Saturday, May 26, 2012

*** UPDATE ***

No I have not stopped blogging... you can now find my entire blog, along with new postings at
click on the "Blog" tab

Better yet check out my new website with all my creations

Find other blogs I write... creations I made... all under one roof...  I hope you enjoy it! as much as I do.

Peace and Blessings to you and yours!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Moving on Up...

So I finally have a domain name!  

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to use my own name.  

To date I have created three blogs, and before that I love my artwork.  

With that said, I feel instead of having each of my creations floating in internet-space, I want them all in one place.  Under the umbrella of my name... Carla Barila Karam. 

Sure I could pay someone to do all of this for me, but in the true spirit of who I am, I have decided to do it all myself - learning as I create.

I first transferred this blog, because it is smaller (not as many posts).  I have converted it to a WordPress blog and is now being self hosted.  Wow!  I can't tell you how much I have learned up until now.

I am still working on the design and am slowly getting traffic there.  Luckily I write this blog once a week, which gives me time to work on it... I am hoping to have it completed within the next month or so.

My main site and My LifeStyle ReDesign both look a pretty generic right now, but behind the scenes it is coming together!!  I am even creating my very own background from scratch!  One thing is for sure... keeping true to me, there will be a little bit of red there too.  wink, wink.

I have been writing new posts on my WordPress site to get the hang of it, but I neglected to post them here as well.  I read somewhere not to duplicate your work on different sites, it somehow brings your rating down.  Whatever that means... so for the time being I decided to KIS (keep it simple).  So have a look see... and don't forget to tell me what you think.  

Again, being the multi-tasker that I am ... and in the spirit of who I am... I am working on both websites.  Then, once they are all polished I will add my other two blogs to the mix, and my artwork portfolio.

Here's to sharing my world with you!

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Post 18 / Day 114 ~ Cultures, Foods & Celebrations

This week has been a week of celebration.  Oh boy!  I wish there was a happy zone where it all can make sense and agree to disagree.  HUH?

Okay.  When you think of the word "celebration", what do you think of?  I think of food... not just food, but delicious, decadent food... I think of drink... and you guessed it, not just any ordinary drinks too... and then there's dessert!.. and I mean yummy, delicious, sultry dessert. 

When the thought of a celebration comes to mind, the last thing that comes to mind is healthy eating, getting all your fruits and vegetables in, let alone diet food all together!  Quite honestly, none of these food scream CELEBRATION!  LOL!  Quite the opposite.  
Funny how society, and our different cultures have conditioned us to think a certain way about different foods.  I mean really, growing up, did we run after the ice cream truck when we saw it, or what it the fruits and vegetable truck?  Get what I mean?  A little funny imagining what that would look like!  You can barely get your kids to eat spinach per say, yet their running after broccoli and carrots! 

Here's to another glass of water!  Do not over do it, please.

Stay healthy and Think Positive!

Blessings to you and yours. 

Images courtesy of google images, or property of Carla Barila Karam and of My LifeStyle ReDesign (c)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Post 17 / Day 107 ~ The Missing Ingredient to Healthy Weight Loss

To diet or non-diet?  More importantly... WHICH DIET?!?  


There's the Alkaline Diet, Alli, Atkins diet, Baby Food Diet, Belly Fat Cure, Best Life Diet, Big Breakfast Diet, Biggest Loser Diet, Biggest Loser Simple Swaps, Body for Life, Brown Fat Revolution, Cabbage Soup Diet, The Carb Lovers Diet, The Caveman (Paleo) Diet, Cheater's Diet, Cinch Diet, Cookie Diet, Detox Diets, The Diet Solution, Dr. Oz Ultimate Diet, Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Solution, Dukan Diet, The Eat-Clean Diet, Eat More Weigh Less, Eat Right for Your Type, Eat This - Not That, Eat What You Love, Eco Atkins Diet, Fast Food Diet, Fat Smash Diet, Flat Belly Diet, Flexitarian Diet, 5 Factor Diet, Flavor Point Diet, 4 Day Diet, Fruit Flash Diet, French Women Don't Get Fat, Fresh Diet, The FullBar Diet, G Free Diet, Gene Smart Diet, Glycemic Index Diet, Grapefruit Diet, Hallelujah Diet, HGG Diet, High School Reunion Diet, The Hormone Diet, Instinct Diet, Jenny Craig, The Kind Diet, LA Weight Loss, Lemonade Diet, Living Low-Carb, Macrobiotic Diet, Martha's Vineyard Diet, Master  Your Metabolism, Mayo Clinic Diet, Medifast Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Morning Banana Diet, Naturally Thin Diet, New Atkins for a New You, New Beverly Hills Diet, NutriSystem, O2 Diet, Park Avenue Diet, Perricone Diet, Personality Type Diet, P.I.N.K. Method, Pritikin Principle, Protein Powder, Raw Food Diet, Rice Diet Solution, The 17 Day Diet, Shangri-La Diet, Skinny Vegan Diet, Slim Fast Plan, Sonoma Diet, South Beach Diet, South Beach Diet Supercharged, The Spectrum, Step Diet, Sugar Busters, Thin for Life, This Is Why You're Fat, 3 Day Diet, 3-Hour Diet, UltraMetabolism Diet, Volumetrics, What  Color is Your Diet?, The Weigh Down, Weight Loss Cure, Weight Watchers, Dr. Andrew Weil, You- On A Diet, and The Zone to name a few.  Phew!

