Archive for May, 2013

Sensory Sensation, Another Stealthy & Healthy Diet Trick

May 31st, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I recently reached for a succulent nectarine as a snack and I got to thinking more deeply about taste, mMmmmMmmm. What a wonderful sensation this is when you take time to pay attention to it. Think about it and experience it – that taste explosion of my dinner salad for example that included a variety of kinds of crisp lettuces, slices of spanish onion to give it punch, pieces of a juicy plum, some dried blueberries, a handful of crunchy slivered almonds then dressed to the nines with balsamic vinegar, olive oil with a dash of salt and fresh ground pepper. A dish like this makes you love your veggies and yearn for more that’s for sure.

Then came the main course: I had a small serving of gnocchi pasta topped with my Mom’s “norma” sauce cooked el dente sprinkled with hot chilli peppers and parmesan cheese. Each bite was savoured while the music played adding to my sensory experience upping my joy-meter to the max. Take a look at this photo of one of my favourite dishes of Rod Butters, chef at RauDz Restaurant in Kelowna. This is his signature dish of oat encrusted arctic char simply to die for. The taste explosion you experience when enjoying this dish is unmatched and his consistent delivery of it is unwavering.

Creating a love affair with what you eat creates a deeper connection to the food you choose not to mention experiencing the sensation of fullness so you realize you’ve had enough and move on. Tasting and experiencing your food fully could be a healthy and stealthy weight manage trick to up your eating satisfaction while coming alive to how it makes you feel, especially when the needle on the tank is approaching the “full” indicator.

When you get into the habit of putting experiencing your sensory eating sensation as a priority your taste will surely become more discerning. I challenge you to put your favourite food to the test. I’m sure you’ll find some super processed foods leave a dastardly aftertaste in your mouth and have you feeling yucking after an hour. You’ll be leaving them off your list once you experience this.

Check out Chapter 4 of my book Skinny on Slim and turn the beat around how you eat for more healthy and stealthy tips to help you manage your weight. Find my spring special on the book here and all outlets where it’s sold. Also available on i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »

Eating in 3-D With Natural Nutrient Richness

May 29th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I had a yummy lunch treat with a friend and colleague recently that got me thinking about natural nutrient rich foods, mmmmMmmmMmm. After a roller coaster of a weekend strung together with meals away from home I was ready to get my tummy stretch receptors back to normal. I enjoyed a cob salad on that fine spring day without the bacon. It was just what my body craved with a mound of fresh crunchy lettuce, perfectly ripened avocado, sweet cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg, grilled chicken, blue cheese and dressed to the nines – just right. Talk about an energy boosting meal to help me sail through the afternoon with gusto rather than fading on the work front like the cartoon Dilbert after eating fried fast food fare that’s so far from natural it leaves you poorer, not richer.

As I was thinking more clearly after my lunch my thoughts turned to the many dimensions of food with its entire nutrient richness rather than merely the calories it provides. There’s often so much attention on calories some people forget we are masterful machines that fire on all cylinders not only with calories. We need a wide array of nutrients which are most easily found when eating food closest to its natural form.

There are so many food phobias and nutty practices followed some people pigeon holing food as only “good” or “bad” because of one nutrient when many of the most natural foods are the richest for us overall. Take my lunch today for example, it covered 3 of the 4 food groups with excellent sources of protein, such as egg and chicken, with cheese that covered the dairy group while the lettuce, tomato and avocado helped me reach my 5-10 a day of veggies and fruit goal. Talk about a satisfying combination leaving me without an inkling of a craving for anything more.

If you spend too much time with your abacus merely counting calories or focusing on 1 or 2 nutrients that get a bad rap I say make a paradigm shift to a bountiful diet eating in 3 dimensions when you focus your food’s overall natural nutrient richness. Your body will surely smile back at you by revving you up to the max to be the best you can possibly be.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Foodie Fundamentals | No Comments »

Take Your Shoes for a Walk Brock!

May 26th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I was driving along a car clogged freeway recently and spotted a sign that read “May 27 is officially Ride Your Bike to Work Week”, ahhhh how my heart skipped a beat reading those words. Apparently June 1 is National Health & Fitness Day – double ahhhhh. How I love a reminder to get moving. I say we devise a theme every day to move the junk in our trunk. Do any of these “move you”?

