2021 is all about clearing your head. Whether you need a brisk walk on January 1st, a hot cup of tea, a day without alcohol, or a meditative hour in the afternoon, consider a fresh start of some sort. And keep it easy. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel in 2021; 2020 was stressful worldwide. There’s no need to do a crash diet, or start exercising maniacally. Be gentle with yourself. Maybe that means introducing a new piece of produce to your diet this month, or making a point of having roast vegetables at dinner. Here are a few of our favorite easy, comforting ways to start exercising even more self-care in the new year.
This has the hallmarks of a long winter, but virtual meals shared are still meals shared. So try not to lose touch with your people. Add elements like silly Zoom backgrounds or virtual games. Have a theme to your menu, like “roasted comfort food.” Show off what you made; dine together. If you have a kid, you can plate her food while propping the phone or computer up at “grandma’s” seat. (It’s bizarre, but most little kids love it!)
You have every reason under the sun to spend more time outside this year. It’s safer, the fresh air is lovely, and if you stay masked and at least six feet apart, most experts don’t object to it! Besides, we love staying hygge, or cozy. So if the weather permits, throw picnics, grill, or gather around the fire pits. Or put on your warmest mittens and go for a brisk walk with a mug of hot chocolate. Keep it cozy.
Thai chicken lettuce wraps. Mushroom Carnitas Tacos. Carrot and cashew soup. Mexican tortilla soup. Comfort food doesn’t have to entail ordering pizza delivery or making a massive roast. Why not try to incorporate more vegetables, less red meat, maybe a tad less dairy? We love the look of these eight recipes, designed with a comfort-food palate in mind. And we’ve got plenty more health-centric ideas, right this way.
4. There’s No Such Thing as “Guilty Pleasures”
There’s been a lot of hubbub about intuitive eating lately, and for good reason. It throws the notion of “guilty pleasures” out the window. The anti-diet movement is real, and many experts are encouraging people to try to tap into the sort of eating they did when they were born: intuitive eating. That means that if you’re craving ice cream or pastry, cheeseburgers or salads, listen to your body. Try eating without distractions, so you can more easily discern when you’re full. (That means no reading the news between standing bites of still-cold leftover quesadillas, if possible!) This isn’t doable for all of us, particularly when we’re hustling with work or family, but it’s a glorious goal for which to aim. Your body, once you get into this groove, will often help you balance, steering you towards filling the cart with produce the day after pizza night.
Is it just us, or do you, too, sometimes need a reminder to declutter and clean? There’s nothing like the start of a new year to prompt us to condition the cutting boards; replace the water pitcher filter; check out the spice expiration dates; get rid of unlabeled, icy creatures in the freezer. (All our best tips are right this way!)
You know what’s inspiring, those of you looking to incorporate more fresh produce in your lives? The history of the victory garden. In 1917, Americans were staring down World War I, and wanted to send more food to European ally nations, where hunger was rampant. By growing our own food, we lessened reliance upon the food supply chain. Though it’s not 1917, grocery shopping and even going to the farmer’s market has certainly become more complicated than it once was. So can you grow your own food? Herbs? Lettuce or kale? (Shop our gorgeous planters here!)
Even if it’s a small thing, keeping something alive—and then relying upon it for sustenance—is almost certainly the boost you need on January 1st. Spring is almost upon us, everyone. Hang in there.