Seriously?  I mean really!  I know that not every diet works for every person.  I realize this.  However with so many choice at hand, it's no wonder why many of us are not sticking to "our" diets, and jumping to the next.  When after so many years of dieting myself, I have come to the understanding that we have to stick to one and see it through.

... Let's not forget about EXERCISE either... 

The BEST of diets or non-diets WILL NOT work without EXERCISE!! and WATER!!

But more importantly... I think we have been missing out on one BASIC ingredient to a healthy weight loss... and that is our MENTAL HEALTH!!

Without a good  mental outlet, honestly... I really do not think that THE BEST OF THE BEST DIET will work.

Therefore... the missing ingredient is taking care of those ISSUES that had you comfort eating to begin with.

Sooo tell me ...  How's your mental health?   

Check and compare your diet.  Source:

Here's to another glass of water!  Do not over do it, please.

Stay healthy and Think Positive!

Blessings to you and yours. 

Images courtesy of google and or Bing images.  Other photographs are property of Carla Barila Karam and My LifeStyle ReDesign.  Copyright laws apply.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Post 16 / Day 100 ~ Nothing Wrong with Being a Size 10

This past week my blog reached not only its first milestone, but a second one too!!  1,000 views!!  WOoo HOoo!!  And 100 Days of My LifeStyle ReDesign!!

Well I sincerely hope that some of my collective thoughts on health, dieting, non-dieting, life style and life in general have helped you in one way or another in the past sixteen weeks.

In the near future I will be diving further into food and its consumption, aging, life's cycles and the reality of life itself.

If you have any suggestions, input, corrections (because I'm not perfect wink, wink)... please, please do not hesitate to send me an email or leave a comment.

I read and find dozens of blogs online about dieting, exercising, and life... and this is absolutely fabulous.  They are very regimented, informational and educational.  The only difference with my blog I would have to say, is that it's all of that plus the reality of life itself combined into one.  I know that my blog is very informal... better yet, a better way to describe my blog would be an average woman (reality) vs a top runway model (a little unrealistic).

That was just an analogy to get the point across that my blog is realistic, meaning... we always do not have time to exercise, let alone a personal trainer that comes to our house and works our butts off; sometimes our diet could use a little tweeking and this is where a personal chef would be AWESOME- however, how many of us can really afford one?  

I, by no means was degrading other blogs... all the blogs I have seen and read are terrific, informative, full of what we should be doing.  Granted, I have a little of that in mine too... however, the average woman feels a little more comfortable getting motivated from a size 10 as opposed to a little intimidated from a  size 0.

If you are a size 16 or better, arriving at a size 10 for most women is a little more realistic, than ever becoming a size 0 let alone size 2.  It's doable.  It is also doable being a fit, healthy size 10.. and if you happen to get to a size 8... better yet!

... and... How about Ms. Marilyn Monroe?  She was a size 12!

Here's to another glass of water!  Do not over do it, please.

Stay healthy and Think Positive!

Blessings to you and yours. 

Images courtesy of google and or Bing images, otherwise they are the property of My LifeStyle ReDesign and Carla Barila Karam.  All copyright laws apply.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Post 15 / Day 93 ~ Water, Friend or Foe?

I wanted to talk to you a little bit about water; pros, cons and the battle of drinking it.

Personally, I go up and down with this one.  There are days that I am spot on, and get my water in.  Then there are others... which as an after thought, how difficult can it be?