Get off the bus Gus
Park far away Jay
Take heed, pull your weeds Steve
Dare to take the stairs Clare
Ab crunch a bunch Gunth
Move the junk in your trunk chump
Throw the ball on the wall Paul
Lift weights and feel great Kate
Bend, stretch and play catch Bets
Dig deep on the gardening scene Irene
Go with the flow Mo
Play in the snow Flo (hold that thought a few seasons, ok)
Ride your bike with your tyke Mike
Do some walkie and talkie Jackie
Buck up and push up Pup
Have a standing meeting Sady
Walk around the town Ms. Brown

Take stock of the equipment you have to support your personal movement movement. Do you have an i-Pod with tunes that put a jump in your step? How about running shoes that are barely used? Is there a tennis racket kicking around with as many cobwebs on it as strings? How about a ball to throw around, rollerblades, a bicycle, a skateboard, not to mention a membership card to a gym in your wallet? Let’s make a pact to use these enablers to get yourself moving. You can keep it simple like me and decide walking is your activity of choice with out needing any extra paraphernalia.

If I have said this once I’ve mentioned it many times, our bodies were build to move. We were meant to walk, shuffle, shimmy, dance, run, jump, play not just this week, but every day of every week. Our lives depend on it.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

Driving Kids Lazy

May 23rd, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Yet another report card is out by Active Healthy Kids Canada issuing a D- for overall physical activity levels for kids – ug. Although there are many contributors to this crummy grade, the dependency on driving kids even short distances was highlighted. Think about it.

A survey revealed that 58% of parents walked to school when they were kids yet only 28% of their own kids do the same – what gives?! All you need really is to help kids accumulate 60 measly minutes to get-a-move-on each day. Five minutes here, fifteen minutes there can add up when you think about the various to-ing and fro-ing you do chauffeuring kids short distances. In time they could accumulate the minimum activity requirement if you turned the beat around creating a new norm to hoof it or ride from point “A” to “B”.

Do you shower your kids with new shoes that never seem to get worn out? How about scooters, skateboards, roller blades, bicycles and more that have treads that never get a chance to wear? It’s time for a new test drive of any or all of these play-things. Make a pact to use them. While you’re at it, blow the cobwebs off your cross trainers and lace ‘em up and get outside and play.

It’s a perfect time of year to start a “movement movement” sneaking in “interval training” of 15 minutes of accumulated activity to add up to an hour a day. Our bodies were built to move. Let’s not make the movie Wall-ee come true.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Francy Rants, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

Go BONKERS Over Four Berry Bonanza Nut Crisp

May 20th, 2013 No Comments Tags: ,

I made this yummy dessert for my company on the long weekend. An ideal way to end a special celebratory  meal to cheer a belated Mother’s Day, double birthday and anniversary. A perfect way to get and stay in the good books through spring and summer :-)

Ingredients

Filling
2 cups strawberries, washed, cored and quartered
4 cups frozen, thawed blueberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp finely grated orange peel

Topping
2/3 cup large-flake oats
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped nuts (almonds, or walnuts &/or pecans)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, melted

Instructions

Filling
Preheat oven to 350F. Add all fruit to an 8 inch square baking dish and combine evenly. Drizzle vanilla over top. In a bowl, stir sugar, flour, cinnamon and peel and combine evenly. Sprinkle over the fruit and coat evenly. Even the surface by gently pressing down.

Topping
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Drizzle melted butter in and combine well. Sprinkle evenly over fruit.

Bake in the oven for 55 to 65 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and topping is browned. Serve warm with vanilla iced cream.

Commentary
I had some frozen berries including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries that gave me the inspiration to bake, so I made a double batch. MmmmMmmm talk about easy makin’ lovin’ spoonfuls served with vanilla ice cream by Cinnamon Girl herself. When it comes out of the oven bubbling it’s like sex in a pan! It was smiles all around. After all, all foods fit…… Celebrate good times, COME ON!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Food Revolution Recipes | No Comments »

Handling Long Weekend Diet Land-mines, Enjoy!

May 17th, 2013 No Comments

Ahhhh it’s that time of year again when the long weekends are upon us and the living is easy. Life according to those beer commercials is simple, just take that jump off the rock into the lake. Ya right. A lot of planning goes into these weekends and if you want to come out the other side relatively unscathed where your eating is concerned, planning is essential. Here are some words of wisdom to help you maximize your enjoyment and minimize post weekend gains. Take stock.

Be Realistic – in making your goals for the long weekend. If you honestly think you’ll be nibbling on Wasa crackers, cherries and yoghurt for the next few days give your head a shake. When the Dove bars find their way down to the dock, you might throw all caution to the wind and blow your unrealistic plans out your ear. It’s all about finding balance in partaking is some of the indulgences without totally indulgence.

Be Prepared – just like a Girl Guides without the hideous uniform! If you’re heading away with a group, take some control by bringing food you enjoy, that still fit into your regimen. If you’re too extreme, the saboteurs will be all over you like white on rice.

Find Your Center – by finding some quiet time. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of finding solitude amongst all the noise and flurry of activity even if you find yourself at a quiet lake. I don’t care where you find it – in the woods, in the out-house, in the car, in the lake or in your room. Doing this helps you plan, cool your head, regroup and relax.

