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Friday, July 16, 2010

Smack in the Middle of Summer

We are smack in the middle of summer and I'm not sure I can last to the end these days.  The heat wears me out and the mosquitos drive me crazy.  Every breathe feels like I'm drawing in syrup, not air.  I want to hole up in the air conditioning, safe from biting insects.  I guess all that mulching I did this spring was not a good idea because I've been battling back problems for at least a month now.  Sounds absolutely pitiful, doesn't it? 

So has the cardiologist's wife stopped exercising?  Are we eating out to avoid heating up the kitchen?  Am I leaving to spend the rest of summer in a cooler climate?  Not hardly.  It's hard to give up habits once they are formed, good ones or bad.  So I am doing physical therapy for my back and have stopped my usual exercise routine.  I'm still doing yoga and riding my new horse but going very easy on her.  My therapist agrees that swimming is ok so I'm going to increase my laps to make up for the other things I've stopped.  My husband and I are still going to our dance class which I love.  After all, (and here's a confession) I've got to get rid of the few pounds I put on during vacation.  Plus, I'm not one to sit on the sidelines all the time.

I hope you've been active all summer and haven't just sat in the stands at your daughter's softball game, swigging cokes and hotdogs or plopped your butt in a chaise by the pool, drinking a margarita while the kids swim.  Get in the game, get up, get going, have FUN!  Don't let life pass you by while you surf the internet or watch late night TV.  Fix the physical problems and don't let them sideline you either.  Don't wait till age 65 and suddenly wish you had done things differently concerning your health. 

As for food, and you know food is always on my mind, we are back to eating light now that vacation is over.  Gone are the desserts (and martinis).  Take advantage of summer's abundance.  Last night we had fried okra, eggplant and purple hull peas with cornbread for dinner.  We all love fried okra at our house and it can be a part of a healthy diet.  Here is my version of fried okra, without all that yucky batter on it.

Fried Okra
A large bunch of fresh whole okra, washed.  Don't buy okra that is too long - it will be tough.  Always get more okra than you think you need by the way.
canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
Trim stem ends from okra and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds.  Add enough oil to barely cover the bottom of a large, nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add okra and sprinkle with cornmeal till lightly dusted.  Saute until partly browned.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Okra should be somewhat crunchy yet soft in the middle.  Enjoy!    


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