Wishing everyone a wonderful, happy and healthy Thanksgiving. While we should be thankful and grateful every day, I really love taking time one day out of the year to spend time with family and friends, and sharing with them why we are grateful to have them in our lives. So on this day, take time to tell your loved ones at least one thing, one reason why you are thankful for them, Trust me, this will make their day and make them smile.
To help you get through this year’s Thanksgiving, enjoy the 2010 Dos and Don’ts for Thanksgiving.
Live Life, Live Healthy!
For the last 40 years, sugar has gotten a really bad rap. I can remember when I was six years old, my father reading this book called “The Sugar Blues.” All I remember is he said I couldn’t drink Nestle’s Quick chocolate milk, eat Fruity Pebbles, or have candy anymore. I was beyond devastated! How could a six-year old in 1978 be denied SUGAR? Pixie sticks and freeze pops were the highlight of my summer days!Well father knows best and he didn’t stop there. I could only eat non-sugared cereals which meant either Chex or Rice Krispies. I also could not put sugar on the cereal to sweeten it, only honey. Let me tell you that is an acquired taste. The honey never quite melted and often stuck to the cereal. Sigh. Instead of the chocolate milk, my dad came up with the “honey milk” creation. That was the way it was until I was 18. I didn’t eat white sugar or sugared cereals again until I went away to college.
Some of you may think my father went to the extreme and I did too, at the time. However, now that I am in the health field I believe he was on to something by being strict about what I was eating . I was rarely sick as a child. I was always energized, never lethargic. And I had really good skin as a teenager. (SUGAR=ACNE). Within the last few years many studies have surfaced about white sugar and the negative impact it has on the body. So I have begun to resort back to my old eating habits I had as a child and try to limit my white sugar intake. Of course my father, still a proponent of no “white sugar,” turned me on to agave.
I began using it in hot tea, on toast, in oatmeal and in baked goods. This new (but old) sugar substitute has become very popular but I wonder is it actually better than sugar or is it just as bad? I decided to do some research and look at the pros and cons of agave, as well as if it is truly healthier than sugar.
What is agave?
Agave nectar is a real sugar, as opposed to an artificial or non-nutritive sweetener. It has properties similar to many sugars with one important exception: its glycemic index is significantly lower. This makes it a healthier alternative to many processed AND natural sweeteners. Because agave is 1.5 times sweeter than sugar; you will not need as much.
Agave or Sugar?
Looking at the chart below, you can see that they measure up about the same to each other nutritionally. But what you are not able to see, is how they affect your body. Agave gets high marks for being low on the glycemic index (GI) rating, which means it won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels the way sugar does. High-GI foods like white sugar tend to make us feel hungry sooner since they are digested quickly. Therefore foods made with agave nectar may keep you feeling fuller longer than foods made with white sugar which translates to eating less.
|One tbsp sugar||One tbsp. agave nectar|
It is really important to read the labels and buy raw agave nectar when possible. A lot of brands of agave nectar are highly refined, containing almost 100 percent fructose, which is a higher percentage than that found in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Fructose is a sweetener known to raise triglycerides, promote belly fat, and contribute to fatty liver, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Some distributors of agave nectar have been labeling HFCS as agave nectar, so the FDA recommends looking for labels that say “hydrolyzed insulin syrup,” which they say means it is real agave. Sugar, on the other hand, is low in fructose, and high in glucose. It is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, which gives you a rush of energy. As this energy begins to wear off you find yourself craving more, but fructose will help to balance your energy levels, as well as your appetite.
Cons of Agave
If you are pregnant you should use agave with caution, as some species of agave contain anordin and dinordin steroids, which can lead to a miscarriage.
Even though agave does not spike blood sugar levels, it does make its way into the bloodstream as triglycerides. These can cause the arteries to harden, and eventually may cause heart attacks and strokes. So if you have any kind of heart problems you may want to stick with sugar.
While FDA says that hydrolyzed insulin syrup means real sugar, it has been said that its true name is “hydrolyzed high fructose insulin syrup.” And we all are familiar with the ongoing studies around the negative impact high fructose has on our bodies.
Just like sugar, agave nectar is an addictive sweetener, and you should always use it sparingly and in moderation.
