Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Get The Tastiest Health Food Recipes With Nathalie

This week on the blog, I want YOU to have the best access to the most amazing health food recipes. That's why I was inspired to interview my dear friend Nathalie, proud creator of Vanille Verte

Who Is Nathalie? 

I am a nutrition educator and natural foods chef, creator of the Vanille Verte app and food blog www.vanilleverte.com, and an upcoming cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2016). 


What are your top 3 passions in life?

Food, health and, of course, my family.


How did you develop such a deep love of high quality food? 

I grew up in Madagascar, where we ate whole, in season foods, cooked from scratch. When I moved to the US as a teenager, however, I ate a junk food diet well into my twenties. After years of this kind of eating, I developed a lot of health issues. I was overweight, and suffered from migraines and chronic anxiety. In my quest for answers, I discovered the power of food and healed myself naturally by changing my diet and learning how to cook. I am a hedonist, though, and I firmly believe that healthy food needs to taste ridiculously good, or I simply will not eat it. When you select foods with care and a commitment to quality, you end up eating foods that are not only nutritionally superior, but also very tasty. And that’s incredibly important. 




Where do you shop for your weekly groceries? 

In farmers’ markets, health food stores, or grocery stores with sizable organic and local produce sections. For hard to get un-perishable items, I also order online, as I find it easier and less time-consuming.


When buying food, what do you look for to ensure you are maximizing your nutrition?

I look for local, and in season, foods. Foods that are in season, and haven’t traveled very far to get to us are more nutritious, gentler on the earth, and certainly more flavorful. Can you buy strawberries in the middle of December? Yes, of course. Do they taste good? Nope. There’s nothing better than fruits and vegetables at the height of the season. And they’re much cheaper, as well. 


How did you learn to cook so beautifully and wholesomely? 

When I started my journey towards better health, I really didn’t know how to cook. I could make pasta with jarred tomato sauce, and that was pretty much it. After realizing that my key to better health meant reclaiming my kitchen and eating homemade food, I attended the Natural Chef training program at Bauman College in Berkeley, CA. 


What inspired you to start the stunning recipe blog Vanille Verte and release a cooking app?

With the rise and convenience of processed foods, we have created whole generations of people who don’t know how to cook. But I really believe that the key to health and vibrancy lies in our kitchen, and at the end of our forks. Learning to make healthy food for ourselves is vital, and my goal with the blog, the app, and my upcoming cookbook, is to inspire people to reclaim that long lost tradition of making food for ourselves. That, more than anything else, is how we nurture health. 


How do you consistently come up with new and interesting ideas for creating recipes? 

I get inspired countless places - the farmers’ market (seeing all the produce in season); looking through recipes online or in cookbooks (which inspires me to try new ingredients, or techniques); restaurants (which often have very creative chefs that give me food for thought); talking with friends who love food; and in my own kitchen, depending on what is in the fridge. Like everyone, I can get into repetitive ruts in my cooking, times when I find myself making the same dishes over and over again. When that happens, I try to spend more time in farmers’ markets - there is always something new to discover, and the farmers are so knowledgeable and passionate about what they sell, which invariably sparks my creativity.


What has been your favorite / most memorable dish that you have made to date? 

I don’t think there’s been just one! I am constantly evolving and learning, so my favorite dishes are often the ones that I recently created. But if I have to pick something, I will say that more than a single dish, there are certain techniques that have opened whole new worlds to me, such as when I first learned to make my own nut milks or creams, spiralize vegetables into spaghetti, or make chips out of just about any vegetable. When we remaster old techniques using new ingredients, it’s a very exciting thing. 




Your husband and son are very fortunate to have you as their very own private natural chef, what are their favorite dishes that you make on a regular basis? 

My son is a true carnivore, so anything with animal products, he really enjoys. Perhaps his favorite dish of mine lately is the Miso-Glazed Cod (recipe on the blog), which he gobbles up every time I make it. My husband is much less picky and loves just about anything I create, unless it has avocado. 


