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Mother Earth, like many people, would benefit from a diet that’s lower in fat

By Aaron Leitko,

food

Hold the burger

Eating Well, October

One more way to soften your carbon footprint: Eat more healthfully. According to Eating Well magazine, leaving meat and cheese off the menu isn’t just good for your body; it’s good for the planet, too. The October issue includes a chart comparing the environmental impact of consuming various protein sources to the impact of driving an average car. And the fattier the food, the worse for Mother Earth. Considering the resources used to raise, slaughter and transport a cow, a four-ounce serving of beef is equivalent to a little less than seven miles of driving. Mutton is worse, using 50 percent more resources per serving. Meanwhile, tofu and beans cost only half a mile per quarter-pound consumed.

sleep

Lie down in darkness

Men’s Health, October

Every night your body uses melatonin, a naturally occurring compound, to ease you into a restful slumber — except when your lifestyle throws your system out of whack. The October issue of Men’s Health offers some tips for keeping the biological sandman on schedule. For starters, know when to turn the lights on and when to turn them off. According to a 2011 Harvard University study, sitting in a poorly lit office all day can suppress melatonin release that evening — so keep your waking hours brightly illuminated. Conversely, looking at lights in the evening tells your body that it’s still daytime, even if it’s just the glow of an iPad screen. “Even short intervals of light at night immediately depress melatonin,” explains Russell Reiter, a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, who was consulted for the article. Also, treat nighttime aches and pains with acetaminophen instead of aspirin or ibuprofen. According to Reiter, they freeze up the part of your nervous system that starts the melatonin flowing.

— Aaron Leitko

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