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Friday, June 30, 2017

Summery Egg Salad

There are so many ways to create a tasty egg salad. There is no one way to prepare it. This makes it a very versatile dish that can be eaten any time of year and for whatever mood you are in. And now that we know eggs are no longer “bad” for us, creating a meal with eggs can not only be easy but also economical. I also love that it can be prepared ahead of time and pulled out of the refrigerator when you don’t feel like cooking, when you need a meal that accommodates a flexible schedule, and that makes for a quick clean up.

Egg salad can be eaten with crackers, as a sandwich with alfalfa sprouts and avocado or on a bed of lettuce. One of my favorite ways to eat egg salad is to slice a tomato in 6ths, from top to bottom, without cutting all the way through the base, so the tomato opens like a flower. Then I put my ½ cup of egg salad in the middle, surround it with baby spinach and sprinkle the top with a pinch of paprika. It looks so appealing and takes no time at all to prepare.  It makes for a very satisfying meal both visually and physically.

Below is a new recipe that is bright, light and feels like summer.

Summery Egg Salad

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup celery, finely chopped
cup nonfat Greek yogurt, plain
cup light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
teaspoon ground pepper
½ fresh dill, coarsely chopped

1.     Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
2.     Stir until blended.
3.     Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serves: 4. Calories per serving:153.

  •      For easy peeling of your hard boiled eggs check out this blog on the Negg

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle--reusable water bottle

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Friday, June 23, 2017

The Negg™--the new improved way to peel an egg!

This spring when we attended the International Home + Housewares show I had the pleasure of being —The Negg™—with a new invention created by a female entrepreneur. As a follow up to that initial introduction I was sent the gadget to try. There is nothing more fun than trying out something new, especially when it is designed to make our experience in the kitchen easier. And as a person who is committed to helping people live a healthier lifestyle I am particularly interested in items that help us eat healthier. An egg peeler definitely qualifies.
introduced to another start up

The Negg is actually a very simple concept and very easy to use. It is the “new-fangled-thing” to help us peel the perfect egg. I don’t know about you, but I have been in pursuit of the easiest and most consistent way to peel eggs for years! I even wrote a previous blog siting a video that shows you how topeel an egg by blowing it out of the shell! Clearly I was desperate. A process seemingly more for fun with kids on a rainy day.

The Negg is super simple. It reminds me of the way I peel garlic by placing cloves in a jar, sealing it and shaking it until the skin comes off. Although you can’t shake the egg the way you do the garlic, it is through shaking in a sealed container that you peel the egg.

Here is what I found:

The first thing I discovered is that you need to read the instructions first. How you prepare and boil the eggs is as important as using the gadget to peel it. In my eagerness to try out the Negg, I went ahead and put eggs in my pot with water and boiled them as I always do. Big mistake. The instructions tell you to turn your eggs upside down while you bring your water to a boil…THEN…you turn them over and place them in the boiling water for 12 minutes. You can see the difference between the two methods by the photos I took for comparison. Those I boiled the usual way did not peel at all well. The eggshell stuck to the egg and I ended up with the usual chunks of egg white adhering to the shell.

Another part of the experience was learning how to shake the egg in the Negg. If you shake too hard you end up mangling the egg. If you shake too lightly you don’t get the egg to peel. It requires a bit of finesse.

What proved to be the biggest challenge for this new way to peel an egg is the membrane inside the egg. Just like with any other method, the membrane can make or break your ability to peel an egg without taking out chunks of the egg with the shell. I did find, as they mention in the instructions, if you pull off a small amount of the membrane, once the peeling starts, it allows water to seep underneath to help you peel the egg successfully. It does require an extra step but I did see the advantage of doing that to end up with a good-looking peeled egg.

All in all I found that the Negg was easy to use and made it easier to peel my eggs. The majority of my eggs peeled well and made for attractive looking hard boiled eggs.

The retail cost is $17.99 and it comes in 4 different colors. There is a discount if you buy multiples. It is dishwasher safe and made in the USA.

Verdict? This is a product I plan to use. From my experience, I would also recommend it to others. May you find it makes cooking in your kitchen a little easier too!

