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5 Important Components to Healthy Eating:#3 Eat Certain Fruits and Vegetables Organically

Before I begin, I would just like to mention that I had ZERO time last night to prepare any new recipes. I literally came home, stuffed a PB and J in my mouth, and then ran off to the salon to get my hair done.

I’ve decided to gradually go back to my natural (light brown) color because when I get pregnant (don’t get too excited family), WHEN I get pregnant, I don’t want to color my hair anymore. I’ve been coloring since I was 13 and after reading more about it, I’ve just decided it’s enough (for awhile at least). I know it is awful that I can give up so many other unhealthy things but when it comes to hair color? It’s a tough one. Anyone else?

Anyway, this post is NOT about that, it’s about me not having time to bring you a NEW recipe!! While I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new color (picture to come), I closed down the salon (not anticipated) and now have no recipe. *tears* Keeping positive though, I DO have a fun new hair color that I ADORE! Thank you Joyce! You were a sweetheart!

pesticides

I know what you are thinking: expensive, not worth it, same taste, no difference from non-organic, etc. Trust me. I know what you are thinking.

As a dietitian, it is essential to think of your audience before providing nutritional advice or suggesting different recipes or products. We are taught to tailor our education and sometimes our own personal beliefs, in order to meet the individual client’s needs. Currently, I work with low income families. If they even buy vegetables or fruits…I’m ecstatic. Thrilled. Beaming. I cannot stop praising them. I just think: thank GOODNESS it’s not more McDonald’s! However, this series is about MY personal beliefs. No tailoring. Just information I use myself.

I was not a big believer in organic foods until about 2 years ago. I have always known my biggest goal in life was to be a mom, so literally 2 years ago I started learning and preparing; educating myself about what would be good for baby and what wouldn’t. The more I read, the more I realized that pesticides and chemicals really are kind of scary.

With so many children developing more food allergies, reflux, developmental delays, autism, ADD, ADHD, and growing like WEEDS, I have a strong personal belief (research aside) that it probably has A LOT to do with their environment. So I thought…what can I do as a future mom? How can I prevent these problems plaguing our society in my family?

Well, for starters, I can make our environment healthier. How? By changing our terrain. We discussed the importance of protecting and keeping your terrain (body) healthy during illness but it holds true for healthy pregnancies and to prevent diseases as well! In short: we ALL need to protect our terrain, sick or not.

One of the first steps Brandon and I took to become healthier for our future was eating certain fruits and vegetables only in their organic state. While they may be slightly more expensive, I truly believe you get what you pay for. A bra from Victoria Secret will probably last you a heck of a lot longer than one from Kmart (not to bash Kmart or your Kmart bras…just saying). So perhaps shelling out a few extra dollars for certain organic fruits and veggies, we are getting more time on this earth, and giving our future or current babies a head start in protecting their terrain. I mean, they can’t do it…so we must protect it for them!

Now, before you click away and think I’m nuts, understand that I do not buy ALL organic fruits and veggies. I stick to the rules of:

organic vs non-organic

While research is inconclusive about proving adverse health effects from exposure to pesticides, I say use common sense. There has to be a reason why 1 in 3 Americans now develop cancer and 1 in 110 children develop autism. The stats are scary. What are you doing to prevent yourself from being a stat? Pregnant women and children are the most vunerable to chemicals and pesticides, so I suggest the highest compliance for those groups. In a study conducted at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, pesticides were shown to cross the placenta during pregnancy impairing fetal growth.

At the University of Washington in Seattle, preschoolers fed conventional diets were found to have six times the level of certain pesticides in their urine as those who ate organic foods. “And a 2003 report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention detected twice the level of some pesticides in the urine of children as in that of adults.”

Infants through age 12 have reproductive organs that are still developing and immune systems that are not as capable of ridding the body of contaminants. It’s very important to the development of your children to eat SOME produce that is organic.

What You Can Do!

Instead of memorizing the clean 15 and dirty dozen, try to keep this in mind: generally foods with thick skin and rinds can be non-organic because pesticides are probably discarded along with the skin according to Charles Benbrook, technical director of the nonprofit Organic Center for Education & Promotion. (source). Think: bananas, avocados, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.

watermelon

Other fruits and veggies? Not the case. Some pesticides leach in to the nooks and crannies of certain produce and it is impossible to just rinse away. That can problematic. Think of foods that have porous skin or nooks and crannies: berries, peppers, peaches, apples, lettuces, etc.

organic fruits

Now, stop rolling your eyes. I’m not some wealthy celebrity that can bathe in expensive products and eat strictly from Whole Foods. I’m just like you, trying to manage a grocery budget with everything else we need to pay for. Maybe the difference in me is that I DO value my health and the health of my family more than most other things and so if I shell out an extra $20 dollars a week in groceries, I’m okay with that. I’ll just cut back somewhere else (but not on my hair last night…that was expensive: SORRY Hunny! Love you!)

The bottom line is, I’m not asking you to be an organic nazi. Do what you can. But TRY TRY TRY to follow the clean 15 and the dirty dozen as much as possible and don’t forget the importance of eating seasonally and locally; it’s better for you, better for your kids, and wonderful for the environment!