Things We Love – Weight Loss Gadgets and Goodies


Sometimes, it’s a whole lot easier – and more fun – to make a change in our lives – if we have some kind of fun and shiny new gadget to help us along. Here are some weight loss gadgets and goodies we think you’ll love:

Smart Portion™ Prep Center by Fit & Fresh™
Smart Portion™ Prep Center by Fit & Fresh™
Save time when you chop, weigh and measure your food all at once. This prep center offers an easy way to stay on track. Whether dieting or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the food scale will help you control your portions every meal. The scale is compact and easy to use and measures up to 17.65 ounces (or 1.1 pounds) of food. The scale holder slides into the cutting board for easy storage. The side measuring cup measures food portions from 1/2 cup to 2 cups and the removable divider included makes measuring easy. The cup clips onto the side of the cutting board for easy access and space saving storage. The textured, cutting board has eight non-skid feet to keep the board in place while cutting. The legs fold into the board for easy, space saving storage. Food scale and side measuring cup clip into the bottom of the cutting board for compact storage.
Available online from

Portion Control Plate
Portion Control Plate
This inexpensive portion-control plate helps you your manage weight and promote portion-specific eating habits. The easy-to-use divider fits most dinner plates and features labeled compartments for fruits and vegetables, starch and protein. Great for dieters and people who want to watch their weight. Follows the USDA My Pyramid serving sizes.
Available online from Taylor Gifts

T-Fal 35-oz. Nutritious & Delicious ActiFry Low Fat Multi Cooker, White
The ActiFry, by T-Fal
The T-Fal ActiFry is a low fat cooker that enables you to cook tasty dishes while reducing the amount of fat you are having. T-Fal ActiFry is engineered to minimize the use of oil while cooking. This revolutionary appliance allows you to enjoy a wide array of great tasting dishes but stay healthy and feel good about what you are eating at the same time. With ActiFry you can enjoy crispy, great tasting fries that are low in fat! By using just one tablespoon of oil you can make 2lbs of fresh French fries, which is enough to feed a family of four. That one spoonful is over 200 times less than a traditional 3 liter deep fat fryer, which not only means that your food is substantially more healthy, but it is also more economical. The French fries have only 3 fat per serving!

Moreover, ActiFry is a versatile cooking appliance that can be used to create a variety of healthy, low-fat dishes with minimal effort. ActiFry is not just for French fries, it enables you to cook full meals such as chili, risotto, gumbos, vegetable or meat stir frys, seafood and even yummy desserts. ActiFry enables you to create your favorite dishes that are not only delicious but nutritious. Each recipe requires from 0 to 2 tablespoons of oil for four servings.

How does it work? ActiFry is the result of 10 years of research & development. It has a unique stirring paddle and pulse heat system which cooks foods to perfection. The food is evenly cooked thanks to the stirring paddle and the pulse heat system will ensure an even distribution of the oil on each piece of food.

The T-Fal ActiFry heating system and stirring paddle combine to cook your food to perfection, hands free! No pre-heating is required; it’s ready when you are!

Available online from (Current Coupons are here.)

Here are more Momscape Features we think you’ll love:
Weight Loss Articles & Tips
Weight Watchers Coupons

Things We Love – Pop Physique


I DIG a good workout – one that really makes my muscles burn, so when the folks at Pop Physique asked me if I would like to try something called Cardio Butt School – along with another two DVDs in the Pop Physique family, I really couldn’t resist.

With a name like that, you start to get curious about what it would be like to take your butt to school. You start to get curious about how it will do.

In case you’re not familiar, Pop Physique combines barre-inspired exercises with elements of Pilates, ballet and light weights. The workouts feature a variety of effective and challenging moves, including isometrics, strengthening, core shaping, and stretching.

I liked each of the Pop Physique workout DVDs straight away. The leaders are likeable, and the pacing and the music are both really nice. Each of the DVDs offers a great workout and features strength moves that I might be intimidated to try in a class setting.

As I’ve written about before, I love to exercise outside – either running or hiking or cross country skiing – and this is how I do my every day workout because I can take my dogs and I get outside to suck in some Vitamin D, fresh air and sunshine. But I find that, if I do one of these DVDs three times a week, it strikes a nice balance of cardio and strength training.

The folks at Pop Physique says you’ll be burning 500 or more calories with each workout, and I believe it. You will be using all your muscles in moves that will make you feel strong and long and lean.

In case you’re wondering, I found that my butt did pretty well in school, actually. Cardio Butt School wasn’t the most intense workout I’ve ever done in terms of cardio, but my muscles were BURNING.

You can buy these DVDs separately, but they are each good for different days. One day you’ll want more cardio. Another, you may want to focus on energizing and strengthening. So do yourself a favor and buy the full 3 DVD collection, which is available online here.

Here’s more details of each of the DVDs in the set:

PopPhysique Hardcore
This workout focuses on shaping each muscle group with isometric muscle work.
Run time: 65 minutes.

PopPhysique Original Butt
Tone and sculpt in a low impact workout featuring strengthening and stretching. Promises quick results: “lifted rounded butt, sleek arms, flat abdominals, and slimmed legs.”
Run time: 55 minutes.

PopPhysique Cardio Butt School
Here, the Pop Physique team has taken the hardcore workout to a cardio level, flowing from one muscle group to the next, so you can get all the toning done in a short period of time.
Run time: 39 minutes.

For more information about Pop Physique, please visit

Disclosure: Pop Physique provided these workout tapes free of charge for review, and this post contains affiliate links. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Join Bob Greene’s 15-Week Reward Program for Free

Bob Greene and The Best Launch “Best Life’s Small Change Movement” – a 15-Week Rewards Program Based on Making Small Changes to Help People Lose Weight, Get Healthy and Live Their Best Life, the online weight-loss program based on the best-selling book The Best Life Diet by Bob Greene, is proud to announce the “Best Life’s Small Change Movement” starting on Tuesday, May 15. The program, which is free and open to the public, is based on the successful strategies that Greene has used over the course of his 25-plus years as a health and fitness expert.

He will be offering advice and encouragement throughout the 15-week program, and will even give participants a chance to win an array of prizes. The details of “Best Life’s Small Change Movement” can also be found on the company’s website:

Register today, and, each week through August 15, you’ll be challenged to meet small weekly goals.

Throughout the summer, Greene will send encouraging e-mails to help motivate participants. There will also be several chances to win prizes, including a Blendtec Blender, a Phillips Wake-Up Light, a Phillips Go-Light Blu, and several books by Best Life creator Greene.

More from Bob Greene:

The Best Life Diet Revised and Updated
The Best Life Diet Revised and Updated
Price: $11.25
From the bestselling author of Get With the Program! and Bob Greene’s Total Body Makeover comes The Best Life Diet, a lifetime plan for losing weight and keeping it off. Bob Greene helped Oprah achieve her dramatic weight loss, and he can help you too. You’ll eat the same delicious food that Oprah enjoys, and, just like Oprah, you’ll have Bob to encourage you at every step. Unlike a celebrity, however, you don’t need to hire a staff of experts to aid and advise you, because Bob’s plan, easily tailored to an array of tastes, lifestyles, and activity levels, acts as your personal trainer and private nutritionist.

Bob Greene's Total Body Makeover
Bob Greene’s Total Body Makeover
Price: $11.9
Kick-start your metabolism into high gear with Bob Greene’s revolutionary new exercise and health program!

See more Weight Loss Coupons and Deals >

Healthy Habits: Introducing Your Family to Red Foods

Healthy Habits: Introducing Your Family to Red Foods
A guest post from Cheryl Tallman, Creator of

In Japan, the color red signifies energy and power and is often used as a color for heroic figures. This is a good description because when you include red fruits and vegetables in your child’s meals, they will grow up strong like superheroes.

Red foods are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. Red foods also contain compounds called phytochemicals, which have been shown to have positive health benefits. Phytochemicals you might have heard about include flavonoids, lycopene, reservatol and capsaicin.

Make a game out of letting your kids choose one “superhero” red food to eat every day. Our favorite red foods include:

* Strawberries – Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C, potassium, and folate. Strawberries are best fresh, for a special treat add them to yogurt, cereal and smoothies.

* Tomatoes -Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, potassium and vitamin C. They taste great fresh off the vine and cooked in sauces, stews and soups. Try them with scrambled eggs.

* Red Peppers – A bright red pepper contains potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Red Peppers can be served raw as a snack or in salads, cooked in pasta and stir fry dishes or roasted in soups and stews.

* Apples
– The wonderful shiny red apple contains soluble fiber, pectin and flavonoids. For a healthy afternoon snack, slice an apple and top with peanut butter. Yummy!

* Watermelon – You know its summer time when you see watermelons. Watermelons are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene. A big slice of fresh watermelon is sure to put a smile on your little one’s face.

* Red Beets – Red beets contain iron, niacin and potassium. Start introducing red beets to kids in salads or roasted with olive oil and ground pepper. Pickled red beets are also a good introduction.

* Red Grapes – Red Grapes contain flavonoids, reservatol and quercitin to help keep your heart healthy and strong. Grapes are a great snack. Freeze them for a hot summertime treat.

