When we think of a healthy lifestyle, probably the first word we associate this with is ‘food,’ but doing this kind of lifestyle transcends beyond just food. Yes, there’s the food that we eat, but don’t forget the thoughts and emotions we entertain, the products we consume, and the waste we generate that has either a minimal or weighty impact on our community and the environment.
It might seem like a big project to undertake, especially when we’re transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one, but the magic is in the power of small steps that will ultimately lead to the wholesome habits that make up a holistic lifestyle. Here are 7 simple things you can do to begin your journey:
1. Go to local farmers’ markets.
Support local farmers by buying the food that they grow. Usually, farmers’ markets happen on the weekends, and let’s face it, it’s probably the only time we will get to restock because we’re busy with work and family on weekdays! Shop for organically grown food, the ones that they did not use any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers on.
2. Do meal prepping, and log your food intake.
If your goal is to lose a little weight or simply maintain it, meal prepping may do wonders! Spend a few hours on Sunday whipping your weekly meals after you’ve shopped from the local farmers’ markets. Having healthy food that’s ready for you to dig into will deter you from going for the route of sinfully tasteful guilty pleasures: heavily processed canned food, junk food, sugar-loaded food and beverages, and fast food.
A gentle reminder too: it’s okay to indulge every now and then, especially if there are gatherings or parties, because depriving yourself of the things you used to eat may just send you to a downward spiral towards your old lifestyle. Just be mindful of your intake, which leads us to a supplementary practice: keeping a food diary. Open up an old notebook, and write down what and how much you ate for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Doing this will help keep yourself in check with your food intake. For example, you will cut down more on fried food when you spot that you’ve eaten it four times in a week already. To make this fun too, you can draw the food you ate, or make a food journal!
3. Work out at home.
These are good alternatives to having a gym membership, especially if it’s not yet in the budget. Allot space in your home for exercises, invest in weights, and a good mat to do some stretches and yoga poses! You can also start small; you don’t have to exercise for two hours in your first weeks. We do not want your body to not be able to sustain this practice in the long run. Keep your workouts small and sustainable first, and work your way up, until it’s stronger to endure longer and harder ones.
4. Try home farming, and have a compost pit.
Part of the healthy lifestyle is being mindful of how our individual choices have an effect on the environment. Instead of throwing away parts of a fruit or vegetable, plant and grow them in your own kitchen or backyard! There are many videos that can show you how to do this. Buy your own herbs too like rosemary or mint, so you don’t need to buy herbs in plastic packaging anymore.
If you have space too in your backyard that you can make a compost pit in, go for it, so this will be where the biodegradable wastes go to. If you’re living in an apartment or condominium, there are also other ways like having a worm bin (if you’re okay with worms!), bokashi bin, or electronic composting. Research on these methods on what will be best for you.
Emotional and mental health are also part of the healthy lifestyle spectrum. When you need to process certain events in your life or sort feelings out, journaling is such a therapeutic way to do it. There are many things you can write about in a day when you think about it: what you did and how you felt, a list of things and people that made you happy, and maybe you can add the food you ate here too! Get messy and use markers, multi-colored pens, and collages. Think of it as going back to an arts and crafts class! It’s healthy to be able to process things in writing, so why not try it out after the end of a long day? Just empty yourself out before hitting the hay.
6. Use skincare products that are free from toxic chemicals.
What you put on your skin goes in. A good rule of thumb: be skeptical of claims made on products, and go straight to the ingredients list. There may be ingredients there that are just pretending to be good but in fact, they are not.
Chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and other substances may cause more harm than good in the long run. Also, check for organic and natural certifications to make sure that they are authentically organic and natural. Cruelty-free seals are a big plus; we wouldn’t want our personal care or beauty to be at the expense of innocent animals that are used for product testing.
Wake up early in the morning to meditate or say a prayer: these are good shields to protect you from energy draining hurdles like having to face the traffic in the metro! Find your safe and sacred space to detach yourself from the outside world, be in tune with your heart and soul, ground yourself to the earth, breathe, and just be.
We hope that this list of simple things can help you transition into a healthier lifestyle. The keyword here is: MINDFULNESS.
You don’t have to do all these in one go. Start with what you think is easiest to do at this time in your life. Be reminded too that a healthy lifestyle starts with a healthy mindset. Think of this as a lifetime journey and investment; instead of dieting, why not think of it as a lifestyle change?
Make wholesome habits; every time you do so, you step away from your old ways. If you stumble, forgive yourself and get back on track again! It helps to have an accountability partner too to remind you why you’re doing all this in the first place. Self-control is a muscle that you need to train daily. You have it within you to start your healthy lifestyle. What you need is already in your fingertips. All it takes is the willpower to start and follow through with our decisions.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, and we’d love to answer! :)