It’s never too late to have a New Year’s food resolution…

One thing I’m sure we all agree on.  Food is essentially important.  It’s a major life source and without it, we’re screwed!

But there’s food and there’s FOOD.  Food that provides us with some form of quick, boundless, short term energy – full of sugars, no spice and nothing nice.  The stuff that makes us feel good for 10 minutes then like crap for an hour.  It’s fast and super efficient, often delivered over a counter or through the car window and really only useful when the thought of cooking that night just seems like an appalling idea.

Then there’s the real food.  Food that usually has a happy story behind it waiting to be told.  Food that has seen the soil, enjoyed the sun and soaked up the water it’s been generously fed.  Food that helps support a family.  Food that’s worthy of coming to your table to be eaten, knowing that you and your family will genuinely benefit from what you eat.

There’s a quote that hits home for me:

One simple rule:

If it came from a plant, eat it.

If it was made in a plant, don’t.

The source of this quote is unknown but I wish it was mine!

Now please allow me to point out a few things here that I am not:

  • I am not a vegetarian, vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, fruitarian, pescetarian, kangatarian (yes it exists!), paleo, coeliac or gluten intolerant.
  • I am not a qualified doctor or nutrionist, naturopath, homeopath, or dietitian.
  • I am not in the business of telling people what they should and shouldn’t eat (except for my kids – then I’m boss!)

And here are a few things that I believe I am:

  • I am a lover of food (both good and not-so-good), but absolutely love the taste of quality, home cooked, home (or locally grown) food and make every effort to eat it where possible.
  • I am a passionate lover of chocolate (and I’m not fussy – I’ll take just about anything!)
  • I am an avid farmer’s / city-slicker wife and own two pairs of gumboots.
  • I am very mindful of foods and what they contain as two out of three of my sons have potentially life-threatening food allergies.
  • I am very aware of food,it’s preparation and where it comes from.

I will never ever preach about the perfect diet and tell you to avoid junk food, follow paleo, sugar free, gluten free, taste free diets.  Whilst I’d love to be much more disciplined with my food and genuinely enjoy preparing and eating a totally balanced diet that fits intomy hectic lifestyle, it’s just not practical at this point in my lifeto contemplate.  Having said that, I’m always keen to work towards a healthier lifestyle for my family and encourage good eating habits for all of us that offerus a healthy and balanced body and lifestyle.

My kids hear me say over and over:

“You need to balance the good food with the fun food”.

(My quote!)

Not everyone will agree and that’s absolutely fine.  We all do what we can to the best of our ability (and on the days that we can manage it) to keep our food as nourishing as possible.  It’s not always going to be perfect and that’s OK.

What’s not OK is living on plastic, chemically induced food day in day out.  It affects the way we think, the way our moods flow and certainly our health and wellbeing.  Most people are well aware the long term potential problems with eating an artificial, unbalanced and fast food diet.

I believe there has never been a better time to start embracing the concept of eating real food.  By this, I don’t even mean conscious health food, organic or biodynamic food and I’m not suggesting it’s time to take a good hard look at yourself and consider a diet that just makes you miserable.

Having said that, it is the start of the year and there’s still time to set some goals – short term and long term.  Each year, I make a resolution to give up something that’s not so good for me consider increasing the intake of something worthwhile that is missing from my diet.

This year I have decided to give up chocolate.

I know it sounds crazy for any chocolate lover to even consider and I’m very much aware it borders on stupid.  It seems punishing.  However, whilst I genuinely love chocolate, I manage to let my habit get out of control at times.  I have been known to eat it before breakfast and dinner.  In fact, my record is 13 Lindt balls in 9 minutes before breakfast! (If anyone reading believes this to be OK, I love you!).

I would eat chocolate to fill that gap instead of something healthier and I definitely eat way more than I should.  I don’t even feel good when I’m eating it but my mind is screaming at me that it is an essential food group requiring regular consumption in order to survive (2 fruit, 5 veg, 250gm chocolate).

In reality, it’s a quick fix that gets me through the nutty hour at 6.00pm.  So much so that my kids will feed it to me if they feel the chaos about to fly!

The ridiculous thing is that I feel crap at the thought of eating chocolate, love the feeling when I eat it, then feel worse after it’s consumed.   Moderation is the key, but I am known for extremes.

The trick therefore is to find a good substitute that stops you in your tracks from going for the favourite ‘fun food’.  My alternative over the Summer is a bowl of berries or yoghurt.  Yes, it sounds pathetically healthy for a choc-a-holic, but it has been working rather well and I actually do feel good.  Also, what’s not to love about fresh berries?  They’re rich in antioxidants, jam packed full of the good stuff called vitamins and minerals and I don’t feel like a lump with a headache after.  Seems like a win win to me!

Apart from all the other professional and personal family goals for 2015, giving up chocolate will be a small but significant milestone for me.

So … let me know. What’s your New Year’s resolution?

Yours in food