Happy New Year!

With most folks back to work, those resolutions we aimed to keep begin to subside in our priorities list. Whether you aimed to be at the gym every day or cook from scratch every night, sometimes life gets in the way. It is easy to feel disheartened when you appear to fail your resolutions, which is why experts now advise to:[1]

  • set an immediate plan
  • set up a reward scheme if you stick to a new habit
  • change ‘ifs’ to ‘thens’
  • stifle the inner-critic
  • keep track of the progress

However, the new year is also a time for self-reflection and thinking about what you would like to achieve. Here on the Foodful blog, we have come up with some foodie resolutions, which can be kept, to start January will feel-good vibes.

Resolution Ideas

Journal of resolutions
Keep track of your resolutions in a journal

Resolutions are a great way to inspire change in your lifestyle and the best advice in regards to making, and keeping them, is to be specific. The notion of creating  New Year’s resolutions goes all the way back to the Babylonians, over 4,000 years ago[2]! Actions such as paying debts, returning borrowed items and pledging allegiance to the King were all ways the Babylonians welcomed the new year[2] and was thought to inspire a favourable year ahead being blessed by the Gods. Over the years, through Roman times, Medieval rituals and more, similar practices have eventually led us to 2019 and our goals for this coming year.

Here are some of our resolutions we hope to keep this year:

Learn a New Food Skill

Consistently at the top of people’s lists, learning a new skill can be daunting, but with learning to cook you have a lifelong skill that can be shared with your close ones.

If you already have a flair for cuisine but want more in-depth knowledge by professionals, or you are looking for a beginners course because of an interest in certain food types and styles, then food courses are the perfect way to begin the New Year. Whatever the reason, food skills never go out of style and this is something you can enjoy and share for the rest of your life.

You can apply for food-style courses from these following local businesses:

A beehive farm
Enjoy a beekeeping experience with Luke & Suzie
Northumberland Cheese Co selection
Learn how to make cheese at Northumberland Cheese Co
Freshly baked loaf
Learn to bake bread with the professionals around Northumberland and Scottish Borders

Go Organic!

If you’re looking for a resolution which is environmentally friendly, good for your health and the local economy, then eating organically may be the best way for you to succeed with keeping this resolution.

Hexhamshire Organics grocery box
It will be easy to go organic with this beautiful box full of goodies

We are lucky enough in these parts to be near so many fantastic local, organic producers. Eating organically is said to be the natural way to eat, just like our predecessors. It might not be possible to go full organic at once, but making some small changes to your pantry and fridge by adding some organic produce in there could potentially have a positive effect on your health.

Top local organic producers:

  • Border Eggs – offers free-range organic eggs available in different sized packs
  • Hexhamshire Organics – a fruit and veg box scheme which can also include organic pork and apple juice as well as other pantry staples
  • G & S Organics –  a grocery box scheme. Include fruit, vegetables, meat and eggs from the farm to be delivered to your door
  • Gilchester Organics – supplying heritage grains perfect for baking
Homemade bread
Delicious bread baked with Gilchester Organics flour

Volunteering

There are many community-based food projects where you can get involved with. Once the Spring kicks in why not volunteer at North East Organic Growers and see if you have what it takes to grow your own? Or how about volunteering with either Bread Works Organic Bakery in Tweedbank or Artisan Baking Community in Wylam and be part of the community and learn some new skills too.

Volunteers at North East Organic Growers
Volunteer at North East Organic Growers. Enjoy getting back to nature.

It is important to feel good when you are changing lifestyle habits and there is nothing greater than knowing you’ve given up your free time to help someone else.

Dry January

With over 3 million people taking part last year[3], the same numbers, if not more, are expected to be taking part in Dry January 2019. There are so many great alternatives for alcohol; soft drinks, tea, coffee and healthy fermented drinks such as kombucha and kefir making headlines in the food and drink industry for 2019.

