Saturday, October 31, 2015

Eat Real Food, Most of the Time

This is the 7th post of a 13 part series on my Healthy Life Habits. In case you've missed the previous posts we've already covered:

What “should" you eat to be healthy? Ah. What a can of worms I just opened.
Ew.  Worms. *gags*
I don’t eat worms, just for the record. Not even gummy worms. I’ve heard the real ones are high in protein. Maybe in an apocalyptic or lost-in-the-woods situation where the alternative is to starve…but I digress.
Where was I? Eating healthy. Eat Real Food.
When asked what rules I follow for healthy eating, I always think about the movie Robocop. Remember the original? Robocop was given four Prime Directives:
1.  Serve the public trust. 

2.  Protect the innocent. 

3.  Uphold the law. 

4.  Classified. 

Ah, the Classified Prime Directive. Remember what it was? He was programmed to be unaware of it unless it became relevant. If you remember, post it in the comments.
Like Robocop, I have four very simple Prime Directives for eating:
1.  Eat real food. 

2.  Mostly vegetables. 

3.  In appropriate amounts. 

4.  Classified. 

But unlike Robocop my Classified Prime Directive is always relevant and must be remembered at all times. What is it? Keep reading…
What is “real” food, you ask? I’m going to keep this as simple as I can. Real food is as close to the original food as you can get. Fresh or frozen meat, vegetables, herbs, dairy, non-hydrogenated natural fats, whole grains, and fruit. If it has an ingredient list, it’s probably not “real” food.

What do I mean by “mostly vegetables”? If you need a concise answer, my rule of thumb is veggies should cover half your plate, which means you can double or even triple the veggies at any meal. I serve a fresh salad, along with the main vegetable dish.

Appropriate amounts? That depends on what you’re eating, but here are some generally accepted portion sizes for different types of food, but keep in mind you wouldn’t eat all of this at one meal. Maybe at Thanksgiving, but you’d be hurting. Strive for a balanced combination on your plate:

4-6 oz. of lean protein
1/2 cup cooked veggies
1 cup raw vegies
1/2 cup fresh fruit
1/2 cup cooked rice/potatoes
1 cup whole wheat pasta
1 tsp. olive/coconut/canola oil/butter
Notice I haven’t said thing one about what NOT to eat. There’s more to the story.
Even the simple question about what constitutes real food has become this complicated and confusing argument that makes most red-blooded Americans want to throw up our hands and say “screw it!”
Do a Google search on “healthy eating” and you’ll get a stew of mixed up directives that make you want to gouge out your eyes and go eat cheesecake.
Did you watch Robocop 2? If you did, then you know that his original Prime Directives were usurped by a committee-sanctioned litany of directives that made him practically incapable of action. Sound familiar?
Do you want to scream, “What the heck IS the right way to eat ??” as you scroll through every piece of contradicting advice and healthy eating platitudes ad naseaum on the Internet?
Whatever your current reason (to lose weight, to get off blood-pressure meds, to be able to play with your kids) the bottom line is:
You want to enjoy your life. You want to feel better.

Am I right?
Keeping this in mind, here again are my 4 Prime Directives, but I’ve de-classified the fourth:
1. Eat real food.
2. Mostly vegetables.
3. In appropriate amounts.
4. All eating rules can be broken in a mindful manner.
 While it’s very important to start incorporating real food, mostly vegetables, in appropriate amounts, it’s also very important to ease these healthy eating habits into your life one step at a time. 

NOWHERE in my heathy eating rules is there a no or a don’t. Why? Because, my dear friends, I know human nature. Tell me I can’t have or do something and, um, yeah. Especially when it comes to food, all I want is whatever you said I can’t have. Childish, I know, but heh heh. What can I say? That’s me. Human. 

And allowing for human nature, I strive to follow rules one through three 85% of the time. The other 15%? That’s why Prime Directive 4 was invented: All eating rules can be broken in a mindful manner.
For example, on my 18th wedding anniversary we had Bavarian food at my favorite restaurant. Sooooo, I was extra good about the first three Prime Directives all week, knowing full well that I would have a seriously delicious opportunity to mindfully break the rules at the Bavarian Chef.

I know this one is the toughest healthy life habit to get a handle on, but if you commit to taking one tiny step at a time you can master your food. And your life.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Does this Book Make Me Look Fat?

Because I'm always waxing editorial style, I'm excited to share my latest editorializing in Literary
Addicts Magazine this month: Does this Book Make Me Look Fat?

