I learned a long time ago not to make new year’s resolutions. What’s the point? I don’t keep them, and that would inevitably lead to feeling horrible and guilty about myself for not keeping such good intentions. That said, not making set and concreted resolutions apparently helps me to stay on track with what I’d like to do this year, instead of what I’m going to make myself do. For example:
- Lose inches and get fit.
- Learn to cook and eat more healthily.
- Pay more attention to my food costs – waste not, want not!
- Learn to cook – and enjoy! – more types and kinds of food, from soups to curries to blood pudding (okay, a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea).
- Slim down my lifestyle and my belongings, not necessarily limited to my pantry (but a big part!)
- Eat as fresh and seasonally as I can!
- Post more recipes (and pictures)!
These things are continuously swimming through my head on and off, and have been since before the first of the year. In readjusting the energy of my apartment, I cleaned out the refrigerator and started on the pantry (still in progress). I want to downsize the amount of stuff in the pantry – a good bit of it I don’t use, so what’s the use of it taking up space in an already space-limited area? I started from the ground up, where my cans are stored. A good many of them are going to my in-laws church can drive, cans that I ‘inherited’ from my old roommate, stuff that I don’t eat (like canned apricots and Campbell’s condensed soup, ick). I cut my canned food space in half, leaving me with my favorites – black beans, pineapple, chickpeas, Allen’s green beans, mandarin slices, etc. Now I have room to stock more black beans, Le Seur peas (354 won’t eat any other peas), chickpeas and a good many of new groceries I hadn’t considered before, like kidney beans and cannelinis. (I’m pretty picky when it comes to canned fruit, so no new stuff there.) Now comes the next shelf up, which was supposed to be for sauces and savory condiments. The shelf above that is the one that worries me – my ‘spice rack.’ I may have to be harsher on myself than I’d like on that shelf. :)
The refrigerator itself wasn’t difficult, but the freezer is hard. It’s full of meat that I simply haven’t cooked or don’t think about until it’s too late to thaw for supper. I’ll keep the freezer in mind for the future, so I can clear out some space for containers of frozen stock (another non-resolution for the year – homemade stock), sauces, pestos and whatever else. My new cookbooks and appliances are giving me all kinds of ideas for the year, and I’m looking forward to kitchen testing as the year goes on.
I’m also trying my best to follow the Body+Soul 2009 Challenge. It’s something new for me, but I think a little challenge is good for a body. Week 1 is the detox week, which is difficult, but probably not as difficult as I think it will be. Today is Day 2 for me (you can start whenever you want), and tomorrow starts the meal plan. I normally don’t consume a lot of real meat anymore, either because it’s expensive or because I’m lazy, but the idea of going without for some days on a prescribed plan kind of makes me tweaky. Maybe it’s a problem with being told what to do – only child syndrome, or something. In any case, I’m going to do my best to stick to it. I love legumes more now than I ever did before, so some cooked beans will satisfy. I have whole brown rice in the pantry that needs eating, and I just bought some gai lan (Chinese broccoli) at the Asian market a day or two ago. I’d like to make some real hummus (just need to find tahini) at home to cut back on extra sugars or preservatives, but I can run by the grocery and pick up some quick fixes if I have to. All in all, while I don’t agree with a plant-based diet, the detox won’t necessarily be a bad thing for me. I’m kind of looking forward to learning my body better and reigniting real hunger and necessity for food instead of a mindless chain of eating for no reason. I think this blog is essential for that, and has been ever since I started it last year. Normally I wouldn’t write down what I cook or eat, but posting it here has been a way not only to share my creations but to look back at myself and how I’m eating.
Over this year, while I’m not going to stop posting things that are good and not good for you, because those treats have their place, I’m going to try and cook with healthier, fresher ingredients. I’m going to try to branch out to local markets like the local MarketFresh or the local CSA to find what’s fresh and seasonal. I’m going to try to season my food better, see what I like and don’t like. I’m not saying I cook like Julia and drench everything in butter and salt (I still love you, Julia!) as it is, but I could do better. (Ari’s post for the new year is an inspiration.) And as I go, I want to share my progress with readers, not only for your optical enjoyment, but to keep me honest, too. Maybe along the way I’ll become a better blogger, a better designer, a better food photographer, in additon to a cleaner, healthier person.
So here’s to 2009, a new year where anything can happen.