Investing In Your Health: Conscious Cuisine & Consequences
There are various reasons one might focus on their well-being. However, it's all too often that people forget the financial aspect of health and wellness. To truly invest in your health, you must remain conscious of what you eat and how it affects your overall being. What you eat has consequences (good or bad) not only to your body, but also to your mind and wallet. And it creates a ripple effect that has the potential to change your economy and environment.
It's a lot to think about invest in your health. So we've broken it down into a few basics.
The world of social media and easy-to-access information has given people the foundation of data they need to understand what eating "well" involves. However, throughout the busy days, we all push this knowledge to the back of our minds and often go for foods that are convenient and habitual. But we need to start eating better. It's simple. There are so many variations of diets and eating philosophies out there. It's more than possible to find one you like (see our post Vegan Diets).
Everyone has their own tastes, beliefs and values. Think about yours and research options to discover what dietary method might work best for you. If you are a meat eater, try eating vegetarian for a few days and see how you feel. If you are a vegetarian testing the waters of a vegan lifestyle, why not just go for it? Cut out dairy and other animal products and be aware of how your mind and body shift. Regardless of what you choose, educate yourself and stick to whatever plan you decide.
Balance is also a key ingredient for eating "well". Too much of anything can damage your health, even if it's carrots or greens. Even if you choose to avoid meats, there are other sources available for protein and iron. Don't miss out on essential vitamins and nutrients. If you stop paying attention to the foods you buy, grow and harvest, then your health will suffer.
Stop eating fast food
There are 50 million Americans who eat fast food on a daily basis. And 1/3 of them consume fast food more than two times per week (Statisticbrain.com). These are huge numbers. And the numbers do not only show unhealthy eating habits, they also reflect and industry that holds weight with our economy. We need to realize that what we eat has consequences that reach far outside the stomach.
Even if you find yourself pressed for time or forced to make a drive through run, try to order something healthy. A lot of these restaurants are now offering more nutritious options. But honestly, they should be avoided at all cost. If you don't know already, get to reading our post on why organic food is so important.
Sugary soda drinks are also a serious health risk. They are currently the largest source of added sugars in Americans diets. This unhealthy habit can even lead to consuming (on average) up to 35 pounds of extra sugar per year! If you visualize that for just a minute, your stomach should hurt. It's disgusting.
"For the first time, The 2015Dietary Guidelines suggest limits on how much added sugar people should consume. And they continue to encourage people eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seafood and whole grains" (Politico.com). The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee suggests that Americans consider both environmental and health affects of their food choices. The committee even goes as far as suggesting smaller, local governments weigh the benefits of adding taxes to unhealthy and sugary foods.
We say why not skip the coca-cola, bacon cheese burger and fries all together? Take a drive to your local farmer's market instead. If you have time for a drive-thru, then you have time for a drive to a different location. There are other options for food that are just as "fast". Pre-planning and conscious grocery shopping can help avoid last minute drive-thrus. And investing in your own health and your local small businesses (like farms) means you are contributing to the world's sustainability. And you're providing you and your family with the real, organic nutrients needed to thrive.
The infographic below will help you to better understand how a community's overall health and eating decisions can effect economies and growth. There are many variables. But across the board, if health suffers in anyway, it always leads to the same thing - lower GDP rates per capita (an unhealthy economic decline for everyone).
The next time you feel too busy to actively invest in your health, take a deep breath and stop. Put the car keys down and look to your pantry, refrigerator and Grow.Bar. No matter what greens you are growing, chances are good they are ready for harvest soon. Find a way to incorporate them into what you already have stocked at home (see our Grow.Blog Recipes for more inspiration).
So often we hear people say they have "nothing to eat" in the house. Although, there are probably at least a few basic elements hidden in the pantry. Be creative, be healthy and contribute to your global community.
Pre pack meals or make extra to have leftovers. Try to avoid letting you and your family slip into unhealthy habits. Be mindful of what you eat, how you purchase and grow your food and start reaping the benefits of truly investing in your health.