Archive for December, 2013

Year End Reflections…

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

Some highlights of my year
Was my niece’s engagement to her dear

The California coast
Is what I loved the most!

Chris Botti at Mission Hill
Gave me a special kind of thrill

My Skinny on Slim book going live
Made me feel I was alive!

Parents’ 80th birthday fun
Celebrated with everyone!

Okanagan Valley touring done
With special downtime on our own

The windy city celebrate
The almond tour was great

A lost sister found
Back in the fold and around

Parents health on the upswing
Is a truly amazing thing!

Work at Boundless means a lot
Peace at home is what I’ve got

Wishing you peace, hope, strength, love and health for 2014!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Rethink Shrink!

December 27th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I don’t know about you, but I need to take action on my stomach stretch receptors and fast to help make them shrink back to normal. How about you? Between the parties, the dinners,the lunches and the brunches my tum-tum has gotten used to eating and drinking a bit more than usual, don’t ya think? If I don’t do a full court press on this soon it might be hard to do a 180 shift if I wait until January 1 or later.

Last week while I was working around 10:00am my stomach was making those fake hunger grumbling sounds as if I was fasting for Ramadan and it was almost sundown. It wasn’t. I just had breakfast a few hours ago, and my brain knew that my stomach was playing a game – na na na na na.

One important strategy is up the ante on exercise and activity now that you have some spare time on your hands. Take in all that winter has to offer, bundle up and vamoose outside and move that caboose – walk, play, toboggan, shovel….

The other thing NOT to do is fall prey to the ole “oh, I won’t eat all day and wait for dinner”. No no no on that one. You can head down a slippery slope of binging and fasting as fast as you can say Dahoo Dorey. Don’t skip ANY meals and make sure you get your appetite suppressant- protein at meals to ensure you feel satisfied. If your blood sugar plunges too quickly because you’ve only  nibbled on veggies and fruit all day you’ll be truly famished and tempted to nosh on those many leftover goodies that may be hanging around. Why do they call them goodies when at this point we know they aren’t??!!

Speaking of which, make a plan to share your goodies with neighbours, family, friends, perhaps freeze some. But if all of these treat dishes are sitting under your nose for the coming week you can do a big slide-a-rooney from now to New Year’s and your slinky black number you were planning on wearing New Year’s Eve might need to be taken out – OUCH.

I don’t think that’s part of your plan. So put your thinking cap on and fast, make a plan, check it twice and for goodness sakes, think shrink!!

And speaking of little black dresses, get reading Skinny on Slim The Little Black Dress of Diet Books and fast, for more healthy and stealthy tips which will set you up perfectly to take on the New Year right around the corner.

Bookmark and Share

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

Piece of Peace, 2013

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

A piece of fruitcake.

A piece of jewellery.

A piece of plum pudding.

A piece in the centre of the table.

A piece of trifle.

A piece of technobabble.

A piece of brownie.

A piece of a puzzle. Hmmmmmm

There are a lot of pieces of stuff this time of year – food stuff, material stuff, technological stuff. You name it, it’s out there and at a better price this week than ever. Take a moment to think about your best material stuff. Does it make you happy? Does it bring you joy? Does it make you feel superior than others because you have this special piece in your possession? Do you feel less than when you don’t have your special piece? Oh for the love of stuff – those bits and pieces.

Of all of the gifts I hope for you to receive this Christmas, I hope you get the best piece of all – peace. It is a choice to seek and find peace you know. It’s right there for the taking. You can find peace in special relationship bonds, peace in serene music, peace in quiet moments, peace in your home, peace at your work, peace while you’re driving. If you look hard enough you can find peace. Sometimes it’s not all that apparent, but it’s there. I’ve always loved that line of Glinda The Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz telling Dorothy she had it in her possession all along – the missing piece to get her home to Kansas. Peace is like that for all of us. It’s there for the taking, but you have to choose to find it and keep it, nurture it and cherish it. Peace.

With peace brings serenity.

With peace brings answers.

With peace brings joy.

With peace brings sensibility.

With peace brings goodness.

With peace brings what’s right.

Choose peace.

May peace be with you & yours this Christmas, and may God bless.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie | No Comments »

Ho Ho Ho Hold the Attitude – Joy in Your Holiday World

December 20th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Well a few more sleeps before Christmas Eve is upon us. We’ve talked about strategies around eating, food and activity and now’s the time to talk about our interactions with each other, so that Ho Ho Ho doesn’t turn to Oh! Oh! Oh! You know, close encounters of the family kind. We don’t want to revert a jolly ho ho ho into a dreary uh oh uh oh uh oh after a few too many glasses of rum and eggnog. So, listen up.

Coy to the World – The older we all get the more different we all become.This is a fact of life. I have my way, sister Betty has her way and Janey has yet another. Go figure! I expect we don’t alway agree on various matters. Let’s not use this upcoming week to make people see it your way. There are many ways of doing the same thing right, believe it or not, so let’s get through this next phase joyously and keep your opinions to yourself, shall we??