* Cherries – Cherries are considered a nutritional super food because they are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and, they taste great! Remove the pits to make it easier for little ones to enjoy this delicious treat.

About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food and the new book So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at for more delicious tips.

Learn more about Cheryl’s work:

So Easy Baby Food Kit: Make It Natural, Make It Fresh.
So Easy Baby Food Kit: Make It Natural, Make It Fresh.
Price: $23.85
An award-winning, all-inclusive solution for making baby food in less than 30 minutes per week. The month-by-month Cookbooks uses fresh ingredients with no additives. Kit includes a cookbook, freezer trays, how-to video, and nutrition card, and pays for itself in just three weeks compared to jarred baby food.

So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week
So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week
Price: $8.95
Baby Food Cookbook including recipes and instruction for making stage 1, 2, and 3 baby foods. This book also includes the basics of introducing solid foods and developing healthy eating habits. Available in English and Spanish.

So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips & Simple Receipes for the Toddler Years
So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips & Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years
Price: $8.95
When it comes to eating, toddlers can be tough to please. So Easy Toddler Food is the perfect resource for parents looking for survival tips and 35 simple recipes that will win over even the pickiest toddler. Available in English and Spanish.

Choosing the Right Pet When You Have Allergies


A pet can be an important part of your family, but it can also be a source of frustration. If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies to pet dander, having a pet can even be a health risk.

Simply having an allergy to dogs, however, doesn’t mean you can’t have one in the home. You need to start by:

  • Having your allergist identify exactly what animals you’re allergic to and how severely.
  • Know the risks involved in exposure to those animals.
  • Do some research to determine which pet or specific breed might be best for you.

Accordingly, here are some basics that can get you started on picking the right pet:

  • There are several different types of pet allergies. You need to know whether you’re allergic to bird feathers, cat hair, dander from dogs, or some other source. There are some less obvious sources of allergens, however, when you have a pet. For example, if you have mold allergies you’ll want to watch for pets whose environments tend to foster mold, or that increase the humidity in a room. Tropical fish aquariums, for example, can increase a room’s humidity, leading to an increase in household mold as well as dust mites.
  • It’s not necessarily about the length of hair on the animal. Most animal allergies aren’t actually to the hair of the animal; they’re to the animal’s dander. Dander is the remains of skin cells, and it’s what most likely will cause an allergic reaction. (There are also allergens in an animal’s saliva and urine.)
  • Trial visits don’t necessarily let you know whether or not you’ll react to a given animal. It usually takes an average of about 20 weeks for the allergens produced by a pet to reach significant levels in a home. Being exposed to a given animal for a few minutes will in some cases result in an immediate allergic reaction, but if there’s no reaction it doesn’t mean the pet will necessarily work.
  • There are a number of low-allergen dog breeds you can consider. According to the American Kennel Club, there are a number of dogs that don’t produce as much dander as other dogs. Most are from the terrier family, although there are some that aren’t. Common low-allergen dog breeds include Schnauzers, Maltese, Bischon Frise, Chinese Crested, Portuguese Water Dogs, and others.
  • Some cats are low allergen as well. If you’re more of a feline lover, there are also some cats that can produce fewer allergens. Most of the low-allergen cats would fall into the “hairless” category, thereby producing less dander. Perhaps the best cat breed is a Sphinx cat, as these are almost entirely hairless. They  are, as you might expect, a fairly expensive cat as well.
  • Fish can be good, as well. While they may not have the personality of a cat or a dog, fish make fine pets for those with allergies, as well. Here again, the fish environment is fairly self-contained. Do watch out for how the fish tank impacts the humidity in your home. As mentioned, higher humidity can lead to mold, which can of course lead to an allergic reaction. In general, however, fish are a fairly safe choice for someone with allergies.
  • Birds can be good pets for allergies, but require special care. Birds actually created dander via their feathers. Because birds live in cages, however, the allergens can be contained. Make sure that the feathers as well as the droppings are cleaned regularly, and try to have a family member who doesn’t have allergies clean the bird’s cage.

The pet you choose, ultimately, depends a lot on what you’re hoping to get from the experience. If you want a companion, there’s still no better choice than a dog; just choose one of the low-allergen breeds. If you want to help a child learn about nature and try on the responsibility of caring for a pet, fish and reptiles make good choices, too. Pick the pet you want, but contain your choices to those that won’t aggravate your allergies.

About the Author: Dorothy Wheaton, PA-C, is the lead clinical provider for Careworks Convenient Healthcare, a US company operating health clinics and urgent care centers in the Northeast United States.

[IMAGE CREDIT: Some rights reserved by Esparta]