Healthy Living—6 Reasons to Explore A Local Ethnic Market

Friday, May 29, 2015
Healthy Living includes going on New Adventures (photo by LivligaHome).
On a recent rainy weekend my husband and I were ready for an adventure. We were actually thinking about going to the local Farmer’s Market but with the rain we thought better of it. We then thought we should go do some errands we had been putting off. One of the errands was to look for small serving/snack bowls we could use in our home for just right portions for toppings and snacks. This led us to think about going to our local Asian Market & Grocer. Admittedly, not every town will have an Asian market yet it is surprising how many do. We had to drive to another city, which was only 20 minutes away.

It is a big Asian market. It is called Pacific Ocean Market (POM). It is really big with many items to choose from. We found the small serving/snack bowls we were looking for at a very reasonable price. Then we went to the fresh food part of the market. We were wowed.

It is amazing the different kinds of exotic fruits and vegetables we found. There were also familiar items, like eggplant, that come in all sorts of different sizes and colors than what you will find in a typical U.S. grocery store. We were awed by the variety available just in types of eggplant. There are white ones, long skinny purple ones, green ones, a purple and white striped variety, the big kidney shaped kind and then the small round purple type I was already familiar with from my days in the Peace Corps in Central Africa.

Not to be overwhelmed with all the choices we decided to pick two “new” vegetables for dinner. We decided on the small, round purple eggplant (we know it as Japanese eggplant) and a Chinese variety of broccoli, which is much leafier with smaller florets. Our menu was a grilled boneless pork loin chop with grilled Japanese eggplant and sautéed Chinese broccoli with a hint of balsamic vinegar. It was delicious!
Our Ethic Market Dinner (photo by LivligaHome)

To encourage others to try out a nearby Asian Market (or any other ethnic market near you) here are 6 reasons to go for it:

  1. Great alternative to a Farmers Market. It is amazing the variety of produce and meats you can explore. If you have ever watched the Food Channel you’ll love an Asian market with duck feet, pork belly along mushrooms and melons you have never seen before.
  2. Makes for a fun adventure any time of year, even when it is cold or rainy or snowy outside. With all the colors of produce, variety of meats and the smells from the bakery you are guaranteed hours of discovery.
  3. Can be cheaper. Asian markets can be a lot like a Costco. Things are bundled in big quantities at appealingly low prices. I got a couple of meals out of the vegetables I bought for just a few dollars.
  4. Can introduce you to new favorites. The smaller eggplants we found to be less bitter than the American variety we usually buy and that was with the skin still on! And the leafy Chinese broccoli was more flavorful and delicate than what we buy at our standard grocery store. We plan on both of these vegetables becoming a regular food in our diet.
  5. Can get you out of a recipe rut and reinvigorate you sense of fun with food. We asked people around us at the Asian grocery store how they would recommend preparing the vegetables we bought. It got us excited to try something new and now we have a new recipe we can add to our stable of ideas for easy dinners. 
  6. A way to learn about other cultures and food traditions. You can often find recipes on the ethic grocery store’s website as well. Getting input from others at the store makes taking on the risk of something new manageable and often super easy. The internet allows you to not only find recipes but learn more about the culture that commonly uses the food.
Being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is full of fun and adventure. Next time you have the chance, check out an ethnic market near you.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Originally posted on Sheila's Blog in   

Great Healthy Living Quote #148-- wrestle with your demons

Monday, May 25, 2015

How often do you wrestle with your demons?



You Ate 2 Pieces of Fried Chicken--Now What!?!

Friday, May 22, 2015

My daughters favorite food is fried chicken. I came across a listing of foods we sometimes treat ourselves to, like fried chicken. 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 fried chicken on my I can avoid it!

Here are the facts:
You ate: two large pieces KFC fried chicken
Calories: 720
Fat: 42 grams
Now burn it off with:
105 minutes of modern dancing
90 minutes of playing tennis
60 minutes on the stationary bike (vigorous effort)

With a long holiday weekend upon us, splurging is hard to resist. Knowing the facts which gives us choice as well as a solution should help!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Facts sourced from:


Great Healthy Living Quote #147--Courage

Monday, May 18, 2015



Reflections on Sustaining a Healthy Marriage

Friday, May 15, 2015

Reflections on Sustaining a Healthy Marriage (photo by LivligaHome)
It is true. I am one of the lucky ones. I married my soul mate. After 33 years of marriage (our anniversary is today) I remain incredibly attracted to this man. I don’t agree that you give up on romance the longer you are in a marriage. Not only is my husband my best friend he is also my amazing lover. Believe me, they are not mutually exclusive.

Sometimes I like to reflect on why I feel or think the way I do about something. So, why does my husband remain so interesting and sexy to me? I don’t think it is just one thing. First off, we are both very compatible and yet we are very different.

Several of our friends have remarked that my husband and I seem so considerate and respectful of each other. This sort of surprised me. How the two of us interact with each other is something I think I have taken a little bit for granted. It wouldn’t occur to me to act towards him any other way. But why? I think it is because I value his intelligence as well as how he thinks. He is honestly the most intelligent person I have ever known. No joke. I really value his opinion.
Working together at NY NOW (photo by LivligaHome)
Another big part of our lives has been embracing change. We have done a lot of morphing both in our personal and professional lives. Both of us, since we have been around a while, have had multiple careers. Now we are in a start up together. And as we have gotten older we value our health, both in mind and body, more and more. This means we dedicate time and resources to living a healthy lifestyle. We work out together, we take weekend bike rides together and we love to hike in the Rocky Mountains. Fortunately, we both want to be healthy eaters, even though we are hardcore foodies. This means we often cook together and willingly explore new recipes and healthier menus, like cooking vegetarian. If only one of us wanted to do these things it wouldn’t be as successful or fun.
On to a new adventure--kayaking! (photo by LivligaHome)
For our anniversary this year we are going for yet another adventure. We bought kayaks! They were on sale as were the paddles and Life jackets. With all the knee problems I have been having, my husband came up with the great idea that we should take up kayaking. We are not taking on white waters yet, more like reservoirs, streams and lakes. I am so looking forward to a summer time of water adventures and seeing things from a new vantage point with my life partner.