Check out this month's issue here: Literary Addicts Magazine October 2015

As an avid romance reader since the tender age of 13 and the mother of a thirteen-year-old, I'm curious about body image in romance and books in general. Does it have an impact on young women? Do we grow up thinking that in order to find the love of our lives, we have to be physically "perfect"? I explore this further in the article.

And don't forget to take part in the survey at the end of the article. We'll be publishing the results next month.

Thank you to the staff at Literary Addicts for including me in the October 2015 edition.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Euphoria Teaser: I Would Die For You

Want a little taste of Euphoria?

Excerpt from Euphoria, book #7 in the Little Flame Series:

The stage curtain undulated between us and the murmuring roar. Yet, I could still hear the damn crickets. What was up with that?
“What is this thing?” I ran a finger over the blue tarp covering the big secret Max, Dee, and Brandon had been working on for the show.
“Fia, quit trying to change the subject,” Max said, gripping my elbow. His breath was warm against my cheek, and I stared down at my brown rawhide boots.
“I’m not,” I mumbled, but hey, who did I think I was kidding?
“Fiamette,” Max whispered in my ear. “Answer my question.”
I shivered, turned on and pissed off at the same time.  I stubbed the toe of my boot against my hoop a few times, then looked up as Max stepped back. “Wouldn’t you? Do anything for someone you loved?”
Max ran his fingers through his long black hair, flipping it over his shoulder, revealing the shaved half of his head. “Yeah, I guess I would.”
The crowd’s noise level rose just before Warren’s voice buzzed in my ear. “Two minutes to show time, ladies.”
“So, that’s what I did.”
“You basically died.”
I nodded, slinging the hoops over my shoulder. “Yeah. Basically.”
“And you didn’t know Loti would bring you back, did you?”
I shook my head, watching him watching me. “No.” I pointed toward the metal hoop suspended two feet above the stage. Two stagehands waved frantically. “I have to get into position.”
Max grabbed my hand before I’d taken two steps, spun me around, and planted one of those toe-curling Max kisses on me I’d become addicted to. I gasped for breath when he suddenly jerked his lips from mine, holding my head firmly with both hands. His eyes glowed electric blue. “Don’t ever do that again.”
I stared for a second, then shook my head. “I can’t make that kind of promise.” People screamed as laser lights swung around the open festival grounds. A billion stars twinkled down on the excitement. “And don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same for Warren or Tati or—”
“Or you,” Max said.
Breaking free of Max’s grasp, I ran toward the impatient stagehands who boosted me up into the hoop swing. I settled my prop hoops around my waist, balancing them on my thighs as the swing rose steadily above the stage. My heart thudded against my ribs, Max’s whispered words drifting inside my head. Shouts and whistles echoed around me as I sat in the dark, waiting for the curtain to literally drop . . . and whatever was under the blue tarp to be revealed.
“Ten! Nine! Eight!” The throng chanted in unison. Max was already inside the secret stage prop, turning up the music slowly, gradually. By that time, I was thirty feet in the air, poised to swing out over the sea of humanity to a dance platform in the middle of the audience.
Enough people had made sacrifices for me over the long, long years. There was no way in hell I was going to let Max join their ill-fated club. The curtain billowed to the stage as pyrotechnics exploded behind the gigantic, hidden surprise. I reached into my leather bra top for the red lighter. I flicked it as Max took control of the music, bringing it up, up, up. I lit the detachable torch, then held it high in the air as I swung out over the crowd.
“I can’t hear you!” Max screamed, and the blue tarp slid off his DJ stand. Red and blue and white lights flashed in stripes, outlining a massive, space-age looking Roman chariot flanked by two horses made of what looked like flames. How the hell did they do that?

Euphoria, book #7 in the Little Flame Series is available for download at these ebook retailers:

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Euphoria is LIVE!

The latest Little Flame novella is live on all sites! Fia fans, this is the most intense rollercoaster ride so far so you better buckle up.

Download your copy NOW:


I’ve been granted a second chance at life, so what do I do? Screw it all to hell. I had a fresh start; the past was behind me and everything was possible.

Yeah, right. Should have known something bad, bad, bad was lurking in the shadows.

When bulletproof Dee comes down with an inexplicable illness—demons do NOT get sick—my past crashes the party. So do I make a deal with the devil himself, my soul in exchange for Dee’s life, or do I put everyone’s lives on the line by taking my chances with fate—because that always works out so well.

This is a no-brainer, right?

I guess I can kiss my ass—and Max—goodbye.