I have been told by doctors, nutritionists, as well as personal trainers alike how important water intake is.  To even make it easier for a person, with the exception of liquor, wine, spirits and beer, most of the beverages that you drink during the day count towards your water intake.  This includes your tea and coffee!

So... if all of this is true, then why is it so difficult to drink the recommended water alottment for one's health?

Are we too busy?  Are we not thinking?  And NO SODA DOES NOT COUNT!! 

I understand that water is not as tasty as a coke, I get it.  But we keep grabbing those pop cans.  Hey, I am not excluding myself from this either.  I try not to drink more than one can per week; some weeks I do awesome and then there are weeks like this last one that I fell off the wagon and had three!  Don't worry, I did some extra walking and cardio to help burn off those extra calories.

What can we do to get our water in?
  • add a slice of lemon or you  can make some lemonade
  • lime slices are good too!
  • Ice tea anyone?
  • Crystal Light does the job for many body builders!  Shh don't tell them I told you, but many body builders use it.  snicker, snicker.
  • vitamin water anyone?
  • add juice... try a 50/50 mixture with your favorite juice.  
  • how about those handy little water additives, including added vitamins, energy, focus and other tasty little flavors... just snap and add it to your water bottle! 
What are some ways you drink water?  Let me know and I'll include your ideas.  Let's unite, partner up, anything to help us get our water in!  

Water is so important for hydration purposes, and is excellent for weight loss as well.  Here is a picture showing you the benefits of water for our body.

BUT do not over do it!!  Too much water for you is not good either!  You can get Water intoxication.  For more information on water intake or intoxication, click here.

Too much water CAN kill!  There is a happy medium or moderation FOR EVERYTHING!!!  For more information on too much water disadvantages, click here

You can also read these articles on people dying from too much water intake:
Just as everything in "health" goes, please see your physician before dieting as well as what he recommends YOUR water intake should be.

There are also conflicting reports as to whether or not how much water should be drank, and believe or not whether you even need eight 8oz glasses per day.  

Personally, in this hay day of information technology including having the entire world at the reach of my fingertips, I try to research, get more than one  opinion and speak with at least two doctors.  

The final decision lies within myself...  I try to make the best educated decision for myself and my family.

Here's to another glass of water!  Do not over do it, please.

Stay healthy and Think Positive!

Blessings to you and yours. 

Images courtesy of google images.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Post 14 / Day 86 ~ We Only Live Once!

In my last few posts what have been about portion control, as well as what types of foods are good for us.

Well that's all fine and dandy... however, what is more important to remember is that we only live once!

Why am I bringing this up?  Fact of the matter IS that we only live once...and with that said, I have chosen to do things my way from here on out!  (LOL)  Oh I'm not a type A personality, now am I?  wink, wink.

What I mean is that all my life I have been a slave to diets.  (Exercise included.)  I have counted calories, avoided carbs, and have eaten more than my share of salads.  To mention a few.  Sure, all these tactics have given me immediate results, but what they lacked was a long lasting effect.  

I have now gotten to a point in my life (I am two years away from the BIG 5-0) that all I want out of life is happiness.  Although I do want to look good and be healthy, I also have come to terms with the fact that I will never be a skinny-minny... and I am ok with all of this.  After all, I have taken care of myself enough to be no more than 20 or 25 pounds from my perfect weight.

SO (as I stand with a wide stance and place my fists on my waist) ... I am going to do this my way now.

I only have one life, and I will live what's left of it how I want to.  My way.  

I will not deprive myself of anything that I love to eat and will do so in a healthy manner.  I know about portions... I know what foods are good for me... I know to exercise and make healthy physical choices (ie. taking the stairs instead of the escalator at the mall)... I also know that if I keep a good pace and eat slow, I will get full quicker... I also know that water is a definite must, and plenty of it...  I also know moderation... I know that my stomach is about the size of my fist.. and I also know that I should not eat more than the size of my fist at one sitting.

I may not be able to have my crème brûlée every night... oh but when that lovely dinner comes around where I finally get my dessert... I will savor each bite and work it off the next day and then some.  Tomorrow's dessert...?  hmmm... 

Sounds like I am contradicting my self, coming across as if I am depriving myself from my favorite dessert... however... I have more than one favorite dessert, as well as favorite foods.. Yes, that was plural... F O O D S  and I can not very well eat them all at one sitting... 

Therefore I alternate all my favorite foods, using what I know above and then some...Bottom line I am not depriving myself of anything!  quite the contrary  Big Smile!

Bon Appetit!

Here's to another glass of water!

