The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

Well, we are nearing the end of our first week of 2009 and, as such, I would bet that most of us are already trying to live up to our New Years resolutions. Being such an integral part of our lives, and our health, the topic of food (or the dreaded word, dieting), tends to be perched at the top of most of our lists. Let me guess, yours might read something like this: Eat less, eat better, eat ONLY organic food, consume fewer calories and even less fat, eat more fruits and vegetables, and obviously, less chocolate and sweets, and under no circumstances am I to consume any carbohydrates. Period.

This is the thing that I really dislike about resolutions – they very often tend to be centered around restricting ourselves from the things that we enjoy, not necessarily about creating balance in our lives. And, of course, this is why we so often fail to achieve these resolutions. I mean, how is restricting ourselves really ever going to make us happy?

Therefore, for the upcoming year, I would like to challenge you to drop these restrictive resolutions and adopt a more balanced point of view towards your food intake and subsequently your health. I like to try to live each day by these simple, and might I say, common sense, principles:

1. Try to purchase and eat seasonal and/or local produce from your local farmers market or food market when possible – this will ensure that you are not only reducing your carbon footprint but you will be eating the freshest ingredients available. And, they will last longer if stored properly.

2. Choose organic food when it is affordable and appropriate (I often think local and/or seasonal is even more important, especially when it comes to produce).

3. Try not to restrict yourself from your favorite sweets! This can set you up for failure – instead, incorporate your favorite sweets into a balanced diet.

4. Try to shop the perimeter of your grocery store – This is where most of the unprocessed and fresh foods exist in large supermarkets. Sticking to the perimeter will ensure that your grocery cart, and thus you and your family’s tummy’s, are full of fruits, vegetables, meats, whole grain breads and fresh cheeses – In my opinion, the good stuff!

5. Try your best to cook for yourself and your family whenever possible. Cooking is not only an enjoyable and relaxing experience, but when you cook, you are in charge of what goes in your food. However, this does not mean that you should avoid your favorite take-out or restaurant now and again! These can all be incorporated into a healthy and balanced diet.

Although we all want to start the year with a healthy attitude, try to avoid making hard and fast rules because, I promise you, you will break them. Instead, try to think about achieving a balanced lifestyle by trying to make healthy choices MOST of the time. I mean, what is living if you can’t reward yourself sometimes?

Thumbnail image provided by Luis Villa del Campo