Every facet of your lifestyle can have a great impact on your health, from seemingly small choices, like walking or driving, to big ones, like switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet. The good news is that making positive changes doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming – in fact, you can make a significant impact from within the boundaries of your garden.
Do your research
Getting serious about living a healthy lifestyle involves more than a dietary adjustment, and if you’re unsure of the right steps to take, the internet is a great place to start. You might be surprised at how many tips you can find on everything from sourcing organic food to choosing environmentally-friendly cleaning products for your home. There are endless online sources devoted to simplifying sustainability, and every small change you implement helps to reduce your environmental footprint.
Grow your own garden
The best way to make sure you always have access to fresh, organic fruit and vegetables is to grow your favorites in the backyard. Growing produce requires more time and effort than buying from the supermarket, but it also guarantees you a more natural end product, free from pesticides, and it may not be as difficult as you think. In fact, many plant varieties can grow perfectly well in their original pots. If you’re new to maintaining a garden, low-maintenance plants like tomatoes, lettuce, and radishes are great options for beginners. Just in case you need another reason to pick up the watering can, you can also look forward to the mental and emotional benefits of gardening, including a reduction in stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Buy in season
You might be a big fan of certain fruits or vegetables which are only in season for a short few months of each year, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for sub-standard produce for the rest of the year. Look to supermarket specials as a sign of the produce in season and in plentiful supply, and take advantage of the discounts. Food which is out of season requires transportation from other cities, meaning truckloads of fuel is burned during the delivery process. Not only that, you can also expect to pay more for the privilege of having year-round access to the foods you love. If you just can’t give up your favorites for a few months of the year, you can get around these roadblocks by buying while the produce in season and freezing any leftovers for later use.
Swap fried for fresh
Articles and influencers touting the benefits of a raw vegan diet have been doing the rounds on social media for some time, and there’s more than a little merit in what they’re saying. Cooking fresh produce kills many of the natural nutrients, so if the nutritional value of your meals is important to you, switching off the oven and stove is one of the best things you can do. Naturally, this way of life rules out most meats and may present a challenge to those who grew up eating meat and veg twice a day, but the benefits to your health and your wallet are worth the sacrifice if you’re serious about a lifestyle change.
Swap out white grains
It’s no secret that white grains of any kind are heavily processed, meaning plenty of the nutrients they once contained have been removed. Western diet staples like white rice, white bread, and pasta are not doing your health any favors, but the good news is that there are more natural alternatives becoming available.
Switching to brown grains, closer to their original form, will deliver your body with the nutrition it needs to function at its best. Start with a loaf of multigrain bread or rye, swap ordinary white rice for quinoa, and before you know it you’ll be craving that extra flavor at every meal.
Go for organic
Whether you’re in the vegetable aisle at the supermarket or scanning the cosmetics section for the perfect shade to match your skin, keep an eye out for the word “organic”. Anything free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals is considered organic, and organic alternatives to chemical-laden cleaning products, make-up, and dietary supplements are growing in popularity and availability. Throwing your support behind brands which are committed to producing organic products in a sustainable way is one of the simplest lifestyle changes you can make, so on your next trip to the supermarket, remember to vote with your wallet.
Creating a more organic lifestyle is all about making a few small, sustainable changes at a time, and by committing to those small changes for the long term, you’ll find that the snowball effect can be quite powerful. You can substitute almost anything for a healthier alternative, and once you start to see the benefits, you won’t miss the life you used to live.