I am not sure if this is what I wanted to hear about agave, but definitely information I needed to know. Some say organic raw brown sugar or organic white sugar is still a better option than agave syrup, or artificial sweeteners. What do you think?
When I first decided to write a blog about health and women, my goal was to ensure women had access to all types of information that would help them make informed decisions about their health. Since I work directly in health, my hope was to be able to provide cutting edge information and information that is not generally shared with the public. This latest information I truly had to share. You are not going to want hear it, read it or know about it. But I felt compelled to share.
Earlier this week, I was out to dinner with some public health friends from the FDA and they were casually talking about the “things” that fall into food items that are packaged in factories and plants. They were specifically talking about baby formula and the recent baby formula Similac that was recalled because beetles were found in the products. (No doubt I will be breastfeeding)
Naturally, I am in shock over this. But then they began saying how often there are “things” that fall into food items which factories have no control over. These are unavoidable things within a factory or a plant when processing mass quantities of items, but are also not harmful to us to eat. At this point, my mouth is wide open and I am in disbelief. “What things,” I ask. They inform me that there are “things” like insect legs and hairs that often get mixed in with the food. Immediately, I begin thinking how can I avoid any food processed in a plant or factory. Yup, that would be just about everything I consume they tell me, from cereal to pasta. My first question is does the FDA know about this and they both say yes!
Apparently, the FDA has regulations for plants and factories to ensure the sample “batches” of food that are tested are deemed edible. The FDA set these action levels because it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects. Products harmful to consumers are subject to regulatory action whether or not they exceed the action levels.
So what can be done? Nothing except pray. But I just don’t think the 3-second rule is going to cut it this time. It is FDA’s position that pesticides are not the alternative to preventing food defects. The use of chemical substances to control insects, rodents and other natural contaminants has little, if any impact on natural and unavoidable defects in foods.
There you have it. I still have no words nor have I decided what my plan of action is for eating. According to my friends, I would have to literally just stop eating. All packaged (a box, a bag, a can, a jar) food goes through some form of a plant or factory. If you want to read more about the regulations and defect levels go to this link to the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/food/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/guidancedocuments/sanitation/ucm056174.htm
This link also provides a listing of food items and the common defects associated with them. I am telling you now, beware of the truth. You may want to remain ignorant. Ignorance is bliss!
When I was little I couldn’t wait to hug my grandmother. She was all squishy and soft, and I loved it when she would pull me close to her stomach. To me, it was a place of warmth and love. Not knowing until now, that her extra softness was not the best for her health. But we are talking 30 plus years ago and there wasn’t a lot of research about the link between belly fat and heart disease and other health complications.
In the 19th century, plump women were desired because it was assumed they could handle the physical strain of repeated pregnancies and childbirths. This contributed to the idea that full-figured women were pleasant and rubenesque. Nowadays, it’s all about the flat stomach, obsessing to get rid of the baby fat right after pregnancy and wearing spanx to hide it all away. While we may be tired of society putting pressure on us women about having flat stomachs, they are on to something.
What you may not realize is belly fat is pretty bad for your health. Carrying around extra weight in your abdominal area can have a negative impact on your lungs and your heart. Having excess abdominal weight may lower one’s lung function, regardless of a person’s age, smoking history, or body mass index, according to a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Too much belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers such as breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, as you age and your metabolism slows down, the amount of fat in your body slowly increases. Women experience an even greater fat percentage increase than men do. Then after menopause, your body fat distribution tends to shift — less in your arms, legs and hips, and more in your abdomen. Keep in mind that it’s what is underneath that can really hurt your health. Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds the abdominal organs that is linked to health issues like those mentioned earlier. This is the bad fat!
- Slow down on the foods high in sugar, fat, and cholesterol, as well as high caloric beverages. A no brainer to lose weight in general.
- High impact exercise is a fast way to watch your stomach shrink. But you have to do it regularly to see results and to keep the weight off.
- Doing strength training (lifting weights) is another good way to tone your stomach and trim it down. Using light weights to do side (obliques) exercises can help get rid of love handles.
