We've been enjoying the weather and planning for an upcoming vacation, so there hasn't been much cooking at our place - it's just too pretty to be indoors! So, for the next few weeks, I'll be offering up some commentary on food, life, and whatever else while reminding you of some of my favorite summer foods tucked away in the DCC archives.
Today I wanted to ask...how do you go about preparing for swimsuit season? Do you even worry about it? Are you a crash dieter between May and July? Do you enjoy the weather by upping your activity?
I, for one, have never been a fan of the crash diet. Partly it's because they are just a bad idea (not good for your health or overall weight goals)...but mostly it's because I'm just too hungry all the time! I love food, and I don't believe it should be our enemy. I'm also not a fan of "crash exercising" - you know...being a couch potato all winter long only to turn into a marathon runner once the sun comes out. It's just not my thing.
What is my thing is moderation. I like eating a relatively healthy diet all year round (with the occasional treat, of course). I like exercising relatively consistently all year round (with the occasional lounging days, of course). Am I good at moderation? Not always. I tend to eat way too many cookies at Christmas and way too much candy at Easter. I'd rather snuggle under a blanket when it's cold outside than do pilates. But, I'm trying...and I think that's what counts.
Here are two of my favorite websites for helping me stay accountable to moderation in both diet and exercise.
The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans - I just love these gals (and guys!). They are about loving yourself, loving your body, and achieving healthy goals. There's a daily blog with encouragement, constant giveaways (I recently won a fitbit!), and forums where you can connect with others. My favorite thing about the Sisterhood, though, is that they are always hosting a challenge (think Biggest Loser style). The challenges are more than about losing weight...in fact, they encourage you to enter them even if you are just wanting to maintain your weight! Instead, they are about healthy habits - exercise, drinking water, eating veggies, etc. These challenges have kept me motivated to keep making wise choices...and they are just plain fun.
Lose It! - This website (and phone app) is perfect for helping you to manage your diet and exercise! You enter your weight, your goal weight, and your weekly goal (anything from maintaining your weight to losing 2 pounds a week). This website will then tell you how many calories you can intake each day in order to achieve your goal. It's got a full database of foods, so you can log your calories. You can also track your exercise (earning you more food calories!). You can link up with friends to keep each other accountable and earn badges along the way. It's simple...and that's what I love about it.I love that staying healthy doesn't mean giving up everything we love. It just means making wise choices, most of the time. :)
Speaking of something I love (and a wise choice), check out this easy summer entree from the archives!
400 degree oven + no air conditioning = sauna
I don't do saunas. Well...not unless I want some drumsticks.
I adapted this recipe from the Easy Peasy Chicken Legs recipe on Mommy's Kitchen. Tina over at Mommy's Kitchen always has wonderful, down-to-earth recipes, and this one did not disappoint. See her version of this recipe here.
I only made a few changes from Tina's version. Because it's just me and my man, I only made a package of six drumsticks. I used Cajun seasoning (just because I love it), and I didn't need to cook them nearly as long.
First, put your drumsticks in a large bowl and drizzle them with about 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir them around to make sure that they are coated.
Then, sprinkle in your seasoning. My pick - Cajun seasoning (yes, it says Creole on the shaker...same thing in my world). Stir the chicken legs around to coat with the seasoning.
Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees, turning every 20 minutes or so. Mine were done after an hour of cooking.
Final step - serve it up!
These drumsticks really were easy! With only three ingredients and minimal prep, cooking was an absolute breeze. They have a nice crispiness to the outside and good flavor - all things that I love in a drumstick.
Now, if only I could do something about the air conditioning...
Nutrition per drumstick (excluding the seasoning): 138 cal, 9g fat, 2g sat fat, 59mg cholesterol, 61mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g sugars, 0g fiber, 14g protein.