The beginning of a new year is always daunting, especially for those who are looking to make new lifestyle changes, such as working out, spending more time unplugged, being more mindful of their health, and other New Year’s resolutions. It can be challenging to jump into these things, but it doesn’t need to be. In this New Year, we can ease into building new habits that can help us, as well as the community around us.
One easy habit to try and build this year is to be more mindful of the food you consume, as well as the byproducts of those foods. It’s easy to get into a habit of eating out with friends and family, along with buying premade “easy-to-make” food from the stores, but it can really make a difference in both your life and your community to focus on more community-based farms and local shops. Shopping locally not only provides you the opportunity to be more mindful about where your food is coming from, but you also can have a helping hand in supporting these local farmers and businesses.
Shopping locally for various fruits and vegetables can be a healthier alternative for yourself, but it can also be a healthier alternative for your smaller community and on a larger scale. By shopping locally, there’s a better chance of the food’s being sourced ethically, being priced better than at your local supercenter, and being much more fresh and genuinely nourishing. You’re able to take your fresh haul home to your family with a healthy heart and clean conscience, knowing that it’s a healthier alternative to fast food and pesticide-filled store-bought vegetables.
Another perk of this mindfulness is being able to spend more quality time with your family in the kitchen. Even after the holidays, when it’s harder to get together as a whole family, you can take time for yourself, cooking yourself a nice meal while appreciating the fact that you can. Spending time in the kitchen, together or alone, is a good form of quality time that can help take away from the stresses of everyday life, which can improve your overall health both mentally and physically.
And if you’re unable to make something yourself or some recipes seem too daunting, there are plenty of locally-sourced options to help satisfy your everyday food needs, as well as your sweet-inspired needs. Some local options include Bluehouse Bakery in Bryant, Just Ice Cream and Scoopy’s Homemade Ice Cream in downtown Benton, and Baja Grill in downtown Benton.
These local businesses bring on a new atmosphere while also keeping that homey feel we all enjoy when going out with friends and family. And they remain transparent about the food and materials they use and sell. Southern hospitality meets good quality food—you get to experience a warm, welcoming environment while continuing to remain conscious about what you’re buying and eating.
As a local business owner, I know that I strive to bring a welcoming environment and locally-sourced produce to the tables of everyone I have the opportunity to serve. One of my primary goals is to meet the different tastes of many, while also engaging in many local events to better meet the needs of my community. This is something I strive to do better and better each year.
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be a chore; there are many simple ways to help maintain and grow your quality of life, whether that involves food or not. Instead of solely focusing on your calorie intake and those pesky nutrition labels, there are so many more aspects of mindful living that can better your overall wellbeing.
This year, instead of jumping headfirst into massive resolutions and life changes, take a step back and consider a healthier approach to mindful living and eating habits that impact not only you, but also the community around you.
Ground Turkey Skillet with Zucchini, Corn, Black Beans and Tomato
1. Spray a large skillet over high heat with oil and brown the turkey,
season with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp cumin.
2. Cook breaking the meat up until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
3. Push the meat to the side, add the onion and tomato paste and cook 1 minute.
4. Add the black beans, corn, tomato, jalapeño pepper, garlic, cilantro and stir with 1/4 cup water.
5. Add the zucchini remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cumin.
6. Mix and cover, cook low 4 to 5 minutes or until the zucchini is tender crisp.
7. Serve with lime wedges over Riced Cauliflower or eat as is.