For your resolution planning, we’ve got some tips for staying body positive, spending more time with family and friends, and being a strong advocate for our planet. We’ve put a special focus on food and the kitchen—we are chefs, after all!
Instead of trying to lose weight, focus on giving your body better fuel.
- Eat your colors. For a diet rich in minerals and nutrients, eat a variety of brightly colored fruits, herbs, and veggies. Make it easy to get your recommended five to nine servingsa day by prepping your produce at the beginning of the week. You can saute them with a little olive oil, then add a starch and a lean protein—voila! You can also roast complete meals on a single sheet pan!
- Balance your diet with satiating full-fat dairy, lean protein, whole grains, generous portions of nutrient- and fiber-rich veggies, and lots of water!
- Stay hydrated with low-sugar options like spa water, unsweetened infused iced tea, and milk.
- Don’t make any foods off-limits. Instead, consume them in moderation—meaning ¼ of your plate or less no more than twice a week.
- If you’re part of a SAGE community, use the Spotlight dots on our online menus to get the most up-to-date, Dietitian-approved advice on which foods are most nutritious.
If you want to unplug, get into the kitchen with your kids.
- Put the phone away after work and school. Instead of decompressing by scrolling through your social media or turning on the news, have a conversation with your family in the kitchen or at the table as you prep for dinner together.
- Ask each member of your family to pick a new recipe to try in 2017. Try some of these recipesfrom the SAGE kitchen!
- Find steps that are appropriate for your kids, and invite them to join. They can even be your official taste-testers! If kids have helped to make a dish, they’re more likely to eat it—and to stick around the table and talk with you!
To get organized, start in the kitchen.
- Think like a SAGE Chef! Make sure all of your tools and ingredients have a space of their own, and clean as you go to make sure everything gets back where it belongs.
- Get rid of gadgets and utensils you never use. If you don’t grind your own meat or roll out fresh pasta at leastonce a year, donate or regift that mixer attachment.
- Clean out your fridge. Then reorganize it according to HACCP food safety standards to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Items with the highest cooking temperatures, like poultry and eggs, should be stored on the bottom shelf in case of drips. Fully cooked and ready-to-eat foods should be stored on the top shelf, so that nothing drips onto them. Organize your shelves front to back by FIFO—First In, First Out—so ensure that you use older product first, and reserve newer product for later.
- Reorganize your pantry the same way. Throw out any expired items; donate anything that you know you won’t use before its expiration date; and organize shelves from front to back so older product is used first.
- When it comes to that cluttered spice cabinet, remember these guidelinesfrom the spice distributor, McCormick. Get rid of any old spices, and make sure you arrange them so you have easy access to those you use most frequently.
To save money, eat in more often and stay trendy with plant-based meals.
- Eat in more often. Commit to cutting down on restaurant meals, takeout, and fast food by making at least one more meal a week at home.
- Plan and prep meals ahead of time so meals are easy to prepare even on busy days. Take advantage of your plan to buy affordable ingredientsin bulk when you can!
- Revise your understanding of a balanced meal—it can be plant-based! Hearty produce like mushrooms and cauliflower make a nutritious, affordable substitute for costly animal protein. Pair produce with grains and beans for filling fiber and complete protein at a reasonable price—and remember, dry goods are great bulk buys!
To be sustainable, focus on scratch, scraps, and wraps.
- Cook from scratch and buy in bulk to reduce the amount of wrapping on your goods.
- Compost produce scraps! This is also a great way to use shredded junk mail and sensitive documents that can’t be recycled, because the “green” of produce scraps and grass clippings needs to be balanced by the “brown” of carbon-based products like dried leaves, cardboard, and paper. Read more about composting basics here.
- Save food scraps (garlic ends, onion peels, celery leaves, carrot tops, potato peels, cheese rinds) in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer, and use them to make stockwhen you have the time. You can use the stock right away for soups, rice, risotto, and reheating leftovers, or freeze it to use later.
- Pack lunches and snacks in reusable glass, plastic, or ceramic containers instead of aluminum foil or disposable plastic bags that may end up in the landfill.