The Secret to Cooking Corn on the Cob

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Secret to Cooking Corn on the Cob (photo by LivligaHome).

It is that time in the summer when ears of corn are plentiful whether at the grocery store or the Farmer’s Market. This abundance is what makes us love cooking and eating all variety of fresh food. In reality, however, not all fresh foods taste a like. This is particularly true of corn. It all depends on the type of corn grown as well as the type of weather it grew in. It is hard to tell by just looking at the corn whether it will be sweet or starchy, succulent or chewy.  The secret to cooking corn to guarantee fabulous flavor may be a surprise to you. Click here to read the entire article...

Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on


Great Healthy Living Quote #105-- Happiness comes when you believe

Monday, July 28, 2014
Great Healthy Living Quote #105-- Happiness comes when you believe  
How can you get into your happiness groove?


Shocking Trend of Inactivity Adds to Rise in Obesity

Friday, July 25, 2014
Shocking Trend of Inactivity Adds to Rise in Obesity (photo by LivligaHome)

It should not be a surprise to any of us that lack of exercise contributes to our weight gain, our growing health issues and the increase in the obesity epidemic. What is shocking is the soaring escalation in our inactivity in a little over a decade. Here is a summary of the recent research out of Stanford Medical School:

Overeating may not be the chief cause of America’s obesity epidemic. New research from Stanford Medical School indicates the real culprit is too little exercise—indeed, too little physical activity of any kind. From 1994 to 2010, the percentage of adult women who did no physical activity in their spare time climbed from 19 percent to nearly 52 percent, while the number of sedentary men increased from 11 percent to almost 44 percent. “We suspected there was a trend in that direction, but not to that magnitude,” Stanford’s Uri Ladabaum tells the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, over that same period, the average body mass index for women went up by 0.37 percent per year. But in the study’s key finding, researchers saw no evidence of an increase in overall calorie consumption. The study drew on self-reported data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. A separate review of 20 long-term studies showed that obesity can shorten life expectancy by 6 ½ to 14 years compared with people of normal weight. Those who are extremely obese also have an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, among other illnesses.

Published in The Week, July 25, 2014.

5 Tips for Healthy Eating During Summer Travel

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
5 Tips for Healthy Eating During Summer Travel
5 Tips for Healthy Eating During Summer Travel (photo by LivligaHome)

I recently took a car trip to Kansas City. It is about a 10-hour drive that I can do in one day. The challenge is to figure out how to eat healthy and not give into boredom, cravings and old habits when on the road for a long day of driving. We tend to indulge ourselves, particularly with food, when we have to “endure” a long day of travel…driving or flying.

Here are 5 tips that are helpful when you are on the road traveling between destinations:

1. Make sure to keep hydrated.  Not only should you be thinking about fitting those 8 glasses of water in, but even better, is going for 10 to 12 glasses. When it is hot outside, you have the glare of the road on your face, and the sun pounding on you as you drive, you can easily get dehydrated. The forced air in the car adds to the need for hydration. Then there is the additional benefit that drinking water is good for keeping busy when boredom can easily get the best of us and cause us to consume things we really don’t want to. Carbonated drinks are not as good for you so if you are looking for a healthy, low calorie bottled drink, consider packing a couple of bottles of Bai5, Sobe Zero, Vitamin Water Zero or other favorite low calorie flavored water drinks in your thermos for the car.

2. Stock up on audiotapes. I go to my local library and check out 3 or 4 books on tape for the car (a fun one this trip was The Athena Project by Brad Thor).  Mysteries by well-acclaimed authors keep me enthralled and not so inclined to think about eating all the time. Librarians are great at making recommendations, ask them to give you a few ideas of good audiobooks.

3. Pick fun music to listen to and bring a variety. I have my favorites loaded on my phone. I also have CDs from the library of music I want to experience but am not familiar with so I have something new and different to try. Recently I discovered iTunes Radio. It has worked really well in my car. It allows me to try out and create any number of stations to suit my different moods and to keep me from getting restless. No more fuzzy radio, interminable commercials or unwanted talk show hosts.

