Healthy people are known to have some odd practices and habits. Here are the top habits that my boyfriend and I do that may be questioned by others who don’t understand them, but have practical uses for when they are applied to a person on a healthy lifestyle.
1. Infrequent showering
Animal products make you stink.
By not including any animal products in my diet, I don’t sweat as much and product as much body odor. Therefore, I don’t need to shower as often.
The amount you exercise, eat and what foods you eat on a plant-based diet will all influence how often an individual will need to bathe, but if you don’t increase your heart rate to make yourself sweat very often (as I do), you are able to get away with showering every 4 to 7 days.
The main reason, as a female, that I need to shower is to wash my hair. Males may get away with showering even less. There is no need to stop showering every day or every other day if you want or need to, but I have learned that I only need to bathe once or twice a week because I don’t produce body odor.
2. Mono meals
Most people think that in order to have a nutritious meal a variety of foods need to be eaten. While eating a variety of foods on a plant-based diet is important, there is nothing wrong with eating a meal consisting of only one food. In fact it can be extremely beneficial!
Mono meals, whether they consist of bananas, lentils, or potatoes, can encourage smoother digestion because the rate of digestion of the food in the stomach is the same. No foods will digest quicker than others, which can reduce indigestion and flatulence. As long as you are including a variety of foods in your daily or weekly diet, there is nothing nutritionally deficient about eating a mono meal.
3. Eat messily
There really isn’t a health benefit to eating messily, but at least for me, eating messily just ends up happening a lot of the time. Maybe the reason for increased messiness associated with eating is caused by an increased number of foods that are inherently messy. Who knows?
But as a person who enjoys a lot of fruit, sometimes I cannot help but chow down on my watermelon like there is no tomorrow. I like watermelon and don’t get to eat it all that often. I am not going to let somebody else’s opinion of me make me enjoy my food any less. So despite what you might think about the watermelon juice running down my face and arms, I have extremely content as I enjoy my hydrating and nutritious watermelon slices.
It is a shame more people don’t cook their own legumes from scratch. Not only does buying canned legumes increase the amount of sodium and additives in legumes, it decreases nutrition and inhibits sprouting. Sprouting and soaking are both great for increasing the amount of nutrients that are bioavailable in the legumes.
In addition, soaking and sprouting rids legumes of phytic acid and decreases cooking time. In fact, some legumes (peas and lentils) can be eaten raw if they are soaked! If you are worried about protein on a vegan diet (which you really shouldn’t be in the first place), soaking and sprouting legumes will increase the percentage of calories that come from protein.
Flatulence (aka farting) is not viewed in a pleasant light. Nonetheless, a moderate amount of farting is healthy. Farting means that your gut bacteria are working healthfully and properly. Gut bacteria, also called probiotics, feed off of fiber, which are found in plant foods. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet will allow probiotics to thrive in your gut.
The reason that so many people fart more after eating beans is because of the large amounts of fiber in them! Most people get only 15-20 grams of fiber per day. The minimum recommended amount is 30 grams, while other studies suggest that we should be getting 70 grams per day. Wowzas.
P.S. Vegans may fart more but their flatulence smells better than that of non-vegetarians because of the lack of animal products.
If I told a standard American that I drink kefir, they would probably have no idea what I was talking about. They would probably assume that I am talking about a drug or a special type of alcohol. Actually, kefir is a fermented drink. Kefir contains probiotics that supplement the bacteria in our guts to ensure that we have the correct amount of friendly bacteria in our digestive tract. Having a lot of probiotics in the gut ensures fast, efficient digestion. In addition, kefir can be a tasty way to stay hydrated in lieu of drinking water. I don’t drink kefir every day but I try to drink it a few days per week. If you cannot get your hands on water kefir grains (I wouldn’t recommend milk kefir grains) try making kombucha or your own fermented sauerkraut. Your gut will thank you for it.
7. Buy in bulk
We don’t necessarily buy food in bulk because it is healthier; we buy food in bulk because it is cheaper. For example, at our local grocery store, we have the option to buy 1 kilogram of rice for $3.75 or 5 kilograms for $14.99. For the first package, the rice is $3.75 per kilogram and for the latter the rice is less than $3 per kilogram. If we are going to eat all of the rice within the month (before it spoils) doesn’t it just make sense to buy the stuff that is cheaper? It also saves us worrying about rice as often; buying in bulk means we don’t need to buy rice every week —we can buy it every 3 weeks to a month.
8. Seed cheese
I make seed cheese not because I miss the taste of cheese. Because to be honest, none of the seed cheeses that I have made so far actually taste like cheese made from animal milk. However, just because it doesn’t taste like the thing it is supposed to be a replacing doesn’t make it inferior. It is just nice to have something to spread on a sandwich, piece of toast or add to macaroni to make a type of mac n cheese. While the flavor isn’t the same, it is amazing how pungent you can make seed cheese through fermentation. Like the kefir, fermented seed cheese can provide beneficial probiotics to the gut and give back some of the creaminess that can be missed when adopting a plant-based lifestyle.
9. Frequent urination
Healthy people stay hydrated. Now, sometimes I skimp on my daily water intake but I try my best to stay hydrated by drinking a little water before meals as well as keeping a water bottle near my work station throughout the day. The body requires water to function. Water is important for digestion, chemical reactions and detoxification of the body. Increasing water intake with meals can also increase satiety if you are looking to lose weight. The closer your urine is to clear, the better. While some people advocate that urine should always be clear, I allow a slight color to my urine (hopefully that isn’t TMI!). On the other hand, if your urine is a deep golden color, you desperately need more water.
Related to this, you should also be defecating at least once a day. If you are not, I would consider you constipated. Another benefit of reducing or eliminating animal products from that diet is regularity of bowel movements. People who eat meals that are heavy on animal products and devoid of fiber sometimes say they only defecate a few times a week. Yuk! That means that their food is sitting in their bowel rotting away. You may go to the bathroom more on a healthy diet, but you will feel better.
10. Drink cooking water
This is probably only something my boyfriend and I do but, hey, it’s healthy, so why not include it on the list? Drinking the excess water that remains after you cook your vegetables (or fruit) is beneficial because you get the nutrients that are lost in the process of cooking (most often boiling). If the cooking water has changed color, it means that there are some nutrients in the water. Most people throw the water and the nutrients away, but not us. We like to drink it. Surprisingly, water that has the faint taste of broccoli actually tastes good.
That is it! What do you think— do you ever do any of these things? Do you do them already? Are there any healthy habits or practices that you have? I want to know. Please share them in the comments below.