• FitBody
  • What Pesticides Are on Your Food?

    bowl of fruit

    Organic food has become very popular.

    Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as “organic.”  – Organic.Com


    dirty dozen clean fiveteen

    Some studies show that organic foods have more beneficial nutrients. Health Guide list a variety of benefits of choosing organic foods.

    • Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. These chemicals are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat.
    • Organic food is often fresher. Fresh food tastes better. Organic food is usually fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic produce is often (but not always, so watch where it is from) produced on smaller farms near where it is sold.
    • Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and small animals as well as people who live close to or work on farms.
    • Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. The use of antibiotics in conventional meat production helps create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. This means that when someone gets sick from these strains they will be less responsive to antibiotic treatment. Not feeding animal byproducts to other animals reduces the risk of mad cow disease (BSE). In addition, the animals are given more space to move around and access to the outdoors, both of which help to keep the animals healthy.
    • Organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients. Results of a 2016 European study show that levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, were up to 50 percent higher in organic meat and milk than in conventionally raised versions. This may be because organic milk and beef come from cattle that graze on a natural diet of grass, while conventional meat and milk usually comes from animals fed with grain.
    • Organic food is GMO-free. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants or animals whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding, most commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide. In most countries, organic crops contain no GMOs and organic meat comes from animals raised on organic, GMO-free feed.
    • Organic food may decrease certain food allergies. People with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods.

    dirty dozen list

    Concerned about pesticides in your food? The non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) lists a “dirty dozen” of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide load so that consumers know to look for organic varieties of them when possible.  The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™helps you avoid the Dirty Dozen the foods you can choose non-organic items – The Clean Fifteen List. Take a look at the list below of the foods that have the most pesticides.

    1. Strawberries
    2. Apples
    3. Nectarines
    4. Peaches
    5. Celery
    6. Grapes
    7. Cherries
    8. Spinach
    9. Tomatoes
    10. Sweet bell peppers
    11. Cherry tomatoes
    12. Cucumbers
    13. Hot Peppers
    14. Kale / Collard greens

    Get the full list

    Did You know?

    Americans eat nearly eight pounds of fresh strawberries a year – and with them, dozens of pesticides, including chemicals that have been linked to cancer and reproductive damage or are banned in Europe due to health concerns.

    clean 15 list

    For conventional produce, EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ list highlights the fruits and vegetables that are least likely to have pesticide residues. Stick to this list when going organic is not accessible or affordable.

  • FitBody

    Healthy alternatives to sodas dr brew kombucha

    I haven’t had a soda in ages but growing up I had a soda or some form of sugary drink daily. I hardly had water unless it was after gym or some practice time. While water is vital, especially the kind you are drinking, I often get bored and need a little bit of bubbly especially since I still have a weakness for Dublin Dr. Pepper and an AW cream soda. After learning what soda does to your body (and eventually hair!) I kicked the soda habit and found great healthier alternatives.   Here are a few healthy beverages that will keep your hair and body hydrated but without all the sugar and calories.

    However, a recent report published by the CDC suggests that not everyone is successful—30 percent of Americans are drinking at least one beverage sweetened with added sugar every day, and only 26 percent of Americans are avoiding sweetened beverages entirely. Whether you’ve already sworn off soda or are looking to switch up your beverage lineup, here are some fun and tasty soda swaps sure to satisfy without any added sugar.


    soda alternatives headers pinterest and suggestions


    Healthier Alternatives to Sodas

    Hydrating beverages that will nourish your body and hair 

    • Synergy organic raw kombucha:  Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast” which populates your gut with with those healthy bacteria that tend to get killed by various other bacteria and the administration of anti-biotics
    • Healthy-ade Health Ade is another great kombucha but full of flavor and carbonation.
    • Lacroix: If you are following me on Instagram, you know I have an obsession with Lacroix. It’s sparkling water with a hint of flavor.  Under normal circumstance, I turn away from the “natural” flavors but Lacroix, uses flavors that are  derived from the natural essence oils extracted from the named fruit used in each of the LaCroix flavors. There are no sugars or artificial ingredients contained in, nor added to, these extracted flavors.
    • Steaz: One of my favorite canned iced to have, while on the go.
    • Tevanna Tea: I am a huge tea fan and the Jade Citrus mint tea is great hot or cold
    • Yerba Mate:  Yerba Mate is known to have be a triple threat drink. It has the  “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one beverage.
    • Coconut Juice: Coconut juice and water is a great alternative to keep both your hair and body hydrated
    • Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar