More Not Less, For The Greater Good

“I believe our society has fell into a pyramid system where there’s people relegated to the bottom of that pyramid and there’s people that feel like they’re entitled to the top of that pyramid.” Ice Cube

2017. Not just another year. A year where resolve and not just New Years resolutions are needed.

All pyramids are built for a reason.

Build a new pyramid. Make this year the year of More+ Good. Focus, grow and thrive.

1.Eat More. That’s right, eat up. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and support your local farmers if you can. Pick a clinical research study and you will find that increasing your intake of vegetables, especially dark leafy greens,  decreases the incidence of preventable chronic health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and obesity. Plus, fresh veggies just  taste good with the right seasoning.  And kale is not the only star on the farm, collard greens, spinach, jute leaf, sweet potato leaves and avuvo, check out 5 A DAY CSA, shine just as bright when it comes to nutritional value.

2. Grow More. There is nothing like experiencing nature in all its wondrous glory. From the smell of the soil to a cool breeze on a hot summer day, putting your hands in the dirt and nurturing plants is therapeutic. Volunteer at a local farm that supports the local community food banks. If you are new to gardening, start with a herb like mint.Spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, there are so many varieties, and this is a hardy plant that will add flavor to beverages and food. Get outside, stay safe in the sun, and grow. This small step can elevate your mood and stimulate creativity in the garden and the kitchen.

3. Move More. 10,000 steps, 30 minutes a day, a repetition of arm curls, tai chi,  and everything in between. Start by talking with your healthcare provider for the all clear and then, move. Walking, and dancing count, and burn calories.  Just like an eagle, you were made to move, spread your wings,  and keep those muscles, joints, and bones healthy. The benefits to your mood, skin and immune system are added bonuses.

4. Learn More.  First aid, how to code,  website development; pick something. Meet new people, get out of your comfort zone and listen to something or someone with a different point of view. You may not agree with it or them, but you just might learn something.  The narrow worlds some of us exist in, result in narrow-minded outlooks and actions that can and have harmed people.Get out of your comfort zone and learn how to salsa, visit a new museum, learn how to play the guitar, learn a new language or even take the microphone on karaoke night like Tony.  And don’t’ miss out on traveling. Travel,  near and far,  is a great way to learn about different cultures and traditions that have sustained people across the globe or just a metro stop away.

5.Read More. Reading, in a way, is a way to travel, experience and learn. Fiction and nonfiction, books and articles, tell the stories of people that have forged a way when no clear path is present. The book, Hidden Figures-The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, is just one book that can inspire people of all ages.Put down the screen, pick up a book, and take the time to enjoy the pages, the words and the authors that tirelessly share their stories.

6.More Selfcare. Meditation, coloring books, yoga, or just a walk in the park. Yoga is movement, controlled breathing, and meditation. Live in the moment. Be still, be present, quiet your voice and your mind. And in this stillness, may you find peace and  the power of “no”.”No” to the people that want to add more to your proverbial plate, “no” to the people that want to pick your brain for their personal gain. Protect yourself, learn to say no to others, and yes to self-care.

7. Sleep More. From obesity to mood disorders, the lack of sleep can contribute to poor health outcomes. Set a time, make a routine, turn the tv off, and put the smartphone down. What happens next is up to you. For some, brewing and drinking a cup of chamomile tea is helpful. For others, relaxation techniques, like breathing exercises, are helpful. Whatever it takes, don’t skimp on sleep. Wake up refreshed and relaxed instead of tired and grumpy.

8. Drink More. Water. More water and less sugar, less artificial ingredients and artificial dyes. There are so many beverages that are simple to make, full of flavor and low on calories.Take mint for example. Make a cold or hot glass of mint herbal tea, add a sprig to some black tea or add a few leaves to a tall glass of water. Treat yourself to the one liquid that can help keep your skin and every cell in your body stay hydrated.

9. More Fiber. Water and fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. Most people don’t get enough of any of the above. Beans, peas, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and berries are all full of fiber and water.More fiber in your diet can help control your appetite, weight, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels. And if you don’t know it, fiber grows in the ground, not on the grocery shelf. Natural sources of fiber are just waiting for your at your local, producer-only farmers market, or community sponsored agriculture.

10. More Flavor. Salt is not the only game in town when it comes to flavor and seasoning. Fresh herbs added to a pot of soup,  a sandwich, spaghetti,  and pho add flavor and texture.  Chile peppers, fresh when you can get them, add flavor and heat to a cup of hot chocolate, gumbo and salsa. Freshly grated ginger and turmeric add flavor, color, and antioxidants to food and beverages.

11. Create More. Art, music, infographics( with facts), videos, floral bouquets, letters to your elected officials, and books. Engage all the parts of your brain and create works of art that inspire as well as add beauty and civility to this world.

12. More Gratitude. For the simple things. For friends and family. For safe shelter and food.  For health. For access to clean water. For community organizers and members that work tirelessly to make life better for all. For a cool breeze on a summer day. Give thanks, offer support and be grateful.

13. Give More. Your time and money to causes that promote equality and democracy. Share your talents and teach someone to sew, cook, read, code, write, garden; the opportunities are limitless. Share the fruits of your garden with neighbors or food banks. Give your time to organizations that provide food for children on the weekend. Give a hand, and your support, to organizations that provide direct services like nutritious food, healthcare, water, clothes, legal services and housing. Give your voice and your assistance to victims of intolerance and hate. Find and take a bystander (upstander) intervention program near you; don’t just witness harassment, intolerance, and hate, step up and help.When you close  your eyes to the suffering of others, your silence speaks volumes

Simple and small steps to live a balanced life one day at a time. More+ Good won’t solve some of the problems that you face, but it’s a start.Listen to more here,

Share your small steps for More+Good on our Facebook page,  Hope and Wellness on BLIS FM.

The above is for informational purposes and not meant to be medical advice.Always consult with your healthcare practitioner for individual recommendations.