Barrier Buster - I Don't Have Support

Monday, January 29, 2018

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6 Ways Livliga Helps us eat a Balanced Diet

Friday, January 26, 2018
We focus so much on “dieting” and “losing weight.” When we talk about losing weight or even about weight management, it all centers on the types of foods we eat, like whole foods, or about the amounts of food we eat. Very rarely do we talk about the importance of the combination of foods we eat to fuel our bodies and live our healthiest life.

When I travel around the country talking about Livliga and living a healthy lifestyle I find that very few people know what it means to eat a balanced diet. They know more about the portions we should be eating than the proportions of the variety of foods we need to eat for a healthy diet.

Both portion and proportion are key to eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. If we want to maintain our quality of life long term we need to pay attention to both how much we are eating of a given food as well as the variety of foods we need to be eating at every meal and throughout each day.

Why is eating a balanced diet at every meal important?

A balanced diet is important because your organs and tissues need proper nutrition to work effectively. Without good nutrition, your body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and poor performance. A balanced diet helps us avoid many chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity-related cancers.

What makes up a balanced meal?

The simplest answer is to be aware of the 5 different food groups, according to the USDA MyPlate: Vegetable, Fruit, Protein, Grain and Dairy. The easiest references for what makes up a balanced diet are the Dietary Guidelines for Americans published by the USDA with HHS and On the website it states: “Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count”.

Is there anyway to make eating balanced meals easy?

Yes, there is. Having to be aware of both portions and proportions at every meal can seem way too complicated. What is really needed is a framework to help with both the types of food we should be eating as well as the amounts of those foods we should consume at a meal. Honestly, that is why Livliga was created. See all the reasons it can help guide and assist with managing your healthy meals, everyday and at every meal.

Here’s how Livliga supports and reminds you about a balanced meal:

1. Food Groups are represented by individual icons. 

Types of foods are represented on every Livliga dinner plate, regardless of pattern. The largest circle icon is for your fruit or vegetable. The icon with two concentric circles is for your starch or grain. The squared icon is designated for your protein. The smallest icon is for your sauces, condiments, gravies and salad dressings.

2. Each Food group is shown with its relative and unique size compared to the other food groups.

As you can see by the photo below, each circle is clearly a different size. Understanding that the largest circle is for vegetables or fruits, the next sized circles are for your grains or starch, the squared icon is yet another cue to designate our protein (it is different to remind us that proteins are typically measured through weight, not volume) and then the smallest circle we can see is just for a dollop for the “extras” we may add to our meal  that still need to be included in what we eat and the calories we will consume.

3. The icons for each food group are also specific serving sizes.

On the back of each dinner plate there is a map that shows the standard serving size for each of the food groups, according to the USDA, that we see on the front of each plate whether it is the dinner plate or side plate. Typical serving sizes are also built into each piece of Livliga we make to make it easy to right size our serving sizes, no matter what we are consuming.

4. The Celebrate and Kidliga designs also make understanding the food groups and their proportions easy to see as they are literally displayed on the plates to make them easily understood as well as visually intuitive.

So much of learning how to eat right is learning what we should be eating as well as how much of each type of food we should serve up. A lot of us are visual learners. For those who want or need that reinforcement, we have designed the visual cues both for adults and kids in specific patterns we offer. Both our Celebrate: The Poetry of Life and Kidliga have icons with artful depictions of the different food groups designed right into to the specific iconic circles so you can literally see what food goes where on the dish.

5. Livliga Tableware right sizes your eyes and helps your eyes adjust to what looks appropriate, which then helps you see the relative sizes of the foods that make up a balanced meal.

It is no secret that we live in a super sized world. The problem is that that is our frame of reference every time we serve up a meal. We know what super-sized looks like but we have no idea what right-sized is. Livliga helps us to get used to what right-sized is, especially when we use it every day and at every meal. Eventually, thanks to Livliga, it becomes easier and easier to recognize what a right-sized serving is, and for us to then feel satisfied with balanced, right-sized meals.

6. Does not dictate what vegetable, what starchy food or what protein you should be eating, just that a balance of these foods is what will help you live your healthiest life.

The beauty of Livliga is that it works with any diet or dietary preferences. You can be Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30, or be on Weight Watchers new “Freestyle™” diet and benefit from the framework and cues Livliga provides. It will always be there to remind us of portions, proportions and what a balanced meal is no matter what you may be choosing to eat. Livliga helps you live your healthiest life…always…one bite at a time.

