Column New years resolutions to keep you eating well in 2015.
A new year, a new chance, right? With a blank slate, the world is your oyster. You could completely change your diet overnight if you really felt like. You could go from meat loving, bacon drooler to hardcore raw vegan overnight if you felt like it. Yes, the birth of a new year always gives us the opportunity for change.
Now normally, I am not big on new year’s resolutions, mostly because so often we set ourselves up for failure. We’ll do this, we’ll avoid that. New years resolutions are for the most part very black and white, with no room for the gray area. But life is all about the gray area.
Food related new years resolutions however don’t have to be black and white. Sure, you could commit to cutting out sugar, but you could also come up with a more sustainable option like “learn how to bake a cake without refined sugar.” Food allows us to experiment, and in the new year, what better way to live healthier than to get creative with what we eat?
With that in mind, here are ten new years resolutions that are all about eating and eating well.
1. Incorporate new foods – how about one a week?
If we’re not careful, routines can quickly turn into ruts. Take inspiration from the #52newfoods challenge and incorporate a new food – or a new way of preparing a food – every single week. It will keep you out of your culinary rut.
2. Find local replacements whenever possible
How about a little olive oil instead of coconut oil? Or blueberries instead of goji berries? There are plenty of things in our everyday diets that have alternatives that can be sourced from closer to home.
3. Learn how to bake a cake without refined sugar
You didn’t think I’d leave this off the list did you? You’d be surprised how many alternatives there are to sugar, and it doesn’t have to mean that your end product tastes like hippy sawdust.
4. Cut out meat for a certain number of meals, or days, every week
The world would be better off if we all ate less meat. However, not everyone is ready to go vegetarian. That’s ok. But what you can do is committing to eating less. If you already have one meat-free day in the week, why not make it two? Set a goal.
5. Stop using coffee pods
If you already ditched that nasty habit in 2014, good for you (and the planet). For the rest of you, please oh please don’t buy into this expensive, wasteful trend.
6. Cook a meal from a country whose cuisine you don’t know anything about
Certain ethnic cuisines get a lot of exposure – Mexican, Thai, Italian – but there is an entire world of food out there waiting to be explored. Don’t limit yourself. Pick a country and learn a few dishes. All I have to say is this: Indonesian satay sauce.
7. Grow something edible
I don’t care if you only have a tiny balcony space with room for one planter, you can at least grow some herbs. Get those hands dirty.
8. Don’t buy food based on looks
9. Decide on a few staples that you can make yourself
There are so many grocery store products that we could easily be making ourselves. Almond butter? Yup, you can do that at home. Nutella? No point in getting store-bought ever again. Rice milk? Cut that off the shopping bill.
10. Stay informed
To keep voting with your fork, you have to know what’s going on in the world of food. Want to keep up with what’s happening in food politics? A few great resources include Civil Eats, Marion Nestle’s Food Politics and Food Tank.
Now, here’s to a healthy and delicious 2015!
Related on EcoSalon
This is the latest installment of Anna Brones’ weekly column at EcoSalon: Foodie Underground, an exploration of what’s new and different in the underground movement, and how we make the topic of good food more accessible to everyone. More musings on the topic can be found at www.foodieunderground.com.