A Healthy Lifestyle Shouldn’t be a Living Hell.

Luxuriate in wellness!  Live every day like a Goddess of health, beauty, confidence, and abundance.  End the cycle of corny affirmations, jank fitness plans, unrealistic goals, unsustainable results, guilt, frustration and feeling like a hot mess.  Instead, incorporate fun movement, sensuous nutrition, joy and simplicity into your own juicy wellness plan. Here you’ll discover new ways to manage stress, be gorgeous, boost your body image, get fit on your own terms, and most importantly, savor the good life.  I’m LifeBliss Lisa, and this lifestyle blog is about my favorite things:

Bellydance • Tantra/Sensual Spirituality • Food • Beauty • Fun

8 Colossal Mistakes that Sabotage Healthy Eating Efforts

Even for the savvy, it’s a jungle out there when it comes to eating for health. Most of the confusion is because of the foodlabelsmultimillion dollar health and weight loss product industries like it that way, so that they can continue to successfully peddle their wares. But knowing a few key tips will help with the journey.

1. Not having any goal

So you’re gonna “eat healthy”. That’s fantastic! What are you trying to accomplish? *crickets* There are so many vastly different ways of healthy eating. And the definition of healthy, based on the individual, varies just as much.

I see this sometimes in my office kitchen when I’m heating up my lunch. Sometimes a coworker comes in and sees what I’m eating (btw, I’m not a nutriligious attention whore, seeking comments and questions about the food I’m eating) and immediately launches into some unprovoked apologetic soliloquy about how they’re trying to “eat better”, while I stand there with a blank stare on my face. Then I say something mildly supportive as I walk away wondering what the hell that was about.

I never say it but I walk away wondering what exactly they meant by “eating better”?

Do you want to eat more nutritious food? Less salty? Less sugary? More plant based? Less processed? All of the above? For weight loss? Reversing diabetes? Lowering high blood pressure? Reducing heart disease danger? Eliminating inflammation? What? If you know what you’re trying to do, it would be much, much easier.

2. Taking seriously what “they” say (not knowing who the source is)

The other day I was talking to a relative who doesn’t keep up with food and health issues as intensely as I do. He kept starting his sentences with “They say,…” When I couldn’t take it any more I broke down and questioned about who “they”is (not they are, “they is considered a single entity here). He could never tell me who the “they” was who said that (across the board, even my homemade whole grain vegetable loaded) pizza is bad for you (everybody in the whole world).

Now I was playing around but I really know vaguely who “they” is. It’s some half-baked, out of context study conducted by some alarmist quack or a corporation with economic interests and presented on a dumbed-down news program. Not only are the studies often too limited or flawed, (yes I am such a geek, I actually dig them up and read them myself) but the reporters delivering the information don’t understand it themselves, or else they’d never let that nonsense come out of their mouths.

“They” is not a reliable authority. Seriously, any old body can do a “scientific” experiment and then have it published for you to read on the innanets or for the Morning News for Dummies to fixate on. [Read more...]

Vegan, Vegetarian, or Flextarian: Choosing an Eating Style

What you should knowbalancedomni

I am going to break it on down for you and dispel some crazy myths.

These days there are all kinds of ways to eat for all kinds of reasons:

  • vegan

  • vegetarian

  • flexitarian (omnivore, I only call it that for grammatical reasons)

There are myriad more ways of eating such as fruititarian, pescatarian, raw vegan, paleo, gluten free but I’m not covering them here.

Get Ready!

  • The first thing to do is to get out of your feelings. That means don’t judge (people), just stick with the facts because there are healthy, unhealthy and in-between ways of eating no matter whether you choose to go vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian.

  • Forget about who else doing what because this is a highly personal decision. Most importantly, reject blanket statements and approach with an open mind and light heart.

  • Don’t go around prothelesizing your chosen nutriligion because what’s good for you may not be good to someone else, and vice versa.

  • Don’t assume that all vegans are always scrawny and have perfectly smooth skin or that all omnivores are unhealthy and obese because neither is true.

  • Consider other aspects of your lifestyle. Are you on the go, will food restriction be too challenging for you? Will restrictive eating disrupt your social life?

  • Don’t self identify with your eating style, you are much more than your -ism. [Read more...]

