Archive for December, 2014

Journaling Journey to Create a Love Affair with Food & Activity

December 26th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

How many times have seen the top lists of books to buy for the coming year? Here’s a fresh idea during this downtime between Christmas and New Year: buy yourself a book with empty pages and start your eating and activity journal today! Check out my ebook, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books that explains how to do this in detail. You cannot change what you do not realize. Awareness is bliss after all, right?!

Many studies have been done on the benefits of journaling your weight loss journey. Writing down everything that passes your lips, every crumb, sip and nibble makes you aware of what’s going down the hatch. One study followed 1,700 people on a weight loss program and found participants who journaled lost twice as much weight within 6 months as those who didn’t. Who needs to join a boot camp when you can be your own leader which could lead to a smaller booty?

These days eating happens in so many places: on the fly running to work, to working at the computer, to nibbling at your secretary’s desk, during food preparation, watching television and more. So much eating happens when people are concentrating on other things resulting in missing out on its ultimate enjoyment. Consider the following:

  • I Spy with My Little Eye – Train your eye and measure initially as you jot down the details, plus add your baseline activity each day
  • Let It All Hang Out - Jot everything down to get a clear picture, after all it’s for your eyes only
  • Daily Double – Do it daily either keeping your journal with you or by your bedside to complete before you turn your lights out before you lay your head down to sleep
  • Follow the 3 R’s: Review, Reflect and Reframe – This will heighten your awareness, get you thinking about what you truly need to adjust and get you on your way to making small goals each and every week as the days and weeks unfold in 2015

It’s helpful to take stock of what you eat and drink when you’re trying to lose weight. Once you get in the groove of journaling it’ll become second nature. These days you can track your intake electronically or the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Each page will hold the personal clues to what you need to change. Start now, why wait for the New Year….

Commit to creating a love affair with your eating and activity for the coming year… truly a noble goal that will enrich your life for years to come. Start today!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 1 Comment »

Your Night Before Christmas

December 22nd, 2014 No 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 solemn 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 ’round.

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 in my hood is going through chemo,
Could use a prayer, a kind word or allow her to give 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 say “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.

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Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Freeze Frame the Christmas Reframe

December 18th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Christmas reframe
Stop and freeze frame
Sparkle from within
Be genuine

Do things for the right reason
During this and every season
Be pure as snow
Bring joy – Ho! Ho! Ho!

Put a song in your heart
A gift of you, to impart
Listen more and talk less
Worth the effort, I confess

Give the benefit of the doubt
That’s what relationships are all about
Be a sweet elixir
A real strong bond fixer

Act the truth
That’s the proof
March to a new beat
Not always an easy feat

Help others and aim to feel
Peace and kindness, keep it real
Slow down and take the time
Make your inner light shine

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Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Portuguese Style Roast Chicken Piri Piri

December 15th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I found myself in the engaging country of Portugal last month. The countryside, the people and the food are all a delight to experience. On one fine day we were treated to a family style dinner that filled up our tummies and tantalized our tastebuds. Roast chicken is one food you can rarely make a mistake with and easy to perfect over time. Give this a try!

Ingredients
1 roast chicken or chicken pieces
3-5 peeled and crushed garlic cloves
dash of paprika
vinegar

Instructions
1. The day prior to serving, prepare the marinade of garlic, paprika and vinegar into a paste and baste the thawed chicken. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Roast or barbecue the chicken as per usual instructions.
3. Serve with super hot piri piri sauce to dip your chicken in if you like heat! Make a few veggie dishes to accompany your fab chicken. Enjoy!

Commentary
This chicken was delectable: a simple family meal made to the nines! I am now adopting a Portuguese cooking style when I make chicken and am recommending to everyone I know to do the same. Give it a try!

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes | No Comments »

Snowfall

December 12th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Snowfall
I stall
Not yet!
I fret

Sharp cold
Be bold
Scarf, hat
Make a pact

Head out
No pout
Fresh air
I dare

Walk fast
Time past
Around the bend
Home again

Not so bad
I’m glad
It’s only snow
Not Buffalo!

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

New word du jour “bleach-a-what”?

December 10th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , ,

I’m deep in the pluck dow of late. I feel more pensive this time of the year, as a New Year is rolling around. How about you? I find myself mulling over life and reflecting for more meaning. My navel gazing came to a screeching halt when I scanned a tweet about a new word of the day “bleachorexia”, hmmmmmm. My mind wandered.

What pratel would that be? Could this mean someone who wants to bleach their clothes too much demanding their whites be “whiter than white”? Nay nay, I say! How about bleach blonds and that whole phenomenon then? Nope! Ahhh then the meaning of this new age term “bleachorexia” as 2014 comes to a close (drumroll please) is: whitening your teeth too much…. sigh…. good grief …awe come on….say whaaaaat?

I’ve written before that it can be a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World in my ebook. Now I know it! Don’t get me wrong, I love a pearly white smile, but a fluorescent set, not so much. As I try to find more meaning in life, this is what the world is doing too much of: tooth whitening? I felt like rolling up in a ball and hibernating from everyone for a few days to divorce myself from the ridiculousness.

I pondered this some more and thought well next year’s new word will probably be “textorexia” maybe I missed it and it was last year’s. How about “sit-on-your-butt-orexia”? That would fit our current state of inertia. So would “screen-time-orexia” too…. We can certainly use some “fruit&veg-orexia”, don’t you think?

This time of year I’m searching for something meaningful. Let’s hope for more in our world like “peace-orexia” “hope-arexia” and “charity-orexia” with a splash of “love-orexia” on the side…. we can only hope…

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Posted in Francy Rants | No Comments »

Cindy-lou Hoo’s Christmas Do’s & Don’ts

December 8th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

So have you started into the pity pudding, the nuts, the cakes, the cookies, the martinis and more? Time to get your head on straight and do a “yoooo hoooo” so you don’t end up with a big “booooo hoo”. You know me, all foods can fit. Oh ye Christmas does only come around for thee, once a year. You; however,  wouldn’t want to ruin all of your stealth eating efforts by the time the clock strikes 12 come New Year’s. Don’t you think?

There simply are some foods this time of year I am truly going to enjoy. The notion of “all foods fit” doesn’t mean you have everything in sight for the duration though. Decide what’s part of your Christmas eating season and make plans to enjoy them in moderation. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider as you plan ahead:

  • DO plan to wear a smashing outfit to your parties, without an elasticized waistband to nudge you with a “whoa horsey” slow down mechanism.
  • DON’T tell yourself you can’t eat your favourite foods, cause you’re just gonna give in and binge so much more.
  • DO have a snack before you go to your parties, to help curb your appetite.
  • DON’T start drinking those bottomless glasses of wine, that seems like 1 that’s really 5 as your host tops them up.
  • DO keep track of your bevy’s and plan to enjoy a few then graduate to the bubbly stuff, mineral water with lime.
  • DON’T try to make your hostess overjoyed by overdoing it. You’ll be paying in spades if you do.
  • DO get a handle on the menu ahead of time so you can plan your indulgences according.
  • DON’T skip, skip, skip your exercise cause that gald dang energy equation will bite you in your butt if you do.
  • DO enjoy yourself and your family with the season turning your focus to them and away from food. Isn’t that what the holidays are really all about and not stuffing your face?

So before you get knee deep in the Christmas cookie clamour, give yourself a loud “yoooo hoooo” cause you’ll be happy once you doooooooo!!

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Fit Happens!

December 5th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , , , ,

Perhaps you’ve heard this saying used in a different way, hmmmmm. When it comes to your own wellness, it will certainly improve as you aim to get more fit. So yes, FIT can and does happen!

You don’t need any grandiose scheme to get there. Consider ways to get yourself to move more. I have written about “Finding 5′s“. I wrote about this in my ebook, Skinny on Slim, the Little Black Dress of Diet Books on starting a “movement movement” and “interval training” by doing a few 15 minute intervals of movement in your day.

Ever wonder why Goody-2-Shoes in your department has the highest sales record while Sammy-the-Shortcut has the lowest? It could be because Goody plans more face time with key people instead of messaging and e-mailing. She works in stealth moves that adds to her fitness scorecard.

I find moving from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ is a perfect way to mull over what’s going on in my life and it allows me time to search for ideas. Thinking might be an action word (verb) but for me thinking while walking not only gets me more fit but helps me find solutions! How great is that? VERY!

Consider starting your own movement movement by moving 15 minutes at a time a few times a day, everyday. In time you’ll get in better shape. Just getting some air while revving up your circulation after a prolonged time of sitting can contribute to you becoming more fit AND productive. Now that prolonged sitting is the new smoking, let’s make a pact to get and keep moving!

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Posted in Miss Behavin' | 1 Comment »

The Other 12 Days of Christmas

December 3rd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Ok my cherished T & T followers. Let’s all sing along together from the same proverbial song-sheet now that the Christmas season is in full swing, shall we? HmHmmHmm.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

1 Daily Breakfast – Successful losers say and research shows it’s the most important meal of the day. Don’t miss it!

2 Little Snacks – Keeping your hunger at bay will really help you from feeling ravenous and overeating.

3 Square Meals – Having a regular eating routine with balanced meals helps your metabolism fire on all cylinders. A true gift to yourself.

4 Small Plates – Keeping an eye on your serving size by using smaller plates is an easy way to help you portion out less food and eat less over the holidays and everyday.

5 No-cal Drinks – Having enough fluids and focusing on eating your calories rather than drinking them helps fill you up and keeps you hydrated.

6 Times a Movin’ – Keeping regularly active and even taking it up a notch this time of year to offset any extra nibbling will help you burn extra calories, keep on track, feel fit and even ease stress.

7 Beauty Sleeps - Getting enough zzzzz’s helps with appetite regulation and allows you to be more productive. Nite nite.

8 Maids a Milkin’ – Including this perfect food into your regimen as a snack and with meals will add taste, protein and help satiety, not to mention a whole lot of nutritional goodness.

