The New Year’s Resolution Every Food Allergic Person Should Make

Woman cooking at a stove
Resolve to cook your own food in the New Year. Portra Images/Taxi/Getty Images

As the New Year rolls in, many people will be thinking about, and trying to formulate their New Year’s resolution. From losing weight to spending more time with family, almost everyone has a burning behavior they want to change.

Background on Resolution-Making

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, about 45% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution each year. Researchers found that most resolutions were targeted at self-improvement or weight goals (mostly losing weight).

Only 8% of resolvers were successful at achieving their resolution. While these don’t sound like great odds, the study found that those who explicitly made a resolution were 10 times more likely to have success at their newly adopted behavior than those who did not resolve to change.

Popular Resolutions

Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are focused on:

  • Betterment of physical health, such as losing weight, healthier eating, starting or increasing exercise, drinking less alcohol, and nixing bad habits like smoking or biting nails.
  • Bettering mental health, such as being more positive, laughing more, or de-stressing.
  • Improving financial status, such as reducing debt, saving money or investing money.
  • Career-oriented improvements, like getting a raise, a promotion, or getting a new job.
  • Betterment of education, like getting better grades, taking harder courses, learning something new, studying harder, or reading more books.
  • Focus on self-skills like organization, time management, or being more independent.
  • Taking a trip, volunteering to help others, donating or giving to charity.

Why Resolutions are Important

Making a resolution to change yourself or your behavior is a way to take stock in your present day condition—and make it better.

From hard-core, objective resolutions like melting away the pounds (you either succeed or you don’t) to subjective improvements like becoming a better person (somewhat generic and hard to measure), all resolutions require an assessment period. What needs to change? What is it that holds you back from health and happiness? Why do you want improvement? Is something stressing you out that needs a kick to the curbside?

Making a New Year’s resolution is a way to check in with how things are going now, and try to make them better. This assessment phase takes a bit of brutal honesty, some hutzpah to get going, and a commitment to see it through.

The resolution every food allergic individual should make

While there are many resolutions that can be made by people with food allergies, like being better at reading labels or being sure to carry emergency medicine wherever you travel, I think there is one resolution that stands out above all resolutions, and that is this:

Resolve to Cook Your Own Food

If people with food allergies cooked their own food, they would reap many benefits, including:

  • The ability to control all ingredients
  • The ability to prevent cross-contamination
  • Adding more wholesome, nutritious food in the family diet
  • Capitalizing on nutrients that might be missing in the diet due to avoidance of food allergens
  • Including more food variety and therefore a broader base of nutrients 
  • Avoiding food boredom
  • Getting kids involved in cooking and learning about their food allergy in a hands-on way

If you’re shaking your head, doubting your abilities or the time you have to cook, remember, there are many resources available to you. Here are some of my favorites:

Cookbooks:

The Whole Food Allergy Cookbook by Cybele Pascal

  • Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30 Minute Meals without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish and Sesame by Cybele Pascal
  • The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal
  • The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book by Kelly Rudnicki
  • Allergy-Free Desserts by Elizabeth Gordon
  • The Kid-Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook by Leslie Hammond

Blogs:

  • The Nut-free Mom
  • Lexie’s Kitchen
  • Allergy Foodie
  • Cybele Pascal “The Allergy-Friendly Cook”
  • Food Allergy Mama
  • Food Allergy Queen

Resources:

Norcross, J.C., Mrykalo, M.S., & Blagys, M.D. (2002). Auld lang syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(4), 397-405.

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