond Green Beans), the other an unintended substitution (instead of chives my daughter added green was good!). We also used nonfat milk in the smashed potatoes instead of whole milk becasue that is what we use at home.

The dinner: Seared Steaks with Red Wine-Cherry Sauce (289 cal), Steamed Chinese Pea Pods (40 cal/1 cup) and Dijon Smashed Potatoes (89 cal/½ cup). Total calories for the meal are 418. It was easy to prepare, visually appealing and very tasty. A definite repeat and a new favorite for this family.


Expert Tip On Weight Management #2--Cut the White Stuff--Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I came across this article that had well-known experts commenting on what they see as an important tip to controlling our weight. Thought the advice given made a lot of sense . Read on:


Cut the White Stuff: Rogue Nutritionist Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

“When you start a low-carb diet, learn to recognize food cravings for what they are — withdrawal from carbohydrates,” says the nutrition expert and author of nine books including the bestsellers Living Low Carb and The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. “You need to know this because to lose weight, you need to cut out the white stuff — the sugar and the white processed carbohydrates — and eat more protein and fat. But you’ll experience cravings exactly the same as you would cravings when you give up cigarettes. It takes a few days for your body to get accustomed to not getting those processed white carbohydrates, but once you do, you’ll be over the hump.”

I found this at 



Super Summer Grilled Turkey-Plum Sandwiches

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Super Summer Grilled Turkey-Plum Sandwiches @livligahome
Summertime is a great excuse for every meal to be colorful and flavorful. There is no end to the combinations of flavors and colors. I came across just such a  Summer time recipe in the July 2013 issue of the Cooking Light magazine-- Grilled Turkey-Plum Sandwiches.

The recipe uses fresh black plums as part of the content of the sandwich. As a counter point to the sweetness of the plum, the recipe calls for adding raw garlic and pepper to the mayonnaise spread used on the bread.

The turkey is a quick cook in a cast iron skillet or stove top grill. It takes a total of about 3 minutes. So quick, in fact, it is easy to over cook!

The basil came from our garden. The bread was a Jewish Dark Rye which is flavorful yet only has 90 calories a slice. Calorie count for the sandwich is 292. To complete the meal we added a grated carrot salad (1/2 cup) with white balsamic vinegar and fresh dill for an additional 50 calories and a serving of reduced fat potato chips for 140 calories. Total calories for the meal 482. It was delicious and a two thumbs up for everyone in the family. A definite repeat.


Great Healthy Living Quote-- #52

Monday, July 15, 2013
Great Healthy Living Quote #52 @livligahome

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

~ J.K. Rowling

sourced from Daily Joy by National Geographic

Snack time!- Quaker's Popped Rice Snacks

Friday, July 12, 2013
Mid-afternoon snack @livligahome
I am a muncher. In the mid-afternoon I need something to crunch and chew. I have found that Quaker Popped is a great snack. It also provides variety since they come in a number of flavors. 16 pieces can be munched for 130 calories. It is enough to chew to allow you to feel satisfied. Paired with a skinny latte of a cup of tea and it is filling.

A good choice for a pre-packaged snack. Probably not the best to eat everyday but it is a good choice for an on-the-road or at the office snack to have on hand as a "back up". Sometimes you just need something quick & easy with a high crunch factor.


No Cook Meal—Tunafish with Wasabi Mayo Sandwich

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Tunafish with Wasabi Mayo
Tunafish with Wasabi Mayo Sandwich


I find it very satisfying to try new combinations of flavors and also be able to clean out leftovers from my refrigerator. We often think of leftovers as "has beens" and "less than perfect" seconds. I have found that by using the leftovers in a different way they become fresh and fun and worthy of keeping and using. I tried out a new combo this past weekend for a tasty lunch.

We had some wasabi dip leftover and I thought it might make a flavorful mayo for a tunafish sandwich for a Saturday lunch for the family.

How I did it:

1 6 oz can tuna
2 Tbls Wasabi Mayo
2 stalks finely chopped celery
2 tsp capers

I mixed all of the ingredients together and then divided it into 4 servings. I toasted 2 slices of bread (90 cal/slice) per person, added a slice of tomato and the serving of tunafish salad to make the sandwich.

It was delicious! The Wasabi Mayo added a little "umph" to an otherwise typically mild dish. I calculated the calories for the sandwich to be 291. To make it a meal I added an orange (87/cal) cut in quarters. Total calorie count for the meal was 378. A definite repeat. 

