Monday, January 5, 2009

Ten Dietary Resolutions

1.  This year, I will eat things that scare me, like tripe.  Tripe never looks appealing to me.  Never.  But this year, if given the opportunity to eat tripe and if in the company of the type of person who would share tripe with me (because I don't think I can do a whole heaping plate of it on my own or anything) I will eat it.  And I won't make retching noises or spit it into my napkin, either. 

2. I will cook more, even if it's only for one.  After all, I have about 20 gorgeous cookbooks occupying valuable real estate in my kitchen.  Why not use them?  I will prepare things from the two cookbooks I received for the holidays, the new Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook and the new Giada de Laurentiis cookbook.  If I'm feeling ambitious, I might even try something from the Gourmet tome.  

3.  I will try to be more careful about buying groceries.  I don't keep a lot of food in my apartment because I eat out so much, but when I do shop I tend to buy things at the Key Foods near my house.  Key Foods' produce isn't organic and I'm pretty sure their pigs and chickens and turkeys aren't the free range heritage beasts you see at the greenmarket downtown.  They do sell organic, cage-free eggs and I cough up a few extra dollars when I go shopping to save the caged chickens and their eggs.  But really, I live in Astoria.  Astoria!  Where there's a butcher shop on every corner and rivaling fruit bodegas by the train.  I'm going to get off my lazy butt this year and walk down there to buy food.  (Note to self: this will probably never happen, but at least I'm considering it.)

4. When I order takeout, I will stop buying enough food to feed the entire European Union.  Everyone likes variety, but I do not need five different plastic containers of food that I will never eat, no matter how much I promise myself that I will eat it.  

5.  And as a continuation of Resolution #4, when I order Asian takeout, I will stop throwing the rice away after it has spend three or four patient days in my refrigerator waiting for me to come back to it.  Instead, I'll fry it in olive oil and garlic and serve soft boiled eggs over it and eat it for breakfast. 

6.  And as a continuation of Resolution #5, I will start finishing all of my leftovers, including the miso soup that comes free with Japanese food and which I never seem to get around to eating.  

7.  I will recycle all takeout containers or wash them and re-use them, which I do 90 percent of the time but there's always that 10 percent of the time when I'm feeling particularly lazy and daunted by the prospect of touching thick, MSG-laden sauce with my bare hands and therefore fall back on bad old habits that include throwing away perfectly good plastic even as the environment is folding in on itself.  

8. I will order more fish at restaurants.  I know I'm a carnivore by nature, but I have to start eating more fish.  Actually, I like fish.  I just like meat more.  I don't know why I find it so completely difficult to opt for bass in the face of pork, but this year I'm going to make sure that I order fish out, at a restaurant, at least once a week.  And not at sushi restaurants because that doesn't count and we all know that I eat plenty of sashimi. 

9.  Instead of chasing the next new hot spot, I will start eating more ethnic and street foods.  Ethnic food is, generally speaking, less expensive than French-based New York cuisine.  Also, as I mentioned, I live in Queens, which, a few weeks back, someone reminded me was the "ethnic food capital of New York."  I take advantage of the food diversity of Queens more than most but I still blow most of my food money at cool Manhattan joints when I should be getting on the train and eating in Flushing as much as I possibly can.  Caveat: I am still allowing myself to eat in Brooklyn, not exactly Queens' rival when it comes to ethnic-ness, but rife with Russian food (Brighton Beach), Chinese food (Sunset Park), and Italian food (also Sunset Park).  

10.  I will lose 10 pounds.  I'm not sure how I'm going to do this if I continue to eat all the time, but everything in moderation, right?  For the most part, I'm on the right nutritional track, but I think I'll go farther: more lean protein, less animal fat, more vegetables, less iodized salt, more fruit, less refined sugar, more water, less soda.  If those cats on the Biggest Loser can lose an entire person in a few months, surely I can shed my winter weight before bikini season starts again.  

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