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Friday, August 31, 2018

Is it possible to have an "everybody-friendly" healthy recipe?


I used to think it was overwhelming and nearly impossible to create a meal that was "everybody-friendly" and healthy. There are so many food preferences, food allergies, and food needs that our friends and family have that it can be pretty daunting to imagine a meal that will meet all these needs.

This summer we had friends come visit who are vegans. I needed to come up with several days of meals that would meet their food needs and also appeal to the others eating with us. Is it possible to feed vegan meals to non-vegan eaters? Can a meal be designed that adults and children all find tasty? So many questions…

After a few days of feeling intimidated I took the challenge by the “horns” and decided to have fun exploring how I could be successful in making "everybody-friendly" meals. What I found is that by focusing on fresh foods I could make meals that would appeal to everyone and make the most of the freshest ingredients available at the grocery store. As examples, one night we had veggie burgers made from scratch, then I made pasta with a fresh tomato sauce and on another night we had tacos made with tofu. Who doesn’t like burgers, pasta and tacos, right?

The proof in my success was whether everyone was willing to eat these meals. They did! Not only did they compliment the chef, they also cleared their plates! So the answer to the questions is “Yes”, it is possible to make "everybody-friendly" healthy meals with a little forethought and attention to meals that have common appeal.

The tofu tacos were probably the biggest risk I took. I used a recipe from Cooking Light Diet to make them. I thought I would share that recipe with you here.

Here is the recipe for the “everybody-friendly” entrée:

Supercrunch Tofu Tacos


From Cooking Light Diet

Ingredients


  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch) julienne-cut carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch) julienne-cut peeled daikon radish
  • 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup diagonally sliced green onions


Instructions


  1. Cut tofu lengthwise into 2 (1-inch-thick) slices.
  2. Cut each slice lengthwise into 4 (1-inch-thick) strips.
  3. Place tofu on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels.
  4. Cover tofu with additional paper towels; top with a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan.
  5. Let stand 15 minutes.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Sprinkle tofu with salt and pepper.
  8. Add canola oil to pan, and swirl to coat.
  9. Add tofu to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, turning to brown all sides.
  10. Remove tofu from pan, and drain on paper towels.
  11. Add cashews to pan; cook 30 seconds or until nuts are just beginning to brown.
  12. Remove nuts with a slotted spoon, and coarsely chop.
  13. Cut tofu strips crosswise into 1-inch cubes.
  14. Combine 1/4 cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
  15. Remove from heat; add carrots and radish.
  16. Let stand 15 minutes; drain.
  17. Combine mayonnaise, Sriracha, and 1 teaspoon vinegar in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  18. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, heat tortillas over medium-high heat directly on the eye of a burner for about 15 seconds on each side or until lightly charred.
  19. Arrange about 1/4 cup carrot mixture in center of each tortilla; top with 4 tofu pieces, about 1/2 teaspoon cashews, about 1 teaspoon mayonnaise mixture, and 1 1/2 teaspoons green onions.


Makes 4 servings     Serving size: 2 tacos     Calories: 397
Carbs 45.7g     Fiber 6.6g     Protein 13.0g     Sodium 516.0mg     Fat 18.6g

In order to make it a meal I added ½ cup mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) and served it up on Livliga! It makes an attractive plate of food and created a satisfying meal.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Product Review for Food Savers and Summer Salad Recipe

More and more I find myself searching for handy kitchen items that are cleanable and reusable. I find it hard to use Ziploc bags that just get thrown away after one use. The good news is there are more and more kitchen items for food storage that are handy, reusable and, I am happy to point out, really work!

One of the things I find hard to successfully store are avocados because they turn brown so quickly and who wants to use a whole avocado every time? Well, we are now in luck. Now there is a handy silicone food “hugger” for avocados. They even come in two sizes. They are in fact easy to use, easy to clean and really work. I am particularly grateful for this invention because my daughter loves avocado and only eats a half at a time. Problem solved with Avocado Huggers. I found them on TheGrommet.com. The company that makes them, Food Huggers, also makes other food saving covers that work well for other partially used food items like onions, zucchini, apples, lemons and tomatoes, to name a few examples. They are very handy to have around.


The other frustration I have is with saran wrap. It is a hassle to use and not made for reuse. So what is a person to do when you have a bowl prepared with a salad that needs to be covered? Well Food Huggers comes to the rescue again! They offer “bowl huggers” in sets of three ($20) to accommodate a variety of different sized bowls. For a well made and reusable product that is durable and earth and human friendly I think they are a good buy. I got them for gifts at Christmas time. I now use them all year round.

A favorite salad my family loves served up in their favorite Livliga Serving Bowl and kept fresh thanks to our handy bowl huggers is:


Broccoli and Sweet Apple Slaw with Dried Tart Cherries

(recipe from Cooking Light)

 


Dressing:


  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


Slaw:


  • 2 ½ cups chopped Honeycrisp apples
  • 1 package broccoli slaw
  • 1 (3-ounce) package dried tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted sunflower seed kernels


Directions:


  1. Prepare dressing by combining all 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until blended.
  2. Prepare the slaw by combining the apples, broccoli slaw and dried cherries. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss.
  3. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
  4. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. Best to serve within 3-4 hours.


Nutritional Information:

Serving size: 1 cup     Calories per serving: 125     Fat:4g     Protein: 2.1g     Carbs: 24.9     Fiber: 2.7g     Sodium 91mg

For more salad ideas check out these recipes on our Livliga Live Vibrant Blog.

