Archive for January, 2014

Superbowl? Go Bowling with Salad 4 Ways

January 31st, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Are you making plans for a Superbowl party? Gone are the days you drown your face in a bowl of nachos and dipsy do da day! Try a flash-in-the-pan fast veggie pizza pie. Then go super bowling with a salad bowl full of flavour, crunch and punch! Check out these ideas to make your party EXTRA super:

Root for Arugula – Do you love a win that’s bitter, sweet? Turn over a new leaf and sub in some arugula in your super bowl. Add fruit to cut the edge and nuts for that SNAP crunch.

Superbowl Escarole & Pepper - Add some cut up pepper to your escarole and eensy bits of spicy hot salami for an extra kick for that 3-point play.

Long Bomb Cucumber, Fennel - Try this switch up of your greens with delightful ricotta. It will surely please your palate.

Hail Mary Staple Salad – Don’t want to fuss too much about putting something super in your bowl? You’ll be thankful for this flex idea. Use whatever you have on hand like the Tazmanian Devil on Bugs Bunny and serve it up with your pizza pie for a touchdown!

Franny’s Flash in the Pan Pizza Pie - My oh my, gotta love a fast and delish dish of pizza pie! This recipe is a hit when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Give it a try.

Gotta love lounging and watching the Superbowl. Who wants to spend half the day in the kitchen? Not me! The best part of the game is turning up the volume to the half time show, that’s when the game really begins. Get up off the couch and work in your activity routine as you lead some cheers before the 3rd quarter!

Who’s going to clinch it? It the year of the horse, but maybe it’s the year of the Bronco or Seahawk!

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More Snow!

January 29th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

More snow
Wind blows
Do I wanna go?
Moving slow

Trudge through
Bad mood
Untrue!
Start to stew

Irate
Slippery state
Don’t know how to skate!
Give me a break

Nauseate
Winter fate
Cold state
Should I go back and wait?

White out
Let out a shout!
My meandering route
Round about

Along the bend
Can’t pretend
Am energetic and
Reach home again!

Consternation
Aggravation
Contemplation
Motivation… and when I’m done
Celebration!
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Posted in Francy Rants, Miss Behavin', Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Kvetching About the Cold? Warm Up to This….

January 27th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Kvetching (complaining) about the cold temperatures seems to be Canadians’ favourite pastime lately. What gives?! The weather station is loving creating drama about the wind chill these days, don’t you think? Polar vortex, shmoretex – phooey! I don’t know about you, but I have enough drama in my life and the weather isn’t one of them. We shall overcome!

‘Wearing enough layers’ is the age old secret to getting outside to play when the temperature dips. I find dawning a few layers under my buffy coat, an extra thick hat and mitts plus warm water resistant boots with treads tied up with a scarf serves me well when I take my activity outside. There are times I hear the weather before heading out and I wear too much because of all of the hype that I need to dial it down a bit so that my hot flash sequence doesn’t go off! But if you’re frigid to the idea of being out in the cold to say active, consider warming up to this:

Walk this way – These days malls are like mini ice-free communities with piped in music, tropical plants and sales galore. Strut your stuff inside one near you and your activity routine won’t even experience a blip from season to season.

Turn up the tunes & party like it’s 1999 – Download the phone app Sonza and find a dance beat that tickles your fancy, turn up the volume, put on your comfy shoes, but do draw the blinds then dance to the music! Keep those stilettos in the box and save your feet dancing to the beat when you really need them!

Roll out the welcome mat – A yoga mat that is! If you don’t already have a flexibility and strengthening routine, now’s a perfect time to start one. Bend and stretch people, and reach for the stars! Like my e-book Skinny on Slim suggests to invest 16 minutes every 2nd day into your hourglass to preserve precious metabolically active muscle tissue – try some arm weights, lunges, squats, push ups, ab crunches, stretches and more.

Find 6 fives – That’s six, five minute intervals, if you can’t fit a whole 30 minute stint of activity (or 2 fifteens). If you’re at a busy work place find a bunch of 5-minute intervals by parking further away or taking transit, take the stairs to deliver a message instead of e-mail, offer to go to mail room. At home try to do some jumping jacks while you’re boiling your potatoes tonight for dinner, start off your favourite show by lunging instead of lounging!

There you have it folks. If you loath the cold and find yourself kvetching about it, keep your routine cozy inside but keep moving!

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Posted in Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

Veggie Might? Why Not!

January 24th, 2014 No Comments

Is one of your New Year goals to get your 5 – 10 a day of veggies and fruits? If it is, that’s one noble healthy and stealthy goal you’re working on, nice going! It certainly helps to garner some ideas to try something new on your plate of late, don’t you think? Consider trying a new recipe each week and work these in to your mealtime repertoire as you add in all that veggie goodness whether you choose fresh or frozen.

Mushroom Madness – The mushrooms we’re looking mighty fine in my grocery store these days. Mush into the produce section and give this side dish a try to accompany most any meat, any season.

Say Ole to Lou’s Guacamole! Gotta love doing the samba to this Mexican happy appy. Say “ole” to guacamole as you make plans for your upcoming Superbowl party. Make it extra super with this dip and it won’t really matter who’s on the field! Go Denver :-)

Sunshine Spinach Salad – A salad like this can be a perfect fresh and crunchy side dish that tastes like summer or a main dish if you add some protein like cheese, cooked, diced chicken, tuna or salmon with nuts sprinkled on top.

Clare’s Ragin’ Rapini – Put a bunch of fresh rapini in your cart the next time you shop and branch out a little on the side veggie department. It’ll make for a nice change to broccoli.

Cara’s Fab Fennel Salad - My good friend made this with a lunch we shared and it was a delicious, crunchy and blogworthy treat that’s a perfect side salad out of the norm from the land of the lettuces.

Adding more veggies and fruits to your diet every day to get 5 – 10 a day is much easier to achieve when you widen your repertoire. As I wrote in my e-book Skinny on Slim The Little Black Dress of Diet Books meeting this noble goal will help your other goals fall in to place as you make positive changes to a better you. You are well on your way, my friend to a healthier New Year already as you count them up to 10 every day!

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

Motivation

January 22nd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

The polar vortex
Taken out of context
Can make you feel
Like your intentions are hexed

More snowflakes fall
The traffic slows to a crawls
Dark and dreary days
Achieving goals could stall

Light a fire within
Then you will begin
To tune out the noise
No matter what, you will win!

Create a winning attitude
This will surely shift your mood
See the bright side instead
Motivation so misunderstood

So cling to your goals
Dig deep, you’ll find more
Don’t throw in the towel
Keep at it and you’ll soar!

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Posted in Rhyme Time!, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Kvetching in the Kitchen? Go team!

January 20th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Do you feel like you’re in a pressure cooker when it comes time to cook a meal? Does planning meals make you all hot ‘n steamy then psyched out? Does that age old family question “grate” on your nerves, “what’s for dinner?”? All of this can get you kvetching (complaining) in the kitchen! We shall overcome!

Well people let’s quit the kvetching and break down this “meal making activity” into a few handy steps to get you on track for making healthy and stealthy meals this year! Cooking at home doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming. Take stock:

Make Plans – Get in the habit of connecting weekly with family members about what’s happening with everyone’s schedule around dinner. This dialogue will help you develop a meal plan from week to week which is easier to stick with once you decided who’ll be home. You can also enlist family members help to get dinner started depending who gets home first (if they’re old enough of course).

Do a Pantry Raid – If your pantry is chocked full of pillow sacks of salty emptiness arrange a pitching party and rid yourself of the junk food of old and replace it with a horn of plenty of new choices. You’ll eat healthier when you have nutrient rich choices galore at your finger tips. Bring in low fat yoghurt and milk, whole grain breads, bean, peas and lentils, fresh and frozen veggies and fruits, meat, fish and poultry, plus some nuts and seeds.

Make a List & Check it Twice – Create a running list that all family members contribute to that include your planned meals so you have everything you need to make a variety of meals each week.

Divide and Conquer – Enlist all family members’ support when possible whether it’s adding to the list, grocery shopping and unpacking groceries, chopping vegetables, setting the table to cleaning up. Everyone has a role to play, especially kids as food preparation is a life skill that will contribute to their health in the future.

So stop kvetching in the kitchen! Break down meal making and food hunter-gathering activities and work it out as you make meals a team sport!

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

Create an Urge!

January 17th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok so it’s dark outside, the temperatures took a nosedive with the polar vortex so it’s devilishly tempting to turn into a hibernating bear this time of year. Sure it’s easy to make excuses then cower inside, avoid exercise, wrap ourselves in thick wool sweaters and chow down pillow sacks of treats. By the time they disappear you will have dawned a double chin hidden in your cowl neck sweater, a spring roll on your mid drift while accumulating extra junk in your trunk. Don’t do it to yourself. Listen UP!

Urge to Purge - Do a pantry raid and rid yourself of junky treats that will no longer make you jolly. That ho ho ho will turn into oh! oh! oh! if you don’t act now. Have a pitching party and replace these high fat/sugar/salt feedbags with a wide array of naturally nutrient rich choices.

Urge to Splurge - I’m all for a retail pick-me-up sale that’ll lift spirits and keep you motivated. Who needs more tech toys when the skinny jeans are on sale? Lock and load yourself in a pair of these puppies. You’ll be back on the straight and narrow in no time. Don’t take them off ’til spring!

Urge to Surge – Add crunch to your abs and get moving more – park further away, walk a block or two extra on your break, add five minutes here and 10 minutes there of moving to 30 minutes a day. Aim for 60+ if you can. Your endorphins will help your mood rise up and you will tone up and feel great. Trust me!

Urge to Merge – Find a buddy who’s upbeat to share your goals with and work together to get healthier. When you’re dipping into a slump they’ll help you get through those barriers and get pumped!

Ok ladies turn those January Blah’s into January AHA’s, by creating urges to surge by turning your beat around. Tune your attitude in. You’ll be glad you did come spring!

