Organic On A Budget

It’s no surprise to us that there is a significant price difference between organic products and non-organic products. The majority of people can’t afford to do all of their shopping at Whole Foods Market and high end specialty stores, and that’s ok.

I have often wondered why it costs so much to eat food in its natural state. Wouldn’t you think that it would cost more to eat processed foods, since they require more time and effort? Weird…our world is so backwards.

Well, here is a guideline to help you prioritize the foods that you buy organic. If you can’t buy 100% organic, use this list as a guide to know what is the most important and what might be ok to get non-organic. It might surprise you when you see that fruits and veggies are not at the top of the list!

Priority Foods to Buy Organic

1. Meat, Eggs, & Dairy-

Pesticides are not the only things to worry about when buying foods. Meat, eggs, & dairy carry loads of antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO products, infected puss (so gross!), and pesticides. If you haven’t already, I recommend watching the movie, Food Inc. This movie is incredibly impactful and informative about where our food comes from and the living situations of conventionally grown animals.

Farmers have managed to genetically modify chickens so that their breasts grow much larger in proportion to their bodies and in less than half the time in order to maximize profits. They inject them with hormones causing them to grow rapidly. These hormones are transmitted to the meat, eggs, and dairy (in the case of cows) and ultimately our bodies when we eat them.

The living conditions of conventional animals are horrible. They stand in their own feces all day, in a barn or stable, usually with no windows or fresh air, piled on top of each other. This causes many illnesses to be transmitted to other animals. To prevent losing all of the livestock to disease, the animals are injected with various antibiotics to fight off the diseases. These antibiotics are also transmitted to our bodies through meat, eggs, and dairy. This causes many problems, including the growing issue of antibiotic resistant infections, not to mention, killing the natural good bacteria in our gut leading to further diseases especially in the digestive tract.

If organic meat is not available, the next best choice is free range poultry (and eggs) and grass-fed beef. This simple factor makes a huge difference in the structure of the food molecules and quality of the food. Did you know that the difference between conventionally grown beef and grass fed beef is like night and day? The ratio of good fats (omega 3´s) to bad fats is rediculous!  Conventionally grown beef is fed corn, which is not natural for cows, they are supposed to graze in the fields right? When cows are put in closed quarters and fed corn feed, their meat contains up to three times more fat and calories. Grass fed meat is much leaner and contains a fountain of vitamins, good fats, and important minerals to keep our bodies healthy and lean. Grass-fed beef contains three times more Vitamin E than grain-fed beef. It is also known that free-range eggs have the following qualities as opposed to commercially grown:

  • 1/3 less cholesterol

  • 1/4 less saturated fat

  • 2/3 more vitamin A

  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids

  • 3 times more vitamin E

  • 7 times more beta carotene

2. Fruits and Vegetables

Various studies and websites agree on the most important fresh produce to purchase organic and the ones that are safer to buy non-organic. Here is a list of those you should purchase organic or not at all due to their very high levels of pesticides and herbicides:

  • Peaches and Nectarines: Peaches require a large amount of pesticides to grow conventionally and have extremely delicate skin, making them the top organic fruit pick – with nectarines not far behind.

  • Apples: Apples are the second priority when choosing organic produce, as their pesticide loads consistently test high.

  • Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are the number one vegetable to buy organic. They have thin skins and are heavily sprayed with insecticides.

  • Celery: Celery lacks a protective outer layer and needs many different chemicals for conventional growth, making it number two on the list of vegetables to buy organic.

  • Strawberries: Strawberries rank high on the organic priority list. They are treated with very large amounts of pesticides, including fungicides. When purchased out-of-season, they probably come from a country with inadequate pesticide regulations.

  • Cherries: Cherries continually rank high for pesticide contamination.

  • Lettuce and Spinach: Lettuce and spinach are often found to have high levels of various pesticides – sometimes very potent types.

  • Imported Grapes: Imported grapes are likely to have higher pesticide levels than domestic. Vineyards may be sprayed with a number of different pesticides throughout the growing season. Because grapes have a permeable skin, even peeling will not eliminate the residues.

  • Pears: Pears consistently show high levels of pesticides when tested

  • Potatoes: Potatoes are at high risk for pesticide contamination and may also be affected by chemicals, such as fungicides, in the surrounding soil.

3. Coffee

Conventional coffee farming depends heavily on pesticides and herbicides. Furthermore, coffee is typically grown in countries where these chemicals are not strictly regulated.

Safe Non-Organic Foods

These foods have the lowest pesticide residue compared to others, so you can save money and buy these commercially grown products.

  • Broccoli

  • Eggplant

  • Cabbage

  • Banana

  • Kiwi

  • Asparagus

  • Sweet peas (frozen)

  • Mango

  • Pineapple

  • Sweet corn (frozen)

  • Avocado

  • Onion

There you have it! There is today’s Thrifty Thursday tip for the day. Remember to ALWAYS try to buy local and support your farmer’s market or local coop! You make a decision to who you will support with every dollar you spend! Spend wisely today!

XOXO,

 

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THRIFTY THURSDAY- Coconut Oil

Hey Everyone!

