Healthy **Holiday** Lifestyle Tip--Pace Yourself

Monday, December 28, 2015



Healthy and Happy Making Chocolate Sauce--For Special Occasions or Anytime!

Friday, December 25, 2015
Chocolate Sauce with Poached Pear

Many of us find it surprising that pure chocolate is actually low in calories. It is somewhat better known that chocolate has health benefits like being heart healthy (compounds in pure chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL), mind boosting (high-flavanol cocoa improves blood flow to the brain), skin protecting (flavonols protect against sun-induced damage and thicken your skins sun fighting mechanisms),and overall health promoting (contains more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits tested including blueberries and Acai berries). It is the sugar, butter and type of milk we add to the chocolate that adds the calories.

Chocolate sauce can be made to be rich, flavorful and memorable without adding all the fattening ingredients. The calories also fit into any diet. Two tablespoons are only 67 calories. What we serve it with can also make a difference. A poached pear or grilled peaches can be the perfect complement to healthy homemade chocolate sauce for an easy and fantastic dessert in any season.
Dark Chocolate Easily Found at the Grocery Store for Cooking

Healthy and Happy Making Chocolate Sauce


½ cup sugar

⅓ cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup fat free milk

2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of Kosher salt


1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan; stir with a whisk until blended.

2. Add milk, stirring with the whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 to 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly.

3. Remove from heat.

4. Add chocolate, vanilla and salt, stirring until sauce is smooth.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Recipe doubles nicely and can be stored for a number of days.

Serving size: 2 tablespoons. Calories per serving: 67.

Grilled Peaches with Homemade Chocolate Suace

Healthy **Holiday** Lifestyle Tip--Build in Movement

Monday, December 21, 2015



Loving My New Gadget—Electric Tea Kettle

Friday, December 18, 2015
My Electric Tea Kettle Makes My Morning Coffee Brewing Routine a Breeze

It is amazing how some of the simplest gadgets can be the most used and loved. Quite honestly, I don’t know how, or why, for that matter, I have lived without an electric tea kettle for so long. It took a dear friend giving me one for me to discover what an everyday godsend it is.

Electric Tea Kettles are the perfect solution for instant gratification. They heat water up so quickly you don’t have to wait long for making your morning coffee, as we do, in a French press or your green tea or hot cocoa on a cold day. Making jello is now a breeze.

I also like the electric tea kettle because it doesn’t take up space on my stove. When you cook regularly it seems the tea kettle is always in the way and getting splattered on the stove top. Now with our electric tea kettle I no longer have to worry about the hassle of the stove top tea kettle.

The Electric Tea Kettle we have is by Cuisinart. It is cordless which means the kettle can be picked up and moved free of the cord because the cord is attached to a base. This is very handy. It also has multiple settings for degrees of heating. You don’t always want or need your water to boil when you want heated water. For instance there are multiple settings for types of tea, one for coffee as well as one for getting your water to a hard boil. I love this feature because you get what you need and you don’t have to wait for water to get to a true boil unless need it to. The only time I need a hard boil is when I make jello. Additionally, it stays heated for quite a while, shuts off automatically and has a feature to turn off if the pot runs dry. Cuisinart provides a multi-year warranty as well. It is a great Electric tea kettle.

If you are looking for a great gift for someone who needs ways to make their life a little easier and faster, whether they are cooks or not, an electric tea kettle could be just the perfect gift. If you don’t already have one, it could be the ideal gift for you too. I now have one at home and at work.

For a Healthy Gift ensemble idea: include a set of Livliga right-sized mugs, in your preferred pattern, to enjoy freshly made hot beverages. 


Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!


Healthy **Holiday** Lifestyle Tip--Take A Break

Monday, December 14, 2015



Sharing really is caring

Friday, December 11, 2015

Food Tastes Better When We Share It With Friends
At this time of year when we tend to go to more parties, spend more time with family and friends, and even lend an extra hand to those in need, it is interesting to note that just by being present we are making a positive impact on people’s lives and even our own. It does make a difference when we spend time with others. According to recent research, when you share with others you are more likely to enjoy whatever you are experiencing, like a bite of chocolate, more. When we do things with others we tend to enjoy the activity more.

According to new research, experiences both good and bad feel more intense when they are shared. In a limited study at Yale University, individual subjects were given two pieces of chocolate and put in a room with a researcher who was pretending to be a fellow participant. The subjects ate one piece of the chocolate at the same time as the “planted” participant and the second piece alone, while the researcher pretended to work on another task. Even though the chocolate was from the same candy bar, the volunteers consistently rated the first piece as tastier and more enjoyable. To test the effects of negative emotions, researchers conducted the same test with bitter, unpleasant chocolate. Once again, the subjects rated the first piece—which they ate with someone else—as more disgusting than the piece they ate solo. “When people think of shared experience, what usually comes to mind is being with others, such as friends or family, and talking with them,” lead researcher Erica Boothby tells The Washington Post. “We don’t realize the extent to which we are influenced by people around us whom we don’t know and aren’t even communicating with.”

Despite the hassles, hubbub and hangovers of this time of year, this research reminds us that sharing time and special moments with others is the best part of the holidays, what is enjoyed the most, and the greatest gift we can give.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy! And as always, Live Vibrant! 

Source: The Week, October 23, 2014


Healthy **Holiday** Lifestyle Tip--Pay It Forward

Monday, December 7, 2015



Slow Cooker Three Squash and Three Bean Chili

Friday, December 4, 2015

Slow Cooker 3 Squash and 3 Bean Chili on Celebrate
This time of year I find I have a lot of squash on hand. There are so many because I have used them for decoration inside and outside my home. I have a mound of pumpkins outside my front door. And there is the bowl full of gourds and squash on my dining table. They look so festive and last a long time. Most make it from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Then comes the time to move onto Christmas. It is time for the fall decorations to go. It doesn't seem right to just throw them away. Instead I find ways to make meals out of them.

When the weather is cool there is nothing better than a hearty chili. A chili made with squash can be amazingly dense and filling without adding any meat. And after a big Thanksgiving meal with turkey, sausage stuffing and gravy with giblets it is nice to have a break from meat. A recent invention of mine is a three squash and three bean chili. It was a big hit and made for multiple meals, a nice thing after all the cooking for Thanksgiving.

Slow Cooker Three Squash and Three Bean Chili


  • 1 Can of Kidney beans, no salt added
  • 1 Can of Cannellini beans, no salt added
  • 1 Can of Pinto beans, no salt added
  • 2-3 cups Acorn squash
  • 2-3 cups Pumpkin
  • 2-3 cups Butternut squash
  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbls chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeños, from a can
  • 1 ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • Cooking spray, olive oil flavor


  1. Cut acorn and pumpkin squashes in half and de-seed them. Place them on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, halved side down. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes and then scrape out the insides, cutting into large pieces, they may be slightly mushy chunks.
  2. While the first two squashes are baking, peel, cut and de-seed the butternut squash, cutting it into medium chunks. Alternately, it is easy to buy Butternut squash already cut up in the grocery section of your local grocery store to save some prep time.
  3. Place olive oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is starting to brown. ( If you have an All-Clad Slow Cooker you can do the browning directly in the pot on the stove, saving a step.)
  4. Add all squashes and onion mixture into the slow cooker along with all other ingredients.
  5. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Serves: 12-18     Serving size 1½ cups    

Top with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and a teaspoon of chopped green onion, if desired.

To make it a meal--pair the chili with a muffin

Enjoy! Live Vibrant! And Eat Mindfully.

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