Archive for August, 2013

It’s the Little Things…

August 30th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Relationships are a funny thing
A shiny car
A big honking ring

Don’t mean that much after a while
Crumbs on the floor
And that laundry pile

Two different people melded together
Through the sunny skies
And cloudier weather

It’s the little things that mean the most
A passing glance
Some honey on toast

A “thank you” for a trivial thing
A counter wipe
Of the coffee ring

A new walking route at our hideaway
A listening ear
Without much to say

Each little thing’s like putting change in the bank
The coins do mount
For when your spirit might tank

A little appreciation goes a long way
Overlooking the socks
For more important ways

You can spend all your time on what might be wrong
And miss all that’s right
Which was there all along

It’s the littlest things that mean a great deal
A life filled with purpose
It’s about keeping it real

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Call to Action – Back to School No Brainer

August 28th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Everything’s so “back to school” these days isn’t it? Everywhere you turn are advertisements, articles in mag’s and newspapers, features on the radio. I don’t know but it’s all so last year and the year before that and well 10 years before that. Even older.

It seems all I ever read about is our society being so time starved coupled with kids who are enrolled in too many activities yet don’t know the basic life skills when they emerge from the teenage wormhole. I read for the umteenth time about “back to school lunch ideas”. Ho hum. Well do I have a lunch idea for you. Let’s get kids to get back to preparing their OWN lunch. How does that sound….are you with me??

I have written about my Mom many times and her wondrous ability to set limits and teach us life skills, right? I remember going to the grocery store with my Mom, cooking and helping in the kitchen with my Mom and even making my own lunch. Really parents, it’s not a big deal. Calling Children’s Aid never crossed my mind all those years ago.

I think there needs to be a paradigm shift getting kids involved in household functions again, don’t you?? Parent’s are running around driving their kids to so many activities and sometimes TOO many activities there’s very little time to just connect with each other and catch up.

Well parents this fall is a new chapter. Why not start a new trend getting your kids involved in the kitchen and household chores too? No, you’re NOT mean by taking this step. Actually you’re short changing your kids by NOT getting them involved. Sure, they might be able to play the trombone by the time they reach the ripe old age of 20, but they won’t know how the washer works or how to toss the washed clothes into the dryer, fold them…… I can hear the gasp from coast to coast across North America now.

Just like we teach our kids their ABC’s, we also need to teach them how to make a lunch, and oh, not one you order at the drive through….

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Rhyme Time – Choices

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

A bowl of cherries
A cup of tea
A mit-full of almonds
Some Vitamin D

Some soup to start
To slow you down
A baked potato
Instead of a French fries mound

A few extra chews
To enjoy your food
An extra walk in the day
To help lift your mood

The choices we make
Add up every day
Take time to think
So your goals come your way

Be the best you can be
Put your health first
When middle age hits
That bubble might burst!

Decisions decisions
What’s right and what’s wrong?
Let common sense prevail
Fads and gimmicks, be gone!

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Raise your spirits? Drinking alcohol & eating…..

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

It has been said many times when you eat or drink more calories than you burn you gain weight. Although it seems like such a simple phenomenon, it really is far from it. Take drinking alcohol for example, I just read about a study looking at food and drink intakes of men and women who drink moderately. They showed that men consumed an additional 433 calories on days they drank moderately while women ate 300 extra.

Let’s do some math, shall we: say men drink moderately 2 days each week and overdo it by 433 calories each time while women do the same for 300 each time. In one year men could gain 13 pounds and women 9 pounds. This scenario certainly is conservative keeping in mind the multitude of “drinking opportunities”: business travel, biz lunches and biz dinners, vacations, long weekend celebrations, special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, New Year, not to mention special family special times like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, then there are TGIF’s or a pick me up after a bummer of a day. Have I made my point? Adding alcohol to your diet without precautionary restraints is like adding gasoline to your bar-be-que and yes soul sister, it can really blow!

Some experts feel dieters should go the “Prohibition” route and dry out while trying to lose weight. I’m a big believer in learning how to handle eating and drinking challenges head on, because in life you’ll need to face these eventually, so why not start today. Also, why miss out and hide away from the joys of life?

Who doesn’t know that feeling of “throwing caution to the wind” where your diet is concerned (among other things) after that first few sips of your icy pinot gris while enjoying it to the max in an outdoor cafe near you. Although it’s easier than pie to overdo it during that time of “lower restraint” I mapped out a cheat sheet of sorts of “Strategies to Dine Out By” in Chapter 9 “Handling Curveballs & Challenges” in Skinny on Slim. Check it out, won’t you?

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Nutrition News, Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Goal Setting Time….

August 21st, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

What is it about this time of year that I love so much? Is it the first sighting of a changed leaf? Is it the disappearance of my basil nibbled by my resident bunny? Is it that newfound fresh morning breeze? Or is it realizing that those not-so-baby-birds are becoming more independent these days? Hmmmm.

We’re approaching that age-old back to school time. That time of year to turn a new page, make a new goal, start something a-new and for me it’s time to make a new goal or two and turn over a new leaf. Any day is a good day to make a new goal to better yourself. But for me this time of year is New Year’s resolution time come early. I like to focus on my mat routine – you know that 16 minute investment, every second day into my hourglass.

Over the past few years I’ve made some significant changes when revisiting all of the exercise and activity I do to stay in shape. When the barrage of articles on the sitting epidemic struck I shook up my walking routine to twice a day whenever possible. A few years back I read about the benefits of doing squats and lunges that make a world of difference to my core among other things…. And last year I worked in a new leg strengthening segment of my floor routine to my repertoire that has helped the toning continue.

No, I don’t change my routine with the wind. But I do reevaluate it spring and fall to see how I can better tighten the screws before aging puts the screws to me. So how’s your routine been lately? Are there any changes in sight? I’m considering upping my dumbbell weights slightly – Alexia-the-weighlifter I ain’t, but ye old spaghetti arms need a challenge!

Find many healthy and stealthy tips in my e-book Skinny On Slim

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Hop on the Party Bus

August 18th, 2013 No Comments

Again this year I couldn’t be more proud of a certain nephew of mine and his friends aka “Team Darko”. These “cream of the croppers”, mid-twenty somethings banned together to organize a fab fundraiser for their university friend who passed away years ago. Actually, truth be told they have organized one fundraiser or another each year since his passing to keep his spirit alive. They rented a “Party Bus” and pulled up the coarse and organized a perfect fundraising day.

So many people came out to join in the event – a golf shotgun tourney. The sky was blue, the temp was up and as usual the butterflies fluttered around. Fun was had by all, that’s for sure. I even snagged “the longest drive prize”, hmmm go figure!

Again, I had a lump in my throat a few times during the event for many reasons. Seeing all of these grown up kids giving unselfishly of their time and money for a worthy cause was truly inspiring. It seems everybody’s so busy running around these days – who has any extra time to devote to such things?

Yes there are leaders among us you might not necessarily spot in a crowd especially riding “The Party Bus”. This group transformed the reputation of the “Me Generation” to the “We Generation” yet again. Yes a group who could have come up with a hundred legitimate excuses why they couldn’t organize this, stepped off the bus, up to the plate and hit another grand slam out of the park.

Thanks Team Darko for inspiring me this fine summer’s weekend. I salute you all. And remember “No giving up EVER!” DD

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August 16th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I remember a quirky yet engaging high school physics teacher of mine introducing the topic of entropy back in the ’70′s. From what I can recall entropy in nature tends from order to disorder, hmmmm. I was never much of a physics whiz, but Father James’ memorable explanation has stuck with me oh for decades now.

Many everyday things come to mind when I think about entropy – crumbs on my kitchen floor, that sports sock or tights drawer, the “catch all” shelf in the garage, that workbench in the laundry room (I don’t know any workmen…), my growing shoe collection, a barrage of scarves and the list goes on and on. I truly believe the same phenomenon holds true with our behaviour. Things can change from order to disorder in a heartbeat!

