A Clean Slate

Clean Slate | A Couple Cooks

“…We’re all eating far better than we did a decade ago. More whole grains, less white flour; more leafy, hardy greens; more heritage-breed pork instead of that plastic-wrapped supermarket stuff; more pristine, sustainable fish. And when we build our meals around these ingredients, we don’t think “health”, we think “delicious”. Listen, we’re not monks — we do allow ourselves to indulge and break stride when the occasion arises. But day in and day out, this is how we eat now. And we’ve never felt better.”  -Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit (January 2014)

2014: a clean slate. Like clockwork, the turn of a new year urges us to turn inward and examine ourselves — and many times, our eating habits. There’s a multitude of advice out there on how to revolutionize your eating: paleo, gluten-free, raw, vegan, low carb, low fat, smoothies, kale, etc. etc.

For us, it’s less about diets and buzzwords and more about a few simple phrases:

Stay positive.                              Eat whole foods. 

More whole grains, fruits, and veggies. 

Indulge occasionally.                  Love the kitchen.

Think ahead; be thoughtful.        Try new things.

That’s why we love Adam Rapoport’s quote in this month’s Bon Appetit. It’s simple; unpretentious, positive. It makes good eating sound accessible.

Like anyone, we’re not perfect eaters. While we eat everything we make on this blog, there’s a lot of time in between for unthoughtful eating. Here are a few of our goals for 2014.

1. Think ahead more; eat more balanced dinners on weeknights. Many times we’re stuck “scrounging” and don’t make as wise of choices as if we had planned ahead.

2. Branch out with lunch food at work. Yes, we’re rather boring for work lunches. Cottage cheese, oatmeal, and nuts are our staples: not terrible choices, but not terribly inventive either.

3. More greens and whole grains. We have trouble thinking ahead enough to make a pot of whole grains for weeknights, or make sure there are greens in the fridge. Our new copy of Whole Grain Mornings has inspired us to branch out more in the grains department.

4. Cook beans from scratch. We often end up reaching for canned or boxed beans. Boiling a pot of dried beans is cheaper and tastes much better…it just requires a bit of forethought.

5. Eat intentionally. Even though this is our mantra, I still find myself running to comfort foods in times of stress or boredom, and eating while typing. Not only is it messy (sorry, keyboard!), I miss out on savoring each bite.

Do you have food-related goals for the new year?

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Dearna @tohercore
    January 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing – my new years resolution are quite similar, especially the first one. I find cooking up some whole grains and prepping salad/stirfry dressings on the weekend helps, but often its finding the time to do that as well! And cooking beans from scratch is another great resolution (not one of mine, although it probably should be – we just acquired a (second-hand) slow cooker so I should give them a run in that. But I think my main one would have to be eating intentionally and mindfully – I snack all the time just because food is there or out of boredom, without actually wanting or appreciating the food. Im definitely adding this one to my list as well :)

    • Reply
      January 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Amen to that! We’ve been wanting to try beans in a slow cooker too. We’ll let you know how it goes!

  • Reply
    January 2, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Ha, I could have written this word for word! Particularly the bit about more exciting lunches at work… I tried to make 2013 the year where I ate more mindfullly and I think I did okay at that but, as you say, it’s easy to lose sight of that especially when stressed or tired or whatever. Here’s to a year of eating well in 2014!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Funny, so glad this resonated too! Even loving to cook it’s hard to stay motivated at lunch :) Cheers to a new 2014!

  • Reply
    Justin Knight
    January 2, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for this! Great ideas to help give a boost to my New Year’s resolutions!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I love that quote. And what a great list of resolutions. Mine is to use my cookbooks more rather than simply flicking through them for inspiration. And to get a bigger fridge – pre-preparing lunches means we’re so tight on space!

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