Organic food is important, and more than a “nice-to-have” marketing feature.
Firstly, organic foods are often more nutritious: meta-analyses and reviews in the scientific literature show organic produce generally has 20-40% more phytonutrients, than conventional fruits and vegetables (though vitamins and minerals levels are similar).
Second, it’s safer: the more organic food is grown and eaten, the fewer toxins we directly ingest, like glyphosate and Roundup (banned in many other countries, but not the US). Recent studies show up to 25% lower incidence of cancers for frequent organic produce eaters, and rapid reductions in pesticide levels in our bodies after less than a week of eating only organic food.
Third, it’s more just: food is never only about us consumers, but always involves many other participants:
Farm workers: Those heavily exposed to pesticides have measurable genetic and immunological damage and shorter life expectancy.
Farmers: Smaller-scale organic farmers have been bravely fending off massive corporate interests like Monsanto for years.
Wildlife: The alarming worldwide drop in insect and bird populations is likely tied to decades of pesticide usage.
Ecosystems: While organic marketers typically highlight greater safety and nutrition of organic food, the important longer-term ecological benefit is healthier soil — the most important of all-natural resources.
We know that the organic standards of the US and Europe are not perfect, and could use many improvements. But they are nevertheless important steps towards truly sustainable food systems, and thus worth supporting. We need to put our money where our mouths are! Buying organic sends an important message. When we are willing to invest in the food we put into our bodies, industry may pay attention…money speaks.
Not sure what organic foods to choose? Check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) for their annual Dirty Dozen list of foods highest in pesticides. A general rule of thumb is that if you are eating the entire item (like berries), choose organic as often as possible.
Something new that may concern you…it does me…is the latest effort to alter food to make it last longer. It's call Apeel and it is an engineered coating that is used on avocados, citrus and other fruits to make them last twice as long. It is marketed as safe and made from plant materials….AND, it is still a chemical addition to food. Safety is controversial. Once again, Europe has tighter regulation than the US (and much or the rest of the world). Europe is allowing this product on only 8 fruits. The US and the rest of the world has no restriction! This is worrisome to me. We don't know the long term effects of this product and yet it can be used in an unlimited way. So you decide, is this something you want to allow into your body (and the bodies of your precious children)? Watch for the label…image below.
Excerpts from Leafside.com
The Judge Saboteur
Our inner critic…the judge is our worst enemy. We all have one. Many of us may not even know it but it's there. It's that voice in our head that can get in our way in so many ways! Our judge impacts our well-being, our success, and our happiness more than just about anything else.
Our judge sabotages us by feeding us negative thoughts and lies that keep us in our ‘safe’ zone. Our judge can leave us feeling bad about ourselves, can make us feel guilty and can lie to us in a way that we believe the lies even when we know better. Some examples of this may be things like…you're not good enough, you don't know enough, you are too weak, you will fail, etc. These negative thoughts can pop up when we least expect them. Maybe we are given a compliment…someone really appreciated something we did for them. Our judge can sabotage the good feelings that can go along with the compliment but judging the person who gave it…well, what does he know? He's not too smart anyways…We not only judge ourselves but we judge others in a big way. We judge the way they dress, who they associate with, what they eat, the size of their body…the list goes on and on and on and on.
It's human nature, unfortunately, to judge ourselves, others and even circumstances and situations. We become trained to judge all of these scenarios early in life. Likely unintentionally but it happens. We learn to judge ourselves when people say mean things to us…sometimes we take it to heart and carry it with us well into adulthood.
Is there a way to weaken the impact of our judge? There is…we need to retrain our thought processes, rewire our brains. One of the first steps to to increase the awareness around our judge. After that we can begin to shift from the negativity to a more positive view.
The judge is in all of us. Some people have trained themselves to lessen it's impact on their mental well-being through a program offered by Positive Intelligence. You can learn more about this program at their website. The PQ (Positive intelligence quotient) assessment is available online. Do the assessment to learn how strong your judge is and what it's accomplice saboteurs are.
I am happy to be preparing my first PQ Coaching program. I will be bringing 4-5 people into the group for the 6-8 week program to improve mental fitness and increase our happiness and contentment quotient. Let me know if you are interested in learning more about the program and what it can do for you! More info to follow so stay tuned.
Dance It Out!
Remember Friends… how they used to dance it out? When something wasn't going right or one of the friends was upset, they would dance til they felt better. Ever tried this? It works!! Try dancing while being upset or sad… before too long you feel your mood improving and your cares falling away.
According to a 2008 study in the American Journal of Health Education, dancing has been found to increase life satisfaction. It is an outlet for emotional expression, stress relief and creativity that benefits us during stressful situations by channeling our energy positively and releasing endorphins that raise our mood. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and they also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Endorphins are the happy hormone. They can make us calm, happy and optimistic. Dancing also is associated with reduced depression and anxiety, increased self-esteem and confidence, and it can improve our cognitive ability. It can make our brains work better.
Not only is dancing great for our mental health, but it can improve our physical health, as well. Dancing in general increases muscle tone and strength, It improves flexibility and range of motion (if you have the right moves). Dance can also increase our core strength (which is super important for overall health) and can help with balance, coordination, and posture. Because of this, it also can reduce back pain!
The best part is you don't have to go to a club or out to a dance party. You can create your own dance party, at home! Maybe you dance around the island in your kitchen or put on some fun music and get your kids to join in. If you're feeling feisty, you can grab your hubby and dance around the bedroom.
You don't have to have a partner, you can dance on your own. No special equipment needed, no fancy shoes or flooring. Just dance. You may find that it lightens your mood while toning your body. Win-win.
Every individual has a unique tongue print - Like fingerprints, your tongue print can be used to identify you.
2 large unpeeled apples, such as Honeycrisp, Jazz, Pink Lady, or Gala, cored
¼ cup date sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 200°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a mandoline or serrated knife, cut apples crosswise into ⅛-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. In a small bowl stir together sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle apples with half of the sugar mixture and, if desired, brush with a pastry brush to cover evenly. Turn apples and repeat with the remaining sugar mixture.
Bake 2 to 2½ hours or until crisp, turning apples and rotating pans every 30 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.
Recipe from Forks Over Knives
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My Favorite Quotes
The primary reason diseases tend to run in families may be that diets tend to run in families.
-Dr Michael Greger
The content in this newsletter is intended for educational/informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care professional.