Monthly Archives: July 2014

Making Life Good-staying fit on holiday

I am writing this from Tuscany, Italy where on my fourth day of enjoying the Italy countryside for the second time, I have discovered that it is completely possible to remain fit or improve your fitness while on holiday. This is a matter of mindset and the meaning we give to words we use to describe the way we use our time.

I remember visiting a cottage frequently 10-15 years ago and I could see and feel unbridled overeating happening as soon as I uttered the word cottage to myself. Somehow, the word cottage itself and getting there became a licence to indulge in food all day and all night.

Vacation and holiday often give people the mindset of indulgence, which is understandable. However, it is entirely possible to use your holiday time to take care of yourself and build on healthy habits that we frequently ‘do not have time for’ during our regular, everyday lives. Consider that while on holiday, we actually have all day to do whatever we wish to do…

Here are 3 things I would highly recommend to add onto your daily list of holiday activities:

Exercise-or just get outdoors, be it a walk, swim, bike ride, hike, run, climb, an exercise class, practicing yoga, dance, or anything related to movement that catches your interest.

Enjoy food, eat green vegetables, and expose yourself to new culinary experiences.

Be accountable to yourself for your intake of alcoholic beverages and sweets. By all means enjoy yourself, just know how much you are having.

And here I am living the Making Life Good holiday mindset with pool press ups and dips:


pressing yourself up onto the pool deck requires some upper body and core strength

pressing yourself up onto the pool deck requires some upper body and core strength


Dips in and out of the pool can be a serious upper body strength exercise

Dips in and out of the pool can be a serious upper body strength exercise



Silicon mini muffin mold for gluten free treats!

Gluten free is a food trend that seems to be staying with us. Avoiding ‘farinaceous’ foods for weight control has been suggested for many years, dating back to 1825 in the book, Physiology of Taste. I work with lots of people that choose to eat gluten free to improve health issues they experience. However, I love traditional baked goods and I can only consume gluten free foods I really enjoy, since I do not have celiac disease. This leaves me with the job of locating and creating gluten free foods that I can enjoy and share with you here.

I have been aggravated and disappointed on quite a few occasions while adapting a recipe with alternative flours. The biggest issue is a crumbly texture with a recent most frustrating incident of ricotta pancakes falling apart while I flipped them! I had already conveniently added too much sugar, so I pressed the remainder of the batter into my silicon mini muffin mold:


magic silicon mini muffin mold!

magic silicon mini muffin mold!

The ricotta and coconut flour batter for pancakes was baked into mini cheesecakes. They were tasty in a healthy sort of way and a lot more appealing than a crumbled pancake!

Coconut macaroons usually are a gluten free option. I tried a vegan version that was quite crumbly, barely held together and was very difficult to create any shape with. Again, the silicon muffin mold came to the rescue for a perfectly formed and browned coconut macaroon! The key is the mold is non stick and allows you to press an otherwise slightly crumbly mixture into a pleasing shape that holds together once baked. This tool may help enhance the success of a recipe you may want to adapt into a gluten free version. My recommendation is to try recipes that have less than one cup of flour to start.

Here is an easy recipe for coconut macaroons that are easy to put together and quite delicious:

2 1/2 cups of unsweetened, shredded coconut

1/2-2/3 cup of sugar

1-2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract or grated lemon zest

pinch of salt

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk egg, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Add shredded coconut and mix well with your hands. Spoon and press coconut mixture into the silicon mini muffin mold to the top of each cup. Bake for 10-12 minutes or desired brownness. Cool and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.