Looking for egg salad recipes to use up all those perfectly peeled eggs? Try this Livliga simple egg salad recipe out and look forward to another new “summery” egg salad recipe from my kitchen.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle--An Annual Park Pass


Friday, June 16, 2017

Fathers As Cornerstones To Their Child’s Healthy Life

We know parents are key role models in their children’s lives. There are many studies that show us the power of the parent in influencing a child’s life, both positively and negatively. When it comes to a child growing up healthy, eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle the behavior a parent exhibits is profound.
Some might think that when it comes to food and eating, it is the mom who is the source and guide. Physical activity from sports to summer fun is often on the mom to organize. Not any more. Roles have shifted and responsibilities are shared between parents. Being a father today is much different than it was just a couple of decades ago. Fathers are often equally engaged in their children’s lives from making meals to hauling kids to and from their extracurricular activities. There are no set rules any more.
My husband and I have shared responsibilities, pretty much equally, our entire marriage. In fact, our youngest when she was little had a name for us “momdad” or “dadmom” that she used indiscriminately. We were equal in her eyes and either of us could be looked to in order to help her with whatever need she had.
I remember when the first movies came out about stay-at-home dads like Mr Mom with Michael Keaton. It was such a big deal. My amazing husband took on that role himself for a few years. The kids learned a lot about how a role isn’t defined by your gender. Instead they see the importance of the responsibilities that need to be met in a family and how we all take on roles that are needed to support the health of the family and make it thrive. 
Living a healthy life is not just about the food served at the table. It is about how you live life every day. Especially in the volatile world we live in today, it is about how you meet personal challenges and face crisis. It is also about how you celebrate life and acknowledge the big moments. The choices we make are how our children learn to react to similar situations themselves. They are learning from us and watching how we behave.
Being present in your child’s life can only be possible if we choose to be present in our own life. In the stress-filled lives we all live it is really hard to do. We often would rather escape into our phones, the TV or mindless eating. The good news is life is a journey. None of us is perfect and we all have plenty to improve on to live the best and healthiest life we can. By being willing to change and including our kids in the process we are doing the best role modeling possible. 
My kids are very lucky. They have seen their dad face multiple personal challenges and as a result of them embrace change, however difficult, to make life better for him and his family. Two big changes their dad has made is first to stop smoking and then to stop drinking alcohol. They have also seen him wholly embrace living a healthy lifestyle from working out every morning at the YMCA to bike riding and kayaking to changing the amounts and types of foods he eats. What an incredible gift he has given his children. He hasn’t told his children how to live a healthy life, he has shown them, one change at a time. He is healthier and happier for it and so is our family.
Dads are so important as role models for their children. In this era of global volatility and escalating obesity, especially in our children, dads are cornerstones to their child’s healthy life. Real dads facing real challenges as part of life’s journey with the willingness to change will help their kids live healthier lives.

May we celebrate dads on Father’s Day and everyday. To their health! Live vibrant!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle--workout clothes in closet


Friday, June 9, 2017

Backyard Vegetable Gardens as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

It is nearly summer which brings so many healthy possibilities. For most of us it is the time of year we feel the healthiest. We spend more time outdoors enjoying a variety of activities and we tend to eat simpler meals with fresher foods because they are abundant and readily available.

For those of us who are consciously working on living a healthier lifestyle investing in a vegetable garden is a great way for us to spend some outdoor time. It is one of the most rewarding activities because we can not only benefit from the physical activity of tending the garden but we can also benefit from the bounty of what can be harvested from gardening.

As we want to become more aware and in control of what we eat--focusing on fresh whole foods--having a vegetable garden is a perfect way to control the quality of the food we eat. If we choose to add fat, like oils or butter, or salt, or a sweetener to the foods we harvest, we can make that choice and then we will know exactly what we have added. No more guessing games with the highly processed and refined foods we are used to buying prepackaged at the grocery store. We are in control.

Three raised beds allows us to have room for tomatoes,
herbs and a few other favorite vegetables
It is amazing what you can grow in a small space or in pots on the patio. My husband and I put in three raised beds in our backyard three years ago. You do have to pay attention to where you put your beds and what grows well where you live. Even with those steps there is a lot of experimenting that goes with gardening. Making sure you have good soil and a source of water that is consistent takes some time to refine. For instance, this spring for the first time, we saw lots of worms in our beds...a good sign the soil is rich in nutrients for a great season of growing vegetables and herbs.

This year we planted four varieties of tomatoes (Purple Cherokee, Green Zebra, Juliet and 4th of July) that will mature at different times through out the summer. We also planted arugula, kale, cucumber, zucchini, and yellow squash. New this year we are trying out broccolini. One whole bed is devoted to herbs. They are great as a seasoning but also fresh added to all variety of salads and other side dishes. The standard collection of herbs we grow are: mint, basil, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, oregano, sage, chives, parsley--curly and Italian, cilantro, and dill.

If you haven't yet gotten started with your vegetable garden it is not too late! Just pay attention to
how long a type of vegetable or a certain variety of vegetable takes to mature and choose accordingly. We have found, for instance, that tomatoes can take a really long time to mature so we now choose one or two varieties that have a short time to maturity from 30 - 45 days.

The abundance of vegetables allows you to share!
I find that gardening has a wonderful rhythm to it. It is great for thinking about things or about nothing at all. At the end of any time spent gardening I always feel renewed and accomplished. It is an activity that is good for the soul, the mind and the body.

