Monday Motivational Meal

Monday, August 26, 2019

Looking for something cool and refreshing that can help reenergize you? Try out this Thirst Quenching Cantaloupe Frappé ...served up perfectly portioned in our Aveq Beverage Glass, of course! Hmmm...

Give This Recipe a Try!

Book Review: The Complete Guide to Weight Loss Surgery

Friday, August 23, 2019

This is a great book. It is true to its promise of being a complete guide that finally answers your questions about WLS. It has a direct and simple style so it is easy to understand. In fact, at the very beginning the authors, Lisa Kaouk, MPH, RD and Monica Bashaw, MScA, RD take the time to go over the common vocabulary used surrounding weight loss surgery and the post op experience. This is very helpful.

The topics covered include the real issues of “dumping,” hair loss, weight loss plateaus, eating out, and, of course, our favorite topic, portion control! As Lisa and Monica state, “…we strongly suggest that you weigh and measure your food throughout your WLS journey,” and they go on to say “…we’ve never met anyone who weighs and measures their food everyday for their entire life.” That’s why, with full disclosure, they reached out to Livliga when they discovered our Just Right Set® bariatric dish set because it eliminates the constant need to weigh and measure due to its built in measurements designed into each piece.  Along with their expertise and our tool, it makes the cooking, measuring and balanced meal aspects of a post bariatric surgery lifestyle much easier and more manageable. 

One of the chapters I found especially practical and helpful was Chapter 14: Cooking, Not Cooking & Meal Prep. Like all the other chapters it identifies the real issues surrounding fixing our meals by stating the ideal, and then providing options when it just isn’t possible to meet the daunting task of home cooked, from scratch meals. What Lisa and Monica present are healthy options that are doable and still keep you on track.

They also don’t shy away from the challenging topic of Emotional Changes after surgery. In chapter 18 they acknowledge and list the significant changes that occur after WLS. Lisa and Monica cite the importance of seeking support to help you through these changes. They list the many ways you can receive ongoing support. The key, as they recommend, is to reach out and to find the types of support that will work best for you. It is made clear that you are not alone and you do not have to go through your WLS journey alone. Everyone needs to read this and embrace the message.
It might be helpful to have some information on the authors. Lisa Kaouk, MPH, RD and Monica Bashaw, MScA, RD are compassionate and enthusiastic Canadian registered dieticians who have specialized in all things WLS. They are co-founders of, an online company that offers a variety of nutrition services to the WLS community. They are all about “no more guesswork, just practical expert answers.”

As they state at the end of the book…”our wish for you, is that:

You find moderation and balance with all foods;
You don’t lose the pleasure of eating;
You embrace your journey;
You find your best weight and celebrate it;
You learn to listen for and trust your body’s cues;
You develop new habits that will last a lifetime;
You let go of diet language and see right through the latest weight loss fad;
You won’t be afraid to seek help when you feel alone;
You focus on the positive changes in your quality of life that WLS has brought you;
You be kind to your fellow WLS patients;
You find peace within.”

As you hopefully see, there is a lot to like about this book and the expert wisdom the authors share throughout its pages.


Monday Motivational Meal - One-Pan Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Roasted Caulflower

Monday, August 19, 2019

There is nothing better than an easy dinner after a long hard day. Check out this One-Pan Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower dinner that is gluten-free and will be glad you did! This yummy meal has been served up on a cool and refreshing Hälsa dinner plate!


Guest Blog: Flourishing Emotionally as Well as Physically After WLS

Friday, August 16, 2019
At last! That stubborn weight you have battled for years is finally vanishing from your body. A physically healthier you is emerging and you are engaging more fully in life. You have more energy, you are taking fewer medications, and you are participating more wholeheartedly in a life you love! You are flourishing physically, getting around more easily, enjoying the freedom that improved mobility provides you, and resuming a more active lifestyle.

In order to best appreciate and fully utilize the improvements taking place in your body following weight loss surgery, you want to do all you can to thrive emotionally, as well. Feeling emotionally uplifted is accomplished fairly easily as unwanted pounds dissolve and you feel better physically. It is thrilling to see your clothes become looser and to fit into smaller sizes. The compliments about how amazing you look cause your spirits to soar. Your increasing self-confidence buoys your self-esteem and you feel yourself walking with your head held a bit higher and with a touch of a bounce in your step! 