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Barrier Buster - Measured Portions Don't Feel Like Enough

Monday, January 22, 2018

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5 Tips for Healthy Eating with Diabetes

Friday, January 19, 2018
When you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have to face changing your lifestyle and eating habits to manage your disease, it seems like you unwittingly signed up to climb Mount Everest. Suddenly you are thrust into having to know a lot about something you probably never thought you would need to know. And you are expected to be an expert instantly.

The first thing to feel better about is that healthy eating is relevant to everyone. If we want to enjoy life, have the energy to do the things we want to, and get to our bucket list, than eating healthy is a cornerstone to achieving our desired quality of life. In a recent article in, Angela Ginn, R.D., CDE, education coordinator at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, stated that the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines and the American Diabetes Association's nutrition guidelines dovetail nicely. In a nutshell, healthy eating has basic tenets that are good for everyone, especially when you are living with a chronic disease like diabetes.

Before getting down to specific foods to eat and menus to create we need to get a handle on the framework for healthy eating. Here are 5 Tips for Healthy Eating with Diabetes:

  1. Right-size your plate. How big are your plates? Research shows that the bigger the plate the more food you are going to end up putting on it. If your plates are bigger than 10 inches it is time to right size your plates. Ready for an innovative solution? Check out these cool right-sized dishes.

  2. Get a handle on portion sizes. Because we live in a super-sized world our portions are way out of whack. We really don’t know what a serving size is for any given food. We so often rely on our eyes for portions but our eyes can only measure relatively, not to any specific size or amount. Being familiar with standard servings sizes and using attractive measuring/serving spoons to make it easy to serve up right-sized meals is key and very possible.
  3. Balance the food on your plate. Our bodies are engines that need the right fuels to perform well. In our busy lives we often “grab-and-go” not really taking the time to think about whether what we are eating has all the right ingredients for a balanced meal to provide us with the perfect fuel to run well. Meals need to be balanced not only in providing the variety of foods necessary but also in the correct proportions. Believe it or not, there is a clever tool out there to help you with portions as well as proportions for a balanced meal.
  4. Have a meal plan. We all know that it is tough to think about a well-balanced meal when we are in a rush or at the end of the day when we are tired. Preparing menus and having foods already on hand for the meals you want to eat during each day makes all the difference when we want to eat healthy, eat well and eat right. Our Get Started Guide has a menu plan included to make it easy to plan ahead and eat healthy long term.

  5. Eat more at home. There is no doubt about it, eating at home gives you more control on what you eat and how those foods are prepared. You can manage what goes into your foods from salt, sugar and fat that can have negative effects on your health. Look at how many times a week you eat out and make a commitment to switch out some of those meals each week towards more meals made at home. You can make it easy and save money over time to add to the enjoyment of your bucket list. To get started, try out these easy recipes.

If you are looking for more information about healthy lifestyle and healthy eating tips for people living with diabetes check out our NEW “Diabetes Room” section on our website, or check out our new FREE eBook below!

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Barrier Buster--Too Tired To Exercise

Monday, January 15, 2018

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New Year Healthier Me Reboot—A Shift in Balancing My Priorities

Friday, January 12, 2018

I don’t know about you, but I love the New Year as a time for fresh starts and reboots. It is a fundamental part of my cycle of life. It provides me with the opportunity to reassess where I am in my life and goals.

Some people like this time to make pledges or New Year’s Resolutions. I like to think it is my time to build on what I know and where I want to go. I am thinking long term.

Last year I focused on intention. It was a time I wanted to be both purposeful and mindful in my eating and lifestyle. There were periods where I did very well but as a daily practice, I need to get much better at my intention. I am a classic caring female; often the needs of others and the priorities of life in general get ahead of my needs so I end up shoving my wants and valuable intentions to the bottom of the stack and let them get buried under all the other stuff of Life. By recognizing this big challenge in my daily life priorities and wanting to change this, I decided to break down how I go about doing things so I can make a shift in balancing my priorities.

Instead of making it a never ending tug of war between me and the rest of the world, there has got to be a way to integrate the two into a more harmonious way of living life daily. How can I be good to myself and meet my other obligations and responsibilities? I am going to keep it simple by asking myself some questions, honoring the answers, then setting up some goals with an action plan.

Overall goal: A shift in balancing my priorities. 

