Healthy Living is a Family Affair

Friday, September 29, 2017

There are so many pressures in the world we live with today, which cause us to ignore or even eliminate the very behaviors that will help us and our families live a healthy, happier life. We don’t sit down for meals. When we eat we tend to do it in front of the TV or on the run in the car, not really paying attention to what we eat. When we do eat off a plate, it is a very large plate, and with no rim. Then we are so busy with work, children’s activities and the other action items on our to do list, we feel we don’t have time to add in exercise so instead we sit at our desk, sit watching our children in their activities or sit down for a little relaxation in front of the TV or on the weekends we may have some time to be with others to sit and have a meal or a few drinks at the bar. We even build in inactivity to our schedule as the fun in our lives. Compounding our lifestyle challenges is our lack of sleep. It is hard for any of us to go to bed early enough and get the 7-8 hours of sleep our bodies really need.

As parents, we have a tremendous influence on our children’s lives. Not only are we affecting our lives with the way we eat, our inactivity, and lack of sleep, but we are also role modeling these behaviors to our children. In order for our children to live a healthy lifestyle, we have to work to live a healthy lifestyle ourselves. They won’t be able to adopt healthier habits if we don’t help them not only by modeling these healthy behaviors but also by creating the necessary environment for our children to thrive and be healthy.

There are more and more studies that show the benefits of parents being involved in their children’s health and weight management, particularly when their child is challenged with obesity. The rate of successful outcomes dramatically increases when parent’s become involved in their child’s weight management program. It is not just a matter of children mirroring their parents’ healthy lifestyle behaviors, it is also about them having their parent’s support in making the long term changes they need in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. They are dependents, needing us to ensure they have the best possible environment to grow up healthy and happy. The truth is it does take a village to help raise healthy children.

The good news is that everybody wins when we talk about embracing a healthy lifestyle. It improves everyone’s quality of life. And the resources available to help us, and our children, have grown substantially. There are lifestyle programs, exercise choices and downright fun activities available through schools, local community centers, YWCAs, children’s hospitals and other nonprofits. It is super helpful to find a group that will support you and your children in the healthy habits you have chosen to integrate into your life and how you live everyday long term. It is hard enough as it is to make better choices to improve your health when it seems the rest of the world is not yet helping you get there… so finding others who get it, who are practicing those healthy habits AND want to support you in doing the same is essential for everyone’s ongoing success.

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Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle—A Bucket List

Monday, September 25, 2017

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5 Tips to help kids eat healthier

Friday, September 22, 2017

All kids need to eat healthy. There are some powerful statistics and predictions about our children’s health in the USA and they are ominous. For instance, there are 12.7 million children who are either overweight or obese currently in the US. This means one in three children struggle with the physical, mental and disease consequences of living in a body that is heavier than it should be to live a healthy life. Alarmingly, children of obese parents have a 66% risk of becoming obese before adulthood. And it is predicted that the incidence of diabetes will more than double by 2050. In order to change the tide of these untenable trends and predictions, it is important for all of us to embrace a healthy lifestyle and help our kids discover delicious, whole foods as well as the fun in eating healthy. With a little planning and creativity suited to your family and the kids in your life it is possible to shift to a healthier lifestyle and sustain healthy eating changes long term. Make it the way you live. Below are some tips to help kids eat healthier developed with information provided by

5 Tips to help kids eat healthier:

Role Model eating fresh vegetables and fruits
It starts with all of us as adults embracing healthy eating. Our children learn their eating habits from the adults in their lives. We need to change if we want our children to change and grow up healthy.

Let your child choose which vegetable they would like to have for a meal
It makes sense, and studies show us, that if a child can choose the food they would like to eat they are more likely to try it…and like it.

Introduce new healthy foods, one at a time at a meal
Change takes time. Introducing new foods can be overwhelming. Discovering new foods one at a time sets everyone one up for a successful healthy lifestyle long term.

Let your child serve themselves, encouraging them to take small amounts at first to try all foods provided at a meal
Learning to serve up right-sized amounts of food is key to learning how to eat healthy. Trying out new foods in small amounts allows a child to try it out with out feeling overwhelmed. It is always good to let a child practice healthy eating habits.

Offer the same foods for the whole family
In order to instill healthy habits it is important that everyone embrace them and that the whole family be engaged in trying, discovering and loving healthy foods. The easiest way to do this is to have everyone eating the same foods at a meal.

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Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle—Homemade Dressings

Monday, September 18, 2017

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DeeDee’s Family Favorite Cauliflower Crust Pizza with a Livliga Twist

Friday, September 15, 2017

I had the privilege of meeting an amazing woman, DeeDee, who has lost a lot of weight (over 100 pounds!) and cares deeply for her family. I asked her what her family’s new favorite healthy recipe is that she now makes. She said the number one favorite was her pizza she makes with a cauliflower crust. One of the secrets to her recipe is that she buys the cauliflower already prepared so you don’t have to go through the steps to rice it or drain it of its high water content. This saves a lot of time.  Her family loves this low carb pizza so much she makes it every week so saving time is key! Now her friends are asking her for her recipe.

In honor of National Pepperoni Pizza Day on September 20 I am sharing her recipe with our Livliga twist. Let this recipe become one of your family’s new favorites!

