The husband and I love to eat. We like the activity of going out to eat, we like to check out new restaurants, and we love to go to our favorite places when we need comfort food. We love to drink wine, beer, cocktails…
you get my drift. But all that enjoyment has led to a bit of “urban sprawl” around our waistlines. We both know it’s happened, and we know how to fix it – it just takes the willpower to give up all those indulgences.
But does it really mean giving up all indulgences? I’m not so sure. So my goal is to try to find ways to make food taste good, even as I reduce the calories. That means more spices, more saturated flavors, better quality ingredients, and really being mindful of what we choose to eat.
Typically in the summer, I grill a lot. But Austin is plagued with a horrific drought this summer, and wildfires have been springing up around town. In my county, any outdoor fires and grilling have been banned. So that removes that option, sadly. But over the last couple of weeks I’ve gone to the farmers’ market and picked up pounds of fresh Gulf shrimp. I boiled them and ate them, hot or cold, with cocktail sauce and a salad. Super refreshing, and it’s really easy to add extra zing to either the cocktail sauce (more horseradish) or to the shrimp boil (leave them in the water longer).
I also like to make salsas – chop a little mango, cilantro, a bit of habanero and some lime juice, and you’ve got a tasty topping for fish or chicken. Or go Mediterranean with tomatoes, garlic, basil and black pepper. All those flavors make a plain old chickenbreast a bit more interesting, without adding lots of fat or calories.
And I know that I’m going to have a sweet tooth, so I keep some really fine quality squares of dark chocolate around. One of those seems to completely do the trick for me, but if that’s just going to take you down an evil path, try this: cut up fruit into pre-packaged servings. Having pre-cut strawberries on hand means I won’t reach for the naughtier items, and I get my sweet fix.
How do you liven up your “healthy” diet?