If you could give us 3 top tips for making simple yet healthy food at home, what would they be?

1) Don’t be afraid. Cooking does not have to be complicated, and anybody can do it! When you buy high quality ingredients (organic, in season, local), they don’t need much fuss to shine. When an heirloom tomato is perfectly ripe, for example, it can taste like perfection on its own, or with just a drizzle or olive oil and sea salt. If you need a boost in confidence, look for instructional videos on the internet and in the app stores (of course, I am partial to my own app, Vanille Verte, that comes with lots of tutorial videos! :)) for cooking resources. Have fun and take a cooking class or two, as well. It will teach you that homemade food can be very simple to create!

2) You have time. We often think that we don’t have time to cook, but really, it is a question of priorities. We can watch hours of television each day, or cruise social media for far longer than we should, yet a simple meal of chopped up vegetables and salad and fruit will take less time to create than it would to get pizza delivered! So care about your only body enough to make it a habit to get into your kitchen and prepare food. It really is so very important for health. And even if we make unhealthy meals at home, like burgers and fries, when we use fresh ingredients and make it ourselves, the end product will be a lot healthier than if we had bought the same meal in a restaurant or fast food. At home, we have control over the ingredients that we use, and we will not use additives or ever as much salt as can be found in processed foods. 

3) Make sure that 60-70% of your plate is filled with vegetables and fruits. There is probably no more important rule for health. The rest (i.e. whether you are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, Paleo, etc.) does not appear to matter as much. Most dietary traditions agree on that one single principle: when fresh produce and vegetables make up the bulk of our diet, vibrant health is within reach. So cut up some vegetables, drizzle them with a little olive oil and lemon juice, add some chopped up nuts or grilled meats, and finish it off with chopped mixed herbs and a sprinkle of sea salt. In less than 30 minutes, you will have a nourishing meal that will help you feel your very best. Enjoy!

Click here to get the Vanille Verte App full of delicious recipes for healthy cooking in the comfort of your home, AND be sure to check out Nathalie's stunning food blog www.vanilleverte.com for further inspiration!  


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Discover the endless benefits of having your very own personal Health Coach

I love being a Certified Health Coach, working with my clients on making healthier food and lifestyle choices so they can be and feel their best! 

In the Personalized Wellness Program, some of the fun things we do together can include: 

- Healthy food shopping tours to discover all the delicious foods you can eat! 
- Hands on cooking workshops to enjoy nutritious meals that taste amazing and are easy to make
- Personalized nutrition plan so that you know exactly what, when and how to eat
- Self care tools to love your self unconditionally, feel great and look your best 
- Stress reduction strategies to better cope in life and embrace each moment of the day   
- Energy boosting tips to be able to do all the things you love! 

When I work with each individual, I take the time to explore the mind / body connection and get to the root cause of their health concerns. By maximizing the raw materials the body needs to function optimally, minimizing what is not serving your wellbeing, and balancing each day so that you feel fantastic, you can live a happy and healthy life! 

I bust the diet myths and confusion by making things simple, enjoyable and bringing you back to living and eating the way nature intended. We are all different, and therefore have unique needs, preferences, goals and desires.

If you are interested in learning more about how I can guide and support you to vibrant health, please email sarah@mybalanceandwellness.com and check out my website www.mybalanceandwellness.com for more information about my Personalized Wellness Program. 

Click here to read about the life changing experiences my clients have had due to working with me! I will hold you accountable and inspire you so that you are empowered to embrace a healthy way of living for life!  


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Don't Fear Eating Fat!

A warm hello to all my health inspired friends!

This week on the blog I want to talk about the many benefits of eating healthy fats in a balanced diet. Don't you find it crazy that since people started fearing fats and drastically cutting them out of their diet in hopes of losing weight and improving their health, obesity, diabetes and heart disease amongst the general western population skyrocketed?! So what's up with this?


