Now that 2014 is underway, it’s time to either come up with your list of new year’s resolutions or continue to work on fulfilling the list you’ve already made. For many people, those resolutions will include their diets, whether they are trying to lose weight, eat healthier in general or eat foods that have been produced using sustainable sourcing techniques.
If you’re looking for some ways to make your eating habits both healthier and more sustainable this year, here are some ideas to help you in that effort:
Make a schedule
When most people think about going on a diet, they either think about quick fixes (e.g., lose 30 pounds in 30 days) or they become intimidated by the idea of having to eat healthy yet tasteless food all the time. While eating lightly seasoned healthy foods is important to any nutritious diet, you don’t have to make them the only thing you put into your body.
In order to make eating things like unseasoned vegetables a little more palatable, don’t think of them as something that needs to be part of every meal. Instead, plan specific days during the week when you will make them a side dish for your primary meal.
Buy some vegetables – preferably ones that have been grown locally so you can partake in farm-to-table eating – and steam or saute them with a pinch of salt and a touch of oil. And when you need to add a little flavor, don’t be afraid to cook your veggies using some of the same bold flavors you normally reserve for meat dishes.
Buy less, but make it higher quality
Don’t be fooled by the seeming deals on meat at the supermarket. Often, they are trying to get rid of a subpar product. Find a local butcher who you trust, and who sources his or her meat locally. It will cost more per pound, but you will get much more bang for your buck, and you will taste the difference in quality.
Cook big-batch bean and grain dishes
Beans and grains keep for a long time. Make large batches of things like white beans with kale and sausage, then keep the leftovers in your fridge for snacks and meals throughout the rest of the week.
Don’t be afraid to splurge
One of the quickest ways to go off a diet is to limit your eating so much that you never get to indulge in some of your favorite foods. Give yourself the occasional pass and mix in an unhealthy meal that you love.