WFAEats: New Year’s Resolutions To Chew On

Dec 31, 2018

For a few years now I’ve been dishing up radical wisdom for how to make New Year’s food resolutions, but it hasn’t stuck. 

Despite my best advice, most of you are still out there swearing to cut out carbs or fats or sugar. You’re promising to count points, eat clean or green or something in between. And guess what? You’re going to fail.

Well, somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of you are. But don’t blame yourself. Food-related resolutions are the ones people make most often. Part of the problem is a disconnect between goal-setting and getting immediate rewards that psychologists study. We also equate making resolutions with virtue. That’s rooted in religious practices dating back thousands of years.

Now, it’s my personal belief that a resolution should be both desirable and attainable.

So instead of proclaiming, “I'm giving up chocolate this year,” try saying, “I'm going to eat better chocolate and enjoy it more than the stale, vending-machine stuff at work.”

Instead of announcing, “I'm going to cook more,” but refusing to start until you buy fancy kitchen gear, use an old saucepan or skillet and see what happens. Go rogue on a recipe.

Eat something unfamiliar at a friend’s house or a restaurant. Ask what your server recommends and let everyone at the table share new dishes.

And speaking of things that are new, some interesting trends are shaping up for 2019. As part of the efforts to reduce waste and increase sustainability, restaurants will be using more “ugly produce.”

Cocktails will continue to be inventive but mixologists are also recognizing there’s a strong market for creative, non-alcoholic drinks. We’ll be seeing more pickled and fermented foods and drinks, too. And here comes CBD (Cannabidiol) from cannabis, showing up in coffee, condiments, and lots of products making healthful claims.

Now that smoking is prohibited, restaurants are taking aim at cell phones. Some offer discounts to diners who refrain from texting and talking, but others are taking a zero-tolerance approach. Want to enjoy a meal without kids running around? There’s a look-up tool with a growing list of child-free restaurants.

When you think about it, there’s really nothing that needs to be off limits, except for just one thing we should all vow to give up: perfectionism. That, by itself, can spoil the most satisfying meals and occasions.

So let’s resolve to enjoy all the foods and flavors we can in 2019. May you all have a delicious holiday season and new year!

Amy Rogers writes WFAEats, a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and tackle the meatier side of the food scene in and around Charlotte.