I’m changing things up for 2013, but don’t worry, it’s nothing major. Just a few minor adjustments to keep up with the changing times and to make sure I don’t weight 200 pounds by the end of next year.
Yes, it’s true, I’m making adjustments for 2013. There are steps I’ve already taken to ensure that food blogging doesn’t kill me – most baked goods, ice creams and treats I give away to coworkers. It gives me feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and they like seeing what new things come out of my kitchen. There’s no way John or I could stay thin if we ate everything I made. I don’t find it wasteful as long as I know things are going to a good (belly) home.
However, there are a few changes I could make to keep my energy high and my cholesterol low. Not everything has to do with health, though – some of these resolutions are educational, social or just plain fun!
1. No more soda, fruit juice or sweetened drinks – I’ve already cut back a bit these past two months, since Thanksgiving and Christmas meant extra meals and holiday treats. My body feels better already, and I’m drinking more water and tea in replace of the sugary slurps. I know the downsides of regular AND diet sodas, and there’s really just no need for it. I’ve always liked unsweetened tea, so it’s not really a big change for me. Why not cut out these useless sugars and calories for water, which naturally cleanses?
2. Water, water, and more water – To go with #1, I not only want to replace soda with water but I want to make sure that I drink more water in general. I used to drink a ton of water as a kid, which helped me stay thin (along with an active diet of bike riding), and I know that there have been days where I didn’t drink any water at all. Bad, bad move. I have stocked up on water bottles, enough to leave one at work and a few at home. Buy something that you like and will carry with you places, something that fits in your car and that you really like.
2. Know my wines like I know my beers – I can pick out an IPA from a kolsch, and a stout from a pale ale, but the only thing I know about wine is that there are red ones and white ones. Since going to the Banfi Wine Dinner and reading recipes that require different kinds of wines for cooking, I think it’s time that I attend a few wine tastings and branch out into this new territory.
3. Encourage happy snacking – I fall victim to the potato chip isle every time I go through it. Whether it’s cheddar cheese popcorn or cheesy sour cream potato chips (get the cheese theme here?), these bags almost always make their way into my shopping cart. I really want to get smart about snacking by making sure that I have access to fresh fruits and veggies, pretzels and protein-packed foods that fill me up without letting me down.
4. Make better choices when dining out – While eating in creates opportunities for me to share my meals with you, John and I enjoy exploring what Indianapolis restaurants have to offer. There’s always the “everything in moderation” argument that comes up when I think of biting into a juicy burger, but what it really comes down to is when we’re pressed for time, exhausted and just need to order out. Instead of running to the McDonalds on the corner, I’m trying to get an unwhich from Jimmy Johns or black bean soup from Panera. In the end, I know that I feel better about the food I’m eating, I just need to make the 100% effort to choose the better options.
5. Be sensible with homemade dinners – There’s a time and a place for special foods. For instance, I ordered two live lobsters for New Year’s Eve dinner, which cost a pretty penny. But during the week, there’s no need to make beef bourguignon when all it does is stress me out and leave me with a late night dinner that I can’t even take a picture of because it is too dark.
6. Think smart about leftovers – Okay, so I’ve made this mistake more often than I’d like to admit, especially when trying a new recipe that makes enough for 12 people. I’ve thrown out way too much food, and it costs too much to keep doing it. John and I just aren’t big fans of eating dinner leftovers for lunch the next day unless it’s soup, chili, or things that reheat well. It can be boring to eat last night’s dinner the next day, which leads us to buying lunch meat, canned soups and frozen entrees for lunch. I haven’t found the right balance of this yet, but I pledge to work on it.
7. Less meat, more veggie power – You will NEVER hear me talk about going vegetarian, ever. I love my vegetables, but I love my bacon, too. However, for the sake of our waistlines, I asked for the Meat Free Monday cookbook for Christmas and received it (thanks Mom and Dad!) so that the creative juices can start flowing. Meat is often the central part of our entrees, but I vow to bring more veggies to the table this year and I can’t wait to begin experimenting!
8. Make breakfast a priority – Too often do I walk out the door, only to find myself at my desk around 10:00 am with a grumbling tummy. Sometimes, though, I do eat breakfast and still find myself hungry, because I ate something with little protein or just didn’t eat enough, I guess. And since I don’t eat eggs, I’ve got to get creative. I’ve already starting drinking a good size glass of skim milk (packed with 7g of protein per cup) and that has been helpful, but I crave hearty breakfasts even at 7am before a long work day. Starting with smoothies, steel cut oats and Morningstar Farms vegetarian proteins, I’m going to reinvent breakfast, one morning at a time.
9. Practice, practice, practice food photography – Starting with Plate to Pixel, a tripod, and my first-ever DSLR (Canon Rebel T3i), I’m digging head first into best practices for food photography. Every time I pick up the camera I learn something new about lighting, camera settings or food styling, and it’s just been so much fun. I’ve always thought I had an eye for composition, but there are many skills I still need to learn. Hopefully at this time next year I’ll be able to see a true difference in my photos.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Hopefully these changes will help me love food even more, although “everything should be enjoyed in moderation, even moderation” Thanks, Julia Child!