The New Year’s resolution. The attempt to convince yourself you’re going to start a new healthy trend or stop some bad habit just because January 1st rolls around. Is this critical? Maybe. Pessimistic? For sure. That’s why I’ll tone my disdain down and tell you that there are a few food resolutions you can make that might make a big difference to your health and the quality of food that you eat. They’re very easy to subscribe to.
First, let’s start with foods to stop eating in 2012.
1. Skip the moldy bread. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association did a study a few years ago on 4000 college students. The study concluded that many of “us” engage in risky eating behaviors. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid practicing “unsafe eating” by not eating any food that has mold on it. According to the FDA it is not okay to scrape or tear off the moldy part of your bread or cheese and eat the rest. Even though you can’t see the mold it has probably spread and thus poses health risks.
2. Refrigerate pizza–or skip it. This study also warned against eating pizza that has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours. This really surprised me, who knew that late-night pizza could not be eaten for lunch the next day if you forgot to put it in the fridge for a few hours? Apparently, the bacteria will double in numbers every 20 minutes! Same goes for sushi and mac and cheese that has been left at room temperature for more than two hours.
In terms of what you should eat in 2012…
3. Eat nuts, seeds, and calcium rich foods. Nuts and seeds are great alternatives to chips and cookies. They fill you up and are chock full of fiber and protein. You’ll feel satiated by a natural energy source, as opposed to stuffed on straight sugar and fat. Calcium-rich foods are also particularly important for 20-year-olds to eat in order to continue bone development and prevent future bone loss. Calcium rich foods include yogurt, orange juice, milk, cheese and spinach. In tangible terms, try to replace one snack of chips or cookies with some seasoned almonds or an apple with nut butter. And second, try to incorporate an extra calcium-rich food into your diet each day. For example, make a spinach salad instead of romaine or grab a yogurt for breakfast.
4. Seek out novelty. Here’s a good one to end on: try one new recipe every two weeks. Go to the bookstore, buy a cookbook and each time you go grocery shopping, get the ingredients for a new recipe from your book that catches your eye. And by the end of the year you’ll have 26 new recipes under your belt!
Zoë McKinnell is a senior at Brown who keeps reading and trying new recipes instead of studying for her many finals. Oops!