What a wild end to the year. For some folks, the holiday season is a time to unwind, relax and knock back some egg nog. But it has become a fairly crazy time for me around the farm. I know it seems like it shouldn’t be with the cold weather and all, but it is a pretty anxious time for me.
In January, people stop eating cookies and start eating their veggies again. Food sales can go up by 30% in January. So while it would be fun to sit by a fireplace and scratch at my bellybutton lint, we are busy preparing for the onslaught of healthy-minded New Year’s Resolution crusaders.
The new year is our time when folks may have what the Tao Te Ching calls “the eyes to see and the ears to hear.” January is the time when our society perennially looks at our health and at our lifestyle and believes that we can do better. Be better. And hopefully be happier. It happens every year and every year people fall off that path and return to what they know. So let’s look at this for a second and see if there are things that we can do collectively to help keep more people on the path to a healthy lifestyle.
But before we do, let me say two quick things. I do not live a perfectly healthy lifestyle and so I will not wear a white wig and tell you I have found The way. So what follows is definitely not a holier than thou nose in the air, these are just observations I have seen over the many moons in the food world. Secondly, I feel that tackling our nation’s health issues is one of the largest threats that face our society. Poor health choices kill exponentially more Americans than terrorists.
OK, with my preface and disclaimer in place, let’s dive into this idea of living healthier. So first off we have to remember that health is truly loving the journey and not the destination. We have to think of our healthy not as an action, but as a sum of our actions that become our Life Style.
The dictionary defines Style as “a mode of living.” So to be in a health “mode,” we have to look for realistic changes that can feasibly become a part of our lives. And for this to happen I think that things need to be fun. Fun things are sustainable.
So if you don’t like salads, aren’t good at folding yourself in half at yoga, or you only feel the need to run if you’re being chased by a wild animal, have no fear. You too can still have a healthy lifestyle. Taking walks after dinner, stairs instead of elevators, or getting your huevos rancheros without cheese. All of those are small wins that can lead to a major victory.
Besides trying to enjoy and make changes fun, don’t do it alone. It is a fact that if we have friends or family members to hold us accountable, we achieve our goals easier than if we try and fly solo. Maverick needed Goose and you need a wing-man too. So make goals with someone close to you and then help each other get there. Set celebrations for when you make milestones and penalties when you don’t. Most people like games…as witnessed by people running through the streets looking for a Poki dude.
For families, involve the kiddos with you as much as you can in the kitchen. Studies have shown such a strong correlation that when kids are involved with making their food, they make better food choices. One of the best things that we can pass on to our kids is a sense of enjoyment and wonder in the kitchen. Break down the intimidation that kids feel in the kitchen and they will eat healthier because of it.
Lastly, eat at home as much as you can. I struggle with this one myself because I love seeing what other people are doing with food. But eating out will hurt your waistline and your wallet more than dining in.
And this is obviously where the farm comes in to help you keep to any healthy resolutions that you may have. We have some many great food options that eating well has never been easier or more convenient than it is right now. Let us help.
On a quick product note, Arizona citrus season is absolutely going crazy right now. Oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are all in peak season. I love citrus in the winter months because you can almost taste sunshine in them. So sweet and refreshing on a cold day. Make sure to take advantage of all the varieties.
Happy New Year, Farmer Monte