- Do exercises to work out those lower ab muscles. Traditional sit-ups aren’t the most effective way to firm your tummy, but focusing on your lower stomach area can be effective. A strong core is key to great posture and a strong back. Also strong ab muscles allows you to challenge yourself and do more advanced ab exercises.
It is so not easy being a woman and having something else to worry about health-wise is no fun. But there is something we can do about reducing belly fat. It is hard work and you will not be able to do it overnight. If you find you have been doing all of these things and not getting results, it may be time to consult your doctor to determine if something more serious is going on.
For moral support, grab a friend and challenge each other with different ab exercises each week.
If you are like me, then you have been on the road a lot lately for work. In September, I was in three different hotels over a three-week time period. Or was it four? Every year, at the same time, it happens to me — I begin to lag behind in my workout routine. The carefree days of summer allow to me work out later with the extra hours of daylight and when Fall hits, all of that hard work goes out of the window. Each year, I tell myself “this will not happen again.” Sigh, but it does. I am about to start traveling again next week and have been in search of creative ways to get some form of exercise in between meetings. Here are a few things I am going to try and hope that you find them useful too:
Be realistic and pack what you think you will really use. My biggest excuse is that I say I don’t want to over pack my suitcase, so I take nothing. With airline baggage fees steadily increasing, we are all conscious of how many bags we carry. Therefore, when packing workout gear, I keep it light — tank tops, shorts, light t-shirts and yoga pants. Sneakers are bulky so I either try to squeeze those into a carry-on or wear them on the plane.
Do your research ahead of time. Call the hotel or visit their website to see what fitness services they offer. So many hotels are all about meeting the needs of their business traveler. They have either a fitness center, fitness DVDs and equipment you can rent, or discounts for a fitness center nearby if they don’t have one. Most often access to the fitness center is complimentary to guests or you if you are a member of the hotel reward program.
Use the environment around you. If the fitness center has a cost, there are also free activities that can be done. Ask the concierge for walking maps or running trails near the hotel. This also allows you to become familiar with the area.
Eat healthy. If you just cannot squeeze in a workout, at the very least don’t go overboard on your eating. When you are on travel, you may be tempted to splurge a little here and there — buffalo wings and fries from room service or cheesecake at the reception. Stick to your healthy eating habits and maybe you won’t feel too bad about skipping the workout.
Pack your own gear. I recently picked up some resistance bands from Sports Authority as an attempt to “get back in the groove” of working out. Since they are so lightweight and thin, you can carry them anywhere. They are perfect for doing bicep curls or squats while in your hotel room, watching TV.
Get an early start. When meetings start at 9 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. there is little time to workout throughout the day. I have found that working out before the meeting helps me not only stay focused during the meeting, but I got it out of the way. And quite honestly you have more time to workout since you don’t have a commute time with the meeting being downstairs in the hotel. Now you have an extra 30-45 minutes to workout.
Live Life, Live Healthy
I don’t know about everyone else, but it has come to my attention that my scale . . . the one I hide behind the bathroom door is officially a LIAR (and evil)! Maybe that’s it. It’s upset with me because I keep it hidden and out of sight and it’s getting revenge. There is no other reason why it would want to lie to me like this when I step on! Oh and it is such a BIG lie too! All women know exactly what I am talking about because I know your scale has probably lied to you at least once if not twice. It’s Monday morning, you are about to get in the shower (so you have nothing that could cause unnecessary weight), you step on the scale and BAM it spits out a complete untruth. A boldface lie! You are wondering why it would deceive you this way. Right? Everyone knows the best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning when your stomach is empty. So you’re not sure what went wrong. You did everything right and you get this lie. It is definitely angry with you about something!
Well, I am going to do something about mine. I will not stand for this treatment anymore and I am going to make the scale my friend again. First, for the next month it is going in the closet. We need some time apart for a while. There will be no more play time with me getting off and on at least 5 times, shifting feet, or alternating foot positions. I’m done with that!
Next, I am going to show that scale. I’m cutting out all of those holiday sweets that I have been consuming since Thanksgiving. Ha, take that scale! You’re gonna want to be my friend. Only apples and grapefruits for me. Yeah!
