I love my work. As a holistic nutrition and health coach I get to witness amazing transformations in women’s lives and it is the most fulfilling, rewarding and inspiring experience.
I like to work with every woman where she is, I don’t believe there is a one size fits all way of eating or wellness regime. While I provide information, guidance and support, I also teach every woman how to listen to her body and how to develop a loving relationship with herself and with food so that her choices are inspired by self-love.
The most helpful approach to living healthy is starting where you are and working at your own pace to take a step forward. Making huge instant changes does not work for most women, they are not sustainable and that is why so many women start a “new diet” only to abandon it shortly after.
We are presented with a lot of “ideals”, the ideal dietary system, lists of healthiest foods, the best way to exercise. And while some of the information is common sense good advice, it usually does more harm than good when we feel like we fall short and get discouraged.
One of those ideals is eating only organic foods. While I think that organic food has lots of health benefits like no pesticides, more nutrients and a better impact on the environment and I choose to eat organic foods most of the time, it is not always the most necessary step for each of us.
Look at where you are. Ask yourself, what is my next step? If you are eating very little vegetables and fruits, your next step might be to just eat more produce and learn some easy and delicious recipes. If you are eating a lot of processed and packaged foods, your next step might be to start reading ingredient lists and choosing foods with more wholesome ingredients. If you are addicted to sugar, your next step might be to start eating foods that help balance your blood sugar level and reduce your cavings to sweets. If you would like to eat more organic but the price of organic produce is too high, I highly recommend to start with the ‘dirty dozen’.
The Environmental Working Group publishes a yearly list of the ‘dirty dozen’ and ‘clean 15’. The ‘dirty dozen’ are fruits and vegetables that are most contaminated, they have the highest amount of pesticides and chemicals. The ‘clean 15’ have the least amount of pesticides. If you are thinking of gradually going organic, this is a great place to start. Here is their latest list.
“The Dirty Dozen”
- Sweet Bell Peppe
“The Clean 15”
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
What is YOUR next step?
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Interesting, think it depends where you live as we buy tomatoes, spinach etc that are not always organic, but free of pesticides from our local farmers. So often fresher than organic from a supermarket. xx
Hey Suzie, totally, this list is for U.S. produce, it might be totally different in Australia and buying from local farmers is the best!
You’re right everyone is different. It’s good to at least start somewhere but knowledge is key. I started the way you suggested many years ago because that’s the thought process that was out there. I wish I would have just done all that I needed to do at the time for my health instead of slowly. I wish all the information that is out there now was out there then or that I was made aware of it. After understanding how toxic pesticides and other toxin in food are to our gut health, how much damage they can do to our gut lining and how hard it is to get rid of them if your gut isn’t healthy I would have stayed more consistent. It’s difficult when you live in a society that says oh so and so won’t hurt you if you eat it once in awhile. I get it, I know. But it does hurt you. And if you don’t address it at sometime it becomes a greater health issue. Toxin lead to many diseases. Cancer, heart, brain health (mental health) and autoimmune to name a few. I’ve seen it. I understand it more now. I feel like with More information out there, the more we share, the more people can make choices for themselves, but they need to be informed.
I appreciate the amazing healing work you have dome Heather ❤️
Some of my favorite foods are listed in the dirty list, Rachel – Apples, Spinach and Potatoes at the top of the list. Though we do check for where the food is coming from. Time to think.
Vatsala, you live in India so it might be very different there, this list is based on produce grown in the United States.
We need to increase The Clean 15 around here… and just planted two varieties of asparagus to help with the process. I love growing my own produce.
I love that you grow your own produce, that’s so great. I wish I could grow more veggies but I have very little direct sun, my garden is full of trees.
I do try to eat organic as much as I can. Living where I do, fresh, local organic isn’t always available in the off seasons. I am lucky to have a Wegman’s grocery store in the area and they have their own line of organic produce. When I can’t get there, the next best step for me is to check out frozen produce. While it may not be fresh, if it comes from organic farming, it’s my next best option.
Very smart choices Barbara and I am glad you have chosen to prioritize organic.
I primarily eat organic and love visiting our many farmer’s markets each week. My next step is to return to my vegan inspired diet where I choose vegan options at home and whenever available when I am traveling. Thank you so much!
Farmers markets are my favorite place to shop too.
Appreciating the Dirty Dozen list and your expertise, Rachel! As always, I learn and walk away inpsired to try new things that could bring me expanded optimal health.
I am so glad you are inspired Lore.
One thing that I am finding interesting on my travels is what foods are available in local grocery stores. I’m trying to eat organic, however it’s not an option in many locations. I’ve come across several small town grocery stores that did NOT have a produce section. That’s right – no fresh fruit or vegetables! I’ve learned to stock up when I can and be creative when I have to be.
This is a great article, Rachel. Thanks for sharing your pearls of wisdom and reminding us the importance of nourishing our precious bodies with good-for-us foods.
Great list! I’m surprised to learn nectarines are on the list. I thought that maybe their peel helped insulate them. Thanks for the info!