Think Before you Pour – when happy hour begins. For some, every hour is happy hour, it would seem. It’s nice to partake in the fun, but remember drinks, especially alcohol have calories too. Say hands down to bottoms up occasionally and work in some bubbly….mineral water that is.

Take a Jump in the Lake – and do some activities YOU enjoy. Are you the one who does all the planning for everyone?? It’s your long weekend too. I’m sure unless you have little kiddies under foot your group can work out the party hearty without your 2 cents worth day in and day out. How on earth do they survive without you when they’re at school, at work, etc?? Trust me, they just do. Relinquish some of your power and take the reigns to enjoy yourself.

Keep it Real – with the activities you plan to partake in, whether it’s rock climbing, water skiing, hiking, etc. If you have a sedentary job like me scaling a rock might be a bit ambitious. You might end up with an injury or two which’ll set you 3 steps back on your exercise regimen. Just like landing on a snake on the Snakes and Ladders game of old. Trust me. For many of us those glory days are over doing barefoot water skiing, one handed. Keep your head and ego in check so you don’t have to crawl out of bed the next morning.

Tune in to Your Cues – with hunger and satiety occasionally. Ok it’ll probably be the last thing on your mind, but thinking about this once in a while might save you from polishing off the last of the Krispy Creams.

Get in the Drivers Seat – especially if you’re over 21 years old. If you blame others for your over indulgences think again. If it’s your hand going to your mouth with a fork attached, chances are you might be guilty as charged. This is often the case when emotional eating is involved by reverting back to some other place in time mentally. Eating too much won’t spite anyone else, but yourself. Take some extra quiet time to find your center.

You want your long weekend to begin and end with a big Whoooo-Hooo not a big Booo-Hooo with your stomach sticking out a country mile and your rings not fitting because you’re retaining too much water. Planning ahead makes good sense. You’ll be that much further ahead once the weekend’s over. Have a super time!

Sneak a peak of Chapter 9 in Skinny on Slim for healthy and stealthy tips to help you through life’s curveballs and challenges for this and every long weekend. Find my spring special on the book here. Also available on i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Eating Vortex, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »

Duchess of Fork Weighs In

May 15th, 2013 No Comments

I found myself in London recently and realized eating and activity efforts can get hi-jinxed as fast as you can say Piccadilly Circus if you don’t have your wits about you! There’s a lot to take in from the sights to the culture, but you can get caught in an eating vortex as the Duchess of Fork with the cuisine by spending less energy out than in if you’re not mindful.

Afternoon tea sounds so civilized and benign. The presentation of tiered china oozing with innocent sandwiches, scones and clotted cream plus sweeties is a treat on a rainy afternoon. You’ll need to walk up and down The Thames to balance that energy equation though, as you add some pasties, fish ‘n chips and more. There’ll be a high exchange rate to be paid by the pound or kilo when you get home if you don’t trade off when you arrive.

It’s a great walking city to venture from the London Bridge and Tower, to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, to Buckingham Palace then Trafalgar Square back to Covent Garden and over to St. Paul’s Cathedral. That’ll get your booty in shape and work off some of those sweeties. Yes all of the food options are grand but who wants to ruin it all with too treats?

Set your eating mindset to stun temporarily and focus on other joys of travelling not only the culinary ones. Try helping out the local economy and get lost in retail heaven perhaps. From the music to the creative couture to friendly staff – who needs to eat when you’re in the middle of a shopping stupor? Nay nay I say!

London by the pound can get you right in the pocket book AND the hip pockets if you don’t have your eating-thinking cap on. It doesn’t have to be that way though if you put some thought into it right out of the gate….. at the airport.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

Awareness is Bliss – Mirror Mirror on the Wall….

May 13th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most truthful one of all?

For some gals, there are details they just don’t want to get up close and personal with, like that reality-checking tool: the blessed mirror. You know what I mean. Facing that side profile when you exhale, letting it all hang out and actually looking without darting out of view. How about getting a glimpse of your cellulite on those upper thighs? Yank your shirt down over a rising muffin top. Get a frontal view of that behind.

Then there’s the effect of gravity that brings you down, in more ways than one. The heightened awareness that comes with this reality check can actually be life changing.

I try to avoid the mirror sometimes in the same way I avoid making eye contact with someone I’m trying to dodge. Then my realization awakens my conscience and I need to face facts.

Every so often, I stop cold in front of the mirror like the prelude to a Western movie quick-draw. Then it’s a slow-motion 90-degree turn while I let go of my abs – and exhale. I’m usually caught red-handed, perhaps due to a slip up on not doing my callisthenic routine, now painfully obvious after seeing my loosened abs in the relaxed position from the side view. “Sheriff, she’s guilty as charged for letting it all hang out.” But what if I hadn’t looked in the mirror? Would I escape the grasp of the long arm of the law?

