So I've been thinking about my diet and things I want to try with food in the coming year. I've only lived in Austin four months but it hasn't taken that long to realize what a culinary wasteland Cincinnati was. Going to the grocery store here is such a joy. I don't have to hope and pray the grocery will have cilantro or a decent piece of fish. There are choices, such nice choices. And no excuse not to cook something fabulous. One of my favorite places to shop is Central Market, it isn't as overwhelming or as expensive as Whole Foods. Their produce is off the charts. It is also a nice place to graze on a Saturday.
Anyway, back to the year at hand. A new year, in a new state with so many things to try and do. Here are some things I've set as goals for 2010:
1. Eat less processed food and less refined sugars. I've gotten pretty good at not eating candy bars, soda, chips and assorted junk food. I still need to wean myself off canned soups and the occasional frozen prepared meal. If it is convenient, it probably isn't good for you at all. Too many chemicals and way too much sodium is not good. I'm trying to eat freshly made foods without chemicals.
2. Try new vegetables and fruits, eat the rainbow. I have a list of veggies and fruits I want to try. For example, last night for the first time in my life, I ate brussel sprouts and I really liked them - a bit of a shocker. I followed this recipe and it was delicious. My husband still refuses to touch brussel sprouts, but I am a new fan. On my short list to cook this year is kohlrabi, beets, rutabaga, passion fruit, papaya, black eyed peas and scotch bonnets. Also, I want to cook more lentils. They are so delicious, high in fiber and easy on the wallet.
3. Join a CSA. I belonged to a CSA (community sustained agriculture, a farm) back in Ohio. I loved getting my box of veggies every week. The farmer would surprise me with fresh picked strawberries or fresh eggs and tender lettuces. It was fun to see what I would get and what I would cook up with the ingredients each week. I am looking in to joining a CSA in Austin. It is a great way to get fresh, seasonal produce while supporting your local farmer. Go to Local Harvest to find one in your area.
4. Do not eat junk at work. People mean well, but they bring total crap to work. And then it is 10:30 a.m., you are starving and there it is. Not good. I just need to stay out of the kitchen at work.
5. Keep a food journal. I lost 30 lbs last year following Weight Watchers and an integral part of the weight loss was keeping track of everything I ate. You've heard about this a million times, but it really does work. Having to write it down made me skip the second or third cookie, or the second glass of wine after work.
6. Try a new recipe at least once a week. I have a mountain of recipes to try. I need to make the time to shop for the ingredients and spend the time to cook something new. I sometimes get stuck in a cooking rut, trying a new recipe per week will help me keep things from becoming blah.
So that is what I'm thinking about for this year. I look forward to trying new things and sharing my successes (and the failures!) with you.