Barrier Buster - My doctor has never mentioned anything about my weight.

Monday, May 28, 2018

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Barrier Buster - No worries, I already know what I need to know.

Monday, May 21, 2018

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Cloud Bread—Light & Airy—Savory & Sweet

Friday, May 18, 2018
Lunch with Cloud Bread served up on Celebrate dinner plate

Don’t you just love it when you find a new recipe and food that becomes a new favorite? Cloud Bread has become a favorite food in our family. We use it in a variety of ways. We have found it can take on many different flavors from savory to sweet. It can be a great alternative for sandwich bread, hamburger buns, pita bread or crackers. Amazingly it is hardy enough that it will hold up when used for sandwiches even though it is described as light and airy. It is definitely unique. And how great is it that it is gluten free, fat free and low carb, low cal, diabetes-friendly and bariatric friendly. No fake ingredients included.

We like it so much I have made both a savory and a sweet version of the recipe. They are simple to make and easy to store. These are great for lunch or healthy snack.

Savory Cloud Bread


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup low fat whipped chive cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chives, freeze-dried or fresh
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon California-style granulated garlic
Cloud Bread served up on Hälsa side plate


  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F. 
  2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Place the whites in a stand mixer with a whip attachment. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high until the froth turns into firm meringue peaks. Move to a separate bowl.
  4. Place the cream cheese in a clean bowl in the stand mixer (Kitchen aid). Beat on high to soften. Then add the egg yolks one at a time to incorporate. Scrape the bowl and beat until the mixture is completely smooth. Then beat in the dill, salt, and granulated garlic.
  5. Gently fold the firm meringue into the yolk mixture. Mix in ⅓ of the meringue at a time; the last third should be barely folded in. Try to deflate the meringue as little as possible, so the mixture is still firm and foamy. Spoon ¼ cup portions of the foam onto the baking sheets and spread into even 4 inch circles, about ¾ inch high. Make sure to leave space around each circle. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The bread should be golden on the outside and firm. The center should not jiggle when shaken.
  7. Cool for several minutes on the baking sheets, then move and serve!

Sweet Version:


  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce--for low fat whipped chive cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice--for chives, freeze-dried or fresh
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup--for California-style granulated garlic 
  • Use all other ingredients above as listed. Follow same instructions.


  • Cloud Bread can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. However the texture is best if eaten within 12 hours of baking.
  • Cloud Bread can also be frozen and stored for several weeks. Wrap each piece individually in saran wrap before placing them in an airtight container. 
  • Take them out, as you need them, about 30 minutes before use to thaw. Use as desired.

Prep Time:

10 minutes.

Cook Time:

15 minutes

Nutritional Information For Savory Version

Yield: 12 pieces
Calories per piece: 35
Total Fat: 2.1g
Saturated Fat: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 75mg
Sodium: 153mg
Carbohydrates: 0.6g
Sugar: 0.2g
Protein: 3.4g

Nutritional Information For Sweet Version

Yield: 12 pieces

Calories per piece: 32   Total Fat: 1.69g   Saturated Fat: .54g   Cholesterol: 62mg
Sodium: 69mg   Carbohydrates: 1.5g   Sugar: 1.2g   Protein: 2g

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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Barrier Buster - My Metabolism Is Just Too Slow I Can Never Lose Weight, Even When I Try.

Monday, May 14, 2018

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Nutrigenomics—Can what I eat really affect my genes?

Friday, May 11, 2018

There is a new trend in town—Nutrigenomics—the scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially with regard to the prevention or treatment of disease. Nutrigenomics is a whole new burgeoning field that is studying the effects certain nutrients have on our genes that then influence how we metabolize our food, how we gain or lose weight, as well as why people can eat the same diet, like high in fat, but only some will develop high cholesterol. The assumption is that this field will help us know how to minimize and/or treat risks of triggering certain diseases we are genetically prone to get through the food we eat.

