How Our Food Editors Eat Healthy in January (and All Year Long)
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Even at the pinnacle of New Year's-resolution season, there are some words you will never hear in the test kitchen: Whole30. Keto. Paleo. Diets simply aren't part of the food editors' routine; instead, the focus is on balance. And not just once a year after the holidays; it's something they consider year-round, especially because of their line of work. Food director Sarah Carey tastes every single recipe that goes into the magazine and online, which affects how she eats at home. So for her, instead of making a specific resolution, it's more about trying to remember not to eat cheese and crackers for dinner. "I try to eat more greens and veggies," says Sarah, "and maybe a healthy savory breakfast so that I'm not starving by noon when the food starts rolling in."
After the holidays, assistant editor Lindsay Strand set an intention to eat more mindfully. "That means focusing on satisfying meals that keep me full, and avoiding eating unnecessary sugar," she says. This is the time of year that she craves lighter brothy soups and crisp green salads. Lindsay also enjoys brewing an after-dinner cup of tea, such as this Cinnamon-Orange Black Tea or Citrus-Mint Tea. "I'm not able to drink a lot of caffeine late at night," she says, "and the soothing aromatics help the teas feel calming." Her trick is to use a French press-it's not just for coffee!
While editor at large Shira Bocar tends to eat healthy year-round, she says her sugar addiction got really out of control over the holidays. Luckily, the recipes she developed for the January/February issue are the perfect antidote. "They're not as strict as Whole30, but they deliver whole, colorful food on your plate," says Shira. "They're a great way to stay inspired during the winter months." We're talking snacks like Banana Energy Bites, Raspberry Applesauce with Chia, and Shira's favorite, Citrus Chips. "I have a batch on hand in the test kitchen, and one chip will usually kill a sweet craving," she says. She's also fond of the "juice salads,"-instead of going in the juicer, produce is left whole and tossed with a bright ginger-lemon dressing.
For senior editor Lauryn Tyrell, January has been about trying to curb her mindless snacking habit in the test kitchen. "It's not realistic that I'll stop doing it completely, so I keep carrots or other crunchy veggies near my station all day, which at least helps with the calorie intake," she says. For a quick pick-me-up, Lauryn also swears by a drink that she and Shira have nicknamed the "colonial health tonic," which is just ice water with a splash of raw, unfiltered apple-cider vinegar. Meanwhile, recipe tester Riley Wofford relies on a different drink to cleanse her palate: homemade Lemon-Ginger Soda. "It's a really refreshing way to bounce back when snacking on cakes and pastas and everything that passes through the kitchen," she says. Plus, it's perfect for dry January: "it almost has a gin-and-tonic-esque quality to it."
Deputy editor Greg Lofts isn't big on diets or resolutions; he describes January as a "reset to the norm." "Good eating habits should be practiced consistently so that they become second nature, not this annual pursuit in January," he says. "Of course I ate too many sweets and many rich meals over the holidays, but I revert back to usual eating habits in the New Year and maintain that throughout the year." One thing he does do differently in January, however, is make chicken broth every weekend. "This elixir is like really delicious preventative medicine," says Greg. "I'm convinced it's what keeps me healthy and (almost) never susceptible to winter colds." The secret to its rich flavor? Chicken feet and fresh ginger in addition to the usual whole bird and aromatics. So instead of trying the latest diet, maybe 2019 is the year you try chicken feet?