Choose the clean 15 and be Cautious of the Dirty Dozen

The dirty dozen and the clean 15 refers to fruits and vegetables and their pesticide contamination levels according to the Environmental Working Group.

We live in a society where creating a higher yield with larger and stronger plants is more important to the producer than it is to create healthy whole food to feed the buyer. Due to our extremely competitive market, pesticides are being used on all of our fruits and vegetables.

Unfortunately, pesticides are terribly toxic to the human body. Many pesticides are being linked to serious health problems, some of which are even deadly, including hormone disruption, cancer, and brain toxicity, just to name a few.

David Suzuki shares this brief document that reviews the 61 pesticides that are banned in other industrialized countries but are still widely used in Canada.
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/reports/2006/pesticide-use-in-canada/

What does the dirty dozen mean?

The dirty dozen are 12 fruits and vegetables that have the highest level of contamination. These are the 12 that you want to buy organic when possible!

2016ShoppersGuideIn order of most contamination to least:
– Strawberries
– Apples
– Nectarines
– Peaches
– Celery
– Grapes
– Cherries
– Spinach
– Tomatoes
– Sweet bell peppers
– Cherry tomatoes
– Cucumbers

Of course it’s understandable that choosing organic for all of your produce can often mean spending more money in the grocery stores. For some households this can cause financial struggles. To keep that grocery bill down we have the clean 15, the list of produce that contains a much lower amount of pesticides. Although it’s generally better to buy organic as often as possible, when eating these clean 15 you can be happy to know you aren’t ingesting a high dose of chemical toxins.

The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination)

– Avocado
– Sweet corn
– Pineapples
– Cabbage
– Sweet peas frozen
– Onions
– Asparagus
– Mangos
– Papayas
– Kiwi
– Eggplant
– Honeydew Melon
– Grapefruit
– Cantaloupe
– Cauliflower

If you can’t go organic should you stay away from the dirty dozen?

Absolutely not! Eating non-organic fruits and vegetables (even the dirty dozen) is a much better choice than eating something from a box, which is probably filled with toxic chemicals. However, if you can stick to choosing organic for the toxin filled dirty dozen, your body will thank you!

Michelle Wolfe, RMT
Protocol Therapist, Director of Social Media

www.Aim2Walk.ca
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Knowledge is Power!

It was a full house at the “Day to Day Life with MS” information session.  The night focused on the physical and mental well-being of people living with Multiple Sclerosis. The topics of the night were Balance, Dealing with Stress and Nutrition, and were presented by Matt Sanchez, Patricia Tomsai and Michelle Wolfe (me).  Each topic provided knowledge that could help everyone improve their quality of life. 

ImageI am passionate about nutrition and its importance on the way our bodies heal and function. The topics are endless when it comes to nutrition and there is always something new to learn about leading healthy lifestyles through food choices. Here are the main points that I consider worth looking into and adapting into your own lifestyle. 

1.     Try eliminating gluten and refined grains! Although grains are a staple in most diets, more and more research finds that many people are allergic or have sensitivity to gluten. Not only could gluten be the culprit to uncomfortable bloat and digestive issues, it can have many other effects on the body. Headaches, migraines, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, tingling in extremities and various neurological issues could be caused by gluten sensitivity. Even emotional upset and irritation have been linked to gluten sensitivity. I highly recommend trying to stay away from gluten. You may be surprised at how your body and mind feels! 

 2.     Eat “clean!” Stay away from boxed and processed foods and eat more organic vegetables/ fruits and grass-fed, hormone-free meat. When you eat clean, you eat from the earth and stay away from harmful genetically modified foods that are filled with toxic substances. This allows our bodies to function properly and be fueled with the best nutrients and minerals. It’s not always easy to eat clean but set goals for yourself and try whenever possible. I often eat clean on the weekdays and allow myself to indulge on weekends. It can be hard to eat clean at restaurants, however when choosing your own groceries, choose the foods that will keep you strong and healthy.  

 3.     Eat more vegetables and fruits!  If you’re eliminating your grains, this will allow more room for your nine cups of vitamin-packed vegetables and fruits. I understand that eating lots of vegetables doesn’t necessarily sound that appealing, however, I guarantee if you put a little effort into new and interesting recipes, you will be amazed.  With the right spices and homemade dressings, you can make those boring veggies come to life!  I’ve included some of my favorite clean recipe websites where you can get more creative ideas.  

Image4.     Stay away from sugar! Refined sugar is a toxic substance that has absolutely no nutrients needed for your body! It has no enzymes, no good fat and no protein. In fact, it pulls good nutrients from our bodies while it digests. If you need a sweetener, try using honey or maple syrup which both has nutritional value. Research suggests that artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, can enlarge both the liver and kidneys. It can cause skin rashes, panic, diarrhea and headaches. Aspartame which is another common man-made sweetener has caused horrific side effects that could result in you feeling like your in a horror movie including seizures and brain tumors. Is it really worth putting these toxins into your body to save a few calories? 

5.     Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids to your diet! Research has shown that fatty acids, particularly Omega-3, are known to have various positive results on people with neurological disorders which include building cell membranes in the brain. Fish oils are one of the best sources, however, vegetarians can choose flax or hemp seed oil as well. Take it as a shot or drizzle over your salads. Other sources include leafy greens such as kale and spinach and walnuts and pumpkin seeds.  

Here’s a personal story about the impact of nutrition and healing. My best friend’s father was diagnosed with MS when his eye sight began to deteriorate. He traveled to India to have the CCSVI liberation treatment and had wonderful success. His eye sight was back and he was able to return to work.  After a couple of months he began to notice deterioration in his vision and decided to review his diet with a Naturalpath.  He was put on a strict diet of No Gluten, No Refined Sugar and No Dairy. After almost three years on this diet, he has been free of his MS symptoms.  

If you’re not passionate about nutrition or if you don’t have the time to learn about it, you can hire someone to create a food plan for you. I highly suggest consulting a Naturalpath or Certified Holistic Nutritionist to start. Not only can they provide a meal plan based on foods and supplements that are good for you, they can also do food testing to be sure you’re not allergic to the foods you eat. Elimination diets reduce the irritation and inflammation in your body and allow your body to function properly.  Remember, in order for your body to run to optimal ability you need to give it the nutrients it needs and deserves! 

 Here are a few of my favorite websites where I like to get new ideas of healthy recipes. They provide lots of choices for all kinds of specific diets. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 

 

1. www.elanaspantry.com (the chocolate cake is melt-in-your-mouth delicious!)

2.www.glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.ca/

3. www.ohsheglows.com

 Are you looking for places in Toronto to find quality organic and GMO-free meats and veggies?  Check out my blog from last year for some local markets and shops. I’ve also included a few links to vegetable home delivery services. It can’t get much easier than this! https://neurochangers.com/2013/03/14/cool-links-healthy-food-in-the-city/

If you’re looking for more ideas of how to get in those nine cups of veggies, try juicing.  www.belmonteraw.com is a local company of raw organic meals and juices that can be delivered right to your doorstop. I love this company for its convenience! 

ImageThe idea of changing your diet could sound as painful as nails scratching on a chalk board; however, if this lifestyle could eliminate or reduce your MS symptoms, then it’s certainly worth a try!

Michelle Wolfe, RMT