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Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss

Do you know of a new diet or fitness routine that you'd like us to review? Or perhaps you want to write a review yourself and see it in print! Got a great recipe you want to share? Let us know at

In this Section....

Third Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange

We hate to say it but Christmas is coming and one of the best parts, in our opinion, is the smell of cookies baking and digging in to the multitude of baked goods that seem to surround us each year. We are asking now for all of our reader's to send in their recipes for this years Christmas Cookie Exchange. So come on, send in a recipe or two and we will add them to our Christmas cookie issue!! Send recipes to A big thank you in advance, and we will remind you next month too!!!!

October Recipes - Click Here

October is here and with it comes all the ghosts and goblins of the Halloween season. This is the time of year when kids enjoy scary movies and spooky toys! This month we have a party menu that you can share with friends, neighbors, and your children. Invite everyone over and play spooky Scrabble, or scary charades, or just put on a creepy movie and munch on some good eats!! Beware of tricks, but keep the treats coming and you'll be okay!!! Happy Halloween!!

We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!

New Feature! Each month we will feature a simple exercise you can do at home and without buying fancy expensive equipment. Click here to view this month's exercise.

Healthy Halloween Treats

Halloween brings out the kid in all of us. It's fun to get dressed up in a costume and parade around the neighborhood or go to a party. Treats are a part of the fun. However, treats don't have to be sticky, gooey candy.

Treats to Give

When gathering the treats you will offer this year think about some possible low- calorie, low-fat options. Here are some ideas to get you started thinking:

You could also consider giving some non-food treats such as stickers, balloons, crayons, pencils, colored chalk, erasers, whistles, baseball cards, rubber spiders or worms. A friend of mine used to give nickels; in today's economy that may need to be dimes.

Trick or Treating

Make sure children eat a meal or snack before going trick-or-treating so they won't be tempted to dig into their bag of goodies before they get home. When children get home, check the treats and keep only treats which are unopened. Be sure to inspect fruits and homemade goods for anything suspicious.

It's better to eat trick-or-treat candy over several days as a substitute for dessert or a few pieces along with a healthy snack.

Halloween Party

Having a party for your children and a few friends can reduce safety concerns. Some nutritious treats for your party could include popcorn, apples, grapes, bananas, unshelled peanuts, and not-too-sweet cookies. Kids could help with making the treats like "Pizza Faces." Let kids arrange sliced olives, green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, and other things on English muffins brushed with tomato sauce. Top with grated cheese for "hair" and heat in the microwave or oven until the cheese melts.

Halloween Treats

Here are some fun treats for ghosts and goblins who come calling or to serve at a Halloween party at your home. Have the kids help you make these. They can help with measuring, pressing the mixture in the pans or shaping into balls.

Quick Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 box regular yellow or vanilla cake mix, 2-layer-size
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon oil
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup water or apple juice

Canned low-fat vanilla frosting
Candy corn
Black or orange jelly beans
Black licorice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray each muffin cup with nonstick cooking spray or use paper cupcake liners.
Blend the cake mix with the eggs, oil, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and the water or juice with mixer at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon into the prepared muffin pan. Bake 18 minutes or until done.
Cool in pan completely before frosting. Kids will love to decorate these cupcakes. Makes about 18 cupcakes.

Halloween Cereal Balls

1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows
2 Tablespoons orange-flavored gelatin
6 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup candy corn

Combine margarine and marshmallows in 2-quart glass bowl. Microwave (high), uncovered, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed. Add orange gelatin; mix until combined. Stir in cereal until well coated. Mix in candy corn.
Cool enough to handle.
With buttered hands, form mixture into 24 balls. Place on waxed paper until cool. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap for storage.
Tips: Pieces of cut black licorice can be substituted for candy corn.
Mixture can be pressed into greased 13x9-inch baking pan and cut into squares for serving.


Submitted by: Maria Albus

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

A lot of times I will have to catch myself using words such as “I’ll try” or “I think.” They tend to put off making a decision. Words such as: “I’ll try to go for a run tonight,” simply give me an excuse not to. Am I going to run or not? To ‘try’ is simply a hedge word, a convenient way to sit on the fence. I am more likely to get out for my run if I simply say, “I am going to run” tonight.

We tend to minimize ourselves in our own self talk. “I’m overwhelmed;” “I always procrastinate;” and, “diets never work for me.” Our inner critic determines the outcome before we even make an attempt at completion of a task.

A good way to stop this inner critic, and have a better look at yourself, is to do a mind check. Ask yourself: “does this way of talking serve me any benefit?” It certainly does not. Everyone I see has immense potential. Each and every person is capable of achieving any goal. There is nothing standing in their way except themselves.

Most of us start beating ourselves up mentally early in life. If we were directed, corrected, and criticized by our parents, teachers, schoolmates, friends, etc., we experience shame. If we internalize these critical messages we then start monitoring our thoughts and behaviours with a critical eye. (To this day, I will never forget a gym teacher in grade 6: when I told him I wanted to try out to do the high jump, he simply turned to me in front of the class and said “YOU???”- I always felt like the runt of the class, and this just convinced me it was so.)

These early experiences are influential in shaping our ability to express ourselves fully. Past events that made us feel humiliated or shamed rise up to interfere with our adult lives and our ability to use our talents and gifts confidently.

Remember that the ‘critical’ you, is simply memories you have created from the past yet continue to reinforce now and into the future. So, examine how you talk to yourself. Don’t accept those words! They simply are not who you really are. Focus on what you have accomplished (in spite of that inner critic). Focus on what you want to accomplish. Talk to yourself as if you WILL do it, no matter what.

Know who you are. Build such a strong relationship with yourself that you’ll stop taking things personally and start making choices based on what you want instead of what others want for you. Identify your values; then identify the ways you need to change in order to center your life around those values. Eliminate self-defeating behaviours that chip away at your self esteem (procrastinating is an example; leaving things undone simply reinforces a sense of inability to achieve.)

Creating a healthy lifestyle is about creating a positive emotional state. Don’t give up on yourself. You can do it. Never stop trying!

Submitted by: Dr. Doug

Weight Loss Surgery can be scary words or they can be words of hope. Most SSBBWs have thought of or had someone mention weight loss surgery. It's obviously not for everyone. There are SSBBWs who have accepted that they are large and always will be. There are some who like being large and don't want to change. And there are others who live day to day with pain, both physical and emotional, of carrying the extra weight that have various reasons for wanting to do something about it.

Everyone has a view on weight loss surgery be it good or bad or even neutral. Which is perfectly fine as we are all entitled to our opinions. One reader has made the decision to have weight loss surgery and will take us on her journey. What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery? Have you had weight loss surgery? Our forums are available for you to discuss and give your views on this topic.

Click here to read about our readers journey with weight loss surgery.

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