It’s been said that ignorance is bliss. The problem is that it rode in from the same town as avoidance and denial. When you ride this trio of doom for long, you’re heading for trouble, out-gunned in the world of health and wellness.

Our internal robot can switch into reverse once it arrives and settles down in the la la land of ignorance. You know, letting those die-hard quirks creep back into your repertoire – eating too quickly, not focusing on how hungry or full you really are, choosing serving sizes as big as your head and skipping exercise when life gets busy. Soon, even your white 10-gallon hat doesn’t fit any more.

Want to heighten your awareness and get to the problem of your Rubik’s Cube-type dilemma? Check out my new book Skinny on Slim. It’s also available on i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Mother of a Job….

May 10th, 2013 2 Comments Tags: , , ,

It’s no easy feat being a Mother. I have read many times that it’s the hardest job in the world. In fact, I’m sure of it. It should require multiple PhD’s in social studies, psychology, accounting, nursing and the like. The role is definitely 24/7 for your entire life, on little sleep and lots of prayers plus a few rosaries thrown in. AMEN with hopefully a few alleluia’s.

It requires stealth hearing capabilities from far distances; a vexing glare that CAN and WILL stop you in your tracks; the ability to give orders through clenched teeth so the receiver can actually comprehend what is being said. You need complex strategizing skills using reverse psychology that works on a foxy 2 year old AND your spouse simultaneously.

I don’t know if anybody’s ever tried to write a job description for “the Mother role” because it is the Mother of ALL roles! Where on earth would you start? You certainly couldn’t announce it using only 140 characters on Twitter. You couldn’t take out an ad in the New York Times either. It would surely be too long and cost WAYYYY to much money.

I look to this Mother’s Day with warmth, joy and  love in my heart because I am certainly “one of the lucky ones” because I have been blessed with MY Mom. My Mom:

  • Meant “no” when she said “no” and never caved, ever….
  • Made sure we knew how to do stuff around the house so we wouldn’t end up like useless knobs
  • Sent us to lessons to learn all kinds of skills even if we weren’t all that proficient and she made us go outside and play every single day
  • Didn’t allow us to watch the boob tube endlessly, even though we wanted to…well before anyone knew what “screen time” was
  • Engaged us in necessary life-skills of grocery shopping, meal prep, making our own lunch, laundry, ironing, dishes and the like
  • Didn’t try to be our friend, she had her own…and we needed to behave around them
  • Taught us the value of a dollar and encouraged us to learn how to save money….and a LOT more.

Research tells us over and over that parents have a vital role to play with the health and well being of their children. I surely know that I have been blessed because of the many important lessons and life skills bestowed on me because of the tough love and the soft love of my Mother. I think Oprah should give my Mom a TV show on OWN featuring her with her wooden spoon teaching the world how to set limits with kids. Hey, it worked for me and my sisters….pretty much….

How fortunate I am to be one of the lucky ones receiving enduring love and support from my Mom through the ages. I am truly thankful for her consistent love and steady hand at the helm all of my life…..still……

Thank you Mom – I love you!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie | 2 Comments »

Dressing the Part! Dressing for Dieting Success

May 8th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

You look maaarvelous darling! Why is it when we look great we feel great, when we feel great we “act” great and simply put we ARE great?? I conducted a survey of women who lost weight successfully (aka “successful losers”) with my good friend and colleague Cara Rosenbloom a few years back. This is what some of our respondents said about on the topic:

  • “On days where I am having a hard time I try to look better to inspire myself”
  • “If I dress a bit nicer and put more effort into my appearance, I feel better about myself, which in turn helps me to stick with my workout and diet routine.”
  • “When I look good I think twice about stuffing myself.”
  • “When I feel good about myself I take extra care of what I eat. It’s a positive cycle!”

So how difficult is it to do this day after day??

  • Eating from the inside out – you eat better when you feel better about yourself, period
  • Dressing for zest – focus in on your everyday clothes and colours that make you look and feel your best
  • Hair apparent – if looking in the mirror makes you think of Halloween get thee to the salon!
  • Know your assets – accentuate the positive, just like the song says
  • Get real and stay real – 50 is the new 50 period, deal with it. Dress your age.
  • Dressing on all cylinders – take a few extra minutes each evening to decide what to wear tomorrow. This will help you jump start your day and feel your best from the outset.

There are useful books and television shows on this topic to assist you on this quest. It really is worth the effort and it doesn’t have to take loads of time. Isn’t it better to wear the one outfit everyday that makes you feel wonderful rather than a whole closet full of clothes that make you feel like a frump? You decide.

This is one stealthy approach to help you stay motivated when you are making the journey to Slim Town.

There are numerous healthy and stealthy suggestion in Skinny on Slim. It’s also available on i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »