Healthy **Holiday** Lifestyle Tip--Find the Glee in Singing

Monday, November 30, 2015


Livliga Holiday Gift Guide

Friday, November 27, 2015

Enjoy Giving the Gift of Health
 This is a fun time of year when we can dream of the gifts we would like to receive as well as those gifts we would like to give. There are so many possibilities. As I have focused more and more on healthy living I have come to realize that the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and those we love is a Gift of Health.

Here are some ideas of Healthy Gifts you can put on your own wish list or give to those on your gift list this year:
Livliga Dinnerware~ These beautiful sets of dishware are artist designed and come in different patterns so you can choose your favorite. Right-sized with serving sizes subtly built in, they are perfect for those wanting to embrace and live a healthy lifestyle. Choose between two patterns: Hälsa or Vivente; and set sizes: individual ($49.95) or a service for four ($198.95).

Gift ensemble idea: include festive napkins for some added holiday flair.
Livliga Aveq Wine Glasses~ Who knew a right-sized wine glass could look so beautiful AND full with your favorite wine? These beauties come in a set of four and have a gorgeous etched design with subtle fill lines for pouring the perfect amount of wine. So gorgeous they were named as 2014 Martha Stewart Made in America Finalists! They come in a set of four ($49.95). 

Gift ensemble idea: pick a bottle of memorable red wine to add to your gorgeous gift.
Livliga Aveq Beverage Glasses~ This set of 4 gracefully designed etched glasses make drinking your everyday beverages more enjoyable. They fit nicely in the hand and you can’t beat the fact they are chip resistant and dishwasher safe ($44.95).

Gift ensemble idea: include a growler of beer from your local brewery to add to the merriment of your gift giving.
Livliga Set of 4 Dinner plates~ This set of four Livliga dinner plates makes a great gift for fresh starts, New Year beginnings or your favorite college student. It even includes a “Get Started” booklet, which is handy to help someone get organized for healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. You can choose between two patterns according to colors and designs, encouraging personal style and preference ($60.00).

Gift ensemble idea: provide an additional resource to go with the new set of dishes. We recommend Slim By Design, the latest book from Dr. Brian Wansink.
Livliga Set of 4 Side Plates~ Snacking can be the biggest down fall in our daily eating routine. The Livliga side plate makes it easy to measure out snacks and desserts to enjoy in right sized portions. Their shape, size and design even make those delectable nibbles look plentiful and feel satisfying. Don’t forget to pick your favorite pattern ($50.00)!

Gift ensemble idea: gift wrap them with Green Tea and cookies for a feel good gift.
Livliga Set of 4 Soup Bowls~ These bowls are a favorite. People love the shape and the attractive fill-lines inside the bowls. They make for easy measuring and when filled, the contents look so appealing and filling ($56.00).

Gift ensemble idea: Pair it with a homemade or store-bought dry soup-mix.
Livliga Set of 4 Mugs~ Enjoy these artist designed mugs which have lots of flair as well as discrete 8 ounce fill lines. Like all our dishes, they are made of porcelain and lead-free. You can enjoy giving this special set knowing our dedication to being as earth-friendly as possible ($48.00).

Gift ensemble idea: Complete the gift with a French Press Thermos and/or a pound of your favorite or seasonal coffee beans.
Aveq Serving Bowl~ The Aveq serving bowl coordinates with both the Hälsa & Vivente dinnerware patterns. Its lively, circular design is the perfect expression of the Livliga philosophy of “Living Vibrant.” Its VisualQs design makes 4 – 8 servings look plentiful so when you serve from the bowl onto a Livliga plate everyone will see they are being served a perfect portion of plentiful food ($47.95).

Gift ensemble idea: Make it the ultimate Gift of Health with a perfectly paired set of LivSpoons. It will make you the most popular gift giver this year!
LivSpoons~ These are innovative and original serving spoons with measurement. Designed to be both practical and beautiful, they make measuring your food easy and natural to do by having a set of 4 spoons in standard serving sizes. You can enjoy using them in the kitchen, on a buffet or at your dinner table. Eating healthy has now been made effortlessly mindful with LivSpoons. Gift Alert: you’ll want two—one for you and one for the person on your gift list ($49.95)!

Gift ensemble idea: Include the Aveq Serving bowl with these fabulous LivSpoons for a memorable and ever useful gift.
Gift Certificate~ Can’t decide what to give? Or needing a last minute gift without the worry of delivery? We have the ideal solution—A Livliga Gift Certificate. You decide the amount and your special person gets the gift of their choice. You have the option to have gift certificates sent via email or regular mail (starting at $15.00).

Gift ensemble idea: No need for anything more! Just place the gift certificate in a holiday card, gift bag or gift box to add to the surprise and delight of receiving this thoughtful present.

Healthy Gifts for Children:

Sammie and Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal~ Get the kids in your life engaged in learning about healthy living early on. This award-winning book is just the way to get started. It is a fun, beautifully illustrated, interactive children’s book ideal for ages 4-8. This book is a winner of the 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for health issues ($17.95)

Gift ensemble idea: This pairs wonderfully with the Sammie and Sax tabletop puzzle for more play filled enjoyment.
Kidliga: Sammie and Sax 3 pc portion control place setting~ This is a place setting with visually intuitive portion control built right in using the characters from the Sammie and Sax book. It is subtle, fun and effective, helping children teach themselves about balanced meals and the types of food that make us live a healthy life. The set comes in either pink or blue and includes the Sammie and Sax book for the perfect fun-packed gift of health. Ideal for ages 4-8 ($49.95).

Gift ensemble idea: Add the Sammie and Sax tabletop puzzle for more hours of healthy fun and enjoyment.
Sammie and Sax tabletop puzzle~ Looking for something fun for the kids to do when they are hanging out that might subtly reinforce healthy eating habits? This puzzle provides just that. Fun for any age and ideal for children ages 4 to 8 ($17.95).

Gift ensemble idea: Complete the fun and healthy gift giving by buying a Kidliga 3 pc set, in either blue or pink, which includes the award winning book for hours of fun and effortless learning.

Happy Healthy Holidays! May you give and get the Gifts of Health!

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Healthy **Holiday** Lifestyle Tip--Create Healthier Traditions

Monday, November 23, 2015




Healthy Entertaining--The New Trend

Friday, November 20, 2015

During the holidays it can be hard to manage what we eat and how much we eat. The best way to keep control is to plan your own party. You can incorporate foods you can eat and that are healthy. You can avoid offering the wrong kind of sweets and you can make sure there are plenty of healthy choices of delicious foods and drinks offered in right-sized servings.

So where does one start when getting organized for a Healthy Lifestyle party?  First things first-- it all starts with the menu. It is key that you pre-plan the menu and the preparation of the food. There are many dishes that can be made ahead of your party day. By thinking through the foods and dishes you choose you can make sure they are healthy choices and that they can all be prepared in time for the first doorbell ring.

In choosing recipes for your menu, include items that are healthy, filling and can provide a balanced meal. Even if you set up your party more like a cocktail buffet, choose foods that allow people to “make a meal”.  It will help everyone feel satisfied and not over eat.

Make sure to keep it simple. Pick recipes that have no more than 10 ingredients and do not have complicated instructions. In fact, make sure you include tried and true dishes you already know how to make. Next make sure to plan out the cooking so you can prepare most items ahead of time, not just the day of your party. With desserts I have even been known to make them way ahead and freeze them so I can make sure to get all the cooking done in a manageable fashion.

Choose foods that are visually appealing. Picking colorful dishes can do this. Also think about visual variety so each dish does not end up looking the same. Then you can enhance overall visual appeal through the presentation of each dish, which can be as easy as adding parsley and cleaning the sides of the bowl or platter before serving so it doesn't look "messy" to the eye of your guests.

Right-size your portions. Think about foods that can be served up as individual servings which includes muffins, cookies, Bibb lettuce filled with a serving size of pasta or any variety of salads and grains; also easy is serving up dips with sliced vegetables in a rainbow of colors. These are all simple self-serve options that have been pre-served or cut into measured out portions.

Keep drink choices simple too. Get in the habit of always offering a low calorie, non-alcoholic choice, even mentioning it first. This can be as easy as sparkling water infused with cucumber or lemon. I have a lot of fresh mint in my garden so I often garnish sparkling or tab water with a sprig of it. It smells wonderful, adds a fresh hint of mint to the drink and looks so inviting. And you can’t beat how easy it is to do.

To complete your preparation for a Healthy Lifestyle party make sure to right size your dishes and glassware.  Your guests will thank you later. No one really wants to over eat. People do want to enjoy what they eat. Right-sizing your dishes and glasses allows them to do just that. Choose salad plates or dessert plates, not dinner plates if it is a buffet. If you have different sized wine glasses, choose the smallest size. There are also beautifully designed right-sized dishes and glasses now available if you need some upgrading for healthier lifestyle choices. Check out Livliga and learn more about elegant portion control dinnerware.

Remember a couple of finishing touches to add to the festive nature of your party. A bouquet of flowers in a strategic place for guests to enjoy is always a plus. You can even use fun fruits or vegetables from the grocery store to dress up a table and add some visual interest.  Think about music too. It can add to the mood and ambiance of your party. With the ease of online streaming music stations you can pipe music throughout your home with a click on your computer. Picking out some colorful paper napkins can add color and integrate the theme of your party. If you have time, you can even roll your flatware in the napkin, tie it with a coordinating ribbon and place the rolled napkins in a wide vase or bowl to make a beautiful centerpiece for the buffet.

Finally, incorporating a take away gift for people to enjoy is a memorable way to send them off at the end of your party. An assortment of cookies or muffins you have baked for your party menu placed in a small-decorated bakery box or cellophane bag with a bow is always a big hit. And since you chose healthier recipes you can feel great about the gift you’ve given. All you need to do is bake extra for the gifts and fill them ahead of time so they are ready to go before the party starts.

Now that you have everything planned and organized, remember that you should have fun too. By thinking through the menu and the preparation of all your party fixings, you can. There is no need for you to get overwhelmed, you can never go wrong with simple and colorful.

For other ideas about healthy entertaining go to the Livliga Live Vibrant blog or enjoy the Livliga YouTube video on entertaining.

Happy Healthy Entertaining! And don’t forget…Live Vibrant!

This blog was originally published on the dLife website. Since its inception in 2004, dLife has become the premiere platform to inform, inspire, and connect with millions of diabetes patients, consumers, and caregivers and in the process positively impact engagement and ultimately health outcome.


Healthy **Holiday** Lifestyle Tip--Change Your Baking Habits

Monday, November 16, 2015



Muffin Tin Doughnut—Perfect for Making Memories

Friday, November 13, 2015

There is nothing better than baking for those you love. I look forward to the times my children come to visit so I can make their favorite foods. We can all remember the smells and tastes of special treats that live in our fond memories. Close your eyes for a second and conjure up the memory of waking up to something baking in the oven when it is cold outside and frost is on the windows…delightful, right?

When we are dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle we want to continue to make those memories while also choosing healthier recipes. It has been a mission of mine to find fun, appealing recipes and make them “healthier”.

My latest project was to figure out a way to enjoy the tastes and smells of a doughnut without the frying, calories and over the top amount of sugar. The typical cake doughnut has 330 calories (Dunkin’ Donut). My Muffin Tin Doughnut has 268 calories, avoids the frying, decreases the fat and sugar and saves 62 calories. It includes white whole-wheat flour and lowfat buttermilk, which are healthy ingredients with many benefits.

This new take on a donut was a big hit with my family and guests. The cornstarch gives the donut the “cakey” appeal you look for in a donut. The topping coats the top of the donut, rather than the entire surface, which gives it the taste and texture with out the over-the-top sugar high and added calories. Here is the recipe:

Muffin Tin Doughnut


1 ¾ cups unbleached flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
8 tablespoons unsalted light butter, melted
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
Canola Cooking Spray

Topping for doughnut

½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted light butter, melted


1. Combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix well.
2. Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs in a separate bowl.
3. Add buttermilk mixture to the flour and stir until just mixed.
4. Scoop batter evenly into muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until doughnuts are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a doughnut comes out clean.
6. Let them stand for 5 minutes.
7. Melt butter for topping.
8. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small, shallow bowl to dip the tops of the doughnuts.
9. Remove doughnuts from muffin tin. Brush them with melted butter, and then roll the tops of the doughnuts in the sugar mixture. Serve warm. Once fully cooled you can also freeze them to enjoy at a later date.

Makes 12 doughnuts. Serving size: 1 doughnut. Calories per serving: 268.

May these Muffin Tin Doughnuts create new memories and traditions for you and your family.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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Guest Blog: Living With Diabetes--It's all about Portion Control

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Anna Norton, MS, has been living with type 1 diabetes since August 1993

As part of our month-long partnership with DiabetesSisters during National Diabetes Month, Livliga will be posting guest blogs from members of the DiabetesSisters' community. As you can see from this first blog, portion control is a key aspect of managing and living with diabetes. Livliga is all about portion control. That is why we want to share these important stories. Here is Anna's:

I’ve lived with diabetes for over 22 years, diagnosed at a time and place where my education was limited. Most of what I learned in the early years of managing diabetes came from books and magazine articles. It was until 2000, when I went on an insulin pump, when I learned to count carbohydrates as part of my diabetes treatment plan. 

Part of counting carbohydrates includes managing portions to know exactly how much I am consuming so I can appropriately dose my medication. Over the years, I have learned many way to facilitate this, including all the hand trick – a fist is roughly one cup, the palm of my hand is a serving size of protein, my fingertip is a teaspoon, my thumb is a tablespoon. I’ve also discovered 100-calorie packs of my favorite snacks foods, and most recently purchased mixed nuts that come this way, allowing me to consume them without eating too many (I love almonds, cashews, and walnuts – but the fat content is exorbitant!). I also purchase individual portions of rice and chocolate puddings (my favorite snacks), apple slices and carrots, and cut up other fruits, such as grapes, to equal a serving size for easy access in the refrigerator.

Finally, when I treat hypoglycemia, which happens a few times a month, I employ my portion control skills to consume roughly 15-20 grams of carbohydrates. I keep snack-sized baggies in a basket in the pantry, filled with crackers, jellybeans, granola bars, cereal, and other candies.

Like all aspects of living with diabetes, portion sizes have become second nature to me. I keep an assortment of measuring cups and spoons within easy access in my kitchen, I use visual cues to help me when dining out, and I try to stay on top of what the food industry is marketing to help me along.

About the Guest Blogger

Anna Norton, MS, has been living with type 1 diabetes since August 1993. Recently appointed CEO of DiabetesSisters, she is dedicated to improving the lives of women living with diabetes through peer support and education. Anna graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida and Master of Science in Education at Florida International University. She has worked for large university systems and metropolitan health care systems since 1999, with a focus on major gift fundraising, annual gifts, event planning and community relations. She currently resides in the Chicago-area with her family.

About DiabetesSisters

DiabetesSisters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and quality of women with diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf. Founded in 2008, the organization offers a safe environment for women living with diabetes through online ( and in-person programs such as forums, blogs, webinars, National Conferences, Leadership Institutes, and monthly peer support group meetings throughout the United States.

Download our FREE Managing Your  Diabetes Through Portion Control eBook!


Healthy **Holiday** Lifestyle Tip--Go Harvest Your Own Food

Monday, November 9, 2015

#Harvest #ChooseHealth

#Livliga #LiveVibrant

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month—Take Time to Know the Facts

Friday, November 6, 2015

There is a reason why a month has been dedicated to raising our awareness about diabetes. It is a killer disease. According to the World Health Organization over 1.1 million people die from the disease each year. In reality many more die from diabetes but it is recorded as kidney failure or heart disease.  Deaths from diabetes are projected to rise more than 50% in the next 10 years and, not too surprisingly, to 80% in middle to upper income countries.

Diabetes has now been labeled an emerging global epidemic, which can be traced back to the rapid increase in obesity. According to the American Recall Center, diabetes affects over 25 million people in the United States, or 8.3% of the entire population. Within those 25 million people, over 8 million are undiagnosed, or do not know they are living with diabetes.
What are the symptoms of diabetes? According to the American Diabetes Association common symptoms of diabetes are:
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

The positive news is for most people diabetes can be prevented. For those living with diabetes the disease can be managed effectively by taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle. Just like with obesity it is all about diet and exercise. Research shows we can dramatically reduce the risk of developing the disease and its complications if we engage in moderate physical activity for 30 minutes each day and eat a healthy diet. For inspiration please check out my blog for healthy recipes, gadgets and tools and lifestyle examples.

Here is a list of specific diabetes information resources:
American Diabetes Association (
Diabetes Public Health Resource (
Diabetes in Older People: A Disease You Can Manage (
What African Americans with Diabetes or High Blood Pressure Need to Know [PDF– 2 MB] (

Please spread the word and help raise the awareness about diabetes. It can be as easy as sharing this blog. 

We all need to be more aware. Let’s Live Vibrant Together! 

Download our FREE Managing Your  Diabetes Through Portion Control eBook!


Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Color Matters

Monday, November 2, 2015