Easy New Year’s Resolutions for Foodies in 2013

Five ways to healthier eating

Day One of 2013, and the terminally optimistic once again resolve to lose weight and exercise more. Listen to me: if you were the kind of person who could diet and exercise for longer than a week, you wouldn’t need a resolution in the first place. So let’s stop the silliness and seize this symbolic fresh start with some promises we’re more likely to keep.

I’ve made many small resolutions that I expect to enjoy, like spending less time online pretending to be social, and more time with my friends in real life, actually being social. My resolutions to do with food don’t represent much of a departure from past behavior for me (I’m lucky enough to be genetically more inclined to like kale than candy), so they’re more like reminders. Here they are:

  1. Be mindful about eating. This means no scarfing down dinner while watching back-to-back episodes of The Mentalist. Staring at cute guys solving crimes on TV makes you eat more, it’s obvious.
  2. No eating on the run, standing up, in the car, or anywhere but at a table, like a grown-up. And by table, I don’t mean desk.
  3. To borrow my favorite rule from Michael Pollan, who compiled 60-something wise rules as a guide to healthier habits: Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself. Pollan believes this would cut down drastically on French fry consumption, for one, because fries are a lot of work to prepare. (In our house we solve that by making oven fries — just as good and far lower in fat calories.)
  4. Eat only humanely raised meat, at least at home. It’s much more expensive, so it means eating much less meat than I otherwise might. Apart from the moral issues, being a semi-vegetarian means a healthier diet in general. And as I’m picky about food, it’s also meant venturing into interesting ethnic cooking.
    And to end on a happy note:
  5. Eat dessert every day, providing it’s no bigger than two square inches.

Happy New Year, everyone! Count your blessings, and send a donation to the Hudson Valley Food Bank from time to time in gratitude.

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