Brussels sprouts with bacon
As I look around my small kitchen, sometimes it seems like my goals for the New Year should be small to match. Goal One: Keep the counters clean. Goal Two: Meal plan more effectively. Goal Three: Get baby to eat food. These are the type of goals that make a real difference in your everyday life, and are vitally important. Yet, when I sit down to my computer, I am reminded that I don’t have the luxury of only doing practical goals this year.
I have over 100 hundred recipes to both develop and photograph for a new book. There is pretty much nothing practical in that goal. In fact, having that project looming makes the everyday goals not always feasible. Baby will learn to eat, though she is fighting me every step of the way, but my counters will be messy more often and my meal planning is skewed, as I will be experimenting in the kitchen most days in the upcoming months.
Last year, my goals were simplify, simplify, simplify. I had a new baby and was just barely getting done the minimum. This year, I am scratching my head in trying to figure out how to logical plan my goals with the many projects and responsibilities I have on the back burner, front burner, and in the slow cooker too. My five-year-old is going into see a new naturopath in a couple of weeks. I am assuming that we will have very specific eating directions from him for her. My one year old is on a strike against food, despite the fact that I’ve introduced it since she was 6 months old. Part of this year will definitely be spent encouraging her to try foods and actually eat them! My husband spent a lot of last year making lunches for him self or buying them out. Not only is this a more expensive habit, but it’s also not as nourishing as I’d like. I want to do better this year.
There is almost a dizzying amount of responsibilities in the kitchen alone. We haven’t even talked about all of the other daily life responsibilities, both to work and to play. To consider also is the responsibility to create space to breathe in your life.
So, where do I start? Here are some overall goals, in no particular order.
1. Keep sane and healthy
2. Keep my family sane and healthy
3. Finish 100 recipes and take photos of them by July
4. Make a General plan of action for a smoothly running kitchen, despite developing so many recipes.
5. Make necessary tweaks to diet for 5-year-old, as recommended by naturopath
6. Consistently pack lunches for Joel
7. Make more lacto-fermented foods (and make sure we finish what’s in the refrigerator).
8. Continue to coax 1 year old to eat
I was first planning on making goals for the whole year, but I realized that I couldn’t say what my goals will be next fall at this point. Then, I thought half a year would be good to plan. But even there I found that my plans might need to change before then. So I’ve only planned out the next three (very busy!) months. We will be moving at the end of March, and with moving to a new place, I will need some time to get settled and re-think my daily schedule.
- Develop a general plan of action for shopping, meal planning, and cleaning the kitchen for the New Year and implement.
- Re-start habit of packing lunches for Joel.
- Send allotted amount of recipes to recipe testers.
- Send allotted amount of recipes to recipe testers.
- Make more sauerkraut and one other fermented food.
- Make tweaks to diet according to naturopath’s recommendations.
- Send allotted amount of recipes to recipe testers.
- Sort through kitchen and get rid of anything I don’t need or use.
In the end, this boring list of to-dos hides a wealth of work! The daily grind for all of us all contains quite enough to keep us busy and more than we could write for a to-do list. However, with that daily grind it’s easy to lose sight of our true goals for working in the kitchen, such as eating a well balanced, healthy, nourishing diet.
So work aside, if you’d like to start a new good habit this year, such as avoiding refined sugar, eating a pure diet, or eating frugally on a tight budget, stayed tuned for some more resources! Those are the type of goals that can be always hoped for, but never actually happen. I hope that some of these resources will help you accomplish your goals.
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I like the idea of only setting goals for the next couple of months. For me, trying to set goals for the whole year makes them seem distant and unattainable. My biggest goal is to get my kitchen routine more streamlined so that despite working full time and running an online business with my “spare” time, I can still feed us nourishing (simple) meals each day. I plan to do this by setting aside a couple of hours each weekend to do a bunch of prep work so that weeknights aren’t so crazy. This will also help me to pack lunches for my husband and I each day, which I’m only doing so-so with at this point. For me, I think that one habit will drastically improve our nutrition, as it won’t be so tempting to just order out when I’m feeling exhausted at the end of the day, and we already eat really well when I prepare meals at home.
This was both hard to read and encouraging. It is daunting keeping up with cooking and meal planning but I definitely think it’s worth the effort and really, there is no other choice. My favorite lunch happens when I have the following kinds of leftovers: washed lettuce, a grain (pasta or rice usually), a protein (boiled egg or chicken) and leftover veggies. I just throw together this random meal in a bowl and toss it with some dressing. If I could work it out to have this in the fridge every day I would be set! Seems doable now that I’m writing it.
AND I am glad you are plunging ahead with the effort of writing another book. I LOVE Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons. It is so meticulously written and organized with obvious talent and love for nourishment shining through each page. I will get around to reviewing it on Amazon once I’ve tried a few more of the recipes.
BTW, my one year old loves the chicken soup I give her. It is hands down her favorite food and she gets it almost daily. I know this may not be of help bc all babies are different – my son ate only blueberries and my daughter won’t touch them, but I thought I’d share the approximate recipe: dark meat chicken, a few carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf or two and a bit of star anise covered with water and simmered for about 45min. (The other day I was out of celery and added a small handful of kale.) She eats the dark meat chicken as a finger food and I put a bit rice cereal into the broth to thicken it up just enough and spoon feed her at the same time.
I did find that my one year old liked beef stew for a while and chicken broth too. It’s so nice when you find something so nourishing that your child will eat!
So glad that you like my other book!
Just a quick thought: I would buy sprouted rice or cook soaked rice yourself instead of the rice cereal. It would be much more nutritious. Great idea, though!! I’m going to use it for my 2 YO.
Good Luck with your goals, Kimi.
