New Year Resolutions to Make and Keep
Like it or not, we are all creatures of habit. Like the proverbial lemming, we dutifully trot out our list of new year resolutions at the end of every December, with every good intention in the world of sticking to them. But because the mind is willing and the flesh is wobbly and weak, new year resolutions also have a nasty habit of falling by the wayside after the first week, if that. And thus we continue to lament about our weight while chomping on a large serve of fries with our burger, and complain that we can't find anything in the kitchen even as we buy yet another appliance we don't need and will likely never use. Even writing this has a distinct stench of deja vu about it that tells me I'm every bit as culpable, so why don't we pledge to do something about it this year and actually make it happen, dear readers?
And forget going on a diet, or losing weight, it's all about achievable goals, yo, ergo, here's a list I reckon will be as good as any to get everyone back on track:
1) Give your kitchen, larder and appliances a probably long overdue overhaul. If you haven't actually used something for a year, chances are you never will. Ditto that slow juicer you received for your wedding/engagement/birthday. Set up a box for your discards and sell whatever you can online, before donating the rest to charity. It's surprisingly cathartic but it's not carte blanche to replace the empty space with new purchases, mind.
2) Read at least one good food book a month. There's a surfeit of culinary classics just begging to be devoured, from Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's The Physiology of Taste and John Lanchester's The Debt to Pleasure, to The Art of Eating by M. F. K. Fisher. You'll be inspired, reinvigorated, and brimming with brilliant ideas to implement at your next meal.
3) Feed someone in need. I embarked on an informal programme several months ago to cook extra food for a friend, neighbour, or stranger in need, and this simple act of altruism has had the surprising benefit of being amazingly therapeutic. Try it, you'll be surprised how rewarding it can be.
4) Buy local. You'll reduce your carbon footprint, your food will be fresher, taste better and be infinitely more nutritious than a piece of fruit or meat that's travelled 5,000 miles to arrive at your supermarket. Apart from doing your body a favour, you'll also be supporting local farmers, and by ensuring their continued survival, you'll also be guaranteed a constant supply of fresh produce. Everybody wins.
5) Work towards zero waste. If you buy only what you are certain you'll consume, you'll be forestalling the need to throw food out that's gone bad just because you couldn't use it in time. And before you lament that it's impossible to know how much you'll need, just think about the week ahead. How many social events do you have? Late working nights where you most likely won't cook? Then do the math and shop accordingly. Few things sicken me as much as seeing good food being thrown out. Worst of all, it's totally preventable.
6) Eat at least 50% raw. If you know it's going to be challenging, make a smoothie in the morning and get that into your system before you even go to work. That way, even if you wind up having restaurant food, you'll have the pleasure of knowing that the extra 20 minutes you invested in feeding your body good fruit and vegetables via the smoothie will stand you in good stead.
As for me, I resolve not to inundate you with more lists after this week's installment. Happy new year, y'all. May yours be a peaceful, happy, safe, and ultimately, a delicious one.