Apple

Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiles a list of fruits and vegetables and ranks them from most to least-contaminated by pesticides. Their mission is to make food supply more transparent in order to help you decide when it’s worth spending extra for organic produce.

For the fifth year in a row, apples have topped the “dirty” list, because of the chemicals applied to the crop before and after harvest to preserve them.

Here are the “Dirty Dozen” – the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables:

  1. Apples
  2. Peaches
  3. Nectarines
  4. Strawberries
  5. Grapes
  6. Celery
  7. Spinach
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

ALWAYS buy organic when you purchase any of the above items. By doing so, you’ll lower your exposure to pesticides by 90 percent.

 

 

6 healthy weekend habits

 

Don’t undo all the hard work you’ve done this week! Here are some habits to keep you on track.

 

regret eating healthy

Eating clean is simply an amazing way to live your life. But how do you begin? Here are 6 things you can do today to start eating clean:

1. Start making your own salad dressing. There are way too many yucky ingredients in prepared salad dressings, including high fructose corn syrup. Here’s a delicious recipe for easy vinaigrette dressing that I make all the time.

2. Stop drinking sodas and diet sodas and start drinking water and herbal tea.

3.  Avoid modern vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil.  Instead use coconut oil (read about the awesome benefits of coconut oil here) and extra virgin olive oil.

4. Cook your own meals instead of eating fast food. Not sure how to start preparing healthy, clean meals for yourself and your family? Here are some awesome menu plans to get you started!

5. Replace food you eat from a box or a bag with fruits and fresh vegetables. Remember, if it was made in a factory you probably shouldn’t be eating it. If it came from nature then that’s what you should be eating.

6. If you eat beef, it’s best to consume grass fed beef instead of conventional beef. Read here why this can greatly impact your health.

 

food label

Ever wonder what all those labels on the packages of meat really mean? Here’s how to know what you are actually getting when you purchase beef:

  • Feed allowed – Grass is the best feed for cattle! Most cattle spend time in a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) where they are fattened up with corn and other grains. This causes all kinds of health problems and changes the nutrients in the meat.
  • Access to Pasture – Even if cattle never leave their stalls, the label can still claim that it has access to pasture. You need to find out exactly what “access to pasture” means.
  • Antibiotics – Cattle in CAFOs are fed a continuous diet of antibiotics which contributes to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • Growth Hormones – Most cattle in the US receive growth hormones
  • Animal Welfare – Some labels can be quite vague regarding animal welfare.

Certification labels analyzed are:

  • USDA Certified Organic -This means 100% organic; antibiotics given only to sick animals; growth hormones prohibited
  • USDA Certified Grassfed – If an animal consumes something other than grass it must be documented but it can still have this label; antibiotics are allowed; growth hormones allowed; access to pasture not defined
  • American Grassfed Association – Grass only; animals spend majority of time on pasture; antibiotics only given to sick animals; no growth hormones allowed
  • Certified Humane Raised and Handled – Grass, corn and grain are allowed; access to pasture not required; growth hormones prohibited; antibiotics given to sick animals only
  • Food Alliance Certified – Grass, corn and grain allowed; access to pasture required; animals spend the majority of their lives on pasture; antibiotics given to sick animals only; growth hormones prohibited; animal welfare requirements very specific concerning health, shelter and handling
  • Animal Welfare Approved – Grass, corn and grain allowed; access to pasture required; animals spend the majority of their lives on pasture; antibiotics given to sick animals only; no growth hormones allowed; animal welfare requirements very specific regarding health, shelter and handling of animals

 

 

 
Clean Eating Meatballs
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6
  • Calories: 170
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Protein: 30 g

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

This recipe is not only tasty but it’s really versatile. Use them is spaghetti or enjoy them in a pita for lunch. Kids love this too!
Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs. lean ground turkey or chicken
  • ½ c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. oat bran
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix egg and oat bran in a large bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  5. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until golden.
  6. Makes 12-16 meatballs.