Perfect Summer Picnic

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Perfect Summer Picnic
Perfect Summer Picnic

The classic summer picnic is tied to celebrations and is a cornerstone of our memories and traditions. Making it healthy yet including your favorite classic foods may seem like a big challenge. For my family, the ultimate memorable picnic means fried chicken with a variety of salads, and of course, a delicious dessert!  But how to make them fit into your healthier lifestyle? It is not as hard as you think. Read on for my most recent classic and healthy picnic fare:

For the healthiest version of fried chicken, I used a recipe that pre-cooks the chicken and then “flash fries” it for about 1-2 minutes at the very end. It is from Rocco Dispirito's Now Eat This! Diet Cookbook. A great video that shows you how to do it is: Rocco Dispirito talks to Marlo Thomas about Flash Frying Chicken (280/cal per serving). I seasoned the chicken the “traditional way” with salt, paprika and pepper. It is truly delicious and authentic tasting. Or try my Oven Baked "Faux" Fried Chicken. It is also delicious.

For the fresh and healthy salads I chose Sugar Snap Peas with a Lime and Basil Dressing (90/cal per serving). The online link has one of the ingredients listed incorrectly; it should be 2 limes (not 2 lbs.!) for the lime juice you need. I also included about a teaspoon of lime zest to add more flavor and use more of the goodness from the lime.

The second salad, in keeping with the tradition of having a potato salad at your picnic, is a Potato-Portobello Salad (119/cal per serving). The “oomph” I add to this recipe is grilling the Portobellos for a about a minute on each side, either on your outside grill or in a cast-iron skillet. Just spray with an olive oil spray so they don’t stick and they are easy to grill.

As the finale to the Perfect Summer Picnic, I chose my healthy and savory Lavender Lemon Bars (118/cal per serving) for a refreshing and satisfying way to finish the meal.

Total calories for your summertime picnic is 607. Pretty amazing calorie count when you realize that includes fried chicken!

Enjoy! and Live Vibrant!

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re-posted from Sheila's Blog on


Expert Tip On Weight Management #6--Train With Intensity--Jackie Warner

Wednesday, August 28, 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:

Train With Intensity: X-Treme Workout Trainer Jackie Warner

“It's not how long you train, it’s how strong,” says the author of This is Why You’re Fat (and How to Get Thin Forever) and 10 Pounds in 10 Days, and creator of numerous expert fitness DVDs. “Fifteen minutes of high intensity interval cardio is more effective than doing a hour on the elliptical or treadmill and reading a magazine. The best way to do this is a new method called cardio acceleration. This means adding one or two minutes of aerobic exercise between intervals of resistance training and switching back and forth — you’re actually burning more calories than you would if you were jogging on a treadmill. To me, this is a fantastic form of exercise, and a great way to do it is by jumping rope.”

I found this at 


Baked "Wild Fries"—CAN"T BE BEAT!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For more of my Livliga recipes that are easy to use and print go to

To make this recipe Whole30 compliant replace cooking spray with 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Live Vibrant! 

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Great Healthy Living Quote #58

Monday, August 26, 2013
Great Healthy Living Quote #58 (livligahome)


Its All About Gratitude

Friday, August 23, 2013

I found this on a site called Reach. It reminds us that in order to get the most out of life we need to be present in it. It starts with be aware of all the ways we are grateful. This is something I find I need to be reminded of regularly!


Smashed Potatoes the New Rage

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Smashed Potatoes...the New Rage...served up on Vivente! (livligahome)

My daughter picked a recipe for dinner the other night that called for smashed potatoes. They were really good. Eating them made me wonder why there are more and more recipes with smashed, instead of mashed, potatoes. In researching the phenomenon, I think I see why. Smashed potatoes are easier to prepare and they can be healthier.

Most smashed potato recipes call for keeping the skin on the potato so you don’t have to spend time peeling them. The added benefit is you also keep more of the nutrients since they are found in the skin. Another time saver is that smashing potatoes, once they are cooked, is a one step process compared to mashing potatoes which can start with smashing them and then move to smoothing/homogenizing the potato with a mixer or mix master. And then there is the lumpy coarseness of the dish which means a ½ cup has less volume in it and therefore it is appealing and filling without as many calories. I so like this benefit in my cooking!