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Expert Tip On Weight Management #1--Educate Yourself--Cara Castronuova

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I came across this article that had well-known experts commenting on what they see as an important tip to controlling our weight. Thought the advice given made a lot of sense . Read on:

Educate Yourself: Fitness Fighter Cara Castronuova

“Don’t diet to lose weight,” the two-time Golden Glove winner, certified trainer, and Biggest Loser fitness expert says. “When you tell yourself you're on a diet, you're going to end up cracking and bingeing. It's just a bad cycle. I believe in healthy living and portion control. A lot of people say they don't know what healthy living is, so just do research. It's really not that hard. Go online, figure out what a balanced diet is, what lean protein is, or how many calories there are in certain foods. People literally have no idea, and it's crazy how many calories are in what they put into their bodies.”

I found this at

Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps @livligahome
My husband loves scallops. I am always on the look out for a good looking recipe that includes scallops. I found another one. This time the scallops were in a salad~ Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps. Another great Cooking Light recipe.

The combination of the seared scallops with the prociutto is heavenly.  There is the hint of sweet and salty, soft and crispy. It makes for a very satisfying meal.

It serves 4. Calories per serving is 171.

I completed the meal with a slice of garlic toast (136/cal), 1 cup of fresh blueberries (52/cal) with a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt (18/cal). Total calories for the meal was 377. A great meal for the summer and a definitely repeat.


Great Healthy Living Quote-- #51

Monday, July 8, 2013
Great Healthy Living Quote #51 @livligahome

"If you shut your door to all errors, truth will be shut out."

~ Rabindranath Tagore

sourced from Daily Joy by National Geographic

Why Livliga works- Color Matters!

Friday, July 5, 2013
Blue Plates Curb Your Appetite (photo of Halsa Dinner Plate)

Colors affect us in so many ways. They affect our moods. They can make us feel powerful or energetic. Color can also influence your food intake.

Livliga created a color palette of colors that are non-trigger colors. What does that mean? It means that the colors are either neutral or appetite suppressing. Very hot vibrant colors such as red, yellow and orange are colors that stimulate us so when it comes to food served in an environment filled with those colors we tend to eat faster and consequently more. That is why fast food restaurants use those “hot” colors. You buy more and eat more. This is not what we are after for those wanting to eat right amounts of food and live a healthier lifestyle. We need to choose colors that support us, not work against us.

When eating we want colors that are attractive but also are calming and have a higher contrast with our food. All Livliga colors tend to have more blue in them so even if there are yellow or reds used they are calmer versions of the color and tend to be used as accent colors on our dishware. These calming colors allow us to chew our food, breath in between bites and let our eyes and brain catch up to our stomachs so when we have eaten our right-sized meal we will feel full and not reach for a second helping.
Blue Provides a High Contrast to the Foods you Eat (photo of Halsa Dinnerware)

 There has been specific research done on the color blue. It is considered an appetite suppressing color. It has this affect for a couple of reasons. One is that itis in our DNA from the days we were hunter-gatherers to shy away from blue. When you think about it, blue is not a food color. Besides blueberries it is hard to think of a food in blue. Early man avoided dark colored food in general, including blue, since many were considered poisonous—thus you have another nail in the coffin for blue. Additionally, recent research has shown that higher contrast between the color of your plate and the food you put on it literally suppresses your appetite. Bottom line, it allows you to feel fuller faster and therefore satisfied with eating right-sized amounts of food at a meal.

Interestingly, there is a growing popularity for chromotherapy also referred to as color therapy. It focuses on the impact all colors have on us, our moods and our health. JayCardiello, health strategist, and star of the hit ABC show “My Diet is Better than Yours.”, is a proponent of actively choosing the colors you live with to help you live a healthier lifestyle, specifically he mentions using blue plates for eating. That is why Livliga created our Hälsa pattern in blue hues. Color does matter and help us.

Color is a significant influencer in our lives. When we eat off of dishware with non-trigger and appetite suppressing colors we are truly choosing to support ourselves in achieving our long-term goal towards sustaining a healthy lifestyle. It is one significant reason why Livliga works, along with the other important elements like size, shape, visual illusion and design we have integrated into all of our patented tableware. 

Color is a significant influencer in our lives (photo of Vivente Lifestyle Dinnerware)

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Celebrate Summer Holidays with Watermelon Lemonade!

