We all love to hate on New Year’s resolutions. We all make them. I know some people who say they don’t, but I suspect they are lying. We hate them because they are hard to keep. If they were easy we wouldn’t need to make them.
There are lots of reasons that resolutions are hard to keep and that many (maybe most) will fail. The primary reasons have nothing to do with lack of motivation or laziness or the fact that January is the worst possible time to try to accomplish stuff (we should all be sleeping, like bears).
We are wired to pay attention to novelty; built to hunt and gather while scanning for danger: a bear that’s awake even though it’s January…Resolutions are novel when we first make them, but they become old very quickly. And we lose focus. Which means it’s easy to make resolutions, but hard to maintain them.
My dear friend and colleague, psychologist and life coach, Ruth Landstrom, says that mindfulness is key to maintaining our progress towards goals. She points out that we tend to set grand, unattainable goals and then get discouraged and quit when we fail. So, break down goals into small steps… yeah, that’s good. Now go even smaller.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s in our nature to revert to old habits. So, mindfulness and self-compassion are essential. Expect to fail; plan to have to reset the intention regularly. Keep the awareness that change is difficult and be kind to yourself. As Ruth says, keeping a resolution involves doing things when we’re not inspired. Get back to the plan. Again. And again. It’s boring. It’s unglamorous. It’s change.
According to Statistics Brain Research Institute (I know, right?), “lose weight” is the most popular New Year’s Resolution. Makes sense, we all just splurged during the previous month. And it’s winter…
Even those of us who don’t want to lose weight should be eating SOME healthy food. It is less easy this time of year than in August when everything is fresh and bountiful. Here comes dr deb to the rescue! This one is healthy, vegan, gluten free, colorful, fresh, and absolutely yummy. Just like my Red Cabbage Salad, this is one I eat standing up in front of the fridge. It’s a little sweet, has a nice tang, crunchy, bright, and substantial.
This is a nice snack or lunch, straight up. It makes a perfect bed for a piece of asian or potato chip salmon, goes great with crispy chicken. Serve it with a fried or scrambled egg or with some hummus or hummole and pita or Star Bread. Since it improves for a few days, it’s great for packing a lunch or taking to a party or potluck.
Before I share the recipe, let me tell you my New Year’s Resolutions. I intend to continue to bring you wonderful recipes like this one, mostly healthy, with some occasional treats. I hope you will follow DebsPotsBlog so you never miss a post and I’d love it if you’d leave me a comment to let me know what you think or what you’d like me to post. I’m also hoping to get the on line store up and running some time this spring, so stay tuned!
Carrot and Fennel Salad
One of the things I like best about this salad is that you don’t need really beautiful produce. Here’s a dirty little secret: I love to buy those huge horse carrots they sell at produce markets. I always think they’re going to taste fine. I’m attracted to the abundance; but they are pretty lousy. Winter’s tired carrots and marginal fennel are fine here. The dressing brightens them up nicely.
2 lbs. carrots, peeled
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed
1 scallion, trimmed and sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted lightly
1/3 cup golden raisins
juice of half an orange
¼ cup honey
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbs. almond, walnut, or olive oil
salt and pepper
optional: cilantro, minced
variations: feel free to use walnuts or pistachios instead of the almonds. dark raisins, minced dried apricots, dried cherries or cranberries are good substitutes for the golden raisins.
Grate the carrots. The medium disk on a food processor is perfect for this, but a box grater works fine and gives you a good workout. Make sure to switch hands halfway through. Cut the fennel bulb in half and then slice very thinly; the food processor slicing blade is good. Or practice your knife skills.
Make the dressing: combine the orange juice, vinegar, honey, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk.
Pile the carrots, fennel, scallions, cilantro (if using), raisins, and almonds in a large bowl, add the dressing, and toss well. Serve immediately or refrigerate and keep up to 5 days.
Happy New Year!!!