Have you given much thought to what it takes to create and sustain the delicate ecosystem of a healthy diet and lifestyle?
Chances are you think about your family’s health quite a lot and have some sort of system down, but there are still areas that don’t really work.
Maybe you eat pretty healthy, but you’re spending way more than you’d like at the store.
Or maybe you’re trying to do “all the right things,” but find yourself totally overwhelmed and consumed with the myriad of conflicting information on television, newsstands, and the internet.
Or maybe just the mere thought of what it would take to improve your family’s eating habits has you running for the hills!
I’ve become really interested in looking at all of the moving pieces of what it takes to get healthy and keep this lifestyle alive year after year. I coined the term “sustainable health” to define a way of eating that supports you, that you enjoy, that you can live with.
Sustainable health: A set of tools and practices adapted to a modern lifestyle that supports freedom from disease and illness.
To break it down, the word sustainable means “able to be maintained or kept going, as an action or process” and health means “soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment.”
By this definition, for an eating plan to be considered sustainable, it needs to cover these bases:
Quick & Easy:
Most people don’t have hours to cook each night or the skills to craft a fussy meal, so without quick and easy recipes and a clean, easy system, most people won’t eat meals at home, no matter how healthy. Eating out multiple times each week is not typically healthy or financially viable for most people, so having simple, healthy, tasty meal options is key.
No matter how healthy, if it tastes like cardboard, most people simply won’t eat it. There are so many healthy foods out there that taste awesome – it’s just a matter of finding them and learning to prepare them!
You can eat healthy, delicious food on a budget, despite much evidence to the contrary – you just need a strategy.
Healthy for you:
There is a unique set of foods that support the health of an individual. To the extent that you’re eating more of the foods that work for you and less of the ones that don’t, your diet will contribute to your long term health and well-being and reduce the risk of disease. This was covered in detail in my last Simple Mom post: “Is your ‘healthy’ diet making you sick, tired or fat?”
Here is a quick guide to support you on your journey towards sustainable health.
I hope this gives you a simple strategy to begin incorporating new sustainable health practices into your life. I’m in the process of writing “10 Steps to Sustainable Health,” which will go into detail on each of the topics mentioned above with additional resources and tools. Sign-up here to get your free copy as soon as it’s released.
What sustainable health practices have you taken on in your home?