Lifestyle

31 Ways to Kickstart the Year

Last modified on February 2nd, 2018 at 10:51 pm

No. 1 | Set goals. Whether it be for the year, the month, the week or the day, jotting down your aspirations can help keep you on track and get you closer to achieving what you really want.

No. 2 | Eat breakfast for dInner. Mixing up your food routine is a fun way to excite your tastebuds and ignite inspiration in the kitchen. Plus, swapping dinner for eggs and bacon encourages a light, balanced meal and ensures more room for dessert, right?

No. 3 | Go meatless. Not forever. Sub in a few meals with a variety of proteins like chickpeas and tofu.

No. 4 | Be positive. Remove words like won’t and can’t from your vocabulary and replace them with words like I will and I can. The power of positive thinking can help reduce stress and increase overall health. And as Roald Dahl says, you will always look lovely.

No. 5 | Perfect the art of slow eating. Did you know, it takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to signal fullness? Try using chopsticks to eat your next meal. It’ll slow your pace and help you not overeat.

No. 6 | Start your day off right. Create good habits that kickstart your day. Pre-workout, we start with lemon, hot water, honey, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Post-workout follows with boiled eggs, a shake and black coffee. They say good coffee doesn’t need milk and sugar to taste good, agree?

No. 7 | Spice up your life. Not in a girl power kind of way, but beyond enhancing flavour to a variety of dishes, cooking with spices has many health benefits each unique to its name. This year, try building a recipe from a spice you don’t often use and see where your inspiration takes you.

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No. 8 | Try something new. A new ingredient. A new recipe. A new cuisine. Try something that makes you uncomfortable, something that challenges you or something you have no idea what to do with. Go ahead, just do it.

No. 9 | Live green, eat green. We shouldn’t only think green when it comes to eating. There are plenty of little ways we can live green including using cloth napkins, vinegar cleaning supplies and reusable shopping bags.

No. 10 | Make something from scratch. Everyone has a childhood memory of a family member making their favourite dish from scratch, whether it’s fresh pasta, flaky roti, or a buttery croissant. This year, select a dish you love, deconstruct the meal – ingredient by ingredient – and test making your favourite dish from beginning to end, no cheating. There’s something nostalgic about a homemade meal.

No. 11 | Have fun in the kitchen. Test new recipes, try new ingredients, get messy, eat off the spoon, lick the bowl, break a few eggs, get inspired. For us cooking is therapeutic, a creative expression that ignites a sensory satisfaction.

No. 12 | Cook together. Spend time in the kitchen as a family. In our home, cooking allows us to bond and unwind. It’s time used to share things about our day, connect and spend quality time. If you have children, invite them into the kitchen too. It not only helps to have extra hands during cleanup, but skills like following a recipe, measuring and patience are practiced. Plus, what else is more satisfying than a delicious meal everyone contributed to?

No. 13 | Eat an apple a day. One of the most versatile fruits, an apple can be baked, dried, juiced, stewed, sautéed, flambéed or just eaten. Challenge yourself to eat an apple a day; it aids in digestion, the skin is a natural floss and it’s no question why apples are a major icon when it comes to good health, education and New York City

No. 14 | Give back… to a charity, an organization or your community. This simple act increases health, promotes connection, evokes gratitude, and genuinely makes you feel good.One of our favourite organizations we support is FoodShare. They work with schools and communities to promote food education to children and are changing the future of food in Toronto. Get your good food box today!

No. 15 | Unplug and unwind. Put away the buzzing and alerts of your text messages and emails, and just relax. Jump on the adult coloring book trend, doodle away your stress and spark your creativity.

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No. 16 | Capture your roots. To move forward as a cook you must first understand your history. Family recipes allow us to travel back in time, telling stories of our heritage and keeping our ancestry alive. Recipes passed down from relatives are unique to each cook, and highlight their individual flavour and style. This year, gather your family’s recipes and create an heirloom you can pass down.

No. 17 | Master the flat lay. Choose a basic background; we prefer white lacquer or wood. Use natural lighting; shoot next to a window. Consider white space; let props compliment one another. Add texture; get messy: smear, spread, sprinkle and spill. Tell a story; choose a theme and use props to help capture the mis en place.

