Posted by: charleenesfitness | January 19, 2017

Clean eating and living 2017

Clean Eating (and Living) in 2017
by Charleene O’Connor

Consumers today will pay a premium for organic, wholesome products. People want to live as naturally as they can, so the environment is ripe for companies and marketers to emphasize all the “clean” benefits of the their products. We all need to be careful, however, about what we’re buying. Packaging can vary from just confusing to actually lying about what is in the product.

Let’s start with what we eat—specifically fish and produce. Ideally, our healthiest choice is fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury.  Pregnant woman, children and people who eat seafood frequently must limit mercury consumption by avoiding seafood that is known to be high in mercury; variety is key when it comes to fish and shellfish. The fish that are highest in Omega-3 and lowest in mercury are Salmon (wild caught if possible), Sardines, Muscles and Rainbow Trout. Seafood that you might want to cut down on/eat rarely are Sea Bass, Albacore Tuna and Lobster.

Another food choice that requires more careful consideration is store-bought produce. Did you know that two-thirds of the produce that was sampled in recent government testing had pesticide residues? The food labeled “conventional” at your grocery carries a lot of pesticide residue, which helps preserve the produce longer on the shelf. Foods labeled “Organic” have been grown in different soil and do not carry the same pesticides, so look for the organic label. The foods known as the dirty dozen usually have the greatest amount of hazardous pesticides: Strawberries, Apples, Nectarines, Peaches, Celery, Grapes, Cherries, Spinach, Tomatoes, Sweet Bell Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Hot Peppers, Kale, and Collards. The clean fifteen are the foods know to have the lowest amount of pesticides: Avocados, Sweet Corn, Pineapples, Cabbage, Sweet Peas, Frozen Onions, Asparagus, Mangos, Papayas, Kiwis, Eggplants, Honeydew Melons, Grapefruit, Cantaloupe, and Cauliflower.

And the next time you’re food shopping, take a quick look at the little sticker on your fruits and veggies—it can tell you a lot! Here’s a quick primer: First, you’ll notice that the stickers on fruits and veggies will have a 4 or 5 digit code. If your produce has 4 digits, it means that it was “conventionally grown, but not organic”. If it has 5 digits, and begins with a 9, it means that the produce was organically grown. A 5 digit code that begins with an 8, however, indicates that the produce was genetically modified. []

Finally, household cleaning products are not required to disclose ingredients on product labels, so many don’t. This makes it incredibly difficult for consumers to choose safe products. Don’t blindly trust marketing claims that are printed on the pretty bottles! Here are some basic ideas of what to avoid in cleaning products: antibacterial cleaners, air fresheners, and drain cleaners. And personal care products you should be cautious about using are: chemical hair straighteners; dark permanent hair dyes; loose powders (possible inhalation damage); perfumes/fragrances that may cause allergies; and skin lighteners (skin irritation and damage). There are perfectly safe, natural cleaning alternatives like: white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and washing soda. Lemons are pretty amazing for tough stains, grease and general cleaning.  White Vinegar is also an amazingly versatile cleaner to have in your home.

All of the bad marketing, unhealthy ingredients and confusion lead me to create my own brand of organic, toxic free skin and home care products called TRUTH. If you’re interested in natural alternatives, feel free to contact me and try some samples of TRUTH or get your complimentary Aromatherapy consultation.

Charleene O’Connor

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