Stay healthy and Think Positive!

Blessings to you and yours. 

Images courtesy of google images.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Post 13 / Day 79 ~ Are Your Portions Off?

Proper food portions?  You mean I can't eat all that I want, as much as I want? 

Not if you want to live a healthy life.

 I last spoke of healthy foods to eat, and dabbled a little about nutritional labels.  

Those darn nutrition labels!!  I wish they were a little more straight forward to help the consumer, and not so sugar coated to help out the food manufacturer.  


The funny thing about all of this is that as the food manufacturer starts putting their numbers together, they start seeing how unhealthy their product may be.  What will we do?  I know!  Lets make the serving size five chips!  The numbers will go down then!!

OK!  Who eats just five chips?!  I don't know about you, but you can not just eat five.  Even if you are "waist" conscious, you will still eat more than five chips!  

I personally know that I do not want to eat a piece of steak larger than my palm, did you?  To make life simpler for some of us, I have come across some images that may help you when you're putting your meal together.  

And no... you will not need to carry measuring cups, measuring spoons or a food scale with you!

First off... when serving meals for my family... I do not use my dinner [size] plates!  I use salad [size] plates for us, sometimes even pulling out the desert [size] plate for Calley!  You trick your mind into thinking that you are eating more.

For when we are our family's home, I use the following [mental] pictures to assist me in serving for my husband and daughter.  For us visual people, I  have collected a few different pictures for you to help you with portions.  Then there's a couple for those of you that are less visual.

Finally, some creative nutritionists have put some plates together as to what our plates should look like...

Sure hope this helps put proportions into perspective for you.  It did me!

Here's to another glass of water!

Stay healthy and Think Positive!

Blessings to you and yours. 

Images courtesy of google images.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Post 12 / Day 72 ~ Shopping The '99' List

Well, that was easy!

I was starting to break out in hives at the thought of changing out products I normally.  I don't know why I did that to myself... all that needless worry.  

I have been eating healthy for years, and feeding my family the same way.  Years I tell you.  I started getting health conscience back in the late eighties right after the birth of my first son.  After all, I was not about to feed anything unhealthy to my baby.

I adjusted how I cooked, which was not all that difficult being that I had not been cooking long.  When I was single, there really wasn't a need to cook - I spent my time with my family and ate with them or I went out.  So needless to say I had not developed many bad habits.

I stopped making fried chicken, fried anything for that matter, which was not a difficult task.  After all frying foods somehow ended up being messy with all the splatter, and a hassle afterwards with the clean-up.  So... that was a welcomed adjustment.

Since my early twenties was at the height of the workout frenzy with Jane Fonda showing up everywhere in her workout clothes and leggings to match, being health conscience was almost done for you.   Living in Los Angeles was an added bonus... the skinny capital of the world... being healthy and being weight conscious became second nature.  

Twenty-five years later my cooking has not only gotten better and healthier, but with the help of television networks such like the Food Network and the Cooking Channel (which I have been watching since they came on,) cooking has become an all time love of mine, as well as  my five year old little girl (or rather my Sous Chef as Calley likes to be referred to.)

When it came to shopping this weekend, granted I had "the list" with me, it wasn't all that difficult.  I even ended up putting the list down... I was reassured that I was already shopping healthy.

I use shopping as an opportunity to teach my daughter.  I have taught my daughter to not only compare prices, but to compare nutritional values.  Looking for things like the "white check mark" on General Mills cereals,  white checks = whole grains, or looking for the "Zero Trans Fat" label, to mention a couple.  And of course, we have had lessons in picking produce and checking expiration dates as well.

As I mentioned in the past, I do not buy tv dinners or processed foods.  I will, however buy frozen organic fruits and vegetables, they end up being less expensive and stay fresh longer.  I must add that the freezer is beginning to get a bit crowded... guess we need to start looking for a stand alone freezer.    Wink, Wink.

Don't forget that when you are reading nutritional labels on foods, look at the portion amounts.  Remember the labels are misleading.  In order for the numbers to look good, manufacturers list the per portion values, as opposed to the whole container.  Not only that, but what we may think a portion is to us, more times than not, it is not what the manufacturer has in mind.  They want to sell their product as being healthy and listing "per portion" nutritional values helps their products sell, as well as making their nutritional numbers appear healthier.

In conclusion, while the list of 99 healthy foods that Dr. Oz provided was a great help, it proved to me that I was already doing the right thing for myself and my family.  I will continue to read labels, include plenty of fruits and vegetables and stick to whole grains in my family diet..  

