The difference between New Year’s resolutions that stick and the ones that don’t? They become habits. “Duh,” you’re probably thinking, “If you keep doing something, then it’s habit. That’s literally what ‘habit’ means.” While that’s not wrong, there are tricks to establishing new, healthy habits that stick – and honey can help.
Rule #1 of a New Year’s resolutions is that they have to be specific enough to actually achieve. If your resolution is simply to “be healthy” or “get in shape,” there’s no way to know if you’ve accomplished them – or even if you’re heading in the right direction. Here are three common resolutions, and how you can work toward them with a little help from local honey.
If Your Resolution is to Exercise More
In those moments where you could be exercising – first thing in the morning, after work, during lunch break, weekend mornings – you aren’t even thinking about it. It’s generally not a problem of whether you want to work out or not, it’s that you simply have other habits and things taking up your time.
One trick to building an exercise habit is to mentally map out in advance exactly how you want it to go: “I’m going to wake up at 6:00am and not hit snooze. I will put my hair up, put on my good workout shirt, brush my teeth, make coffee, then hit the gym. I’ll start with 15 minutes on the elliptical…” etc. Basically, you need to anticipate the next time you’re going to work out, so that when it arrives, you aren’t having to make every little decision. It’s like you’re already halfway done by the time you start.
Honey can help you build this habit in quite a few ways:
- Eating a spoonful of honey before you work out gives your body a ready source of fuel when you start moving. Coffee might wake you up, but it won’t fuel your muscles.
- We’re biologically wired to crave sweets. If you make a point to eat honey before working out, it helps your brain build positive associations with exercise. You’ll start to view it less as a chore and more as a hobby. More on this below.
- If you’re training for a marathon or triathlon, honey might just be the best thing you can eat mid-exercise. Your body nearly instantly converts to fuel, so you don’t feel like you’re running on empty.
If Your Resolution is to Cut Back on Sugar or Processed Foods
Sugar is a comfort food, often used to cope with stress, but it’s also a ritual for many people. They always put it in their coffee. They always have dessert with dinner. They always get soda at the movies. The same is also true of many processed foods like snacks and sweets.
To cut back on sugar, you can try just saying, “I won’t eat sugar anymore.” Good luck with that. What’s more likely to work is identifying what your rituals are and using them as starting points for new, healthier habits.
Raw & unfiltered honey is just about the easiest thing to replace your sugary habits with because it 1) tastes sweet and 2) tastes sweeter than sugar, so you can get your fix with fewer calories. Try having a spoonful of honey before you would normally have sugar – on the way to the movie theater, before drinking coffee, etc. – and see how much your craving subsides.
If Your Resolution is to Quit a Bad Habit
Building on the point above, bad habits are nothing more than rituals. There’s always a trigger that leads to a craving and then a habitual response. Instead of just trying to eliminate the response – binge eating, doomscrolling, procrastinating – focus on the trigger. Maybe it’s boredom. Or stress. Or uncertainty. Or an email from your boss. Regardless, this trigger is your chance to fix a bad habit and replace it with a good one, all at once.
Once you identify the trigger, and there might be several, you’ll want to resolve it by heading it off. You have to plan your response in advance, stepping back and thinking about what it’s going to be like when the trigger arises. And your response? It can be a lot of different things, but it’s best if it’s simple enough to turn into a habit: taking a deep breath, going for a walk, or even eating a spoonful of honey.
No, honey won’t solve all your problems, but it can be a particularly potent replacement for a bad habit. Ultimately, what you need to break a habit is to pause and refocus before jumping to your habitual response, and honey may or may not help with that. But it does have the advantage of being instantly gratifying. Either way, once you realize you can replace old habits with new ones, it might just be the start of something sweet.
Friendsgiving is coming up quick, which means we need to lock in our drink menu ASAP. Naturally, we’re serving up plenty of sweet local honey-infused cocktails this year. We might know our way around honey, but we pulled in some help to make the most of it in our drinks. Check out these sweet cocktails created in collaboration with mixologists, each with their own signature style.
Blackberry Bee’s Knees by @theSocialSipper
Makes 2 servings
- 4 oz gin
- 2 oz lemon juice
- 1 1/2 oz blackberry honey syrup
- Garnish: berry, lemon peel, edible flower⠀⠀⠀⠀
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/2 cup Local Hive Oregon Blackberry Honey
- 1/2 cup water
To make the Blackberry Honey Syrup, add blackberries, Local Hive Oregon Blackberry Honey and water to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain into a jar.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Add all cocktail ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into 2 cocktail glasses. If desired, garnish with a blackberry and lemon peel.
