3 fundamental steps to a healthy and sustainable life
Written by the creator of Individuality Empowerment Martina Londero.
The 23rd of May is Turtle day, if you sincerely want to be an active role in
protecting our planet this month challenge yourself and do the first step to
upgrade your life. Change one of your habits that is detrimental for you and our
beautiful earth to a sustainable one.
In 2014 I decided I would do anything I could to make a difference, for my own health and the health of others. After devoting this past 7 years diligently studying wellness and sustainability, I gradually realized that in order to see fundamental changes in the world I had to change myself first. I couldn’t wait for someone else to do the first step. I had to be the one. I also realized there are so many easy ways we can all do that. Starting with improving our food consumption, reducing our plastic intake, and reusing as much as possible what we already possess is essential.
If I think of my routine back then I notice how my life changed just by focusing on
doing one small step at a time.
step 1: food consumption
It all started with changing my habits toward food consumption. Before I
was eating what advertisements were telling me to buy such as processed cereals,
processed cookies, processed snacks, and so on. What the advertisement doesn’t
tell you is the harmful effect of processed food on your health. I’ve learned that
processed foods are high in sugar, fat, salt, and chemical additives which can be
harmful to your health. Processed foods are linked to an increased risk of health
problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, elevated bad cholesterol, cancer, and depression.
I thought the cereals I was buying were healthy until I checked the ingredients.
Added sugar, added salt, added fat, and added chemicals I’m still unable to
According to the Harvard School of public health highly processed foods “are foods
that go beyond the incorporation of salt, sweeteners, or fat to include
artificial colors and flavors and preservatives that promote shelf stability, preserve
texture, and increase palatability. […] It is speculated that these foods are designed to specifically increase cravings so that people will overeat them and purchase more. They are typically ready-to-eat with minimal additional preparation. Not all but some of these foods tend to be low in fiber and nutrients. Examples are sugary drinks, cookies, some crackers, chips, and breakfast cereals, some frozen dinners, and luncheon meats. […]
Contrary to the packaged food I had years ago, when I look at my fridge and cupboard I see food as it comes from nature. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and unprocessed cereals.
MY EATING ROUTINE
Nowadays I usually start the day with porridge or a refreshing smoothie bowl which in addition to supplying me the energy and motivation genuinely needed to begin the day with, naturally allows the creative part of myself to try different recipes and combinations.
My lunch and dinner are typically a meal of mixed vegetables, legumes, nuts, rice (or other whole grains) and more all served on a single medium to a large bowl. It is a rainbow of cheerful colors and flavors which changes depending on the nutritious food I have weekly.
(Even my friends know that the best gift I can receive is whole foods.)
STEP 2: REDUCE PLASTIC AND REUSE
After reducing my junk food I decided to go further and check for ways to reduce plastic or reuse items.
I didn't ditch junk just from my food. It expanded to my mind and my belongings. When I carefully look at what I possess, I hear the words reusable and recycle. I don’t buy plastic cups, plates, bags, cutlery, bottles, and so on because I know there are so many precious materials that can replace them and produce a beneficial impact on the planet. Now I try not to buy food wrapped in plastic. I look for refill shops where you can bring and refill your containers. Those are great alternatives to supermarkets and they produce almost no waste.
I now keep glass jars from the food I buy and refill them with any food. When I cook I keep what cook in those jars. When I go to a refill shop I use them to store anything else. They are perfect for everything.
I even use a small glass jar to keep my toothbrush, which it upgraded to a bamboo one. In addition to my bamboo toothbrush, I also have 100% biodegradable floss, a coconut shell as a soap dish, and a bamboo haihttps://en.terramavi.ch/product-page/peigne-en-bambour comb.
As soon as I tried my first bamboo toothbrush and floss I could feel the difference. They are softer and more gentle. I would personally never go back to the plastic version. Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants and more sustainable for the planet. You can find almost everything made of bamboo such as cutleries, hair combs, straws, clothes, and even houses. If you check online the list is as limitless as your creativity.
My coconut shell soap dish is made from a coconut I bought years ago, sanded, and cleaned it. It is a very strong material and as bamboo, it can be used in many ways. For example, you can find great coconut bowls where you can eat in instead of takeaway plastic ones. There are numerous benefits of reducing, reusing, and recycling.
As listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the benefits are:
• Saves energy
• Prevents pollution caused by reducing the need to harvest new raw materials
• Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
• Helps sustain the environment for future generations
• Saves money
• Reduces the amount of waste that will need to be recycled or sent to landfills and incinerators
• Allows products to be used to their fullest extent”
Who knew you could benefit so much by reusing? Be creative, recycle and reuse what you have. That’s the key. I’m aware we created a society where we encourage people to buy more and more but the truth is: It is not sustainable and it shouldn’t be considered normal.