Waking Up | Eat Clean and Avoid the Dirty Dozen

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Living a healthy lifestyle takes commitment and attention. For some, the journey begins with forgoing a drive-thru meal and choosing a Lean Cuisine Salisbury Steak from the freezer at home.

We all have to start somewhere.

A boxed, reduced-calorie meal may be lower in calories and fat than its fast food counterpart, but the list of artificial ingredients is a telltale sign that it still doesn’t qualify as real food.

Real food is abundant in living enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. And some ingredients not found naturally in real food can be just as detrimental to our health as macronutrients are nourishing.

When grown organically and minimally processed, real food is free of pesticide residue, preservatives, and synthetic colors and flavors; all of which have been shown to have negative impacts on our well being.

So the first step in cleaning up your diet is to start with fruits and vegetables. The benefits of eating fresh food far outweigh the risks of consuming pesticide residue. Just be sure to wash, and if conventionally grown, peel your produce.

It’s true that organic foods can seem like a budget blower, but there are choices when it comes to your investment. The Environmental Working Group ranks the “Dirty Dozen,” showing test results of the 12 fruits and vegetables most likely to contain the highest amount of contamination. They even provide a convenient shopper's guide available to download or print so that you can make informed decisions that work best for your budget and family.

Read more about why choosing organic foods is so important.

 

Photo by Tony Frantz