April is Earth month and there are so many things to celebrate!
Earth’s bounty brings us beautiful open spaces with rich, fresh air to breathe and beautiful vistas to ground ourselves. If you have ever gone for a walk in the forest, you can feel how it may lower your blood pressure and stress hormones much more than strolling through a congested city environment.
How else does nature help us? Through our diets of course!
Ideally we depend on the Earth to grow our food and provide us with clean water. Unfortunately, these days we are finding we need to go to such extents as growing veggies and fish in indoor environments and putting water through intense filtration systems to make them safe for consumption.
So what can we do about it? Here are our top tips on how you can support the health of the planet and your body at the same time:
1) Eat more plants. This may seem obvious to some, however many of us still aren’t following this basic rule. If your diet consisted of at least 60% plants, some high quality animal protein, and nourishing plant oils- how different would the world look? Heck, how different would you look?! It is not that difficult, it just needs to become routine, and really it is what your body wants, so it will thank you and reinforce your efforts. At least half of our 90 day WildFit Challengers said they couldn’t bear drinking a green smoothie in their 2nd week and by week 10 they could not imagine a day without them! We also emphasize a cyclical way of eating, so you are always eating an abundance of plant foods in rotation, much the way that our ancient ancestors would have done. Your body feels comfortable here, and will recalibrate as you start to eat more of the good green stuff. Eating more well sourced plant foods (and avoiding mega crops like wheat, corn and soy that destroy forest habitat) and smaller quantities of good quality meat ensures that HUGE quantities of water, fossil fuels, mega crops and forested land are saved annually.
2) Know where your food comes from. Well sourced food not only keeps your body clean and better nourished, but ultimately will make good food less expensive. How so? When you vote with your dollars, the market follows. All you need to look at is the growing popularity of farmers markets globally to understand how trends can become movements. Your own backyard garden is ideal, but a friendly faced farmer who can do the hard work for you is pretty close! Of course, when visiting the supermarket, organic is always better, PERIOD. Many of the chemicals sprayed into the earth and onto the plants that you consume from the average commercial farms are documented known or probable carcinogens. If this is the case for us, imagine the wide spread damage to the surrounding air, watershed, wildlands and animals.
Speaking of animals – if you eat them or their products – do you know where they come from and how they lived? Something we often don’t like to think about, but it is crucial to earth’s health- and our own. Assuming terms like ‘grass fed’, ‘free range’, and ‘natural’ are true mean that sneaky marketers can have their way with you. If you can’t buy it straight from the hunter, fisherman or farmer- looking for meaningful certifications on packages is a great start.* This is the kind of up to date info we share in our WildFit community, but they are easily searchable, and after determining a few trusted brands following meaningful certifications you can eat really well and make a huge positive impact.
One final note here- the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) labelling system is still only optional. Do you want to make sure you are eating real, uncontaminated and unadulterated foods? ASK. Markets listen to what buyers want. If enough of us speak up about wanting local, organic, and ethically sourced food- they will shift to suit our voting money.
3) Reduce what your food comes in. A last and very important factor in being a sustainable consumer is the amount of garbage you produce. Let’s be real here- buying the wrong foods can produce a lot of trash. The WildFit way to ensure you are eating healthfully is to buy foods with no need of a box or bag for labeling or explanation! Unfortunately, more whole foods are are being overly packaged for perceived hygienic or convenience purposes. (Uh, hello at peeled oranges in plastic containers!). Potentially easier in the short term, bulkier to carry, wasteful and more costly to you and the environment in the long term. To combat these trends of laziness, shop in bulk or zero waste stores, use your own grocery bags, and cut down on the quantity of cellophane you use for leftovers.
Same goes for bottled water, a health trend that has become nature’s nightmare. Most bottled water is little more than overpriced tap water that contributes to MILLIONS OF TONS of plastic waste in landfills and oceans every year. Proper hydration is essential in WildFit principles for keeping you vibrant and youthful. So if at all possible, invest in a water filtration system and tote your water with you in stainless steel (WildFit!) water bottles. It will save you money, protect you from ingesting the carcinogenic chemicals in the plastic, and help put an end to polluting the planet.
Some of the WildFit’s Food Pyramid essentials are breathing fresh air, enjoying the sunshine, and relaxing in nature so that you can sleep well. So, let us all do our own small part to take care of our earth, so that we may continue to live well on it. By following these quick tips and making a few shifts, you can surely hold your head up proudly this month, and maybe start thinking about what else you can do to support the planet.
*Meaningful Third-Party Animal Product Label Certifications: Global Animal Partnership, Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Humane. Seafood: Marine Stewardship Council’ and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council are hard-earned and therefore trusted.