As a primary care physician assistant, I think a lot about sustainability with behavior change. Many of my patients have diabetes or high blood pressure, and I always aim to craft conversations to meet patients where they’re at, rather than pushing my own agenda.
This post is sponsored by ALDI.
When first beginning work, I would spend a lot of time trying to ‘fix’ every problem for my patients. Not only was that mindset entirely unhelpful for patients (and weirdly paternalistic), but also led to a lot of my own burnout.
Now, I’m focused on sustainable and realistic recommendations for my patients and carving out time for myself to avoid burn out. This way, I still have the bandwidth and cognitive resources to extend care to myself, my patients, the broader community, and the planet.
Today, I’m doing so in partnership with ALDI. ALDI is committed to providing affordable, sustainable food options to shoppers. They boast high-quality products at affordable prices. They even have a Certified Fair Trade™ selection, most notably with their cocoa and coffee product lines.
Here are a few of my own daily sustainability practices that help me achieve this intention:
- Meal prepping
- This has been a practice honed over many years. It helps enhance more time for myself when I get home from work (rather than planning out a meal, cooking, and cleaning up). It also saves money and utilizing plastic/resources from restaurants, as it prevents me from needing to eat out during the week. By doing just a few hours of batch cooking on the weekends, my week (and wallet) run much smoother! I love doing my shopping at ALDI; they’re a leader in providing better-for-you choices for feel-good shopping and living. In fact, they’re the first grocery store to offer all ALDI-exclusive products free of certified synthetic colors and partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs).
- Buying only what you need
- I diligently plan which recipes I plan to make every week to help prevent food waste. This process is made so much easier with ALDI. ALDI sells just what you need. Say goodbye to the days of 20 different types of peanut butter — ALDI carries only the best options at the best prices. Saving time in the grocery store means more time to do the things that bring me back to my own baseline, like yoga, long walks, taking a dance class, and reading a new book.
- Finding small ways to take care
- During busy seasons, I make sure to carve out a little extra time for me. This doesn’t have to mean an expensive and time-consuming activity. It can be as simple as staying in bed for an extra half hour on the weekends with a book. I love doing so with ALDI Barissmo Fair Trade ground coffee and Fair Trade Moser Roth truffles.
- ALDI deeply cares about the impact it makes on our world. ALDI takes pride in its commitments to sustainability and responsible sourcing. ALDI has made significant strides to increase their Fair Drive awareness of the Fair Trade Certified product selection. They’re committed to increasing the number of certified cocoa and coffee products available in stores. You can find Fair Trade coffee as part of their everyday offerings and more than 100 certified cocoa products throughout stores.
- Walking and taking public transportation more if you live in the city
- This is location dependent, of course, but utilizing legs, bikes, or public transportation can be such a powerful sustainability shift! Not only does it allow you to mindfully take in your surroundings, but it reduces carbon emissions. It may not seem like much, but don’t underestimate the power of small changes over time!
- Taking breaks!
- After a very high stress year, I’ve prioritized the power of slowing down and taking breaks. The only way to have the energy for others and the planet is to conserve your own energy first!