Recipes for smashed potatoes tend to be lighter and use fresher ingredients like green onions and herbs. One of my current favorites is more like the traditional mashed potato in its ingredients and is from Cooking Light. It uses Yukon gold potatoes, most popular potato for smashed potatoes, and adds Dijon mustard. They go really well with a steak. Check out my menu from a recent Live Vibrant blog:

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. Smashed potatoes are now on our list of delicious, healthier foods.

Originally posted on Sheila's Blog in   

Find Healthy Recipes on the Live Vibrant Blog

Expert Tip On Weight Management #5--Skip Processed Foods--Kim Lyons

Wednesday, August 21, 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:

Skip Processed Foods: Fast-Track Trainer Kim Lyons

“To lose weight, eat foods in their natural form and stay away from the processed ‘diet’ ones,” the former Biggest Loser trainer and creator of the Fast Track to Weight Loss program. “Of course, there are exceptions for every rule, but 99 percent of foods that are fat-free or carb-free or sugar-free have replaced these substances with chemicals that are probably doing more harm than the fat, carbs, or sugar would have. I encourage people to grab an apple and some almonds. And, when you do eat carbs, focus on eating the starchy ones early in the day, and protein and vegetables at night. This gives your body time to burn off the starchy carbs.”

I found this at 

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Hoisin-Grilled Chicken with Soba Noodles-EASY!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Hoisin-Grilled Chicken with Soba Noodles (livligahome)
My family loves Asian flavored foods. My daughter particularly loves dishes with Asian noodles. When I saw this Hoisin-Grilled Chicken with Soba Noodles recipe (371/cal) I had a feeling my family would like it. In fact, it turned out to be a great summertime meal that was easy to prepare. The only tricky part of the meal was finding the sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) which is one of the ingredients. I did end up finding chile paste at the grocery store after some searching.

To make it a meal I fixed the suggested Cucumber-Peanut Salad (52/cal). Total calories for the meal are 423.  It was a big hit and a definite repeat.


Great Healthy Living Quote #57

Monday, August 19, 2013
Livliga Healthy Living Quote
Great Healthy Living Quote #57 (livligahome)

Jumpstart Your Livliga Lifestyle with our Get Started Guide!

Why Livliga Works~ Dieting Must Die, So says Dr. David L. Katz

Friday, August 16, 2013
Livliga is all about a Healthy Lifestyle (livligahome)

Livliga was created to be part of your every day life. To be used for yourself and with your family and friends. As Dr. David Katz wrote recently, diets don't work. In fact, diets can be harmful to our families.

Dieting, in all the misguided, go-it-alone, quick fix, false promise ways we have tended to do it for far too long already- stands in the way [of lasting health]. Dieting, as we have done it, endangers our children. And so it is that dieting - must die.

Livliga is all about embracing a healthy lifestyle. It is a beautiful, subtle support for healthy eating for every meal and everyone in your family. It is a gift to your friends to use it when you entertain as well.

For more information about the Livliga Lifestyle go to:

Enjoy! and Live Vibrant!

Asian-styled Marinade--Fabulous!

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Livliga Asian-style marinade
Asian-styled Marinade (livligahome)

It is fun to experiment with marinades, especially in the summertime. It is an easy way to add "personality" and flair to a meal. You can combine spices, herbs and sauces that are representative of other cultures for variety or a themed menu.

Ingredients for Livliga Asian-style chicken marinade

For an Asian-styled marinade try this:

4 large garlic cloves
1 large shallot, cut into large pieces
1 one-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons jarred sliced jalapeno chile pepper
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 pounds of chicken pieces (8 thighs)
To make this a kid-friendly recipe use chicken legs.

Livliga Asian-style chicken marinade in Aveq Serving bowl

1. Drop first 4 ingredients into the feed tube of a food processor that is running. Next add the basil and process until finely minced. Then add the remaining ingredients until the marinade is well mixed.
2. Rinse chicken pieces under cold water. Place the chicken in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag, pressing most of the air out of it. Turn the bag to make sure the marinade is well distributed on all pieces of the chicken.
3. Place the sealed bag inside a bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 -6 hours or overnight. Turn the bag occasionally.
4. Heat the grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken on each side, turning every 2-3 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill.  Grill for 8-12 minutes or until done.

