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Top 5 Tips to Reduce Exposure to Harmful Pesticides

 

Too often it seems that the easier, more beautiful or more delicious something is, the more dangerous it is for you.

 

Such is the unfortunate case with many of the shiny, colorful fruits and vegetables we choose at the grocery store in an effort to eat healthy – they are riddled with pesticides to prolong shelf life and keep insects from ruining their appearance. While no one wants to bite into an apple and eat half of a worm with it, nor find a six-legged family living in their head of lettuce, the side effects of heavy pesticide exposure are even more serious.

 

According to livestrong.com, these toxic chemicals can cause learning disabilities, negatively affect the nervous system, weaken the immune system and may even be linked to breast cancer. Fortunately there are a few simple steps you can take to greatly reduce your exposure to pesticides and therefore decrease your risk of suffering from negative side effects.

 

1. Buy Organic

Some fruits and vegetables already have very low pesticide content and are safe to buy in the normal produce section, such as those included in the Clean 15. But many staples in our diets are members of the Dirty Dozen, the twelve types of produce with the highest pesticide content, and should only be eaten in organic form to reduce pesticide ingestion.

 

2. Grow Your Own

If buying organic seems difficult and expensive, why not cultivate your own produce? Not only does gardening provide a fun hobby and even exercise, it assures you that there are no pesticides in your food because you grew it yourself.  TLC has a great list of 66 different fruits and veggies you can grow at, or even in, your own home.

 

3. Eliminate Pests Without Using Pesticide

Chemicals are a convenient way to keep unwanted guests out of your home and garden and food, but you may be sacrificing your health in using them. Taking natural measures to keep your home clean and bug-free, such as following this helpful guide from grist.org, will help keep your home free of pests and pesticides.

 

4. Detoxify Your Diet

In addition to avoiding pesticides in your diet and your methods of pest control, you can counteract pesticides you may unknowingly ingest by eating foods that act as natural detoxifiers. Make sure you still purchase these items organic if they are part of the Dirty Dozen.

 

5. No Shoes In the House

Incorporating all of these safety measures into your lifestyle will greatly reduce your risk of exposure to harmful pesticides, but you can only control so much. You may not use pesticides and harmful chemicals on your lawn and garden, but anywhere else you go you can’t be sure what you’re stepping in.  Having a no-shoe rule in the house keeps toxic chemicals from being tracked in to your home and cultivates a cleaner, safer living space. This is especially important if you have small children or pets that crawl on (or eat things off of) the floor.

 

Author:  Emily Johnson

 

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WHAT IS A CARB, AGAIN?

 

Due to all the “carb jargon” it is really difficult to place a value on unhealthy versus healthy carbs in today’s food choices.

 

It is probably the most common question we hear in nutrition. Due to all the “carb jargon” it is really difficult to place a value on unhealthy versus healthy carbs in today’s food choices. It’s confusing because we always hear good carbs versus bad carbs - yadda yadda . . . cha, cha, cha! So let’s break it down, starting with what a Healthy Carb is:

 

GOOD CARB = Carb-ilicious (4 calories per gram) Carbs provide ENERGY required to build new muscle and to workout while keeping your body systems running. Carbs also assist in protein transportation to the muscles. Your body needs Healthy Carbs:
 
  • Complex Carbs = Natural Whole Grains, Pastas, Breads, Potatoes (Limited shelf life)
  • Simple Carbs = Natural Fruits (Limited Shelf Life)
  • Fibrous Carbs = Natural Vegetables (Limited Shelf Life)
Simple Carbs provide healthy natural sugars which the body can regulate over time to provide a steady flow of sugar in the system versus the sugar high/slump we experience with refined, processed sugars. Carb-iliciousness has a shelf life because it is ALIVE and alive foods get processed easier in the body because the body wants to feed the ALIVE mass, not storage units.

 

BAD CARB = Vicious (EMPTY CALORIES) Your body can’t utilize = Fat Storage. It feels like these should be called Carb-ilicious because they taste so good, but in reality they are Vicious because they are loaded with extras/emptiness for storage!

