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Eat Simply. Live Healthy.

wholesome words for living well

For some strange and unknown reason, I haven’t been in a blogging mood. I’m actually not busy either so I have no excuse. I have the time to cook and take pictures of my food, but I have had zero desire or inspiration. I did though have a recent life changing experience: I had a pomegranate for the first time. Milestone, I know. So I snapped a few photos and documented Anderson’s First Pomegranate. 

My favorite part of going to Sam’s Club or Wegmans is the free samples. You have to plan it right in order to maximize optimum sampling– this is usually around lunch time. Well, the other week I was at Wegmans and really hungry (not a good combination for my wallet) and they were giving out free samples of pomegranate seeds with greek yogurt! As surprising as it might be, I’ve never had pomegranate seeds! I’ve had POM juice and pomegranate yogurt but never the straight seeds. So, after my first sample it was needless to say that I went up for seconds (Shhh!).

With free samples there is always accompanying food promotions to tantalize the taste buds of hungry customers; but I didn’t care at this point if I had to sell my pinky toe, I NEEDED MORE POMEGRANATE SEEDS so I bought two.

I really didn’t have a pomegranate party because it was only me, my kitty and my two pomegranates. My first thought, how do you open these things? I’ve only pried a few things open in my lifetime to get solely to the seeds, so I Googled it.

First, I cut off the top and bottom of the fruit.

I had to then cut it in half and push the seeds out into a bowl filled with water. There are hundreds and hundreds of seeds in one pomegranate. The “skeleton” of the fruit floats which leaves the seeds sunk at the bottom of the bowl. Don’t eat the “skeleton” of the fruit!

The seeds are little capsules of juice with a small crunch. They’re like small water balloons. I’m addicted and nerd for being this excited about a fruit.

Have you ever gotten this excited about a new food?


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With Thanksgiving creeping up, you’re probably worried about packing on extra pounds. Like most Americans, your mouth waters just thinking about that traditional Thanksgiving dinner. You can almost taste the juicy turkey, thick dressing and flavorful dressing. Well, don’t worry. There are things you can do to avoid Thanksgiving weight gain, and still be able to end your day with a nice slice of pumpkin pie.

Here are 5 tips to help:

1.     Meat – When you make your plate, pick the lightest, white meat. The leanest part of the turkey is the breast meat. A normal portion of turkey breast has only 1-gram of fat and only about 44 calories. And, if it’s skinless, there’s no saturated fat. Stay away from those deep-fried turkeys.

2.     Gravy – The purpose of gravy is to add flavor. So, eliminate as much of the fat as possible. Use low-sodium, low-fat broth to make your gravy. If you’re unable to deter from the family tradition of making gravy from drippings, put the drippings in the freezer before making the gravy. After about 15 minutes, the fat will separate itself, making it easier to remove it before you use the juices for preparing your gravy.

3.     Stuffing – If you prepare your stuffing separately instead of inside the turkey is much healthier. This methods means your stuffing doesn’t soak up all that extra grease your turkey makes on its own during cooking. Also, use whole-grains instead of plain white bread crumbs. Whole grains contain much more flavor, and are much healthier for you. They’re high in fiber and antioxidants.

4.      Greens – Everyone eats green vegetables on Thanksgiving. But, this year, why not prepare them in healthier ways than you’ve done in the past? Steam your vegetables or boil them until they’re tender, not mushy. Then, season them with a little black pepper, sea salt and olive oil instead of all that butter. The flavors are amazing, and will cut the calories by about half.

5.      Exercise – Start the day off with some heart pumping cardio. Ellipticals are great to keep your body moving; the gliding motion helps to increase your heart weight and metabolism while developing muscles. No elliptical? No problem! A run or walk is another great option. Make it a family event and squeeze in some extra bonding time before your mouths are stuffed with turkey. And, at the end of the day, workouts help you burn off all those extra Thanksgiving Day calories and fat, instead of having to sacrifice that greatest meal of the year.

You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving Day to eat healthy and be active, make it a lifestyle and you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays without counting calories!

Guest Blogger Bio

Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer.  She writes for various online establishments and currently partners with in raising awareness about the importance of health and fitness. Her works can also be seen in one of the most famous health communities online –  She is also blogging about health and fitness here.  You may follow her in twitter @empressofdrac.

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Happy Halloween! 😀

I almost forgot that today was Halloween; something about it falling on a Wednesday throws off my whole Halloween mindset. I *sigh* don’t even know if I’ll be celebrating. I’m too old to trick-or-treat without it being creepy, I’ve already carved a pumpkin and my Long Island Medium wig has met the trash can. Maybe a movie? God, I’m old. Hopefully Disney’s Halloweentown is on so I can savor my youth.

This past weekend I was Theresa Caputo from TLC’s Long Island Medium. My friends and I watch her religiously every Sunday so I was looking forward to hacking up a blond wig into the perfect Theresa mullet bob— I even used black Sharpie for the roots! Some people didn’t know who I was, I got a few “are you Posh Spice?” No. BUT, I did have tons of students ask me for a reading (“How do you connect with the number 3?”, “Is there a young male that has passed?”). By the end of the night I was looking forward to ditching the wig and crawling into bed. Connecting with spirit is exhausting.

On a different note, I haven’t filled you in on the final days of my GM Diet. Ahem.

Day 6

Day 6 was  glorious because it was another beef/chicken day. I bought grass-fed beef and made 6 burgers in which I stuffed with rice cheese. Rice cheeseburgers! YUM! I also have had an obsession with acorn squash and asparagus post diet and have been eating them almost daily.

Like my festive frames? This day was super easy, delicious and I ate a lot. I went slightly beef crazy since I haven’t had it since June. I’m not proud.

Day 7

Today was soup, brown rice, veggies and fruit juice. I always thought the fruit juice was rather random but I did drink apple juice at dinner. For breakfast, I got crafty and make cinnamon-sugar brown rice with a splash of almond milk. It fulfilled my breakfast cravings for hot carbs.

For dinner, I had left over stir-fry. I used a lot of NoOodles in my recipes because their calorie-free and gave my veggie meals more substance.

Now that week is over, there is things I have learned and would have done differently. I probably should have done more research prior but I was too antsy to get the ball rollin’. Let me share:

  1. I didn’t plan out the week of my diet/cleanse well. I, er, started it during my “time of the month” (not smart); so, my cravings were out of this world and I may have cheated 1, 2 or 13 times. AND-– sorry for the TMI– since I was super bloated so when I weighted myself it wasn’t a correct representation of my true weight. So my final weight was still affected by my “sensitive time”. I would say I had a 3 -4 lb short-term weight loss.
  2. I didn’t know that you could substitute fish for the chicken or meat. I’d do that in lieu of the beef next time.
  3. I didn’t know that it was up to TWO cups of brown rice on Day 7. I don’t think I exceeded by much but it would have been nice to know
  4. I didn’t know that you could eat the soup as much as you want after Day 3. That would have made my day of banana milkshakes more bearable. 
  5. The diet is the same (is) The Cabbage Soup Diet, so I would research some better recipes to make the week more exciting for my palate. 

My friend did the diet as well and lost around 8 lbs, so it all depends on your lifestyle, body style and how much weight your body is able to lose.  I think The GM Diet was no more effective than counting calories and portion control. Most of what made the diet successful is that foods are low in calories. This aspect also didn’t fulfill my fitness routine because after the gym I wanted something more sustainable than carrots (nothing personal, carrots). I didn’t really feel any different throughout the week but I was never tired.

Overall, I think it’s helpful for short-term weight loss but won’t help keep of the pounds off long-term— unless you drastically change your eating habits post Day 7.  I may try it again before the holidays start but I’m too much of a foodie to restrict myself if I don’t have to.


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* Disclaimer: Males be advised that the video is rated PG-13 for potentially gory content *

I’ve written several Public Relation posts for my graduate class, but this is by far my favorite. I’m sure you’re familiar with female hygiene product commercials that describe that special time of the month. The commercials usually depict flower filled fields, galloping unicorns and television without children nicknamed Honey Boo Boo. If you’re a woman (or a man lucky enough to experience a female during her “sensitive time”),  you know that these commercials are meant to be overly sarcastic. There is no blue liquid, no smiles and no urge to dance around in tight dresses (maybe sweatpants). Any knowledgeable person would know not to take these commercials literally, or so you would think.

Meet Richard Neil. Richard didn’t get the disclaimer and took matters into his own hands. He wrote on the Bodyform, purveyors of feminine hygiene products, Facebook page regarding an issue with the company’s commercials. Here’s the entire comment:

“Hi , as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years . As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things ,I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding , rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn’t I get to enjoy this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings !! Dam my penis!! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn’t wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen … lied !! There was no joy , no extreme sports , no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady changed from the loving , gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform , you crafty bugger.”

I don’t know what kind of creature he’s dating but this comment didn’t take long to go viral. It got hundreds of thousands of “likes” and shares. Bodyform proved to be a “crafty bugger” and responded with a video featuring the Bodyform’s “CEO”. This video is absolutely brilliant and, though he was trying to be funny, I’m sure made Richard feel like a real dick.


I was not familiar with Bodyform (I’m more of a Tampax kind of girl) until this event but it may have become my favorite brand of all time. From a PR perspective, this was an effective tongue-and-cheek response to this kind of comment. I think Social Media relations was the most effective tool to address this type of situation. I think anything related to the media would have made the situation more involved than it needed to be. The video’s popularity was ideal for Bodyform because the Word-of-Mouth helped the company increase its reach and influence.

Companies receive iffy comments from consumers all the time but do not always respond. I don’t think Bodyform would have hurt if they ignored this post because it was not defined as a crisis or close to it; however, I think Richard set himself up too perfectly for Bodyform not to run with it.

A sincere apology would not have been fitting for this situation and may have even made the brand look fragile. Though a formal press conference would have been hilarious if it was called to solely address Richard’s post, I think the video helped increase company moral and created some fun in the work place (feminine products can get dull). I love everything about this PR tactic and it ultimately gave the company the last laugh. It was a PR success. Good luck with Emily Rose, Richard.

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Throughout the week, my mom kept telling me how this cleanse was very similar to The Cabbage Soup Diet. As a child, I always knew when my parents were on this diet because the refrigerator smelled awful. There would be a cauldron sized bowl filled with a stinky concoction for a week. I remember telling people at church that my mom was on “carbon dioxide” diet instead of a “carbohydrate” one. Either way, she wasn’t thrilled that I was broadcasting her diet. Anyways, yesterday I looked up The Cabbage Soup Diet and it’s exactly the same as The GM Diet! Word for word, the two diets are identical. I don’t know if The Cabbage Soup Diet is trademarked or not but I think GM is trying to take some credit—But the worst part of all is that I’m becoming my mother— kidding mom 😉

Day 4

Today was bananas, milk and soup. I was excited to make banana milkshakes and inhaled 2 bananas for  breakfast. I combined coffee, 3 bananas and Almond Milk in my shake blend. I forgot that bananas in general upset my stomach, so forgetting this minor detail I got an awful stomach ache for most of the day. So throughout the day I didn’t eat too much which I guess helped subside my cravings but sucked because my milkshake was really good.

Day 5

I’ve been looking forward to this day since Day 1. I can have meat. I have been a pescatarian since June but for the sake of this cleanse I indulged and bought organic chicken. I was also encouraged to eat 6 tomatoes which was a lot.

Breakfast was tough today because it called for braised beef soup. Eh, not ideal.  I didn’t plan for this ahead of time and, not having braised beef soup in my pantry, I had oatmeal instead. I’ve made this cleanse a tad flexible due to what I’ve had on hand.

For lunch and dinner, I marinated the chicken in Dijon mustard the night before. Great decision because it was delicious. To make the tomatoes more exciting, I sautéed  them with onions.

There are 2 days to go. I weighed myself yesterday and, though I’ve made tweaks in the plan, my weight is going down.

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Day 2

The first couple days were the toughest. Day 2 was all veggies with a baked potato for breakfast. You’d think a potato for breakfast doesn’t sound at all appetizing but surprisingly it wasn’t bad, I may have even liked it. Since it was basically hot carbs, it wasn’t completely weird and out of place to eat at 8:30 am. I miss my oatmeal but I’m not, by any means, starving. AND I have to admit that, over the past 4 days, I’ve cheated a little. I’ve had cream in my coffee, a few ounces of dark chocolate, some rice and popcorn. Those are pretty healthy cheats, too, but I figured that I’m not trying to lose 10-17 lbs so I’m allowed a few extra happy calories. So if this whole cleanse doesn’t prove true, I’ll blame it on the coffee creamer.

I had a salad for lunch and I made this awesome stir-fry for dinner. I have to say that this program is forcing me to change the way I prepare my food. I forgot how yummy and easy an Asian stir-fry is.

I was even able to salvage some for lunch the next day which worked out really well because it was Fruit & Veggie Day. The only thing I found tough on Day 2 was finding things to snack on at work. I brought a bag of carrots and that satisfied me for maybe 5 bites so I caved and had a few pretzels. Hey, I’m human and not going to starve myself.

Also during the past couple day, I’ve been drinking water like a camel. I have a big Nalgene bottle that I’ve filled at least 5 times, so I wasn’t shocked when my weight went up due to the 3 lb water child I was carrying. It went down but holy Michelin Man! 

As for my night snacking, I polished off a whole bag of kale. This cleanse is making me a veggie terminator. 

Day 3

Day 3 was veggies and fruit with no potatoes or bananas. This was by far the easiest day. I’ve been planning ahead so my breakfast was more welcomed than the baked potato.

I love melon. Love, love, love! For lunch I had left over stir-fry and could finally have apples for my mid morning and afternoon snacks (I had 4). That night I made another broccoli and onion stir-fry while snacking on red grapes— surprisingly delicious combo.

After dinner I made GM’s Wonder Soup for Day 4. I used kale and spinach instead of cabbage and zucchini over celery. I’ve never seen a greener soup. By the way, my crock pot and I have gotten countless amounts of quality time together during this. I hope I’ve not leading it on.

