New Beginnings for the New Year
Updated: Jan 10
2020 has arrived! New year, new calendars, fresh starts both physically and mentally - what better time to begin a new positive habit? While some may eschew traditional resolutions as confining or self-defeating, for others the ceremonial change of the calendar can provide psychological benefits when contemplating major life changes. Whether you’re trying to change eating habits, activities, or just do something different, Harmony is here to support you any way we can.
Some of us may be trying to eat more plant-based meals or even replace animal products entirely. It doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect, but a fun food adventure! Some people find that completely revamping their diet helps cut down on food cravings, but others prefer to start small. There’s a plant-based substitute for just about every animal product, so try swapping them out one at a time; maybe coconut creamer in your morning coffee, or cultured vegan butter on your toast. Even one day a week of reducing or omitting animal products can be helpful - “Meatless Mondays” are increasingly popular, and there are so many delicious fruits, veggies, and grains that you won’t miss the meat at all! Harmony staff are always ready to help you with product suggestions and recommendations no matter what your dietary needs (and wants) might be.
An easy change to make if you’re resolving to both eat healthier and be more environmentally friendly is to eat more organically and locally grown food. Organic food – grown without artificial pesticides, chemicals, fertilizer, or hormones – isn't just better for people, it’s better for the planet! Opting for even a few organic items over conventional will provide benefits; the "Clean 15” list (and its counterpart, the “Dirty Dozen”) charts which fruits and vegetables have the least pesticides when grown conventionally, and which ones are healthiest when grown organically. Organic growing practices aid in carbon sequestration, taking it out of the air and potentially helping to reduce climate change while simultaneously providing nutrients to the plants and organisms in the soil. Buying local benefits your community both financially and environmentally; not only does the money recirculate in the local area, but local goods save energy (less shipping distance). Sustainability is a very important part of Harmony's ends statements and philosophy, and we do all we can here at the store to promote environmentally healthy practices, from our LED lighting and solar panels to our advocacy for organic and locally-grown products.
Many of us are resolving to save money, and preparing some if not all of one’s meals at home will help save money and time; also, if you’re trying to watch what you eat, preparing your own food rather than eating out helps with ingredients as well as portion control. Our bulk department is an excellent resource – whether you want to bake your own bread, make your own granola, or cook a batch of beans for soup and chili, buying bulk is the most affordable way to go. Meal prepping ahead of time takes the guesswork out of shopping, so you’re less likely to impulse buy items outside of the budget; it also helps cut down on food waste, which is a major contributor to landfills.
It’s important to make time for self-care and activity, too. Make sure you’re attending to your own mental and emotional needs, too; whether that’s a favorite hobby, a good book, a walk in the park on a nice day, or a face mask and bubble bath, everyone needs time to themselves. Regular exercise, even just a few minutes a day of brisk walking, has benefits for all areas of your life from blood sugar to moods, and it’s always important to have fun! Spend time with friends or family, take a day trip to a local attraction, or play with your pet. No matter what changes you’re trying to make, what habits you want to get into (or out of), or what you want to accomplish in the year ahead, Harmony Co-op is with you every step of the way.