2019 is officially here, and with the coming of the new year comes the inevitable pressure to commit to changing some of your bad habits from the previous twelve months. If you’re anything like us, however, your new year’s resolutions last just about as long as the left-over-from-Christmas tin of Roses sat in your cupboard. Losing weight, joining a gym, stopping eating chocolate, or giving up alcohol may seem like achievable goals when you’re full of hopeful (drunken) energy on New Year’s Eve, but on January 1st, the promise you made to yourself the night before can prove to be a problem. January is bad enough with its chilling temperatures and long, dark nights, and now more than any other time of the year you’ll want to cling onto a few foodie comforts.
But there’s no need to go cold turkey; making a few small and achievable goals without giving up everything you love is a much more realistic way of making positive changes whilst ensuring the start of your year isn’t even more depressing than it needs to be.
So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few foodie resolutions we think all of us could make this year to guarantee a healthy, happy, kind and adventurous new year.
Eat a little less meat and dairy – or at least give vegetarians and vegans a break.
There are plenty of positive reasons to eat a little less meat and dairy this year. Whether you go as far as to attempt a vegan lifestyle or you just commit to one day a week without eating meat, eating more fruit and veg is not only good for your health but great for the planet too. Roughly 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture and it’s been said that if Americans were to just cut the amount of beef they ate in half, it would be akin to taking 15 million cars off the road for the year, so small changes now could prove to make huge differences later on.
With many restaurants, pubs, and fast-food chains across the country introducing new vegetarian and vegan options to keep up with growing demand, such as Greggs recently introducing their new vegan sausage roll, it’s never been easier to give going meat-free for a day or two a week a try. And if the thought of eating a vegan sausage roll upsets your carnivorous stomach that much, then just don’t eat one – no need to pull a Piers Morgan and make out like you’re a victim when it’s still as easy as it’s ever been to eat out as a meat eater (read our article, “Why are people still so hostile towards vegans?” here).
Check out some of the vegetarian and vegan restaurants that feature in our guides below:
Support your local pubs
Money might be tight, but we think it’s still worth the coins if you can to head to your local pub every now and then and support what could very well be an establishment struggling to stay open. From the cheerful community atmosphere and brilliant selection of ales, ciders, lagers and wines behind the bar to the classic, feel-good pub grub and themed evenings, live music and quizzes, there’s really nothing quite like a night spent at a brilliant British pub with all your friends and family. But, with any business, without your support, these iconic staples of British life could eventually be a thing of the past. So, instead of giving up booze for good this year, why not instead devote at least one evening a week to gathering up all your friends and hanging out with a couple of pints at your underappreciated local establishment.
If you want to discover the very best pubs in your local area worthy of your patronage this year, be sure to pick up one of our regional guides covering 30 regions across the UK from Dorset all the way up to Edinburgh.
Try out as many new restaurants as you can
We all fall into the same old trap – we find one restaurant we enjoy and then, because we know we like the food, we return again and again while rejecting every other restaurant in the process. Often times we settle on our favourite restaurants too quickly without really exploring what the local area has to offer. You may love the Indian in your town, but travel a little further down the road and you may find the Indian food there even better, or it may just be a welcome change every once in a while. Perhaps you are so comfortable at your local pizzeria that you’re neglecting all other cuisines in favour of a pizza you’ve eaten time and time again.
Why not instead make this year the year of trying new and different things? There’s no reason to completely break up with your favourite restaurant, but it doesn’t hurt to discover what the foodie scene in your town or city has to offer either. To help find great new cuisines and restaurants in your local region, pick up a free copy of one of our handy regional guides and fill your 2019 with new and exciting foodie experiences you’ll remember forever.
Treat yourself and others
New Year’s resolutions needn’t be so negative – “give up this”, “lose this”, “feel bad about this” –instead they can be something to look forward to and make you feel good about yourself. Although your physical wellbeing is important, your mental health is just as, if not far more important. If you spent all of last year feeling bad about having still not joined a gym or having eaten far too much sugar, then this is the year to feel good about yourself and make others feel good about themselves too.
Start a new foodie hobby like foraging which will encourage you to be more active outdoors and to eat healthier, more natural foods or book yourself into a fascinating cooking demonstration to learn how to make the most of this country’s great produce (read all about some fantastic foodie things you can get up to this year over on our blog). Why not even gift yourself and your loved ones to a fantastic dining out experience at one of the country’s finest Michelin-star restaurants, many of which can be found in our food and drink guides? As long as it makes you feel good about yourself and gives you something to look forward to, we don’t see the harm.