Did you say wine, margaritas? You got it, cutting back on that too and juice (especially Mango Lemonade and Trader Joe’s Pink Lemonade Italian Soda). That scale doesn’t know who it’s messing with. 100% pure aqua, H20, good ol’ fashion faucet fluid. Okay well maybe filtered.
Oh I am not done yet. No more french fries (for now)! Yep, I am getting out the big guns to take down the scale and it will begging for us to be friends again. I will not succumb to the fries calling my name or the delicious smell wafting from the door as I walk pass Five Guys.
Croissants for breakfast? No way! Who cares if they are buttery, flaky, come with different fillings and melt in your mouth. (Oh my!) They are out too and nothing but multigrain toast will do. Next thing I know, that scale will be rushing to be underfoot.
Finally, and this is huge. This will surely get me back into the good graces of the scale. I am going to start running, spinning and yoga-ing again!! Apparently, you lose tons of calories and fat from exercising! Who knew? If that doesn’t win it over, then nothing will.
I sure hope this works because I would hate to have to throw that scale out of the window and watch it splatter into tiny pieces. So, if you are fighting with your scale, maybe you too should try getting back into its good graces. But remember, everything in moderation.
Well it’s that time of year again – time for my annual Turkey Day tips! It was two years ago this week when I launched the blog and my first post was about how you can eat healthy and stay active during the Thanksgiving holiday. So why break a tradition? I hope you enjoy this year’s tips and can apply them somehow over the next week. Like I always say, enjoy the yummy food but in moderation.
Well, this year I am going old school, I am actually road-tripping to Memphis, TN for the holiday and for a girlfriend’s wedding over the weekend. It’s a 13-hour car ride from DC to Memphis. I am trying not to think about that considering I start squirming after 3 hours on a 5-hour flight to LA. But when you wait too late to book your flight, this is what happens. So off we go! In honor of my road trip this year, here are tips for all of the car travelers.
Pack your own healthy snacks. While it is tempting to stop for food off of the highway, you have to remember you will rarely run into healthy options. You are going to primarily run into a Burger King, Arby’s, McDonald’s, or Cinnabon. So do your body and your wallet a favor and bring your own snacks/meals. Stop at your local grocery store and pick up apples, granola mix, cheese, ready-made meals from the deli (not the frozen section) or whatever you like. And sure we all want some hot food on a chilly, Fall day, especially in a car. Pack up some chili or stew and store it in a thermal container.
Choose healthier options from fast food stops. If you must eat off of the side of the road, then try to resist the Super Size, double cheeseburger, fries and Chocolate Frosty. Grab a salad or the broiled options opposed to the fried options. If you have time to stop and sit down to eat, there is always an IHOP or full service restaurant along the way. They tend to have more options that are healthy than fast food places.
Stick to regular eating habits and times. I don’t know about you but when I am in a car for a long period of time, I tend to eat more than usual. A snack here, a meal there, another snack here. Before you know it all of the cookies are gone and the chips are next. Resist overeating. If you are bored, get a book you have been wanting to read or do a puzzle. Often when we don’t have anything to do, our impulse is to stuff our mouths.
Take stretch breaks. All of that sitting and eating can’t be good, especially if you are going the fast food route. Make a point to stop and get those limbs moving. Do some stretches, park the car and walk around the gas station lot or do a quick race with the kids. Quick sprints tend to burn calories faster anyway. On your mark, get ready, get set, GO!!!
To those of you traveling by plane or train, you can definitely apply many of these tips. Airports don’t have the healthiest options of food either, especially in the smaller airports. Regardless of how you are traveling this year, remember to keep it healthy. Eat in moderation and don’t remain too sedentary over the next four days. Enjoy this time with your family and friends and cherish every moment!
I made the decision to give up red meat about 4 years ago. Every once in a while I would have a craving for a burger or a steak, and there were maybe a handful of times I would give in. But I would suffer, well my stomach would suffer. Slowly, two years ago I begin introducing red meat back into my diet. There was nothing more yummy than a broiled boneless ribeye in a great marinade. Then I stopped eating it again for year. About a year ago, I decided to give up carbs for two weeks and that resulted in me eating me deciding to eat red meat again. When you can’t eat any carbs/starches that steak over sauteed veggies is pretty tasty. I did keep it to lean meats like flank steak but nothing really fatty. But as I do more and more research about the link between red meat and breast cancer ; I am more inclined to give it up forever. I often ask myself why do I continue to eat it when I know it could potentially be harmful to me? But why do we do anything that we know could hurt us? Because it is hard to break bad habits and it takes some real willpower.