Whiskey Hibiscus Cocktail by @TheSocialSipper
Makes 1 serving
- 1/2 tbsp Local Hive Colorado Honey
- 1/2 tbsp hot water
- 2 oz whiskey
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz hibiscus tea, chilled
- Garnish: hibiscus flower, thyme sprig⠀⠀⠀⠀
Add Local Hive Colorado Honey and hot water to a cocktail shaker and whisk together until the honey is dissolved. Add whiskey, lemon juice and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Top with hibiscus tea. Garnish with a hibiscus flower and thyme.
Three-Ingredient Lemon Drop Honey Martini by @NibblesByNic
- 2 tbsp Local Hive Honey (Nic used our sold-out New York Harvest Reserve varietal. We also recommend our raw & unfiltered Northeast honey.)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 oz vodka
Mix 2 tablespoons of Local Hive Honey with 1/4 cup boiling water until the honey dissolves. Add the honey syrup, lemon juice, ice and 2 oz. vodka to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously, strain and serve.
Local Hive Toddy by @SusieDrinks
- .5 oz Local Hive Honey
- 2 oz very hot water
- 1 oz whiskey or brandy
- 1 bar spoon brown sugar simple syrup (more to taste)
- .5 oz orange juice
- 1 thick orange slice
- Sugar (white or brown)
- Cinnamon sticks, if desired
Pour Local Hive Honey and brown sugar simple syrup in a heat-resistant glass or mug, then add the hot water and stir until the honey and sugar are dissolved. Add your spirit and orange juice and stir to combine.
For the garnish, cut orange slice into quarters to place on the rim and place a cinnamon stick in the finished drink. Serve hot.
Over the years, more than any other fan request, we’ve been asked to start making honey flights. After all, there’s no better way to really compare the richness of raw & unfiltered local honeys than side by side.
Finally, our Local Honey Gift Boxes are here, and you can gift that special someone three of our most distinctly sweet local honeys in a special gift box.
Each box is hand-selected to feature a flight of local honeys from across the U.S.A. that allows the recipient to experience the rich, unique flavors in every bottle. Plus, it comes with pairing suggestions, a koozie, honey dipper and more. You can even create your own flight.
This guide breaks down each flight so you can get the one that’s most meaningful to your recipient. Shop all our Local Honey Gift Boxes here.
Coast to Coast
If you’re going to have a flight of something – chocolate, wine, cheese, anything – the first rule is to have a bunch of different kinds. It’s no fun if they all taste the same. In that spirit, our Coast to Coast gift box includes local honeys from clear across the U.S.: So Cal, New England and Midwest.
So Cal’s citrus pollen gives it a hint of tang. New England’s berry pollens give it a warm, rich flavor. And Midwest’s, well, it’s just about perfect, with a neutral, light sweetness that complements everything it touches, from crackers to fruit to cheese. If you’re not sure if your recipient has quite the palate to appreciate local honey, this box is the way to go.
The Great Divide
Rich, memorable flavors await in every drop of The Great Divide gift box. These three raw & unfiltered local honeys – So Cal, Washington, and Great Lakes – are among our best sellers every season. So naturally, we had to create a gift box that featured them. You can visit each of these places, but it’s something else to taste them.
So Cal is medium-bodied, with a hint of citrus. Washington is rich, with and earthy sweetness. Great Lakes is as smooth and bright as they come. This gift box brings to life the breadth and beauty of the diverse climates that occur on either side of the Continental Divide.
Over the Hills
Bees can make honey just about anywhere flowering plants grow. And the honey they make truly reflects that local character. Our Over The Hills gift box features local honeys from three of our nation’s mountain ranges: the Rockies, Appalachians, and Blue Ridge Mountains. These unique areas make for uniquely sweet honeys.
Our Colorado honey is the one that started it all for our company. Long a fan favorite, it’s light and smooth with a hint of cinnamon. Our Northeast honey is richly flavorful, with a darker color and bolder, lingering notes. Our Southeast honey has a warm, lingering sweetness. Together, they reach peak flavor.
Colorado – our home state – isn’t quite a part of the Pacific Northwest. But we feel a certain spiritual connection to the region. Maybe that’s just because of the fantastic honey that comes out of it. The honeys in our Northwest Passage gift box – Nor Cal, Washington, and Northwest – all hail from the PNW.
While they’re geographically close, these honeys have remarkable different flavors thanks to their local pollens. Nor Cal’s berry, sage and citrus pollens give it layers of flavor that will keep you coming back for another spoonful. Northwest and Washington have earthy, woodsy, complex sweetness that’s right at home in a local favorite delicacy: granola.
While everyone loves the sweet taste of local honey, we particularly recommend the Northwest Passage for the gourmands and foodies on your nice list.
All the way across the country, the honeys are a world apart. The southern local honeys you’ll find in our Warm Welcome gift box – Southwest, Texas and Southeast – hail from places where the harvest season is long and sunny. This gives the bees months and months to go out collecting pollen, and the resulting honey is full of flavor and a variety of local pollens.
