Stars and Hearts Fruit Salad

Friday, June 29, 2018

During the summer I want a little more fun and a lot more “easy” in my meal prep. I guess the sun and outdoors is calling me or the heat zaps my energy. Regardless, I still want healthy, visually appealing food to grace my plate.

With the summer months comes all kinds of in season fruits. It makes it easy to prepare a fresh fruit salad. I thought I would come up with a version in honor of the Fourth of July with a red, white and blue theme…to make it fun.

To add extra celebration to this fruit salad I got out my cookie cutters and chose a star shape and a heart shape.

Stars and Hearts Fruit Salad


  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 1 whole watermelon, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut chips
  • 1 star cookie cutter
  • 1 heart cookie cutter
  • 1 pinch of Kosher salt


  1. Place washed blueberries and cut pineapple in a medium bowl. Toss with orange juice and agave.
  2. Cut slices of fresh watermelon, about 1-inch thick, to make ready for the cookie cutters. Position the cookie cutters within the flesh of the watermelon. Press them through the watermelon to make your shapes. Use about 2 slices of watermelon for about 2 cups of shapes for your salad.
  3. Carefully mix the shapes into the salad. Add the pinch of salt and the coconut to the top then lightly integrate it.


  1. If the shapes appear too thick, it is easy to cut them in half with a sharp knife without hurting the shapes.
  2. If it is a super hot day or you are having a picnic out doors, freeze the fruit shapes and then mix them into the salad to add a little extra coolness. It will also keep the salad fresher longer outside. 


6 (1 cup servings)12 (½ cup servings)

Nutritional Information:

Calories per cup serving: 92   Fat: .98g   Carbs: 13g   Protein: .6g

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Barrier Buster -- I am Too Fat To Make A Change

Monday, June 25, 2018

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Award Winning Children's Adventure Book now in Spanish! —¡El premiado libro de aventura para niños, ahora en español!—Only $2.99! —por solo $2.99!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Livliga is thrilled to introduce our new Spanish version of Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal. We have received so many requests to provide an edition of this special book in Spanish. Now we have!

En Livliga estamos muy emocionados de presentar nuestra nueva versión de “Sammie & Sax en el Mundo de la Quinua: La búsqueda de la comida balanceada” en español. Hemos recibido demasiadas peticiones sobre proveer una edición en español de este libro tan especial y ahora por fin lo tenemos!

This book is exclusively available as an electronic ebook. It is downloadable in .pdf format and can be easily read on an iPad, laptop, desktop, iPhone and even a Kindle.

Este libro está disponible exclusivamente como en formato electrónico (.pdf) y lo puede descargar en línea.  Lo puede leer fácilmente desde un iPad, laptop, computadora de escritorio, iPhone e incluso en una tableta “Kindle”.

More about our book: The children’s book--Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal--received the 2013 Moonbeam Children's Book Award Bronze Medal for Health Issues and is a beautifully illustrated book which tells the story of a sister and brother, Sammie & Sax, learning about what makes a balanced meal in the context of an adventure in a magical land of fun and unusual puzzle pieces. A great book for parents, grandparents, and teachers to read with children.

Acerca de  nuestro libro: El libro infantil “Sammie & Sax en el Mundo de la Quinua: La búsqueda de la comida balanceada” recibió en el 2013 la medalla de Bronce en los Premios de libros infantiles “Moonbeam”sobre el tema de problemas de salud. Este libro, que fue bellamente ilustrado, cuenta la historia de un par de hermanos que en el transcurso de su divertida aventura en una tierra mágica de alimentos, deciden aprender sobre el significado de una comida balanceada. Es un gran libro para que padres, abuelos y maestros puedan leer junto a niños e hijos.

Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal is a fun, engaging, well‑designed, health‑oriented children's adventure book that teaches kids how to eat healthier and live a healthy lifestyle. This book shares how fun it is to discover healthy foods and learn the importance of putting all the puzzle pieces together in order to plan and eat a balanced meal.

“Sammie & Sax en el Mundo de la Quinua: La búsqueda de la comida balanceada” es un libro divertido, atractivo, bien diseñado y dirigido a la salud infantil; también le enseña a los niños a comer más saludable y tener un estilo de vida saludable. Este libro comparte lo divertido que es conocer sobre alimentos saludables y aprender la importancia de unir todas las piezas del rompecabezas para planificar y comer una comida balanceada.

The book can be bought separately or as part of a Kidliga dishware set (in pink or blue) which features these characters along with specifically sized icons to represent the appropriate serving size for each food group as designated by the USDA/ Check out the dinnerware section for additional Kidliga product offerings.

El libro se puede comprar por separado o como parte de un juego de vajilla Kidliga (en rosa o azul) que incluye a estos personajes, junto con íconos de tamaño específico para representar la porción apropiada para cada grupo de alimentos designado por el USDA / Consulte la sección de vajillas para obtener ofertas adicionales de productos Kidliga.

In addition to the dishware and the children’s book, the Livliga® website offers activities and recipes that can be downloaded to engage the whole family in learning about healthy eating in an adventurous and interactive way. Además de la vajilla y el libro para niños, la página web de Livliga® ofrece actividades y recetas que se pueden descargar para que toda la familia aprenda más sobre una alimentación saludable de una manera interactiva.

Want more fun with Sammie & Sax? You are in luck! Like all of our Kidliga products, this ebook comes with a FREE Kidliga Sammie & Sax Activity Book! Both are downloadable at checkout. ¿Quieres divertirte más con Sammie & Sax? ¡Tienes suerte! Al igual que todos nuestros productos Kidliga, este ebook incluye un libro de actividades de Kidliga Sammie & Sax ¡GRATIS! Ambos se pueden descargar al momento del pago.

Buy this new book today for only $2.99! ¡Compre este nuevo libro hoy por solo $ 2.99!

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Barrier Buster -- There is Always Tomorrow

Monday, June 18, 2018

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Barrier Buster - I am Basically a Passive Person

Monday, June 11, 2018

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Summertime Diabetic-Friendly Meal: Shrimp, Broccoli Slaw, and Southwestern Potatoes

Friday, June 8, 2018

This week we are thrilled and honored to have Shelby Kinnaird, the Diabetic Foodie, join us as a guest blogger. She shares with us a wonderful summertime menu. Enjoy the visual inspiration and the step-by-step she shares to make your meal, doable and very tasty! Enjoy! And Live vibrant!

What meal says “summer” to you? For me, I can’t think about summer without remembering our annual family trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We always stayed at a place directly across from the fishing pier and could easily walk to the beach. My favorite meal to eat out was a shrimp basket – golden fried shrimp, creamy coleslaw, crispy French fries, and those deep-fried nuggets of cornbread heaven known as hushpuppies.

Since I have type 2 diabetes, that meal isn’t happening for me anymore. Or not very often, anyway. Instead of moping about it, let’s create a new, healthier spin. We’ll enjoy the same elements of shrimp, slaw, and potatoes without worrying about sky-high blood sugar afterwards. But how?

Instead of battering and frying the shrimp, we’ll boil it in a zesty combination of apple cider vinegar and Chesapeake-style seafood seasoning (e.g. Old Bay). Instead of using mayonnaise as the base for our coleslaw, we’ll try an Asian-inspired vinaigrette. We’ll also add broccoli slaw and red bell peppers for some variety. Instead of frying our potatoes, we’ll season them with Southwestern spices and roast them until they are crispy. (If you’d like other tips and tricks for meal planning, check out my new book The Pocket Carbohydrate Counter Guide for Diabetes.)

Here’s our revised menu, portion control provided by Livliga. Recipes for the slaw and potatoes may be found on my website, Diabetic Foodie.

Making adjustments like these is one way to continue enjoying your favorite foods after a diabetes diagnosis. Maybe you can’t eat a giant all-you-can-eat platter of fried food anymore, but is that really a bad thing? Your heart doesn’t think so.

How to Get this Meal on the Table

Instead of just throwing recipes at you, I’m going to give you a “recipe for the meal,” meaning I’m going to show you how to get this entire meal on the table quickly. And who doesn’t need help with that?

The first thing you need to do is make sure you know where all of the recipes are that you’ll need. You can print them out or view them on a tablet or your phone. (I’m old school and always print them out so I can scribble notes as I cook.)

If you have a second person to help, put one person on slaw and cocktail sauce and the other on shrimp and potatoes.

Here’s the basic plan:

  1. Put the water on to boil for the shrimp
  2. Preheat the oven for the potatoes
  3. Make the slaw
  4. Cook the shrimp
  5. Prep the potatoes and place in the oven
  6. Remove shrimp to a bowl so it can cool a little bit before you try to peel it
  7. Make cocktail sauce
  8. Flip potatoes
  9. Remove potatoes from oven
  10. Eat!

