Humans have the innate ability to know what tastes good and what doesn’t. We can easily identify which are tasty and healthy. Vegetables can be as interesting and as delicious as chocolates if you give them a chance. When people talk about vegetables they often underestimate them but most of what our body needs when it comes to nutrients and vitamins you can find in vegetables, not in chocolates or junk foods.
If you want to eat green you have numerous factors you have to look at like the foods’ environmental impact (from pesticides and fertilizers to fuels used for tractors) to the indirect impact which includes transportation and selling of the goods. The food you will be consuming will be considered to be tasty and yet environmentally friendly. We cannot bite the “hand” that feeds us right? So we have to take care of Mother Nature and make sure to reuse its resources and give back to her as well. Where else to start but in your very own home? You can always practice container gardening and grow your own small vegetable or fruit potted plants. But let me give you some tips on how you can make eating “green” fun and enjoyable at the same time.
Tip#1-Grow your Own and Be Organic
Having your own garden is fun and enjoyable plus you can be sure that you will use natural fertilizers for your plants to grow. Tending to your garden after a stressful day at work can be both therapeutic and a great way to relieve stress. Use your own backyard for a vegetable patch, have citrus fruits inside your home, or small plant boxes on windowsills. You can also adopt or share a plot with your local community garden. Arouse your neighbor’s curiosity and explain to them what eating “green” is! You will all benefit from thinking about going green/going organic and will have lots of fun with it too. Don’t forget to involve your kids!
Tip#2-Be a Vegetarian
Being a vegetarian is one of the best things you can adjust yourself to, to become greener. Challenging yourself to be greener and to eat healthier is very amusing and will boost your self-confidence to the roof. Don’t want to be a vegetarian? Just include more healthy vegetables in your diet instead of the processed foods. Diets that have more produce than meat promotes good health, reduce your risks from diseases, they also have less impact on the environment, and most of all it can be easier for your budget. Less time in cooking (as fruits and vegetables don’t require long time periods of cooking) can also reduce energy consumption, save water and trees, and of course save money.
Tip#3-Reduce Reuse Recycle
You should live a healthy lifestyle not just with food but also with what you use and consume. For example, instead of buying bottled water, you can use funky and unique refillable water bottles that you can wash with organic dishwashing soap. You can also reduce your consumption of straws and stirrers for coffees and teas. Recycling can also be stylish and creative. Instead of using plastic bags, you can use reusable cloth bags with different designs and patterns. It can be a fashion statement and a great conversation starter too.
Tip#4-Having a Green Bash!
Preach what you practice. You cannot convert everyone into being an organic eater but at least give it a try. You can show them what you do. If you have parties, instead of serving meats and processed foods as finger food you can create masterpieces with vegetables. Bake a carrot cake or an organic chocolate cake, both will be equally delicious. Make sure that the ingredients you are using are all-natural and healthy. The natural sweetness of vegetables and fruits will surely match the sweetness of any kind of (fattening) desserts out there. Another example is you can cut fruit and veggies into shapes using small cookie cutters and serve them as finger food. Having a party, serving vegetables, and keeping it healthy is unusual and a great conversation piece for anyone.
Tip#5-Benefits of Green Organic Food to You and Your Family
If you want to be an organic eater you have to start with yourself and gradually introduce the concept to your family starting with your partner, then to your kids. You’ll be installing a good practice to your children on how it is important to eat right and stay healthy. Being a “green family” may be one of the best ways how you and your family can grow together and have a great time. By involving them in this healthy diet you are sharing with them the right things in life. You can do activities that can include gardening for your own produce, thinking of ways on how you can create healthy food, and also you will have more members of the family looking out for what should be and what should not when it comes to organic” food.
According to a study by the Vegetarian Times, the number of Americans turning to veganism is on the rise. Americans are now consuming more produce 415 pounds per year compared to 200 pounds of meat a year (this is based per person). Another thing to consider is that, according to The National Institute of Health, 80 to 90 percent of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and a lot more are due to the environment and a not-so-good lifestyle. But the good thing is that they are very much preventable. If we want to change the statistics into a much favorable one we should work on some things, like the consumption of disease-promoting animal-derived fats and proteins plus the consumption of refined sugars.
You don’t have to be a food and nutrition expert to see that eating more fruits and vegetables (and even having your own garden), the statistics mentioned above will drastically change for the better.
This 2014, live and eat with your health in mind!
About the Author: Aby Nicole League is a medical researcher and a writer.
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Unedited image by snre / CC BY