Did ya miss me? I sure did miss you all and this place. October and November are the busiest months of the year for me in my day job and life got out of control crazy. Plus, if I’m honest, I’ve started a dozen posts and just haven’t been able to finish them to my liking. A little writers block I think. Well, I sure am feeling back in the game now, so hopefully I can start really cranking out some good posts for you. 🙂
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about and planning my New Year’s Resolutions. Every year for the past 3 years I’ve used my resolution to make major changes for our health. My 2012 resolution was to start buying as much organic food as I was able and to reduce the amount of pre-packaged, processed food we ate. I also personally gave up sodas completely and cut most of the sugar out of my diet. (This did amazing things for me and was a change I recommend for everyone). In 2013 my resolution was to complete the Couch to 5K program so that I was exercising regularly and losing that “baby” weight and to also focus a lot of energy on my garden and grow as much of our food as I could. This past year I decided to start replacing chemical filled products in our home and also vowed to no longer buy eggs from the grocery store that came from horribly treated, factory farmed chickens, but to find a local farmer to buy happy eggs from happy chickens until I can finally get my very own.
One or two big changes is perfect and realistic for me if I want to set myself up for success. I have done an excellent job (if I do say so myself 🙂 ) at following through and turning these resolutions into permanent lifestyle changes. For instance, I only bought eggs from the store once this year, and that was for Easter egg dying. Our farm fresh eggs are beautiful browns, blues and pinks, which are pretty enough for me but weren’t going to allow the kids the fun of coloring them. I now know of a place I can buy local white eggs, so next year I’ll grab a dozen before Easter from there. I feel so good about eating these eggs that are not only healthier for us, but have come from chickens leading good, happy chicken lives. I chose this change for last year after watching Food, Inc.. This has also led me to one of the changes I’ve chosen to make for 2015. Let’s get to those now, shall we?
Resolution #1: Reduce our meat consumption by at least two days per week, and start buying some of our meat from locally, humanely raised sources. The Super Awesome Husband is a meat and potatoes kinda guy, so meatless meals are a tough sell with him. I am starting to comb through recipes already in preparation for this change. If you have good ones, PLEASE feel free to share them with me. This will be a tough one for me, but if I can find even a few good, hearty meatless meals, I think I can pull this off.
As for the local meat, we have a wonderful market near us that sells amazing local produce, meats, dairy and even honey. Local, pasture raised meat is very expensive compared to what you can grab at the grocery store, but by eating meatless meals twice a week, I think I can make the switch for at least one meal without our grocery budget taking too much of a hit. I KNOW that it will be worth the expense. I have no doubt of that. Not buying factory farmed meat three times a week, will be 156 fewer packages of meat bought this year. I can’t change the inhumane conditions at factory farms, nor all of the chemicals pumped into that meat, the antibiotics, nor the unsanitary conditions the meat is sometimes processed in, but I can remove some of my financial support and keep it away from my family’s dinner plates.
Resolution #2: Grow enough food in our backyard to at least double what I was able to can this past year. I have to count up the exact number, but I think I got a case of jelly jars of salsa (BIG mistake doing small jars. We’ve inhaled the stuff. It will go in bigger jars next year) and a handful of quart jars of tomatoes. I did a boatload of applesauce, but we bought local apples for that. It will be a while before our apple trees are really spitting out the apples. I had dreams of putting up loads of pickles last year, but our cucumber production was really sad and that just didn’t happen. My goal for this year will be as many jars of tomatoes as possible, salsa, salsa and more salsa and pickles. If I can do more, that would be fantastic, but I am trying to grow and improve my garden a little every year, so I don’t want to put too much pressure on my little plot. 😉
Resolution #3: This one is a very personal one that I have been working on little by little the past few years. I want 2015 to be the year that I finally get back to the size I want to be. I have bounced up and down since I started having kids, but since giving up sodas and cutting out a lot of sugar, I’ve been able to keep off the weight I lose. I’m going to get serious and really focus on getting it off, now that I know the healthy choices I’m making will allow me to maintain. I started juicing last year, and let me tell you, I have never felt as good as I did while I juicing several times a day. If you haven’t watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead it is great for information and inspiration. I caught it on Netflix, but you can watch it here as well:
I bought his reboot book with recipes and a great program to follow and will be starting that this week.
Exercise and lots of fruits and vegetables. It’s not a new concept, but it’s definitely one that works. I’ll give you updates along the way.
So, I hope that reading this has made you think about some changes you can make this year, not to make a resolution you will break within the month, but a real change that will be permanent and have a real positive impact on the health of yourself and your family. Please share your resolutions in the comments below or on the Facebook post for this blog entry. Writing it down, as simple as it may seem, is a wonderful way to give your words power and to hold yourself accountable. Let’s all make 2015 a healthier year!!
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