Healthy fats, such as those found in nutrient dense whole foods like avocados, pasture raised and organic eggs, grass fed butter or ghee, wild salmon, grass fed and finished meat, raw nuts and seeds, olives, cold pressed oils, organic dark chocolate (min 70% raw cacao, preferably 85%) and coconut, are vital for proper functioning of our bodies. Mother Nature didn't make a mistake when she included them in our natural food supply, and we have been consuming them since the beginning of man kind!




-  Did you know that the membrane of every cell in your body is made of fat?  Over 10,000,000,000 of them!  And those membranes are at least 50% saturated fat!  We need strong, supple membranes to keep toxins out of cells, to facilitate nutrients moving in, and to keep cellular signaling working optimally.  (Information sourced from Tracy Harrison, Eat On Purpose)

- Did you know that the brain is mostly made of fat too? So we need enough healthy fats in our daily diet to nourish the brain and support its optimal functioning. Healthy fats, such as omega-3s found densely in wild fatty fish such as salmon, or high quality fish oil supplements, have been shown to support and boost your mood, helping to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.

- Fat adds flavor to meals, helps to fill you up, keeps you satisfied, and allows you to consume fewer calories overall without deprivation, assisting natural weight loss. Fat turns off our body’s hunger signal and is great for stabilizing blood sugar in the day when included in your meals.

- Fat, when sourced from high quality whole foods as mentioned earlier, contains health promoting fat soluble vitamins A, E and K. Vitamin D is also a fat soluble vitamin, but it is best made in the body via gentle exposure to the sun without sunscreen. I tell my clients to opt. for early morning or late evening summer sun exposure, when the rays are not so strong. Just 30 minutes total each day produces 10000+ IU of Vit D! For many people living in the USA, it is necessary to supplement Vitamin D3 during the winter months as the sun is not high / strong enough to allow sufficient production of Vit D.  

- Fat is the starting point in sex hormone production. So to help balance your hormones naturally, whether you are male or female, enjoy healthy fats with your daily meals.




The list of health benefits from consuming adequate healthy fats as part of a balanced diet is ENDLESS! So enjoy your eggs with the yolk for breakfast, add grass fed butter to your cooked vegetables, nibble on raw nuts and seeds for a snack when hungry, and cook at higher temperatures with stable coconut oil. YUM!      




Thursday, April 30, 2015

NEW INTERVIEW: How To Better Cope In Life By Making Meditation A Daily Practice

Amanda, I wanted to interview you because you have been a powerful teacher in my life’s journey. You kindly taught me the art of meditation, setting me up with a daily mindfulness practice. The way you live your own life with such grace, ease and flow is very admirable and inspiring, so I want to share with readers of My Balance & Wellness, a little more about you.


So, tell us a little about yourself (here you can mention Daily Practice Daily Health): 
First and foremost, I am a practitioner at heart. I have been regularly meditating since 2009, and have chosen the path of science and integrative medicine as my profession (or vehicle) in which to share the life-changing healing benefits of a daily meditation practice. Currently, I work with a research team at UCSF that conducts clinical research on mindfulness and meditation. Additionally, I also just started a meditation instruction practice called Daily Practice Daily Health.




Do you remember your first spiritual moment?
Yes- the moment I woke up to who I am and who we are as humans---One.
In reflection, I also see I have always been a sensitive or seemingly spiritually aware human. I remember as a child feeling completely connected to nature in a very deep and meaningful way, and being very obsessed with and aware of energy.

When and why did you start a daily mindfulness practice? 
I started a daily meditation practice in 2009 after going through a extremely challenging time in my life. I had learned mindfulness and meditation techniques beginning as early as high school and studied holistic health in college. Yet the daily practice started after learning meditation at a personal and spiritual growth retreat with Deepak Chopra and my first meditation teacher Davidji. From there my life’s work both personally and professionally organically became about being in total optimal health and training in meditation and mindfulness techniques in order to support others in realizing their own health and healing.

