Tips for Sustainable Living

I believe part of living a healthy lifestyle is doing what  I can to live environmentally sustainably and keep the planet I’m dependent on habitable. How can we expect to be healthy if we do not live in harmony with nature, do not interact with the environment the way we were designed to and we are destroying the environment we are dependent on for our survival? In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would share some tips for living sustainably.

97% of climate scientists agree that humans are at least partially responsible for climate change. Here is some of the evidence. If 97% of climate scientists are wrong and we take action and live sustainably, then the result is: cleaner air, no oil spills, no nuclear plant disasters, we produce/consume less and live more, get more out of what we use. There would be no harm done. However, if 97% of climate scientists are right and we don’t make use of the solutions which already exist: famine, unsafe water, unsafe air, more death/disease caused by living in toxic environments, catastrophic weather events, widespread conflict and eventually mass extinction (including humans).

Eat Local:  You can find local farmer’s markets here. You can also grow your own food.

Eat a Plant-Based Diet: Not only are plant-based diets among the healthiest, they are also among the most sustainable.

Buy Foods with Sustainable Labels: Such as…

  • USDA Organic: Items that are “100 percent organic” are certified to have been produced using only methods thought to be good for the earth. “Organic” means the item contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients.  Prohibits the use of hormones, antibiotics, genetic engineering, radiation, synthetic pesticides, and fertilizers.
  • American Grassfed Certified: Applies to beef and lamb. Requires humane treatment, open pastures, and a grass-only diet for all animals and prohibits use of all antibiotics and hormones.

  • Rainforest Alliance Certified: Sets high standards for environmental protection, worker rights and welfare, and the interests of local communities. Some pesticide use is allowed.

  • Fair Trade Certified: Members commit to biodiversity-enhancing practices, ensuring children’s rights, supporting safe working conditions and other fair-trade measures, and documenting fair-trade labor policies.

Use Less Fuel: Walk, bike or take public transportation when possible. If you have the opportunity, get a hybrid car so you aren’t dependent on gas.

Use Renewable Energy: Buy solar panels or use renewable energy options from your energy service.

Use Less Electricity: Buy energy efficient products, turn off the lights when you can and turn the power down when you are not using it, hang dry clothes when possible.

Use Less Water: Shorter showers, use dishwasher only when full, wash clothes only when full.

Do not buy bottled water

Recycle: You can follow standard recycling practices and buy products secondhand.

Compost

Buy less stuff.

 

More:

Find out your ecological footprint.

Post Carbon Institute

Resilience – Environment

Transition Towns

Reduce your ecological footprint.

NRDC Green Eating Guide

Time is Running Out for Climate Change

Climate Deniers Manipulative Fake Science

Fit Tip: Health is all about Balance

Our body is constantly working to maintain balance in an interconnected process known as homeostasis. Rather than thinking of your health behaviors in terms of “good” and “bad”, think of it in terms of “balance” and “imbalance”.

Nutritional Upgrade: Pizza

Pizza is delicious. It is there with its cheesy temptation at many social gatherings and whenever we are too lazy to cook for ourselves. However, nutritionally it isn’t the best. We typically eat it from pre-packaged frozen dinners or from the pre-packaged frozen dinners cooked professionally by delivery services. They usually have crust with similar ingredients as the cardboard box it was delivered in, sauce that is more high fructose corn syrup than tomato and cheese that resembles plastic. I have concocted a solution to this dilemma with a recipe that takes about 10 minutes to prepare, is nutritionally reasonable and uses real food.

Dominos Plain Pizza

Cheese-Pizza

dominos nutrition facts

Homemade Pizza

pizza

pizza nutrition facts

Ingredients:

  • Whole grain pita
  • 1 oz. Low-fat mozzarella
  • 1/8 cup Tomato sauce (any type with real ingredients works)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • onions
  • cherry tomatoes

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Fry onions in a pan
  • Spread olive oil on both sides of pita
  • Spread tomato sauce on top-side of pita
  • Put mozzarella on top of tomato sauce
  • Put cherry tomatoes (cut in halves) and onions on top of mozzarella
  • Bake for about 5 minutes (or until it looks ready)

 

 

The Basics of Blending

Blending is a great way to eat healthy food without doing a lot of work. I can usually make a smoothie at breakfast faster than it takes for my coffee to brew. There are plenty of options when it comes to blending and really you can put almost anything in one and consume in liquid form. Blending is also really fun for drinking alcohol in a way that you can pretend is healthy, I’ll leave you to your own devices for that…

*The measurements I give are estimated. I don’t actually measure my food.

Basic Fruit Smoothie Formula: 4 oz. Citrus juice + 6 oz. greek yogurt + assortment of fruits + spinach (you can’t taste it)

  • I usually use orange juice, but I occasionally use grapefruit juice or almond milk.
  • I typically use frozen fruit (not the sweetened kind, just plain frozen fruit) because it is less expensive and fits better for smoothies.
  • You can swap spinach with any type of dark green, but spinach has the most neutral flavor based on my experience. You also don’t need to add it, but it gives a boost of nutrients without making it taste off.
  • Greek yogurt is great for giving a boost of protein, but I occasionally leave it out if I want something lighter…

Mixed Berry Smoothie:

  • 4 oz. orange juice
  • 6 oz. of plain non-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 oz. of frozen raspberry
  • 2 oz. frozen blueberry
  • 4 oz. frozen strawberry
  • 2/3 cup of spinach

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie:

  • 8 oz. almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter (avoid the processed kind of PB if you are trying to be healthy)

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie:

  • 4 oz. almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of spinach (or until green enough)
  • 15 mint leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 50 g of dark chocolate (chopped into small pieces… or you can just get chocolate chips