12 Holiday Party Hacks

The season is about fun and being with people.  Don’t sabotage your health and weight goals.  Pick 3-5 hacks that work for you.  Results are about taking action.iphone4s 1685

  1. Eat before you go. Don’t go hungry.
  2. Tell your party mate what your plan is for the night.
  3. Be well hydrated before going to the party and continue drinking water throughout the night.
  4. Decide how many drinks you’re going to have. Be honest with yourself.  If you’re going to have 3 say it.  It’s better to say the truth than to feel bad because you said 1 and had more.
  5. Plan your breakfast and lunch and your breakfast for the next day. Have a plan! Fail to plan, plan to fail.
  6. Exercise before you go. Endorphin’s do wonderful things for our choices in life.
  7. Survey the buffet before you put food on your plate.
  8. Use a small plate and break the buffet down into courses; salad, entrée & dessert.
  9. If it ain’t good don’t eat it.
  10. Eat off a plate as much as possible.
  11. If you have many parties these next 2 weeks. Pick and choose which ones you will eat and drink more at.  Not all parties or crowds are the same.
  12. Go late and or leave early

I’ve included a link to a Forbes article that supports my hacks and list some others. One great suggestion is staying away from the fried foods.  This is a tough season, so have an intention and be kind to yourself regardless of your choices.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2015/12/14/avoiding-and-preventing-winter-holiday-weight-gain/#4935165966ef


5 Tricks to a Happy Halloween

Think about it, Halloween kicks off 8 months of holidays that are celebrated by candy.  “The candy man makes everything he bakes satisfying and delicious,” brilliantly written by Anthony Newley & Leslie Briscusse. It is and sometimes to delicious.  If you’re anything like me, I can over indulge on the rich, dark, chocolate, either with or without a crunchy gooey filling.  Many Halloweens, I’ve bought candy in advance since the stores are well stocked, with the best of intentions of not opening up a bag of bite size scumptiousness.  I tell myself that I want to have the best treats for the trick or treaters.  You know what happens? I eat it! Every time!  I have to go out and purchase more.  It’s a bit humbling that I like candy that much that it sabotages my healthy life style choices.

These are my 5 tricks for being prepared to get through Halloween

  • Buy your candy on the last day or the night before.  The stores always have something left.  It avoids a binge.  And binges sometimes don’t end because the Halloween is over.  1 never knows when it will stop.
  • Don’t buy candy that you like. It’s not for you anyway.  It’s for the trick or treaters.
  • You can also give out coins, stickers, pens or crayons. The kids are going to have so much candy give them something that’s fun & different.
  • If you want to have some, plan on it and the amount. Remember on Seinfeld, when George ate his candy bar on a plate with a knife and fork.  Eating mindfully leads to being more satisfied.
  • Pass on the candy. Plan something else that you like to eat.  I slice up a banana and mix a 3 TBS., of cocoa powder with some milk and make a thin paste.  I dip the banana slices in and freeze them. Yum.

There are many ways to celebrate Halloween without it sabotaging your focus on living a healthy lifestyle. It’s a time to make my life sweet by being creative and of service to the trick or treaters.  It makes me feel satisfied and happy much longer than a candy bar ever did.  I decorate my apartment and my apartment door. This year I’m going for a Frankenstein look.


New Cookbook ~ Giada’s Feel Good Food

Giada smallAs I was doing my morning journaling yesterday, I realized that I’ve been stepping up to the plate with some big challenges and it was time to reward myself. Rewards used to be small things like manicures, but I’ve been enjoying giving myself manicures that include nail art. It has become a new hobby. And I’ve enjoyed the creativity that comes from doing it.

Barnes and Noble mailed me 20% discount cards, since I am a member. It’s great when they come in the mail. I love getting mail that isn’t a bill or a solicitation. There’s always a book on my wish list and who doesn’t like to save money. I’ve been looking at Giada’s Feel Good Food cookbook by Giada de Laurentiis, for some time and kept putting off purchasing it. Today is the day.

