Guest Author - Meredith Ball
There are a variety of ways to live naturally. Nowadays some folks feel that living naturally only means eating totally organic food, and making or purchasing only furniture and products free of chemicals. Often this way of living is difficult for some as organic food can be more expensive and not everyone has time to make their own clothing. This shouldn't mean that we give up our efforts to live as naturally as we possibly can. The most important first step is to know your lifestyle and what can work for you to ensure a greater likelihood that your natural behaviors will begin and continue.
First, take a look around your home and see what you already own that is a natural product. Are your shoes and clothing not leather and only made from organic cotton? Is your furniture made without formaldehyde and other toxins? If not, perhaps you can begin to identify a plan to slowly, one garment at a time, begin to include chemical free, eco-friendly clothing into your wardrobe. If that sounds like too big of an expense for you right now maybe taking the time to learn how to stitch your own clothing made from healthy fabrics will work better for you. You can join a stitching group or get your friends together to start one!
Second, make a list of your daily routine chores and activities. Are you driving to work? Is your workplace 2 miles away? If so, perhaps you can walk or bike to work one day out of the week. Are you eating out everyday at fast food restaurants? If so, maybe you can begin to pack a healthy lunch for yourself each day instead. Do you have time on the weekends to plant a garden or to join a local community clean-up group? Look at how you can include more eco-friendly activities into your daily or weekly routines in a way that will be fun and fulfilling for you.
Lastly, what type of food are you ingesting? If you are an all meat eater and cooking with a lot of artificial sweeteners or processed food items, then this step might be more difficult to take. So, take it slowly. Start with eating a whole grain and vegetable dinner one night out of the week. Then, make that meal organic too. Eventually you may find yourself enjoying whole fruits and vegetables so much that you are cooking this way for lunch and other days of the week. If you really get into it, you can join your local CSA to get organic fruits and vegetables from your nearby farm. Or, you can even begin your own organic backyard or patio garden. Whatever you decide, start out slowly and make it fun so that your eating habits are more likely to change and continue.
One step at a time and in a way that works for you is the best piece of advice to begin to live more naturally. An attempt to move from one extreme to another will rarely result in a consistent permanent change to live more naturally. No matter how many steps or how large of a step you take to live more naturally it is still a step. Praise yourself for that step and keep going!