New Year, Food Resolutions

I make New Year's resolutions every single year. I always buy a fresh planner and on the first page scribble down my goals and plans for the year. I am excited by the idea of change and my resolutions for the first few weeks become the focus of my life. Unfortunately and without fail, by mid-February they fly out of my head. I get busy, stressed, distracted, you name it. Resolutions were meant to be broken. This year, I've decided to make a big change in how I put together my yearly plan for habit shifts. Instead of writing down general goals I'm fleshing them out, one by one, on this site. I want to be accountable in both my actions and my writing.

Full disclosure: I'm not really on the vegan/gluten-free/cooking-only-with-vegetables/organic -everything train. Shocker, I know. I cook based on a sliding scale of healthy and predominantly focus on what's most affordable. I've never really stopped to read labels or check how many additives are in my marinara sauce or frozen waffles. My approach to food is what I would consider totally average. If nothing else, I am an emotional eater and cook. Bad mood means meatballs and pasta. Great mood means chia seed pudding for breakfast, apples and carrots for a snack, and then lasagna for dinner. On a bad day I'm Nigella Lawson, sneaking to the fridge before bedtime for a scrumptious snack. A good day looks a bit more like Ina Garten with nice olive oil and cheese assortments. Oh, I also stress eat fruit. I'll reach for four nectarines over a chocolate bar any day of the week but the sugar content is off the charts either way.

Last month, however, my mentality totally shifted. It honestly felt like it happened overnight. I've been between jobs, spending a full month at home feeling a bit depressed, not particularly motivated, and eating all the pasta. Guess what happened next? I gained weight, felt sluggish, and even more depressed. So, I decided that when we got back from the holidays I would change the way I eat,  starting with the elimination of as much sugar, dairy, and processed foods as possible. Not because I feel sad for the cows (animal cruelty is an important issue, but this is not a politically driven post) and not because I think the sugar industry is evil (even though, guys, I think it might be). I am cutting back on these items because when I drink too much milk and put mozzarella on my salad, my stomach hurts. Sugar makes me cranky and forces my stretchy pants to become even stretchier. Also, the more I read about additives in foods the less I have faith that my future babies won't come out with four eyes.

This doesn't mean the mission statement of With a Grain of Salt is changing. I'm not going to start promoting all organic, all gluten-free, all anything. I firmly believe that - to a certain degree-  your budget should not affect the kind of food you are able to cook. There is a huge problem with food deserts and lack of fresh ingredients in many communities but this blog does not make it's purpose to address those issues. I want to be more accountable in the kind of recipes and food I promote on this page while sticking to the original mission statement.

Discussion, recipes, and tips about a realistic approach to living a healthy, sustainable life on a budget of money and time.

All of this is to say that I am making a conscious choice to pay better attention to what I'm putting into my body. I wasn't unhealthy before - my diet has always included plenty of fruits and vegetables- but I want to be even better. Call it a New Year's resolution, if you will. I prefer thinking of it as a logical step in the process of becoming a healthier and stronger woman.