Rather than focusing on short-term diets and crash course exercising, our health focus should be on making long-term changes to our diet and lifestyle. Choosing healthful foods, quality physical activity, and cleaner, greener supplements can help us feel our best physiologically and mentally.
Good health habits also happen to be GREENER habits– which we love here at Green Living Ideas! Making lifestyle changes of this sort take some time, but there are many things you can do RIGHT NOW to make a big difference in your health and for the health of the planet.
A Green Diet
Choosing organic or sustainably grown foods whenever possible is a great start towards a healthy lifestyle. This also supports organic farmers, keeps healthy foods growing in the soil, and decreases the amount of chemicals used in farming. Not only will the organic produce be delicious and nutritious, it can reduce your carbon footprint tremendously by decreasing processing and packaging that goes into most convenience foods. Yes, buying organic can get expensive, so integrate small changes when you can. Check out the Dirty Dozen list to choose produce based on how likely it is to contain pesticide residue.
To complement all this fresh produce, choose whole grains and plant-based proteins. Not only are these the healthiest foods for our body, they mitigate the environmental damage incurred by animal food production. Spending time in the kitchen enjoying homemade, wholesome foods is a great way to share healthy values with your family and keep everyone well. You might be paying a bit more for food but you will likely pay less at the doctor!
You don’t need a gym membership to start being active. Go outside! Try to spend a bit of time each day outside engaging in activities like hiking, walking, jogging, and or/biking. These activities will allow you to appreciate the world around you instead of being stuck in the listening to the bad music at the gym. Exercise can help reduce stress, combat fatigue, and make us feel a bit more alert. Many studies show that spending time outside is linked to higher energy levels and lowered depression.
Sure, the weather outside isn’t always our favorite, but make inclimate weather part of the fun by wrapping up and enjoying a brisk walk or a skiing trip. Be sure to heat up a warm pot of herbal tea when you get home to warm up your body and rehydrate after activity.
Be Proactive About Your Health
Generally, eating healthy-plant based foods is sufficient to meet your dietary needs, but if you are starting from a less-than-healthy baseline or recovering from illness or injury, dietary supplements may be able to bring to back to your most vibrant self. The following are some supplements that may be helpful:
- Multivitamins- If you can’t afford any other vitamins, multivitamins are a great way to get a lot of the vitamins you need. There are multi-vitamins geared towards every age and gender, and there are many varieties. Choose vitamins that are whole-foods based that source calcium, iron, and others from plant-based sources (instead of rocks!). Plant-based supplements are more bioavailable and won’t upset your stomach like some multivitamins can.
- Omega 3- If you take an Omega supplement, there are many options, including those based on algae and seeds, like flax, chia and hemp. Other options include fish oil and krill oil. Many studies recommend Krill Oil over fish oil because it is harvested in a more sustainable manner and less is needed for similar benefit. Krill oil can help with your heart health while boosting energy (especially important this time of year). Krill Oil also can also positively affect inflammation, memory, and PMS symptoms.
- Vitamin D- Vitamin D keep your brain functioning at its best, boosts your mood and increases energy levels. It helps our bodies absorb calcium to ensure bone health. It reduces your chances of heart attack, arthritis, developing cancer and more.
Whatever health plan you decide, give your body and mind time to adjust to changes. And stay tuned to Green Living Ideas and Vibrant Wellness Journal for delicious ways to stay healthy!
This post was sponsored by our friends at Everest Nutrition, providers of high quality krill oil supplements.