This field of study was made possible because of the completion of the Human Genome Project and began only 15 years ago. Although we all know each of us is born with a set of specific genes, what may not be as familiar is that those genes have the ability to “express” themselves in a variety of ways depending on various influencers—diet being one of the influencers.

All of us know through our own experience that certain diets don’t work for us and it is not just about personal preference. It is about how our body responds to the types of foods we eat on a certain diet. This speaks to the ongoing debate between which is the better diet, low carb or low fat. It remains a debate because of people having varying success on either of these diets, probably because of how the nutrients are interacting with their genes.

Just Right Set® plate/photo by Nikki Massie

How cool will it be to know our bodies, because of our gene make up, will respond better and remain healthier if we follow a certain diet? And when we are trying to lose weight for our health, how great will it be to be able to have a personalized nutrition plan that outlines what diet will actually work best for us? Right now diet recommendations have more to do with the preference of a particular dietitian or our own or even more so, the particular trend of the day. That explains why so many diets fail and why so many of us struggle to keep the weight off. We aren’t eating the right diet for our genes.

Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, one of the founders of the field of Nutrigenomics, believes that in the-not-too-distant-future we will be able to have a personalized road map that tells us what diseases we are at risk of manifesting because of our gene make up and how we can decrease the risk of triggering a disease through a personalized diet plan. How revolutionary to think we can actually know scientifically how to manage our health and lower risk of specific diseases through what we eat.

Of course managing our overall health isn’t quite as simple as knowing what the best foods are for us to eat. We are far more complex than that. There are so many more environmental factors that play into our health from where we live, to how much exercise we get, to our mental health, to our family make up and so much more. However, the closer we can get to understanding how our bodies specifically respond to each of those influences because of our own genetic make up can only help us better succeed in living life as our healthiest selves. It looks like Nutrigenomics is paving the way to helping us do just that through understanding how what we eat influences our genes.

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Barrier Buster - It's My Mother's Fault

Monday, May 7, 2018

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The Explosion of Diabetes—How can we avoid becoming a number?

Friday, May 4, 2018
We read it all the time in the newspaper. The incidence of diabetes is increasing. More and more people everyday are being diagnosed with diabetes…even more as pre-diabetic. According to the CDC this translates into 100 million people in the US currently living with diabetes or diagnosed as having prediabetes. Over 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed every year!

The statistics provided by the American Diabetes Association:

Prevalence: In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes. Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type1diabetes.

Undiagnosed: Of the 30.3 million adults with diabetes, 23.1 million were diagnosed, and 7.2 million were undiagnosed.

Prevalence in Seniors: The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).

New Cases: 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.

Prediabetes: In 2015, 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older had prediabetes.

Deaths: Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015, with 79,535 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.

How this translated into my personal journey:

Like so many, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. It wasn’t until I reached my forties that the consequences of being overweight started showing up in my health screenings. My blood sugar levels were too high. I was labeled pre-diabetic. Yipes! I couldn’t quite get my head around it. I felt like I was eating well and I worked out on a treadmill every morning during the work week, but I knew I was also a busy mom with 3 kids, with a demanding job and lots of volunteer commitments. There was plenty of stress, late nights, and wrong eating choices being made regularly because of it. It was my kids that were ultimately my motivator. It hasn’t been easy and there has been so much learning a long the way. In fact, I created a healthy lifestyle company because of all that I have learned and wanted to share! Now I can share that my blood sugar levels are within the normal range and I am no longer labeled with prediabetes. I am still at risk, however, because I remain over weight (although 50 pounds down from where I started). Always more to work on!

Is there a way to break down the barriers to managing diabetes?

How to find out what to eat-

There are so many great resources now that teach us how to navigate what we need to eat, give us concrete examples, and inspire us to try out new foods and recipes. The key terms to learn about are carbs (carbohydrates), glycemic index and glycemic load.

Mainly the more processed the food is the higher the number of grams of carbs. So fresher is better. Whole grains and lean meats are also on the list. My new favorite source for inspiration is the diabeticfoodie.

