Do you commit to carry out, during this year, 12 habits for health? There are 12 challenges to overcome, one per month, that improve individual and collective health. We assure you that these small changes can become habits that become part of your life without you even realizing it. All the challenges are related to the four fundamental pillars of integral health: physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental health. Are you ready?
1. Eat a healthy and complete meal a day
Start January by introducing a full meal a day. Currently, the healthy plate formula is made up of 50% vegetables, fruits and vegetables, 25% vegetable or animal protein and 25% cereals and tubers. Don’t forget to include a quality source of fat such as extra virgin olive oil, seeds, nuts, avocado, flax oil, olives, etc.
2. Zero waste in nature
Look for collaborative cleanup initiatives for natural areas in or around your area. Actions are coordinated in parks, forests, beaches, marine areas, rivers or streams around the world. The objective is to avoid possible problems in the environment such as contamination or fires, as well as to restore the habitat and the landscape. This month join a cleaning initiative and collaborate in conserving natural spaces, which are so important for all living beings.
3. Meatless Mondays
The Meatless Mondays initiative was born as an international campaign that encourages people who eat meat not to do so one day a week, in order to take care of individual, collective and planet Earth health. By re-educating the way we eat, knowing the versatility of vegetable protein and cooking dishes without meat, you can reduce its consumption without this seeming like a problem.
4. Haz 10.000 pasos al día
One of the health habits that we propose is daily movement. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is enough to walk until you get 10,000 steps a day, in a dynamic way. If you are not used to it and it is difficult for you to reach this figure, start the first week of February doing it for three days. The second, four. The third six, ending with seven days last week.
5. Take care of your intestinal microbiota
The health of the intestinal microbiota depends on the variety in the intake of plant-based foods. The more you eat, the better you will feel. Remember that the intestine is the second brain and that a large part of our well-being originates from this organ. So this month keep track and add 30 different plant-based foods a week. You can include everything that grows directly from the ground: fruits, vegetables, vegetables, nuts, legumes and cereals. The more variety, the better gut health.
6. Make a solidarity action
Solidarity can be present in our daily lives with our gestures and these are what will make the world a better place to live in. Take a step further and get involved. No need to go far away, help is needed near you. Search in your neighborhood, town, city, entities that need support, there are more than you can imagine! Choose the one that best aligns with you and do your bit by joining in with a solidarity action or volunteering. You have a lot to offer.
7. Exercise, stimulate and take care of your mind
What do you like to do? What activity makes you smile, makes you think and/or activates you emotionally? This month we propose one of the challenges for emotional health that will make you stay active, feed your well-being and help you avoid cognitive decline. Every day dedicate 10 minutes exclusively to an activity that nourishes you. It is not worth doing two things at the same time, only one and with full attention. You can choose the same activity and repeat it daily for 10 minutes or combine different ones. A proposal for combined activities would be to listen to music one day, do a Sudoku the next, write, play, learn something new…
8. Dare to try new foods
Each week incorporate seasonal foods into your meals that you have not tried before to enrich your diet. Another option is to add foods that you know, but cooking them in different ways than how you normally consume them. Find new recipes and try them. You will discover new flavors and textures, learn new recipes and lose the fear of novelty in your dishes.
9. Use your own packaging
This month you have a challenge: don’t ask for bags and try not to buy anything packaged that you can buy in bulk. Opt for sustainable and reusable solutions to help the planet. Always carry a bag in your purse or backpack, in case you have to buy something you didn’t plan to. When you plan to go shopping, take your cart, basket and/or cloth bags. If you have plastic bags at home, don’t throw them away! Reuse them as much as you can. Take advantage of your own containers or lunch boxes to buy meat, fish and bulk products.
10. Introduces digital detox
We are always connected everywhere and at all times through our mobile devices and this fact generates psychological and physical problems. The smartphone should not be demonized, because it is a very useful tool if we know how to use it correctly. One of the problems caused by being hyperconnected is that it affects the health of the body and prevents a good night’s sleep. That’s why this month we suggest you do a digital detox from Monday to Friday. Make a commitment to leave the screens aside at least two hours before going to bed. For more details, we recommend following these six tips.
11. Eat three conscious meals
During the week, choose three meals in which you will avoid distractions. Leave your cell phone and other stimuli aside, paying attention only to your plate. Eat sitting down, relaxed, chewing slowly and correctly. Savor each ingredient. Enjoy what you eat through color, smell, taste and texture. Pay attention to the sensations that each food produces in you and what it provokes in your organism. Eating consciously brings important benefits to our health, helps us to have a better relationship with food and to recognize when we are full and when we are hungry.
12. Do not throw away food
Among the health habits, this month we propose the challenge of not wasting food. Planning the weekly menu is essential to achieve this. Make a shopping list and only add what you really need. Store products properly so that they last as long as possible. In the refrigerator, place the newest foods at the bottom and those that should be consumed first at the front. Calculate quantities correctly and, if there are leftovers, freeze them correctly or give leftovers a second chance by preparing new recipes. Don’t waste food, it’s easy to do if you are aware of it.