In my experience - New Year's resolutions are often efforts in setting up failure and then trying to causally ignore defeat - 'cause who cares about commitments you made while drinking champagne? I've been lucky (determined) enough to reach several goals this year - and I think I reached them because I'm a bit wiser about setting goals. Here's a few ideas for positive resolutions for 2011 - hope they help you set some goals of your own - or at least modify your resolutions to make them attainable by a human-being.
Here's a goal-setting tip: Avoid the words only, always, every (like every week/month/day). Use words like often, more and focused. Leave some room for life to happen.
I will buy MORE healthy groceries and whole foods. We're all going to buy some junk - Gluten Free or not. Planning to totally eliminate processed foods or treats (especially when you're already eliminating Gluten or raising kiddos) is way more than you should expect from yourself. By focusing on what you WILL do - shopping for fruits, veggies and proteins that are naturally gluten free, adding more "good stuff" to the cart than bad, hitting up the farmer's market - you won't be torturing yourself after you pop a G-Free brownie in your mouth or a Gluten Free cake mix in your bag.
I'll try 10 new recipes or foods in 2011. That doesn't sound all that lofty, does it? And you can get after that plan right now - if you browse our recipes and find a few that look good to you, print them out or bookmark them and add them to your list next time you grocery shop. If you try two foods in a week, cool! If you try two recipes next month - that's awesome. If you fill your 10 and are having fun - keep going - do 10 more by the end of the year. If you hated every minute - stop (I don't think you'll hate EVERY minute, but I don't live in your house.) Make it fun. Include your kids. Watch our YouTube Channel for recipe demos. Get a new cookbook. Roast a Chicken and make pan sauce. Try Quinoa or make Risotto. You can do it!
I'm going to stick to my Gluten Free diet - and my Budget. There's no doubt that it takes resolve and the will to be healthy (both physically and financially) to meet these goals - but they could be the most rewarding thing you do this year for yourself and your loved ones. Consider making one or two meat-free meals per week (this can save a family of four about $1000 a year!), learning to make some of your favorite convenience foods yourself, pack your lunch, re-purpose your leftovers, plan some of your spending so you have the cash to stock up on pantry staples like Gluten Free broth, rice, mixes, canned tomatoes and beans when they're on sale. Check out the sales at your local grocery store and specialty stores. You can try to combine sales with coupons too - check out store websites, redplum.com, or befreeforme.com before going shopping, and sites like retailmenot.com before shopping online.
While we're talking about the price of eating Gluten Free - I should also mention talking with your tax professional about taking a medical expense deduction for the increased cost of your supplies.
I'm Going to Get Involved or Help Educate Others about Gluten Intolerance/Autism/Celiac Disease. This one can be as easy as you want it to be - it can be as simple as making a donation or spreading the word via social media, or you can be a part of - or even lead - a support group. You can contact these Non-Profit Groups to find out how to get involved: Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, Autism Speaks, or the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. If you have a few great recipes, you can share them with others trying to figure out G-Free life with our Recipe Submission Form (we'll even give you credit!)
Wishing you the best in 2011 and beyond -