Living Earthly

Health & Sustainability Q&A

I am by no means famous enough to get enough responses to warrant a Q&A. But I thought I would do a Q&A with a few of my friends to see what information they wanted to know more about. As I am beginning to create content for my new and improved Living Earthly website, I want to make sure I am creating content that people want to read. Some of my friends had questions about healthy eating, conserving water, and grocery store labels. Enjoy the advice, and comment down below any more questions you would like me to answer in a future blog post!

Q: How can I take care of myself in terms of healthy eating when I have no energy and am feeling down?
A: It is sooooooo easy to eat as much fast food as you can scarf down when you have a million other things to worry about. You feel those hunger pangs, and just want immediate satisfaction. Or you’re just exhausted from a long day and you’re just like there is no way I’m cooking. I know it. I’ve been there. Multiple times. But luckily from falling into the same rut multiple times, I have developed a strategy for every time I catch myself in the act! The first part does require a little bit of planning. And that is you need to develop a routine/schedule for yourself so you have an idea when you will actually have the time, or at least make the time to prepare a healthy meal. The second part is to figure out what your staple meals and food items are. You can of course expand on this and try new things when you see an awesome recipe on YouTube or Pinterest. But these are the items that you know you will eat, and won’t end up tossing. Make sure these staples are easy to prepare. I’m not going to list out all my staples in this blog post, but can definitely create some content on that in the future if you are interested. But some examples would be a healthy rice stir fry dish. The only ingredients it requires is brown rice, veggies, a low-sodium stir fry sauce, and whatever toppings you want. I have a rice cooker, which makes it super easy to get started cooking a meal while I get other tasks done or just chill on the couch watching Netflix. For veggies, you can use either fresh or frozen. I like to buy both. But I definitely recommend frozen veggies, as these last longer. My rice cooker has a steamer so I will sometimes just put the frozen veggies in the steamer and let the cooker do all the work. Otherwise, you can just pan fry them. Then once everything is done just quickly cook it together in a pan with the sauce. Or if you’re feeling super lazy, just put it right in your bowl and pour the sauce on top. I then like to add raw veggies like spinach or baby kale, fresh cilantro, dill, and mustard. But really, add whatever you want, or as little as you want. Other go-to dishes would be pasta or gnocchi with pre-prepared pasta sauce and whatever veggies I have on hand. As for snacks, know what healthy snacks you will eat and only purchase those. Do not buy those potato chips! I like snap pea crisps or whole grain crackers and hummus. Or if I really want chips, I’ll make them myself with tortillas and dip them in guacamole. Fresh fruit that is easy to grab like a banana or apple is also a great snack. Get those staples and it will make your life a billion times easier. Also, prepare large quantities of the meals when you do cook them so you have a day or two of lunches prepared. Set a rule for yourself on what foods you will eat when you eat out. My rule of thumb is I want to eat a dish with a lot of whole grains and vegetables. If you follow that rule of thumb when eating out, you are less likely to fall for the deep fried dishes with no nutritional value.
Q: How can I conserve water?
A: Out of all honesty, I am working on this myself. But I can give you advice based on the efforts I am currently making at using less water. I don’t know about you, but I get a little crazy when it comes to germs. So I have a tendency with washing my hands more than I probably even need to. This is bad both for my skin as well as for the environment. A simple solution I have found to combat this bad habit is using hand sanitizer when my hands aren’t actually dirty-looking and I’m just worried about possible bacteria after shaking someone’s hand for example. Although hand sanitizer can be harsh on the skin, I try to always apply an eco-friendly hand lotion immediately following sanitizing. This technique has reduced my unnecessary hand washing incredibly. Other ways I reduce hand washing is by doing multiple “dirty” tasks at once. Instead of washing my hands between each one, I wash them after completing all of these “dirty” tasks. For example, I will clean my guinea pig cages, then take out the trash, then put in a new trash bag, and then wash my hands. This is better than cleaning the guinea pig cages, washing my hands, watching TV, taking out the trash, washing my hands, reading a book, then realizing I forgot to put in a new trash bag, and then wash my hands again. If you group tasks together like this, you are less likely to waste water throughout the day. Another culprit of water useage is dishes. When doing dishes, make sure to turn the water off while you scrub the dish. So only have the water running when you are actually using the water on the dish. Do not have it run in the background. This is the same when you brush your teeth. Don’t leave the water running unless you are actually going to use it. When cooking pasta dishes, the first step is always to boil half a pot of water. One trick I sometimes use is instead of cooking the pasta in water, I’ll use another liquid I have on hand – such as vegetable stock, or if making homemade mac ‘n’ cheese I’ll cook the pasta in milk. Try thinking outside of the box.
Q: Is organic labeling to be trusted?
A: No. Not all labeling is well-regulated and businesses can follow the minimal qualifications to get that labeling. For example, cage-free eggs. Just because the chickens are not in cages does not meet that they are not still squished together in a very tight space. It’s just not a cage. This does not mean every company is lying and that you should just ignore organic labeling altogether. The best thing to do is just do your research. Know what you are looking for in a brand and company, and only purchase from those entities. Google is your best friend here! Whenever purchasing an item from the store, I never just throw it in my cart. I read all of the information they have on there including the nutritional facts and ingredients. If there is anything on there I am unfamiliar with, I just whip out my phone and do a quick Google search. This seems like a lot of research to do at first, but eventually you will have an idea of which companies to purchase from and grocery shopping will be a breeze.
Q: Does pineapple belong on pizza?
A: Pineapple always belongs on pizza.
I hope these tips were helpful to you and please comment below any more tips you may be able to offer!
Don’t forget to check out all of my social media handles and my YouTube channel.
HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY xo -Living Earthly
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