Mine are to eat a whole foods diet as much as possible, cutting out processed junk and also to eat local and seasonal as much as possible! In the garden, I hope to grow more this year that can be preserved for winter.
I was really glad to read this. I’ve been struggling with trying to keep up with all the normal daily duties of being a wife & mama and running our household. I’m 24 weeks along with baby #3, and I’m on light duty since my first two were both preemies. My husband has been great about helping me, however, because of his job he isn’t here with me during most of the day. So, my main goal for the next three months is to not try to be super mom and continue doing all the things I normally do.
My next goal is to still try to cook nourishing meals while being on light duty. I’m having a hard time with that, and I’m only on day #2! By the way, I cooked your recipes for Dublin Coddle and Bacon Irish Soda bread tonight, and they were both hits with all of us. 😀
Those are the only two goals I’ve come up with so far. 😀
As for your one year old, I completely understand your situation. My son protested solid food as well. At 9 months he would literally clamp his lips together and shake his head “no” whenever I would try to give him solids. I felt like feeding time was a battle every day for many months. I tried all kinds of things from mashed bananas, sweet potatoes, plain yogurt, peas, etc. With much persistence and encouragement, I finally found something that worked for him—-applesauce. Once I found out he liked it–after basically forcing the first bite on him–I was able to mix in other foods with the applesauce. Then I gradually decreased the applesauce over a long period of time and eventually phased it out. Unfortunately, at every meal for over a year, I still had to basically force the first bite on him in order for him to realize that he really did like applesauce.
It sounds crazy, but I can remember pureeing spaghetti; chicken, vegetables, & rice; or Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, dressing, & sweet potatoes) and mixing them each with applesauce just so he’d actually eat. Thankfully now at 4 years old, he’s much better at eating. He’s still a bit picky sometimes, but for the most part he eats really well.
So, I’d like to encourage you to keep trying with your daughter and eventually you’ll hit on something that she likes and will eat. Once you find that, then you can try to start mixing in other foods with it. I hope it doesn’t take very long for you to find it either. 😀
What else can you do? 🙂 It’s one of the those things. She does every once in a while eat something (even a whole serving), but she’s a funny one. She might refuse it the next time I try to feed it to her. My mother told me that I was really picky for a couple of years. I grew out of it quite well after that, but it was rough going at first.
It’s good to know that I am not the only one, dealing with this though. 🙂
Here’s a goal for you: Take it easy to keep my babies safe. 😉 I’ve been there before. Don’t feel bad about keeping your life simple for seasons.
I’m sure you’ve looked at all the options (including this one) but I’ll share our experience in this in case someone else is still looking for possible causes with this problem.
We tried everything: foods, supplements, methods of feeding – I had resorted to offering him junk food in desperation, but he wouldn’t even eat cookies! By a year old, our son had dropped from above-average weight to the 2nd percentile.
Then we took him completely off dairy. His appetite revved up within a week and he’s been slowing climbing back up the weight charts (now 20 months and ~21st percentile).
So just an idea that might work for someone else – consider food intolerances! (No matter how dubious your pediatrician is.) 🙂
Oh, and if you’re still nursing, mom has to be off the offending food, too. 🙂 I was already off of dairy.
My goal is to create a nourishing diet for myself and my partner. I’m still creating my “rules,” but it is WAPF based. My January goal is to incorporate fermented foods at least once per day, and develop a sourdough starter.
So excited to hear you are writing another book! I too enjoy Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons. If you need a recipe tester please let me know. Seriously! Our youngest is a senior in our homeschool, and it would be fun to try new recipes. He is pretty good about eating healthy…most of the time anyway. I do want him to do more cooking before he leaves home; guys need to know how to cook “healthy” for themselves too!
Thanks Corinne! I will add to you to the list. 🙂
Love the fact that you broke down the goals to a couple of simple goals every month. Think I will do the same. Yearly goals seem so long & hard to do. One of mine will definitely be consistant menu planning & the other will be lacto fermented food. Embarrassingly (almost 2 years after started the switch to real, whole foods) we have yet to try fermented foods. Thinking of starting with your recipe for sauerkraut. On that, does it matter what type of cabbage you use? Savoy cabbage (the green one with bubbly leaves) is in season here & easy to get organic but I have only ever seen people use the green plain leaf cabbage in tutorials.
I have a fussy eater too & can completely relate. My dd is almost 2 & a half and pretty much didn’t eat until she was 13 mths (only occassionally would have butternut squash puree). She eats a bit better now & is getting better slowly but surely but I still can’t guarantee that she will eat anything, even if she ate it yesterday. Our fallback is a bowl of organic raw mixed sweet peppers so we tend to serve that with every dinner so she will eat something.
It is so common for many to slow solids around this age. If your still breastfeeding then I wouldn’t worry. She will not ever starve herself, and the more you push the more they push. Food is one of few things babies have control of in this scary world. They can decide what and how much. This is a great freedom to let her explore. She will find her own patterns of hunger if you let her. Sometimes I feel my 19 month old goes days only grazing occasionally. it is not worth obsessing about. She is happy, healthy and growing. they know what they need, trust her.
It’s definitely true (at least in my case). If I push food too much, she becomes even more resistant. I have to try to make it fun and interesting, and let her carry food around with her. She is still breast-feeding often, so she is at least getting that nourishment!
I like your list of goals – I always want to take on more than I can possibly accomplish. This year, I’m trying something different by focusing on one topic I want to improve each month. We’ll see how it goes . . .
I really like the idea of breaking your goals out into manageable timeframes. I feel like setting a ton of year long goals is silly, at least it is for me. I only set one year-long goal this year – to enjoy life! And I’ll set lots of short-term goals throughout the year. Much more manageable that way, in my opinion.
If you are looking for recipe testers still, I’d love to be added to your list!! I am always trying new recipes and my family is great about being open-minded and trying everything!