Last night, I had dinner with a friend I haven’t seen for quite some time. It was my last big hurrah during my holiday visit to Toledo, which ended up extending pretty far past the holiday anyway, and I was happy to spend it with this particular friend, who’s one of the most interesting people to talk to. This time, over a quiet dinner in a quiet restaurant, she asked if I had any resolutions for the new year.
Most years, I don’t think about resolutions, at least not specifically in that sort of way. In 2013, for example, I was busy with a few other things and didn’t bother thinking about resolutions at all.
But when I thought about it, really thought about it, there were a few things I thought of changing about myself and my lifestyle that would, if nothing else, make me healthier and (dare I say it?) happier.
Instead of setting a number of pounds or inches I want to lose in 2014, I decided I want to eat more home-cooked food, especially at dinner. When my boyfriend and I moved in November, our normally healthy eating habits – fresh-cooked rice, fresh vegetables and fruit, baked chicken – fell largely to the wayside. Moving took almost a full month, which we filled with take-out food. Mainly the greasiest pizza in a ten-mile radius.
This year, I want to reduce the amount we eat out and focus more on fresher food, especially vegetables. I love eating fresh-cooked rice, and I could probably eat it every meal of the day with no complaints. Eating more fresh food would make me feel a lot better, since fried and greasy foods generally make me feel kind of gross.
In the same vein, I want to pack healthy lunches and bento more frequently. I’m not great at making bento (Japanese-style lunches) yet, and they’re never exactly pretty, but they’re really filling and much healthier than other types of foods I pack, and especially better than anything I could buy.
Better lunches and bento would mean making sure I eat enough protein and vegetables, which I am notoriously bad at. To pack it properly, I’d need to include hard-boiled eggs or different types of meat, plus a variety of vegetables to fill up space. It would mean packing more pasta salad chock-full of cucumbers, olives, and carrot pieces, or finding more creative ways to get more vegetables in.
My main goals for the year – and I think of them more as goals than as resolutions – are about making myself healthier and making sure I get the nutrition I need. As a working graduate student, that’s more difficult for me than it ever has been before, and I hope I can use 2014 to make myself healthier, happier, and stronger.