Here is are two studies that link cancer and beef:
Cancer-causing compounds are formed during high-temperature cooking of meat, according to the March 24, 2009 ScienceDaily article, ” Eating Red And Processed Meat Associated With Increased Risk Of Death .” Meat also is a major source of saturated fat, which has been associated with breast and colorectal cancer. In addition, lower meat intake has been linked to a reduction in risk factors for heart disease, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The Journal Archives of Internal Medicine also reported last November that red meat could raise younger women’s risk for an estrogen-linked form of breast cancer. Researchers found that higher red meat intake may be a risk factor for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer among premenopausal women.
As we all aim to be healthy and reduce our risk, especially those of us who have a family history, it is probably a good idea to look at different options for red meat. So if you are like me and who need your “monthly” iron/red meat fix (you know it’s true) here are some alternatives to the beef burger:
Turkey Burger – This is my absolute favorite and one of my girlfriends says it my best dish. I combine ground turkey breast with terryaki marinade, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, creole seasoning and pepper. Slap it o the grill and add so me pepper jack cheese! YUMMY!
Black Bean Burger - A little more difficult to make but very good. I use similar seasonings as the turkey burger but add an egg to keep it together. It falls apart as you try to make it into a patty so beware.
Houston’s Veggie Burger - My vegetarian boyfriend swears by this! I have to say I have had some great veggie burgers out and about. For a quick, on the run lunch option try Morningstar Grillers. They are suprisingly tasty.
I felt compelled to post some of the comments from one of my readers regarding yesterday’s post – Can you eat on $175 a month? She shared some good tips about eating healthy on a limited food budget and what you can buy for under $200/month. It was such a heartfelt response and so honest that I thought others could benefit from her suggestions. Now you may not agree with everything she suggests and that’s okay! If you are so compelled, pass the information on. Thank you Dorothy!!
There is no reason to not buy fresh fruits and vegetables when you are on a limited food budget, but they should be selected carefully for cost and storage. For instance, you can buy root veggies like potatoes, onions, and carrots to use all during the month; just keep them in a cool, dry place. Remember that apples and oranges last longer than bananas, Bartlett pears, and peaches. Frozen strawberries and blueberries will last indefinitely. Ditto with canned peaches, pears, applesauce and pineapple.
Here are some other tips:
- Use store brands. Use store brands. Use HEALTHY store brands!!!
- Find out which days are best for store specials, especially meats. Freeze or use right away.
- Use coupons for brand names that you prefer.
- Use powdered milk and canned milk in your cooking, or make up powdered milk for drinking, instant store brand puddings, a cocoa mix and cereal.
- Wrap fresh celery (not more expensive celery hearts) in a paper towel, then aluminum foil to remain fresh longer or buy packages of frozen celery and onions or green peppers and onions to flavor soups, casseroles, or meat loaf
- Purchase dried beans, pasta, and rice, store brand
- Eat more vegetarian meals. Dried beans, eggs, cheese, and peanut butter are other good sources of protein.
- (If you are a meat eater) Use a minimum amount of hamburger in chili beans and spaghetti sauce (canned, store brand). Chuckeye steaks are just as tender and cheaper than rib eyes. Round steak is good for your Swiss Steak recipe.
- (If you are a meat eater) Purchase chicken thighs and drumsticks instead of whole chickens or breasts for chicken ‘n dumplings, chicken casserole, or chicken soup. Purchase in bulk and divide for several meals. Fried or baked chicken livers are delicious with rice and canned green beans.
- Freeze and save leftover chicken or beef stock for soups and casseroles.
-Cook soups and casseroles to make food go further—chili beans, cream of potato soup, corned beef hash, chicken casserole, Hamburger Helper type meals, 15-bean soup, vegetarian vegetable soup, salmon patties, chicken or tuna salad, chipped cream beef w/toast
- Purchase canned meats whenever possible—corned beef, dried beef, canned chicken, canned tuna, canned salmon
- Bake your own bread. Buy self-rising flour and corn meal to make biscuits and corn bread. Use leftover breads to make that chicken casserole. Or purchase bread products at bakery outlets.
- Grow your own fresh spinach or lettuce, chives or scallions, and herbs, in window boxes and tomatoes and peppers in planter pots.
There is no reason to not eat healthy meals and snacks on a limited income. A single adult can easily live on $176.00 worth of food per month.
When grapes or a can of tomato sauce says organic or USDA organic, does that mean it’s more nutritious and healthier than other grapes or cans of tomato sauce that DO NOT say organic? In a paper published in October 2007 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a team from the University of California, Davis, demonstrated that organically grown tomatoes have significantly more vitamin C than conventional tomatoes. Even so, the same study shows no significant differences between conventional and organic bell peppers. Hmm . . . I am sure if we polled people they would have a variety of answers based on their personal experiences and knowledge.
So what is organic? According to the Mayo Clinic, organic is defined as the way farmers grow and process fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don’t use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weedkillers, organic farmers may conduct sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay.
So what does this mean to you in deciding what type of foods to buy? It appears that many people are buying into the idea of organic and shopping at stores that sell primarily organic. For example, stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s who pride themselves on providing communities with organic, pesticide free, and locally grown produce and meat are becoming widely used among all incomes.
Mainstream grocery stores like Safeway on the East Coast and Jewel Foods in Chicago are feeling the competition, and have begun filling their shelves with organic foods as well. Especially since you can’t really find a Whole Foods or Trader Joes in many urban neighborhoods. Stores are hearing from consumers that they want more organic, more locally grown and more homone free foods. Oh and yes there is a difference between organic and ”all-natural,” “free-range,” “cage free” or “hormone-free,” which is often seen on eggs, chicken and beef. Overall I do believe that Americans are doing what they can and based on the information they have, to make healthier choices. My goal is to help provide some of that information.
Here are some good things to know, from the Mayo Clinic , to help you in your decision to buy organic or non-organic, natural, etc.
- Nutrition. No conclusive evidence shows that organic food is more nutritious than is conventionally grown food. And the USDA — even though it certifies organic food — doesn’t claim that these products are safer or more nutritious.
- Quality and appearance. Organic foods meet the same quality and safety standards as conventional foods. The difference lies in how the food is produced, processed and handled. You may find that organic fruits and vegetables spoil faster because they aren’t treated with waxes or preservatives. Also, expect less-than-perfect appearances in some organic produce — odd shapes, varying colors and perhaps smaller sizes. In most cases, however, organic foods look identical to their conventional counterparts.
- Pesticides. Conventional growers use pesticides to protect their crops from molds, insects and diseases. When farmers spray pesticides, this can leave residue on produce. Some people buy organic food to limit their exposure to these residues. Most experts agree, however, that the amount of pesticides found on fruits and vegetables poses a very small health risk.
- Environment. Some people buy organic food for environmental reasons. Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil.
- Cost. Most organic food costs more than conventional food products. Higher prices are due to more expensive farming practices, tighter government regulations and lower crop yields. Because organic farmers don’t use herbicides or pesticides, many management tools that control weeds and pests are labor intensive. For example, organic growers may hand weed vegetables to control weeds, and you may end up paying more for these vegetables.
- Taste. Some people say they can taste the difference between organic and nonorganic food. Others say they find no difference. Taste is a subjective and personal consideration, so decide for yourself. But whether you buy organic or not, finding the freshest foods available may have the biggest impact on taste.
I could continue to discuss organic vs local, or local produce vs non-local, but I thought I would save that for another day and this post is getting too long. So I will end with my take home from my own post: I have always thought that organic was supposed to be so much better for you and in some ways it is. However, if food is not organically grown it doesn’t mean that it is not good for you or less healthy. I believe people have to make the best choice for them, their family and their lifestyles. However, buying from farmer’s markets and locally grown farmers is the best way to go in my opinion! You do so much to help the environment, you support local farmers and you get healthy and fresh food. Check out the Local Harvest website. Plug in your zipcode and find the closest farmer’s market and grocery co-op in your area. Visit one out this Spring!