This post all started because one day I was sitting about (like I do) and pondering on how I need to eat more beans. Yes, beans. Like...legumes. Seriously. That is so weird. Who does that??

Produce On Parade - 25 Simple Ways to Enrich Your LifeAnyways, as I sat disheartened by what a poor bean eater I must be, I began to think about more ways to lead a healthier life. A healthier life, to me anyways, equates to a happier life. And I'm not just talking about being healthy with regards to diet. Mental, social, and environmental health as well! I also thought about all the stuff I already do to enrich my life and what a cool blog post that would be.

Below are 25 things that I currently do and also things that I would like to do more of and/or start doing. Take a peek and if you're looking for new ways to lead a happier and healthier life (who isn't?), I hope you find some good ideas! Let me know what you do to enrich your life or what you'd like to start doing.

I've seen some of the different posts on ways to better your life. They're usually one in the same. Eat better, sleep more, exercise, yadda, yadda. But, I've never seen a post with specific things that that particular person has been doing. And it's always better to see real examples, in my opinion. Adapt them to your own! Nobody better start coming up to Alaska to visit my Nanners in her home...that would be really weird. Anyway, here you go!

Things I'm already doing:

Create less waste by purchasing eco-friendly, reusable alternatives.  -- This includes snack tins instead of plastic bags, cloth towels instead of paper towels, and eco-friendly trash bags. Purchasing cruelty-free products. -- Such as toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, and beauty products. -- I like Dessert Essence, Seventh Generation, Paul Mitchell, and Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Products. Learn a new language. -- I am halfway through learning German on Duolingo. You should try it for yourself. Es ist viel Spaß! See my progress, here. Eat at least one servings of nuts per day. -- Cashews and walnuts are my favorite. I usually have a small handful when I get home after work, to tide me over until dinner.  Post at least four times a week to Produce On Parade. -- It's important to my readers (and to me!) to have regular posts and I love being able to express my creativity.  Exercise at least five times a week. -- During the workweek, I run for 50 minutes four days a week and do yoga one day. On the weekend, Todd and I usually have at least one Alaskan adventure outside.  Listen to NPR or other news once a day. -- I like to listen to NPR on my commute.  Walk Bailey at least twice per day. -- He gets a walk in the morning and one at night as well. It's a good way to start the morning and wind down after work. The fresh air doesn't hurt either! Donate to charity. -- Every year I donate a portion of my Alaska PFD to three meaningful charities. Sometimes they change. Last year I donated to Alaska Dog & Puppy Rescue, Arthritis Foundation Alaska, and Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska. One for me, one for Todd, and one for sweet Grandma Nancy. This year I donated to Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska, Meadow Gates Farm Sanctuary, and Valley Community for Recycling Solutions. Also, whenever the grocery store asks me to donate to (insert charity/foundation), I say yes. And so should you. Even if it's just rounding up to the nearest dollar. If I can afford to buy a latte (I don't actually buy lattes), then I can afford to donate at the grocery store.  Become more minimalist by not accepting freebies and reusing/repurposing items. -- I love having less. It sounds weird and counterintuitive, but once you start purging yourself of items that are rarely used it really shows you what you have and you end up valuing those items more! Becoming more minimalist is an ongoing journey for Todd and myself. I recommend reading The Joy of Less, which I have read and Zero Waste Home is next on my list.  Speaking of books, I always alternate a book for pleasure with a book for learning-- Right now I am reading A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) and when I'm done with that I will read Zero Waste Home. Making more of my own homemade kitchen basics. -- We make our own sandwich bread, non-dairy butter, and almond milk. I've also been sprouting recently, but I'd really like to try my hand at pasta! Listen to learning podcasts. -- My favorites are Stuff Mom Never Told You, Snap Judgement, Stuff You Should Know, The Hen House, and Nutrition Diva. Be less of a hermit. -- This is the very difficult for me. My goal has been to say hi to co-workers in the hall, wave at passing cars on our road, chit-chat more, etc. It's a small step, but at least it's in the right direction. 

Sidenote: If you live in Alaska, you BEST be pickin' and clickin' and givin'. Don't be that person that doesn't give back. Click the image below to search charities and find one that matters to you!Produce On Parade

Things I would like to start doing more:

Eat at least one serving of protein rich foods per day. -- Such as tempeh, beans, tofu, lentils, and/or quinoa. Paint. -- This is difficult, as our rental house is so, sooo incredibly tiny. My easel is packed away below the house. Sad face.  Get more involved with animal charity work. -- I donate money and items to our rescue foundation, but I'd like to get involved with more campaigning (I use that word loosely) against factory farming. Drink one healthy smoothie a day. -- I used to do this regularly, but lately breakfast has been hard for me to swallow. Literally. I don't really do food in the morning. In fact, this morning I got everything out to make a green smoothie but then, I decided I just couldn't bear it and put it all back away.  Visit my grandparents more. -- I need to be better at this.  Make Bailey his own food. -- Bob still gets mostly dry dog food, but I've read about people cooking up rice, sweet potatoes, and beans for their dogs. The longest living dog was vegetarian! Compost! -- We don't have one because we rent, but I'd really love to start one. I might look into the worm composting that was recommended by a reader, until we build our own house. Grow more vegetables and fruits. -- I grow my own herbs and some easy stuff like rhubarb, but once we build our house (fingers crossed for starting this spring!) I'd like to have a large food garden. Forage. --I've bought myself a few books on foraging, and there couldn't be a better place than Alaska. I can't wait for spring and summer to arrive! Phone my BFF in the states more. -- You know who you are. I am the worst with conversing on that little electronic gadget. I'm so sorry! It doesn't mean I don't love you to absolute pieces! Teensy, tiny, itty bitty pieces I tell you! Be less of a perfectionist. -- A big one is letting a certain someone wash dishes...even if he doesn't do as good of a job as me? It's a work in progress.

Produce On Parade - 25 Simple Ways to Enrich Your LifeWell, there you have it. Do you already do any of these, or did you find some that you'd like to start doing? Any that you'd like to share? I'd love to know!