No. 18 | Trust your instincts. Cooking is an art form that relies heavily on tastebuds and our senses. Pay attention to your urges in the kitchen whether it’s adding or eliminating ingredients in a recipe or pairing certain a foods that don’t traditionally compliment one another. Your kitchen, your rules.

No. 19 | Take time for you. Have you heard the expression, if you don’t make yourself a priority no one will? Well, it’s true; putting yourself first isn’t a selfish act but essential to your well being. Whether it’s scheduling time to exercise, getting enough zzz’s or unwinding with your favourite guilty pleasure, you-time should focus on listening to your body and giving it what it needs to feel its best.

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No. 20 | Dream big. We mean BIG – pie in the sky – kind of big. Being a dreamer doesn’t mean your head is in the clouds, but suggests purpose and happiness right down to the core. When you dream big, you welcome the possibility that anything can happen and it increases your chances of fulfilling your goals and dreams. So put it out into the universe, think big, and ask, believe, receive

No. 21 | Listen to music. There’s no doubt your favourite song can instantly boost your mood. Research shows that turning up the tunes heightens positive emotions, and releases dopamine – the feel good part of our brain. Music also increases productivity and concentration, our ability to think creatively, and overall happiness. So what are you waiting for, turn it up.

No. 22 | Meal plan. With the recent rise in food prices, meal planning is a smart habit to add to your grocery routine. Not only does meal planning save you dollars, but helps you make healthier choices and reduces food waste because you’re buying ingredients you actually need.

No. 23 | Explore new cuisines. The next best thing to travelling the globe is getting to enjoy the ingredients and flavour of a particular country. Like travel, food allows us to share and experience the world and understand the unique perspective and culture we all bring to the puzzle. This year, explore a new country through food and see where your travels take you.

No. 24 | Listen to your body. Acknowledging how certain ingredients make you feel can change your relationship with food. Try keeping a food journal, documenting your meal intake and pay attention to how you feel physically and emotionally. Whether it’s bloating, itchiness, sadness or excitement being in tune with how your body reacts can help identify allergens and irritants.

No. 25 | Everything in moderation… including moderation. We’re not saying to indulge every time you make a healthy choice, but finding your balance is the first step to eating in moderation. Too much of healthy is not the wisest choice either – too much butter, spinach, or tuna can have the same negative effects and counteract the health benefits of our intake – the key here is variety.

No. 26 | Pay attention to labels. Reading food labels can lead to healthier choices. When we shop, the first thing we scan is the ingredient list. If the ingredients aren’t pronounceable or aren’t recognizable as real food then it doesn’t make it into our cart. Never buy food based on the front label. Instead turn it over and read the ingredients; it only takes a few seconds.

No. 27 | Drink more tea. Steeped in health benefits such as increased metabolism, lowered cortisol levels, and overall general goodness, there’s nothing better than a hot cup of tea.

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No. 28 | Embrace your inner child. David Ushers’ book “Let the Elephants Run” begins with a photo of his three year old self in his underwear. He says that the child in the photo holds the key to creativity, is a sponge to the world, has a million questions and loves to learn. Frame a photo of you as a child and place it on your bedside table. Each morning when you wake up, look at the photo and get back in touch with your inner child, reminding yourself that this little you has no limitations, no restrictions and has the potential to do and be absolutely anything.

No. 29 | Shop Local. When you shop your neighbourhood not only are you contributing to the economy of your community but your own well being. Local foods taste better too because they are in-season, and didn’t have to travel far to get to our tummies.

No. 30 | Break the rules. We know we spent the past few weeks telling you how to improve your wellbeing. But we’re also telling you to steer off track and break the rules too. If you don’t allow yourself the little indulges then you can’t appreciate the rewards. And no, we’re not saying to eat junk food for the next three days or start putting sugar in your coffee, but it’s okay to hit the snooze button instead of going to the gym. It’s okay to drizzle a little caramel on your popcorn or have a macaroon or two. It’s okay to do what you feel like, just because you want to. We only live once right? WOLO. Did I just make that up?

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No. 31 | Challenge yourself. We challenge you to challenge yourself and commit to one new change to improve your wellbeing this year.

Chef | Sous Chef

 

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