Turn Over A New Leaf
Both in the real world and the online, virtual world, who and what you choose to surround yourself by and the content and people you choose to engage with will dictate what you see more of, and ultimately, your perceived reality.
I recently heard about a study where participants with varying interests were told to do a Google search from their computers for the exact same topic--a given country. One person's search results pulled up political affairs within said country, another's pulled up extravagant travel destinations, and yet another showed the impacts of climate change on the local environment. What you search, what you purchase, who you connect with, all matter.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Perspective is everything! There's a lot of division in the world right now, and some would say things are changing for the worse. If you were to ask me, though, I would confidently say that things are getting better, as a whole! By surrounding myself with positive, uplifting, and inspiring people, music, organizations, and places, my world has become infinitely and abundantly better! There are so many grassroots movements that are currently taking the world by storm and are making it a better place to be!
This is it--2018 is your year!
TOP 7 HEALTHY LIFESTYLE HABITS
TO ADOPT IN 2018
Below are 7 lifestyle habits that I am continually leaning more into, and learning more about, that I think might benefit all of you, as well!
Stay curious, Be positive, Live fully!
Whole plant foods are high vibrational in nature, and are the portal into a deeper and more profound relationship with yourself and with other beings on this planet!
Obviously, number one is very near and dear to my heart, being a no-meat-athlete! In the US, 1 out of every 4 deaths is due to cancer, and in 25 years, 1 out of every 3 Americans will have diabetes. On top of that, over 17 million people die every year from cardiovascular disease.
Any animal protein boosts the level of cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1, the number one dietary source of cholesterol is chicken, and lunchmeat is classified as a Class 1 carcinogen. I could go on with the stats, but if you're interested in learning more, watch these documentaries and check out their stats pages: Cowspiracy and What The Health.
Bottom line, we are the only species that drinks another species’ secretions (i.e. cow's milk), we don't need animal products to thrive, or even to survive, and we’re doing our health, the animals, and the environment a favor by eliminating or dramatically reducing our consumption of them!
For me, the biggest shift since going plant-based a little over 4 years ago, was my mental state. I no longer suffer from brain fog, crippling anxiety and panic attacks, and feel so much more in-tune with my body, with nature, and with others! I no longer have digestive issues, I sleep better, I have more energy, and I workout harder and recover quicker than ever! If you're struggling with these issues, or weight, acne, depression, etc., it might help to take a look at what's on your plate! Ask yourself before your next meal, Is this helping me or hindering me? If you need help getting started, shoot me a message through my Contact page--I'd love to help you out! You can also visit my FAQ page for a list of my recommended reading + resources!
The ABCs to Transitioning:
- Add before you subtract: Try incorporating Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen healthy, whole foods into your diet.
- Baby steps: Pick one meal per day to eat whole foods, plant-based (i.e. green smoothie for breakfast or rainbow salad for lunch), or simply pick one animal product to eliminate first (i.e. dairy, eggs, red meat, or other meats).
- Cut the crud: Keep processed, packaged, and junk foods out of the house. Arm yourself with what I like to call "fast fruit" while you're on-the-go, to eliminate temptations.
There is no such thing as "zero waste," but we can eliminate our carbon footprint by being more conscious consumers.
Going plant-based fits in perfectly with the zero-waste lifestyle. Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. (Again, you can find more eye-opening statistics from the documentaries I mentioned above).
In 2017, the hubs and I began recycling all of our glass, plastic, and paper products, and using less of them, overall. We called our garbage company and had them bring us a free recycling can, and we fill it up far quicker than our trash can now! We also began composting, because we have so much food waste. Dusty built us a compost bin, which you can check out on our Home Garden and Compost Tour! On top of that, the compost is going to make the perfect garden fertilizer for this year's garden, which we're looking forward to planting!
Check out more getting started tips at GoingZeroWaste.com!
3 Easy Ways To Waste Less:
- Buy re-usable shopping bags and mesh produce bags to eliminate the need for plastic shopping bags, which typically aren't recyclable. Buy dry goods in bulk and use mason jars to store them(i.e. nuts, seeds, grains, and beans)--this will also save you money!
- Grow your own food and/or utilize your local farmer's market and co-op, and make your own personal care and home-cleaning products! Check out our DIY Toothpaste and Personal Care & Cleaning Products on YouTube!
- Cut down on drive-time. Ride your bike to work, walk to the store, or take public transportation.
Minimalism is not about getting rid of everything you own, it's about owning only what you need and use--everything serves a purpose.
There are 300,000 items in the average American home, 25% of Americans own a two-car garage, but don't have the room to park in them, and 1 in 10 rents off-site storage. For more statistics and information, visit: BecomingMinimalist.com, and watch the documentary, Minimalism.
Something I am really excited to begin working towards this year is having less and buying less. On social media, we’re being constantly bombarded by ads from companies proclaiming their unbeatable prices and latest steals and deals, but all of the "stuff" in the world isn't going to make us any happier or any better. I've always said that physical clutter is mental clutter, so I plan to really start to think twice before I buy, and live light, travel light, spread the light, and be the light, as one of my tea bags so wisely told me.
3 Steps To Accumulate Less & Eliminate More
- Cut yourself off. Before throwing out everything you own, the best place to start is to stop buying in the first place! Challenge yourself to go 40 days without buying anything new (obviously besides necessities like food).
- De-clutter and donate goods. If you're overwhelmed, break it down to organizing one room per week.
- Trim the fat in other areas of your life. Do away with toxic relationships, travel with only a carry-on, empty your mind by journaling, praying, and meditating, get really clear and focused on what it is you're passionate about and working towards in life.
Nothing good comes easy, and everything challenging comes with great reward, and that is most definitely true when it comes to creating something!
According to Venveo writer, Zach Williams, 52% of DIYers are 24 to 44 years old which means the majority of DIYers are from two different generations: Millennials and Gen X. Most DIYers in this age range are taking on DIY projects because of a life changing event such as buying a home, getting married or having a child. DIYers ages 35 - 54 are often times driven by the desire to increase energy efficiency. Another study from Statista, shows that 84% of people in the 18-34 age range would consider taking on a DIY project to save money. The willingness begins to decrease with an increase in age.
With Amazon Prime and free two-day shipping, it's getting easier and easier to buy and have anything and everything we could ever want or need at the drop of a hat. We live in a fast food, fast service, I-want-it-now society, which has cause our tolerance for tasks that require focus, effort, and patience to go down.
I'm guilty when it comes to impatience, but I've always loved DIY projects. This year I plan to get back to my creative roots and work on more projects, whether it be re-decorating my office space, building something, concocting new recipes and personal-care products, or simply creating a piece of art, there's something to be said for taking the time to Do It Yourself!
3 Solid Tips To Drive Up Your Creative Spirit
- Set a date with yourself to get creative, without any distractions, or, pencil in an hour a day devoted to working on a project of your choice.
- Learn a new skill. Next time something in your house needs to get improved or fixed, see what you can do with the help of Google or a good YouTube tutorial before calling and paying someone else.
- Develop a new hobby or re-awaken on old passion. Take a dance class, play an instrument, try acting, play a sport, paint a picture--do whatever it is that allows you to lose track of time in pure bliss!
There are many forms of travel outside of circling the globe. Explore the vast corners of your mind, find hidden gems in your own city, or actually book that plane ticket of a lifetime!
According to NBC News, travel decreases rates of depression and anxiety while boosting creativity, memory, and overall happiness and well-being. Another reason to travel as reported by Kaplan International, is that a yearly vacation cuts your risk of heart attack in half, and if you're a health nut like me, you'll want to know that Singapore, Italy, and Australia are the top 3 healthiest places to visit!
Travel takes you out of your comfort zone and requires an open mind. It can help us to learn new things about ourselves, as well as strengthen our relationships with those whom we adventure with. Travel is one thing Dusty and I are pretty good about saving for and executing on, but one of my goals with any travel we do this year, is to make it less about shopping and dining, and more about adventure and doing as the locals do.
I love going on a trip, because it gives me time to unwind and reset, but it also makes me appreciate home so much more when I come back!