Saucy the Snowman – Ok, so every family has a saucy member who pushes buttons while pushing the proverbial envelope….”pass the salt…and another thing…as I was saying…” Why not have a chat about peace-making well in advance of the big days ahead with Saucy? The last thing any hostess needs after all of the effort of making a lovely day is turning your table into a combat zone. Make a plan in advance and put your big pants on (for a different reason, of course).

Silent Fight - We women have such good memories don’t we?? Sometimes we hold grudges too and can barely remember what they’re about. Well for this upcoming week let’s see if we can find a parking lot for this excess baggage and drop it off there for the duration. Check.

Winter Blunderland - If you do have a grudge to bear with anyone around the table, get your head around strategies to ensure a smooth and enjoyable time. For me counting back from 10 can help. Try splashing your face with cold water. Make an angel in the snow if you need to, I don’t care. Think about a few safe things you can all talk about that musters feelings of joy of the season and warm fuzzes and don’t change the channel.

Jingle Tells – Now if someone feels compelled to do some telling, things might end up with jingle yelling! Short of having someone at the table with a striped referee sweater and whistle, help to keep each other in check.  You don’t want to have to use the penalty box for a time out, let alone anyone having anyone end up with a game misconduct.

What Child is This? - Resign yourself to the fact that you’ll be the adult, so act like one. Deal??

Let it Blow, Let it Blow, Let it Blow – Find a way to get your frustrations out beforehand, like taking a walk. Talking things through with a trusty confidant ahead of time can also help. Better yet get yourself one of those blow-up clowns with the smile, if you knock it in the head it falls over then bounces back – hey my favourite! Do anything to blow it off, but don’t ruin everybody’s day over it.

Have Yourself an Extraordinary Christmas – Do all you can to have the most extraordinary Christmas you can muster, because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, let alone next year.

And by the way ho ho ho, hold the attitude!!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Francy Rants, Funnies By a Foodie | No Comments »

Christmas Reflections

December 18th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Looking great!

Shiny bling
Songs to sing

Gifts to get
My table’s set?

Cookie crumbs
Hymns to hum

To and fro
Friendships to grow

Time to spend
Not to pretend

Keep it real
By being still

Getting out
Of what it’s all about

Gift of you
Can be so brand new!

Don’t get reeled in
By all the spin

Priorities straight
Choose love, not hate

Together nourish
Time to cherish

You and me
And family….

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

My Night Before Christmas

December 16th, 2013 2 Comments Tags: ,

T’was the night before Christmas and all in my head,
Was a real long “to do” list, and a big sense of dread.

I had come down to realize that I would make me a plan,
And to get started and make it, with ideas I ran.

I mulled some things over and made me a list,
One of these, one of those, eh, there was nothing I missed!

I would focus on what’s right during this most cherished time,
That brings joy and meaning, my thoughts turned on a dime.

With merriment, faith, joy, hope and love all abound,
Soul searching helps these feelings eventually come around.

For this outlook was different with focus on purpose,
Helps priorities align to what’s important to us.

Our neighbour is older and can use a hand,
With the snow shovelling perhaps or a sprinkle of sand.

My friend from down east is going through radiation and chemo,
Could use a phone call, a joke, a kind word or allow an earful.

What the season’s about, well it is all up to you,
It can focus on “me me me”, or it can focus on what’s true.

You can spend all your time fretting about what others will say,
Or you can do what is right and say “yo, what the hey!”

Soon the big day is coming, so will yours be alright?
With attention on others, bringing goodness and light?

Ya it’s fun to partake in the parties with wine,
After some goblets of “Oculus” you’ll be feeling mighty fine!

Try to remember what others are doing,
Is there food on their table? Are there some troubles brewing?

The very thought of that notion puts a lump in my throat,
Our Christmas Caravan gives to the needy with food or a coat.

What you make of this season is all up to you,
You can worry about you or what’s important to do.

Change of your focus from inward to outward I say,
With thought, time and effort you can make someone’s day.

It’s the littlest thing, that can mean so much in this world,
And one deed leads to another then another unfurled.

Then you’ll see that your focus on “me, myself and I”,
You’ll open your heart and look up to Heaven and feel – my oh my!

Find perspective on life, where priorities should be,
Cause at the end of the day it’s not all about me.

Get moving, get helping, be productive and then,
You’ll find the pieces of the puzzle fall into place again.

Merry Christmas to you, your family and others,
Cause we’re really all related, we’re all sisters and brothers.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie, Rhyme Time! | 2 Comments »

Take 5 Pot Shots for “More Soup Sassy!”

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

“More soup Sassy!” Yes that’s the first sentence my first nephew ever uttered and it will go down in the annals of family history, some 30 years later. Yes I was feeding him my Mom’s amazing Acini Di Peppe Soup. Now his nick name is Surf and he prefers not to be reminded of such things….gotta love memories.

Ok folks, it’s a perfect time of year to get out your cauldron, throw an old boot in and boil up some soup, isn’t it? Some of these recipes can be a meal in itself while others accompany one swimmingly, literally! Give these recipes a try while taking one shot in your pot!

Nan’s Acini Di Peppe Soup – I do my “cauldron kick-off” with my Mom’s recipe that makes a perfect meal I can barely get enough of it!