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

Cleansing the Concept of Detox

January 15th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , , ,

As this New Year rolls in people are willing to try anything new to get the bad out. In the realm of people’s diets trying a cleanse to detoxify the body is near the top of some people’s lists.

Detox Paradox - It’s time to cleanse the concept on doing detox, don’t you think? Everybody knows someone who has tried it or is planning to go on a cleanse. I say, “stop the madness my Monas”! Our body’s digestive system function IS to cleanse you already. This intricate system with myriad of enzymes to break down what goes in, absorb the good and excrete the bad and the ugly is what our system was built for. Do you hear that gurgling sound? Yes, that’s you cleansing as we speak!

Myth – A detox diet is a good way to clean out the toxins in your body. NOT!!

Truth – There is no scientific evidence to support the need for detoxification diets. Detox diets claim to “cleanse” your system of toxins, but your liver, kidneys and intestine already do that for you. Detox diets typically involve fasting followed by a strict diet. Frequent fasting or fasting for more than a few days may cause unhealthy side effects such as headaches, dehydration, low blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Some detox diets include intestine-clearing supplements that might actually be harmful.

Your best bet to keep your body healthy is to eat a daily diet chocked full of all of the nutrients your body craves. Start by drinking more water each day. Get your 5-10 a day of fruits and veggies. Up your fiber intake by choosing whole grains, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds. Trying these suggestions will send you well on your way to a healthier you.

So, if you’re considering trying detox, cleanse your mind of this nasty notion, because your body is detoxing this very moment…..

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | 1 Comment »

Spare Some Change?

January 13th, 2014 2 Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I was meandering around California lately and spotted an interesting billboard “Summer Bodies are Built in Winter”, hmmmm. With the New Year resolution blitz behind us and the polar vortex on at home let’s take a new focus and approach, shall we? The first thing is widening our goal-making scope outside of merely aesthetic ones. Let’s include improving self esteem, confidence and general healthfulness which are truly immeasurable and help us be the best we can be on many levels.

As we look forward to 50-some weeks ahead of this gleaming new 2014 year why not take a healthy and stealthy approach to creating a better you, as I explain in my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books. What’s the rush? Take the pressure off as you ease into this year. You can follow my recommendations from SOS and take on 3 changes at a time over 3 weeks, and do that 3-By-3 or you can try one at a time when you’re ready. Here are some ideas:

Take 15 – Sneak in one or more 15-minute activity interval each day. You can take on the elements and head outside or cower in the warmth of your own home or workplace. Bend, stretch, walk, samba, mosey, climb, dance, shimmy, sweep, shovel, lift, jog, skate, jump – whatever tickles your fancy, just move it!

Get Fruity – Get in the habit of noshing on one additional fruit every day – grapes, apples, bananas, pears or hit the freezer section for frozen berry or peach fruit combos that taste swimmingly in yoghurt or in home made smoothies. Work toward getting your 5-10 fruits and veggies daily.

Down with Drawstrings – Have you been scampering around in your drawstring jams while hibernating indoors lately? Time to loose them in the day and dawn your favourite iron-sides jeans and don’t take them off until spring. You’ll think twice about noshing endlessly on a bowlful of nothingness in couch potato-dom.

Train Your Brain – Find at least 5 minutes every day to close your eyes and find your centre while pondering your personal goals. Work on visualizing achieving these to up your belief that you can truly do it. Remember, you can be it, when you can see it!

Mull these over my trusty T & T followers as you take this shiny New Year by the horns! Upward and onward together with more ideas to come!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 2 Comments »

Get Saucy in the Kitchen!

January 10th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , ,

Feeling saucy early in this 2014 year? Well take out your cauldron and whip up some bonanza batches of bella sauces that’ll help you sail through the polar vortex and beyond. If you go Meatless on Monday’s these will be a perfect way to start off the week too. Make a new batch each weekend and freeze in smaller portions to use when your schedule goes postal.

Clare’s Putanesca Sauce – Gotta love the bite in this batch perfected by my older sister. It’s fabulous over capellini noodles, topped with a sprinkle of zesty parmesan cheese.

Tantalizing Tomato Sauce – Try a mess of this meatless sauce my Mona? You can spice it up by adding a hot banana pepper to the mix. You can also add some goat’s cheese to cream this up for extra richness. You’ll be all steamy, spicy, creamy and saucy in the kitchen! Sounds naughty doesn’t it?!

Franny’s Fave Eggplant Sauce – This is my go to fave stick to the ribs, thick and rich sauce to savour! Serve up with a fresh, crunchy green salad with asiago cheese to add zing!

Besto Pesto – I love making a big batch of this besto pesto that I stir on pasta noodles or add to pizza dough with a variety of veggies topped with sprinkles of Romano cheese.

I’m feeling saucy this New Year and enjoy spreading the lovin’ in the kitchen. Get your cauldron bubbling and windows steamy as you stock your freezer up with a team of sauces to simplify your suppers. Join me, won’t you!

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes, Foodie Fundamentals | 1 Comment »