all things new [year]

We can’t escape the feeling of something new.

Regardless of what we feel as a new year, on paper, all the numbers have changed. Things feel fresh. Slates — seemingly — wiped clean.

Christmas was so, so good. Fun times and so much food! Beignets at Cafe du Monde, Poboys from Domilises’, and even the chili dogs we ate off Bourbon St. at 1:30am. It wasn’t our proudest moment, but it surely hit the spot after a long day of traveling. I spilled chili all over my shoes and we laughed on the elevator all the way up to our room.

Sweet times with family and friends. Picking skin off a fried turkey and eating it like some animal who’s been hibernating all winter. Goodness gracious, the sweets! Banana puddin’, pecan pie and my Gran’s fruit salad that, to be honest, is pretty much dessert. We got some really thoughtful gifts and among them were the Momofuku Milk Bar and Pork & Sons cookbook — super rad!

Leaving is always hard as being at home makes you soft. Especially times where you feel like you’ve made good connections with family and other distant relatives you maybe see once a  year. It’s never enough, you see?

And then comes the transition back home only be met with New Years. Seriously? Another holiday? Why can’t we spread these things out? Like in March or September.

We’re always torn with what to do on New Years. Lots of folks are still out of town or busy and you feel the need to welcome in the new  year with a bang! [or something.]

This year was a little different. Post-Christmas hustle and bustle sometimes leaves you feeling a little worn out — maybe a little sad, but altogether hopeful for things to come.
My wife and I hunkered in and rested. I cooked braised beef short ribs, roasted cauliflower and sauteed brussel sprouts. Some of our favorite things. We watched cheesy TV on hulu and a somewhat melancholic movie that I dosed off from during the last 45 minutes. I jerked awake just in time to welcome in the new year with Hannah, as we watched the seconds come closer and listened to Mariah Carey’s rendition of “Auld Lang Syne”. We laughed and hugged and eventually, fell asleep.

I’ve yet to start my “body back to square one” diet, of which, I will begin today at lunch with bone broth and some sort of lean protein. I will do that for a few days and work into steamed vegetables. It’s been hard going without coffee. I’ve managed to get over the caffeine headaches, but I do miss the ritual of a morning cup of coffee. (And afternoon, to be honest.)

But with this diet, comes a sense of well-being. Like I’m doing something…good.

I’ve been pretty careless about what I eat and when I eat it. I wasn’t doing a good job of listening to my body. I don’t want to live my life on OTC medications everyday. We have the ability, if we want, to fix ourselves.

Preventative healthcare, I guess you could say.

And here’s to the new year — to becoming better people — and better cooks — and healthier lifestyles — and bigger beards — and so on and so forth…

Cheers!

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