Here's to another glass of water!

Stay healthy and Think Positive!

Blessings to you and yours. 

Images courtesy of google images.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Post 11 / Day 65 - 99 Foods That Help You Loose Weight

99 Foods I can buy to help me be healthy, and loose weight!?!?!  

You're kidding me, right?

Nope!  No I am not!

In my perusing this past week I came across a list put together by Dr. Oz (I'm sure it was his staff  wink, wink) of 99 foods I can purchase at the grocery store that will help me loose weight.

This is a must for a healthier you.
Well, guess what?  I am going to put this list to a test.  I will be shopping next weekend (I'm giving myself a week to clean out the fridge) and will be exchanging some items that I normally purchase.

First off, some of the food on this list are frozen prepared foods.  Homie doesn't do tv dinners. I do not like preservatives... I run from them!  That, and Dino, my hubby, can be picky.  Sooo... I will do the best I can to stick to this list, and substitute on other items.

Secondly, I agree that Dr. Oz (and his staff) has suggested quite a few named brands out of convenience.  However, as stated in Dr. Oz's disclaimer, I too do not endorse any of the named products listed.  I will be comparing the products' listed nutritional value and ingredients to other brands, making the best decision for my family.

However... I am faced with a challenge.  I live in El Paso.  There is one health food grocery store in town, and it is nothing like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods!  The best part about living in Los Angeles was the number of health food stores!  Big or small, you can find them there.  Challenge or not... I will prevail!  wink, wink.

For Dr. Oz' healthy grocery list you can either click here to print it, or go to Dr. Oz's website for it there. 

Here's to another glass of water!

Stay healthy and Think Positive!

Images courtesy of google images.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Post 10 / Day 58 ~ You & I Have Remedies in Our Home!

This week will be the week forever known as the week Social Networking came to be known as a new addiction in my life!  wink, wink.  Word has it that my friend Kathy Radigan's [author of My Dishwasher's Possessed,] husband and mine are both looking into the same rehab program for bloggers, for the both of us!  

To avoid being redundant, you can check out my other blog that changed my life.. Taking Back My Life ~ Making It My OwnDay 234 ~ A Sequel to fill you in. 

In my perusing on the internet, searching out ways to promote my blogs this week, I stumbled upon Stumble Upon.  (couldn't resist)  Not that this is a site to promote my blogs, it's not.  However, it is a great way to discover anything under the sun... more or less.

After signing up, I checked off anything that was of interest to me... and I mean anything!  And continued my perusing.  You can also like, or follow, other Stumblers  (what "they" call those of us who log into the and their interests as well.  I'm sure there is more to this site, but with at least ten other social networking sites that I am a part of, well... I was at my wick's end.  wink, wink

Get on with it ... what does this have to do with your post?  I'm sure is what you are thinking right now... Well let me tell you...

I stumbled upon, and liked, a great article from what turned out to be a website for Pharmacy Technician Certification.  No I do not want to be a Pharmacy Technician... but somehow... I Stumbled Upon it!  while researching for my post this week.

The article or post is called 100 Healthy Remedies That Are Right In Your Home.  A MUST share from me to you!!  AS a matter of fact, if I didn't share it I could not live with myself! wink, wink  Okay enough with the winking already!  I don't  know about you, but I got to think of something new to say!  LOL!

Including ten categories such as Common Healthy Remedies, Weight Loss, Beauty, Immune System and even Cancer Remedies, which are all possibly found in your home.  Be it your fridge, fruit bowl, spice rack or your pantry, you can find these remedies in your home!

Did you know that "honey is said to be one of the most ancient and turned to remedies across the world. It is even used to combat diarrhea, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis. Visit to get more information."

Or that "some studies suggest that vinegar can increase metabolism. This in turn helps the body process food and burn more calories."  And that "the spice found in Jalapenos can increase metabolism.  In fact, many naturally spicy foods tout similar properties."

There is so much more valuable, yet free information on healthy remedies that are right in YOUR HOME!

I'm telling you... this is such a worth read, print and laminate type of article... so much so that I have gone ahead and copied the document, enhanced a few areas, saved it as a .pdf file and uploaded it to Google Docs just for you!  So no excuses... I've done all the hard work.  Now all you have to do is click here, a new window will open, print it, laminate it and keep it handy in your kitchen.

Here's to making another healthy choice for a healthier lifestyle!

Stay healthy and Think Positive!


Images courtesy of google images.