At the start of every year we all pile on new resolutions and goal to get us where we want to be at the end of the next 12 months. In "New Year, New Resolutions," Lauren writes about her coming resolutions for the new year, how she's achieving them, and some tips for you to do the same.
- Delivery Meal Services - With start ups like Blue Apron and Plated delivering everywhere, making home cooked meals has truly never been more of a breeze. Recently, I was able to try out Blue Apron, and the meals were not only delicious, but seriously easy. If you've ever come home after a long day at work or class, or burnt out post-workout, you know that being creative in the kitchen is sometimes the last thing on your mind. Delivery meal services like these make cooking as simple as logging into your account, choosing your delivery date, and selecting the three meals you'd like for that week. Wait for the delivery guy to ring your door bell and you're ready to get cooking. All ingredients are perfectly portioned for at least 2 people to have dinner and are sourced from responsible farmers and purveyors. Some ingredients are locally sourced stuff when they can manage. These services are the perfect for supplementing your normal weeknight dinner routine, and the recipes are easily managed, usually under 30 minutes.
- Shopping Locally - The numero uno best place for healthy, sustainable, seasonal food shopping is your local farmer's market. Add in the fact that it's probably way cheaper than your current national chain grocery store, and there's really no reason for you not to shop at the farmer's market. The best part about shopping there is that you can talk to the people growing, raising and creating your food. You can ask them questions about what goes into the process - Are there pesticides? Is this organic? Are antibiotics used in the animal feed? - and all those answers help you eat healthier and more responsibly. The idea of shopping and eating locally extends to all other facets too - your butcher, your baker, your furniture maker... and everything in between - to lower your costs and bump up the awesome-ness factor in your everyday.
- Packing Your Lunch - While not the most glamorous thing in the world, dining al desko is the best for eating healthier and saving money at the same time. Read my post on brown bagging for a month to get more tips and the positives and negatives to bringing your lunch more often.
- Prep - Prepping your food ahead of time will drastically diminish the early AM or mid-week scramble of "What the heck am I eating for breakfast/lunch/dinner?!" While super-health-focused body builders and healthy-eating-Instagrammers have been obsessed with meal prep for years now, it's finally gaining more traction with the rest of us. Taking an hour out on a quiet Sunday night to make mini egg frittatas, or prep your dinners for the next three days, helps you to eat well even if you get crazy busy - and lessens the chances you end up eating Chinese takeout for the fourth time in a week. For seemingly sinful, but totally delicious and filling breakfast follow the recipe for these Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds.
- Swapping and Tracking - Simple swaps in your daily routine can lead to a healthier you in the long run, and can help to break some of those smaller bad habits. If you find yourself reaching for chips and pretzels throughout the day, try some raw spiced nuts instead. Craving hot wings? Make some baked chicken and toss in hot sauce without the butter for the same taste and way less calories. Then take all those conscious choices and plug them into an app to track your movement, exercise and food intake to keep yourself on track. My personal favorite is MyFitnessPal. While it's not totally perfect, the app will give you a structured plan and day-by-day updates to keep you in the know.
Trying out these tips? Bringing your lunch to work daily or shopping at the farmer's market in your hometown? Tag @The_Blvd on Instagram, and follow us by clicking on our photos below, and we might share your snap with our followers!
Photo by James Chu for The Blvd.