4. Pack food that is good to nibble. I have found I get “the major munchies” when I am driving for long periods of time. It is better to have things to chew and munch on every couple of hours instead of packing a sandwich or a whole apple or even an energy bar. It is key to pre-plan when you are going to eat and keep to the plan so you have something to look forward to and don’t end up over-eating. It is okay to watch the clock, just don’t speed it up. I find it is better to have foods that are cut up in pieces, need chewing and take time to consume. Thinking ahead and having bags or food storage containers filled for each snack time is ideal. Here is a list of foods I enjoy on the road:
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Chinese pea pods
  • Cucumber, sliced in rounds
  • Red, yellow and orange bell peppers, cut into strips
  • Berries—blueberries and blackberries are easiest and best
  • 6 ounce chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • Nuts (walnuts or almonds) measured into 1 ounce servings
  • PB2J pancake sandwich for my “look forward to” late afternoon snack
  • Chocolate Banana Muffin for the late morning “coffee break” after filling up the gas tank the first time
  • Greek yogurt dip for the veggies (if you have a cooler that can keep it cool enough)
  • Fresh popped popcorn in 3 cup servings (for flavor add a pinch of herb de Provence and some sea salt)
The key to nibbling is to eat each piece individually.  No stuffing your cheeks with a wad of food allowed. This way it will take a while to consume, occupying more of your time, and likely prompting your stomach to get fuller than it would if you downed your snack.

5. Stretch your limbs regularly. Every couple of hours to go through a routine of moving your arms and legs, tightening muscles and then releasing them is great for removing tension, addressing monotony and burning more calories than if you don’t move at all. When stopping for refueling and or for a “pit stop”/restroom break make sure to stand up and stretch. A walk around the parking lot is also a great idea or jogging in place by the car as you are filling the tank. Don’t worry about looking silly…have you every looked around at the other people at the rest stop?!?

 Enjoy! And Live vibrant!

Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on



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Great Healthy Living Quote #104-- Think Positive

Monday, July 21, 2014
Great Healthy Living Quote #104-- Think Positive for Positive Results
How many ways can you Think Positive?


Jumpstart Your Livliga Lifestyle with our Get Started Guide!

Changing Habits: Becoming a “Jock” at 57

Friday, July 18, 2014

Changing Habits: Becoming a “Jock” at 57 (photo by LivligaHome)
In the summer we all tend to be much more active. We spend more time outside barbecuing, hanging out at the pool, gardening, taking picnics to the park, playing tennis, boating, fishing, bicycling…you name it.

My husband and I have been enjoying cycling around our new town. I have bicycled most of my life but never for any great distance. Just for quick jaunts for meeting up with people, quick errands, for family fun around the neighborhood when the kids were little and for easy Sunday morning rides with my husband as a lovely way to start the day together.

Honestly, longer rides were never enjoyable to me. Being obese, my bottom would get sore not too long into the ride. Then there was my stamina; I wasn’t good for more than a few miles. It all seemed like too much work. Then a couple of years ago, as I started losing more and more weight, eating healthy, and working out 5 days a week at the YMCA, I discovered I had a lot more endurance and interest in cycling longer distances. It became a fun, purposeful challenge. I will never forget the day I did my first 20 mile ride. It was quite an achievement. I was happy and exhausted by the end.

Most of the rides my husband and I do now are between 10 – 20 miles. We have even enjoyed renting bikes in other cities and cycling around to get to know the city through the lens of a bicycle. We did this recently in Minneapolis. What a beautiful city with great architecture, bridges, trails, trains, lakes, museums, the Guthrie Theater, Farmer’s Markets and restaurants. I have never seen more or had more fun! Who would imagine I would be becoming a jock at age 57?!?
Cycling Around Minneapolis (photo by LivligaHome)
As the summer continues we are spending more and more evenings, and weekend mornings cycling around the new city we live in. My husband plots out our routes. His favorite app for doing this is It is easy to use and you can customize your routes, save them and share them.

The new goal is to ride at least 10 miles each day for a whole week before the summer’s end. I will keep you posted. Can’t wait to share this next progress with you!


Easy Does it Dinners for Busy Lives

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Easy Does it Dinners for Busy Lives
Easy Does it Dinners for Busy Lives (photo by LivligaHome)
Sometimes it just needs to be easy. In our family we call them “Easy Does it Dinners” because in our busy lives we can’t or don’t always want to spend much time in our kitchen. The challenge is to make it a fresh, colorful and tasty menu so even though we want it quick we can still meet the meal requirement of being satisfying and healthy.

This is particularly true when you have a holiday.  So much of our tradition around a holiday is all about food. We usually spend hours, even days, getting the food ready for the occasion. As I have focused my life more and more on being healthy I have tried to de-emphasize food for some holidays. This does not mean we don’t celebrate and still make it special, it just means we do it in a different way.

Take Father’s Day, for instance, it is a great day to spend time with your favorite dad. It can be as easy as fixing him a cup of coffee and giving him the Sunday paper to go sit outside to rest and read while you do the same with him. Or maybe it is going to church together. Then you can gear up for a fun outing like going fishing, boating, golfing or bicycling. Or maybe you want to take a walk around a park. Perhaps your gift can be helping your dad spruce up the garden by weeding and planting or getting the flowerpots ready for the summer months. These activities take time and are the greatest gift you can give your dad–your time.

Since you have filled your day with fun activities it is time to prepare an “easy does it dinner”.  The easiest is to cook it all on the grill or “grill it” in your oven. Here is our Easy Does it Dinner Menu:

Grilled Red and Yellow Peppers

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Grilled Veggie Burger (or beef burger if you prefer)

For Dessert: Cup of mixed berries with a dollop of Greek Yogurt and splash of Vanilla


 The Veggies: Have enough yellow and red bell peppers to have one per person. Wash them, seed them and cut them in slices. Have enough Brussels sprouts so there are about 7 or 8 per person (your goal is to have a cup cooked per person). Wash them, trim them and slice them in half. Use two grilling pans or baking sheets (if your are “grilling” in the oven) each sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Keep the veggies separate so you can serve them separately. The Brussels sprouts can be sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, sprinkled with herb de Provence and a pinch of sea salt. The bell peppers should also be sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkled with sea salt.  After grilling the peppers drizzle them with a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon juice. Cook on the grill for 5 to 10 minutes (or roast in the over for 10 – 15 minutes at 375 degrees) until they are slightly charred.
For the burger you can buy pre-made veggie or burger patties. I buy the ones in the freezer section so I use them as I need them. They cook in the same amount of time as the veggies so I put them on the grill at the same time and take them off when they are also slightly charred. You can add a bun or eat it as is, as we did.

For dessert just wash your berries and place a cup in each bowl. Place a dollop of Greek yogurt on the top of the berries and then pour one teaspoon of sugar-free vanilla syrup over it. If you have mint, finely shred a few leaves and sprinkle it on top. This adds color and a refreshing taste to the end of your meal.
All in all this meal is super easy to prepare and only takes 20 minutes from start to finish. It is visually appealing to look at, tasty to eat, healthy, and very satisfying. Better yet, it is an Easy Does it Dinner so you can spend your day focused on fun.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on

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Great Healthy Living Quote #103-- Always Believe in Wonderful

Monday, July 14, 2014
Great Healthy Living Quote #103-- Always Believe in Wonderful



Friday, July 11, 2014


Livliga Portion Control Dinnerware Receives Patent
(New York, NY) Beginning on July 1, 2014, Livliga, a lifestyle brand dedicated to providing solutions for healthy eating, will hold a patent for its line of portion control tableware and soon-to-be offered LivSpoons. As a result, Livliga will not only help to define, but will set the standard for portion control eating, while providing individuals with effective tools for managing and maintaining a desirable weight.

Livliga is the first and only brand of its kind to hold a patent for its tableware. The full suite includes plates, bowls, mugs, glasses and serveware. Designed to subtly guide users in eating well-balanced meals with appropriate serving sizes, Livliga uses a unique philosophy known as VisualQs to help users “right-size” their eyes, and thus the portions they consume, based on recommendations by the USDA.

