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When I was about seven I hated carrots no one could get me to eat them. Until one day my aunt told me that they will help me to have long lashes and “beautiful eyes” needless to say i’ve been a fan ever since. It was then that I began my journey of understanding the direct benefits food has on health and beauty. I have always been physically active in sports but struggled with my weight . Therefore, I have been forced to look at my eating habits in proportion to weight. For me the exciting part is finding out how the food I put inside my body directly affects my health and beauty.
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While in college, I was so fascinated with health, and the human body that I took on several “extra” health classes for fun, I aced them all. I was hungry to learn about health, weight loss and the direct benefits on the body. I was so enthused I brought books tons of them and read them. I learned how things as simple as your diet could affect every aspect of your life from your attitude to your sleep, to how bright or dull the skin looks, connecting the dots with what I have learned from my cosmetology training I found that what you eat can and will directly affect HOW YOU LOOK!
However, I still struggled with what I should eat, and how I should eat it. Not until I picked up the book Rich Food Poor Food. As reality starts to set in as I near the end of my “Roaring Twenties” I cant help but to face the fact that I will have this body until I die and how I take care of it will be the determiner of whether I live a healthy life or a sick one.
I was compelled to write this blog because I want to share with people what I have learned and it is my hope to not only share but maybe in someway help you understand how simply changing your attitude toward food can make all the difference in your life as it did mine
The book “Rich Food Poor Food was recommended to me and now I recommend it to you. This book changed my life and it will change yours as well.
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First things first, the term “Organic” carries such a bad connotation. Alot of people protest “I WILL NOT EAT NONE OF THAT ORGANIC STUFF” without really taking the time to understand what it really is. So, I will first define it, according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary the term Organic means “Food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides”
Simply put Organic food is food that is DEVOID of all chemicals, and drugs. It is food that is grown the all natural way.
So u might ask is all food that is not organic have chemicals and drugs in it?
I am answering YES, yes it does.
Everyday we consume hundreds of chemicals without even knowing it.
Organic food vs. Artificial Food
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Conventionally Grown and Organically Grown KNOW the DIFFERENCE!
I will tell you right now, the supermarket giants the ones that are everywhere will most likely not have “Organic” fruits, veggies, snacks, meats etc. They will have Conventionally Grown products which are cheaper for them to buy, and turn a bigger profit for them to sell. So you might have to go to your local Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, MoM’s Organic Market, or Farmer’s Market (farmer’s markets is cheapest to get the good stuff).
Conventionally Grown products are fruits and vegetables which have been grown with the use of (synthetic NOT natural) pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and, fertilizers.
While in the market is see “Pesticide Washes” which help wash away the pesticides present on the surface of fruits and veggies. However, these things have been “grown” with synthetic fertilizers so it still has hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides in its makeup.
*Term To Know: GMO*
The Price Myth
It is true Organic products are more expensive than non-organic products. While I am often angered by this fact, it makes sense to me. Most quality items whether it is food, clothing, TV, phone, or a service comes with a heftier price.
However, think about it like this….
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All Organic food may not be in budget for large families with a lot of mouths to feed. But, there is a solution for this. Every year the Environmental Working Group actually goes out and does a study on which fruits and veggies have the most chemicals inside them. They have named them “The Dirty Dozen”. They also comprise a list of the fruits and veggies with the least chemicals present. They call this list “The Clean Fifteen” I have provided both below.
*Tip if you are going to buy stuff from the Dirty Dozen list, buy it in organic. Then if you want to buy stuff from the Clean Fifteen list buy in conventional. For people that don’t have a big food budget and for large families a good blog to follow for tips, and money-saving tricks is The Humbled Homemaker.
The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing the least contaminated produce.
THE DIRTY DOZEN 2013+
.Sweet Bell Peppers
THE CLEAN FIFTEEN
. Sweet Corn
. Sweet Peas – Frozen
. Sweet Potatoes
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The Wilder the Better
I have went over a lot about fruits and veggies. However, lets not forget about the meat. Think WILD! That’s right, major companies are trying to duplicate “traditional farms” with “factory farms”.
What is a Factory Farm?
“a system of rearing livestock using intensive methods, by which poultry, pigs, or cattle are confined indoors under strictly controlled conditions.”
Why would large companies do this? FOR PROFIT. They raise animals indoors pumping them with steroids, antibiotics, and feeding them GMO (genetically modified) food. This is unnatural, these animals are often mutated, sick, and weak. They are not getting appropriate food, and activity which other animals on “traditional farms” are getting and it affects their insides. What do we eat THEIR INSIDES. So, it is really important to get meat labeled…..
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animals who have been raised in their natural habitat, given food that they require produce meats that have all the nutrients that we eat meat for. Again, regular supermarkets will not have this stuff, a farmers market or health food market will.
I cannot leave out eggs, an abundant source of protein. The same goes, look for eggs from chickens that come from a Real Farm, and who have been fed a “Chicken diet”. These chickens produce the best eggs with the most nutrients. Look for…..
Photo via ThePaleoMama
How to Market
I will admit, I hate food markets. I dread going, so I make a list and try to get in and out as fast as I can. The book “Rich Food, Poor Food is superb with this technique of how to navigate a market.
First things First: The Layout
Every market is laid almost in the exact same way. All “Fresh Foods”, the things you really need are always going to be in the perimeter of the market. So Start there walk the outside of the market, like walking in a “U-shape”. Pick up your fresh fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, and bread. After you have done that, half the work is done. You have successfully gotten what your body needs most.
This is where all of the snacks, over processed foods, and unhealthy stuff is most likely going to be, so beware. In an effort to avoid harmful products, and stay away from chemicals every item you pick up look directly at the “INGREDIENTS LIST” first. Never mind the nutritional facts portion because it is an advertising tool used to emphasize key words to draw you away from what is really in it. The pictures below will show what the typical mass-produced supposedly “healthy” snack looks like.
See, I am looking at it and it says all the right things, right? But take a closer look…
Nothing, with all these ingredients can be healthy. This is a prime example of an over-processed health gimmick, filled with genetically modified ingredients (GMO), and harmful un-natural products which will actually rob your body of the nutrients it needs.
Here is a tip, stick to buying products with stuff on the ingredients list you can pronounce (butter, sugar, etc). Leave that alien food alone, and stick to what you can recognize. If you are looking for an all organic (I hope you are) snack, with all natural ingredients look for these labels. These labels are certifiable by the FDA to be tested and proven to be safe.
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It is my hope that you now have a better understanding of the phrase “organic”.
It is a lifestyle, not a diet. I hope you all begin to fall in love with real food as I have, It is a journey of learning, and re-learning that is enlightening and empowering. YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR BODY and your life.