New Year, Better You!

by Jennifer Pratt


New year, new you...right? Nah, I prefer: New year, better you!

We get to start 2019 out with a clean slate. Health isn’t just about our bodies. It’s mind, body, and soul. If one is out of balance, we’re not going to be our best selves!

Some simple ways to boost our health are:

* drink more water

* eat more veggies

* move more

* connect with others

* and get outside!

Studies show we reap many benefits by getting outside, especially if we spend time in green spaces. Being outside not only makes us happier, but it can lower stress levels, decrease inflammation in our bodies, and positively impact our focus and memory. Maybe we’ll finally start remembering where we park at the grocery store!

And did you know that digging in the dirt is actually good for us? According to a UK research study, the bacteria in soil works in a similar way to antidepressants. Plus, exposure to these bacteria might help boost our immunity.

Also, when we grow our own fruits and vegetables—or even help care for a community garden—we’re better connected to our food sources. Because we’re more conscious of what we eat, we’re more likely to maintain a healthier diet.

Gardening, it turns out, can boost our mental and physical health and positively affect our lifestyle.

One of my happy places is at the Emeril Lagasse Kitchen House & Culinary Garden. It’s pretty, I feel inspired every time I’m there, and there are some amazing people who work and volunteer there, too.


For example, our “gardener-in-chief” Brad Jones takes care of the beautiful, ever-changing garden. Right now, we have tomatoes, fennel, cabbage, spinach, kale, lettuce, peas, and carrots growing. It’s the perfect time to nurture what we have in the ground, get outside for fresh air and exercise, soak up the sun’s Vitamin D, and enjoy beauty all around!

Don’t believe me? Come check it out for yourself and perhaps transplant a seedling into the garden as we plan ahead for spring. The first Sunday of each month we have volunteer gardening from 9am-11am. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet community neighbors, connect with others, talk about healthy food choices, and learn some gardening tips and tricks along the way. Plus, rolling up your sleeves and dipping your fingers in the soil just feels good. Hope to see you there!

Author’s Bio: Jennifer Pratt is Edible Education Experience’s Health Educator.