Quick Tips: Environmental Awareness Edition

01 December 2016

The holiday season is all about giving back and putting our best foot forward as the New Year approaches. When it comes to health, we are all guilty of placing emphasis on ourselves – how can I lose weight, will you help me control my blood sugar…? These questions are totally reasonable and should continue to be asked, but what if we could also think bigger picture while simultaneously improving our own wellbeing? You are in luck. Practicing mindful eating often results in making decisions that inherently benefit the environment.

No more explanation. No fuss. Here are 5 simple tips from me to you that will expand your environmental awareness and, as always, get your nutrition on track.

  1. 1. Stop drinking from plastic water bottles – We already covered how important it is to stay hydrated. Make this a lifestyle habit by carrying around a reusable BPA-free water bottle. Fill up your water bottle with filtered tap water when you are at home or store a filtered water pitcher (like a Brita) in your workplace refrigerator. When you carry around a water bottle, you will always be reminded to hydrate, but not at the expense of the environment. Win-win.


  1. 2. Reduce your food waste. How? Map out your daily meals at least a day in advance. Save any leftovers and repurpose them in your next meal. This goal requires us to THINK a little more about our dietary choices, which, as it turns out, is a great way to self-evaluate the healthfulness of our daily meals and snacks.


  1. 3. Eat locally (and in season for the most part) – You can accomplish this objective in a few ways. My favorite way to shop for weekly groceries is to go to a nearby farmer’s market. This guarantees that I will be able to find food that is LOCAL, SEASONAL, and ORGANIC (when necessary). If you don’t have a farmer’s market near you, many health food stores or supermarkets now offer local options as well. If you are feeling really eager, you may even decide to join a CSA (community supported agriculture). By joining a CSA, you purchase a ‘share’ of produce from a regional farmer and receive weekly or biweekly deliveries of local, high quality food.


  1. 4. Meatless Monday sounds great, but what about meatless Thursday or Sunday? Making your diet veggie friendly is one of the simplest ways to improve your health and reduce the carbon footprint on the environment.


  1. 5. Choose your meat and dairy wisely – Look for free range, grass-fed poultry and meat and organic dairy products. You will have to trust me on this one…or expect a long-winded rant on farming practices in this country.


What’s next? Dig in to your holiday spirit. Make these small changes. Feel good about yourself and what you are doing to help the environment. Repeat and add more environmentally friendly habits into your food behaviors.