The VisualQs concept states that our bodies and minds look for visual cues which help us determine the amount of food we consume in one sitting. With this in mind, Livliga products feature designs, colors and symbols, and the strategic placement of each, to help guide individuals in practicing portion control eating.

Founder and CEO of Livliga, Sheila Kemper Dietrich, developed the product line out of her desire to combat the obesity epidemic which currently plagues the US. She has dedicated her efforts to conducting extensive research, planning and testing on behalf of the brand, and connecting with health professionals and everyday people who are in need of effective everyday tools. She states, “As the only brand on the market to receive such a patent, we view this as a major accomplishment in solidifying Livliga as a cutting-edge provider of healthy lifestyle tools and a resource for the millions of Americans who aspire to live healthier lives.”

The complete Livliga product line is sold in 4-piece individual place settings, 16-piece sets for four people, sets of glassware and other accessory pieces. Prices range from $17.95 to $198.95, and can be purchased at

Livliga's Vivente Portion Control Dinnerware now patented!


Livliga Discount Available Now!

Thursday, July 10, 2014
Livliga Discount Available Now! Use Coupon Code WHMAG15
Livliga has a lot to celebrate! recently featured my husband and me in an article about our weight loss journey and how it led to the creation of Livliga. This journey was made possible because of a lot of support and because of the amazing country we live in.  We are excited to share our story with you! And in celebration of our article highlighting our version of the American Dream, we want to celebrate with you by offering a discount on Livliga and Kidliga product!

Take advantage of this offer now so you can make the most of enjoying a healthy summer!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Healthy Dips great for Backyard Barbecues

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Healthy Dips for Backyard Barbecues

Healthy Dips great for Backyard Barbecues (photo by LivligaHome)

The weather is getting hotter, the grills are getting revved up and summer is around the corner. It is time to get organized for the Backyard Barbecue. Let’s start with the appetizer. Chips and dip are a staple but the calories can add up quickly with a guacamole or sour cream based dip, not to mention the chips.  Providing healthy dips is an easy way to add mindfulness to your meal without giving up the fun and tastiness.

In the summertime we want to spend more time outdoors rather than in our kitchen. And when it is hot, the last thing we want to do is spend time in a sweltering kitchen.  The solution: easy healthy dips that require no cooking and can be whipped up in no time flat.

One of my favorite healthy dips that is a little different than the run-of-the-mill standard choices out there is a Wasabi Dipping Sauce served with green beans. People love it and can’t seem to get enough of it. I always run out. You do need to keep it cool since it is a mayonnaise-based dip. You can keep it inside, set it on a table in the shade and put it in a container that is made to stay cool.  Here is the recipe:

Wasabi Dipping Sauce with Green Beans

  • 3 pounds green beans
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, low-fat
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste or powder

1. Blanch the green beans in two batches in a large saucepan or steamer of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want them. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain well and pat dry.
2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice and wasabi until sugar is dissolved and the wasabi is well blended.
3. Place dip in a bowl. Serve beans with dip.

Serves 10 easily.

If you are looking for a couple more ideas on healthy dips check out the other dip choices on my blog.  You will note I tend to serve raw or lightly blanched vegetables with my dip. Besides blanched green beans, jicama, strips of colorful bell peppers, Belgian endive and snow peas make great choices in addition to the standard carrots and celery sticks. The main thing is to make it colorful and attractive, which adds to the appeal of your healthy appetizer.

If you want to also offer chips, consider making your own. This way you can control the salt, sugar and oil in your chips. They can be done ahead of time and stored for up to a week or even frozen. You can do this easily by baking tortillas in a 375°F oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. All you need to do is get a package of store bought corn tortillas, coat both sides of each tortilla with olive oil cooking spray then cut them into quarters. Spread the quarters in an even layer on 2 large baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake, rotating the pans from top to bottom and stirring once halfway through, until the chips are golden and crisp. They are delicious and, when served in addition to the fresh vegetable crudité, add to the healthy appetizer choices.