 

  • Complex Carbs = HIGHLY processed/refined grains, pastas, breads, potatoes, ANY manufactured, highly processed crackers, snacks, bakery goods, boxed dinners, frozen dinners, most boxed cereals (highly refined, highly manufactured and are full of saturated fats and sugar) Almost anything carb with a long shelf life = highly processed. If it can sit on the shelf for a long time – it can sit in your body for a long time too.
  • Simple Carbs = Canned Fruits, Canned Jam, Jelly, Highly processed Fruit “Products”
  • Fibrous Carbs = Canned Vegetables, Vegetable Sauces/Mixes/Dressings, Highly processed Vegetable “Products”
What do Unhealthy Carbs have in common?  EXTRA SUGAR +/or EXTRA FAT = Empty Calories. The goal is to limit our added sugars.  For women, this means no more than 100 calories per day of added sugars (6 teaspoons) and for men no more than 150 calories per day (9 teaspoons).  For example, a 12-ounce can of regular soda has 8 to10 teaspoons of added sugar and a serving of a standard breakfast cereal has about 4 teaspoons. What happens when we eat unhealthy carbs?  Our bodies store them as fat! Our bodies are machines and we can’t trick them! It takes a lot of energy and effort to pull those EMPTY(Vicious) calories back out of storage and burn them off.

 

When we don’t get enough HEALTHY(Carb-ilicious) carbs, our bodies will tire quickly and will eventually look to muscle tissue for energy. We could begin to eat our muscle mass (or eat our workouts back on). The key is to replace Vicious carbs with Carb-ilicious ones! To have live, healthy bodies we have to feed them live, healthy foods.
Power Thought: “If you’ve been addressing the problem and it’s not working, then address the solution!” ~ Sherry Derossett CNC.CPT

 

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3 Addictive Ingredients found in Processed Foods

 

We know that fueling our body with the most nourishing food will keep our energy high, our weight at the optimal level, our sleep invigorating, and immune system fighting. So why do we eat so many processed foods with minimal nutritional value and empty calories? Some of the reasons are related to our hectic, stressed lifestyles and the availability of processed and fast foods.

The food industry has been very accommodating to our demands to make our life easier by producing quick, convenient meals and snacks for the on-the-go families and career singles. Walk into any grocery store and the aisles are filled with pop-in-the-microwave, eat-right-out-of-the-package processed meals. Single serve soups, snacks and frozen meals are so abundant that you could easily fill your cart for the entire week with processed food that requires virtually no cooking and is ready in just a few minutes. What’s wrong with that?

 

Take a close look at the ingredient labels of those processed foods. The amount of sugar (remember there are many different forms of sugar), fat and salt in processed foods is high. Add a couple of fast food meals to that and not only is the calorie count most likely too high, but the sugar, fat and salt amounts most certainly exceed what your body needs.

 

Those three ingredients- sugar, fat and salt, are known trigger substances. When those 3 are combined into foods like donuts, French fries, etc., they keep you coming back for more and more. If I asked you all to make a list of your trigger foods, I would not see oranges or broccoli or chicken or tomatoes or any whole food on your list. It most definitely would be a food containing one or more of the “big 3” that are so plentiful in processed foods.

 

To take care of your body and keep it in prime condition and more importantly to feel at your best, you do not have to give up everything that contains sugar, fat and salt. There are no good or bad foods. There are just those that nourish your body and fuel it… and remember, that’s our #1 priority, and those that may taste good, add calories, but do little to nourish your body. Live by the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time, be sure to eat healthy, whole foods and 20% of the time, eat those convenient foods. Your body will thank you…

 

 

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Soda’s Evil Twin: The Dangers of Fruit Drinks [Infographic]

 

Fruit Drinks Vs. Soda:  Beverage makers cloak “Fruit Drinks” as the healthy alternative to soda.   “Big Beverage” which  includes Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper spend millions to deliberately target children with their sugar laced fruit cocktails.

 

This graphic shows a side by side comparison between fruit juice and other sugary drinks as well as the numbers and business behind the “Fruit Drink” masquerade.
Soda's Evil TwinCreated by: Health Science