3 Way To Wander The World
- Set aside a separate savings account for travel and leisure and add a percentage to it from each paycheck.
- Plan a trip to somewhere you've always wanted to visit. Use a flight tracker to get the best possible deals.
- Go on a spontaneous road trip to a nearby city or state or find adventure in your own city.
6. Soul Seeker
There is nothing more comforting and liberating than knowing yourself and knowing your Creator.
Investing in our faith can increase our sense of belonging and purpose in life, and according to a 2013 Forbes article, studies have shown that religious attendance once or more per week leads to an extra seven years of life expectancy. PewResearch.org also shared that among U.S. Christians, there has been an increase of 7 percentage points between 2007 and 2014 in the share who say they feel a deep sense of wonder about the universe at least weekly (from 38% to 45%).
Getting to know God sounds like a good idea, but how do we actually put that into concrete and actionable steps? Our relationship with God should be just like that of our best friend--we should want to be in communication with Him all the time--to share our most intimate feelings with! One way I've recently opened up a line of communication is by speaking/asking less and listening more. The hubs recently introduced me to a phone app called Abide, which has helped me to get quiet and tune in. This Christian app provides you with Scriptural-based meditation, which helps you to disconnect from the unceasing chatter in your head and focus on life-giving words of wisdom.
Another way Dusty and I are soul-seeking is through finding a community! This month, we’re going to a conference called Alpha, to better learn how to create unity in a broken world, through one unified church! I highly recommend watching the Alpha series if you want some of the most basic and fundamental, big life questions answered for you!
The ABCs to Seeking Your Soul
- Allow yourself to be okay with not having all of the answers--it's normal to experience doubt, but keep the faith! After prayer, meditation is the perfect way to get good at asking less and listening more!
- Build a relationship through communication. Read the Bible, do your research, pray continually, and give your worries, fears, and doubts up to God!
- Community involvement is key! Find or create a small group, or join a church to connect with others and become stronger in Faith!
Give what you can with what you've got! Service has an impact, no matter the scale.
According to CharityNavigator.org, giving has increased in current dollars every year since 1976, with the exception of three years that saw declines: 1987, 2008 and 2009. In 2016, total giving to charitable organizations was $390.05 billion (2.1% of GDP). What's more, Harvard Business Review states that those who volunteer their time feel like they have more of it. This is similar to other research showing that people who donate to charity feel wealthier.
The seventh and final lifestyle habit to adopt in 2018 is becoming a philanthropist. All too often, we fall into thinking things like, I cant wait until I make it, so I can buy my parents a new house or If I had a million dollars I'd start my own charity! While these are noble aspirations, we're sometimes blind to the fact that we can be of service right now with what we currently have!
One way Dusty and I are giving back this year is by helping to promote a non-profit organization that has been near and dear to our hearts for a number of years. Love Justice International is fighting to put an end to human sex-trafficking and slavery on a global scale, and their headquarters is right here in our hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. We are excited to be teaming up with them to help spread the word about Project Beautiful--their new campaign and phone app. When you pledge to donate on a monthly basis, you'll get a free t-shirt and exclusive access to the app, where you'll get live updates on interceptions, as well as other information on how your dollars are directly impacting those around the world. Please consider learning more and donating to help put an end to this unspeakable crime!
3 Ways To Make An Impact
- Help those closest to you. Sometimes we forget that we have many opportunities to do favors for a family member that needs a hand.
- Think about an issue that resonates with you and do you research to find a worthy organization to donate to. Give what you are able to give with you've currently got!
- Be generous with your time. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, bring clothing to a homeless shelter, help at church, or mentor a student.
Make It The Best Year Ever
As the saying goes, we are a product of the 5 people closest to us. I firmly believe that when we engage with those who inspire us, we ourselves become our best, and in turn, are better able to serve others.
Be the change you wish to see in the world!
Dusty and I are headed to the Alpha Conference in Phoenix, AZ this weekend, and we can't wait to share what we learn with all of you! Stay tuned on YouTube for more, and keep your eyes peeled for more delicious and nutritious recipes, and all-things EatMoveRest, coming your way here on the blog!