When our garden is at it's full maturity there is sometimes an overwhelming amount to harvest. That is when it is fun to share the fruits...and vegetables of our labor! I am a firm believing that sharing our healthy lifestyle with others is the greatest gift we can give...and there are so many fun ways to share, including giving our friends and family vegetables and herbs fresh from our garden.

Remember to enjoy and live vibrant...and have the sunscreen handy!

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Friday, June 2, 2017

12 Tips for Losing 50 lbs or more

About five years ago I went on a journey that ultimately caused me to create what is now known as Livliga, a healthy lifestyle company, focused on mindful eating through right-sized tableware and subtle portion control. It was my way of figuring out how to live a healthier lifestyle.  In the process I lost 50 pounds and have been successful in keeping it off.

Livliga weight loss journey

My Before and After Photos when my husband and I both lost over 50 pounds

To lose 50 pounds or more requires a little different approach than if you only have 10 pounds to lose. Below are my 12 tips for losing 50 pounds or more:

  1. Have the long game in mind but break it down into small steps. You need to have the ultimate goal in mind but look at it through a daily lens. Planning is key from what you eat to your exercise to your nightly sleep. Creating healthy lifestyle routines will help you keep to the plan to reach your goal.
  2. Weekly menu planning and grocery lists help you stay organized and focused, and avoid bad decisions after a long day when you’re tired and yet still have dinner to prepare. The easiest way to stay in control of what you eat is to start cooking more at home. Include the others in the household in planning and fixing meals. Cooking can be fun, especially when the responsibility and time spent is shared with others…this includes children.
  3. Right-size your dinnerware. Our dinnerware in the US has grown over 51% in the past thirty plus years. The bigger the plate the more you want to put on it to make the plate look plentiful to your eyes. Don’t eat off a plate that is bigger than 10.5 inches and make sure your plates have rims. Better yet, invest in dinnerware that has been designed to make right-sized amounts of food look plentiful and also helps you measure the food you want to eat—Livliga!
  4.  Set up a healthy food environment. Make sure the first things you see on your kitchen counter top or in your refrigerator and food pantry are healthy and support your diet. Avoid buying any prepackaged snacks. Instead have fruits in a bowl on your counter; place cut vegetables, lowfat yogurt and hard-boiled eggs at eye level in your refrigerator. In your pantry stock water-packed sardines and tuna next to your protein powder and PB2. Visually hide crackers, prepackaged cookies and snacks so you don’t see them automatically.
  5. Keep track of your food, exercise and sleep with photos and an app like Fitbit or Apple Health. Accountability is key. We have to keep our mind honest by taking the time to log our food, exercise and sleep. With out keeping track it is way to easy to forget and slip up.

  6. Work on Mindfulness which will help you get more in touch with your body and mind—YOU are the priority and SO worth it! Consider Tai Chi, yoga and meditation to help you become more present.  It was shocking to me to discover how unmindful I was. So much of life we spend in an automatic mode and do by rote…especially when it comes to overeating. The best way to combat it is to be present in our own lives.
  7.  Build in ongoing exercise and physical activity.  Invest in an exercise tracker like a Fitbit— of your work out should be cardio and resistance training. Make a goal for how much exercise and “steps” you want to achieve each week and schedule it in. It won’t happen if you don’t plan for it.
  8. Document your progress in photos, blogs and Facebook. Taking photos is a great way to share your success and take a moment to see how far you have come and how much you have changed.
  9. Find a buddy to join you on your journey. You are more likely to succeed if you don’t do it alone. Make friends at the gym, join a support group, or create your own. Having friends in your life that share in the desire to live a healthy lifestyle can make all the difference in your long-term success.

  10. Forgive yourself for slip-ups and remember tomorrow is a new day. None of us are doomed to fail but we are human and should not expect to be perfect. There are days we will fall back into our old, bad habits. You have to own it and forgive yourself to move on.
  11. Reward yourself for your successes. Create new rewards that are not food related and have a list that includes things you enjoy that don’t cost money as well as treats that do. Among my favorites—watching my favorite movie curdled up in my cozy clothes and then I love getting a massage. Both are delicious and give me the lift I need to keep on track. One doesn’t cost money, the other does.
  12. Acquire an Attitude of Gratitude. Bad moods and feelings drag us down and make it seem impossible for us to achieve our dreams and our goals. Gratitude actually makes it easier for all of us to do what we need and want to do, especially when it comes to weight loss. Keep a Gratitude Journal or use an app like to document your gratitude and be able to access it when you most need it.

When you have 50 pounds or more to lose and have struggled with losing weight for a long time, you may want to consider medical weight loss programs and/or weight loss surgery. These are important options to consider depending on your health issues, age and the place you are in your life. Discussing your options with your primary care doctor and a weight loss specialist, like an endocrinologist, can help you make the best decision for you.

To Your Success! Live Vibrant!

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