The holidays are over, and so is 2017! Happy near year, y’all!! I can’t believe it’s already 2018. The end of the year is such a weird time for me, always. First, because it’s just strange whenever you look back and think on how quickly time passes. I swear, I blinked and suddenly the new year rolled around again.2017 was such a whirlwind for me. So many things changed–I had surgery, I started this blog, and I moved away from home to a brand new city. Because of that, half my goals for 2017 are done, while the other half inevitably roll into this year.
Second, because New Year’s Day just happens to also be my birthday. And with that comes a whole lot of feelings. I actually hate sharing my birthday with a holiday, so there’s that. But getting older is also just bittersweet for me. Alas, we are now in 2018 and I am one year older. But instead of lamenting my aging, let’s look forward to what’s in store. Of course, I have a lot of goals for 2018 that are personal. But for the blog, here’s what I’ve got going on:
1. Eat a balanced diet
I’ll be honest: this is one of those goals that I keep saying I’ll do, but never actually do. It’s hard! I don’t like to diet. There’s something about restricting myself from certain things that feels really wrong. It’s partly that childish rebellion that’s like I’m gonna do whatever I want; I’m an adult! But it’s also that part of me that just loves food. My friend, and fellow blogger, Katie said it best: assigning morality to food (i.e., good for you, bad for you) can warp your relationship with it. And I struggle a lot with that, being someone who wants to only love and appreciate all things food. So instead of saying I’m going to diet, I just want to learn how to how to have a more balanced diet–a little of everything (emphasis on little).
I also just don’t know how to do it. We didn’t exactly grow up with a balanced diet. Meat was the center of our lives, and that habit continues into my adulthood. And even though I try to add a little vegetable every now and then, it’s still a struggle. I think in my mind, if there’s a vegetable then it’s balanced. And that’s just not the truth. You need a little of everything–again, emphasis on little. But if there is one thing you go overboard on, it’s not the meat or rice. And that’s my struggle. I’m looking out for books, or suggestions, and I’m hopefully joining a gym that incorporates dietary tips into their workouts. Future updates on this to come.
2. Cooking for One
Moving away had its challenges for many reasons. One of the biggest ones is that I don’t really cook all that much anymore. At first it was just about finding the time to do it. But, like with all things, you make time for things that are important to you. So that was an easy fix. Now my struggle is portioning my food so I only cook for myself. Usually I go about it two ways: 1) cook so much that I eat the leftovers until they’re gone or 2) cook so much that I give it away to my roommates. Neither way feels particularly economical or efficient.
So, I’m going to be writing more on how to cook enough food for one. Likely that will still involve some leftovers for a little while. But hopefully by 2019, I’ll have this down. The thing is, I don’t like to be wasteful–with food or money. If I make food, I want it to be eaten eventually. But I get tired of eating the same thing over and over again pretty easily. So, cutting down on how much I cook will help manage that boredom. Also, it may help me cook more often, which is always a goal no matter what year it is. As for the money portion…
3. Spend less on Food
I track what I spend in a little notebook. And the two things I spend the most money on are food and shopping. But let’s just stick to the former for now–the latter is irrelevant and way more difficult to control. Like I’ve said a thousand times, I don’t get to cook as much as I would like. A huge reason for this is because I’m usually out and doing things elsewhere. So, that means I end up spending money on food out, because a girl’s gotta eat! In my continuous effort to reign in my spending, cutting down on food expenses out is a huge portion of that.
The problem is that Austin has so much good food, and I have so much left to try still! Now, of course, I’ll still be eating around town. I need something to write in my Local Eats posts. But the goal is to make these outings fewer and farther apart. Again, my boredom plays into this a lot. I love new things and new food especially! But my bank account can’t take it. And neither can my dietary goals. The newness can come with all the new recipes I make for y’all. Which brings me to:
4. Expand my Creativity
I talked a little about trying to expand my culinary horizons this year. Comfort zones are definitely something I don’t like to step too far out of. But a major goal for the blog this year is to do just that–push myself. Go further. Of course, I still have so many amazing Filipino recipes to share, and always will. But for my personal recipes, I want to go even further.
I want to add Filipino touches to classic dishes, like this burger my mom invented. I’d also like to go beyond just easy dishes that can be thrown together–like my stir fries (although, I still love these and will continue to make them). But you know what they say, without challenge there can be no growth. So I challenge myself to go beyond just what I know will work. I want to get a little messier and experimental with my food. And I’ll surely write all about the journey here.
For Christmas, I received some pretty awesome expansions to my starter kitchen. And that has me feeling super inspired and excited! So, look out for many more things to come. But for now, I just want to thank those of you who follow along, or those of you who just pass through and try a recipe every now and again. For whatever reason you’re reading this, thanks. I love food and cooking, and I love sharing it on this blog with y’all too. May 2018 be another great year for that!