Ladies and gents, it’s January 17th. 17 days into the new year and 17 painful days of getting used to our new routines and resolutions. How are you doing so far? I’m sure there was a pretty ugly period as you detoxed the sugar out of your system or you got up earlier than the chickens to get to the gym, but I’m guessing by now it’s becoming routine, right? Good for you!! And if you’ve slipped… You are human. It was bound to happen.
I’m the type of person that makes a bigillion resolutions every year. As a matter of fact, I actually make a personal strategic plan. (Yep, I’m that lame.) Of course, what sounds good in December usually becomes overwhelming a few days into January. Some things stay on my to-do list. Others, I let go of pretty quickly. This year I am giving myself permission that this isÂ OK. Â I’m giving you that same permission, too. If you weren’t able to stick with something for a few weeks, that means it’s obviously not a priority in your life right now. Now, I’m not saying that you should ignore your health, finances, or stack of books you’ve meant to read for the last three years forever, but spend some time thinking about the resolution and why you choose it in the first place. Perhaps your goal was too big and would be easier broken down into smaller pieces. Perhaps you just made the resolution because that’s what you always do this time of year. How could you make this more important to you and easier to tackle?
I would suggest we can all benefit from small changes in our life. Just as we should never stop learning, we should never stop trying to better ourselves. Whether you’re going strong, have fallen off the wagon, or never bought into the whole resolution idea in the first place, here are a few things related to food for you could still pick up to make 2013 your best year yet. (Read all the way to the bottom for the easiest resolution of your life!)
Join a CSA.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Through these programs, farmers collect money early in the year for a share of everything they plan on growing that year. Typically this is for vegetables (and some fruit), but I’m seeing more and more dairy, meat, and even bread CSAs in my area. I’ve participated in a CSA for the past two years. I believe the cost is equalÂ to picking up the groceries at the store, but this program has opened my eyes to many vegetables I had never tried in the past. (Did you knowÂ BrusselsÂ sprouts are actually delicious!?) My farmer also provides maple syrup and eggs from his neighbors. It’s a great way to support the community and know where my food comes from. Some of the CSAs are certified organic, but most have told me it’s too expensive to get certified. They typically still practice mostly organic growing methods, which is probably 100 times better than the grocery store version and good enough for me.
A CSA is great and all, but unless you live in the south, the produce available this time of year is pretty meager. A girl can only eat so many root vegetables! During these cold weather months, strive to use your local grocery, not the generic big box stores found across the land. If you’re lucky enough, these local grocers will stock local products and have a small enough staff that those working in different departments will actually know about the food you have questions about. And of course we all know that money kept in the community is a good thing, right?
Plant a Garden.
Let’s combine the last two – eating from a farm and shopping local. It doesn’t get more local or straight from the ground than if you grow your food in your own backyard (patio, windowsill, etc.)! Make this your year to dig up some grass and make space for a small plot of your favorites. What can you never get enough of? For me, it’s tomatoes and peppers. Last year I ordered heirloom seeds of both vegetables and had great fun cooking and freezing them for winter. I am still working through my bag of frozen green peppers! Gardening may sound intimidating, but as long as you water every now and then and have a sunny spot in your yard, you should be fine. If I can do it, I know you can!
Stop Using Sandwich Bags.
Easiest. Resolution. Ever. Pick up a bunch of these reusable sandwich bags from Mamamade and never have to buy the plastic stuff again! She also has snapping paper towels, which I think is the most brilliant idea. Let this store make you think – how else could you get rid of the plastic in your life?
What food related resolution have you brought in to 2013? What’s still in the works?