With 2016 looming on the horizon, New Year’s Resolutions are on many people’s minds. Below, we share what we plan to do differently in the new year and how we will incorporate the nutrition knowledge from different Oldways programs into our daily lives. From exploring different heritage diets to eating a more diverse collection of whole grains, we’re starting 2016 full of healthful motivation and we invite you to join us!


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Dine on Common Ground & Heritage Diets, and Move! Inspired by the Oldways Finding Common Ground conference, as well as the A Taste of African Heritage and soon-to-be-released Taste of Latin American Heritage programs, I resolve to use these recipes and messages as my guide. At least 3 out of 7 nights per week I’m going to cook something new from one of the curricula or the Common Ground menu. This means fewer nights out with friends at restaurants, but I think my pocketbook will thank me. I also resolve to give Prieta, my 2-year-old rescue Bugg, more time on the Esplanade, Comm Avenue mall, Public Garden, and the beach — which will also give me extra essential time to move and keep fit. – Sara Baer-Sinnott

Explore African Heritage Cuisine & Eat More Plants. My sister has lived in Ghana for 40 years, yet I know little about the flavors of West African cooking. In 2016 I plan to get outside of my New England roots and test out some of the 51 African Heritage recipes on our website. Although my husband and I eat only small amounts of fish and meat now, our recent conference also inspired me to find more creative vegetarian and vegan dishes to add to our meal favorites. – Cynthia Harriman

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Learn Spanish & Use My Cookbooks. I’d like to become fluent in Spanish in 2016, as learning a language is a practical way to gain a richer appreciation of a culture. This is exciting as Oldways expands our Latin American Heritage program. ¡Deséame suerte! (Hopefully that means wish me luck!) A carry-over resolution from last year is to cook at least 5 recipes from each of my cookbooks. This ongoing project helps me to pick up new kitchen skills and put the dozens of volumes adorning my shelves to good use. – Kelly Toups

Meet New Grains and Greens. In 2015 I became very cozy with farro and freekeh. This year I want to experiment more in my home kitchen with whole grains that I’m not familiar with, like sorghum, teff, and millet, and find ways to work them into breakfast ideas and combinations with greens. Speaking of, I love kale, Swiss chard, and spinach, but I also want to master cooking collards, mustard greens, and other greens that are staples of the African Heritage Diet– Georgia Orcutt

Homecook Vegetarian Meals & Taste New Cheeses. My two resolutions for 2016 are to eat at least two vegetarian dinners every week, inspired by the Oldways Vegetarian Network, and to sample at least one new traditionally made cheese every month. – Lara Bertoia

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Expand Cheese & Culinary Horizons to Latin America. This year I want to develop my cheese-tasting vocabulary by exploring cheeses beyond the French, Italian, and Spanish cheeses that I adore. Carlos has whetted my taste buds with the cheese of Mexico; this is where I’ll begin my adventures. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make an authentic mole sauce, using a molcajete, so I also aim to explore Latin American heritage foods. I think it’s time for a trip to Mexico! – Deborah Plunkett

Use More Olive Oil & Eat a Med Diet. During our Finding Common Ground conference, I learned many benefits of extra virgin olive oil. Though I already cook with it, in wanting to learn more I resolve to increase my food literacy and consumption of extra virgin olive oil in 2016. Also, starting in the spring I plan to prepare most of the recipes from our Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan book and get better at bringing my own lunch to the office. – Carlos Yescas

Celebrate the New Year & Go Veggie. Following the American South tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for luck and prosperity, on January 1 I resolve to make Healthy Hoppin’ John, a black-eyed peas recipe from the African Heritage Diet. Right now I am a pescatarian but I want to eliminate animal foods and eat strictly plant-based meals. In that effort, my 2016 resolution is to eat a larger variety of green leafy vegetables and explore the many vegetarian and vegan recipes from the Oldways Vegetarian Network. – Joan Kelly

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Enjoy More Whole Grains. This year I resolve to explore and use a wider variety of whole grains in my diet by buying more varieties of grains and preparing them weekly for my son and I. I would also love to use these new whole grains as an excuse to really learn to bake. I want to make homemade pizza, cookies, and more using grains I haven’t used often before such as sorghum and teff. – Sade Anderson

Dine on Plant-Based Cultural Cuisines. For 2016, I would like to try at least one new recipe from either the African Heritage or Latin American Heritage programs each month. I eat plant-based at home but am more lenient when I’m out of the house, so in 2016 I’d also like to move towards a stricter plant-based diet for the sake of my health and animal welfare. – Harley Songin

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Bake with Whole Grains & Taste Different Olive Oils. While we cook at home almost every night, you’ll almost never find us baking — though my husband and I love fresh breads and my stepdaughter Katy swoons over vegan desserts. This year, I plan to put my stove to good use by making my first-ever whole grain bread and by baking more whole grain desserts, all guided by the Whole Grains Council website. Taking a cue from the Med Diet, my husband and I also want to experiment with different olive oils for cooking, dipping, and salad dressings, and understanding the variations in flavors from various regions and processes. – Sarah McMackin

Share Heritage Meals & Nutrition Knowledge. During my few months at Oldways, I have learned an incredible amount about food and nutrition. In 2016 I resolve to cook with the ingredients and recipes from our Heritage Diets and to enjoy those meals with friends and family, as all our Heritage Diet Pyramids are founded on eating meals with others. I also plan to share my new nutrition knowledge with those around me — in fact I started on Christmas by serving a raw milk cheese and explaining to my family the differences that raw milk makes, and work our Cheese Coalition is doing to protect raw milk cheese production in the US. – Ashley Owen

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Explore Cultural Cuisine Around Town. Inspired by our Oldways Culinaria tours of culinary regions around the world, I plan to find and dine in a new cultural restaurant every month to bring the Oldways Culinarias to my home city of Boston. I also resolve to learn more from my office-mate, Carlos Yescas, who directs the Oldways Cheese Coalition and is a well known cheese monger, founder of Mexico’s first artisan cheese distribution company, and one of the “50 hottest places, people and trends in food” (named by the Guardian UK Observer Food Monthly for 2015). This year I will turn my love for cheese into knowledge of cheese by trying and learning about a new cheese each month, with Carlos’ help. – Abby Sloane

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