Hi, friends! I hope you are having a great weekend enjoying soaking up some Vitamin D, spending extra time with friends or if you are working making some extra moohlah. Today is a short post continuing on with our Healthy Habits series!
Why Buy Organic?
To be honest, it’s tough to quantify and study the value of purchasing organic produce. The only way to know would be if you had identical twins living their whole lives in a laboratory setting, one eating organic and the other eating only conventional produce, then we could measure the outcome. However, since that’s obviously unethical, we will never really know what the real effects of pesticides are in the human body. We can only speculate associations between levels of known pesticides found in the urine or blood and specific conditions. So keep in mind that the data is always going to speculative regardless of the position of the researchers (for or against.)
With that in mind, here are the concerns of ingesting pesticides, despite the limitations in research:
- Hormone disruption, deregulation, and disturbances
- Cancers – however, it is unclear what level of exposure is necessary to increase risk. Right now research focuses on those exposed to it in the work environment not necessarily consumption via food.
- Brain and nervous system toxicity, especially in children
- Skin, eye and lung irritation
In addition, non-organic foods may be washed or processed with chemicals that may cause ill health effects in some people. For instance, I recently found out that conventional grapes are sometimes rinsed with a sulfate solution as an anti-fungal. Sulfates trigger symptoms such as asthma in some people. (I often see sulfate reactions on food sensitivity tests as well.) Tip: you may have a sulfate issue if you get gas that smells like rotten eggs after eating dried fruit or drinking wine.
Lastly, as we learned last week, excess chemicals must be broken down and detoxified from the body by the liver. I’m a firm believer that a “sluggish liver” is a real thing and can lead to many problems including weight loss resistance, lack of energy, and metabolic dysfunction. You may not think the liver is as important as your lungs or heart, but without it, you will survive just as long as you would without your heart. The liver produces bile to help you break down fat, proteins that help transport nutrients, and immune factors for resisting infection. Along with the muscles, it stores and releases glucose as needed for energy. Luckily, you don’t need a cleanse to get things running efficiently and moving. You can simply decrease the toxin load you take in, placing less stress on it and letting it “catch up with itself.”
Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) updates a list called the “Dirty Dozen” which ranks the pesticide contamination on 48 popular fruits and vegetables. The list is well known and respected by health professionals. Simply by purchasing the top 12 most contaminated produce items organic, you can drastically reduce your intake of pesticides.
Similarly, the EWG updates a list called the clean 15 which ranks the produce with the lowest pesticide contamination. So, if you don’t want to or it isn’t feasible to buy everything organic, these are the best foods to buy conventional.
Skin/No Skin Rule
If you don’t have the dirty dozen/clean 15 lists with (definitely download the app) or are in a hurry, you can go by the skin rule. If you are going to eat the skin on it, you may want to consider purchasing it organic. Foods that you don’t typically eat the skin on such as onions, avocado, pineapples, and grapefruit are more likely to be found on the clean 15 list. The rule isn’t perfect. The clean 15 list includes cauliflower which you don’t need to peel. However, in a pinch, it is an easy thing to consider (this is the rule I use most frequently when shopping for my household.)
Is Organic Worth It?
Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you, that includes your health AND your budget. If you have children, history of endocrine (hormone) issues, or cancer, I would probably urge you to prioritize buying some organic produce. However, I can’t guarantee that will be the end all be all. Remember, organic food still uses pesticides; they just use naturally derived versions. We have no evidence that those types of pesticides are any better or worse for human health overall. When it comes down to it, the most important thing is that you are actually consuming at least five servings of vegetables and fruit per day. Most professional health societies recommend 7-9 for optimal health and cancer prevention. Remember, a serving is the size of your fist!
52 Healthy Habits E-Course
Did you miss this series or wish you could repeat it? No problem! I’ve put all the posts together in an e-course that directly corresponds with the healthy habits series! By focusing on one healthy habit per week you’ll be able to master the skills needed to successfully improve your health, increase your energy, and drop those unwanted pounds. The best part is, you’ll do it while barely even realizing it. These 52 habits are the habits I review with almost every single Hungry Hobby RD client. These habits are the backbone of getting off the diet train and getting the results you wanted! What are you waiting for??????
The e-course will provide supportive information such as tips and tricks to help you ingrain each healthy habit as part of your permanent lifestyle.
Cost of the automated series is $26 dollars (just 50 cents per week) for the whole year, which helps me cover the cost of automating the emails through my server. Thanks!
( Want to really plan to succeed and save money? What To Eat? Meal Plan subscriptions also come with this E-Course as part of the subscription! They also come with a supportive facebook group and a ton more goodies, check them out!)
52 HEALTHY HABITS IN 52 WEEKS SERIES:
The 52 Healthy Habits Series is about ditching the diet mindset and making small changes to improve health overall naturally leading to a healthy body composition, increased energy and improved health. Please follow along and check out the past weeks!
- Week 52: Healthy Habits Wrap Up
- Week 51: Nightly Reflection
- Week 50: Limit Harmful Chemicals
- Week 49: Find Your Tribe
- Week 48: Cultivating Positivity
- Week 47: Healthy Thanksgiving Tips
- Week 46: Check In
- Week 45: Mobility – Foam Rolling
- Week 44: HIIT Training
- Week 43: LISS or Steady State Cardio
- Week 42: Limit Alcohol
- Week 41: Eat White, Wait What?
- Week 40: Eat Blue & Purple
- Week 39: Eat Green
- Week 38: Eat Yellow/Orange
- Week 37: Eat Red
- Week 36: Learn Which Foods to Purchase Organic
- Week 35: Read the Ingredient List!
- Week 34: Focus.
- Week 33: Chew Your Food!
- Week 32: Meditation
- Week 31: Gratitude Journaling
- Week 30: Plan & Revamp Dessert- 20 Healthy Ideas
- Week 29: Two fistfuls of veggies per meal
- Week 28: Get In Veggies At Breakfast
- Week 27: Healthy Veggie Snacks
- Week 26: Nourishing Fats for the Gut (Healthy Digestion Part 4)
- Week 25: Keeping Regular – The Other Fiber (Healthy Digestion Part 3)
- Week 24: Feed The Probiotics With Prebiotic Fiber (Healthy Digestion Part 2)
- Week 23: Amazing Health Benefits of Probiotics (Healthy Digestion Part 1)
- Week 22: Check In
- Week 21: What You Will Learn From Recording Your Meals (Intuitive Eating Series Part 4)
- Week 20: Eat Until 80% Full (Hara Hachi Bu) (Intuitive Eating Series Part 3)
- Week 19: Limit Distractions While Eating (Intuitive Eating Series Part 2)
- Week 18: Gaging Your Hunger Cues (Intuitive Eating Series Part 1)
- Week 17: 10,000 Steps Per Day
- Week 16: Assess Your Caffeine Intake
- Week 15: Decrease Sugar Intake
- Week 14: Healthy Coffee Creamers (upgrade yours)
- Week 13: 3 Month Check In
- Week 12: Sleep Enough & Sleep Better
- Week 11: Schedule Your Workouts
- Week 10: Pack A Healthy Lunch (5 Ways to Create Endless Combinations)
- Week 9: Prioritizing Protein
- Week 8: How and What to Meal Prep
- Week 7: Create & Stick To Your Healthy Meal Plan
- Week 6: Get Enough Omega-3’s (Fight Inflammation)
- Week 5: What Is A Healthy Fat & How To Get Enough (Include Healthy Fats)
- Week 4: How to Spot A Healthy Carbohydrate (Upgrade Your Carbs)
- Week 3: Tips to Increase Veggie Intake (Eat Veggies)
- Week 2: 15 Healthy On the Go Breakfast Ideas (Eat BF Challenge)
- Week 1: Tips to Drink More Water