Our Southwest local honey (harvested in Arizona and New Mexico) has a quick-hitting, almost-cedar-tasting finish, while our Texas honey is darker, with a robust sweet flavor. Our Southeast honey is features two of the most delicious pollen sources for local honey: basswood and citrus.
Side by side, these honeys show the sweet reward that comes from American beekeepers harvesting in the hot sun. Their flavors are instantly familiar, but rich enough to keep you wanting more. Any Southerner will instantly appreciate them – especially in a tall glass of sweet iced tea.
Honey Mustard has a bit of a reputation problem. It’s not as famed as ketchup and mustard, nor as much of a must-have as BBQ sauce. For many, it’s a love-it-or-hate-it kind of condiment. But real, quality honey mustard is something everyone can love. And the secret? Starting with pure, raw & unfiltered local honey.
Why make your own honey mustard instead of going store-bought? You already know the answer: it tastes better! A minute or two spent whisking ingredients together makes for a truly unique sauce that makes any recipe feel like true home cooking. Once you start experimenting with your own sauces, it’s easy to find new places to work them in, whether with a tray of crudité or alongside BBQ pork or chicken.
Local Honey Mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Local Hive Honey (We recommend our Washington or Texas varietals.)
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Add mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and yellow mustard to a large bowl.
- Whisk your ingredients well.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Honey mustard of all kinds is always best served cold.
To spice up your Local Honey Mustard, try whisking in cayenne pepper, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, or all of the above. Depending on the dish, the right seasoning can add the perfect finishing touch. A well-tuned honey mustard is more than just a condiment. It can be tweaked into a salad dressing (by adding garlic, pepper, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar), as a marinade (with extra lemon juice, pepper, and olive oil), or as a dipping sauce (with paprika and pepper) to complement all kinds of chicken, but especially chicken: think fried chicken fingers, rotisserie, or a tangy mustard-glazed salad.
Here are some tips on how to serve and preserve your local honey mustard:
Serving: Since this recipe contains mayonnaise, don’t leave it out for longer than 2 hours. It’s important that it not get too warm. Honey – and honey mustard – also considered unsafe for children under 1 year of age.
Storing: Your homemade local honey mustard will last up to 3 weeks in the fridge stored in an airtight container.
Freezing: DO NOT freeze your homemade local honey mustard, because mayonnaise never freezes well. Always consume it fresh or store it in the fridge.
Hungry for more? Check out our Honey Mustard Glazed Ham recipe for another recipe featuring Local Hive-style honey mustard.
If you’ve already considered a wildflower pollinator garden and are looking for something that’s tasty for you too, an herb garden could do just the trick. There are plenty of herbs that are easy to grow in your own backyard and favored by the bees.
What herbs do bees like?
Bees tend to look for plants that flower in full sun: six to eight hours of sun a day. They seek out blooms large and small, to find pollen, so you’ll want to make sure the herbs you plant actually bloom. Fortunately, most herbs do well in full sun. A few of our (and bees) favorites are basil, bee balm, borage, catnip, chamomile, cilantro, fennel, lavender, mint, rosemary, sage and thyme – a healthy variety for any new herb garden.
Is my backyard right for an herb garden?
Most backyard herbs just need two things: sunlight and well-drained soil. This means that when considering places in your yard to plant an herb garden, you need to look for a location that gets six or more hours of sunlight a day. However, in extremely hot summer climates like the southwest, you’ll want to find a spot that gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon, or a spot with partial shade, like below a large tree.
To ensure you get plenty of drainage, start by digging and loosening up the soil. This makes it easier for plants to grow their roots. Adding compost on top of the soil can also help, especially if the soil is sandy or heavy with clay. Make sure not to use composted manures – commonly sold at garden supply stores – because they can result in less flavorful herbs.
How much work is pollinator friendly herb gardening?
Almost all herbs will grow for one season or more, but many have to be replanted every year, like sweet basil and cilantro, which are annuals. When planting, you’ll need to choose between planting seeds (which can be cheaper) and planting plants (which can be easier.) Either way, the first day of gardening is the hardest, followed by simple maintenance afterwards. You’ll start by breaking up the soil, adding compost, and properly spacing out your seed or plants. Throughout the growing season, you’ll need to provide at least two inches of water each week. You can check if your herbs need water by feeling an inch or so under the soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water them.
Also, make sure to harvest your herbs frequently. It doesn’t hurt the plants to lose some of their leaves now and then. In fact, it encourages growth, leading to bigger plants and bigger harvests.
This may or may not qualify as “work” in your mind, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t use herbicides or pesticides in your pollinator herb garden. You wouldn’t want to attract bees and butterflies just to kill them, right? So, you’ll want to regularly pull weeds – at least twice a month – to ensure your herbs are able to survive.
Herb gardening is one of the easiest ways to support pollinators and keep your neighborhood green. Combine that with some raw & unfiltered local honey, and you’ll be able to make incredible recipes like this Chicken with Rosemary, Lemon & Olives