This review was written by Shannon Anderson, Bariatric Foodie’s indefatigueable social media manager. Except she wasn’t the social media manager back then. Nope! She was a Foodie who kindly reviewed this dish set from a then “brand-new-to-us” company called Livliga! From here on out, I’ll let Shannon speak.
Hello Everyone, Shannon here! Last fall, Nikki asked me if I would be willing to do a review of dinnerware made by Livliga, which makes dishware catered to people who are trying eat healthy. I was excited try out the dishes and to document my findings, not only for myself but also my husband who is a Type 1 diabetic. His diabetes requires much control and he tries very hard to measure and understand his serving sizes.
Deciding on a dish pattern
After being asked to review the Livliga dishes, the first thing I had to decide was which dish pattern I’d use. After looking at their website, I initially fell in love with the Halsa pattern. The delicate blue pattern matched my kitchen perfectly, and when I read up on the product realized that the colors were chosen for a specific purpose. These colors, as opposed to others, help us to eat more slowly, to be calmer during meal times. In that sense we stay calm we eat slower, we enjoy our mealtime, the portions on the plate are enough to make us satisfied.
The plates themselves are not too heavy or bulky, and though I expected them to be heavier, I was pleasantly surprised when they were not. The circular patterns on the plates are not just meant to be aesthetic, but each circle and line on the dinnerware serves to help portion the meal. On the underside of the large plate, there is what I called my “treasure map” which shows what each circle represents and what serving it holds. There are circles for a serving of meat, vegetable, carbohydrate, and a sauce, etc. The bowl and cup have lines on the inside representing a proper portions of liquid measurement.
Using the visual guides can be tricky…
After washing the plates in my dishwasher (and they held up to the dishwasher just fine) I used them to serve a meal. This is where things got tricky. I had a hard time remembering which circle for which portion of food. In fact, on several occasions I know I put the wrong kind of food on the wrong circle. Until I got a little more familiar with the plate and its layout, I used the treasure map pretty often. That was a tiny bit frustrating because it meant we could only plate one meal at a time, one of us was always waiting for the other to finish looking at the guide on the bottom of the plate. I think this is easily remedied with a separate guide that can be used to initially help plate the meals.
This dinnerware isn’t completely foolproof either. The place markings show a space, not necessarily a definitive serving size of something. The meat portion area of the plate can hold 2-6 ounces of meat. Understandably if you are looking into portion control dinnerware you aren’t going to try to stack your serving of mashed potatoes eight inches off the plate in a perfect two inch circle, but who is to say without still fully measuring your food with a measuring device such as a measure cup or scale, just how much food is on the plate?
…but the visual cues generally work (at least for non-ops!)
When food is on the plates, when you use the general portion guides they give, they look full. I have to admit that made me realize how the mind can fool you. Now my plate didn’t always look full because I don’t often eat the carbohydrates I make for my husband at dinner time, but in general I felt satisfied after eating from the plates. The lipped plate, the closeness of the circles on the base of the plate, those all help get the mind in the right place to feel satisfied after a meal.
Where I had the most trouble most often was with meals such as casseroles. Living in the Midwest, casseroles are a diet staple. But from a portion standpoint, I was always flummoxed as to how to use the plates effectively, since everything was mixed together. I found it hard to estimate what I was eating.
Now I understand that is the bowl could probably be used for this purpose, and I used the bowls frequently with my stews and soups…but even then getting eight ounces of soup in a bowl still really didn’t help me know what portion of that meal was meat, which was carb, and which was vegetable, and perhaps that’s ok.
For me it wasn’t, I was having a hard time reconciling the idea that I was going back to get another few pieces of meat because I knew that there wasn’t enough in the bowl when I served myself my initial portion.
The dish set retails price for 59.99. I don’t think that it is an outlandish amount of money to spend on nice dinnerware…that being said, how often do many of us use our nice dinnerware? For my family and lifestyle, I don’t know that the price is worth it. My children are young and very rarely eat the same meal as my husband and I. They also have different nutritional needs than an adult. I would like to mention that Livliga does have a set of Kid plates, so there is an option for your young ones, but for us it still is not worth it.
I really wanted to love this dinnerware as a post weight loss surgery patient, but in all honesty, it didn’t help me meet my personal nutritional needs as a bariatric post-op. There will probably never come a time when I would eat a full serving as indicated on the plate of carbohydrates, and my meals are protein heavy, so my plate always felt lopsided.
But I also understand that for some in the WLS community this dinnerware could be a life saver. If you are a post-op who finds that you can eat more than what you feel that you should, or has a very high tolerance to foods you were warned you might not tolerate well, and it concerns you, Livliga might be the perfect answer for you to keep your portions in control. It really is all about your personal needs.
I should note that my husband found the dishes to be very effective in helping him stay within his portions and keep his blood sugars regulated. And as a lovely set of dinnerware however, I am completely smitten with the Livliga Halsa dinnerware. The Livliga concept is ingenious, it can be effective, and its execution is stylish, trendy, and promising. I anticipate that this company will do quite well in its healthy vibrant living platform.
As another tool in the post-op arsenal, I would give this product a solid B. A great option for the more seasoned post- op to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but for some newbies this might not be as helpful. However, if your loved ones are looking to exercise greater portion control, be it for diabetes or any other health concerns, this dinnerware is highly effective and I would recommend it!