Ayurveda states that the reason we are unhealthy is our separation from nature.
We might feel we are separate or different from nature, but I don't think it is a coincidence that nature is at its poorest health as are we.
The news is overflowing with images and stats of the decline of our planet, but we seem to not get a handle on it. Same with our own health, numbers of obesity, heart disease, cancers are only rising.
Read in this blog three things you can do this year to improve both your health and the health of our planet.
1. Eat Less Meat
Most of us are aware by now of the horrific state of the meat industry in North America. Animals are seen as meat products for consumers to make money off. There is no more respect for the animals, treating them as sacred is far in the past.
Animals are bred to gain as much weight as possible so they can be slaughtered and sold as meat for consumers. Animals are force-fed a diet that is unnatural to them (grass vs corn) and are raised in poor circumstances. Because of this lots of medication is needed to keep them healthy until they end up in our grocery store.
It's a sad story.
Now obviously I would encourage you to not partake in eating this type of meat. But I am not telling you to abstain from meat entirely. I am not a proponent of veganism since I believe there are a lot of health benefits to eating (healthy) meat.
Here are some things you can do:
Stop buying this type of meat and buy meat from your local farmer who does treat their animals well, who lets them graze on grass in the pasture which makes it unnecessary to use any medication on them.
If you don't have the means to buy organic meat at least lower your weekly consumption of meat.
Eat less meat at restaurants. They often buy mass-produced meat and do not source it ethically. Buying meat and cooking it at home gives you more control over what type of meat you are consuming.
2. Eat More Locally Grown Foods
Not only our meat industry is at its worse, our vegetables and fruits are also in a dire state. Most of the vegetables we consume are grown at huge farms that only grow one or two crops. (mono-cropping) This is unnatural to nature. Normally farmers would grow a large variety of plants, vegetables, herbs, and legumes on their fields. This helps to keep a healthy soil full of micro-organisms which means many nutrients in our food. Obviously, this takes more work and time and we completely moved away from this type of farming and are now only growing one or two crops that need to be highly manipulated with chemical fertilizer to make them grow.
This means you get your vegetables depleted of nutrients and full of chemicals. Usually, they are also old from being transported in trucks for weeks.
Here's what you can do:
Buy your vegetables, fruits, herbs, legumes, flour at your local farmer's market. Chat with your vendor to learn how they grow their crops and if they use organic methods.
Check in your grocery store to see if the produce is grown locally. Usually, it only says "from Canada" but it is better than it coming from South Africa or Guatemala.
Grow your own vegetables and herbs! What a fun way to make sure your food is pesticide-free and so rewarding.
3. Cook More!
Cooking your own food gives you full autonomy over what you ingest. You decide what you put on your plate. This also gives you control over what types of oil and salt you are using. Most of us use oils that are highly processed which can cause harm to our health. And most of the salt is so processed it is robbed of most of its minerals. (only sodium is left)
Cooking your own food connects you back to nature and has benefits that are beyond our understanding. Not cooking your own food disconnects us from nature in a way that is much more harmful than we realize.
A fun thing would be to make an old family recipe to also connect back with your heritage or your childhood.
Eating healthy is a challenge these days. We no longer know where our food comes from plus we are bombarded with misinformation on the internet. Applying these there rather simple goals can help you foster a healthy diet for you and our planet.
Want to learn how to navigate your kitchen better and up your cooking skills?
I am offering monthly online Ayurveda cooking classes. These classes are designed to give you a better understanding of Ayurvedic cooking and what effect food has on your body. All dishes are designed to improve your digestion and overall health. Recipes are easy and fun to make! Click here to learn more.
*Always consult your physician before making adaptations to your lifestyle and diet.