Monday, January 3, 2011

Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 - Challenge Week 1

Sarah of and Cate of came up with the  idea of Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 in which they will be competing to be the first to achieve a 40 pound weight loss.  Go Sarah and Cate!  They have invited fellow bloggers to join in with posts each Monday related to a certain goal related topic to keep everyone on track and motivated with their New Year's resolutions.  (The participating bloggers are listed at the bottom of the post.)

What are my goals? 

1)  Not to Waste Food - Yes, I am guilty of wasting food too often and it drives me crazy.  I have a tendency to go crazy at farmers markets and then stress about trying to use everything while it is still fresh.  I also apparently hoard DeCecco pasta, different types of vinegar and marinara sauce - although I make my own 99% of the time (marinara sauce that is, not vinegar)!  Expensive ingredients only needed for one recipe are also problematic.

My grandparents never wasted anything, not one string bean or pea.  Their garbage can was the tiniest one I had ever seen, unlike the monstrosity that is picked up with a fork lift-like arm from in front of my house each week.  I recycle what I can and really try not to waste but... well... I will work on it...

2)  Get Organized - which will help me with the first goal - take a look at my pantry - scary!  Anyone have any advice on this one?  It is kind of organized chaos and I know where to find things most of the time!... yes I need to work on it!  Oh, and I have a cabinet filled with canned goods too!  I will get the pantry organized and continue on to the other problem areas!

3)  Don't buy anything with more than five ingredients in it - words of wisdom from the great Mark Bittman -  "In a store, there are very few foods that have more than five ingredients that aren't junk food."    I already avoid buying junk food but will religiously stick to Mark Bittman's advice in 2011!  I won't buy anything with high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, MSG, artificial colors, hormones, antibiotics - ick!!!

In addition to these goals I plan on continuing changes that I have made in the past year(s):
  • Buy organic and local foods
  • Never eat fast food
  • Eat vegetarian meals at least twice a week
  • Limit wine, cheese and chocolate :(
Please feel free to join in next Monday!  Topic #2 :   Where is your support community? - Where do you turn for support/community in your healthy goals?  Share online support centers/ real life, etc. 

Please check out the following lovely blogs to see the other participant's New Year challenges. I am excited to see the other posts!

Sarah Caron -
Cate O’Malley -
Maris Callahan -
Chris Arpante -
Faith -
Kristen -
Emily -
Jenna - FireMom -
Joanne -
Casey  -
Patsy -
Tri-Fit Mom -
Claire from Cooking is Medicine
Allison from


  1. Good goals! I'll never forget my grandmother rinsing out ziploc freezer bags and hand washing plastic (disposable) plates. They lived through the depression. It's all they knew!

    Happy to meet you and I look forward to reading more from your site!

    -Casey from

  2. I will be with you all in spirit and track the progress you make. Good luck and Happy New Year. Blessings...Mary

  3. I started my journey to lose 40 in November. Down 11 pounds and am happy to finally be in a place where I can do this. You have grand goals and I'd like to join you on your wonderful trip in 2011.

  4. What a wonderful initiative! I'm a big fan of New Year's resolutions. I think the new year is a great excuse to reflect on what you did right all year, and what you need to improve upon.

    I'm afraid I don't have any organizational tips for you. You may laugh to hear this, but I thought your pantry picture was a picture of a NEAT pantry. Mine is WAY messier. (The upside is that we had no shortage of food in last week's blizzard. I have enough food in my pantry to last us at least 2 months. I'm NOT kidding.)

    I took the opportunity to write about my own healthy eating goals on my blog. I hope you check them out! (

    Thanks for giving me a push to set these goals! Great initiative!

  5. i need to do my goals and post !!!!

  6. Excellent goals, Jen! I especially love #3...I'm trying to stick mainly with whole foods too!

  7. Really interesting post Jen! I recognized many of the items in your pantry to be in my pantry as well. We have such similar food thought patterns. The only thing that I would add to the list of goals for myself is to lay off the sugary desserts. Getting through the holidays without cookies just doesn't happen around here!
    ♥, Susan

  8. Great goals! I have a problem with hoarding Ronzoni and Barilla pasta myself. And canned tomatoes.

    And wow, your pantry is spacious.

  9. Oh gosh, I love your point about not wasting food. GREAT point. We'll work harder on that as well over here!

    Glad to be in the challenge with you!

  10. These are some AWESOME food related goals! I don't let any processed foods into my apartment at all. My rule of thumb is that if I can make it myself, then there's no need to buy it. I'm excited to see how you do with this!

  11. Wow...what great goals! I'd really like to try and get HFCS our of my diet as much as possible; unfortunately,some things have it in there just for kicks (I think!). Don't understand the draw of it...I guess $$$. I also have a problem with buying veggies and then not using them...part of that is because I just haven't cooked much...hopefully, I can kill two birds with one stone. I rarely eat fast fact, I think the only fast food I've had recently is Subway...not too bad! :-)

  12. I am in serious envy of your pantry space! I have not wasting and better understanding my food bill each month. Best luck on your goals and I look forward to following your journey each week. Hope to get some great tips on how not to waste! It pains me to throw out food.

  13. Love the whole foods goal, since it's something I've embraced the past year.

  14. Great goals! I read someplace today the word intentions rather than resolutions. I like that, don't you?

    Happy New Year to you!

  15. I like your goals for 2011!

    There is a food philosophy that if your grandmother can readily identify the ingredients then it is best to say no.


  16. Your goals are so smart for the new year. You can't beat going local and supporting the organic farming, I totally agree. I think I spent this entire past week organizing my kitchen (and house!) and will be making a fresh start as you. I am going to check out the blogs you listed as well. This will be so fun to follow.

  17. I'm just popping back in to thank you for the visit and to say hello. I hope the challenge is going well. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  18. I feel your pain because I also have an overflowing pantry and filled fridge. It's amazing much we buy nowadays. I'm trying to work on using more in my house too. "No waste" is my new 2011 motto :)