Thursday, July 4, 2013
Watermelon Lemonade @livligahome

Holidays are fun times to add something new to your menu. It is also a great time to enjoy using the best the season has to offer in its fruits and vegetables. It is an easy way to make your table look appealing and taste delicious.

This summer, as my go-to holiday mocktail, I plan on serving a watermelon lemonade. Watermelon is a summertime staple in our house. And now that there are smaller, seedless versions it makes serving up favorites to a smaller crowd that much easier.

Here is my Watermelon Lemonade recipe:

  • 2 cups mashed watermelon pulp, sieved or use seedless
  • 1 cup lemon juice, about 2 lemons
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 6 sprigs of mint
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  1. Juice lemons
  2. Mash watermelon (fun activity for the kids) or puree in a blender
  3. Mix all juices together
  4. Add honey 
  5. Pour into glasses
  6. Add ice cubes and 1 mint sprig per glass

Serves 6. Calories per 8 ounce serving: 46

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Looking for a way to serve up refreshing drinks in right-sized glasses? Check out Livliga's stylish Aveq Drinking Glasses! Portion control never looked so good…or plentiful!


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Summertime cooking- avoiding too much heat in the kitchen!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

For those of you who have enjoyed reading my blog regularly, you know one of my "tricks" for healthier eating is pre-planning my menus and grocery store visits. Another approach I have, particularly in the summertime, is to pre-think my cooking in the kitchen. It can get so hot in a kitchen when you use the oven and stove top during the hot months of the year.

As an example, I needed to boil some eggs for a tunafish salad I was preparing. Since I had to fire up the stove top for a couple of eggs, I decided to go ahead and boil a few extra. The extra eggs I plan on using in a Salad Niçoise, for snacks, and for an egg salad I will use for lunch.

By doing all the eggs at once, I don't have to get the kitchen hot later. The cooking is all done ahead for more than one meal. First thing in the morning, when it is still cool out is a great time to get any cooking done in the hot summer months, I have found. In the evening, after dinner, once the sun has set can also work depending on your daily routines.

Smarter cooking in the summer allows us to still enjoy well prepared meals without suffering through the heat.

No Recipe--Flank Steak

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Grilled Flank Steak on Livliga Portion Control Halsa Dinner Plate
No Recipe Flank Steak @livligahome
I am hot, it has been a long day and I wanted to do a dinner that didn't take much thought. I turned to an all time family favorite--marinated flank steak with asian-flavored noodles with french green beans.

Since I wasn't following a recipe in a book but from my memory, this is how I did it:

Flank Steak
Marinade for the flank steak
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
1 lbs flank steak

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a ziplock and place the flank steak in it. Close the bag and let the flank steak marinade for at least 20 minutes. If you want to do this the night before, even better.

Then I took the flank steak out of the marinade and grilled it about 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked to medium rare. Marinade was discarded.

Serves 4. Serving size 4 oz @ 230 calories.

Japanese Noodles
8 oz of whole wheat pasta, thin spaghetti-style
Cooking Spray, olive oil-flavored
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp ground ginger 
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced at angle
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar

Boil the noodles per instructions on the box.
Heat a cast iron skillet. Spray with cooking oil. Add sesame oil. Add cooked noodles. Mix with oil. Sprinkle with ground ginger. Stir in all other ingredients. Mix and serve.

Serves 4. Serving size 1 cup @ 260 calories.

French Green Beans
16 oz bag of French green beans (haricots verts)
1 cup Chicken broth
1 cup water
Lemon zest from one lemon

Pour the chicken broth and water in the bottom of a vegetable steamer. Bring to a boil. Place the French green beans in the steamer for 5 - 6 minutes. Remove from steamer promptly. Add zest and toss.

Serves 4. Serving size 1 cup @ 20 calories.

Total calories for meal @ 510.

The important part about no recipe meals is paying attention to the ingredients you use. It is always a good idea to measure to make sure you are aware of how much you are using of any one ingredient. The is particularly true of the oils we use. Those calories can quickly add up.

This is a quick and easy-to-assemble "no recipe" meal, good for just about any time of year.

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Great Healthy Living Quote-- #50

Monday, July 1, 2013
Great Healthy Living Quote #50 @livligahome

To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.

~George Orwell

sourced from Daily Joy by National Geographic