I hope you’re having a B-E-A-UUUUTIFUL Day! I know I am! 🙂 Today I want to talk to you about Coconut Oil. Thrifty Thursday is a day when I like to talk about the things in life that will give you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to living a healthy, full, vibrant life.

If you are a rookie to coconut oil, I can pretty much guarantee that you have not experienced it’s magical powers to the fullest. Honestly, one of the bummers of living overseas is that I can’t order coconut oil by the 5-gallon, because if I could, I so would! Its a HUGE savings! How in the world do I go through so much coconut oil? Well, my friend, let me tell you some of it’s amazing benefits…

  • Weight Loss- WAIT! Weight Loss…with a saturated fat?? Yes sir/ma’am! Coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acids have been proven to effectively speed up metabolism. A study reported medium-chain fatty acids to be three times more effective in raising metabolism than long-chain fatty acids, leading researchers to conclude that effective weight loss can be achieved by replacing long-chain fatty acids with medium- chain fatty acids. (http://www.naturalnews.com/026808_oil_coconut.html). These healthy fats also make you feel fuller faster, therefore suppressing appetite preventing overeating.
  • Inside-out hair conditioner- The unique fatty acids in coconut oil have a small molecular structure and pass freely into the hair’s cell membrane, allowing for the oil to penetrate the hair’s roots; this literally brings out the deep conditioning from within compared to other conditioners that work from the outside in.
  • Improves cholesterol levels- A study done on women between the ages of 20-40, showed increased HDL (good cholesterol) and lowered LDL (bad cholesterol).
  • Lowers risk of heart disease & diabetes- This same women’s study showed that coconut oil shrank women’s waist circumference, lowered their BMI, lowered heart disease risk, and stabilized blood sugar levels quite effectively.
  • Effective against Alzheimer’s Disease- Dr. Mary Newport gave her husband with dementia 1 tbs. coconut oil twice a day for a month and watched him almost completely recover. WOW!
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, antiyeast, antiviral…
  • Fights against cancer, HIV, and other viruses
  • Improves bowel movements by lubricating the digestive tract
  • Strengthens the liver
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Known as a teeth whitener by swishing around in mouth
  • Relief from dandruff.
  • Decreases osteoporosis and improves bone health- Research has found coconut oil to help prevent osteoporosis because it helps in the nutrient absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium – important minerals that fight osteoporosis.
  • Improves chronic fatigue- These medium chain fatty acids create energy instead of creating body fat, fighting both body fat & fatigue.
  • Skin Protector- Coconut oil acts as a natural sunscreen, protecting 20% of the sun’s UV rays, while nourishing the skin and protecting from free radical damage.
  • Amazing for the thyroid
  • Great for rashes & eczema
  • Great for marriages 😉
  • Anti-aging moisturizer- It’s high antioxidant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, vitamin E, & caphrilic acid  content have anti-aging effects on the skin & the body!
  • Pneumonia Healer- In a study presented before The American College of Chest Physicians on October 29, 2008, coconut oil was found to offer pneumonia patients faster and more complete relief from symptoms.
  • And substituting coconut oil for other unhealthy fats, especially when cooking can remove many carcinogenic & inflammatory oils and fats from the diet!
  • Coconut oil is the BEST oil to cook with because it has a very high smoke point and the fats don’t go rancid. Even olive oil can easily become carcinogenic when using it to cook.

So, how do I use coconut oil on a day to day use?

  • I wake up and swish around some coconut oil in my mouth- known as “oil pulling”
  • I’ll put 1 tsp in my warm lemon water from time to time
  • I put it in my green smoothie
  • Then I’ll make my husband some over easy eggs with coconut oil
  • During the summer, I use it on my skin while laying in the sun
  • Take a shower- sometimes using it as a conditioner
  • Use it as a moisturizer for face and body
  • Use it in my cooking & baking
  • Use it on my dry elbows & heels
  • And when my husband is exhausted and every muscle hurts from his line of work, it makes the best massage oil with some essential oils added.

If you live in America, you’re in luck, because you can order coconut oil by the 1-gallon and 5-gallon! Both options are offered through my amazon store- http://astore.amazon.com/wwwjessicalop-20. If you’re overseas, you can do what I do, and order from iherb.com. If you’ve never used iherb.com, you can use my coupon code, XAV152 for up to $10 off your order!

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT COCONUT OIL

When you’re buying coconut oil. There are some things you need to look for…

  1. Never buy refined coconut oil. Always buy extra virgin or virgin coconut oil.
  2. It is always preferred to buy organic
  3. Contact the manufacturers to make sure their plastic containers are BPA free because if not, the BPA can be extracted by the coconut oil and contaminate it.

So, have a blast with coconut oil! The nutrients and benefits you will get from 1 tbs. goes a VERY long ways, qualifying it for today’s “Thrifty Thursday” spotlight!

Have a great day!

xoxo,

Jessica

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10

Resources:

http://www.naturalnews.com/036156_Coconut_oil_superfood_healing.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/coconut-oil-benefits_b_821453.html

http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

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