Haaappppy New Year! I hope you’re having a thoroughly enjoyable day. Unfortunately it’s reached the point at which the combined caffeine/sugar rush from coffee and black bean brownies is starting to wear off. Better get this post (the first for 2014!) underway before my head drops to my chest and I start drooling. Over exaggeration? Only slightly.
I’m not a fan of using the term ‘resolution’ around New Year. Am I wimpy for thinking it might be a cursed word? It doesn’t mean I don’t make ‘resolutions’. They’re just called goals instead. ‘Goals’ sounds less intimidating, less of an ultimatum and more hopeful. More achievable. It’s an everyday term. Which is what it should be. Why ‘reinvent’ yourself on just one day of the year? Admittedly it is a nice, convenient place to start. Nothing wrong with that. But should it not be the first step of many, rather than a leap off a cliff? Gotta keep things realistic. What then are our realistic food goals for 2014?
- Flexibility. Don’t have the exact ingredients required for that tagine you’ve been eyeing off? Use your imagination and come up with a substitute. You never know what wonderful new combination you might uncover. Local café run out of your usual meal? Try something new. Don’t let age-old habits prevent you from expanding your culinary experience.
- Balance. It’s starting to sound like a yoga ad isn’t it? While we’re on the subject, add yoga to your list of 2014 goals too. Even if you’re as flexible as a lamppost (trust me, you’re not alone), even savasana, the most basic pose – lying flat on your back – does wonders. But lets not get too side tracked. A slab of cake is nothing to feel guilty about. Just limit it to a smallish piece. And don’t make it a frequent habit. Eat some carrot sticks and hummus to even things out. Had a few too many glasses of bubbly last night? Get back on track with a virtuous smoothie. Finding a balance with your eating will keep both your body and your mind content – being too rigid in your eating will lead to an unhappy chappy down the track.
- Limit your food waste. Make shopping lists. Actually stick to them. Use up the ingredients and fresh produce you currently have before buying more. Meal sizes are too large at restaurants? Share with someone. Or ask to take it home. You’ve paid for it, you can do what you like with it. Don’t shy away from gnarly produce – half the time it tastes better than it’s picture perfect counterparts. Small as they may be, every action counts. Remind yourself that food is a precious commodity. Treat it like one.
- Slow down. Taste your food. Inhale the aromas of the meal, rather than the meal itself. Squeeze as much enjoyment out of it as possible. It’s one of life’s necessities. You might as well make the most of it.
We’ll round up here before I stray into the realm of bumbling unintelligible nonsense. If those four points feel too overwhelming there’s one phrase that encapsulates them all. Can you guess what it is? That’s right. Taste Without Waste. Three words. That’s all. Here’s to a 2014 filled with mostly (we’re being realistic remember?) enjoyable food experiences.