  • 1 bag (16 oz) cauliflower crumbles 
  • 1 large egg 
  •  ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided 
  • ⅔ cup mozzarella cheese, grated and divided 
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided 
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, pre-sliced 
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced 
  • ½ cup yellow pepper, diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  •  ⅓ cup pesto sauce (bought or homemade) 
  • 2 tablespoons olives, pitted and sliced 
  • ½ cup quartered artichoke hearts, cut in half 
  • ½ cup thinly sliced seeded tomatoes 
  • ⅔ cup fresh baby spinach Parchment paper

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Spread bag of cauliflower onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.
3. Remove cauliflower from oven. Pick up sides of the parchment paper and pour roasted cauliflower into bowl. Save parchment paper and put back onto baking sheet.
4. Add ⅓ cup Parmesan, ⅓ cup mozzarella, ¼ cup basil and egg, slightly beaten, to cauliflower. Mix well.
5. Place mixture onto parchment paper. Spread evenly with no gaps. Make it an oval shape, that way corners won’t get too browned during baking.
6. Put back in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
7. While crust is baking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
8. Once crust is baked take it out of the oven. Spread the pesto sauce evenly across the crust. Next add the mushroom mixture, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, spinach, remaining ¼ cup basil and top with remaining cheese.
9. Bake pizza for 15 minutes or until browned.

Hands-on: 25 min. Total: 60 min.
Serves 4.
Serving size: ¼ pizza.
Calories: 350 per serving.

Interested in finding more kid-friendly recipes? Click here for kid-friendly recipes.

Want to have fun healthy eating plates to eat you pizza on? Check out our Livliga and Kidliga dishware.

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Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle—Inspiring Photo of Self

Monday, September 11, 2017

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How we can Help our Kids live Healthier Lives? An Interview with Sheila Kemper Dietrich

Friday, September 8, 2017
"My one piece of advice for parents is to make learning
 about healthy life choices an adventure."

Earlier this year I was interviewed for the Childhood Wellness edition insert for USA Today. I was asked a series of questions about how we can help our kids live healthier lives. I thought during this month of National Childhood Obesity Awareness it was a good time to share my answers to these important questions. I hope this expands the dialog on even more ways we as parents, friends, teachers, a community and a nation can be actively engaged in helping all kids live healthier lives.

1. What do you feel is the largest obstacle hindering the wellness of our younger generations?
The biggest obstacle hindering wellness of our children today is that we live in a super-sized world which has conditioned all of us to eating super-sized meals and snacks which has contributed to an escalating obesity epidemic. This has become a serious health issue for our children. We need to right size the world our children and all of us live in. It is so important that children live in an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle. Children need to live in a community where they have the tools and ability to practice healthy habits. So much of learning is a hands-on experience.

2. Why is it so important that families and communities work together to improve wellness?
Research shows that children will be far more successful in living a healthy lifestyle if everyone around them is also engaged in this same endeavor. Having everyone involved provides support, it allows children to mirror positive healthy behavior and most importantly, it creates an environment where good habits can be formed, repeated and sustained. If one person in the family has a weight issue it is not just their issue, it is really everyone's issue. Helping your children live a healthy lifestyle is worth the investment and effort you make.

3. If you had one piece of advice for parents who want to expose their children to healthy life choices what would it be?
My one piece of advice for parents is to make learning about healthy life choices an adventure. Engage in healthy lifestyle activities with your kids. Read age appropriate books together that teach kids about balanced meals, nutritious foods and cooking. Let them pick foods they want to try and recipes they can help prepare. Go to a farmers market, apple orchard or volunteer at a community garden so they can see first hand where the food they eat comes from. Consider signing up for a parent and child cooking class to share in the fun and learning of home cooking. Above all, enjoy! And live vibrant!

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Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle—List of Goals

Monday, September 4, 2017

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Livliga Special Kids’ Initiative in September—Let’s Double Our Impact

Friday, September 1, 2017

Livliga has something big to share. Let's double our impact this September to help kids live healthier lives!

September is National Childhood Obesity Month. Obesity is affecting our children’s lives and future health in significant ways. Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese. Obesity in children has more than tripled from 1971 to 2011. Childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.

The scary reality is that obesity is causing a broad range of health problems for children that until now weren’t seen until adulthood. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. And as many of us understand who have struggled with weight throughout our lives, there are a host of psychological effects children can face as a result of living with obesity including low self-esteem, negative body image, and depression.

Excess weight in children is associated with earlier risk of obesity-related disease and death in adulthood. Not only are children more prone to develop health issues in childhood as the result of being overweight or obese but they also increase their likelihood of coping with obesity-related diseases in adulthood too. They face a lifetime of managing disease. Perhaps one of the most sobering statements regarding the severity of the childhood obesity epidemic came from former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who characterized the threat as follows:

“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents."

These are the sobering facts. Livliga strongly believes we can all make a difference in helping our kids live healthier lives. That is why Livliga developed Kidliga—to help kids live healthier lives—and participates in raising awareness about the significance of the obesity epidemic in our children’s lives. It is never too late to improve children’s health and change the tide of this potentially devastating disease. It is important to know the facts and have those facts motivate us to make a difference in each child’s life.

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