When most people think of living organic, they think of food. This means that you buy foods that are free from fertilizers and pesticides. However, you can live a more organic lifestyle in other ways too.
You can use cleaning supplies that are made of organic products. You can reduce the amount of waste you produce and find ways to travel around without leaving a huge carbon footprint. Put simply, living an organic lifestyle means doing your best to live a healthy lifestyle while also doing your part to take care of the environment.
Research has revealed the benefits of adopting a more organic lifestyle over the conventional one that is the staple of most people in the western world.
Even so, the task of adopting a completely organic lifestyle can be daunting, expensive, and pretty darn hard. Many people who recognize the likely benefits of including organic food and other organic products in their lives fall by the wayside when they try to embrace the change cold turkey with no going back.
I would advocate a different approach: Take baby steps, notice any change in your health, moods, and energy levels and once you have, you will find you are motivated to go to the next level.
Here are several “baby steps” you can begin today as you embark on your organic living journey:
- Faucet water contains fluoride in all 50 states. Purchase a reverse osmosis filter to remove it. A Brita filter will not be sufficient.
- Chlorine in water will evaporate after a few hours. Just leave it in a filter or jug in your fridge overnight.
- Though Nalgene bottles are BPA-free, they have been found to leech other chemicals. Use glass bottles to be 100% safe.
- Avoid anti-bacterial soap. Residue on dishes and hands gets in the stomach and kills your “good bacteria.”
- Cooking with coconut oil is better than olive oil. It has more Omega-3s and does not oxidize in sunlight or high temperatures.
- Tom’s toothpaste is a great alternative to traditional toothpaste. It is fluoride free and avoids many additive chemicals.
- Setting up a vertical garden takes a week or two but can pay off in organic produce for years.
- Coconut or almond-based ice cream is a fantastic way to indulge, without eating dairy.
- Most organic eggs come from cooped up chickens fed organic produce. For true free-range eggs, find a local farmer on localharvest.org.
- “Organically Made” is not the same as “Organic.” “Freely Traded” is not the same as “Free Trade.” Those former foods are not certified.
- Avoid cheap vegetable oils at all costs. They are high in Omega-6 and very unhealthy.
- Most “grass fed” beef is still grain finished. For 100% grass fed beef, look for a local farm you can buy from.
- Most fruits have quite a high glycemic index (GI). The exception are berries (including strawberries) which are low GI and extremely healthy.
- Think you cannot afford organic? Buy foods that are in season. It is both less expensive and healthier.
- Have a favorite seasonal food? Buy it when it is in season, then freeze it. It is healthier than buying it out of season.
- Avoid large fish like tuna. Large fish eat small fish and build up higher concentrations of mercury.
- Avoid multi-vitamins. Instead, build your own vitamin stack. Most multi-vitamins skimp on the important nutrients.
- Consider supplementing Omega-3s. It is perhaps the most important supplement of all for the health conscious.
- Search for and remember where your local farmer’s markets are. They are not expensive, and you can ask directly about how the food was grown.
- Buy green cleaning products to avoid chemicals like ammonia or chlorine in your house.
- Not all food has to be labeled “Organic” to be healthy. If you are buying directly from the farmer, ask how it was produced.
- Sign up for your local fruit or veggie boxes. Farmers will deliver fresh organic produce straight to your door.
- See if there are food co-ops near you. These co-ops grow organic food and sell it to their local markets.
- Carrots, beets, and radishes are quite easy to grow. If you want to give gardening a shot, that is a good place to start.
- Try to eat as much of your produce raw as possible. Cooking destroys enzymes and can reduce vitamin content up to 50%, depending on cooking method.
- If eating produce raw, soak it in 1/3rd vinegar and 2/3rds water to kill bacteria.
- Check the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) website to buy organic foods online – organicconsumers.org.
- Trader Joe’s is a great, lower-cost alternative to Whole Foods. Do you shop there?
- Subscribe to health coupon sites for deals. For example, try allnaturalsavings.com or naturalgreenmom.com.
- Look for “specials” in supermarkets (including Whole Foods.) These mean the food is in season and affordable.
- Organic beans are a great source of protein. Make sure you cook them thoroughly, as semi-cooked beans are toxic.
- Quinoa is a complete amino acid and provides your body with all the proteins you need. Yummy and easy to cook, too!
- Buy your organic chickens whole. It is cheaper than buying by the part, and you can use the carcass to make broth.
- Most coffee shops (including Starbucks) sell Fair Trade but not organic coffee. Organic coffee is available online or at Whole Foods.
- Use the bulk aisle. You can buy everything from beans to quinoa to nuts while saving money and saving packaging.
- You can order organic snack bars in bulk affordably at Amazon.com. It is as much as 50% cheaper than buying at the store.
- Never eat the skin of non-organic papayas or mangos. Some are dipped in toxic pesticides when they cross the border.
- When buying seeds, make sure you are buying non-GMO. If it does not say it is non-GMO, do not assume that it is.
- Make your jams at home. Most commercial jams (even organic) like peanut butter jam or strawberry jam are high in sugar.
- Agave nectar is not much healthier than traditional sugar. Organic honey is better, while organic coconut sugar is best.
- Store your olive oil in a dry place, out of sunlight. Oxidized olive oil is extremely dangerous.
- Nut milks in supermarkets contain a lot of additive ingredients. For best results, make your own. It only takes 10 minutes.
- Nuts can be healthy snacks, but they are also extremely high in fat and calories. Enjoy them but eat in moderation.
- Bananas are high GI and low in nutritional value. Plantains are low GI and much healthier. But they need to be cooked.
- Add a few Brazil nuts to your diet. They are one of the few foods high in selenium, which is good for your hormones and your thyroid.
- Buy good salt. Good salt can add dozens of minerals to your diet. One jar of Himalayan sea salt can last a year.
- Avoid Teflon. If you must cook with Teflon, never ever place metal into the pan.
- Rice has extraordinarily little nutritional value but is not unhealthy either. Use sparingly.
- Do not forget about eBay. You can find great deals for organic foods at steep discounts!
- Stay until the end of Farmer’s Markets. They will often give out last minute deals to clear out inventory.
- Put paper towels on the edges of your fridge’s veggie drawer. It will draw the moisture and preserve your greens.
- Spinach wilted? As long as it does not don’t smell, you can still cook it and it will be just as good.
- Check meetup.com for organic potlucks and meetups. They can be a fun way to add variety to your diet!
May these tips help you along the organic living path and lead to positive changes in your health, moods, and energy levels.
I hope you found true value in this post I personally handcrafted just for you. As always, I am here to help you…