My most recent Facebook status update went something like this: “People are always for healthy lifestyle change until it affects their lifestyle.” I was in a rather sullen mood this weekend, despite it being the most glorious weekend of the Church year. It felt like everywhere I turned somebody was throwing one more excuse in my face as to why traditional Easter candy with all its preservatives and artificial colors is okay (duhhhhhh, Mom!), frozen pies from God-knows-where are perfectly acceptable, and crappy chemical ingredients are just fine as long as “it tastes good!”
So I threw a tantrum. Yep. Lenten promise #3 out the window. I actually let out a primal scream. One dog came to see what was wrong and the other dog ran and hid. My husband blinked at me in disbelief. I have to admit, I felt much better after that.
I can see a bit more clearly now, and I have profusely apologized to all the heartbeats in my home for the inappropriate disruption to our daily lives. Many thanks to my sister-in-law, Kasie, who served as my light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel on Sunday, and brought me back to myself.
So what do you do when it seems all hope for healthy change is spiraling down the toilet at breakneck speed? I mean, aside from yelling at everyone you love and accidentally wounding yourself in your own Tasmanian-devil-style fit?
You find something small, and you focus on that one thing until you can mentally (and emotionally) handle everything else. I focused on my garden and flowerbeds. They look lovely.
This whole spiral-into-oblivion got me thinking about little ways in which we can make healthier choices – little bits of good that we can focus on until the rest is manageable. Here’s my tentative list of little things to do that can eventually lead to big change:
- Change your makeup remover and/or moisturizer. I’ve been using almond oil as moisturizer exclusively for two months now, and it works really well. It’s relatively inexpensive, totally natural, and a little goes a long way. Making this one change will save your face from at least nine chemicals a day.
- Switch to buying organic milk and/or eggs. Just this one little change to your habits can make a big difference for you and your family.
- Buy small quantities. Mega grocery stores and warehouses are great if you consume a trailer-load of food and disposables in a relatively short time period. But I always found that buying food in bulk made me waste more. It’s very hard to break the habit of thinking I need to “stock up” on something, especially if it’s on sale, but refocusing on what I will actually consume in a smaller period of time helps keep my grocery budget in check.
- Buy one or two versions of organic fruit or vegetables. Think of the fruits or vegetables you’re going to want to eat or cook with this week, and buy the organic variety this time.
- Plant your favorite herb and use it fresh while you cook. Fresh herbs make any dish better, and knowing where it came from and how it has been treated is an added benefit you can enjoy every time you cook. Plus, plants are happy little fellas.
- Drink 8 ounces of water right when you wake up in the morning. I have not done this exclusively yet, but I did it for a while during the winter and I noticed that it helped me continue drinking water through the rest of the day. Water makes your skin healthy. Healthy skin doesn’t show age as fast. Where’s my glass????
- Plan two meals a week, if you’re not on a meal planning schedule already. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but put real effort into it. Having a plan ahead of time makes the cooking more fun, and the meal more enjoyable. And just think of the money you’ll save by not eating out!
- Drink a glass of green tea a day. Add some orange or lemon and honey to it for some flavor.
Well, that just about exhausts my wee little mind for the day. I’m off to move the sprinkler so my new flowers can drink up.