Serves 8. 275 calories per serving.

Grilled chicken with healthy Livliga Asian-style marinade

The marinade is flavorful but not spicy hot. It makes for a tasty, moist chicken. This marinade is a huge hit with the family. A definite repeat.

To make it a meal I added a mixed green salad with sliced cherry tomatoes with a light Dijon vinaigrette (65/cal) and corn on the cob (90/cal). Total calories for the meal are 430.

Enjoy! and Live Vibrant!

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Expert Tip On Weight Management #4--Sleep More--Jim Karas

Wednesday, August 14, 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:

 Sleep More: Cardio-Free Trainer Jim Karas

“If you snooze, you lose weight,” the celebrity fitness coach and author of the New York Times bestseller The Petite Advantage Diet says. “If you are sleep deprived, you are going to be obese. Your hormones are affected by sleep. The most important one is leptin, the hormone that says, ‘I’m feeling full.’ The minute you are sleep deprived, your leptin levels go down. Ghrelin is the hormone that says ‘feed me.’ When you’re sleep-deprived, your ghrelin levels go up. But people wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. They think it’s cool, and they don’t even know what it’s like to be awake and lean. New moms are the worst culprits — they say, ‘My baby comes first,’ but when you are sleep deprived, you are not making great decisions.”

I found this at 


Rubs vs. Marinades-- is one a healthier choice?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Rubs vs Marinades? Is one healthier (Livliga)

There are definite sides when it comes to the use of rubs versus marinades. I have found that it can be an emotional issue for those who have developed and are known for their own recipes. Besides preference, what are the real differences between rubs and marinades? Is one type of seasoning healthier than the other? Easier? Less time consuming? What are the differences?

First we need to understand the difference between a rub and a marinade. I always thought it was the difference between a “dry” concoction of herbs and spices, which I called a rub, compared to a “wet” mixture of herbs, spices, oils– you name it, which I called a marinade. Turns out it is not so easy as that. There are “wet” rubs too. The main difference is that the marinades tend to tenderize the meat as the protein marinates. A rub is more of a flavorful coating that adds texture and taste to the protein.

Livliga homemade healthy rubs

Some people think one method makes the meat more moist or juicy. This isn’t really true either. Since both coat your meat, the degree of moisture is more about how long you cook your protein. How long you cook it is all about the method of cooking and the thickness of the meat. We can talk about this in another blog. For now, check out this helpful YouTube video: Dry Rub vs. Marinade.

So is there a healthier choice? Of course, the answer to that question isn’t so simple. It all depends on the ingredients. A rub, if it is just made of herbs and spices, can be low calorie and very flavorful. However, there are many recipes out there and store bought rubs that add sugar, salt and other ingredients like bread crumbs which can add a significant amount of calories and may not be so healthy for you. Marinades can also be healthy and effective with ingredients like fresh lemon juice, broth and herbs from your garden or local Farmer’s Market. You have to pay attention to the ingredients in the recipes you use. I would avoid store bought to avoid added calories and unwanted ingredients.

My favorite summertime marinade for chicken:

For rub recipes that are all about herbs and spices try these out:

For other ideas:

Ultimately the Rubs versus Marinades debate comes down to your preference and the amount of time you have and your willingness to plan ahead. Marinades need time and preparation. Rubs can be pre-made and ready to go when you need them. It is fun to experiment with them both and find the mixtures and concoctions you prefer as you look for favorite flavors and healthier choices.

re-posted from Sheila's Blog on

Great Healthy Living Quote # 56

Monday, August 12, 2013
Smiling Cookies (livligahome)

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. 

~ Mother Teresa

I confess, I am a Foodie

Friday, August 9, 2013
Evidence of a Confessed Foodie (livligahome)

There is a long list of indicators that you are a foodie. Talking about the next meal while eating a current meal is a classic. Roaming around the cookbook section of a bookstore as a favorite hobby is another. Then there is the common cocktail conversation centered around the best meal anyone has ever had. Facebook photos is the ultimate foodie confession when you look through someone's albums and see more pictures of food than family. True? Then there are those of us who blog about it, nearly daily. Or how about creating a whole new company all about right-sized eating?  Yep, I'm hooked. I am fascinated by it and how our daily lives evolve around our edible experiences.