To ensure that your emotional health continues to blossom if you hit a weight “stall,” if you regain a pound or two, if you are tempted to return to unhealthy habits, or any time you have self-doubts, use these five inspiring tools to resume that “can-do” spirit of yours!

1). Talk positively about yourself. Be relentless in your commitment to halt all negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is inevitably going to happen. That’s not a problem. Allowing yourself to “ride that wave” can become a huge problem. Fortunately, it’s something you can easily (yes, easily) alter! ANY time you become aware of thinking or speaking negatively about yourself, say (aloud or to yourself), “Negative self-talk is NOT an option! I talk only kindly about myself.” Then literally restate what you just thought or said that was negative and make it kinder.

2). Look in the mirror and state a positive affirmation at least twice a day. Look into your own eyes and repeat the affirmation, out loud, three times, slowly. Not kidding. You’ll be amazed at what happens over time.

3). When you receive a compliment, do two things: a) say out loud, “Thank you,” and b) say to yourself, “I think so, too!” Even if you don’t believe it. Trust me. You’ll learn to love this. 

4). Learn to set boundaries and then actually use them. Refuse to jeopardize your health. Say “no” to people, places, and things that threaten your weight loss, your health, or your self-esteem. Setting boundaries shows others that you value yourself. 

5). Develop mantras to help you take care of both your physical and emotional health. Don’t feel like exercising? Use the manta “It’s what I do.” Tempted to give in to unhealthy foods? Use the mantra, “That’s not an option for me.” Fearful of hurting other people’s feelings by saying “no” to lunch at the buffet or “no” to their gift of unhealthy foods? Use the mantra, “My good health requires good healthy choices.” And the following mantra can be used any time to remind yourself of a very important truth: “My Health. My Responsibility. This Day. Every Day.”

Continue to prosper throughout your weight loss journey, a journey of physical and emotional health that lasts your entire lifetime! All the best. Connie

Dr. Connie Stapleton is all about helping you live life fully, free from the mental and emotional shackles of constant thoughts (and guilt) related to food and weight. Let Connie be your “recovery conscience” as she educates you about the critical missing element of weight loss: healing your relationship with self. Specializing in food addiction and all addiction issues, Connie teaches via her books, online classes and videos, at in-person retreats, and at group events. Get help and get happy!


Monday Motivational Meal

Monday, August 12, 2019

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. With the summer months comes all kinds of in season fruits. It makes it easy to prepare a fresh fruit salad. This Stars and Hearts Fruit Salad is served up in cool and refreshing!

  Give This Recipe a Try!

Top 8 Healthy Lifestyle Blogs

Friday, August 9, 2019
As we head towards the weeks ahead when school starts, fall activities set in, and we get back to the “normal” pattern of our lives it is good to remind ourselves of what it takes to get back in gear and sustain our healthy lifestyles. To help with that we thought it would be fun to provide our top 8 Healthy Lifestyle Blogs for some ideas and inspiration.

Let’s start at the beginning…

It is hard for a lot of us, but when it comes to our health, we need to be the first priority. What do you think needs to change first in your life to help you get started on the road to more health and happiness?

Our eyes make all the decisions about the food we eat. That is why our food environment has such a profound effect on us, and the decisions we make about the food we eat.

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.

Do the words “portion” and “proportion” automatically mean anything to you? It took me a while to understand what they meant as well as why both are important to pay attention to when planning meals and menus as part of a healthy lifestyle. It is all about what a balanced meal looks like including the foods that make up the meal as well as the amounts of those foods that are best for us for eating healthy and not overeating.

I have a lot of issues when it comes to eating. I have come to understand I am not alone in this reality. As I focus on my Year of Intention I have committed to unveiling my eating quirks to look at them, understand them better, be mindful of them and ultimately switch things up so I can continue to advance in my journey of an ever improving healthy lifestyle.

I have so many bad habits. Some are harder to change than others. It is really about being mindless to what we are doing, a zombie-like state. I have had way too many repetitive, mindless moments. I came across a great article that reminded me NEVER to eat out of a bag. Pre-portioning is definitely the way to go before eating.

I have been in a long search to discover the secret to avoiding destructive eating habits at a restaurant. Recently my family has been eating more meals out in restaurants. I have found myself wanting to drift back to old, destructive habits. It is hard to break old habits. No one understands this better than I do. But it is possible. 

