Leading up to January 1st, my mind swirled with thoughts. Where did 2018 go? What successes and failures took place? More importantly, what do I focus on in 2019?
A lot of this dialog is filled with the all consuming, what foods will I give up and/or how will I be healthier in this coming year. Since health isn’t exclusive to what we eat, I’ve come up with a few resolutions for the new year that are just what we need to create healthy habits, especially in the kitchen. Hopefully this will inspire you to create some of your own kitchen resolutions this year!
My Kitchen Resolutions
Make Time for Meals
It doesn’t matter if I am at home or in the office, it’s tough to mentally break away from projects to eat. Often meals will be devoured at desks or eaten quickly while standing at the counter. Creating space and knowing it’s okay to take those 15, 30, or 45 minutes enjoy a meal is a big kitchen resolution for this year.
The free space that is created to actually enjoy a meal, acts as a way to recharge mentally while nourishing your body. When we slow down to eat we experience better digestion and greater meal satisfaction!
Making time for meals also means making time for meals with others. Food is an excellent way to connect with family & friends; food is a conduit for nourishing relationships.
In 2018, I felt as though eating out became too often the norm; we were comfortable heading to our favorite spots or finding new ones while on the road. Even though I LOVE the overall experience of dining at different, one of a kind restaurants, my body craves homemade meals.
The overabundance of salt or fat in commercially made dishes might be what starts to make them less desirable over time. Either way, it’s really best for me to cook more at home. Cooking at home can look different depending on the week. It might be meal prepping on Sunday for the busy week ahead or making special meals every other night [so leftovers get eaten too].
Eat Real Food
Eating real food might not be for you, but it’s for me. Grabbing snacks or whipping up a dinner side might come from a box or two and that’s okay. My goal here is to know what I’m eating, reduce the unnecessary ingredients like soy fillers, and take it day by day.
Let’s just call this kitchen resolution ‘to eat a little cleaner’.
No Sorrys Needed
Spending five minutes or all day preparing a dish shouldn’t leave me with the urge to say “I’m sorry this didn’t turn out…“, “I’m sorry this isn’t moist enough…“, “I’m sorry that the meat is…“, “I’m sorry this isn’t like she used to make it“.
The beauty of making a dish, any dish, is the process of taking a few ingredients and by cooking transforming them into something new that you ultimately will reveal the transformation of to whomever you are sharing dinner with. It’s okay that your plate doesn’t look perfect like that Instagram photo, or that you didn’t feel like you knew what you were doing the entire time in the kitchen. Breathe, smile & serve dinner.
Probably the hardest part of not apologizing for me is having different taste preferences than those I eat with. When someone reaches for the salt or sauce, I instantly think I’ve not done a good job at preparing this meal. Wrong! It’s time to remove this negative thinking. If I wait a short second after our company has taken their first bite, it will be time to kindly accept their praise for a delightful meal.
It’s no secret that as Americans we waste a large amount of food every year. This year I want to challenge myself to make a conscious effort to waste less food. Food waste commonly happens in my home with unfinished leftovers [takeout or not], expired food items, portioning too much during meals and not finishing it, and even the simple fact of buying too much at the grocery store.
Being better at grocery shopping by meal planning + knowing what is in my fridge and pantry already will reduce waste.
Learn to Let Go
Letting go is probably the hardest kitchen resolution for me.
We all have that beloved pan with the coating peeling off, the one spatula that has battle scars from the stove, and kitchen towels with stains from every dish you’ve ever made. It might be difficult to let go of some of these items because we all know their replacement won’t be as good, but there is a point when it’s time to say goodbye.
Letting go of kitchen items might be a combination of things we’ve used too much and those we’ve rarely touched. This resolution is about knowing what kitchen tools I use then making sure the few I love using are quality ones.
My adventure in the kitchen is already a little higher than most since our meats are primarily wild game. When I think of adventure though, it’s not what I’m eating, exactly, it is the process of what I’m about to eat. Trying new methods of preparation can be as adventurous as trying new foods.
There have been so many of my saved pins from 2018 of different ways to cook, can, ferment, and bake. This might just be my starting point for this kitchen resolution.
Enjoy the Moment
Oh, how this kitchen resolution resonates with all aspects of life. When hosting guests, it’s hard to simply sit and enjoy their company over a meal. I’m too busy worried about it they liked the dish, when is the dessert going to be done, and stressing over how much work cleaning up will be when I should be focused on what really matters, food + company.
Being present is tough especially with our ever connectedness to our phone aka virtual relationships. Let’s enjoy this moment. The moment that is right in front of us, this meal and these relationships.
My dinner table has a new rule: no technology allowed.
We want to hear about your kitchen resolutions for 2019! Add what you’ll be doing different this year in our comments section.