Where I grew up, pollution was so heavy, the sky glowed orange and the smell of burning chemicals lingered in the air.  I was born in 1963 on the Texas Gulf Coast near a conglomeration of oil refineries. 

I remember my aunt exclaiming with great surprise when she bought a new car with a guarantee on the paint job.  She lived across the street from the refineries, and the air pollution honestly was bad enough to fade paint from a new car within a year.  No kidding!
Trash was thrown freely from the windows of moving cars without a thought.  Litter lined the ditches alongside the roads.  I have no idea who came along to clean it up.  No one seemed to care.

Television commercials were all about making life easier with Hamburger Helper, Betty Crocker, Tony the Tiger’s sugary breakfast cereals and Oscar Mayer’s packaged lunch meats compressed into squares and evenly sliced to make the perfect sandwich.

Those were the good ol’ days.  We had it made, right?  More accurately, ignorance was bliss. 

Thanks to the many efforts and campaigns of the environmental movement (and the food movement), we’ve come a long way in veering that fast-moving freight train away from the face of the mountain.

Earth Day started in 1970, inspired by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring written in 1962, one year before I was born.  This marked the beginning of the environmental movement.

The health of our planet is still far from perfect, but we have made huge strides in getting that trajectory turned around.  If you feel it in your heart, take a moment to send out a pulse of gratitude to those who have dedicated their lives to this cause.  I can’t imagine where we’d be now if not for their efforts.

We – the earth and humans – were made to live in harmony with each other.  When one is out of synch, so is the other.  You can see this reflected in the state of our planetary health and human health.  The state of our environmental health reflects the state of our bodily health, and vice versa.

When we abide by the natural laws of the earth, we end up with an environment that supports and honors the body.  When we abide by the natural laws of the body, we end up with an environment that supports and honors the earth.  The earth has its universal laws of nature, and the body has its universal laws of nature. 
 
In honor of Earth Day – April 22, 2013 – here are 7 ways to honor the Earth that also honor your body:

1. Eat fresh, organic, local foods wherever possible.  The best situation is to know your farmer.  When you shop local farms and farmers markets, meet the farmer or those who work the farms.  Find out about their practices and values.  Learn about what goes into your foods.  You might even take a day to volunteer on their farm.  It’s an opportunity for connecting with the earth, which is very healing.

Eating local also saves on shipping or trucking expenditures – less fuel consumption – and it usually means the foods are allowed to ripen more before they are harvested, which means higher nutrient value and better taste!

2. Eat whole foods close to the way they come from the earth.  Honor the gifts that come from the earth by taking them in as close as you can to the way they are given to you.  This allows you to enjoy the natural taste and texture of the food.  Once you become accustomed to eating foods close to their natural state, other forms are not as satisfying, and you’ll be able to sniff out artificial ingredients a mile away. 

Eating whole foods that are not processed or over-cooked preserves the enzymes that are naturally contained within the foods so your body can use them in the digestion process.  This will give you even more gratitude for what the earth provides and honor your body with clean, whole foods.

3. Eat smaller quantities.  Eating right-sized portions reduces waste and saves on your personal food budget.  If everyone in the United States alone practiced this principle, think about how much we could reduce consumption and production needs, saving on the land and its resources.

Eating smaller portions is also healthier for your body in terms of weight and digestion.  It is much healthier to stop eating before you feel full.  Eating more slowly and taking full breaths between bites helps you notice when you are no longer hungry and stop eating before you have stuffed yourself.

Here’s a tip for eating out.  Most restaurants serve portions that are more than we need to eat in one sitting.  Take an earth-friendly reusable “to go” container with you, and put half of your meal into the container before you begin to eat.  This will help you to not over eat and give you a yummy meal to look forward to the next day.

4. Eat simple combinations of foods.  If we put too many different foods into the body in one sitting, the body cannot digest any of them well, and we end up losing out on the nutritional values of the individual foods. 

We weren’t meant to eat a smorgasbord at every meal.  No other animal in nature does that.  When we try, we are wasting the earth’s gifts of sustenance and harming our bodies.  We’d be better off to throw the foods away directly.  Remember, your body is not a trash can.

Better yet, honor the earth and your body by sticking to no more than 3 foods at a meal.  Eat simply, live well.

5. Reduce or eliminate the use of plastic water bottles.  Instead of purchasing filtered or spring water in disposable plastic water bottles, use a water filter and either a glass or a reusable stainless steel water bottle. 

Plastic water bottles which leach harmful chemicals into the water – harmful for your body – and pollute the earth – both in the production process and the exorbitant amount of trash left upon the earth.

6. Take time to connect with your foods before your eat.  Honor the earth by respecting its gifts before you send them down the hatch.  This practice is respectful of your Mother – it sends positive vibes to the one who provides your sustenance.

Admiring your food – its good looks and fragrance – stimulates your senses.  Your mouth begins to water, your stomach begins to gurgle.  This activates your digestive system, getting it ready to take in the nourishment you are about to send it. 

Eating is meant to be pleasurable.  Meal times are meant to be enjoyable.  It’s respectful of the earth and good for your body, too.

7. Be in Gratitude for your sustenance.  Take time to appreciate the gift of provision.  The state of gratitude releases stress from your body and opens you energetically to receive the nourishment from your foods.  

Gratitude shows respect for the earth and puts the energy of gratitude back into our Mother.  Respect your mother!!  J

All of these principles help to reduce our footprint on the earth and support better health for our bodies.  By conserving the earth’s resources, we conserve our own.  By keeping our bodies clean, we support efforts to keep the earth clean.

It always comes back to the same basic guidelines.  Whether you’re looking at balancing pH, maintaining healthy diet and hydration, supporting hormone balances or caring for the earth, the same principles continue to surface.

Consider these principles for Earth Day, and consider making every day Earth Day.  After all, why would you only want to honor your Mother one day a year?

Author's Bio: 

Hi! I'm Debra Graugnard of Joyfully Living Wellness. I healed myself of ulcerative colitis, fibrocystic disease and hypoglycemia - naturally and holistically - 25 years ago, and I continue to live a cleansing healing lifestyle. I serve as a Spiritual Healing Practitioner with a Masters of Divinity in Spiritual Healing & Counseling. I offer programs and services to help others who want to heal the stress & emotions that affect their digestive dysfunction, plus offer self-care and lifestyle practices for living a healthful life.

Hi! I'm Debra Graugnard of Joyfully Living Wellness. I healed myself of ulcerative colitis, fibrocystic disease and hypoglycemia - naturally and holistically - 25 years ago, and I continue to live a cleansing healing lifestyle. I serve as a Spiritual Healing Practitioner with a Masters of Divinity in Spiritual Healing & Counseling. I offer programs and services to help others who want to heal the stress & emotions that affect their digestive dysfunction, plus offer self-care and lifestyle practices for living a healthful life.

If you want to learn more about how stress influences your digestion, download your copy of my free eBook, Unlocking Hidden Messages Behind Stress & Digestion. Visit www.unlockingdeepermessages.com