My 2014 Foodie Resolutions

Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I’ve never been one to make grandiose New Year’s resolutions, proclaiming that I was going to overhaul every area of my life, lickity split. However, I have found that setting yearly goals for myself gives me a sense of direction and helps me to accomplish all the random “I want to’s” floating around my head. For the last few years, I have sat down between Christmas and New Year’s and thought about what was important to me in the coming year, and created a list based on what I’d like to accomplish. I create four separate lists: personal goals, business goals, financial goals and, of course, food-related goals.

No, my only food-related goal is not to eat more chocolate, but one of my goals relates to continuing a clean-eating lifestyle and indulging on things that are actually worth it, which of course includes good-quality chocolate! Below is my list of food-related goals for 2014; I’d love to hear about yours!

2014 Food-Related Goals:

1. Master sourdough bread. I have tried multiple starters at this point, and all have failed for one reason or another. I am determined to finally conquer a starter and bake up a beautiful loaf of crusty, tangy sourdough bread.

2. Make meal planning a weekly habit. It’s been a few years now since I’ve actually hunkered down and done meal planning. Sometimes when you spend all day in the kitchen, the last thing you want to do is cook dinner, ironically enough. PB&J has long been a staple in my diet. Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, I’ve been cooking more actual meals; however, due to my lack of planning and just grabbing random things at the grocery store, I’ve also been wasting food. I want to get into the habit of sitting down on Saturday and Sunday to decide what I’m going to eat, and grocery stop based on that list.

3. Continue down the clean eating path. I had enormous success with this between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and am looking forward to getting back on the wagon this week. For me, this means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, an abundance of water, no soda pop, and a very, very minimal amount of sugar and refined flour. When I do indulge, it should be on things that are worth it – good chocolate, a fabulous cheesecake, a special restaurant trip… not just randomly shoving supermarket candy in my mouth because I’m bored.

4. Stock the pantry with homemade versions of Β “staples”. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of looking at the back of condiment jars and seeing an ingredient list a mile long. That list almost always includes high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, as well as some things that I can’t even pronounce. I’m trying to go as close to 100% natural as I can this year and replace all of those items with homemade versions. I’m talking things like mustard, ketchup, salad dressings, worcestershire sauce, tartar sauce, even hot sauce. I’ve already nailed down things like stock, picklesΒ and yogurt, now it’s time to make it a consistent habit and go the rest of the way.

5. Buy local! I have admittedly not embraced this as much as I should, and I hope to change that moving forward. I live in an area that has an abundance of local farms, so buying local farm-fresh produce during the warmer months should be an automatic. There is also a local cattle farm that is 100% certified organic and completely grass-fed; you can actually purchaseΒ 1/8 of a steer, and when it is processed, the farm vacuum seals all of the different cuts of meat and labels it so it can go straight into the freezer. There is also a small, family-owned grocery store only a couple of miles from my house that stocks a lot of local products, such as jellies and honey. Local it is!

What are some food-related things on your to-do list for this year?
Please share them below!