Often when someone is told to ‘go green’ we think of the usual: hybrid cars, bicycling to work, clothing made of hemp, eating organic food. Here’s a new idea – go green with your trash! If you want to lose weight and get healthy, a great place for you to start isn’t necessarily with what’s in your cabinets or fridge but what’s in your trash can.
There’s that old adage of “you are what you eat.” Yet, often we’re afraid to look at what we’re eating. When we toss something away, we’re done with it. It’s out of our hands, no longer of interest to us, has no value anymore. Ah, but so you think! What ends up in our trash cans is a direct reflection of who we are and what we’re consuming. What would someone find if they went through your kitchen trash can today? Perhaps leftovers over the course of the week; discarded cereal boxes or candy wrappers; spoiled fruit. If you’re trying to lose weight but feel overwhelmed and confused about where to start, head to your trash can and take a look at what’s inside.
Your trash is often a reflection of your diet and your living lifestyle. Is your trash nothing but frozen food boxes, potato chip packages, candy wrappers? Then obviously the question is where is all the natural, living, healthy food? If your trash is full of spoiled food and leftovers you never consumed, then the question should be why did that much food go to waste? Was it a bad recipe, was it that your eyes were bigger than your belly, the knowledge that what you were eating was too much for you or that you didn’t even want it to begin with? Your trash is far more valuable than you realize in terms of getting healthy. To figure out where you need to go with your weight loss and nutrition plan, first you must honestly acknowledge where you are today.
Trash is disgusting and often times nasty. That’s why we often turn our noses to it, look away and pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s also very intimate and revealing, a part of our self and our lives we wouldn’t dare want a stranger to waddle through. I’ve found that people hate reading nutrition labels not so much because it’s a chore but because it reveals the truth: we KNOW we don’t need 800 mg of sodium or that high fructose corn syrup is what’s giving us that bulge and cottage cheese thighs. Trash is the same way. If you examine what’s in your trash bins, you’ll find it reveals that you want to think that you’re healthy but your ‘diet’ consists of frozen foods pumped full of chemicals, fattening agents, calories and salt; it reveals that you’d like people to think of you as a health nut but the ratio of organic produce to canned veggies drenched in salt and syrups; that basic everyday products you use aren’t all that natural because they’re formed and created in a dark lab somewhere and contain chemicals you can’t pronounce let alone reveal what they are doing to your body.
So, step away from the computer and spend some time sorting through your trash. I actually did an experiment for a week where I kept two trash bags in the kitchen area: one for anything food or produce, another for everything else. During that first week, the bag for produce and vegetables was heavy: it contained cantaloupe rinds, asparagus stalks, some pasta that had gone bad due to a bad recipe that made it a bit disgusting to eat. The ‘other’ bag had some coco puffs cereal boxes, plastic produce bags from the grocery store, junk mail. The bag full of discarded produce and food was heavy but it wasn’t really wasted food – it was stalks of vegetables, rinds of fruit, apple cores.
If the food in your trash can is actual food and meals, ask yourself why that meal was wasted. This is how you modify your diet to fit your weight loss needs. Was it just too much for you? Often, due to a lack of portion control, we fix more than is needed. We waste food and ingredients due to a lack of planning. If you’re single, why are you carrying out a recipe fit for 2 or 3 servings? Why aren’t you automatically making your own frozen food meal by dividing the portions and freezing what you aren’t eating? You should take one day (an hour or two) figuring out what sort of meals you’d like for the week. Get the ingredients together, cook your meals, package/freeze them so that everything is ready for you to eat for the week rather than you having to come in and cook each day after work. This would probably transform your trash can: no longer would it be full of frozen food cartons or fast food trash – it’d be full of healthier food.
If your trash is lacking in vegetables and fruit, change it. Don’t rely on juices to get your daily quota of fruit of vegetables – check the trash for a juice container and check the label. Does that label say you’re drinking 100% juice? In most cases, it doesn’t, and the first ingredient is usually water or something from concentrate. Make this a game or mission – it’s extreme Garbage Makeover! You’ve got two bags, just 7 days, and the bag designated for food/produce trash must be more than the bag for all other trash. You want to reduce the amount of fast food trash, soda bottles, frozen dinner cartons in your trash. You want heft to your garbage, but not waste – you want vegetable stalks and skins, fruit peels and cores, evidence that not only did your week involve eating fruit but you actually ATE it and didn’t waste it.
If you really want to give this trash diet plan a green twist, see how much you can reduce your trash and how much your ‘trash’ becomes organic waste. Then take that organic waste and turn it into compost. What would you do with compost? You’d construct a small raised bed behind your home and grow your own vegetables there! So your trash would therefore bring you more ‘green’ because you could reduce how much money you’re spending in the grocery store! See, there’s value in what you’re used to throwing away.
Stop being ignorant when it comes to having no idea what you’re eating. Your trash is a good place to start when trying to get healthy. You want more organic waste in your trash and less paper and packages – why? Because most processed, bad food, comes in packages with the exception of frozen vegetables. You don’t even want a lot of cleaning bottles, aerosol cans, products with long lists of hard-to-understand chemicals in your trash. Why? Because these are items you use throughout your living space and the more chemicals you use, the more toxins and chemicals you’re exposed to. Being exposed to too many toxins and chemicals leads to ill feelings, insomnia, nausea, head aches and even weight gains. You may even see the need to try out a thc juul pod in order to help you do away with feelings of nausea, sleeplessness, and many other things that can cause you to feel unwell as a result of being exposed to the toxins and chemicals in question – it may not be for everyone but some people swear by it which may be enough for you to at least give it a go. Reduce the products you use and opt for more organic, ‘green’ options that will reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. Your body and wallet (in terms of the money you spend on health and wellness each year and doctor visits) will thank you.