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The Dirty Deets on the Dirty 15

This is it. It's here. This is the day you've decided to eat healthy. You're gonna swap out the junk and only feed your body with real, good-for-you foods. Boom.

You walk into the grocery store, head to that organic section and BUM BUM BUUUUUUM, there are 80 kajillion things staring back at your face. What on earth?! Why can't eating healthy just be as simple as picking out some good veggies and grilling up some chicken?

Yeah, sorry, it's not. Over the last 50 years or so, America has literally changed the face of foods and not necessarily in a good way. We're challenged, now more than ever, to actually figure out what's in our food. And, spoiler alert: it's not just food.

But never fear, I'm here to help. Choosing the right foods doesn't HAVE to be like remembering the pythagorean theorem from 8th grade. And it doesn't have to cost as much as your mortgage either.

First, let's start with what "organic" food actually is.  It's one of the biggest buzz words out there along with "locally sourced" and "sustainably farmed." Most people assume organic=healthy=I should eat it. But it's not that easy. DERFA tells us that organic foods are free from man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones, and most GMOs. All good things. (But truth be told, you could have an organic cupcake made with organic cane sugar and organic wheat and it doesn't mean you should eat 4 of them for breakfast every morning.)

Is organic food the healthier option? Absolutely. It means you aren't consuming all those ridiculously dangerous chemicals that can seriously damage your body. So why in the world would anyone choose to eat anything that wasn't organic when a single strawberry can have over 20 pesticides sprayed on it?? TWENTY!

Usually, it comes down to cost. Eating organic is absolutely more expensive than eating non-organic. Which is why a lot of people are as resistant to buying organic as a 12 year old boy is to showering.

"Do I haaaaaaave to eat aaaaaaallll organic aaaall the time?"

Well, yes. And no.

Hey, I gotchu. I want you to eat organic as much as possible, but I also understand real life. They don't call Whole Foods "Whole Paycheck" for nothing. That's where the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen come in (and no, it's not another Avengers sequel.) To get the most bang for your organic buck, check out these two lists:

The Dirty Dozen is a list of produce that are known to have the highest level of pesticide residue and you should grab these from the organic section of the grocery store as often as you can. It can vary a bit every year but 2019's Dirty Dozen includes strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. Strawberries and spinach have been the powerhouse duo topping the Dirty Dozen forever, but this year, every millennial's favorite superfood kale got added into the mix as well.

On the flipside is the Clean Fifteen. The EWG puts together this list to help give us produce that has the LEAST pesticides. So if you need a more budget friendly option, going non-organic with these is safer. 2019's Clean Fifteen consists of avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, frozen sweet peas, onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, cauliflower, cantaloupe, broccoli, mushroom, and honeydew. Grab these and go to town.

Listen, I get it. It can be overwhelming and frustrating trying to figure it all out. There's this whole shroud of mystery surrounding health food sometimes, but I really wanna break through that and empower you to go make great choices. Screen shot or write down those lists so when you're at the store you can start with those simple changes. Baby steps. 

If you need more info on your specific nutritional goals and how we can help you make those healthier decisions, give us a holla at Back to Health of Anthem at (623) 551-6677. We know one-size definitely does not fit all and we're ready to help create something just for you so you can start living your best life. 

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