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Or perhaps you call them intentions, goals, vows, pledges or changes. Whatever they’re called, the new year always seems to get people thinking about where and what they currently are doing/ being/ feeling/ acting/ eating/ drinking etc, and it seems to generate a mindset of change. I have never been a big fan of ‘the New Year’. To me it is just another day, and every day is, technically, a new year!! However, this year I have had a little think about my resolutions…..and these are what I came up with. I’m writing them on here to act as a reminder for me as I am sure we all know how well intentioned we can be in January, and then by February things have gone a little awry (with me they do, anyway!!)

So, here goes.

  1. Drink a glass of water with every meal. I drink a lot of fluids throughout the day but it tends to be tea or coffee, albeit decaffeinated, or wine in the evening. More water is definitely required in my life and this is a good way to start me off. Rather than setting myself up to drink 2litres a day (which I already know I won’t manage) and failing, adding one glass with each meal will be achievable and I can increase it as time goes on.

2. Get back to eating whole foods. The build up to Christmas and general lock down stresses saw us both start to eat far more “junk food” than we have done for a long time, and we really noticed how this made us feel and it wasn’t good. We both had more bloating and wind, felt more sluggish and I got some spots on my face for the first time since my teens. Since Andy was diagnosed with cancer, we have stuck to a whole food plant based diet and have several years of practice under our belt, so this resolution shouldn’t be difficult. I just need to break the bad habits developed over the last few weeks and get back to it. Some things to help me do this include writing a meal plan for each week, making sure I am cooking using only the ingredients we have in the house, not buying junk food (even easier when doing online shopping as the temptations are reduced!!), avoiding oil, sugar and salt, and, most importantly, keeping to our mantras of daily nutrition……. Dr Joel Fuhrman’s “GBOMBS” which stands for Greens, Beans, Onions (alliums), Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds (and nuts), to which we add our own extras (Grains, Spices, Seaweed) to make GGBOMBSSS! Mix in Dr Michael Greger’s Daily Dozen (beans, berries, other fruits, cruciferous veg, greens, other veggies, flaxseeds, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, wholegrain, drinks and exercise) and we’re sorted!! Check out their respective websites for loads more information: www.drfuhrman.com and www.nutritionfacts.org

3. Yoga. Last year I was managing to do yoga every day but, like the diet, this has slipped a little in winter. So, I have resolved to do yoga a minimum of three times a week and more if I feel like it. I love Ashtanga yoga so will complete the Half Primary Series in each of my sessions. I enjoy the feeling of strength and flexibility my practice gives me, and combined with a twice daily brisk dog walk, all fitness boxes are ticked.

4. Buy from vegan, independent businesses. So, I know this may not be totally achievable, especially with ongoing lockdown restrictions, but I am going to try my best. Firstly and mainly I am going to avoid Amazon and then I am going to take the time to research and find independent businesses that share my ethos and ethics. Two great places to start to look for vegan businesses in the UK are www.vegantradersunion.co.uk and www.vegandirectory.uk Both these websites are full of certified vegan owned and run independent businesses of all types and genres. We’re on them, too! Through the Instagram community I have got to know many of the owners of these businesses and they are all fab. In a time of economic uncertainty, supporting small businesses is so important and, anyway, who wants to make the rich people even richer? Let’s help share out the wealth to everyone.

5. Reduce our waste. Again, this was something that two years ago I was totally on!!! We produced one small bin bag of land fill waste every two weeks at most. However, lockdown and online shopping has changed that. I don’t believe that we could ever be “zero waste” – there is no such thing in my mind, although I do follow ‘zero wasters’ on Youtube for inspirational ideas, but we can all strive to be “less waste”. We already do quite well (imho!!)… we compost all our paper and cardboard, kitchen scraps, garden waste and poo and wee in our own compost bin which in two years time should provide us with the most amazing vegan compost to go back onto our garden to grow our veggies. We buy our toilet roll from Who Gives A Crap (no plastic packing and all recycled), we bulk buy cleaning products (I used to make my own natural ones but the strict requirements for Covid19 cleaning protocols meant this had to stop), we recycle glass, tins and plastic bottles, we use bamboo toothbrushes, we have Ecotricity as our energy supplier, and I use period underwear instead of tampons or sanitary towels for that time of the month (which is one of the biggest and best swaps I did, and I love it!! Total game changer!!). Things to improve on: buy less food that is wrapped in plastic or in plastic containers as Somerset Council doesn’t recycle tubs – yet – and these are our biggest waste product at the moment. Eating more whole foods should also significantly help with this issue. Drive less. Not specifically waste related, but environmental awareness continues to be important. We live in a very rural area so driving will be inevitable, but we can work towards making our journeys the most efficient they can be in terms of achieving multiple things from one trip. Finally, get back to shopping at my local zero waste refill shop in Taunton www.lesserlitter.com They have any amazing selection of pantry food goods, and they’re vegan!!!!

So, that’s my lot. Do you have any resolutions this year? What are they? Let us know in the comments and we can support each other to achieve them and stick to them. Good luck! And a Happy New Year, too!