Finally, I think another big part of enjoying our marriage is having fun together. It is important to us to find time to have fun. We look forward to it. Whether it is as simple as cuddling up together to watch TV, spending time cooking a meal, going on a bike ride or hike, having a date night, or traveling on holiday, we cherish that time together.

Cheers! (photo by LivligaHome)

Great Healthy Living Quote #146--we do not dare

Monday, May 11, 2015



Tips for Indulging in a Healthy Mother’s Day

Friday, May 8, 2015

Indulging in a Healthy Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate our mothers, being a mother and taking time to bask in a day of healthy enjoyment. I am all for indulging ourselves yet the more focused I have become on living a healthy lifestyle I have come to embrace the notion that “indulgences” do not have to be harmful to be fun, delightful and/or pampering. Somehow we have it in our heads that a day that is "all about me” is a day that becomes one of overindulgence. Feeling bloated, lethargic and having a headache plus a few extra pounds the next day is just not worth it. In fact, it simply reminds us that we went way past having fun the day before….whatever the excuse.

To make the day full of fun and fantastic activities with family and friends, or just you, here are          Ten Tips for Indulging in a Healthy Mother’s Day:
  1. Ask your kids to give you healthy gifts. Could be gardening gloves, an exercise DVD, bike shorts, a healthy cookbook or a gift certificate to a yoga class.
  2. Get the kids involved in making a healthy meal.  You can make the request and guide the activity, enjoying the time in the kitchen together.
  3. Fit in a “just me” activity. This can be soaking in a tub with a good book, lounging outside listening to your favorite music or going someplace for a massage or manicure.
  4. Make sure to talk to loved ones. On special days it is great to make the time to reach out to those you love. It is great for our soul. Having a conversation with someone you care about can be the best gift of all. Don’t wait for them to call, feel free to go ahead and pick up the phone!
  5. Learn something new. Having free time to think beyond the routine can be a great indulgence. It can be as simple as reading an informative article in a magazine, searching out a new recipe or downloading a brain game app on your phone and playing it. Whatever sounds fun and new to you.
  6. Go to the local Famer’s Market or an Ethnic Market and snoop around. You can find new foods to try, talk to famer’s about their crops and get recommendations for ways to prepare their fresh produce.
  7. Take a bike ride or go on a walk. This is a great way to be out, enjoying an activity and sharing it with someone you care about.
  8. Have a picnic. This is such an easy thing to do and can be combined with the bike ride or visit to the Farmer’s Market. And with music and books available on your phone you can also lounge awhile soaking up the deliciousness of the day.
  9. Enjoy gardening. Mother’s Day is at such a great time of year to enjoy your garden. You can get things planted, weed or fertilize. This is an activity that sets you up to have ongoing enjoyment for the whole summer.
  10. Indulge in a celebratory drink. After such a fun day sitting back and enjoying your favorite lite beer or making a healthy mixed drink, with or without alcohol, can be just the thing.

Here’s to a Happy, Healthy and Fun Mother’s Day!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Great Healthy Living Quote #145-- change your attitude

Monday, May 4, 2015



The challenge of maintaining your weight when injured

Friday, May 1, 2015

Modifying My Exercise Routine to Work for Me While Injured
Yep. I did it again. This time I messed up the OTHER knee. Again I was doing something super fun. The problem was I did it with a little too much enthusiasm and gusto. I went for a 31 mile bike ride. It was a glorious day. It was a great challenge I was excited to take on. Admittedly by the end of the day I was tired and a bit sore.

The reality was the soreness turned into inflammation, pain and immobility. It only got worse. Of course we were traveling and I had to take multiple airplanes and stand long hours at shows for work.
This life necessity only caused more pain and inflammation. I finally went to the doctor and found out I had triggered a "Baker's Cyst". He put me on a prescription anti-inflammatory and advised me to ice and rest my leg as much as possible. Hard to do with our busy lives. But the pain stopped me from doing more than I absolutely had to.

The moment you are not moving you stop burning as many calories. This is mental and weight management suicide for someone like me. It just makes it that much harder to maintain my weight. I can't afford to feel too sorry for myself for too many days. The result is gaining weight, which is all too easy for me.

Despite not being able to walk comfortably, I had to figure out how to work out, focusing on my core and upper body. It was not easy to begin with, good news is it got easy and better with routine. Here is what I have found I can do and sustain:

Monday- test out walking on the treadmill for 15 to 20 minutes then do free weights
Tuesday- try to do stationary bike for 10 minutes without any resistance then do a nautilus circuit focusing on arms and back with some leg that doesn't require weight bearing
Wednesday- walk the track for 20 to 25 minutes, however slowly, then do abs, back and core with a combination of nautilus and body resistance exercises
Thursday- repeat Monday routine
Friday- repeat Tuesday or Wednesday routine depending on my mood

I still don't burn as many calories as I need to or am used to. If I skip my exercises even for one day my weight can easily nudge up. I also have to really avoid feeling sorry for myself in order to avoid "indulgence" eating. I am a few weeks into healing and making some progress.

I just have to keep reminding myself that living a Healthy Lifestyle means embracing it regardless of the circumstances. The alternative is no longer viable or desirable for me. I have also learned I can over
do it and that is no longer worth it either!

Here's to Living Vibrant...regardless!