Days are getting shorter which means nights are getting longer. Our last days of binge-watching Netflix while popcorn falls between sofa cushions, bottomless bowls of ice cream and nightly Mai Tais are over; well, at least the first two are over... One must NEVER give up nightly Mai Tais a minute before September 21st! Even though "bikini season" is coming to a close and "baggy pants" season is screaming up on us, we still must pay the piper for our lazy days of summer.
Before you click away, this is not a lecture. No one ever is judged here, ever. I'm just sayin it's time to move and eat a little better. That can mean walking the pooch (or the cat if you're channeling your sadistic side). That could mean weeding - I mean gardening. That could mean taking a long walk along the shore. Maybe frisbee is your thing or kite flying. Perhaps playing tag or hide and seek in the yard with your children would be fun. Joint a group that meets for workouts. This is the classic "two birds." You move and make new friends! You could even, now don't hate me, vacuum. Come on! You know it needs doing! The point is, moving in some form is the goal. I work out each morning and stretch each evening. By doing the later, I get to rationalize having popcorn in my cushions and by doing the former, I rest better.
Some simple baby steps toward eating a little better, or least moving toward that direction, could be adding lemon to your water. Lemon enhances your immune system and has both antibacterial and antiviral goodness and with kids returning to the Petrie dish system called "school," we all need a little immune system enhancing! Lemon also helps with inflammation by decreasing uric acid in joints. Since most of us have been lazy, once we start to move again we have swelling and lemon can help. Yay! Another great thing about lemon is it enhances digestion. If that doesn't entice you, it also helps with bloating and heartburn for when we have too much of many good things. Double yay! Lastly, but not really because there are many other great things about lemons, they taste yummy. Yumminess alone is great thing.
Changing small behaviors is the best way to permanently alter a lifestyle. Reward yourself and never judge yourself. Judging can lead to lazy and/or unhealthy binge-type activities but sometimes those activities are just what we need that moment or that day. The trick (and the real challenge) is not to indulge too much too often. If you know you are entering a stressful time (like finals or school beginning or a new job) stock the pantry with smart treats. Treats that are good for you and not as difficult to work off as other treats. For example, dark chocolate, dark chocolate-covered nuts or dried fruits, peppermints, ginger chews, crispy sesame candies, hard candy, natural licorice, sweet cereal, tequila... Remember, no judging. Just treats that satisfy you after only a few (or one shot). I try only to take a few pieces of something instead of the whole container because then I HAVE to get up, walk my lazy keister into the next room and have time to rethink having more. (This does not always work but at least I'm moving.) The point is, it's easier to pay the Piper in installments rather than all at once. The Piper wants what's coming to him so find what works for you and do it.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor