I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions in any proper sense, but it’s not because I’m opposed to them. On the contrary, I actually like them quite a bit. Every year when January draws near, I delight in giving some thought to what areas in my life could benefit from a bit of a kick in the pants (or an all-out do over, as the case may be) and relish the thought of a brand new start on 1/1.
So I was thinking that I want to write more on my blog, and to that end I signed up for the January Reflections project. And then I promptly and somewhat impulsively, but genuinely nonetheless, jumped headfirst into a pretty significant change in lifestyle (specifically in our eating habits) that has sucked every last bit of free time, and all my best intentions to write have fallen to the wayside. What a good surprise it was, then, to see that one of the prompts this time around is about food. For the last week or so, I’ve been either planning, shopping, preparing, eating, or cleaning up food, so, yeah, I might as well write about it too.
I like food a lot. Too much, of course. I love to browse cookbooks and food blogs, and in the last couple of years I’ve finally realized that, yes, I really do like to cook. I’m not headed for Top Chef anytime soon, but I do okay.
Food in our house has been somewhat uninspired, I admit. For as much as I love looking for new recipes and thinking about the fabulous things we could eat, the reality of our weekly menu has been more Good Housekeeping than Bon Appétit. There are a number of reasons for that—some legitimate (a picky two-year-old, for example) and some not as much (my too-thin skin when new recipes aren’t instant favorites). But I have just lately, maybe even just in the past couple of days, been realizing that I have been holding back, that I’ve not been enjoying feeding my family as much as I could or should, that I haven’t been thinking of my interest in preparing creative, nutritious, and delicious food as legitimate, that I have been squelching my inner foodie (and not just because I hate that word). Without much trouble or therapy, I could figure out some of the whys, but those aren’t necessarily the kinds of things I like to divulge on the old blog, so instead I’ll just say that most of what’s holding me back sounds pretty silly when I say it out loud and that something seems to finally be clicking in a change-for-the-better sort of way.
So I/we are (mostly) taking the Eat Right America 28-Day Challenge. Initially, I thought I would just try a few recipes here and there but carry on pretty much as before, but then I remembered that I’m generally an all-or-nothing kind of gal. If it gives you any idea, I tried fourteen new recipes last week—yep, that’s two a day. And while there’s no way I can keep up that pace, I really do need to keep trying new things because the target is 94 percent unrefined plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds), 4 percent meat and dairy, and 2 percent processed foods or snacks. And, well, that’s different from how we’ve been eating around here, to put it mildly. We’re trying to find the balance among the family members—I am adventurous in eating, always wanting to try another new recipe; Jason knows what he likes and likes to stick to it, though he’s been incredibly supportive and even enthusiastic about this; Simon will cautiously try new things, but he’s two (enough said); and Ian is just learning to eat, and I figure he’s mine to shape (mwahaha).
I’ll be sharing the keepers, and there are many, on Needs More Butter (even though they’re diametrically opposed to the “more butter” part).