Since turning to a more eco-friendly way of life, I have found myself with more energy and a way of looking forward to each day. I am feeling younger, fitter, healthier and even wiser. The following 6 ways are the things that have made the most difference in my life.
Eat a Plant Based Diet
I have stopped eating beef and pork. As I started paying more attention to how certain foods make me feel, these turned out to be in the group that just don’t make me feel good. As I am trying to live in a more eco friendly way, I realize that the production of meat simply uses too much of the earth’s resources. I eat much more fruits, veggies, legumes and nuts. I still eat seafood and chicken, but not on a daily basis.
One of the foods that I love here in Ecuador is chochos. Chochos are made from the seeds of the Lupine flower. Lupines grow wild in Canada, but I don’t think anyone eats the seeds, maybe it’s a different variety. Chochos are available in baggies at the local market for 50 cents, and they come with a topping of veggies, some tomato sauce and a big squeeze of lemon. They are delicious, a perfect light lunch.
Eating locally grown has become much easier for me here in Ecuador. Most of the food is grown within an average of 50 miles. In Canada, it was more like an average of 2000 miles. Ecuador also grows crops all year round, there is no long winter season. We also get fruit and veggies in season mostly ripened on the vine/tree.
It could be that eating locally and eating food that has been ripened in the field is undervalued. Some of the studies I have read recently suggest that much of the fruits and veggies that we eat in the West loses a significant amount of its nutritional value due to the time between harvesting it and eating it (often up to 2 weeks). Certainly I have noted an increase in the flavor of the vine-ripened food that I eat regularly in Ecuador. Tomatoes, bananas and mangoes taste amazing.
Get Enough Sleep
Now that I am running my own business, I have more flexibility with my work hours. If I start an hour later because I slept poorly and need an extra hour of sleep, I can do that. Its always been difficult for me to get enough sleep, I sleep poorly in general, anxious by nature and had an office job that didn’t allow for sleeping in.
Another thing that has helped with my sleeping situation is that I am living a car-free life, so I end up walking almost everywhere. More exercise helps me to feel more physically tired at night, contributing to a better night’s sleep.
Use Eco Friendly Cleaning Solutions
Lemon, vinegar, lavender and baking soda – its all you need. In Canada I used to have a huge hoard of chemical cleaning solutions. There seemed to be a different one for every part of my home. I wasn’t aware of how these chemicals could interact with my body, especially over the long term. I use more simple ways to clean here with basic ingredients. I am no longer inhaling and picking up those intense chemical cleaners and it feels better on a variety of levels.
Pray Without Ceasing
Over the last 2 years I have sold all my possessions, moved to a foreign country, learned another language, made new friends, started a business… really changed my whole life. The stress of all those life changes pushed me to evaluate where I was spiritually. I did not want to be making decisions from a place of fear or anxiety, but to be living in faith, hope and confidence. So I pray without ceasing and find that I receive the help and guidance that I need every day.
Connect to Your Passion
Easier said than done, in my case. I found that my North American lifestyle of work, shopping and kids’ activities left little time to explore my passions, to really find the core purpose of my life. But always I have felt it in the background, this ‘not-quite-right’ feeling about how I was living my life. I did important work, but it wasn’t my vision. So when the opportunity came up to move to Ecuador I took the leap. Many things have been terrifying, but I have this ease of spirit that I am heading the right direction.
I would love to hear from you – have any of these types of changes, or other changes made you feel younger?