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The Organic Scoop

Why eating organic, whole foods cultivated without toxins are essential to your health, and ways to weave it into your lifestyle

"Organic" is certainly a familiar term that often gets overlooked when thinking about the importance of ones health. What does it truly mean? And why is it so important to integrate into your daily life toward boosting your health? Exploring "organic" as part of your healthier lifestyle is touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health, but is an incredibly important and big starting point to taking care of and respecting your body, as well as the environment we live in.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates

We've all heard the term organic, and many people and restaurants are beginning to take on this change, but it still remains an undervalued area of daily living. I have heard many responses to eating organically, as "it's not that big a deal", "it's too expensive", or just the glassy-eyed stare when I describe benefits of organic. Transitioning into an organic lifestyle can be overwhelming and maybe even feel unrealistic, but in truth it is a lot simpler than you might imagine, and definitely doable. When you embark upon the intention of a healthier lifestyle, and pursuit to gain more knowledge about the powers of foods and nutrients, as well as the dangers of additives and pesticides, "organic" will certainly start to feel a lot easier of a way of life. This spans beyond just foods, and covers your supplements, bath and beauty products, even clothing.

What does "organic" actually mean?

Organic foods are processed and cultivated by farmers by using natural and renewable forms of growth without the use of pesticides and harmful toxins. USDA certified organic foods require that farmers produce their foods that are grown in clean soil free of additives, pasture-raised animals without hormone and antibiotic use, and pest and weed control is based on biologically based methods of farming. Because organic farming uses biological methods, it naturally provides better environmental health by creating less pollution, improving soil quality and groundwater retention. In other words, organic foods are foods grown without toxins, which cultivates greater amounts of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, better environmental impacts, and even spiritual energy.

Companies will often use terms like "natural" strategically catch customers seeking more organic and healthier foods. "Natural" does not mean "organic", which is why looking for USDA organic labels is important when shopping for your ingredients, even your bath and beauty care, your supplements and protein powders, etc. The "Non GMO" labels also do not mean organic, and while they are a step in a good direction toward a healthier ingredient, it is ultimately best to pick items that have both the USDA organic and Non GMO labels together.

To find a purely 100% organic ingredient is no longer a reality in our world today, as there have been too many measures and actions that contaminate the foods we eat, by large, corporate-owned farms spray massive amounts of pesticides and chemicals onto their crop, which blows in winds, and gets recycled in rain that evaporates and travels across terrains. Chemtrails (those mile long, long-lasting, sticky trails left by airplanes) contain very high levels toxins including heavy metals like aluminum are sprayed all over the skies trickling down onto the land and crops that we eat.

These are just a couple of very serious ways that our food source is affected by toxins, making it difficult to maintain the organic standard. However, knowledge is power, and when we are more aware of the conditions and actions happing every day, we can make different choices, even if it just as simple as choosing the organic apple versus the conventional one, the grass-fed beef, the organic aluminum-free deodorant versus Dove.

The impact of eating organic and whole foods

It is key to knowing where your information on studies and conclusions are being sourced from when embarking upon your research regarding any topic, and to use your unique and critical-thinking mind. When the topic of organic is discussed, even in many articles and science-backed studies, there is still a bias in terms of where the funding is being provided. It is common to read such statements that claim dosages of toxins/pesticides are at low levels and therefore safe. When you dig a little deeper, you will find independent articles and studies that assert that the levels of toxins in conventional produce and non-organic, GMO foods are very unsafe to the human bodies, containing high levels of heavy metals, glyphosate, artificial colors, antibiotics, molds, additives and the list goes on.

Even with a debate on the specifics of levels of toxicity, our bodies have to digest and respond to these harmful agents. After one year, 5 years, 20 years, these all build up, and our bodies's ability to clear and process these things out becomes tougher, and ultimately leads to health issues because of repeated and repeated exposure. For example, Roundup and glyphosate are two commonly used fertilizers for conventional farming, and are know carcinogenic chemicals (cancer causing). Many studies on pesticide residues consumed on non-organically raised foods can contribute to ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and lower sperm count in men. Meat and dairy that is raised with hormones and antibiotics are also linked to an increased risk in cancers. Obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, allergic sensitisation, infertility, inflammation, gut and digestive diseases, etc. have also been linked in many studies to pesticides, toxic fertilizers, and non-organic foods. Of course there are going to be confounding variables, as each person's life is diverse and unique. Bottom line, the foods we put in our bodies make an impact on your health, your energy and your wellbeing.