Wake up in 2019 with some locally roasted coffee. There are some fantastic coffee roasters around Scottish Borders and Northumberland including Three Hills Coffee, Northern Edge and Mocha Mondo. Coffee and Kin have also set up a foundation so fair prices are paid to coffee farmers and communities if that is an issue close to your heart.

Coffee and Kin coffee
Ethically-minded coffee from Coffee & Kin

Find your new favourite flavour tea from a wide selection of loose leaf teas by Bari Tea or if you just like a classic brew try some Northumberland Tea, easily rivalling your favourite brand.

Loose leaf Earl Grey tea
Fancy a cup of aromatic Earl Grey from Bari Tea?

Laprig Valley offers a range of delicious apple juices. Recently, Laprig Valley has been shortlisted in the Scottish Rural Awards 2019 for their innovation in the soft drinks category. Try Laprig Valley’s Apple and Chilli juice to keep out the January cold.

Apple and Chilli Juice
Warm up with Laprig Valley’s Apple and Chilli Juice

Wellness trends are set to be big this year too, and it looks as though fermented food and drink have increased in popularity. If you’re looking for a drink that’s packed with a health punch, try Left Field Kombucha kombucha varieties. Kombucha was a major food trend last year, with the fermented drink being hailed for its probiotic content which supports a healthy digestive system. Left Field‘s range includes Sencha Green Tea, Oolong, Darjeeling and Yunnan Black Tea.

The 4 varieties of booch by Left Field
The 4 varieties of booch by Left Field Kombucha. Find your favourite!

Kefir is a fermented milk drink and is also great probiotic food, as well as being rich in calcium[4]. You can buy raw milk from Morwick Dairy or Wheelbirks Farm to make your own kefir at home. It is important, however, to make sure you are making kefir under strict hygienic conditions otherwise you can become ill.

Milk bottles
A refreshing glass of raw milk from Wheelbirks to create your gut-boosting kefir

Try Ginuary

If cutting out alcohol doesn’t float your boat, try Ginuary instead. Gin fever doesn’t seem to have cooled, so start 2019 with a bang by enjoying Britain’s favourite spirit[5].

If you’re after innovative gin flavours try DeliQuescent, whose flavours include shimmering Parma Violet and colour-changing Rose Gin.

Deliquescent gin varieties
Deliquescent gin varieties. Enough to keep you going throughout the first half of Ginuary!

If you’re more classic and love a good gin martini, then Hepple Gin is for you.

Gin Twist with Hepple Gin
Hepple Gin is a classic-style gin to create cocktails with. Ginuary refresh!

Or perhaps a taste of history? Then try Lilliard Gin or Holy Island Gin! Both these gins reflect the history of Northumberland and Scottish Borders, as well as showcasing a taste of the local terroir.

Small-batch made Lilliard Gin offers an authentic taste of the Scottish Borders
Small-batch made Lilliard Gin offers an authentic taste of the Scottish Borders

Try a new gin pairing for each of the 31 days in January and share your creations with us.

Aim to Shop Locally

If one small step can make a difference, then resolving to start buying some local produce can lead to the biggest rewards with the minutest efforts. By spending money locally, about £10 out of £50 is put back into the local economy[6] Shopping locally creates a sense of community, as well as promoting good feelings which is what we really need in January! If you’re in town already visit the butchers and stock up on some fresh, local meat, or visit the greengrocers for your weekly veg shop.

Peter Walker Butchers in Coldingham
Shop locally. Start by visiting your local butcher. Try Peter Walker in Coldingham for a bari pie

There a 100s of reasons why you should shop locally, maybe consider why you are not? If it’s for deals, consider whether somewhere local may actually be selling the product/s you’d like at a better price and better quality. It also negates the need to be constantly swiping through endless pages of websites!

Buy gifts from local shops too. This year is the year to be local!

Make that Change

time for change
Ready to change?

Good luck to all who endeavour to make positive changes in their lives this year. Let’s make this year one to remember. A great place to start is within our local communities, then everyone can reap the benefits. Accompany Foodful’s journey in 2019 to find out more about our amazing and diverse local food and drink in Northumberland and Scottish Borders.

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