1. What goals can I embrace to better practice healthy habits?

Goal: pre-plan my weekly meals and snacks (use my daily menu plan)
Action: use Sundays to plan meals, go to the grocery store and pre-prep snacks

Barrier: making the time
Buster: reward myself with a massage every Sunday

2. What have I learned or experienced previously that was unexpected and fun in helping me practice healthy habits? Being included in Fitbit challenges.

Goal: continue to participate in the challenges and also start my own
Action: start a Fitbit challenge once a month in addition to joining other’s challenges

Barrier: sustaining the effort to build in the required activity
Buster: make the beginning of the week the launch off point

3. What do I want to do more of?

Goal: besides my daily works outs at the YMCA…I want to take an afternoon walk with the dogs.
Action plan: put walks on the calendar at least 3 times during the week

Goal: Add weekend adventures of kayaking with my husband on area lakes
Action: put 3 kayaking adventures at three different lakes on the calendar this year.

Barrier: my work schedule gets in the way
Buster: make the actions part of my calendar appointments

4. What habit do I want as my highest priority and how can I support it?

Goal: eating just the right amount of food at the right times of day.
Action: use Livliga dinnerware and LivSpoons to measure right-sized amounts of food
Action: create a consistent schedule for meals during the week (breakfast 8AM; lunch 1PM; Dinner 7PM)
Action: fill my water bottle first thing so it is ready to drink (use Hidrate)
Action: back to workouts 5 times a week, walk dogs 3 times a week, build in more weekend adventures
Action: pre-planned meals and snacks
Action: journaling to monitor food and feelings (use Fitbit)
Action: take the time to be mindful and present at the beginning of each day, before each time I eat and at bedtime

Barrier: work and family obligations; feeling too tired to follow through with the plan
Buster: I must remember in order to save others I need to put my own oxygen mask on first…

5. Where does losing weight fit into my priorities?

Goal: Absolutely… but not by being on a “diet.” I want to do it by eating right and living a healthy lifestyle, which will then cause weight loss
Action: follow the overall goal forthe year

Barrier: work and family obligations; feeling too tired to follow through with the plan
Buster: I must remember in order to save others I need to put my own oxygen mask on first…

6. My accountability

Goal: Make it public. It is right here in print!
Action: I am building into my blog calendar taking the time to review my Reboot goals with a couple of follow up blogs during the year. Keep posted!

Monday Motivations: As part of breaking apart the never-ending cycle of barriers we all face in or struggles to live as our healthiest selves, we are launching weekly Monday Motivational Meals this year each Monday. Sign up for our blog or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to see these new motivations to support your healthy lifestyle success.

Let’s enjoy the journey and live vibrant!

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2018 Barrier Busters

Monday, January 8, 2018
We hope you have gotten your 2018 off to a great start! We want to help you keep up with your New Year! Healthier You! goals. To do that we have created our 2018 Barrier Busters! Our barrier busters will be our source of #MondayMotivation for our Livliga community. They will consist of a barrier that people face when trying to shift to a healthier lifestyle, and a buster to help you break through that barrier!

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram & Pinterest! You can keep up to date with all our healthy living tips, Barrier Busters and even some giveaways!

PS. If you're ready to start making a healthy lifestyle shift but aren't sure where to start you're in luck since we created a FREE Get Started Guide.

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Top Ten Live Vibrant Blogs of 2017

Monday, January 1, 2018

As we embrace the New Year it is always a healthy act to look back and reflect on the past year. As a blog writer it is fun and absolutely enlightening to see what I wrote and what resonated with people as they search for information and look for resources or advice. With that in mind I thought I would share with everyone what our Top Ten Live Vibrant blogs were for 2017.

Enjoy and share!

  1. Weight bias is real…and very personal
  2. An Open Letter to Oprah…And My Hairy Audacious Goa
  3. Nutrition is about portion AND proportion
  4. Learning How to Run Again
  5. 10 Tips on How Livliga Can Help You Lose Weight
  6. Livliga Special Kids’ Initiative
  7. 12 Tips for Losing 50 Pounds or More
  8. How to have a Bari-friendly Holiday
  9. Sign of a Healthy Lifestyle
  10. Live…Love…Laugh…Learn—finding your own “om”

The Live Vibrant blog hit a milestone during 2017 of surpassing 200,000 pageviews. It is thanks to you, our readers! It is an incredible journey we are all on living life to the fullest and always looking for ways to embrace a healthier lifestyle each day.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a Healthier You in 2018!

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