Friday, August 27, 2010

This little piggy went to the market......

Okay, how many times do you suppose you have read that nursery rhyme??? As a child, my sweet mom read it to me, as well as some of my siblings I'm sure...why not? I was the baby of the family so everyone likes to remind me that I was spoiled rotten.....
Then as a mom, I read it to my 2 sweet darlings....and now I have 2 precious granddaughters that I can read it to (okay, maybe via skype some of the time, but I guarantee you, I will be reading it to them!)

But I must say, I never really realized how SMART that piggy was? Why - you ask? Well, I have been going to the market (Ferguson Farmer's Market on Florissant road - AWESOME) on Saturday mornings every possible week I can and I am LOVING IT!

Why, you ask?! Well, besides the fact that it is just plain FUN, you can even pull your red wagon (there on loan for your shopping and to get your purchases out to your car!) and wheel it around to all the vendors and load up on all kinds of FRESH, UNSPRAYED food as well as cute little booths with jewelry and all kinds of stuff...Plus they always have some kind of fun entertainment going on...the 1st week we went they were shearing sheep! Yes, you read that right, that was pretty neat to see! Usually there are some fun musicians playing while you shop and you can even pull up a picnic bench and order an hot, fresh omlette! (Doug usually does this while I wheel around the wagon!) It is just a real "event" and one you shouldn't miss!

So you know I told you I have been reading up on some "green books"...and although I already knew "pesticides" were not good, the more I read, the more I realize that "not good" is seriously not strong enough! Why, you ask? Well, I'm glad to share.....

An interesting comment in 1 of the books talks about someone babysitting at the writer's house and telling her family how all of the food in the house is organic and "so weird"....well I can remember when the term "organic" kind of made me tilt my head and scrunch up my eyes and nose and wonder - hmmmmmmmmmmmm - what is that all about!? That has been many years ago, but now just wish I would have paid more attention a long time ago.....

Is it more expensive? Yes, sometimes it is, but if you go to the farmer's market, it is quite reasonable and that runs from May-Oct! Just remember to ASK and even if it doesn't say "organic" still ask if or what they "spray"...many small farms can't afford "organic certification" but they do not use the chemical pesticides on their crops.....and I have found that some of my "local farms" DO spray with pesticides - VERY DISAPPOINTING!

I think Chapter 1 in Supernatural Home summed it up perfectly....."imagine picking a fruit or vegetable from your garden, spraying it with bug spray , and then eating it! That's exactly what we do each day with store-bought non-organic produce even if we wash it."YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That should make all of us a bit queasy!

"Organic" means grown without pesticides, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, fungicides or herbicides! OMG, you mean ALL that stuff can be on my "non organic" fruit and vegetables! That answer, I'm afraid is a big fat YES! Organic foods are minimally processed with no artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation. Unfortunately for us, chemicals in pesticides are ODORLESS, TASTELESS and INVISIBLE so the only way you know a food is grown without pesticides is to buy organic.... Sorry, but it gets a little worse...

For example, those red delicious NON ORGANIC strawberries (yes, I have bought them many times also.....) look and taste delicious BUT
-the red color is enhanced by a "fungicide" whatever the HECK that is!
-they are "infused" with methyl bromide, a gas injected by the tractor into the soil (OMG, that just sounds ILLEGAL!)
And that my friends, (fungicides and methyl bromide) do not wash off! How many times have you bought those strawberries, brought them home and ran them under the water before you started cutting and eating them!!! Me too :(

Then we have the fruits/veggies that FLY in from other countries (so besides the fact that in some countries ANYTHING goes in terms of pesticides), we have now wasted all that energy getting the dang fruits/veggies here! And the pesticides got a free ride into the USA too!

And PESTICIDES - REALLY!?! When I think about this, I'm embarrassed to think that it has taken me so long on this.....seriously, I'm OKAY with someone spraying CRAP on my food, this CRAP they are spraying is KILLING bugs, but I'm okay with that!? OMG, when you think about that it is quite unsettling....

When I had breast cancer in 1999/2000, I went to the LIvingston Clinic in San Diego to beef up my immune system between my surgery and before my radiation started (another scary decision I made!) There among other things, the diet was very clean and we were told to try to buy organic whenever possible, but if not possible, take all of your fruits and vegetables and put them in a sink full of water (now suggesting filtered water - if you don't have a BRITA pitcher, get one, it is better than nothing and affordable!) adding 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (I buy Braggs organic - not expensive) - let the fruit/veggies sit for 5 minutes or so, then rinse with cold water. Obviously for some fruits (i.e. strawberries ) don't do this until you are ready to eat them. But for others, you can do it as soon as you get them home and just let them dry well before putting them in the fridge. You will be surprised how apples become "not so shiny" once they are in the vinegar water and rinsed off. But that is a good thing - as apples can have up to 50 (YES 50) kinds of pesticides sprayed on them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I could go on and on....I know organic can be more expensive, so another good thing to consider is to buy the energy of shipping our food all across the country! But eat organic and local when possible -

The books I have been reading list the 12 fruits and veggies that you should buy organic. The list is based on studies by the Consumers Union and Environmental Working Group who have done analysis on the amounts and level of toxicity of the pesticide residues found in conventionally grown food samples by the USDA and the FDA....The reality is that in a "single dose", the "safety limits" (I.e. how much pesticide can you eat BEFORE your belly hurts?!?!?! or who knows what else happens!!) weren't "exceeded" however, most contain MULTIPLE PESTICIDE RESIDUES!!! i.e. 30 different pesticides on strawberries, 50 on apples...need I go on?

So the 12 fruits/veggies to definitely buy organic are:
-sweet bell peppers
-green beans

Wow, do you know HOW many many spinach salads with strawberries and raspberries I eat!!! YIKES! And we think we are eating so healthy and we are if we are CLEANING it well or buying organic. Trader Joes is another great place to buy things like organic spinach - very affordable there.

I'm sure you want to know the 10 "nonorganic" fruits/veggies with the fewest traces of pesticides too:
-frozen peas
-frozen corn

Another suggestion for cleaning the "conventional" fruit/veggies is something called "veggie wash" but it can be a bit pricey. And don't forget - you still need to wash the organic stuff too!

For those "eye rollers" out there, a few more interesting "organic facts to leave you with....

-If the entire planet did "organic farming", it would equate to taking 1.5 BILLION cars off the road!
-You can increase your antioxidant intake by 30 PERCENT by choosing organic - WOW!!!!!!!!
(Remember the antioxidants power off the "free radicals" that try to mess with your cells and when cells are compromised, things like cancer, disease, set in....Ok, I'm not a scientist, or biologist or doctor, but that is "my version" can get a medical book for the fancy version!)
-The average child in America is exposed to 5 pesticides DAILY in food and drinking water!!!
FEED YOUR BABIES REAL FOOD, not all this FAKE stuff in boxes and in dairy/frozen cases that are giving us "false hope" on what it really is!!! Read the ingredients...if it has more than 5 and if you can't pronounce them, do you REALLY want your children eating them! i.e. Goldfish are cute, but come on, what exactly are we expecting out of them!?

Lastly, I'm not suggesting that you forego all the good CRAP that we are all addicted to and have come to know and love, what I am suggesting is that you LOOK at what you are eating, make a conscious effort to eat some REAL food and CLEAN it somehow before you eat it! We can't or shouldn't change everything at once, but we can make those little changes along the way that will help not only our health, but also the health of our poor little planet! So come on peeps, head to the Market and have fun!

Until next time, what are your plans for your next meal!?!?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kermit says, "It's not easy being green" you agree?

Ok, folks - in my last blog, I mentioned I was back and excited to share some things with you.....well it all started a LONG time ago, when I first learned about recycling and quickly realized this was something I believed in and was in for the long haul "for my grandkids" is what I believe I thought at the time, since I felt like surely we had plenty of what we needed for "now".... but like everyone else, sometimes I got a little lazy.....then the "bottled water" craze hit (SERIOUSLY - WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THAT!?) and while we all thought we needed our own "plastic bottle full of water", little did we realize that we are just polluting this world even more...and fast forward a bit, here I am....

My oldest daughter Emily was visiting from Abu Dhabi this summer and happened to pick up a book called "SUPERNATURAL HOME" at the library....well it happened to be 1 of those books that you are so in awe of, that you READ ALOUD TO EVERYONE IN THE ROOM whether they want to hear or not....while some were not so excited by the time she read the 15th excerpt out of the book, I was FASCINATED! So excited that when she left, I rechecked the book out of the library along with 2 others....Turns out the author of SUPERNATURAL HOME had quite an amazing health revelation and actually spent some time at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego - a place that my sister just happens to treat herself to for her birthday every year to unwind, recharge and just get healthier; anyway, the author of this book had amazing results at this health she said "I discovered that the body is a self- healing organism if we just get out of its way and don't gunk it up with bad food and stress"...boy, she has that right!

So what is green about that?! Well it isn't just what you put in your PIE HOLE that you have to worry about! Global warming, remember that catch phrase, well it is real and all around us, and everything we do impacts it.....these are all the little things I can't wait to share. I don't think I realize the impact that I, singly, have on this big planet of ours, or that I, singly, can really make a difference in so many daily decisions that I make, the way I think, eat, breathe, drive, buy, etc.

Kermit the frog, sings, "it's not easy being green". He wasn't talking about our environment, but I am. There are a million ways you can be "green". And even if you aren't ready to go all the way, you can at least start to make a BIG difference That is what I can't wait to tell you, but of course I can't tell you everyone in 1 blog, I'll have to space them out a bit...but just to wet your appetite - just think about a few of these things for starters...