From an environmental standpoint, the use of these pesticides and unnatural fertilizers leaches the soils, which inhibits the development of nutrient rich produce, as well as diminishes the insect/pollinator health and population. Mass farming of the meat and dairy industry creates immense gases that pollute the air and the land. The brutal treatments of mass meat and dairy farming creates a fragmented and traumatized energy on the animals, which in turn becomes the food placed in the mouths of people.

When our bodies have a consistent and constant exposure to the food intake that we choose, it responds accordingly. If we choose to eat foods that are treated with toxins, additives, hormones, and even spiritually harmful treatments, our bodies are digesting this all. Our bodies can only do so much without the help of intentional choice and thought. When increase the choice of "organic" foods, whole ingredients (like vegetables, fruits, grains, healthy fats) it truly feeds the body and the soul with thoughtful nutrients, cleaner ingredients and more energy.

How to integrate an organic and whole foods lifestyle

When creating a new habit, the most effective way to ensure its success is to make small steps toward a larger goal. So, when bringing more organic and whole foods into your lifestyle is to do so in small steps. Here are a few good ways to shop organically while maintaining a realistic budget.

  1. Get used to reading labels and looking for the USDA Certified Organic label--At first taking time to look a labels is time consuming, but once you've read them once, it starts to become much quicker, and you'll start to remember where good items are located in the grocery store. When reading labels, check for items that have the USDA Organic sticker, that don't have canola or palm oils, have less or no additive sugars, do not have additives (artificial colored dyes, nitrites and nitrates, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, aluminum, etc.--check out additives to avoid here )

  2. Choose organic for produce that do not have a protective shell (like avocado, banana, onions, etc.). Ultimately our best goal is to eventually buy all organic ingredients, but that isn't always so doable in the beginning, which is okay. So, it is best to prioritize buying organic produce that don't have thick skins to protect them--berries, greens, celery, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, pears, etc.

  3. Pick foods that are seasonal--produce that is in season usually tends to be cheaper as it is grown in greater abundance due to it thriving on a particular time of the year. Seasonal foods are also better to eat to boost your immune system, as you are feeding your body the natural things that grow during various times of year.

  4. Look for sales--Keep your eye out for produce and organic products that are on sale!

  5. Buy in bulk--Buy organic ingredients that you can find in bulk, like grains, oats, beans and legumes, etc. Bulk items provide more goods for your buck.

  6. Buy frozen if you can't find fresh organic--When you're unable to find your organic produce fresh, take a look in the frozen section before buying the conventional.

  7. Plan your meals and eat at home more often--When you plan out your meals, even if it's a rough draft, then you end up sticking to plan and wasting less food and time during the week figuring out what to eat, and overbuying ingredients. When meal planning, it's also helpful to pick ingredients that you can use for multiple meals throughout the week, so that you don't end up buying a ton of different and unusual ingredients, and you simplify your workload.

  8. Make daily, weekly, or monthly meal/health goals--This may mean making it a goal to add in or reduce some food during your day/week/month. For example, making a goal to eat more avocados or healthy fats; or reduce sugar intake for the next week.

  9. Consider joining a local and organic farm delivery service--There are many different grocery and produce delivery services out there. This can be a good option to saving time, and possibly on gas money. Veggie boxes are a great way to eat seasonally and support local farmers. These box deliveries can be found at many different budget ranges.

  10. Start to replace various items in your household with organic ones--Do this at a pace that feels realistic for yourself. Maybe switching out one item at a time (like your deodorant, laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, etc.), or everything all together depends on your circumstances and what feels good to you.

  11. Listen to what your body needs--When we embark upon a healthier lifestyle listening to your body and its needs is extremely important. Notice how your body responds to different things, its energy level, feeling bloated, ability to focus, cravings, etc.

It really begins to become quite simple, as you learn how to quickly read labels, know what to search for, have your grocery store day better mapped out in your head. And it call comes from the seed you planted, the intention that you set to feed your body more whole, nutrient-rich, organic choices. Remember, it is a lifestyle change, take it slow and take it at a pace that feels realistic and doable to you. Health is a personal journey, and approaching changes in your life with intention and reduced stress is going to be essential in your pursuit.

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