Then to complete the menu, check out my Perfect Backyard Barbecue dinner. Great healthy choices for any outdoor occasion.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on The Epoch Times.


Great Healthy Living Quote #102-- Keep People in Your Life Who Love You

Monday, July 7, 2014
Great Healthy Living Quote #102
Who truly loves you? Spend more time with those who motivate, encourage and inspire you.


Hello Dollies- Lighter and Healthier--Dessert

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hello Dollie Recipe Makeover (photo by LivligaHome)
Every once in a while I have the urge to fix one of our "old favorites" for a holiday. Hello Dollies are a long time favorite of this family for the 4th of July. They are part of the classic picnic food we prepare. They are rich and gooey and go quite well with fireworks.

The problem is they are packed full of calories and no-so-good-for-you ingredients. This year I decided it was time to try and do a "recipe makeover" for our beloved Hello Dollies.
The goal was to make them lighter, healthier and with fewer calories but without giving up the rich and gooey taste.

Here is what I came up with-

Healthier Hello Dollies

1 cup rolled oats (Old Fashioned Quaker Oats), ground
⅔ cup oat bran
2 tablespoons Truvia sugar, baking blend
1 stick butter, light and unsalted
1 cup coconut
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 can condensed milk, fat free (Eagle Brand)
Cooking Spray

Using Healthier and Lighter Ingredients for Hello Dollies (photo by LivligaHome)
1. Place oats in food processor and process until the oats become flour-like.
2. Combine ground oats, oat bran with Truvia sugar in small mixing bowl.
3. Melt butter on low heat in a small saucepan. Pour melted butter over oat mixture. Mix well.
4. Spray bottom and sides of a 7x11 inch Pyrex dish. Spread the oat mixture over the bottom of the dish.
5. Next add a layer of coconut, then the chocolate chips and top with pecans.
6. Pour the condensed milk evenly across the top of the dish, saturating the pecans.
7. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until top is browned.
Makes 24 squares. Serving size: 1 square. Calories: 146

The oats and oat bran are so much healthier than graham crackers. By using the lighter versions of sugar, salt and condensed milk I was able to reduce the calories per bar as well. In reality, just reducing the size of the Hello Dolly bar helps with the calories which is something I have done in general. Using quality dark chocolate chips and coconut also enhances the healthiness of the dessert.

By my calculations if you make 24 bars out of the recipe, which makes a decent sized dessert, you end up with 146 calories per bar. The "old" way there would have only been 20 bars for 193 calories per bar...a reduction of 47 calories per bar. If you compare the calories for the same sized bar the calorie savings are 15 calories per serving. My philosophy is every little bit helps just so long as you don't give up quality, flavor and overall satisfaction.

The finished Hello Dollies looking yummy! (photo by LivligaHome)
These Hello Dollie bars fit the bill. They are healthier, lighter and reduced in calories while still being rich and gooey.

Wishing you a happy...healthier...and fun 4th of July!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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Livliga Discount in Celebration of 4th of July and Women's Health Article

Thursday, July 3, 2014
Use Coupon Code WHMAG15 for 15% Discount!
Livliga has a lot to celebrate! This past week featured my husband and me in an article about our weight loss journey and how it led to the creation of Livliga. This journey was made possible because of a lot of support and because of the amazing country we live in.  We are excited to share our story with you! And in celebration of the 4th of July and our article highlighting our version of the American Dream, we want to celebrate with you by offering a discount on Livliga and Kidliga product!

Wishing you a Happy 4th of July!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!


Dairy—Not Just Good For Our Bones

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Dairy—Not Just Good For Our Bones (photo by LivligaHome)

There has been a lot in the news recently about the benefits of dairy products for our health…and how it is not just good for our bones. The classic thinking about dairy is that it is full of fat and calories. Imagine rich brie or luscious whipped cream. Then think nonfat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or feta. Sounds much healthier, doesn’t it? Click here to read the entire article...

Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on