Are you a conscious eater? How about a sustainable eater? What you place on your plate and eventually in your mouth matters more than you think. Sustainable eating can help you meet your health goals when you commit to solutions that will help solve your concerns. To achieve success, you must make a conscious decision to do things differently, and the New Year is a perfect time to do so. To do things differently takes discipline and demonstrates that you have chosen to change in a new direction to obtain different results. This year won't you commit to eating more consciously and sustainably for yourself and the planet.
What is sustainable eating?
Sustainable eating is the ability to be conscious about what you input into your body regarding the consumption of nutritious foods vs. processed. Understanding where the food is coming from and who or what its impacts have on society. Sustainable eating has to do with showing compassion awareness for the earth and its inhibitors. To consciously take a moment to think before placing something on the other end of your utensils takes guts, however, such actions can impact animals, the environment, and your health. Eating sustainably consists of eating more whole foods like fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and in some instances a small amount of fish. Consuming certain fish like salmon, sardines, rainbow trout, halibut, and Atlantic mackerel every now and then until you feel comfortable making a shift away from fish if you choose to is acceptable and sustainable.
7 Ways to Eat More Consciously & Sustainable Every Year
1. Plan Ahead
a. When you plan out your week and meals, your chances of falling off the conscious and sustainable wagon are far less. Not to mention, when something does turn up unexpectedly you are prepared because you know how to pivot successfully. You may decide to eat a left-over meal that you made from a day or two go for lunch instead of eating at an unhealthy fast-food place or pick up a salad or eat a snack that you brought with you instead of donuts, cake, or cookies. You may have nuts or hemp seed packs on your desk instead of candy.
2. Add More Plant-Based Foods
a. Instead of eating meat at every meal, you may cut it out on Monday’s or eat it only one to two times a week for just one meal say a dinner and a leftover the next day for lunch and you are done.
b. Plant-based foods that are mostly organic and are nutritious, filled with vitamins and minerals that add vitality to the body rather than doing harm.
3. Food Shop Locally
a. Instead of supporting big box stores for food shopping, you may decide to go to local farmers markets, street vendors, and supermarkets. Save the big box stores for things you can’t find locally and try to make that trip once a month if you must. Shopping locally will help to cut down on heavy carbon emissions, unless you are driving an EV, riding a bike, scooter, or commuting on some form of public transportation.
b. When purchasing at the market outside of fruits and veggies, make sure to read the labels to understand how much salt and sugar is included and to notice where the foods you are considering came from. Note if the foods are from within the state, the country, or another country all together. Is it organic? Eating organic foods helps to eliminate unwanted pesticide residue especially in fruits and vegetables.
4. Dine Out Locally
a. Locate establishments that offer more greens for your plate rather than those who are trying to take the green or plastic out of your pocket while serving foods that can cause heart palpitations, gut disharmony among other inflammatory issues that may lead to chronic diseases. Eat places that are not heavy on sodium and offer fruits, greens, or salads as viable options for an appetizer or meal.
b. Request a to go box when the portion sizes are double what you would normally eat at home; this will help avoid waste and you will have some food to share with another person or for yourself later.
5. Grow Your Own
a. It may be hard to grow everything in your home, but you can easily grow your own herbs, vegetables and maybe a fruit or two at home whether you have a backyard or not. If you have a windowsill, terrace, balcony, bench, crate, you can do this. You are now in the business of being more sustainable than you were before.
6. Limit Food Waste
a. Drink water before eating so that you won’t overeat or throw food away because your eyes became bigger than your stomach.
b. Place food in a bowl for portion control. It will help to intake less food which will keep your waistline in check, this action will also help to avoid waste that may end up in the landfill from food you may throw away for whatever reason.
c. Stop eating when you are 80% full, put the rest up for leftovers, don’t throw them away.
d. Buy only foods you know you will eat, practice freezing instead of throwing food away. Remember, there are tons of hungry people in the world who would love to have a meal.
7. Eat with sustainable utensils
a. At Earthy Naturals, we are all about conscious living so those whom we engage with can begin to live healthier and sustainable lives too. The positive actions that are taken today will help us thrive now on earth and the generations to come too. Deciding to eat more consciously every day can be even easier when we are in environments surrounded by conscious people and reusable, sustainable products like utensils, straws, and bags. Sustainable items such as these will allow us to get in the temperament of being a more mindful eater. Stopping to actually taste the food; enjoying the textures while in your mouth and chewing thoroughly before swallowing; understanding what various foods and drinks feel and taste like when taken into the body slowly with intention vs. not, is conscious and sustainable eating at its best. Visit our store to pick up a set of bamboo utensils and/or straw to ensure everything that goes in your mouth along with the food consists of only sustainable goods, no plastic. While at it make sure to purchase an eco-friendly, sustainable bag that can fit in the palm of your hand when folded, can go with you everywhere you go, yet opens up to a huge size, big enough to carry more than 50+ lbs. of groceries or whatever else you may need it for; it is built super tough to last.
We all must crawl before we walk, being a mindful and sustainable eater can happen overnight but often it does not, so be patient with yourself. Starting somewhere on this new journey you are embarking on, making conscious and sustainable decisions about what you eat and how it will impact the animals, the planet, your health, and the future of society will reap benefits for you and others. If you need healthy, sustainable recipes, visit here to get a detailed recipe book or guide. If you want something designed specifically for you, contact us to see how one of our health and wellness, nutrition, or lifestyle professionals can help you make more conscious and sustainable lifestyle choices for you and your family. You can also set up a 15-minute coaching call to discuss lifestyle behavior changes further here. Cheers to starting the New Year off with a more conscious mindset.