Some people like to make a list of things they intend to do in the coming year, things like lose weight or stop smoking. Then there are those who don't bother with New Year's resolutions, perhaps because it's like setting oneself up for failure if the resolutions are too big, unrealistic, or vague.
We've compiled a list of easy yet meaningful changes you can make, changes that will be fun and inspiring. Feel free to borrow one or more of these resolutions and call them your own. Even if you do just one, it will be a good thing.
Resolutions for 2017
- Try a new vegetable you've never eaten or cooked before. A few suggestions: kohlrabi, celery root, swiss chard
- Do a gardening project: You could start a whole garden or just plant a tomato seedling in a pot. Doing this will help you feel more connected to your food and help you appreciate what farmers do.
- Cook more – If you don't feel you have much knowledge about cooking, buy a cookbook and use it or sign up for a cooking class. Perhaps set a goal of cooking a homemade dinner once per week.
- Try something new in bulk – If you buy a lot of chips, crackers, candy, etc. for snacks, take a good look at the bulk department at Oryana and consider trying some dried fruit or nuts. You can taste anything you want before you buy it. Just ask a store employee for assistance.
- Walk more – Instead of joining a gym that you will only use for a few weeks, resolve to take some brisk walks several times a week. The Civic Center in Traverse City is lit up at night for after work or evening walks. There are many options for walking in TC and other areas including the Commons by Building 50, Hickory Meadows on Randolph St., the Boardman trail behind the YMCA.
- Give more – Buy an extra can or two of food every time you shop and when you have a good bagful accumulated, take it to Goodwill or Father Fred or other food pantry. The need is still great in our area.
- Bake something complicated – Make an intimidating, yummy baked good from scratch like cinnamon rolls, french bread, or pie. If it turns out good you will savor every bite of it, and if it doesn't, you will most likely have learned something about why it didn't.
- Ask your older relatives for cherished recipes. You'll be glad you did it before it was too late and you'll be able to carry on some wonderful culinary traditions.
- Eat chocolate! Yes, that's right. As long as it's fair trade and children and farmers didn't have to suffer in the growing of the cacao, studies show that eating a little dark chocolate every day is actually good for you.
- Buy seasonal food from a local source. In other words, do not buy California tomatoes in August at a regular grocery store when you can buy luscious, ripe, fantastic tomatoes from the farmer's market or at Oryana, tomatoes that were grown on Leelanau Peninsula.
- Invite your kids to cook with you. It will be fun for them (and you, hopefully) and perhaps instill some knowledge and appreciation of good food so that when they grow up and leave home, they will be able to cook for themselves and not just open a can of spaghettios and heat it in the microwave.