Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Time to Slim Down with Light Foods, aka Bathing Suit Season Gaspee, Warwick RI

Sometimes you just plod along, week after week, cooking meals, cleaning house, going to work, taking care of the needs of others and then - suddenly - it hits you. Like a slap in the face. It's the end of May, or even worse, the beginning of June.

This may not be a significant time for most men, children and hyperactive teenagers. But for the middle-aged housewife who's facing a whole summer at the beach with the tell-tale signs of those extra-helpings and rich desserts that she consumed over the long winter, it spells trouble.

Oh sure, we all knew it was coming. There were the obvious signs such as Easter, Mother's Day and Memorial Day Weekend. But who can seriously diet for summer when the temperature is still in the 50's? So you let time go by, ignoring any suggestion to begin. Or, possibly, you get a bit more ambitious and say, "I'll start my diet on Monday." Well, Mondays come and Mondays go until one Monday it happens...

You wake up to a perfect 72 degrees. By noon it's gone up to 85 degrees and still climbing.
Feeling the flush of warmth that nature has finally rewarded you with you go to your bureau and dig out an old wrinkled pair of shorts. But before you can close the drawer you see something peeking out at you; there, at the bottom of the pile.You gently push aside the heap on top of it. (Big Mistake) As soon as it comes into the light of day it seems to spring to life. It may just as well stand up and point a finger at those flabby thighs. If there were ever a queen mother of diet motivations this would be it. Your bathing suit.

You don't try it on yet, it's not that warm outdoors. Besides, it wouldn't look any good without a tan. (So you tell yourself) No matter. Whatever the reasons, it has accomplished the necessary - you've decided to start a diet. And it's the beginning of June.

Starting a diet at the start of summer can be overwhelming. You can stick to it's rules all week long and then Friday night comes and you binge your way through the weekend. And so the cycle goes.

Since most of us already have diets for Monday thru Friday this blog will help you cope with the weekends. We all need some ideas for eating lighter when the weekend arrives, or when we are entertaining. The recipes that follow will help you to eat lighter when you're serving to guests.

These little hints are for the days between the diet days. Try to use them as often as possible. They can rescue you from a binge!
  • Keep the cocktail hour short, serving just enough in the way of hors d'ouevres to heighten, not dull, the appetite.
  • Keep your pantry stocked with flavored vinegars, oils and a variety of mustards. They will go a long way adding flavor to marinades and salads.
  • Instead of using loads of melted butter, dust vegetables with freshly grated Parmesan, zests of orange peel, minced fresh herbs or a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.
  • Use smaller plates so that portions appear larger. If possible use plates with a decorated border or design; then put food within it.
  • For dessert, a thin slice of decadent chocolate cake followed by fresh fruit and a cup of rich coffee can make an elegant and filling, but still light party dessert.