Mother Dearest’s Pea Soup – Gotta love a delectable thick pea soup with a crusty bun for fun! It’ll be a crown pleaser that satisfies.

Leek & Potato Soup – Wanna go meatless my Mona? Take a pot shot at this simple recipe and enjoy!

Lou’s Roasted Tomato Soup – Serve up this tasty soup with grilled cheese, so sure to please!

Mother Dearest’s Beef Barley Soup - Try this “stick to the ribs” hearty soup for lunch or dinner. Make ahead and serve up during a busy week.

I love hauling out my biggest pot to make soup on a frigid day. A jumbo batch is perfect with a one mess wonder that you can freeze in smaller portions for the weeks ahead. Your family will beg you for “More Soup” when you spoil them with these recipes, enjoy!
Bookmark and Share

Posted in Food Revolution Recipes, Foodie Fundamentals | No Comments »

Tips for Holiday Noshing

December 11th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Whether you’re attending a family dinner, celebrating a holiday meal, going to a restaurant or invited to a party, there are some habits you can program into your robotic repertoire to get you through. Review these pointers ahead of time, reflect on how you did afterwards and reframe for the next time. Most of all, enjoy!

• Scale back your daytime meals a smidgen to allow a bit extra for the special meal. Don’t cut back too much or you’ll end up feeling so ravenous that you’re hungry like a bull when you arrive. Being too hungry will propel you to eat like a buzz saw.

• Have a snack before you go to take the edge off your appetite. It’s easier to make wiser choices when you’re feeling in control.

• Plan ahead, find out what’s being served and decide what tickles your fancy.

• Dress for eating success by wearing an outfit that is cinched around your waist and makes you feel divine. You are more likely to eat like a moo moo when you wear a mu- mu! Elastic waistbands are out. Sport a belt or something that fits like a glove.

• Offer to be the designated driver and save a load of calories on bevvies. Otherwise, decide on your upper alcohol limit. You don’t want to be the talk of the party afterwards now, do you?

• Make the first few drinks something bubbly… mineral water that is. Enjoy your wine when you begin eating.

• Forgo wasting calories on everyday fare like bread and butter, olive oil or regular side dishes. Try trading off.

• Think about how full you’re starting to feel during your meal and slow down if you’re shovelling the food down your gullet. If that zipper on your dress had a voice, what would it be saying right now? “Let me out!” Join in the conversation and put your fork down now and then.

• If your hostess is Foodzilla, a food-pushing saboteur, move the food around your plate. When she tries to dish you more, blurt out “Yes I took seconds and they’re divine, mmm…”

• Focus on connecting with others, how great you feel, the enjoyment and laughter. Food ought not be your only focus. Branch out a little. There’s more to life than stuffing your face.

• Up the ante on your exercise routine the following day to work off any excess and cut back a bit in the coming days if you overdid it. No big deal, you’ll nip that nosh-fest in the bud yet will savour the fond memories for a lifetime.

A little planning and juggling make a world of difference. You can still party hearty and keep your weight in check – double the fun. For more tips to handle life’s multitude of eating temptations check out Chapter 9 of my e-book Skinny on Slim, the Little Black Dress of Diet Books and enjoy!

Bookmark and Share

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

Follow The Loser with Holiday Eating Strategies

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

I divulged in my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books details to help you “follow the loser”, successful weight losers, that is. Some years back my good friend and colleague Cara and I conducted a study to delve into juicy details from successful weight losers.

If you find this time of year particularly difficult to stay on track give these a read. You might hit on something new and meaningful for you. Here are some highlights on what our study participants the Slimtownites told us about how they keep on track over the holidays:

  • I’ll exercise more or try to make the healthiest choice available while still allowing myself to enjoy foods I enjoy.
  • Behave as you do on regular days. Plan ahead and have some of the things you love but don’t overindulge.
  • Lose the all or nothing mentality that comes with holiday “amnesia”.
  • I try to make up for my extra food consumption with increased activity, and try to stick to good food choices.
  • Exercise first thing in the morning every day. Maintain food limits 80% of the time and enjoy drinks or desserts 20% of the time.
  • More likely to exercise daily during holidays with some days off smattered around.
  • It works out better when I have time to plan; excess work demands lead to problems!
  • Balance what you eat. My tip… before you go to those meals…your appetite is less so you have less tendancy to over eat.
  • Track drinking a minimum of six glasses of water/day helps.
  • Stop calling it a diet.
  • Make sure your outfit is fitted and avoid elasticized waist bands…

Well, you’ve officially been told! Find out more details throughout my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »

First Snow

December 6th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Snow fall
I stall
Feel forlorn
Wanna stay warm

Cold wind
I cringe
Think about
How I may wimp out

Long johns
Move along
A shorter route?
Warm boots

An icy breeze
Start to wheeze!
Faster pace
Heart race

A robin song
Helps me be strong
White blanket gleams
A beauty scene

Build up heat
Decide to stay on the street
Do the whole route
I knew I could!

Home again
Around the bend
So glad I went!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Miss Behavin', Rhyme Time! | No Comments »