Ring in the New Year with a Healthy Relationship to Food

By Chris Gavin, Garden Educator

I’ve never really been one to participate in the rituals of New Years, especially the resolutions to change things about myself. I think my disconnect from this traditions is rooted in our cultural tendency to be hard on ourselves and focus on the things we want to eliminate from our lives. So many New Year’s resolutions - especially those related to food - are negative, things you need to stop doing in order to finally be that perfect version of yourself you’re always striving towards. Stop eating those high calorie snacks that we all know aren’t good for us, quit substances like caffeine or alcohol, give up carbs or dairy or meat or sugar. And we usually see our success or failure in austere terms, so when we inevitably slip up it is easy to feel like a failure and give up entirely.

Instead of focusing on the negative, remember that resolutions are all about wanting to be happier and healthier in the new year. Instead of getting sucked into the negative rhetoric around food choices that is so common this time of year, let’s focus on affirmative steps we can take to ring in 2019 with a happier and healthier relationship to food.

  • Give yourself the gift of food with a CSA share.
    In addition to the incredible bounty of healthy and delicious food each week, there are other perks to membership. Being a CSA shareholder gives you the chance to revel in the natural beauty of the farm. You become a part of a community - you can chat with a farmer, share recipe ideas with other shareholders, and make new friends. And sign up for a working share so you can get your hands in the soil and help grow the food yourself.

  • Share food with someone you love.
    Approach cooking and the sharing of food with joy, excitement, and gratitude. As we tell our students, when you cook for someone you are giving them the greatest gift because you are giving them everything they need to grow and thrive. A meal is a great way to reconnect with an old friend in this busy season.

  • Have fun and experiment in the kitchen!
    Push your food boundaries, don’t let a recipe or an unfamiliar ingredient hold you back. If you don’t love a vegetable one way, don’t be afraid to change the recipe or try something entirely different. Use your intuition and revel in the alchemy of finding the perfect flavor combination.

  • Cook more an home, even if it is just for yourself.
    Cooking for other people is great, but remember that you are worthy of that same care and love. Take the opportunity to indulge in one of your favorite recipes and cook with the freedom of knowing nobody is watching!

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This January, be kind and forgiving to yourself when it comes to food. Embrace the new year with positivity, and happy eating!