2016: Food resolutions, aka upping my cooking game

As many of my friends know, I’m a serious cook. I lost 25 lbs on the Whole 30 cooking my way to better health and lots of yummy food, and I’m about to do another Whole 30 (and trim down further in 2016). Further, my son is a professional chef with lots of food and wine friends; spending time with him and his buddies has definitely helped me learn some things. So, for 2016, I have a number of food resolutions, which I am going to lay out here:

Master super Whole 30 prep
Whole 30 is all about food prep and eating the “right” foods. That means planning out what to have for every meal, which means shopping, prepping, and yes, pre-cooking lots of the food. This time around, I’d like to be strong on the veggies and the breakfast foods, as well as the meats.

Get really strong with my soup game
Soup’s a great way to go when you’re doing 3 meals a day on your own. I’ve got a new book called Splendid Soup by James Peterson, that looks amazing. Peterson seems like the Alice Waters of soup, pretty much, and my goal is to cook my way through a whole chunk of this book in 2016.

Bring lunch to work most of the time
Part of my soup goal is to have easy to prep and pack lunches ready to bring to the office so I don’t feel tempted to eat the wonderful—and mostly off-plan—food at nearby restaurants. Not only is it expensive, it’s not what I should be eating.

Go more vegan
I’d like to eat 1-2 vegan meals every day as I move from strict whole30 into something more Paleo. Like a bear having a dry spell when it comes to meat, perhaps—at least some of the time.

Get into Pickles
I’m a decent jam-maker, but have never mastered my pickle game. I am hoping 2016 is also the year I can intentionally start to make a wider variety of pickled, fermented and probiotic foods to add into my meals and share with friends.

Bake more—and more intentionally
Whole 30 restricts grains, dairy, and sugar, and I won’t be eating any of those things while I am doing it 100%. But I enjoy baking, and I think I will want to make things once in a while. So, my goal is to set up a baking station/baking area in my kitchen where I can keep alternative flours and learn how to use them to make things every so often. I am also not ruling out occasional treats of brownies, cookies, bread pudding, pies—etc—moderation is everything.

Enjoy cooking, eating and self-care
Food is an important part of life, and good food helps support good health. This is something I can do for myself that has real value.