Peel & Eat Shrimp Recipe


  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Chesapeake-style seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
  • 1 pound shrimp, deveined but with shells still on
  • Cocktail sauce


  1. Place water, vinegar, and seasoning in a large stockpot. Bring to boil over high heat.
  2. Add shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until they turn opaque and pink. Turn off heat, cover the pot, and let shrimp sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove shrimp to bowl and cool.
  4. Peel, dip in cocktail sauce, and eat!
Serves 4

Calories: 80 calories   Fat: 1g   Sat Fat: 0g   Cholesterol: 143mg   Sodium: 1601mg
Carbs: 1g   Fiber: 0g   Sugar: 0g   Protein: 15g

Note: The sodium count is a bit inflated because a lot of the seasoning stays behind in the shrimp water. However, shrimp is inherently high in sodium as are most seafood seasonings. If you’re watching your sodium intake, look for a salt-free or low-sodium seasoning and reduce your portion of shrimp.


Shelby Kinnaird is the Founder and Publisher of Diabetic Foodie, a website featuring recipes and tips for people with diabetes. Her motto is “a diabetes diagnosis is not a dietary death sentence.” Shelby is also the author of The Pocket Carbohydrate Counter Guide for Diabetes: Simple Nutritional Strategies to Lower Your Blood Sugar. A passionate diabetes advocate, Shelby runs two support groups in Richmond, VA.

Barrier Buster - Being Healthy Is Too Much Work

Monday, June 4, 2018

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Update & Check in for 2018 Healthy Lifestyle Goals

Friday, June 1, 2018
Part of making goals successful is checking in on them to see how you are doing with them. The other thing that is important to do is to adjuct goals when they aren't working. If they are goals that are important to you they should never be abandoned, they may just need to be reworked to work for you and in your current life situation. With my 6 month 2018 annual goals check in I found all these things to be true. Here is how I am doing and how I have succeeded as well as how I have had to modify my goals.

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

Update: I am doing very well with this goal. I have discovered Cooking Light Diet that provides weekly menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The recipes are included and it also prepares a grocery list! I am loving it!

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

Update: I got off to a bang with this one. I even started a couple of weekly challenges and invited others to join! Then I found out I have a chronic problem with my knees so I have had to switch my workout routine. I am now swimming 3 times a weekly at the YMCA. I love it! And I have adjusted my daily step goals to accommodate my knees so I’ll still be able to participate in some Fitbit challenges, just not as avidly.

3. What do I want to do more of? Walk the dogs.

Update: I am not doing so well on this goal…I have found it is really hard to make the time to walk the dogs after work. It is on my calendar, I just am always busy with work or feeling too booped to fit in a walk before preparing dinner. They do get an occasional walk....just not every day. I am hoping with the longer days of summer I will find more time and ease into walking the dogs more regularly. I haven’t given up!

As for the kayaking…we were supposed to have out first adventure during Mother’s Day weekend. Unfortunately it was a cold, rainy weekend. It has been rescheduled so all three fun times are ahead on on the calendar.

4. What habit do I want as my highest priority and how can I support it? Eating just the right amount of food.

Update: Overall I am doing well with focusing on being mindful and using the tools to help me.

I am measuring out my food and when at home I am being consistent about my meal and snack times.

I could do better with my water intake. I do use my Yeti thermos consistently so I can be intentional about how much water and tea I am drinking.

My journaling is very simple. I use the 5 minute journal app. It helps me to focus on the reasons I am grateful and goals to make each day great.

Something new I have discovered to help me pace my eating and enjoy my meals more is that I am putting my fork down between bites so I can fully chew and swallow before I take another bite. I really am enjoying my meals more and find that this technique is not that hard to be consistent with. I am much more present.

5. Where does losing weight fit into my priorities? Absolutely… but not by being on a “diet.” I want to do it by eating right and living a healthy lifestyle.

Update: I am doing really well with this goal. I have lost nearly 20 pounds since the beginning of the year. It does prove that if you focus on a healthy lifestyle…consistently…and mindfully, it does pay off!

6. My accountability. Make it public. It is right here in print!
Update: Well I guess I am holding true to this commitment! I have given you my honest mid-year update. And the Barrier Busters are being posted weekly for all of us to reflect on and hopefully be motivated by.

Next...How are you doing with your healthy lifestyle goals? What do you need to tweak and/or reboot? Now is the time to do your own check in!

Enjoy! And as always, Live Vibrant!

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