How has it changed your mind, body and life since? 
When I started to meditate I really began to heal- like really heal. I could feel myself healing on a very deep internal, mental, emotional and physical level. Meditating daily has utterly and completely changed how I process information and the world around me. I relate to life through a place of peace and my own centered “home” energy, which has been cultivated through a daily practice.

After dedicating yourself to the practice for years now, are there days when you find it challenging?
Challenging moments are our greatest teachers. When I am feeling resistant to meditating then I know there is imbalance occurring, so I take a look at the resistance, and ask, “What is this really?” Usually it is a negative belief pattern surfacing or plain old self-sabotage. When we refrain from or avoid what nourishes and heals us the most we know that this is where the “work” is. We can also eliminate many challenges to having a practice by making it a part of our morning waking experience and routine.

How does mindfulness influence your food choices?
When we are mindful we are connected to ourselves, therefore we are also aware of what makes us feel good and what doesn’t. This directly relates to our food choices. We are better able to discern our feelings, emotions, unconscious conditioning, and habits around food and our eating behaviors. With this awareness we can make new choices.

What is your favorite daily self-care ritual (besides meditation)? 
Choosing to be in joy and radical happiness every morning. Committing to joy in the morning changes our life experience and relationship to our daily stressors. We become more resilient.

When you meditate daily, do you get to a point where you say, “Ah, I’ve got this!” or is it a practice that constantly grows and evolves? 
In meditation we definitely get to a point where it becomes effortless to slip into the “gap” or the space between thoughts. This is when we know we are really meditating. While growing this “mindfulness muscle” happens over time, you can experience a plethora of benefits the very first time you meditate with the right instruction and guidance.

What is one key meditation tip you can share with our health savvy friends out there? 
Posture. When just beginning to meditate, sitting with a dignified posture (straight spine, head slightly back, and square hips) helps set the intention to really be in a meditation practice. We essentially are sending the signal to our brains that we are serious, present, and committed to the next 15-30 minutes of practice.

What do you find is the biggest benefit to embracing a meditation practice?
Finding your center so you can grow and expand into who you are really meant to be in the world AND the ability to choose how we react to challenges and stress.

What is the biggest misconception about meditating?  
That you are not suppose to have thoughts while you meditate. This is completely inaccurate. You will of course have thoughts as you meditate (we are humans with a mind). The practice arises in letting those thoughts pass through and not becoming attached to our thoughts. So we attempt and practice the art of refraining from starting a conversation in our minds while we are meditating and consistently returning to our object of focus (the breathe, a mantra or open awareness).

So how do we get started? 
Show up. Show up for you, show up for your current or new practice, your health, your well-being, and your own self-healing. By showing up for yourself you are then able to truly and more authentically show up for others and the whole world.


*Meditation cushions


If you are beginning and new to daily practice start with a 12-minute timed meditation practice (email me for guidance and beginning techniques: amanda@dailypracticedailyhealth.com) and then build your practice slowly over 1-2 weeks to 30 minutes a day. The research shows, it takes between 20-30 minutes to physiologically and psychologically settle enough in our bodies and minds to experience the full benefits of a meditation practice. I am also here to help those who have an established meditation practice deepen it, or sift through any challenges that may be coming up. My deep hearts desire is to support as many of us as possible to meditate and discover how this ancient and simple tool can profoundly change our lives.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Read about the inspirational weight loss journey of the woman behind "But, you have such a pretty face Blog"

Who is the face behind “But, you have such a pretty face Blog”?


Natasha, tell us a little bit about yourself:

Well where do I start?! I grew up in the beautiful town of Geelong, Victoria and moved to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland 4 years ago! I’m the oldest of 3 kids and 20+ grandchildren (that number keeps growing!). I’m 26 and I completed my Public Relations degree from Deakin University in 2011, I then started a career at Youi Insurance where I still am today! When I look back onto my experience so far my greatest strength has been the ability to communicate with everyone and especially customers by writing – and for as long as I can remember I have always struggled with my weight.



