I'm a fan of one resolution years: pick one and focus all your energy on completing it. I've had the "Better Posture" year, the "Accept Compliments Graciously" year, "Read all the Russian novelists" year, and the "Be Kinder" year. I've been toying with several resolutions for 2012: Practice Daily Gratitude, De-stress with Yoga, and even Find a Solution for My Laundry Issues.
The other day when Rachael suggested eating out at a chain restaurant, I found my one resolution: Support local restaurants whenever possible.
If you think about it, it's an easy change, but one that could help your community. You're patronizing an establishment that adds life to your town. If a friend wants to go to lunch, suggest a small business in your neighborhood. Your family is going out to dinner, why not get to know a local proprietor? Add to the village that knows your family.
Local restaurants are more likely to use local farmers and suppliers, creating a circle that provides more for all residents. It's a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint. You may never know what local specialties are waiting for you.
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What if this means you try Thai, Indian, Ethiopean, Korean cuisines for the first time? I know, it's scary, but what if you end up loving them? What a great learning experience for your family, as well. Maybe you can't afford to travel, but you might be able to afford a dinner at a Taiwanese restaurant and learn about a new culture. In my anecdotal experience, local restaurants are usually healthier, with less frozen, processed, and packaged foods hitting your plate (what, you think Olive Garden's breadsticks are made from scratch on site?)
So that's one resolution that I'm sharing with you this year: Eat at Local Restaurants.
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