I think it’s a myth that it’s easier to keep a handle on your handles in the summer time. Whoever proclaimed that was only kidding themselves. For example: with summer travel comes unique eating and drinking experiences. Is it too hot to exercise? Who doesn’t love sitting outside with a sparkling glass of something to tantalize your tastebuds a summer fades away? Plus:

  • An extra meal here
  • A new appetizer there
  • The launch of a new pinot gris with a catchy name
  • The muse bouche before a 5-course meal
  • That “have to” try it, extra spoon of dessert even when you don’t really want it
  • To the false tummy rumbles from being used to eating more
  • To mistakenly thinking this was hunger rather than gypsy music
  • To a season gone by and dawning those skinny jeans that squeal when you yank them up – OUCH!

Yes folks, entropy – that’s your routine morphing from some sense of springtime semblance of order to disarray by fall. Sound familiar? It’s a perfect time of year to take stock of this concept in your own life before it remains the norm.

Time for some “order in YOUR court” don’t you think?

If you haven’t already, download my e-book Skinny on Slim now available from Amazon. Also available on i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.

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Good Egg

August 14th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , ,

My title “good egg” is certainly is redundant. I have focused on the nutritional goodness of so many foods and have given the noble egg little air time, shame on me. On the nutritional front eggs are a powerhouse of nutritional richness. One of Mother Nature’s true gems high in that all satiating protein and rich with a vast array of vitamins and minerals it’s astounding.

This is one food that I recommend for most ages and stages (from 6 months of age and up). They’re perfect cooked in foods at mealtime or as the centre piece of the meal, any meal or snack. Talk about versatility, eggs certainly take the cake.

I love the economics of eggs for feeding your family – they’re easy on your schedule so quick to whip up AND easy on your pocketbook when you’re aiming to control your budget.

If you’ve been concerned about the cholesterol in eggs take a breather. Experts suggest healthy people can have an egg daily as part of a healthy diet. So use your imagination and prepare an omelette with sautéed veggies and cheese, a frittata with cooked peppers, a toasted Western or a simple poached egg on whole wheat toast. However you choose to make it include those good eggs in your diet regularly.

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Another Eighty Something….

August 9th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

The pace of life, that ebb and flow
Makes you stop and wonder: where does time go?

A special milestone marks August 12th day
As that’s my Dad’s 80th birthday day!

A silent soldier, head of our clan
Tough love, soft heart, a TRUE Renaissance man

Clear division of labour with he and my Mom
Impossible to split the two, undivided as one

Had a busy career with competing priorities
He always made time for our family

Meals together we had where we’d break bread
Were a daily staple, that’s the way he led

Oozing with wisdom and common sense
Never keeping up with “The Jones”, but leading instead

The grass was always greener on our side of the street
And a Dad like than can NEVER be beat!

The whole family’s life is richer with Dad at the helm
His unwavering love, generosity fills our realm

Being the 4th daughter in five years almost breaking the bank
Much to laugh at as well, as I was supposed to be “Frank”

Lucky to witness what’s important and his special ways
That we celebrate his special 80th birthday day!

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Squabbling Over Chicken or Beef – Props to Protein

August 7th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

There are days when nutrition experts seem to split hairs on some of the seemingly simple diet information. Today I’ll focus on the “centre of the plate” and talk about making choices – will that be chicken or beef; pork or fish; egg or tofu; turkey or game; nuts or cheese; legumes or pulses; salmon or tuna? I say, what’s to squabble about?!

All of these foods are predominantly protein based and all are naturally nutrient rich. People get so hung up on studies about red meat. As I often quote Barry White saying “too much of anything’s not good…” that certainly is true. Why not include all of these choices into your diet? This’ll help you avoid boredom by doing the centre of the plate change up! Protein certainly has an excellent satiating quality giving these foods both healthy and stealthy benefits for those of us trying to control our weight. That’s not to say if a little is good then a lot is perfect, but you knew that already right?!

Sneaking various protein choices into every meal, even snacks can help control hunger. In addition there are a plethora of macro and micro nutrients and minerals in all of these choices that’ll help your body as temple soar.

The next time you’re squabbling about what you plan to add to the center of your plate, take a breather and say “yes” to them all!

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