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Friday, July 29, 2016

Adventures of a Healthy Lifestyle Start Up--Becoming an Inventor Out of a Personal Need

A Drawing of the LivSpoon Invention

Somehow we think the only place we can really measure up food is in our kitchen in our own home because we are relegated to using ugly measuring cups. Even then it seems so awkward if we are only measuring our own food. The challenge is to be consistent, inclusive and be able to measure all servings whether we are serving up meals in our kitchen, at the dinner table, at a backyard barbecue, as an alfresco dinner or on a picnic. This has certainly been one of my frustrations and, honestly, pet peeves.

I have always believed that there had to be a solution for measuring up right sized portions wherever we eat...and in a way that was discrete, attractive and easy. I am a firm believer that healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle is relevant for everyone, not just the person challenged with weight management or healthy issues. In fact, the greatest gift we can give ourselves and the ones we love is the gift of health. It starts with the food we prepare and serve. But how to make it part of your everyday way of life?

It wasn't easy finding a solution. In fact, I had to become an inventor to solve the problem. There was nothing out there remotely close to what I wanted. I wanted a serving spoon with measurement; something you could use at the table as well as in the kitchen... or on a picnic. I wanted to use it for cooking as well as serving. It had to be attractive and it had to be comfortable in the hand, more like a serving spoon than a measuring cup.

There were other features I wanted as well. It had to be durable and portable so I could use them where ever I was serving up food. I also wanted to be able to hook it on the side of a bowl or pot for convenience. I hate when spoons fall into the middle of a bowl so you have to fish then out and then clean them up so the next person can use it. It is no better having to put a dirty spoon on a counter top or table surface, making the area all goopy and adding to your clean up. I even imagined being able to hang the spoon upside down over the bowl or pot so whatever sauce, soup, batter remained in the spoon could drip back in the bowl, leaving the spoon clean and ready to serve up a fresh serving for the next person.

Of course I would need a set of spoons so I could have different measurements for different serving sizes. I loved the idea that you could hang the appropriately sized spoon with the specific food you were serving-- a cup for the vegetable or half cup for your grain/starch, for instance. And they had to be dishwasher safe and stackable so they would be easy to store. I wanted them to be able to sit flat on a surface so if you were measuring out ingredients for a recipe it wouldn't spill as you were getting your recipe organized. It was important to me that the material used for the spoons, as well as the packaging, be eco-friendly. And it needed to be competitively priced so it could be accessible to as many people as possible.

What complicated it even more was that I had also invented dinnerware with measurement in the form of circles of varying sizes on plates. The spoons needed to map to those circles. We also wanted the food served to look plentiful. This meant the bowl of the spoon needed to be deep and rounded.

Inventors can seem a little crazy because we tend to imagine what other people think is impossible. Listing everything I wanted in a serving spoon with measurement....what was to become LivSpoons, seemed an impossible mission to most I talked to. Then I was introduced to a young man studying to become an architect, Dusty Buck, who believed in what I wanted to accomplish and, even better, was not daunted by the challenge. Meeting and partnering with the right people is key when you are creating new product. Guaranteed you can't do it alone and you certainly can't do it with people who don't believe in what you are trying to achieve. It takes an ever changing team of believers. It also takes time...and patience...and perseverance...and a never ending attitude that all problems can be solved, regardless of the stage of your invention.

After a number of years, including several iterations of prototypes, hiring an engineering firm for big bucks and multiple fits and starts to find a factory that could manufacture our spoons, we succeeded in producing the spoons I imagined. Believe it or not everything on my wish list was incorporated in to each spoon! Recently we also received a patent for the spoons. Dreams do come true.

Now I have the spoons I have always wanted. They live by my stove, ready to be used at every meal, when I measure for recipes, when I am canning or baking and when I want to grab and go for a fun picnic at a local park. They are a cornerstone for my healthy lifestyle. And more and more people are discovering LivSpoons too. It can't get better than this--transforming a personal need into a problem-solving business.

Interested in owning your own? Check out the Livliga Website for more information.

Get your FREE  Get Started Guide!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Drink Water Often


Friday, July 22, 2016

Obesity Rate in Women Still Climbing Now at 40%

Obesity rates in women keep rising each decade. This is not good news. More than 40 percent of American women are obese. This is a five percent jump over the past decade, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “It’s a really alarming figure, and it’s alarming that it’s continuing to go up despite government calls to action on weight loss and healthy eating,” Dana Hunnes, a dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, recently commented. It is estimated that 38 percent of white women are now obese, and 12 percent of Asian women. The obesity rate among other populations of women is even higher. For instance African-American women have an overall obesity rate of 57 percent while 47 percent of Hispanic women are now obese.

Interestingly, the rate of obesity among men remains at 35 percent, with no increase since 2005.

After analyzing information compiled on more than 5,000 adults, the CDC found no explanation for why women struggle more than men do with this serious health issue, which is associated with heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, sleep apnea and so many other related maladies. What’s clear, however, is that the billions of dollars spent on weight-loss devices, drugs, research, and programs have done little to curb the nation’s 30-year-long obesity epidemic.

It keeps becoming clearer and clearer that we will not reduce obesity until we adopt a healthier lifestyle. There is no quick fix. We can change, however, by changing the environment we live in. We currently live in a super-sized world. We reflect this world and environment pound for pound in our weight. We are obese for a reason. As people we mirror the environment we live in. That is why we need to right size the world we live in so we can right size our weight. There is no one answer, it is a way of living our every day life. We need to demand right sized portions in restaurants. We need to demand that foods be packaged in right sized portions. We need to create a world where fixing, serving and measuring right sized meals is easy to do, not the exception to the norm. It needs to become the norm.

How do we do this? By doing it together. By raising our voices to be heard that we want to live healthier lives and want the world around us, big corporations and all, to support us in this way of life. Let's make sure they know we are sick and tired of super-sized.

We also have to invest time, energy and some money into building our own right sized world. From the bed we sleep on, the fun activities and exercise we love to do, to the way we eat and drink needs to reflect the healthy lifestyle we are committed to living.

Here is an easy step to support your healthier lifestyle--get a set of chic and trendy LivSpoons.
They are great for easy measuring and serving of right-sized portions in the kitchen or at the table.

Source: THE WEEK -- June, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Be Curious

#Be Curious

Friday, July 15, 2016

Italian Salad Dressing--Healthy and Easy

Italian Salad Dressing Easy to Store and Serve Up one LivSpoonful at a Time

A few years ago I decided to make my own salad dressings. There were a couple of reasons I wanted to do it. The first and foremost was that I didn’t like the after taste left in my mouth by store bought dressings. And then when looking at the ingredients I saw there was inevitably too much added sugar and salt, emulsifiers (like xanthan gum or wheat) and synthetic preservatives or colors. It made sense to me to experiment making my own dressings. I developed a delicious mustard vinaigrette made of healthy ingredients. Then over time I kept making it healthier and healthier so it had less oil and more fresh ingredients like lemon juice.

I have been stuck on the same vinaigrette for years. It seemed like time to expand my repertoire. My next goals were to develop a healthy Italian dressing and a healthy Ranch dressing. These are the most common salad dressings and with these 3 choices you can have an already-made homemade dressing that will go with any menu. Below is my newly developed Italian dressing which uses a delicious herbal mix as a key ingredient:

Herb-infused Italian Dressing

Herbal mix
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried mustard

1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together. Use 2 tablespoons dry mix per  recipe of salad dressing.
2. Store remaining mix in an airtight container to be used as needed.

Makes about 4 recipes of Herbal Italian Dressing.

Italian dressing
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons herbal mix
1 tablespoon red pepper, finely chopped

1. In a glass jar with a top, add all ingredients. With top firmly in place, shake well.
2. Store in the refrigerator. Stores well for 2 – 3 weeks.

Makes about 1 cup. Serving size: 2 tablespoons per person. Calories per serving: 35.

Looking for a handy way to serve up right-sized portions of salad dressing? Try chic and trendy LivSpoons.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Avoid Pre-Packaged Snack Foods


Friday, July 8, 2016

10 Signs of a Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle Sign: A Bowl of Fruit on the Counter top

The other day I was thinking about all the advice I have read about how to live a healthier lifestyle.  It then made me think about how that advice might actually look like in someone's home. What would it look like if someone had built more exercise into their life? Or what would someone's home have in it that would visually show a healthy lifestyle? What apps might someone have on their phone? I had a lot of fun thinking about the possibilities. Here is the list I came up with.

10 Signs of a Healthy Lifestyle

1. You wear a Fitbit

2. Multiple pairs of tennis shoes in your closet

3. A bowl of fruit on the counter top in your kitchen

4. Right sized dinnerware in your cabinets

5. Lots of healthy cookbooks on the bookshelves

6. Bikes in the garage with helmets and gloves

7. A treadmill in the basement

8. Multiple health-related apps on your phone for healthy eating, meditation, tracking exercise, etc.

9. No TV in the bedroom

10. Scale in the bathroom

How many of these signs are in your home? Did you come up with others? Please share!

Looking for a handy way to serve up right-sized portions as another sign of your healthy lifestyle? Try chic and trendy LivSpoons.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Get your FREE  Get Started Guide!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Remember Portion and Proportion


Friday, July 1, 2016

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Fresh Ginger

There is nothing more refreshing than a cold soup in the summer. It can be served as a first course or as the main course for a simple supper when it is just too hot to cook or put much effort into a meal. Soups are also handy because you can make them ahead of time so all you need to do is spoon it up when you are ready to eat.

Another wonderful thing about making cold soups in the summer is all the abundance of fresh produce so the soups can be made of vine ripened seasonal fruits and vegetables. We live in the land of Rocky Ford Cantaloupe. There is nothing more juicy or sweet. They make a great cold soup and a healthy summer meal.

Cantaloupe Soup with Fresh Ginger

1 cantaloupe, ripe and large, skin pre-washed before cutting
1 tablespoons ginger, grated
2 teaspoons orange zest, freshly grated
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, plain (Chobani)
⅔ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mint for garnish
Lemon zest for garnish

1. Place cantaloupe, ginger, orange zest and honey in a food processor or blender and puree.
2. Add yogurt and blend until smooth.
3. Next add the orange and lemon juice. Pulse just until blended.
4. Pour into a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
5. Serve when ready and garnish with fresh mint and lemon zest.

Serves 4 - 6 (1 cup for 1st course serving; 1 ½ cup for meal serving). Calories: 100 per 1 cup.

Looking for a handy way to serve up right-sized portions? Try chic and trendy LivSpoons.