Happy New Year! A new year brings lots of hope and possibilities to learn more and grow, if we are willing to take up the challenges of not only wanting change, but putting in the work. It is a wide-open canvas, giving us room to paint in all the untouched spaces of our lives, which is a blessing for us who have lived to see the dawn of another year.
Traditionally, we identify goals for the year ahead and call them “resolutions”. These transform them from lofty pie-in-the-sky dreams to firm decisions to do something. Resolutions are non-negotiable, not optional. When we are resolute, we are purposeful, determined and unwavering. Choosing resolutions carefully will help us have a year that is focused and guided by the things we really want to accomplish. We may also use them to help us broaden our experiences and worldview.
One of the areas that we can apply this growth is in food. Our views on food help to define us. So in the spirit of change, here are some food resolutions that we may all apply in our quest for personal growth.
1. Cook a new dish
If you are inclined to sticking with the familiar five or 50 dishes you know, cook outside the box. Find a new dish to make your own and add to your culinary repertoire.
2. Eat something different
Try a new exotic ingredient. You may very well like it. But if you dislike it, at least you know firsthand what it tastes like.
3. Go to a new restaurant
Shake things up a bit. It is easy to get stuck with your favourites but your favourites will always be there. Try new restaurants even while you maintain loyalty with those you adore.
4. Try a new cuisine
There are so many cultures residing in the Middle East that we have a great opportunity to explore the unknown. Go beyond Thai.
5. Eat something you hate
This is a stickler but you will be better for it. How many times have you had things you did not fancy the first time around only to become fanatic about it on the second or third try? Blue cheese is one of the many things on that list. And what would life be without Roquefort or Stilton?
6. Try local foods on vacation
For the seasoned and adventurous food lover, this may be a no-brainer, but there are many who seek out the golden arches on vacation. Local cuisines are a great way of understanding a culture. Travel is also about learning about the place that you are visiting. Eat what the locals eat. They are on to something.
7. Go camping
This may be on your wish list every year, but it is now time to make it a resolution. Some love it, some have been once and have no desire to return. Do it on your own terms. You can go for a few hours, overnight or several days. Oh.. and you must cook by the campsite. Think American Western iron pots over large fires or simple barbecues and grills. Just do it.
8. Splurge on an appliance
Save up for the pricey kitchen appliance that you have always wanted. Make your life easier in the kitchen and take your cooking experience to another level.
9. Eat real food
You would be astounded as to how much of the food in shops is not real food. With all the hormones, genetically modified ingredients, additives, preservatives and chemicals, they are more mutated than the Incredible Hulk. Buy local and organic produce from farmers’ markets as much as possible and eat fresh foods. As professor Michael Pollan writes, “If it doesn’t look like food your grandma would recognise, don’t eat it.”
10. Live your food dreams
Have you had a secret or not-so-secret dream to work in the food industry? This is the year to make it happen. Reaching your goals will help you live the life you truly want. Are you afraid of a mid-career change or what others will say? Are you waiting for a big moment? Seize the day! To inspire you, we will continue to feature persons in the food industry in our I Work in Food series who are living their food dreams. Life is short. Dream big!