Recently, my self-improvement journey has taken a whole new path. I’ve began eating better for myself and the environment! This has actually been a huge step for me, because food has always been my weakness. Cheeseburgers, tacos, shrimp fried rice, chicken-fried steak. You name it. I love food, and it doesn’t help that I live in one of the most obese cities in America.
Eating healthier and helping the environment go hand in hand in a lot of ways. Luckily, a healthy diet doesn’t have to be complicated or miserable. Today, I’ve put together a few simple ways that your diet can help your health, the planet’s, and the humane treatment of animals!
#1- Cut down on meat
You don’t have to cut out meat completely. Simply removing it from your diet a few times, or even once a week, can have a huge impact on your health.
Eating too much meat can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, harmful cholesterol, Alzheimer’s disease, and a shorter lifespan.
Cutting down on meat is also beneficial to the environment, as livestock is responsible for up to 18% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. You would also be supporting the humane treatment of animals.
#2- Eat more plant-based foods
A plant-based diet can prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer. It also can help you live longer, keep your weight down, and give you more energy.
#3- Eat more organic produce
It’s important to keep in mind pesticides when shopping for your produce. Every year, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases lists, “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” to inform us which of our produce contains the most, and the least pesticides.
Try to buy produce on the “Dirty Dozen” list organic whenever possible. The “Clean Fifteen” are safe to buy conventional.
#4- Eat less processed foods
Processed foods don’t contain nutritious value. When processing foods, unhealthy ingredients are added, such as sodium, sugar, and fats.
Try to eat more whole, natural foods. Make sure you’re reading labels. Focus more on natural ingredients, rather than calories. This is a simple way to lose weight and to live a healthier lifestyle.
#5- Get your eggs from humane egg producers
Everyday, chicken are treated cruelly for their eggs. As an animal lover, it’s important to me to support the more humane choice when it comes to my food. Make sure your carton reads, “Animal Welfare Approved”, as they have the highest third-party auditing standards. If you’d like to read more on the subject, I found this link very helpful.
I plan on writing a lot more on this new lifestyle choice in the future. So far, I feel healthier and have less guilt about what I eat. Just remember, any small change is better than none. Changing the way you eat can be hard at first. Take small steps towards your goal, and congratulate yourself for any progress that you make!
Have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments!