3 Food Resolutions for 2017

The word “resolutions” makes me gag as much as rotten watermelon. Why make January anymore painful? We’re already overburdened with impending deadlines and disheartening winter weather. So I’ve got three food-centric resolutions—don’t worry there’s no mention of paleo here—that require absolutely no commitment. Try them once and you can count yourself resolved. Say though you give it a go and actually like what you experience, well, then go ahead and turn it into habit.

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Buy one unfamiliar item at the grocery store

When your workload grows, grocery shopping often becomes quick and thoughtless—if you make it to the grocery store at all. Milk, check. Apples, check. Frozen pizza, check. Where’s the fun in that? There isn’t. Sure, submitting to routine is easy, but it’s boooring. Next time you drag your feet down the aisles, choose one unfamiliar piece of produce, brand of cereal, seasoning or whatever. To guarantee you actually make use of it rather than leaving it to gather dust in the cupboard, swap out an equivalent for an item you already buy. For example, instead of spaghetti noodles, buy udon or instead green grapes, buy concord. Buy it in small quantities with a couple backup servings of your regular. That way you’re not left eating something you don’t actually like until the next grocery shop.

Follow a recipe or create your own

Like grocery shopping, cooking (and eating for that matter) should never become passive even at your most tired or fed-up. Whether you constantly follow a recipe (this girl right here) or improvise one, try the reverse approach. If you find yourself in the first scenario, cook based on instinct. Start simple with say spaghetti in tomato sauce or a grilled cheese sandwich. If you cook regularly enough from recipes, you might surprise yourself with the base knowledge you’ve acquired. If you’re more of an improviser when cooking, find a recipe—doesn’t matter whether you’ve made your own version of the dish before or not—and follow it up to every exact measurement. It’ll give you insight into your own methods. Do you tend to underseason? Overcook your meat? Or does your pancake batter actually outshine Jamie Oliver’s?

Clean your cupboard and refrigerator

I won’t even toss in an opener: yes, I said clean. We’re quick to tidy-up our primary living space when we expect important visitors (i.e. our parents), but the same logic rarely applies to those hidden spaces only we frequent. At least once a year, completely empty your dry storage space, wipe down all its surfaces, toss whatever’s gone bad or unused and restock. Take the same approach to your fridge too, perhaps in the case of a bar fridge also defrosting the freezer. You’ll uncover treasures, both good (chocolate sprinkles, yay!) and bad (the shrunken remains of a clementine). Ultimately it’ll leave your kitchen not only cleaner, but also more functional.