Every year around this time people make their New Years’ Resolutions and invariably one of them involves eating healthily. Perhaps its the not-so-distant memories of December’s holiday binges that make us reach for the water bottles and salads, but either way the focus on healthy eating and dieting is never more in focus than in January.
I don’t put much stock in resolutions, after all if it is something important that you want to commit to it should not take the changing of a calendar day to goad you into action. I am however a big fan of eating healthy, only in my case I like to call it “eating well”. For me eating well encompasses not only the nutritional part of my food but also the communal and monetary benefits. Do my food dollars stay in my community? Is it healthy for my budget? Does it nourish my soul as well as my body? In my mind these aspects of my meals are just as important as their taste and quality.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few of things I am already doing or plan to start doing in order to eat well in 2013 and beyond:
Less meat. This one is a no-brainer, but I find it all too easy to fall into the meat trap. The American diet is too heavily focused on meat proteins, in my opinion, and I am going to continue to strive to eat less meat. When I do eat meat, I prefer it to be local and humanely raised and slaughtered. I’d rather my food dollars end up in the pockets of my friends at Fickle Creek Farm or Ever Laughter Farm instead of the pockets of executives at Cargill and Tyson.
Stir-fries. Ever since I started the Wok Wednesdays cooking club last year I’ve become more and more enamored with stir-frying. I enjoy its speed, its ease of technique, and its focus on bringing together a few quality ingredients to make a delicious and healthy meal. Stir-fries often use meats as a flavoring rather than a showstopper, and with a background of rice instead of mashed potatoes or bread, I’m not filling up on empty, butter-laden carbs. I have been encouraging all of my friends and family to join me in my stir-fry adventures, and you should do the same!
Do It Yourself. Last spring I started a list of Homesteading Goals in an effort to live a more DIY, less-consumerist lifestyle, and sadly to say I have not gotten as far as I would have liked. In my mind eating well also encompasses living well, which means less reliance on large corporations and pre-made products. If I can bake my own bread instead of buy it I can have complete control over the nutritional quality of that bread. If I can make my own cleaning products I can have control over which chemicals I introduce into my household. I am hoping to become much more self-reliant in 2013 by doing things such as curing my own bacon, grinding my own meats, making my own deodorants, soaps, and cleaning products, and continuing to remove myself from the consumerist cycle as much as possible.
Exercise. This is perhaps the one goal that I always fall short on. No matter how healthy my meals are, if I am not exercising regularly than I am not treating my body with the respect it reserves. I cannot afford to join a gym, so for me exercising means getting around town on my bike more often, doing yoga and back exercises in my home (I have constant back pain issues), and talking more regular walks and jogs when the weather allows. I always feel better when I’m exercising, and I hope to make regular exercise as important a part of my daily and weekly routine as eating or showering.
Those are just a few of the goals I have made for myself in order to eat well, and live well, in 2013. I hope you’ll stick around and join me on my journey!
Stir-fried garlic spinach from Grace Young’s “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge”. One of my favorite healthy snacks.
I'm Matt. I love food. I love to grow it, cook it, eat it, learn about it, write about it, and talk about it. I believe that there are few things more important in life than what we put into our bodies. I believe food should be healthy for body, mind, and planet.
Once, while I was living in Ecuador, I ate some roast guinea pig from a street vendor. It was one of the best experiences and worst stomach aches of my life.