I weighed myself again and my weight was down. I’m not going to post the number until the last day because there’s too much fluctuation with all the fluids I’m consuming.

Tomorrow is Bananas, Milk & GM’s Wonder soup! I wonder how it will go.

Keep you posted!

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I am constantly hearing about the GM diet— and the “GM” actually does stand for General Motors. My first thought, what does a diet and car company have in common? Well, General Motors Corporation designed this particular diet to keep its employees healthy and in tip-top shape. The weight loss plan instructs participants to consume specific foods on each day of the 7 day period. The main goal is a weight loss of 10-17 lbs. Personally, this doesn’t sound completely healthy  or even possible but I’m curious. I don’t have 17 lbs to lose, maybe 5 but I’m overall happy with my weight. I like a challenge so why not give this a try. 

The foods in the plan are ones I usually eat but I’m interested to see if the strategic planning of certain foods on certain days makes a difference. I also hate the “d” word so I’m referring to this as a cleanse, which really isn’t far off because it’s designed to flush toxins out and increase energy. Here’s the 7 day plan:

Day 1: All fruits except bananas. You are able to eat all the fruits you want. It is strongly suggested to eat lots of melon this day especially watermelon and cantaloupe.  If you limit your fruit consumption to melons then your chances of losing 3 lbs the first day are very good. Personally, eating melon all day would be difficult for me but if you’re able to then more power to you. On Day 1, you are preparing your body for the upcoming week. All fruits should either be raw or canned, no fruit juice and drink lots of water!

Day 2: All vegetables! Eat as much cooked or raw veggies of your choosing. For breakfast, you will start the day with a large baked potato which can be topped off with one pat of butter. This provides a complex carbohydrate  and an oil dose to sustain your body through the morning. You will be getting a lot of fiber this day so stay hydrated! Additional Comments: You can have your veggies as a salad but no dressings except malt, white or red wine, lemon juice, garlic/herbs or more than one teaspoon of oil.

Day 3: A mixture of fruits and veggies but no bananas or potatoes. Today your system is preparing to burn off extra pounds and cravings will start to diminish by tomorrow.

Day 4: Bananas and milk. You may have up to 8 bananas and 3 glasses of milk. Also today you will be able to feast on GM’s Wonder Soup (recipe posted below). You probably won’t eat all of the allowed bananas but be surprised how easy this day will be. Think banana milkshakes!

Day 5: You will feast on beef and tomatoes! Eat two 10 oz. portions of lean beef or chicken (you don’t have to eat a total of 20 oz. but that is the allowed amount) and combined this with 6 tomatoes. Increase your water intake by 1 quart to flush out all the uric acid from the tomatoes.

Day 6:  Eat all the lean beef/chicken and veggies to your heart’s content. Today you should start looking different from Day 1.

Day 7: Brown rice, fruit juices and all the veggies you want.

GM’s Wonder Soup Recipe: 28 oz. water, 6 large onions, 2 green peppers, whole tomatoes, 1 head of cabbage  1 bunch of celery, 4 envelopes of Lipton Onion Soup Mix, and herbs and flavoring to taste. This can be eaten in unlimited quantities. You can substitute veggies and choose ones you’d rather eat. I bought spinach instead of cabbage but stay away from beans of any type.

Beverages you’re allowed to consume during the plan:

  • Water (can be flavored with lime or lemon)
  • Club soda
  • Black coffee
  • Black tea
  • No fruit juices before Day 7
  • 2 glasses of white wine throughout the week
  • Beer is allowed but only in small quantities

My GM Cleanse: Day 1

Weigh-in: 145 lbs

Height: 5’5 and 3/4 (I don’t expect to grow during this week but 5’6 would be fabulous)

I quickly realized that this program takes a lot of planning or I’d get bored and go hungry quick. I had an abundance of apples from apple picking with my boyfriend so I made homemade applesauce the night before in my crock pot. That served as my breakfast for Day 1. With the apples in the sauce and how many I ate throughout the day, I might have eaten a whole apple tree.

I wasn’t terribly hungry throughout the day and skipped the gym to take rest up for the week. For lunch I made a fruit smoothie which made me think why I didn’t do it all the time. It tasted like summer though it was clearly fall because I wrapped myself in a blanket burrito as I did homework on the couch.

However, by dinner time I was getting sick of apples. I didn’t prepare the greatest for my fruit selection and probably would not of felt so deprived if I had more fruit on hand. So I cheated. BUT, it was a reasonable cheat. I made a batch of Pasta-Zero, so really it was comparable to an apple in the calorie aspect. Shhh, don’t tell GM.

I survived Day 1! Tomorrow is veggies and I’ll lettuce know about it. 

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