I’ve never been a fan of weight-loss supplementation. I don’t know if my body just reacts to medications differently but whenever I’ve tried the latest magic pill I have felt awful.
I honestly believe that any time we attempt to skip the natural order of things – whether our intention is to get rich quick or lose weight fast – we’re setting ourselves up for trouble. In the case of weight-loss supplements, that trouble can be things like liver failure, muscle breakdown, and kidney problems -some supplements can also exacerbate existing health issues like high blood pressure or heart disease.
According to this article in the San Diego Tribune “None of these products has been adequately studied, and any or all might be harmful”… they “are promoted as safe and effective, but they are rarely either … they are almost universally ineffective.”
The very best way look and feel our best is to take care of ourselves. Eat real food, drink plenty of water, practice moderation and move more. So instead of reaching for a pill bottle – do a Minute Movement – you can do anything for a minute!
Make Your Minutes Matter!
A great place to find organic – and AWESOME – produce is your local farmer’s market. Besides the fantastic and seasonal food; farmers markets are a great place to meet local farmers, experience live entertainment, and people watch (if you’re into that kind of thing). A bonus of farmers marketing is that you’re more likely to find organic produce – but it’s still a good idea to check with the vendor at each booth to make sure that’s what you’re getting.
You can search for the farmers markets nearest you on the USDA Farmers Market Directory website where you will also find important information about vendor types and payment options. Check it out today and take the family on a little adventure this weekend!
Make Your Minutes Matter!
I have a friend who said she stopped gardening when she found a big bug hiding in some lettuce she’d grown. I thought it was funny since fruits and vegetables are good for you and since they grow outside it makes sense that there would be bugs, bacteria, parasites, or other nasty things from something that flew over or lived around the garden. If you bought your produce from a conventional grocery store it’s also quite likely that it could be covered with germs from every other person who’s touched it and of course there’s pesticides and other chemicals to think about!
So. Should you just stop eating your fruits and vegetables altogether?
Absolutely not! You just need to find a good way to get those babies clean.
Since this is a subject that we’ve been thinking a lot about lately I thought I’d do a little research and share what I found with you.
First of all. You should only clean produce with things that are edible themselves. Don’t ever use dish soap or bleach. Secondly, always rinse your produce after cleaning. Drying firm items with a paper towel can remove additional bacteria as well. You can use a little scrub brush for firmer produce. And don’t assume that you can skip the washing for items that you plan to peel. You should absolutely still clean cantaloupe, avocado, carrots, and the like – the very act of cutting or peeling can transfer chemicals and grime onto your food!
Every recipe I found calls for clean water and some form of vinegar (I prefer apple cider vinegar). I’ve seen so many different formulas but it looks like 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar might be best. You could also add a tablespoon of baking soda and the juice of half a lemon if you like.
Your produce cleaner can be mixed together and poured into a dedicated spray bottle or mixed right into a clean bowl or sink for larger (or leafy) batches where it can soak for a few minutes (be sure to swish them around too). After rinsing, produce can be saved for about two days so don’t go and clean a week’s worth of groceries in one setting.
Here’s the ‘Clean Fifteen’ list that I promised yesterday. These list includes the produce with the least amount of pesticides that are safe to buy conventionally. They are:
sweet peas (frozen)
Be sure to check out the apple and android app stores for EWG’s Dirty Dozen app so you can always have these lists handy, or make a donation and get their ‘bag tag’ to take with you.
This morning I picked fresh strawberries and used them on the salad we had for lunch, they were delicious.
I planted the strawberries partly because they were on the dirty dozen list a couple of years ago. The Dirty Dozen list is part of an yearly manual released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) showing which fruits and vegetables have the most – and the fewest – pesticides. This list helps us, the consumers determine which produce is worth the extra cost to buy organic when it’s not possible to buy organic EVERYTHING.
So I thought I should share the dirty dozen list (which is really 14 foods) with you today. They are:
sweet bell peppers
snap peas (imported)
kale / collards
Pretty much everything I love to eat!
Keep this list in mind when you do your grocery shopping and try to buy organic varieties whenever you can.
Tomorrow I’ll share the clean 15.
Oh. My. Gosh.
Coach Wright wears many hats around here and one of his newer titles is Chef –which I have to admit, he’s getting pretty good at. Last night Aaron made chicken breast, rice, salad and steamed broccoli – a very healthy meal that blew our past efforts out of the water. That’s because he researched the best way to bake chicken breast – and apparently 350* for 30 minutes is not it.
The secret to perfectly cooked chicken breast is to bake for a short time at a high temperature. The chicken was crispy on the outside, fabulously moist on the inside, and perfectly seasoned. Check out the recipe here.
You’re welcome 🙂