Already Broke Your Resolutions? Make New, Fun, Edible Ones.
Losing weight? Yawn. What a boring resolution, and one you’ve probably already faltered on (if you haven’t… um… you go, girlfriend/boyfriend!)
I’ve long believed in making tangible resolutions that are small but can make a big difference. One year my resolution was to be better about flossing, which, I’m proud to say, I’m great about now. My dear friend made a new year’s resolution to make sure she watches her Netflix movies in a more timely manner so her subscription money isn’t wasted. These are not only good, achievable goals, but also won’t leave us feeling like failures by February. And shouldn’t that really be the point?
If you want to lose weight, fantastic, but focus on something smaller, like drinking more water or making one meal a day a vegetarian meal. And, if you’re like me, who has thrown in the towel on the whole losing-weight thing, try some of these more enjoyable, food-related resolutions:
Drink better beer.
We all have our old standbys, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But with the wider availability of microbrews and craft beers, widen your horizons! You might find something you never knew you liked. One of my favorite recent discoveries is bourbon barrel-aged Allagash Curieux. David Jensen has written some great articles including Awesome Craft Beers in a Can, A Craft Beer Glossary, and Craft Beers to Try Before You Die.
Eat a fruit or vegetable you’ve never heard of.
Chances are there’s a farmers’ market near you, and chances are, they’ve got some funny-looking, unfamiliar natural stuff that grew out of the ground or on a tree. Get it! What else is the internet for than for looking up how to cut fruit x or prepare vegetable y? We’re dawning on cherimoya season, so perhaps seek that out. Or visit a cutting-edge restaurant serving kohlrabi or sunchokes. Or take things a step further and join a community-supported agriculture program. You might hate fruit x, you might love vegetable y, but you’ll never know unless you try.
Be more thoughtful about where your food comes from.
You’ve surely heard lots about local sourcing, sustainable seafood, and the farm to table movement. But have you ever considered the politics of chocolate? What about fair trade coffee? You don’t have to completely transform your eating habits, but you’d be surprised how awareness will change the product choices you make.
Graduate from cream cheese.
In October, Kirstin Jackson wrote an article about spreadable cheeses. I’d never heard of any of them, but one she called out was labneh, a Mediterranean kefir cheese that I found at my grocery store. Since Kirstin has impeccable taste, I decided to get it. Holy moly! Not only is it more tart than cream cheese (which I like), but it’s lower in fat!
Make some food friends.
No one’s going to blame you for enjoying the convenience of the 24-hour grocery store. But this year, make a point to talk to and learn from food experts around you. Start with your local butcher. Ask him/her for recommendations and watch the craft that goes into selecting and cutting meat for you. You’ll be amazed at what a better product you can get if you occasionally visit a specialty store. What about a cheese shop? A wine store or wine bar? And definitely meet a fishmonger if you’re lucky enough to live by the water. These people not only have many interesting stories to tell, but they appreciate your business more than the faceless grocery chain might.
Now get going, and happy new year!