When I got home, I spent time with the cookbook. It lays out a month of recipes. Giada shares some tips and tricks that she does to keep herself looking and feeling great. One tip/trick is that she does during her morning routine is dip her face in ice water to help reduce swelling from sleeping at night. It supposed to help make your eyes bright and reduce the bags that formed during sleep.

There are some recipes that I was attracted to right away like Orange-Scented Almond and Olive Oil Muffins. I love muffins and always enjoy baking them and having different recipes to choose from keeps me from being bored. There are some dishes that are out of my comfort zone like Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant. Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, but I have never cooked it and have been leery of it. I remember my dad making eggplant parmesan and it was an ALL day process from slicing the eggplant, salting it and pressing it between 2 plates with the iron on it. This was supposed to draw out the bitterness. It’s crazy to be afraid to try something new in kitchen, right?! The worst thing that can happen is it comes out bad and I throw it away. But our fears are real. I do plan on making it and will blog about it. Plus I make quinoa all the time. Love it. It’s time to challenge myself more in the kitchen. The cookbook has a lot of gluten free recipes and some I will have to adapt since I’m gluten free. It won’t be a challenge to swap out one flour for another or gluten free pasta, grain, or bread. I’m grateful that my supermarkets carry a large selection of gluten free products.

When I bake, I often substitute sugar for other options that are on the low glycemic level like agave, honey and maple syrup. These golden liquid sweeteners don’t spike my blood sugar like refined sugars do. The more even one’s blood sugar is the less food cravings one has. The first receipe that I’m planning on baking the chocolate blueberry brownies. Yum!




Shape Diva Dash 2014

Diva Dash Girls
Diva Dash Girls

OMG, rain on the morning of the Diva Dash! For those that don’t know me my standard comment about rain and running is Not. Some people love running in the rain, I’d rather roll over and go back to sleep. I can always run later or at the gym. Do YOU want to get up and go out in the rain and cold and get soaked… Sure, in 90 degree weather it’s refreshing. On a chilly fall morning ~ not this Diva. Since I was part of a group, I had to show up. This is one of the times that having running buddies to race with motivated me to show up and keep my commitment. I wouldn’t disappointment them or myself.

Rainy Running Outfit: It’s important to remember that most runners body temperature goes up about 20 degrees, once the body has warmed up. There is an element of trial and error for one’s individual needs. I don’t like getting wet and sometimes I run with my glasses instead of contacts. On this morning I was wearing my glasses.

Special Clothes for this race:

Cap to protect my glasses from the rain drops and keep my head warm. Long sleeve wicking shirt under my T-shirt for warmth and a dry wicking layer against my body. Waterproof jacket to protect against wind and rain. I can always tie it around my waist when I get warm. Some folks don’t like things around their waist when they run. I don’t mind. It’s a personal choice.

By the time we got to Tuxedo Park, the rain was down to a mist. To say I was happy about this was an understatement. We never got soaking wet.

Tuxedo FoliageThis is the 2nd year that I am participating in the race. It’s so much fun. The course was a little harder, but remember we are strong divas. Each obstacle had 2 choices, advance and beginner level. One obstacle that I saw my balance and fear improve was walking over the seesaw. The athlete needs to walk over a plank like the seesaws we played on as a child. One side is up and the other is down. I have a fear of falling from being a teenage. Long story short, is that I slipped and fell doing a cartwheel and broke my front teeth. The fear show’s up every so often, but I push myself through it. This year on the seesaw, I didn’t use a spotter to help me on the decline. There were a few different kind of rope obstacle you have to climb over or across. One was an angled rope ladder up and a fire poll slide down. It was a challenge to be in the in-between-space of the rope and poll. I had to trust I wouldn’t fall.

The fall foliage was beautiful. The trees were almost peeking. The mist added a sense of softness to the colors. I’m so grateful that I didn’t roll over and go back to sleep. I would have missed all the fun, the feeling of accomplishment and physical strength.