How to afford better foods, fresh foods and a healthier living environment-

There are more and more ways to access fresh foods and keep costs down. There are community gardens in most cities. Eating foods that are in season is a great way to provide fresh foods, usually grown locally, at the lowest cost. A great trick is to go to the farmers market at the end of the day and barter for discounted pricing on their remaining stock.

Sometimes farmers will even give you their “seconds” for next to nothing or free, just for asking. I have done this personally. Also, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are a way to manage cost while focusing on the healthiest foods in an affordable way when fresh foods may be out of season and therefore more expensive.

Where to find the support you need-

Once upon a time we had to rely solely on our primary doctor and the clinic nutritionist. Now there are many groups and resources available on line to help us in the ways we need. You can find a dietitian through to work with locally or online who has the expertise related to your health needs. There are groups you can get involved with to give and get ongoing help and camaraderie (i.e.: The CDC has a nationwide Diabetes Prevention Program that is community-based to help with ongoing lifestyle changes.

Where it all starts—with a healthy lifestyle-

There is no way around it. Living healthy is going to require change in the way we live our lives. We can’t keep doing the same things over and over again and expect better results. We have to discover what living well for us means. It includes healthy activities, more exercise, more sleep, drinking more water, laughing out loud everyday, hugging the ones we love, distressing positively, eating healthier foods in right-sized amounts and really working on our bucket list.

When do we need to start getting educated, being mindful, and living a healthy lifestyle?

Now is a good time. It also starts with our children. In order to keep our children from becoming a number they need to learn and explore what it means to eat healthy and live well. We need to engage them in healthy activities, helping prepare nourishing meals, as well as help them learn the best ways for them to become their healthiest selves. The best way for them to learn this is by our example. A healthy lifestyle is good for all of us.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle does have to be a choice. You do have to believe you are worth it because you have to invest time and energy into making it happen. You also have to prioritize how you spend your money. This isn’t always easy. It requires a vision of what you want your life to look like, discipline and perseverance to make progress, and a community you can count on to support you on your journey to being your healthiest you.

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Once upon a time, quite a while ago at this point, I was a Peace Corps volunteer. Our motto and mission was “helping people help themselves.” I took this mission to heart. There were two important things I learned, though, on my journey to help others. You can’t help others if you don’t even know how to help yourself. It starts with you. And you can never help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.

As we face the pandemic of diabetes we need to see it as our own personal reality. If we want change we have to be the agent of that change and be willing to change ourselves. Even small changes can have a big impact long term. And by making those changes we are helping others do the same. It is only with all of us working together to live healthier and create a healthier community that we will stop the rampant advance of diabetes.

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Let’s do this! And let’s do it together. And as I like to say let’s do it with ‘one healthier bite at a time!’ We can also have some fun a long the way. Come join me and my husband, Walt, each 4th Tuesday of the Month on Facebook Live as we tackle recipes, give tips on how to make cooking easier and more enjoyable, and how to make healthy home cooking more manageable.

Like our Facebook page and sign up for video notifications so you can follow along with us on this healthy lifestyle journey we are all on.

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To your health! And as always, remember to Live Vibrant!


How to Spoil your Mother (Healthily) this Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Here's some healthy inspiration from Livliga for Mother's Day!

Calling all Kids to Celebrate their Mom's This Mother's Day! 

There is nothing better for mom's on Mother's Day than to let them know you Celebrate them! Why not do it by serving up a special breakfast in bed on Livliga's beautiful and inspiring Celebrate dinnerware? The meal doesn't have to be complicated...just fresh and tasty.

We chose to make fresh-baked Muffin Tin Doughnuts (see the recipe on our blog) along with a bowl full of plain Greek yogurt accompanied by a mix of berries and a drizzle of local honey.

And, of course, we made a homemade latte! Simply Elegant. Simply Healthy...Simple way to celebrate our moms!

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Enjoy! And Live vibrant!