Sunday, August 29, 2010

Must.Have.Willpower.

We've been doing pretty good with our eating thus far. We are still eating both organic and non-organic foods as we go through what food we have already purchased.

It's not easy. At all.

Ever since my second son was born, I have been trying to lose the baby weight. In doing so, I stopped buying all the snacks and high calorie foods that I used to buy by the cartload. My mentality was (and still is) if I don't have it, I can't eat it.
But, now that I'm even more restrictive than that with my own personal food and diet, it makes it even harder to be on this organic journey.
I have a box of strawberry cupcake mix calling my name. Every day. I have been strong, and have yet to fold under the pressure. Ask me about this later in the week, and we'll see if that box is still unopened.

During an outing yesterday, I discovered two things:
1.) Sam's carries Horizon's Organic 2% milk. $6.99 for three half gallons. As I was two deep in kids, I did not get a chance to actually meander throughout the store to see what kind of organics selection they have. This is something I will be looking into for future grocery trips.

2.) Kroger has organic oatmeal raisin cookies. I haven't tried them yet (go willpower!) but it does make me feel a little better to think that I bought organic snack food. It's still crap as far as what I actually need to be eating, but it's better crap, right?

The Dirty Dozen

Here is a list of produce that has the highest pesticide residues.

Taken from www.thedailygreen.com

According to the Environmental Working Group, consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80% by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating only the cleanest. If consumers get their USDA-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies from the 15 most contaminated, they could consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown produce ingest less than 2 pesticides daily.


1. Celery

Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals that are used on conventional crops.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include broccoli, radishes and onions.

A perennial entrant on the Dirty Dozen list, 64 pesticides detected in residue on this veggie make celery rank No. 1 in the 2010 analysis, up from No. 4 in 2009.


2. Peaches

Multiple pesticides are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.

Peaches, No. 1 on the Dirty Dozen list in 2009, rank No. 2 in 2010; 62 pesticides have been detected in residue on peaches.


3. Strawberries

If you buy strawberries out of season, they're most likely imported from countries that use less-stringent regulations for pesticide use.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.

Up from No. 6 in 2009, strawberries rank No. 3 on the 2010 Dirty Dozen list. Why? 59 pesticides have been detected in residue on strawberries.

4. Apples

Like peaches, apples are typically grown with the use of poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Scrubbing and peeling doesn't eliminate chemical residue completely, so it's best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas and tangerines.


5. Blueberries

New on the Dirty Dozen list in 2010, blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.

6. Nectarines

With 33 different types of pesticides found on nectarines, they rank up there with apples and peaches among the dirtiest tree fruit.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya and mango.


7. Bell Peppers

Peppers have thin skins that don't offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They're often heavily sprayed with insecticides.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include green peas, broccoli and cabbage.

Tests have found 49 different pesticides on sweet bell peppers.

8. Spinach

New on the list for 2010, spinach can be laced with as many as 48 different pesticides, making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetable.


9. Kale

Traditionally kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested this year.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus and broccoli.


10. Cherries

Even locally grown cherries are not necessarily safe. In fact, in one survey in recent years, cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue then imported cherries.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include raspberries and cranberries.

Government testing has found 42 different pesticides on cherries


11. Potatoes

America's popular spud re-appears on the 2010 dirty dozen list, after a year hiatus. America's favorite vegetable can be laced with as many as 37 different pesticides.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage and earthy mushrooms


12. Grapes

Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically only imported grapes make the 2010 Dirty Dozen list). Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape's thin skin. Remember, wine is made from grapes, which testing shows can harbor as many as 34 different pesticides.

Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and raspberries.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby Steps

We've done relatively well so far, all things considering. I have decided that I'm not going to stress over this transition. (Yeah, we'll see how this turns out.) My kitchen is still full of foods that aren't all natural and organic and I'm not going to go out and re-purchase everything. So, whenever I need to buy something, I get it organic and if I don't need to buy it and I already have it at home, I'm going to use what I have. Eventually, all the old stuff will get eaten and the replacements will be better for us.

Last night we had spaghetti (yes, I know, we just had it, but it's a family favorite and quick and easy) with Italian bread. All organic and natural. And, just like before, it was good.

This morning we had cinnamon toast and it was delicious. Why have I not discovered toasting buttered bread in the oven before? This is a revelation! I will for sure be experimenting with this in the future.

Tonight, we're having Italian Beef. It's not organic or grass fed, but it's what I had and it needed to be cooked.

