You won't find any dry January or Veganuary resolutions around here - we only tend to go in for behaviour improvements we have a hope of keeping long-term, so gut health, grocery refills, and buying better meat are high on the agenda for 2024. Here are the New Year's resolutions you might actually stick to this year...
Give your gut a leg up
4 Hands Studio's Rose and Margaux have been busy fermenting anything and everything in Westmeath for the past few years, and their new monthly subscription is a great way to boost your gut health in 2024. You'll get kombucha, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, fermented chilli jam and more for €60 a month, and there are optional add-ons like sourdough, hummus and granola. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and phone number and they'll send you a payment link.
Buy better meat
We don't go in for Veganuary around here, but we do go in for eating a bit less meat, but spending more money on it. That's where a quality butcher like The Village Butcher in Ranelagh comes in, and with nationwide delivery you don't need to worry about lugging pork shoulders and lamb legs into the boot or onto the bus. Apart from all the usual kitchen staples you can experiment with Irish rose veal and buffalo, French wild boar, and Japanese Wagyu, and the team there are great for prep and cooking advice.
Learn to make your favourite restaurant food at home
Great 2024 news - M&L's dumpling making classes are back on Sunday 28th January. If you've had their handmade, chunky dumplings the likelihood is you've thought about them a lot since, and now you can learn their tricks to recreate them at home. For €50 you'll learn to cook and eat beef, pork, prawn and vegetable dumplings, and you can book a place by texting 0877542775.
Get to know Irish, organic vegetables
It's a case of use it or lose it when it comes to Irish veg (especially the organic kind), where growers seem to be giving up and leaving the market every week. Yes it can be more expensive to buy local (and definitely to buy organic), but we'll happily drop one lunch out or a few coffees to upgrade our veg shelf to the good stuff from Green Earth Organics. Apart from the age old "you are what you eat" mantra, we want these guys to be around next year, and the one after that, and unless more people realise the true price of homegrown produce, Dutch peppers and Moroccan raspberries might be our only option in the next few years.
Refill, refill, refill
It's all too easy to stick to the same shopping habits month after month, but if you make one change for 2024, find a grocery refill station and head there with your containers in hand, instead of adding to plastic mountains across the globe. There's Minimal Waste Grocery in Raheny, Noms in Phibsborough, The Souce in Rathmines, and The Good Neighbour in Dundrum, with the latter hoping to open more refill stations in 2024. Once you get into the swing of it it'll become second nature, promise.
Eat at local and independent restaurants
Not to be dramatic, but it feels like we're on the cusp of a tidal waves of closures, with each week bringing more shockers. It can't be said enough that if you want somewhere to survive, you need to support them, so the next time your Insta-hun friend wants to book The Ivy for a getogether, set them straight and divert that money towards the places where your booking really matters.