What inspired you to make a real and honest blog about your health journey?

It was actually done by accident; I never planned it, which I believe has been the secret behind its success. I was plain and simply just over being fat, I’d been fat for 26 years and needed to do something about it. I needed to stop lying to myself, so writing down my pain helped me deal with it, and it helped me become accountable. I was over being told all the time ‘But, you’ve got such a pretty face’ whenever I would run into someone down the street, try on clothes in a clothing store or go and visit friends/family. They didn’t know how much pain that sentence caused. I knew a lot of other people must have heard it to and must be feeling like I was feeling, so I decided to write about it and show everyone that I’m so much more than just a pretty face.


What response have you had from readers?

To be honest it’s been incredible, the amount of messages I’ve received has just been completely overwhelming, all of them positive! I’ve received so much support from around the world but the biggest of all has been that people have told me that it’s inspired them to do something about their own battles. People are starting to want to help themselves and that’s what it’s all about!


If you could give one tip to people to help them get started on their own weight loss journey or health kick, what would it be?

YOU CAN DO IT, ANY ONE CAN! Don’t let other people tell you that you need to ‘do something’ because you already know that, and you might never feel ready, you’ve just got to do it, just dive in!


How has losing the weight improved your health and happiness so far?

You hear people say it makes them happy when they lose weight, but until you do it yourself, the feeling is indescribable & I’m only half way! The results speak for themselves! I’m no longer pre-diabetic; my cholesterol and blood pressure are no longer high, they’re both now in the normal range! My liver is still elevated but nowhere near where it was and my follicles on my ovaries have completely gone! I still have liver disease and PCOS however both are improving every single day!


Can taste buds really change? Now that you are eating differently, do you even desire the foods that we all know aren’t the best for us?

I’ve learnt that there’s no such thing as good or bad foods, it’s simply ‘all the time’ & ‘sometime’ foods. Keeping this in the back of my mind sure has helped. I’m human and still love Nutella, for me it’s just about learning about portion control, and how much better I feel when I don’t over eat. It’s important to reward yourself and still live a normal life, don’t stop your social life because you’re ‘on a diet’ just be careful what your order!




Do you think diet and exercise are equally important in losing weight naturally and sustainably?

Absolutely. They go hand in hand, and you feel so good after the exercise is done! Getting yourself out of bed in the morning for exercise isn’t easy, still not getting myself out of bed for the past 26 years hasn’t done me any favours, so it’s time to get up!


Favorite food crush?

My ‘sometime’ food crush is my grandmothers Slovenian apple strudel!
My ‘all the time’ food crush is roast lamb and veggies! Yum!


Do you have any daily self-care rituals that you couldn’t live without?

I recently bought a whole range of organic skin care products to look after the new me!


What does the power of the mind have on supporting you in this journey?

It’s the whole thing. Mindset is everything! Without it, I would have never made it to where I am!


You are inspirational to all your friends, family and readers, but who inspires you?

Its weird hearing that, yet so flattering at the same time! This might seem cliché, but my family is the ones who inspire me. My sister and brother are constantly pushing themselves to achieve higher and my parents have always encouraged us to do so.


Do you have a favorite quote, mantra or affirmation?

“If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And where I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now”


What is your approach to food?

Now it’s a lot different. It was my lack of knowledge that caused the majority of issues, which lead to poor choices. If you’ve never been taught you don’t know how it all works. You know that ‘that’s bad for you!’ yet you never actually learn why?! I now look at everything like a mathematical equation. I’ve learnt how many calories my body uses each day Vs how many calories I put into it to fuel it. It’s just learning how to work it all out, and once you’ve got it, it’s all coming up Britt from there!


Do you love to cook? If so what is your signature dish?

YES and roast, I love a good roast, you can choose from any piece of meat / fish, many different vegetables and so many side dish options! They possibilities are endless!


When you lose all the weight you want to lose, what is the first thing you want to do to celebrate that you may not have been able to so easily before?

To actually feel the water of the ocean & the sun on my tummy for the first time in my life, while I’m wearing a bikini!





What keeps you motivated on taking action steps to achieving your goal?

One thing that sticks out in my mind is remembering when I was little I would always have the same wish. I would find a dandelion in the garden, or see a shooting star, or blow out my birthday cake candles, it was always the same wish. I would squeeze my eyes tightly together & whisper to myself ‘I just wish, tomorrow when I wake up, I will be slim’. That wish never came true. BUT IT IS STARTING TO NOW!!


Are you enjoying the journey?

Sometimes it’s hard, really hard and whoever says it isn’t is lying. It requires a lot of mental and emotional strength and whoever has done it before should be so proud of themselves!  Especially when you hit a plateau, that’s the worst part, but you need to push through - the whole journey is worth it, so worth it.


What is your overall outlook on life?

If you’re not happy about something in your life, the only person who can make that change is staring at you in the mirror. You’re responsible for your life; no one else will fix it or help you. You’re the only one who has the power to do so and the responsibility of it to move forward.


Do you think that in today’s modern world, with obesity on the rise, weight and health concerns are due to lack of knowledge, poor food choices, lifestyle imbalance, genetics, and / or emotional issues?

All of the above, for me personally it was lack of knowledge which lead to poor lifestyle choices, that then in turn creates a lifestyle imbalance! It’s a vicious cycle and I’m really glad I cracked the mold of that cycle when I did! When you’re overweight, emotions get involved, as well as the other issues that are already contributing. Genetics personally were not my issue, no one in my family is obese, I’m the only one responsible for what went in my mouth, no one else was. I believe you can break the habit if you want to, take responsibility and live for yourself because you really do deserve it.


How did you decide what to eat and what not to eat in order to lose weight?

I knew I couldn’t do it on my own, I didn’t know what to eat or why. I decided I needed help and contacted ‘Lite N Easy’. They have taught me what to eat, how much to eat, how often and simplified the process for me. The best thing is it is REAL food, stuff you can buy from the supermarket, so when I stop ordering ‘Lite N Easy’, I’ll know what to get from the shops, for right now it’s so convenient for me, I pick up my bags and off to work I go! One bonus before I started Lite N Easy was that if I didn’t like it I wasn’t locked into a contact, I just brought a week of food and if I didn’t want it the next week I could cancel. Well I loved it, I lost 2.3 kilos in the first week and it’s still coming off!


Is this journey impacting other areas of your life, besides your health?

My work life is amazing; I’m so much happier, more alert and fit, even getting up the stairs into my office isn’t a struggle anymore! My relationship has also improved, I’m more active, we can do more activities and be involved in more areas of each other’s lives, and it’s really quite special, including the obvious ;)

Click here to enjoy following Natasha and her journey via the "But, you have such a pretty face Blog"




Want to stay in touch on all the latest health news? Sign up for my FREE once monthly newsletter by emailing sarah@mybalanceandwellness.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trouble Getting Sound Sleep? Discover Simple Solutions...

A good nights sleep is something I personally look forward to at the end of the day. It is the best way to repair and rejuvenate the body and the mind. Our busy lifestyles are making sleep less of a priority and harder to do. Do you often find yourself staying up late, feeling wired and tired, and finding it almost impossible to fall asleep? Or, do you find it difficult staying asleep through the night, and wake up feeling exhausted? Read on to discover my simply solutions to this problem.




HONOR A BEDTIME WIND DOWN RITUAL:

This includes...

- Avoiding the use of technology at night (yep, all of it: computers, phones and TVs etc.). Instead, embrace the art of "switching off" and do something relaxing with your time, such as reading a book, taking a bath, listening to some relaxing music, meditating, doing some gentle stretching or writing in a journal to get thoughts / stress off your mind.

- If you live in the city, use ear plugs and an eye mask to block out excess noise and light.

- Don't consume caffeine or other stimulants after 12 noon. Enjoy them during the morning instead, and if you are a coffee drinker, try to savor one cup only.

- Make sure your bedroom, bedding and pjs (if you wear them haha) aren't too hot.  If they are, it can disrupt sound sleep.

- Dim the lights and sip on a calming cup of herbal tea: lavender, chamomile, valerian, and passionflower are very relaxing varieties (a good wine substitute I think).

- Try not to eat dinner too late, ideally we would all eat a light dinner (salad, soup, stir fry etc.) approx. 3 hours before bedtime to ensure sound sleep. (Also try to get out of the habit of having alcohol on a nightly basis, save it for special occasions or as an end of week "treat").


SUPPORTIVE SUPPLEMENTS:
Please note: I am not a doctor, this is not diagnosing, curing or intended as a treatment plan in any way! 

Natural and safe sleep assistance to try could include...

- FOR TROUBLE FALLING ASLEEP:
0.5-3mg of melatonin taken 30 minutes prior to bedtime (start with 0.5; it is sufficient for most people). This is generally safe and effective for short-term use.

- FOR TROUBLE STAYING ASLEEP:
50-200mg of 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) before bed (start with the lower dose).
*Note: do not take 5-HTP if you are also currently taking a SSRI or SNRI (or other serotonin-enhancing) antidepressant drug (e.g. Zoloft, Trazadone) without additional guidance.



Now is the time to start your very own Personalized 3 Month Program with me as your supportive Health Coach. Spring is here and we will be into summer before we know it. Look and feel your best by learning what to eat for your unique body type. Email sarah@mybalanceandwellness.com to find out more! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

ORGANIC - Why it is so IMPORTANT!

When my clients come to me to improve their nutrition, health and wellness, they sometimes have misconceptions about ORGANIC FOOD! "Oh it's SO expensive" they say, and "I hear there is NO difference between the nutrient levels in organic and conventional food", or "I think it tastes the same"...

Well, I want to explain to you why eating organic IS SO IMPORTANT, not just for our own health:




- Organic food can be higher in nutrients because it is grown in much higher quality soil, so the food can have a higher mineral content. Also, when food is grown in a biodynamic way, the soil also contains more nutrients that leech into the produce grown in it. "Biodynamics has much in common with other organic approaches – it emphasizes the use of manures and composts and excludes the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants. Methods unique to the biodynamic approach include its treatment of animals, crops, and soil as a single system." - Wikipedia
*An important reminder that everything is connected and is essential in creating balance in our food supply and on earth. 

- Organic food to me tastes better, especially the foods on the dirty dozen list which are heavily sprayed with toxic chemicals! YUCK. I swear there is nothing more enjoyable than a super ripe organic strawberry picked fresh from your own garden or bought from the farmer's market. 

- Organic food can be a little more expensive, but I would rather pay a little more for my health now, than in huge medical bills later. *Hot tip: shop smart... go to the farmer's market at the end so you get the best deals or shop at Whole Foods when things are on sale and significant savings can be made. (I get my walnut butter from Whole Foods when it is on special for $5 off!). Also, don't get stuck in the expensive habit of buying the pre-chopped produce, instead buy it in its cheaper whole form and chop it up when you get home.  

- CONVENTIONAL food is full of health sabotaging toxic chemicals. Not only is this exposure bad for your body on a daily basis, but it is also killing the environment including animals, air quality, soil and our precious drinking water supplies. Heck, even the farmers spraying this stuff are getting sick! *Be careful if you and your family live in a farming area that is heavily sprayed - it has been linked to increased risk of illness, disease and cancer! 

"Organic fruits and vegetables have on average 180 times less pesticide contamination than conventionally produced. That is a big difference in toxicity." - Tracy Harrison from Eat On Purpose 

Vote with your forks friends! Each mindful food purchase adds up. Remember my favorite food rule?... Eat "SOUL Foods" (Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed and Local) for vibrant health. Simple!