Drink vodka, treat yourself at dinner, and eat steak. Bet you wouldn’t have guessed that these were suggestions for living a healthier lifestyle. Choosing to eat healthier doesn’t mean you have to stop indulging.
Many refuse to leave the bacon wrapped battered and fried donut lifestyle, because they think they’re entering a world of boiled chicken and steamed cauliflower. Fear not fellow bonbon bingers, I know what it’s like to be afraid of “healthy” foods. Words like kale and tempeh still give me anxiety. A happy medium lies between borderline diabetic and raw dieting. There’s no stopping me when it comes to sweets, but I balance my sugar addiction with a few easy-to-follow health decisions.
Throwing fresh herbs into any dish immediately makes it more sophisticated. Herbs add natural flavor at no extra cost to your waistline and there are endless ways to use them. Herb gardens are extremely easy to maintain and spice up (hee-hee) any ordinary dinner.
Herb gardens are extremely customizable. You decide how big or small you want it, whether it’s going to be an indoor or an outdoor garden, and most importantly, you decide what to grow. I love having fresh dill, thyme, rosemary, and mint at my fingertips. Chopping up some dill and adding it to your rice is a simple way to get fancy. Skip the ketchup and barbecue sauce next time and go for a dill aioli or a rosemary dry rub on your chicken.
You can even sneak some other small plants into your herb gardens, like daisies or cherry tomatoes. Roasted cherry tomatoes are the perfect addition to that exact same chicken you’ve been eating for dinner for the last four nights. Just cut them in half, drizzle them with olive oil on a baking tray, and sprinkle on some salt. Then let them roast in the oven for a few minutes on 425 degrees. Great on salads or chicken, you can store them in an airtight container with olive oil in the refrigerator.
This next pill might be a little tough to swallow—literally. There’s a lot of stigma in vitamins, but if you eat as much candy as I do then they’re your best friend. Vitamins can’t replace everything but they help out your immune system when work or school needs you in early and out late. Just a daily multivitamin can ensure that your body is well balanced.
Everyone will tell you that drinking water is important, and to stay away from anything with sugar in it. I’ll confirm that drinking a lot of water is very important, especially in Colorado. I’m not going to say that it’s never okay to drink anything else though. Sure, drink water to repair the dehydrating damage from a soda or a vodka tonic. My suggestion is to keep track of how many of these spritzy cocktails you’re drinking and challenge yourself to drink enough water to recover. It’s absurd to tell you not to try the new sugar rimmed pink fizzy martini on a Friday night—so go ahead, but try to balance it out with a glass or two of water before you go to bed.
Speaking of indulging, let’s turn to steak. If I told you four ounces is a normal sized portion for a steak, you’ll think, “Yes, for ants.” Most of you will go for the eight or ten ounce. Live a little, right? It’s suggested to eat a steak after a run once in a while, because the amino acids in red meat can help your muscles recover. That doesn’t mean it will magically dissolve away any lactic acid build up in your body, but it can work as an aid. Next time you really want to eat a steak or some lamb chops, try to hit the gym first. It’ll make you feel better about eating that almost raw, slab of juicy bliss.
Diet advice shouldn’t tell you to stop doing things, but to start doing things. Whether you’re drinking more water or eating less cocoa dinobytes, baby steps can make a big difference. Live a little, but focus on that key concept: “a little.”