Eating organic is considered “clean eating”. Clean eating means eliminating highly processed-packaged foods w ingredients you can’t pronounce, cutting back on foods with added salt/sugar/fat, avoiding foods that are drastically altered from their natural form, & preparing and eating more foods at home.
It’s super important to read the back label for the items your interested in purchasing, so you will know what you’re eating. For example on a conventional package of natural Jennie O turkey bacon these are the ingredients: Ingredients Mechanically Separated Turkey, Turkey, Water, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less Salt, Potassium Lactate , Natural Smoke Flavor, Flavor (Canola Oil,Natural Smoke, Natural Flavoring), Sodium Diacetate , Sodium Phosphate , Natural Flavoring, Sodium Erythorbate , Sodium Nitrite. I like to purchase sugar free paleo turkey bacon and these are the ingredients listed on my package: turkey, water, sea salt, cultured celery powder, paprika, white pepper, onion powder. There’s a huge difference between what I can pronounce between these 2 items, and the healthier package of bacon is the second one without all of the unhealthy added ingredients.
Nitrites can cause migraines, if you eat too many foods with sodium phosphate as an additive it can cause kidney problems, sodium diacetate is a preservative that can cause itching, burning, dry skin, rash & more! Sodium laurel sulfate is another ingredient best stayed away from but it’s a challenge because it is everywhere. Many additives and preservatives in our food and body care products are considered hormone disrupters, many can cause autoimmune diseases, & other issues. Our FDA in America are not as concerned about additives and preservatives as other countries. In other countries, for example they have banned many of these unhealthy ingredients. America has much to learn. For help on learning about any harmful side effects from your cleaning and beauty products I recommend the “think dirty” app where you can type in any products and see if they are healthy or not. For your foods, keep reading those labels and try to eat clean foods as close to their natural state as much as possible for lifelong health benefits.
There is a super informative documentary I once watched on Netflix called “The Magic Pill”. I believe they have since removed it, but you can still find it by searching online. In the documentary, they follow a few people with health issues like autism, diabetes, low thyroid, & asthma for 6 weeks. They taught and encouraged healthy diet and lifestyle changes.
The makers of the documentary challenged people to eat clean & incorporate exercise. They went through the participants pantry and fridge to read labels and get rid of any items that were unhealthy. They then taught the participants to eat healthy fats with their meals (organic olive oil, avocado oil, unrefined coconut oil, avocados, ....) (Studies have shown that eating avocados can help lower blood sugar.) Basically they proved that healthy fats don’t make you fat- eating trans fats, processed foods, artificial sugars, and not exercising DOES! At the end of the participants 6 weeks they were all so much healthier, they were able to stop taking their prescription medications under their doctor’s supervision. The asthmatic no longer needed inhaler, the diabetic no longer needed medications to lower blood sugar, the autistic child’s brain was able to respond so much better that she was able to talk again. The American diet is very carb laden, and the documentary proved that increasing healthy fats into these people’s diets was the exact fuel source their bodies needed. (I’m not against carbs at all, but it’s important to incorporate healthy carbs as a source for energy.)
I tried for years to get my parents on board with trying clean eating. I recommended this documentary to them and they watched it. They decided to change their lifestyle when my mom came down with an autoimmune disease called CREST Syndrome. My mom was to the point she couldn’t walk without a lot of pain. My dad switched their diets and cleaned out their pantry and guess what?! 6 weeks later my mom was walking without any pain. The inflammation that caused the pain went away with their clean eating.
There’s not one magic pill , shake, exercise machine, or diet to help your complete health. There are special health benefits from every organic fruit and vegetable, though. A simple change in perspective with healthy lifestyle changes which include eating 5 servings of organic veggies and 2-3 servings of organic fruits daily, exercise, less sugar, more healthy fats, & clean eating can get you on the right track for a healthier tomorrow.
It seems like everywhere we turn in the grocery store there’s a label screaming “natural” at us. What does “natural” mean? Are natural and organic the same? Are natural foods healthy? What is a GMO?
GMO’s are genetically modified organisms. GMO refers to any living thing that’s had its DNA altered using genetic engineering. This could be a plant, animal (including humans), or bacterium and it’s usually done to introduce a desirable trait into the organism, such as larger fruit or drought resistance.
There are some differences between organic and natural foods. With organic foods: toxic pesticides, irrigation & sludge, growth hormones, GMO’s, & antibiotics are not allowed but with “natural” foods these things are allowed. With organic foods: there are “allowable materials” restrictions, animal welfare requirements, certification & inspection requirements, cows on pasture for pasture season, audit trail from farm to table, & lower levels of environmental pollutions but with “natural” foods none of these restrictions, requirements, & certifications are required legally. Natural and organic are not the same. Natural foods may be a bit healthier than conventional foods, but organic foods win the healthy award here.
I challenge you to compare the list of ingredients between a natural and an organic item at the store to see the difference. There’s often items you can barely pronounce in the natural foods like in turkey bacon (Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, phosphates) whereas with organic foods you might see things like (turkey & salt) that you can pronounce. In my next article I will share more tips about reading labels.
7 years ago I began a journey to better health that changed me and my family’s life forever. I decided I had enough with a diagnosis of PCOS & infertility. My husband was told he had a 1 in a billion chance to ever have a baby. I had 2 miscarriages and I had Bell’s Palsy for a short time. My neighbor came over to bring me essential oils, and my Bell’s Palsy started healing within a week. My husband and I noticed we had mental “fog” and sleepiness after every meal. Our family as a whole was dealing with sicknesses every month (strep/flu/head colds). I thought there must be more to these oils and a healthy lifestyle than I had ever known. I didn’t grow up in a family who ate regular fruits and veggies. We ate pizza rolls, toaster strudels, a lot of TX BBQ, fast food, & pop tarts.
I started switching our regular grocery store routine with organic items and we immediately noticed a huge difference in taste. Organic celery tasted fresh and non-organic celery tasted like dirt no matter how much I washed it. Organic strawberries were the item that brought my husband on board- they tasted so sweet like a strawberry should taste. Some benefits of eating organic foods are: they help boost your immune system, prevents cancer & premature aging, higher in nutrients (especially when eaten raw), free of neurotoxins, no artificial colors, not exposed to gas-ripening, reduce cancer risk (some studies say up to 25%!), no chemical fertilizers, brain and body booster (more energy!), & it lessens your exposure to antibiotics/synthetic hormones/& drugs.
When we made the switch to organic foods we felt so much more energy. As a whole, my family noticed we stopped getting sick as much, we were able to get pregnant naturally with our daughter. The PCOS I was diagnosed with I was told would never go away- but every year they have checked my labs and every year I no longer have it. We used to say that paying more for organic food wasn’t worth it, but then we tried it and we have decided our health and wellness is worth it. We choose to let food be our medicine and medicine be our food. -Hippocrates