Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Today we’ll try to understand the Dirty Dozen. The Environmental Working Group, or the EWG, recently released their Annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. This includes the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen, which includes lists of fruits and vegetables that contain the least and the most pesticides. Some conventionally grown foods are treated with more pesticides than others, and some of these crops absorb and retain those chemicals more than others. There are root crops such as potatoes, parsnips, beets and carrots that soak up pesticides, fertilizers, and other soil impurities via water absorption. If your main goal is healthy eating, choose organic varieties of the “Dirty Dozen” those foods most likely to be heavily contaminated.
EWG aims to support and help the local agriculture and farms, and these lists help identify a wide array of fruits and vegetables that are better and healthier when grown locally and organically. If you want to avoid pesticide-contaminated foods, the best thing to do is to choose organic vegetable and fruit options. According to the senior analyst of EWG, many consumers use the Shopper’s Guide to select their organic vegetables and fruits and find easy, affordable ways to avoid toxic chemicals.
The Clean Fifteen list is more focused on conventionally grown crops with the least amount of pesticide residue. It gives consumers a safer option when choosing non-organic vegetables and fruits. Consumers who usually shop at the farmers market should talk with their farmers about pesticide use on their crops. Since organic certification is an expensive procedure, more and more non-organic growers are using organic methods.
The Dirty Dozen
- Kale, collard, and mustard greens
- Bell and Hot Peppers
The Clean Fifteen
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Honeydew melon
As a disclaimer, this is not to say that the Clean Fifteen have zero pesticides and are as nutritious as their organic counterparts. But, they have been found to contain far fewer toxins when grown conventionally than the foods listed in the Dirty Dozen. Always bear in mind that both conventional and organic foods must be washed thoroughly before eating. Sticking to these lists can help ensure you are doing your part to limit the number of toxins you and your family are exposed to.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
If you’re like most people, you might think that dietary supplements are a quick and easy way to lose weight. But the truth is, there’s no magic pill when it comes to weight loss. Supplements can help you lose weight by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, but they won’t work unless you make lifestyle changes as well.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my Body Composition/Weight Loss Protocol may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Weight Loss Supplements to use! This Body Composition/Weight Loss Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you lose weight, naturally.
For best results make sure you use my weight loss supplements with dietary changes (whole food plant-based diet), regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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