“My New Years resolution is to read ingredients lists carefully whenever I purchase groceries or other foods.” A great idea but unlikely to succeed. Let’s talk about why. But first of all a reminder that there is absolutely no requirement that resolutions my start on January 1 and end on December 31. This article appears today because people are concerned about resolutions during the first few weeks of January.
‘Reading ingredients lists’ is a great idea, of course, but let’s try to turn it into a practical resolution that will actually be followed. Try this: “Whenever I am shopping for food that is not naturally gluten free, I will use a hand magnifying glass to read the ingredients list and reject all items that include toxic ingredients”. A very good resolution if you are the type of person who can stand in the middle of a crowded supermarket with a magnifying glass and a food package in my hand, read a list of words on a package that was not designed for easy-reading, and remember all the terms that suggest that a food item might contain gluten. Congratulations if you are that sort of person. I know that I would fail miserably unless I wrote a more detailed resolution. Let’s try this: “When I am shopping for gluten free food, I will (with the help of a hand magnifier), read the ingredients list on each package and reject any items that include wheat, barley, rye, rye, malt, (etcetera)”. I will carry my list of unacceptable ingredients with me, perhaps taped onto the cover of my magnifying glass.
I think this resolution will work, especially if I add this: “When I arrive at home, I will double check my purchases (with the help of the magnifying glass) and donate my ‘mistakes’ to our church’s food bank.”
I think I can do this, particularly if I write down my resolutions, revise them as I wish to do so, but never simply run way from them. I can make my revisions at any time, discontinue them if I decide they are not serving me well, but never ignore or wander away from them. Let me know how this works for you! Happy New Year!