I had no idea, however, how extreme a foodie I was until we recently sold our condo. There is nothing more telling than when you have to pack up all your possessions. I think my spices alone took up three boxes. My spices tell stories about my life. They can tell you about a special dinner party or a particular dish I tried out on my family. It is amazing how many spices I have been given from people's travels in distant lands. I can't imagine not keeping them all with me. But how many spices do you need, really? If they are one of a kind? All of them.

Now you are really going to chuckle. Not only did I pack up all of my kitchen but I brought a majority of it with me to a small cabin we are living in for the next couple of months while we wait for our new home to be ready. My husband had to bring in extra book shelves for me to have space for all my grains, spices, vinegars, oils, teas and baking supplies. Crazy foodie behavior, right? I couldn't be happier as I look up from my computer to see my make shift kitchen cabinets brimming with what I consider my "basic" kitchen supplies. Ahhh, it is a good life being a foodie.


"Flash" Frying Chicken--melt-in-you-mouth perfection!

Thursday, August 8, 2013
Flash Fried Chicken (livligahome)
As those of you know who follow my blog, I have been in a long search for a healthier version of a long time family favorite, fried chicken. It has been hard to come by. I have often tried to talk myself into loving a recipe, typically baked, that ultimately does not meet the satisfaction barometer.

We eat homemade fried chicken twice a year for the 4th of July and my daughter's birthday. Usually I go for the traditional method and cook the flour coated and salt seasoned chicken in Crisco oil for 30 minutes or so. Not so healthy.

This year I decided to try the "flash fry" method of cooking fried chicken. Rocco Dispirito is the chef that inspired me. He has been on a number of talk shows demonstrating this method of frying. Because you pre-cook the chicken in chicken broth (he recommends the microwave; I recommend stove top cooking and no additional salt in the broth), you don't have to fry the chicken for very long in the oil. In fact, by getting the oil to a high temperature, you only have to fry the chicken for about 2 minutes. A huge difference compared to the 30 plus minutes I have done with the old fashioned method.

What I love is that he has kept important elements for having authentic fried chicken, like basting it in buttermilk and then coating the chicken in a flour mixture that includes salt and pepper. What makes it better is that he uses a combination of whole wheat flour and cornmeal in the recipe in his book (3/4 cup cornmeal and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour). He also uses a flavored salt, Adobo. This is very similar to my classic salt, pepper and paprika I use in my flour mixture.

I think I have finally found the right healthier solution for "eating our fried chicken and having it too"! The outside was crispy, even though these were skinned pieces of chicken, and the inside was moist and flavorful. Not only did it look like fried chicken, it tasted like it too! Wish the clean up was easier...oh well, you can't always have it all!

Calories per serving is 204. A great success and a definite repeat for this family.


Expert Tip On Weight Management #3--Find Your Motivation--Charles Platkin, PhD, MPH

Wednesday, August 7, 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:

 Find Your Motivation: Diet Detective Charles Platkin, PhD, MPH

“The most important thing you need to do is determine the reason why you want to lose weight,” Platkin says. “Most people aren’t connected to this reason, so when they’re deciding between the apple and the donut, if it’s on taste, the donut will win every time. We make several hundred micro decisions every day, and if you really want to choose health, there are ways to do it, now more than ever. But you won’t do it if you are losing weight because someone else, like your husband or wife, thinks you should. You have to decide this personally, for yourself.”

I found this at 


Announcing Sheila Kemper Dietrich as a Contributor to the Epoch Times

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Sheila Kemper Dietrich now a Contributor to the Epoch Times

It is with great excitement and pleasure that I announce becoming a contributor to the Epoch Times online newspaper. They reached out to me to become one of their contributing bloggers. It is an honor to be asked and wonderful to be able to broaden my reach in my commitment to sharing the journey of living a healthier lifestyle with others. The first post was this past Sunday. You can find me in the "Life" section. I will be posting on Sundays and Wednesdays in the morning. Please check it out. Below is a link to the new blog.