Summer Solstice Homemade Barbecue Sauce UPDATE

bbq skewerHappy Summer Solstice! Do you know what that means? Yeah, yeah the earth tilts the Northern Hemisphere towards the sun and it’s the longest day of the year and all that, but also, cookout time is in full swing! And with that I’m bringing you an update to my homemade barbecue sauce post. I got lots of requests for a real recipe that non-foodies can more easily follow. So you got it!

I made another batch today and carefully noted the amounts of ingredients that I used, however, this is just the base, once you get this you can tweak the spices or add your fruit or alcohol specialty. This is for a big batch but this recipe is easy to cut in half. Once you try this I guarantee you’ll leave that jankified high fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring laden store bought sauce behind forever! [Read more...]

My Foodie Story

The Beginning

I was born a foodie. I have memories as a toddler making my grandmother draw pictures of birthday cakes. In elementary school I always had notebooks with photos of things like red juicy strawberries or cupcakes with cherries on top. I wanted to be a cook at the Rainbow Diner, not because I liked or had ever even been in the raggedy place, I just liked the name. My featured dish would be “goodie stew”, a horrifying conglomeration of all things that taste good, to include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, french fries…you get the picture.

prom dressBack in those days I was a skinny child, all the way through high school I was size zero or 2. I ate whatever, whenever, and even had a period of time that I was addicted to corner store candy. I didn’t grow up around insecure women on a diet and worried about being fat. The women I knew were comfortable with their bodies and had other things to think about.

So, all this to say I was all about some food! food! food! (which is what I exclaimed whenever I found out about some food in the office we worked in) and that I wasn’t obsessed with body image. Despite being a descendant of two generations of non-cooking women, I was inspired to teach myself to cook from scratch.

Fast forward several years. I’m about halfway through law school and have a 2 year old baby. It was my birthday. Somebody took pictures and when I saw them I thought whoa! I’m a fatass! Now wait, before all the therapist-types swoop in to feed me some psychobabble about self esteem, fatass was merely a silly exaggeration of the fact that I was overweight, for the first time in my life.

Now although I hadn’t experienced “diet culture” I knew a lot about nutrition. I had read my mother’s orange nutrition college textbook over and over since I was around ten. So I ate right and went to this weight loss doctor who gave me weekly B12 shots and gave me an extremely strict diet. I lost the 30 extra pounds and kept it off for six years. Until it slowly crept back up. So I went back to the doc. But this time it didn’t work. [Read more...]

This is Why I Do What I Do:

 

bestbuttmag.jpg

Best Butt Ever!!?? This is just cray-cray.

Don’t get me wrong but I don’t want the poor chile to feel bad about her miniscule booty even though I certainly would (I’m sure it probably doesn’t look quite that shapeless in real life, it was seriously Photoshopped) but to praise these as the BEST BUTTOCKS…and THIS fitness nonsense is what somebody thinks we should aspire to? Just stop. This is not for Goddesses.

Wellness Coaching: A Foo-Foo She-She Luxe Service or Absolute Necessity?

healthylifeWellness coaches are professionals who work with individual clients or groups to help them to establish a healthy lifestyle that fits realistically into the client’s world while honoring all aspects of life including culture, fitness level, climate, career, family, budget, schedule, cooking skill level and tastes. Wellness coaches have a general knowledge of nutritional concepts in terms of health maintenance and disease prevention. They often work in concert with medical doctors or nutritionists, or clients who have received a particular diagnosis to work out the logistics of incorporating recommendations.

Take Suzi (fictional client) for example. Suzi went in for her annual physical, as she does every year. But this time, bloodwork results came back a little different. Her triglyceride and cholesterol levels were slightly elevated and while she does not have diabetes, she is pre-diabetic. She knows how to eat well but she finds it to be time-consuming and cumbersome. She can maintain for a few days at a time but then she always gets sidetracked back to convenience food. Suzi HATES exercise! She has joined gyms numerous times, only to let every single one of her memberships languish. Suzi grew up eating rich and hearty soul food and she still loves it. She has had enough of celebrity recipe conversions like Oprah’s jankified cornflake baked chicken instead of fried nonsense. She is willing to experiment with new soulful but healthy dishes instead of cockeyed patch-jobs to the typical fare.

Suzi is worried that if she doesn’t change course right away, she will regret it in a big way. Her doctor gave her some suggestions but she gets frustrated because her list of foods and how many minutes of daily exercise she should take is useless without some hands-on guidance.