When I sit down to eat a meal I tend to dive in and scarf the food on my plate. You would think I hadn’t eaten in weeks or that I was in a contest to see who can finish their meal first. It is a mindless habit.

Here’s to you and living life as your healthiest self!

Get Your FREE Download of Our Healthy Lifestyle & Weight Loss eBook 

Monday Motivational Meal

Monday, August 5, 2019

Spice up your life with a Weeknight Thai Curry Chicken with Cauliflower Rice served up beautifully on our Just Right Set® bariatric. You can find the recipe in our Bariatric eCookbook thanks to the talented Nikki Massie aka @BariatricFoodie ...enjoy!

Click here to download your FREE Livliga  Bariatric eBook with Recipes & Resources

Product Reviews: A Healthy Diabetes-Friendly Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook and The Instant Pot

Friday, August 2, 2019
When you are living with diabetes you live with a lot of “have to’s” that can require many extra steps to manage your health and live life as your healthiest self.  The trick is to find ways that make preparing healthy foods, cooking them, and measuring them doable, repeatable and, perhaps most importantly, enjoyable.

There has been a lot of buzz about the Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker.  I wanted to find out what all the excitement was about.  Some questions I wanted to answer were: 

Is it really true that food cooks in a lot less time? 
Is it true that it is easy to prepare foods in an Instant Pot?
Can you prepare nutritious and delicious recipes in an Instant Pot?

Here is what I found out. As with any device, it does make a difference which kind you buy. I bought the bigger capacity Instant Pot that included the button for making yogurt (see photo). It is not difficult to use but it does take some getting used to. You do need to read the instructions. If you don’t pay attention to the steps in using the Instant Pot and heed the warnings, you can get into trouble or damage your Instant Pot. You do need to pay attention, but it is not hard. Once you get used to following the steps it is actually an easy machine to use. Here is what Shelby Kinnaird said in her latest cookbook that is an Instant Pot cookbook for those living with diabetes:

“Cooking with an EPC requires minimal planning, and clean-up is a breeze. You can usually create something tasty from ingredients already in your pantry and refrigerator. You can set the table and unload the dishwasher while your meal cooks. You can even cook meat without defrosting it first. Managing your diabetes just got a whole lot easier.”  Kinnaird, Shelby. The Diabetic Cookbook for Electric Pressure Cookers: Instant Healthy Meals for Managing Diabetes . Rockridge Press. Kindle Edition.

Shelby Kinnaird is a great cook. She is practical too so she makes her recipes and the tools she uses doable for others. In researching recipes to use in my new Instant Pot I wanted to explore Shelby’s new electric pressure cooker cookbook. (As full disclosure, and a happy discovery, Livliga is mentioned in Shelby’s section on portion control.) Her recipes may be mindful of carbs and specific to the needs of those living with diabetes but I have found what that really means is that they are delicious recipes that can be enjoyed by everyone.  When living with diabetes you need to be mindful and measure your carbs. Ingredients and portion control go hand in hand. As someone who has had to be mindful of what I eat for weight management, I find her recipes a great resource and source of inspiration.

The greatest way for all of us to be mindful and manage what we eat is to prepare more meals at home.  The challenge is that we live busy lives and we need ways to put a meal on the table without too much effort, especially on a weeknight. My new Instant Pot and Shelby Kinnaird’s Diabetic Cookbook for Electric Pressure Cookers: Instant Healthy Meals for Managing Diabetes are a great combo for accomplishing just that. I prepared Shelby’s “Teriyaki Chicken” in the Instant Pot and served it with cauliflower rice and stir fry vegetables (from the freezer).  The chicken was moist and delicious. And true to the description, it was gluten free, low carb and family friendly. Everyone in our family enjoyed this healthy meal and gave it a thumbs-up for a repeat dinner. That is our highest compliment!

If you are committed to living a healthy lifestyle and want tools and inspiration to help you sustain it, the Instant Pot and Shelby Kinnaird’s new Instant Pot cookbook —Diabetic Cookbook for Electric Pressure Cookers: Instant Healthy Meals for Managing Diabetes—makes a great combo. I bought both on Amazon. The Instant Pot was on sale and I bought the Kindle version of the cookbook. Both I have already found to be great long term investments.