The Epoch Times

The Epoch Times has an interesting history and a great mission. This is how they started "Having witnessed events like Tiananmen Square and the persecution of the spiritual group Falun Gong, and at a great risk to themselves and their loved ones, a group of Chinese-Americans started publishing The Epoch Times in the Chinese language in the U.S. Some reporters in China were jailed, and some suffered severe torture."

This is their Mission- "The Epoch Times is an independent voice in print and on the web. We report news responsibly and truthfully so that readers can improve their own lives and increase their understanding and respect for their neighbors next door and around the globe. In our approach and in our content, we uphold universal human values, rights, and freedoms. We are a business that puts our readers’ interests first, in all that we do."

To find out more please go to my author page.

You might just want to subscribe!


Great Livliga Quote # 55

Monday, August 5, 2013


Change Your World View

Friday, August 2, 2013

 I read this thought provoking reflection on how we can find hope, particularly when grappling with our issues with food. Mostly I find we are provided information on what we need to do but not how to get there. It is obvious what we are doing "wrong" but how do we figure out how to change patterns and stick to the path we want for a healthier life? Mark David is a talented professional who concentrates on the psychology of eating. He is one of the few who is helping us to get in touch with what we are doing and also helping us to understand not only the "why" of what we are doing but also "how" we might make the changes we need to in order to arrive at the lifestyle we are seeking. I don't know the man, but I feel he really understands me! It is nearly impossible to find hope if you are stuck hitting your head against the same spot on the wall, over and over again. How to change by finding hope and seeing the possibilities of self enlightenment?

In reading the thoughts below, I see how I need to approach my life and my habits with honesty and "fresh eyes". I have to search for the beliefs I am holding on to that are limiting me and my ability to have hope. I am excited about stretching and finding the flexibility I need. Read on for your own understanding:

Change Your Worldview- One of the first steps to finding hope with whatever eating concern, or health issue you might face, is to notice where your worldview needs to change. We get locked into apathy and despair the moment we believe in an unfriendly universe that either doesn’t care, or at worst: is out to get us. It’s easy to think that we’re truly alone in our suffering, and that no one could possibly understand what we’re going through. To find hope, at some point, we have to see the world through fresh eyes. We have to notice the kinds of limiting beliefs that keep us locked into a cycle of pain and frustration. Changing one’s worldview isn’t easy. We get locked into strong beliefs about how we see life. Republicans stay staunchly Republican, Democrats stay locked into their Democrat-ness, and it’s easy to assume that our religion, our way of eating, and our philosophy of living is clearly the right one. Yet, one of the greatest acts of transformation that a human can do is to change to a better and more efficient way of seeing the world. Rigidity is death. Flexibility is life. If you need proof of this, simply compare dead bodies to living ones. So, if you’re ready to stretch a bit, then you’re ready to find the hope that you want and the solution that you need.

See more at:

Spiced Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Rice--"Extremely Good!"

Thursday, August 1, 2013
Spiced Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Rice @livligahome
I recently renewed my subscription to the Cooking Light Magazine after a hiatus of a number of years. I love the ease of it coming to my door and inspiring me according to the season and month. Truthfully it is all already on line but not organized and synthesized in a way that is easy for me to take and use. There is also a lot of "extra" information that is also not just about recipes...more about lifestyle. I am loving it!

Out of the July 2013 issue of Cooking Light we tried the Spiced Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Rice. This was a very easy recipe to prepare. The rice prep was first. All you have to do is add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of garlic, sauteeing these ingredients before adding the rice to cook as you usually do. Next you assemble the rub for the chicken. It is a great barbecue rub that includes brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder and cumin. This recipe calls for broiling the chicken but you could also do it on the grill to keep more heat out of the kitchen. The chicken and rice combined are a total of 406 calories.

To make it a meal we added the Raspberry and Blue Cheese Salad (133/cal) for a total of 539 for the meal. Fantastic summertime flavors. It was also visually appealing. Written on the side of my menu planner for this meal my daughter wrote- "Extremely Good!". Needless to say the meal was a big hit and a definitely repeat!