Let’s be real for a minute. Does anyone actually stick to their new year’s resolutions? My Twitter feed is loaded with links to articles like, “10 Resolutions You’ll Actually Stick To!” Over the holiday, my sister-in-law asked me if I’ve ever had a resolution that worked and if yes, for how long. I started to ponder and I honestly don’t think I’ve had one work longer than a few months. But hey, don’t think that will stop me from setting new ones. Maybe 2102 will be the year!

Before I dive into my resolutions, I first want to pat myself on the back for a few food related things I did accomplish this year. They weren’t new year’s resolutions, but a goal none the less. I really should say “we” since all of these include my hubby too.

 

Accomplishments

Reusable Produce Bags

Last Christmas, I stuffed hubby’s stocking with a pack of reusable produce bags. Guess what. We are ACTUALLY using them (we store them in our canvas shopping bags). If you want some serious street cred, show up at Farmer’s Market, TJ’s or Whole Foods and watch people eye your produce bags with a mix of envy and approval. Even the cashiers/farmers make the “I love your bags” comment a good 70% of the time. Cheap, simple, reusable. Done.

Related post: A Tisket a Tasket, a Plastic Bag in Basket?

Salad Dressing HOMEMADE

This is actually a recent accomplishment. Hubby and I would constantly talk about how we should really make our own salad dressings. But by the next shopping trip, our resolve was gone and into the cart went an assortment of vinaigrette, Caesar and Italian dressings. Then something happened. We ran out. Since we make salad on a daily basis, we were “forced” into making our own dressings. In the beginning the dressings were okay, but by the end of the week, they were bordering on awesome. Most go something like this: EVOO (don’t hate on Rachel Ray!), some type of vinegar or lemon juice, either fresh or dried herbs, fresh or powdered garlic/onion, and salt and pepper. Hubby likes to add cumin. Benefits: cheaper, healthier, and no more thickeners, gums and canola oil (see below).

Made the Raw Milk Switch

We don’t consume a ton of milk, but when we need it we try to buy raw. This one requires a little more pre-planning since I’ve found that if we don’t buy it at farmers market or in the course of shopping, and then suddenly need milk later, it ends up the non-raw variety. I do believe that if you are going to consume milk, especially drinking it straight, raw is best. I realize that this is not an option for everyone and luckily, there are now more options for high quality, sustainably farmed, organic milk (look for whole milk – non-homogenized/”cream-top” variety).

Related post: Raw Milk Gets a Raw Deal

Non-stick cookware free

After doing research for an article on the risks of using non-stick cookware, we slowly started getting rid of our Teflon and non-stick stuff. At this point I’d say that 90% of our cookware is non-stick free. What’s left? A wok, muffin tins and a waffle iron. We make waffles about once every two years and muffins? I have no recollection of actually making homemade muffins or cupcakes. The wok, however, stands out as we use it about once per month. It was brand new and expensive so this will have to wait for the next cookware purchase.

Related post: Risks of Non-Stick Cookware Too Great to Ignore

Prepare Meals for the Week

On our fridge sits a magnetized white board. All year we’ve been planning out our menu for the week and writing down dinner for each night on the board. This accomplishes a few things. First, no more thinking about what to make. Second, everyone knows what to expect. Third, the whole family gets involved in meal planning (my little one’s favorite request is gnocchi). Fourth, you already have all the ingredients at home so no unnecessary store trips. We’ve really managed to reduce our weekly grocery bill by sticking to the list & menu.

Go Canola Free

We’ve officially made the switch and no longer purchase canola or vegetable oils. Instead, we use olive oil and coconut oil. Canola oil is in everything, especially “healthy food,” so make sure to read your labels. I can’t say we’re totally canola free since it is in so many things, but no more buying bottles of it.

Related: Canola Oil Ingredient Report

 

Resolutions

Exercise

I realize this is not a food resolution, but it just wouldn’t be a proper resolution list if exercise weren’t on it. I’m not trying for the gym 5 days a week, more like 20 minutes of heart pumping “exercise” (dancing, jumping jacks, wrestling, playing tag with my 3 yr old) a day. One gym visit a week for a really good sweat, weights, and the ability to exercise without my little helper.

Break the Canned Goods Habit

We don’t eat canned soup anymore since my hubby’s homemade soup is astronomically better, but we do buy a fair amount of canned beans, corn and tomatoes. The reason for the resolution? BPA. The more I read about BPA, the scarier it becomes and the more I realize we have to make a concerted effort to reduce exposure. The plan? Buy frozen organic corn. Make our own beans (see resolution below). Start researching BPA-free tomatoes (I know Eden Foods and Pomi are BPA free).

Make Our Own Beans

On our counter right now sits a generously sized glass bowl filled with dried black beans, water, and a few tablespoons of Bragg’s unfiltered apple cider vinegar. The beans are for fajitas tomorrow night (the peppers and onions are marinating in some homemade goodness – see above for homemade salad dressing accomplishment). If you look back in history, traditional people took great care in the soaking and preparation of their beans. There was a good reason for this. The apple cider vinegar (or other acid) and overnight soaking helps to release some of the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Step 1 was not buying canned beans. Step 2 is making our own. Preparing beans yourself is not really that hard, it just requires planning and time. Future blog post on the benefits of soaking legumes coming soon.

There are a ton of other things I’m trying to do this year: reduce my wheat and gluten intake, cut-down on sugar and desserts, buy more local eggs, continue to reduce consumption of processed soy, go to bed earlier (although I have no idea how I’m going to do this and blog at the same time!), make farmer’s market a ritual…the list just keeps going and going. The bottom line is I don’t need January 1st to come along to make healthy changes in my life. Get your family and loved ones involved, and in the words of Nike, “Just Do It.”

Do you have any food resolutions for 2012?

Any food or health related accomplishments you’d like to share?

We love to read comments from our followers.

 

Photo: Jonas Dalidd