Recipe for a Super Saturday

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Often times Saturday mornings are spent facilitating clients’ breakthroughs, celebrating successes, and giving hugs or high-fives.

What is an alternate plan for a dietitian on sunny Saturday? Join us and we’ll walk you though:

Waking up naturally and refreshed, without an alarm. Ahh.

Hot tea or water with lemon (or organic apple cider vinegar tonic) on the porch.

Doing something nice for someone else. Whether writing out birthday cards, a letter, or making a homemade gift to give someone, this is relaxing way to start the day.

It’s almost time for the farmers market! Good thing we prepared our delicious skillet the day before.

Drive or bike to the local market. Getting our ‘glow’ on 🙂

Meeting those friendly, mostly organic farmers and ranchers, while learning about food and buying the freshest ingredients. Our purchases: swisschard, bee pollen, calendula flowers, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, micro-greens, shiitake mushrooms, senposai greens (a new food adventure!), and the sweetest, juiciest strawberries!

Seeking some shade and peaceful surroundings, we found a park full of blooming flowers and brought those strawberries to snack on. Finding a comfortable bench we enjoyed the scenery – the trees, flowers, the parents and children, the photography of a just-married couple. We alternated this sensory experience with awareness of the strawberry with each bite into the juicy, seeded skin.

If it were possible to get completely inebriated from drinking in the scents pumped out by the flowers in the area, we would have been unfit for operating a motor vehicle.

We found, and continue to find, this experience transformative. The peace and ease of a morning waking up and enjoying some solitude while later connecting with farmers and food as well as friends and community, fills the spirit and the belly.

Whether the rest of the day holds a barbecue, bike ride, festival, gardening, reading a book, or hosting a pool party, it will be done with a sense of having been replenished.

Will you give it a try this Saturday?

 

 

The Truth about Organic Foods – Part II

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Today we’ll be following up on our radio show and the previous blog on the topic of “The Truth about Organic Foods” with a focus on creating some action steps. 

Q: This is an overwhelming topic for many people. Where do you start if you just want to reduce unhealthy levels of toxins in your diet?

Being mindful is key. Start by observing (or write a list!) of all the ingredients you are consuming through food or absorbing through your skin. After a day of various meals and skincare products, you’ll have quite a few suspicious ingredients you may want to research and then remove.

Q: Should we grow our own fruits and vegetables when possible?

Most definitely! It’s cheaper, hyper-local, and helps people connect to their food more. Do it if you enjoy gardening and use or have good, healthy soil.

Q: What are some other tips for eating healthy on a budget?

Let’s first say that while pesticides aren’t good for anyone, if you’re a woman of childbearing age or have young children, taking steps to reduce your exposure is especially important. Ideally, all of the food you and your family eat would be organic, but not everyone has access to a wide variety of organic produce nor the funds. A way to save some money and still lower your risk is to focus on purchasing certain organic food, while “settling” for other items that are conventionally grown.

Animal products, like meat, butter, milk, and eggs, are actually the most important to buy organic, since animal products tend to accumulate toxins in their tissues (particularly their fat) from the pesticide-laden feed. This can cause the toxins to be in far higher concentrations than are typically present in ‘conventional’ vegetables. For those on a budget, choose organic animal foods first and then think of produce.

Speaking of produce, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 to see which foods are worth the extra dimes. Here are some other tips:

  • Eat seasonally and shop sales at the supermarket.
  • Consider buying in bulk. This is the only way we get out of Whole Foods, aka Whole Paycheck, with our retirement account still intact.
  • Eat actual whole food, buy less processed items. Standard carrots are typically less expensive than baby carrots and organic oatmeal is generally cheaper than organic oat cereal.
  • Consider it an investment in your future. Re-arrange your priorities – you may not need a new purse or an expensive car or clothes. Quality food is worth valuing and placing a higher priority on.

While conventionally grown foods may have a cheaper price-tag but it doesn’t show the TRUE COST of the product when it comes to our soil and water quality as well as our future health-care costs. Short-term, sure you save some money, but your’e potentially losing the long-term game here.

Q: What other resources can you share to help listeners make this easier?

To learn more about organic standards and more, check out National Agricultural Library of the USDA

Grab some non-GMO popcorn and settle in for a documentary! GMO OMG has been hanging out on Netflix and is an easier watch; Genetic Roulette has more scientific information.

Consider meeting your farmer to ensure the produce is grown, or animals raised, without pesticides and GMOs. Check out this national listing of farmers’ markets or Local Harvest.

Eat Well Guide – for a directory of restaurants, farms, CSAs and more.

Q: Any other thoughts to share?

Read food labels carefully. Remember that just because a food item is labeled as organic or including organic ingredients, it’s not necessarily healthy…organic creme-filled cookies are NOT a health food.

Washing fresh fruits and vegetables not only helps remove dirt and bacteria, but it can also reduce pesticide residues, though not all pesticide residues can be removed by washing. Remember that you can’t wash off glyphosate (it gets into every cell of the plant) nor can you wash off GENETIC Modification.

The maxim “ you are what you eat” encourages us to consider the impact that organic and GMO foods can have on our long-term health. Choose carefully- what you put in your mouth ultimately becomes your cells, tissues, and organs.

If you want a different health outcome, change your food. Everything else has a smaller effect. There’s a medical treatment for a bad diet but there’s no cure. Tweet this.

Overall, we want encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables, regardless of how they are produced. A GMO vegetable is still considered better than a processed, nutrient-poor food like Cheetos.