Saturday, December 31, 2011

Food Resolutions 2012

Every year we make New Year's Resolutions..right? And do we keep them? Not so much. Guilty as charged. Here are a list of New Year's resolutions that might be easier to keep in small changes that create big changes later.

1. Cut out as much processed food as possible.
If it comes in a box that has to be frozen it might not be so good for you.

2. Drink water and cut out pop and juices and fancy coffees. I am guilty of the fancy coffee one. Water does not add calories and will hydrate you and make your internal organs function properly. Yeah I like those flavoured drinks too but skip the liquid calories and save them for some tasty food.

3. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try buying new vegetables you have never made before and find a great recipe and try adding it to your cooking repetoire. The more variety of vegetables the better the health benefits. And the added bonus will be that you won't get bored from eating the same vegetables every week.

4. White stuff. Cut down or cut out white foods such as Sugar, White Flour, Salt. Yeah they all make food taste good but we have increased our consumption of these things so much that they are killing us. Use Stevia or Agave in place of Sugar when you need to. Use other types of flours if you can substitute, like quinoa or rice flours or even whole wheat is a bit better. Salt.. use fresh herbs to bump up the flavour or use small amounts of things like parmesan cheese to get that salty taste.

5. Fried Food... BAD, BAD, BAD... but tastes GOOD, GOOD, GOOD. yes I love me some fried food. They say everything tastes better when it's fried and put it on a stick and then you have a fried party on a stick. But frying things changes their molecular structure and also adds a ton of extra fat calories. So I will try and limit or eliminate fried foods.

6. Red Meat... limit or eliminate this if you can. I know it's hard to give up your steaks and hamburgers but it's better for you and the environment. I am going to try and limit my consumption of red meat for health reasons and I am sure it couldn't hurt financially.

7. Salmon is your friend. If you like fish then Wild Salmon or Sardines will be your best friend when making food resolutions. Salmon and Sardines are high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are great for things like depression, healthy hair, nails and even bones. Your body will thank you and people will notice how much better you look. Make sure you look for WILD Salmon instead of farmed salmon for the healthiest option.

8. Alcohol. While I don't drink much I am not going to tell you to give up your social drinking forever. Just think about what you are drinking and slow it down. A glass of red wine with dinner is a good thing. Cooking with Wine is a good thing. Drinking a whole bottle of wine without dinner and home alone is not such a good thing. Maybe limit your drinking to once a week and one or 2 drinks to celebrate occasions with friends. The average drink is roughly 100 calories. Think of a 6 pack of beer ...if you pass on the 6 pack of beer maybe you can get the 6 pack abs instead.

9. Cooking utensils. Go through your inventory of pots and pans and toss out all your old Teflon frying pans and invest in a cast iron skillet or grill pan. It will last forever if you take care of it and will add iron instead of toxic substances into your food when you cook with it.

10. Cooking methods. Try poaching, steaming, baking and broiling your foods. These are the best methods for keeping your food healthy. People say RAW is better. Buy a juicer if you prefer to drink your fruits and vegetables. Puree your soups and take them with you in a thermos if you need to. Think outside the cooking box.

I know it's hard to make these changes. I have struggled and been successful at some of these things. I recently had a party and made almost an equal assortment of healthy and not as healthy options. Unfortunately the healthy options were the less popular choice and the higher fat options were the things that were eaten the most. It's a work in progress. I am trying to find recipes that taste like high fat foods but aren't. I did make a healthier chocolate chip cookie that people liked so there is hope.
Don't give up. Try to do as many of these things as you can and even if you only take on 1 of these and carry it through 2012 you will have made a huge change in your health by the end of the Year.
I will try and take my own advice this year and hopefully make as many healthy changes as I can in 2012.

I have done it before and I know I can do it again. This is the year to make a change and stick to it.

Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR and a Healthier New Year too.


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