Enjoy! And Live vibrant


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Like-Minded Businesses: Dawn Hurlebaus and Slimpressions

Dawn Hurlebaus

There are so many wonderful aspects to the journey I am on as an entrepreneur developing and building a healthy lifestyle business. The best is meeting the other entrepreneurs who are also attending health-focused conferences as they too are sharing their invention and company. As is most often the case, we all have developed our products out of a personal need and awareness of how we can help others enjoy life more and live more healthfully.

Dawn Hurlebaus is a woman I greatly admire. She purchased the company Slimpressions out of her own personal need as a WLS post-op with an understanding of how she could help others. Here is how she tells the story.

Candidly, our leap into the body shaper industry was inspired by a personal need after an embarrassing moment.  When dropping her children off at preschool, Amy Pedersen waved to a friend.  Unfortunately, when she stopped waving, her arm (sadly) did not. There was simply nothing on the market to solve this issue. Knowing Amy wasn’t the only woman with this kind of drama, a business idea was born. Women really longed was a body shaper that slimmed and sculpted jelly belly, muffin top, back fat AND arm flab. Finding a body slimmer for the midsection that actually stayed in place had been a challenge for most women.

After three years of research and development including soliciting input from women of all shapes and sizes, co-Founders Amy Pedersen and Jennifer Daniels proudly launched Slimpressions’ patented designs The Haves and The Have Nots to meet this need.


Since inception, the company has grown substantially over the years expanding the product line and shipping internationally.  Recognized by top stylists and fashion magazines like InStyle, Redbook, O – The Oprah Magazine and more, Slimpressions has become a trusted brand for women with loose skin who want to look and feel their best every day – not just on special occasions. 


Dawn is an advocate for women on their weight loss journey. She had bariatric surgery July 1, 2016 weighing 340lbs, bought Slimpressions 4 months later, and is connected on a very personal level with the weight loss community. Her mission is quite simple, to help women feel more confident. She is extremely active in the online support groups, consistently motivates and inspires others, and is often found mentoring those who need additional support. “I am walking this journey with so many people”, says Dawn. “I have a great opportunity… the ability to touch lives every day.” Dawn has a beautiful soul and spirit and lives her life personally and professionally giving back.

Because of meeting and getting to know Dawn and so many other wonderful people who are helping all of us live our lives as our healthiest selves, we at Livliga want to celebrate these like-minded businesses and share their stories with our friends and followers too. How wonderful to feature other people’s talents, passions and businesses in a way that helps us all and helps us build a world where we help each other as women helping women and all of us helping spread the word about great people and terrific products.

Want to learn more about Slimpressions? Here is a link to their website. Make sure to use this special code too when buying your new favorite product! Use promo code: Livliga for a 10% discount when shopping online at www.slimpressions.com.




www.slimpressions.com

Friday, August 3, 2018

7 Bariatric-Friendly Tips For Healthy Eating In The Summer

The summertime can be really hard to keep on track. We think it should be easier because of the weather, being able to do more activities outside, and the longer days. In fact, summer can be the hardest time to stay on goal. The key is to plan for keeping on track. Here are tips that should help:


1) Bring a dish to the picnic.


Going for a backyard barbecue? Offer to bring a dish to share. Pick a dish that is both healthy and tasty like a fresh fruit salad or marinated chicken legs.


2) Plate size always matters.


Make sure you keep the habit of using your right-sized dishes and flatware that meet your needs...despite the heat. If you are going to a picnic or backyard barbecue bring smaller paper plates to share and use.


3) Keep hydrated with fun summer drinks.


Boredom can be our worst enemy when it comes to sticking to our healthy lifestyle. Add fresh in season fruits to your water to make it flavorful and of the moment. And when you want to enjoy a mocktail or two check out these colorful and refreshing tasty drinks.


4. Take advantage of all the fresh seasonal foods available.


Fresh foods recently harvested taste the best and perk up our taste buds. They also tend to be the cheapest to buy because they are plentiful. Going to your local farmer’s market can be a fun activity and give you the best access to the bounty of healthy foods to explore. Trying out a farm coop can also be a great way to add dimension to your diet.

5. Avoid heating up your kitchen.


Heat exacerbates apathy. It also makes us miserable. There are a couple of ways to keep the heat out of your kitchen during the summer. You can plan “no cook” meals. Another way is to use a slow cooker in the summer as a great way to get meals started in the cooler part of the day that you can enjoy eating later in the day when you are ready to eat but not inclined to cook. Grilling outside or on a George Foreman grill also keeps the heat out and adds tastiness to your menu. Keep it practical and change things up to keep motivated and your palate pampered.

6) Plan ahead.


The best way to avoid making bad decisions when you are hot and tired is to pre-plan your menus. And always make sure you have in your pantry and refrigerator elements for a healthy go-to meal that works for your needs. Livliga has a FREE downloadable menu planner to help you get started.


7. Add summer activities into your schedule.


With the days longer and hotter we have to ramp up our activity (so we don’t give in to old negative behaviors because we are hot, bored, and grumpy) and do it during the coolest parts of the day or find places indoors to be active. Building in activities that you can only do during the summer makes it fun and special like kayaking, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, gardening and so much more. And find an activity buddy to make it fun and an accountability check.

We can preempt the summer doldrums and avoid getting off track with our eating if we acknowledge the challenge and do a little bit of proactive planning. The main thing is not to beat ourselves up but to make it about having a great summer while living it as our healthiest selves.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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