9 Ladies Dancing – Doing the hokey pokey at the holiday party will help you burn 276 calories an hour, by rockin’ round the clock! Bye bye trifle calories…..

10 Fruit & Veg – Eating your quota of these everyday helps fill you up while easing those extras out because you’re simply feeling full. Like magic.

11 Wipers Wipin’ – Doing housework isn’t all bad, you’ll burn 216 calories an hour while making your nest pristine for when company pops in unexpectedly.

12 Drummers Drummin’ – March to the beat of your own drum and don’t let those saboteurs change your plans gets you in the dietary drivers seat. Stick with it, you’ll be glad you did!

Ok folks, if you follow this beat for the coming weeks you’ll be in good shape and feeling extra cheer by New Year, fa la la la la, la la la la!

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

Truffle Triumph!

December 1st, 2014 2 Comments Tags: , ,

I have been making these terrific truffles to give away at Christmas since I was in school in the 80′s. It was something I first did with my Mom aka Nan way back then. I have continued this tradition each year ever since. There have been a few requests for the recipe, so here’s a repost of it. This is something I get joy out of doing for many reasons while giving joy to others.

I don’t make a mantage of cookies and holiday treats. I make a mother load of these and give them away to family, friends, colleagues and confidants. My peeps look forward to these tasty morsels and I feel great spreadin’ the lovin’ around as part of the season!

Ingredients

600gm brown, dark or white chocolate wafers plus another pound to dip truffles into if you choose

1 can (300mL) sweetened condensed milk

2-3 tablespoons suitable liqueur (Baileys or Kalua for brown, Cointrou or Gran Marnier for white) and a little shot for you, ho ho ho!!

edible decorations (whole pecans/almonds/hazel nuts, sugar decorations, chocolate shavings, cocoa)

packaging material (cellophane bags, boxes, ribbons)

Instructions

Clean and dry all of your counter surfaces and tie back your hair (not in that order). Melt the chocolate wafers either using a double boiler OR at the extra low setting in the microwave. Avoid burning or getting moisture in the mix by mixing intermittently.

While melting the chocolate open the can of condensed milk and have the liqueur of your choice ready to pour. Stir the chocolate intermittently until smooth and fully melted. Once melted remove from heat and add the condensed milk using a spatula and the liqueur. Stir thoroughly until fully combined. Cover the bowl and allow to set for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. You can prep this the evening before.

Ready to Roll….Literally!

Take the mixture out of the fridge 1 hour before you plan to roll them. Ensure you have a clean, dry surface area and cover it with waxed paper and tie back your hair. Using a teaspoon and in a comfortable sitting position spoon out a teaspoon of mixture at a time and role with your clean hands and place on the waxed paper. Repeat until you rolled the entire mixture. This recipe yields ~100 truffles. If you roll them as big as meatballs you’ll get less, so size matters in this context! I make 4-5 times this recipe, shown in the photos. How crazy is that??!! Very….. Here’s my post on truffle trouble shooting for you serious bakers.

Dippity Due Da Day

Ok now you’re ready to dip these puppies. This step is optional. However if you do this, they keep well for weeks. I usually dip truffles in the same colour chocolate for sensory reasons. You don’t want to confuse the eater! Melt the chocolate on low and prepare the candy cups. Cover your clean counter with waxed paper. Dip each truffle and using a spoon put each truffle in a candy cup.

Decorate & Look Great…..Mate!!

Decorate the truffles as you dip them. You can decorate some with nuts and others with sugar decorations. I sometimes use white and dark chocolate shavings that look lovely and taste delectable….so I’ve heard. It all depends on your preference. Allow the decorated truffles to dry thoroughly for an hour or so before boxing them up. It’s a perfect time for a walk as your break from the kitchen.

Package ‘em Up Folks & They’re Ready to Give

Now you’re ready to package up your creations. Wash your hands well and dry thoroughly. This is an individual step to make these any way you wish. There’s really nothing like giving something you’ve made as a little part of you.

Commentary

Let me tell you, I only make these once a year because it takes me that long to forget how sore I felt the year before when I finished – ug. Note to self, avoid doing your weights and stretching exercise routine before making these, because all of these steps take longer to finish than doing the Iron Man. You may want to consider making a small batch or two the first time to get the hang of it. It doesn’t need to morph into the Truffle Triathlon, if you don’t want it to be.

I’ll level with you though. Any Betty Baker knows this recipe is really glorified fudge with a splash of booze. Ok I plead the 5th. You can do this easy and put ‘em in a pan and cut into squares – presto you’re done sans back ache in 10 minutes. But it’s Christmas time, so go “ALL-THE-WAY” like Chris Berman says when he broadcasts football.

I enjoy sharing these with my Mom and Mother Dearest to give away as well. I’m already in the good books with both of them and it’s only December 1st! Isn’t that what the Christmas season is all about anyway? Sharing. Ho ho ho.

There is no doubt you’ll be ready for a bubble bath or better yet a back massage when you’re done :-) It’s definitely worth the effort though even after 30-something years of making them. Spread the love and enjoy!
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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes | 2 Comments »