Let's just start with bottled water....
-8 out of 10 plastic water bottles used in the US end up in the dump! We consume so many bottles of water that we use about 1.5 tons of plastic in AMERICA;
-Studies show that even though we started drinking this water because we thought it was better, safer, etc, often the tests on bottled water show significant chemical or bacterial contamination! WHAT AND I"M PAYING FOR THAT?!?!?!
-Or that it isn't any different than your TAP water! If the bottle says "form a municipal source" or "from a community water system" it is coming from the tap!
-The bottle of water sitting on a shelf in the store is likely to now contain a chemical called antimony, a potential carcinogen that leaches from the plastic! PLASTIC is a whole other subject and scary one at that....don't worry, I'll cover that later....
-BPA (bisphenol-A) is often found in plastic and is a chemical that acts like estrogen when it enters the body and can get into the body by leaching out of hard plastic bottles as they age, or are heated (in microwaves or diswashers) - what about those long truck rides those cases of bottled water makes or how long they sit in the hot warehouses!? And estrogen?!?! HELLOOOOOOOOO - I had "estrogen receptor positive cancer" - don't need anything that looks or acts like estrogen, but believe me, there are many things we use everyday that come into our body that act like estrogen...more on that later too!
-Research from our MIZZOU professor, Frederick vom Saal, who taught Biology there, and happens to be a leading BPA research scientist, said that in lab studies with animals, BPA changed their behavior, decreased sperm count, stimulated prostate cancer and caused symptoms of attention defict hyperactivity disorder! YIKES! No bottled water for me please!
And I haven't even covered the greenhouse gas effect of all the fossil fuel to get this bottled water to the stores all over the country!
OKAY, HAVE YOU PUT THE DANG WATER BOTTLE DOWN YET?! Come on, how about this - instead of buying your next case of bottled water, go out and get a stainless steel water bottle that you can not only use over and over, it will keep your drink HOT or COLD and you can avoid all the nastiness outlined above! And Kermit will be sooooooooo happy that you are green!
-Remember this whole blog is about taking care of ourselves AND our planet and that all starts with little old GREEN YOU!
-Don't worry - i have lots more to share.....just be happy you aren't here with me, listening to me as I read these things outloud and just shake my head....
Until tomorrow, fill up your water bottle and just say NO to those plastic bottles!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm back! Did anyone miss me?!

Ok, so I have been a bit "in and out" the last few months....but I am BACK! Why?! For a few reasons...
-I miss blogging - I never ever realized how much I love doing this! This blogging is therapy not to mention loads of fun!
-I have so much that I want to share, I have been learning so much lately about so many things...(have I peaked your interest yet???) ....but the reality is when I'm blogging, no one really has to listen to me or read it...heck I'll never know, unless you mention you read it! So, I get to say it and I don't have to worry about whether or not anyone is really out there! (But seriously, I hope someone is reading least a little bit :))
-We have goals to get to....come on, we are not QUITE where we want to be, are we?! Whatever your goals and my goals are, we need to keep pushing towards them - that takes a lot of time, energy and SUPPORT! Helllllllllllllloooooooooooooooooooooooooo....just consider this the 1-800- support line...

So what's new with me?

The good news is that I'm holding my own....I did notice I have picked up about 3 pounds from my goal weight, so I'm getting those back off, before all of their "friends and neighbors" try to hop back on as well...........been there, done that, DON'T WANT THEM BACK! So I have been refocusing on workouts and diet,.....never really lost my focus, just lost a bit of the TIME I had devoted previously. Working out 5 or 6 days a week is just about impossible, from a time standpoint, but trying to make the most out of the workout time I do carve out....

I think that I need to get back to my "trotting" a/k/a jogging.....I have been away from it for a bit - mostly due to excessive heat as I don't find the treadmill particularly appealing and have been caught up in all the fun classes (Body Pump - LOVE IT, Drills that make you sweat - LOVE IT thanks to my coworker Melinda, who kicks my butt every week at that class!) and those are just a few of the great classes at Club Fitness! But I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow and if the heat isn't totally oppressive as it is right now, I'm going to try a little trotting and get back into it...I think the running, jogging or whatever you want to call it, really helped me kickstart my metabolism more than anything else has done in the last 15 years! Believe me, I haven't ever felt the "runner's high" that I read about or heard about...ha, I'm far from that! But I will tell you that when you are done, and you are sweating, you feel good!

I reached out to my fellow LOSE A TON (LAT) ladies last week in hopes of getting us all back together......some are right on track and others are really want to see if we can get together periodically and work really is about SUPPORT and MIND really need both, SUPPORT for those tough days and MIND SET to get yourself started....

So, I'm BACK.......My MIND SET is ready to go......I have my SUPPORT system fired up....
What about YOU!? Are you where you want to be? Do you need a little kick start? Are you ready to get back INTO IT!? After all, the holidays are coming up next - do we really want to go INTO the holidays with the extra weight or should we do something NOW to get rid of it and be ready for that tempting time of year, with a healthier, happier mind set and body!!?!?!

Hope you are BACK too!!! I've some some amazing things to share......

Until next time, find your MIND SET and get ready to roll...