New Year Resolutions get a bad rep. Changing habits is hard whether it’s January 1st or any other day of the year. So for all of our friends considering better eating habits this year here are a few things to keep in mind.

-ANY positive action counts, even if it only happens once. I did pushups one week. Even though I haven’t done a single one since that choice still matters. It’s easy to make resolutions or changes so daunting, and the need to get them perfect and do them for the rest of our lives that we never even start because we’ve made so many rules before we’ve even begun. Don’t do that. Just start somewhere and every positive choice does impact your life. You don’t need to make it too complicated.

-Break down large resolutions into small goals. Don’t go from 0-100. Instead of exercising everyday start with 2x a week in Jan, 3x in Feb etc. Again, change is hard and don’t fool yourself into thinking today you’re some magical person that will indeed eat salad everyday in 2019 or jog every single morning if that hasn’t been a part of your 2018 life. Ease your way into big changes and enjoy the journey.

-Don’t give up! Relapse is an inevitable part of change. Even if you’ve had a rough week, month or quarter keep trying! Just because you fell off the wagon doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Don’t let the weight of a failure discourage your comeback.

Top 10 Clean Eating recommendations:

  1. Buy ground beef from a farm. After multiple recalls last year more than ever I recommend buying ground beef from a farm if nothing else. Even if it isn’t grass-fed or organic. Ground beef from small processors and farms is from a single source, one animal. Where as in the grocery, even organic is a conglomerate of possibly hundreds of animals. It’s easy to see how quickly even one contaminated animal can cause a massive recall. Local beef is from a single animal so any issues are quickly and easily traced, and simply less likely.

  2. Switch to farm fresh eggs. Surprisingly, switching eggs gives you the most bang for your buck. And not only where flavor is concerned. Pastured eggs have more nutrients, vitamins and healthy fats in addition to a robust flavor.

  3. Switch to butter. If you’re still using margerine this is the year to make the switch! Even if you can’t find grass fed butter, any real butter is better than margerine and the flavor can’t be beat!

  4. Switch one item a month to local. Like I said earlier, don’t find this list daunting, but inspiring. Pick one item a month to slowly switch over to buying from a local farm.

  5. Visit a farm this year! No matter how many labels or fuzzy animals are on the packaging nothing beats seeing the farm that grows a portion of your food. There is no certification from a third party that beats a handshake and witnessing with your own eyes the way the farm is managed. We have Farm Day twice a year, watch our Events page for the next date!

  6. Eat less. I know, you can start throwing things at me now. Unfortunately part of sustainability in the end has to come down to literally consuming less. Producing and preparing food takes a lot of time, energy, money. Even if you’re composting scraps that is still a lot of inputs going into the compost pile. I don’t know when we as a culture decided that it wasn’t okay to be hungry. That at the first twinge we have to stop whatever we’re doing to feed ourselves. It’s a hard switch to be okay with waiting to have a lunch for an hour or two until I get home. Obviously, in America this is a hard thing to talk about especially considering we now have instant gratification constantly with the wonder of technology. It’s an important point that we can’t overlook as responsible consumers, no matter how hard it is to talk about.

  7. Can, cure or grow something! Take food into your own hands. It’s an amazing experience on any level and will give you a new perspective on food across the board.

  8. Cook more at home. As most of you know I love to bake. When we wanted burgers last fall and didn’t have buns I grabbed a cookbook and made some. They were the best buns ever, by far! You don’t have to be a pro or do anything fancy to cook at home. Invest in some good cookbooks and just start “winging it”. Most things, even from scratch, aren’t as hard as I imagine once I’ve worked my way through it once or twice. Soon you’ll be confident in the kitchen and have a better idea of the flavors and the little quirks you and your family like.

  9. Pack your lunch and snacks! This is really important if you’ve got a resolution to shed a few holiday pounds this year. It will also save you money and keep you eating some good food! Packing snacks is crucial so that you don’t cave when you’re busy and might not have time to cook at home.

  10. Take meal time seriously. Sit down, breath, talk. Commune. This is the big one. Food is supposed to be this amazing experience that brings people together. Let it do that for you this year. Celebrate, talk and contemplate over some wonderful dishes and, with a little luck, across from some wonderful people this year.