For Suzi a wellness coach could:

  • Help her to follow her doctor’s orders to a T;
  • Make her comfortable asking questions she thought might be stupid without judgement;

  • Give her some basics so she can invent her own recipes based on her likes;

  • Help her figure out how she can incorporate movement into her daily life

  • Take away the stress of the whole situation

But wait, wellness coaches can also fill the role of helping clients to invent creative ways to expand their choices regarding what to do, eat, use to look and feel their best, even if they are not experiencing serious health challenges.

[Read more...]

Keep Calm and Move your Ass!

No need to do boot camp or marathons to get healthy.

I don’t talk a whole lot about exercise on here and generally it will stay that way. But right now let’s talk moveyourassabout this. We have to do it! There’s no way around it. We keep on forgetting that exercise isn’t for the sole purpose of losing and maintaining a healthy weight. We can read the medical journals all day long but most of us know of someone in real life who has taken control and reversed health problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even cancer. But just in case,

Currently, modern chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cancer, are the leading killers in Westernized society and are increasing rampantly in developing nations. In fact, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are now even commonplace in children. Clearly, however, there is a solution to this epidemic of metabolic disease that is inundating today’s societies worldwide: exercise and diet. ~Roberts CK, Barnard RJ.J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Jan;98(1):3-30

This is nothing new. But I still hear craziness like, “oh you’re not really fat, why are you so concerned about getting in your exercise?” I just sigh. [Read more...]

Eating Well is All about the Attitude!

vegpizzaI don’t why healthy eating has such a bad rap. Well, actually, yes I do. But it so doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, in my life it just doesn’t, and I’m not lying.

You see, it’s all about perception. If you treat something like it’s the worst thing in the world then it will become so. For me, healthy eating is decadent. How? Let me explain. I’m a Goddess and Goddesses don’t eat nasty ass crap that either looks dingy, doesn’t taste good, or will eventually wreak havoc on our bodies. Check out that link, I promise you won’t believe the horror!

I know that it is ideal to have non-grain plant based foods 60-70% of my diet. I’ll be honest, I don’t always get there but I try to get as close as I can to that goal without beating myself up when I don’t.  That said, if I have to eat all those vegetables, then they’d better be damn good. Remember, I don’t eat nasty ass crap. I just don’t. I made that decision years ago. So all that horrifically bland sticks and stones diet food? They don’t exist in my world.

My world and my kitchen is full of colorful, flavorful vegetables I can prepare all kinds of ways. Sometimes I feel like going old school, so I cook up some greens and blackeyed peas with some homemade whole grain corn bread. Other times (mostly) I like to make it international. Whether that means whipping up a totally random vegetable curry, gratin, pizza or stir fry, or adding vegetables to everyday dishes like chili and spaghetti, it’s all good. When my windows are open I know passersby can get a whiff of all that deliciousness because I hook it up just right. I wasn’t born knowing how to do this, it took years and years of trial and error, and experiments imposed on my poor family. But now I can share what I know. [Read more...]

Nutrilicious Smoothies with Lisa! VIDEO

I finally, finally FINALLY learned how to create my own videos. I had to learn how to use the camera, the tripod and the editor. So here we are with a video about smoothies. It’s a little rough, (my first run) but enjoy!

Stop Hating on Vegetables and Change your Life

vegetables grilledI hate vegetables! I hear this all the time, from people embarking on a nutrilicious lifestyle. Problem is, you can’t live a nutrilicious lifestyle without them. But there are ways to make it work.

You see, the cornerstone of excellent health and beauty is vegetable consumption, point blank. No matter what healthy eating plan you choose, or whatever expert you consult, it’s going to include large amounts of fresh, whole vegetables. There is just no way around it.

Generally, vegetables, especially dark green leafy kinds are some of the most nutrient dense foods we can eat. By nutrient dense I mean that these have the highest level of nutrients for the amount of calories they cost us. In other words, the foods you can get the most bang for your (calorie) buck! (Not that I count them, but good to know).

So you hate vegetables. ALL vegetables? What the…Well, right now it’s time to put on your big-girl (grown and sexy) panties because that’s just not going to work here in all this nutriliciousness, but don’t worry, I’m here to help. [Read more...]