Baby steps. Teeny tiny baby steps. We'll get there eventually.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Blueberry Incident

Perhaps I shouldn't blog this, as it is a bit embarrassing on my part. But, I'm going to share it anyway.

Last week when I started the Organic Crusades, I bought some fresh whole blueberries. I've eaten blueberries in plenty of things: yogurts, pies, smoothies, but I have never in my whole entire life eaten whole fresh blueberries. So, I bought a package and honestly had forgotten about them. Until tonight when I was doing my nightly fridge rummage. I grabbed a handful and washed them off and popped a few in my mouth. They were good. Not as flavorful as I thought they would be, but they were good. I took another berry and bit into and just happened to look at it. And whaddya know!?! Blueberries aren't blue!! At least the fleshy fruit part itself isn't! I was confused - as I had never eaten a blueberry before. I asked my husband "Are blueberries supposed to be blue?" He looked me the same way Nick Lachey looked at Jessica Simpson when she asked if tuna was fish or chicken. He didn't respond, so I asked him again.
Husband: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Yes. I thought blueberries were blue. These blueberries aren't blue. They're white. Just the skin is blue."
Husband: "Well, yeah. How many naturally occurring blue things do you see in nature?"
Me: "Bluebirds."
Husband: "So, one."
Me: "Well, I thought BLUEBERRIES would be BLUE!!"
Husband: "You're goofy. Just the skin is blue."
Me: "Yeah, I can see that." *sigh*

This whole fiasco really scarred me. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to look at a blueberry the same way. I was so excited to bite into it to see a juicy blue fruit flesh. But, no. I got white stuff. Not blue. It looked like the inside of a York Peppermint Patty. It threw me completely off. This will take a little while to recover from.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We already fell off the horse?!?

We're weak weak people.

We stopped at a local burger joint in town for ice cream. And of course, I was hungry, and when I'm hungry I'm weak.

I had the chicken fingers, french fries, and a turtle dove sundae (vanilla custard, marshmallow cream, caramel sauce and chocolate shavings)

It was incredible.

And incredibly BAD for us.

*Sigh*

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Here Goes Nothing

Our family lives in what I like to call "a big little town." Our town boasts a population of about 65,000 and is far behind the rest of the country in everything. We are just now getting 3G from AT&T.

There are only a handful of places to purchase organic foods - and none of them have a very big selection. Kroger is one of the few places that have a section dedicated to organic and natural foods that's big enough to maneuver a cart with an almost 3 year old and a 6 month old. So I loaded up the hooligans and off we went.

Now, I would love to be able to just go and buy everything all over again, but that's not practical at all. I have a kitchen full of junk that needs to be eaten first. I did really want to prove to my husband that eating organic foods doesn't mean he's going to have to compromise taste.

I ended up buying the ingredients for spaghetti. I bought organic noodles, sauce and grass fed beef. I immediately saw the price difference, but have decided that I would rather pay a little more and know exactly what I'm feeding myself and my family than pay less and have no idea what we're actually eating. I've eaten many organic foods in the past and they just taste better than nonorganic foods. A small amount of organic is much more satisfying than nonorganic.
We ate the spaghetti, and while I can't speak for my husband, I left the dinner table very satisfied. Grayson ate 2 plates full and Jack had his usual dinner of green beans.

I feel accomplished for having prepared a full organic meal. Except for our beverages, which is a battle I'm not sure I want to fight right now....

So far so good.

We'll see how the rest of this goes....

Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And so it begins

I have long been aware that our food is full of crap. Crap that is not good for us, crap that is filler, and crap that just makes us plain ol' unhealthy.

I have often pondered about what it would be like to eat only organics and whole foods and how it would impact my life.

I'm not a health nut or a hippie. I'm simply a twenty-something mother of two that wants to do what's best for my family. I thought that I was fully aware of what I was putting into my body - and into my kids' bodies - but after doing some research I realized just how wrong I was.

I never knew that so much of everything we consume is filler. Now, I don't know about you, but when I buy something - when I pay my hard-earned money for something - I want the real deal. To me filler = fake. And I don't like that. At all.

So, the more I thought about it, the more I decided I was going to do it. I am going to attempt something that is beyond crazy -something that will have us scouring over product labels - something where we'll continually find ourselves asking each other "Can we eat that?"

I am going to attempt to transition my entire family off of processed foods and onto whole organic fruits, vegetables and meats - and hopefully live to blog about it.


Welcome to the chaos. Glad to have you.