Category Archives: Food

Dirty Dozen….Clean Fifteen….-a MUST read!

Ever heard of the “Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen”????

If you haven’t-read further! This list contains the 12 foods that contain the most pesticides and the 15 foods that contain the least. Let’s face it, I know buying organic is expensive! You don’t have to tell me!!! I also know that it’s a proven fact that cancer is growing rampantly in our country, that girls are hitting puberty alarmingly earlier than they used too….8 years old, come on!

If you look up the known chemical residues in an apple….A SIMPLE APPLE~you will find there are 42 known residues.

  • 5 known or probable carcinogens!!! (which means-cancer causing or cancer promoting; childhood brain cancer is one example of a pesticide-linked cancer)
  • 19 suspected hormone disruptors!!! (which means-disruptive chemicals to hormones during critical stages of developing….also a leading cause of breast cancer!~after 10 years EPA officials are finally beginning to put a system in place to evaluate the hormoned-disrupting effects of certain pesticides….10 years too late if you ask me!)
  • 10 Neurotoxins!!! ( which means-developmental delays, short-term exposure can cause dizziness, seizures, or numbness….)
  • 6 Developmental/Reproductive Toxins!!! (which means-interferes with a person’s ability to reproduce, birth defects, and developmental effects)

After this whole list do you even remember what we were talking about!? AN APPLE!!!

Attached is a list of the “Dirty 12 & Clean 15.” I know organic is expensive and you can’t live your life chemical free but  you can at least minimize it as much as you can. One cheap way is to GROW YOUR OWN GARDEN!-we just purchased blueberry bushes today to include in our garden. I’m so very excited!

I also wanted to list two very helpful apps that I downloaded onto my iPhone. They are both free and don’t think for one minute that I haven’t pulled them out while I’m at the store for a quick reference.

App. 1~ Dirty Dozen

App. 2~ What’s in my food?

And for those of you who commonly say, “Well I’ll just wash my produce really well.” just to let you know…

Thousands of studies have been shown and what it boils down to is:

Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate

pesticides. Peeling helps, but valuable nutrients often go down the

drain with the skin. The best approach: eat a varied diet, rinse all

produce and buy organic when possible.

I really hope this helped educate some of you…and now I’m off to go enjoy some of my nice organic strawberries. 😉


Outdoors Before & Afters…

With this beautiful weather there is only one thing we could think to do today…Yard work! I’ve been staring at these cherry trees that we planted not too long ago and just wasn’t happy with the way one was coming along. One of them is starting to fill out nicely with nice green leaves but the other one just didn’t seem to like its new home. I had expressed some complaints about it and had mentioned to DH how much I like Crape Myrtles….and this is what he surprised me with!!!

I was so excited but I don’t think the excitement stopped with me….

After that big project when then decided that it was probably time to harvest our sweet potatoes. We had no clue what to expect and in all honesty I didn’t think they were ready yet but we wanted to use the garden bed they were hogging so we just decided to do it…Boy was I wrong…..It was like panning for gold, or going on an egg hunt, or maybe a scavenger hunt…Everytime we found one it was excitement all over again!

E-baby joined in on the fun!

Our final count was 18 large sweet potatoes and several small ones. What a success!!

What a wonderful day its been. It’s been a beautiful day with the hours filled with all things I love. Now its time to go enjoy more of this beautiful weather, grill out some steaks and peppers, enjoy some of our yummy homegrown sweet potatoes, and sit back and watch football this evening!

That’s it…I’m outta here! 🙂

Passing on the “Keeping it Real!!”

Go Organic!!

A friend of my passed this link on to me. It was written by her cousin who is a personal trainer and owns her own Kettle Bell gym in Atlanta. It is everything I’ve been thinking, saying, and doing! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this because it sounds like what I’ve been telling my family verbatim.

When you have a minute check this link out….unless of course you believe ignorance is bliss….And well sometimes if you aren’t ready or willing to make a change then it is!  Enjoy! I’ll see you out in the garden. 😉

Sunday Night Dinner….

With our vow to become healthier we occasionally hit a road block on what to fix for dinner each night. Sunday night I decided to try something totally in left field and if it was a flop…well then it was a flop. I must say after it is all said and done, now, it had to be one of the best meals I have introduced to my belly in a really long time.

We started with grilled tilapia filets covered with tortilla, chipotle, and lime crust. This was what I was most worried about because I could feel DH’s hesitation as he grilled it and even took the first bite. It turned out to be some of the best fish we’ve ever put into our mouths!! YUM!

The side dishes were jasmine rice….And unless you’ve ever cooked jasmine rice for yourself and know what I’m talking about-then you have no clue when I say that jasmine rice is some of the best smelling rice ever! It almost smells too good to eat and it makes for a delicious aroma in your house for hours!

last but not least was the asparagus. I got this recipe from except for that I tweaked it just a little for our taste. Rather than the lime juice and pine nuts (which honestly I forgot about) I cooked it with a little salt, pepper, and green tabasco sauce and it was PERFECT!

Overall this was a perfect meal. I was thrilled with not only my opinion of the meal but the hubby’s opinion of it also!

Mother Earth News….and more.

I have discovered my new favorite magazine. DH (dear husband) picked it up for me at the store and then I had to wait a day to read it because he wouldn’t give it up. In all honesty, I think he secretly bought it for himself but because it’s called Mother Earth…he felt like he should say it was for me. 😉

It is great though! Just in the first issue I got to read articles relating to:

Stevia-the South American plant that is found in the sugar substitute that I recently posted about.

Our dwindling fossil fuels and the impact our food system has. **If every family ate just one meal a week and bought that meal from a local source ie. farmers markets etc…It would save over 1 billion gallons of fuel a week!!

Summer recipes-It has recipes and several great ways to grill your summer veggies to eat in perfection!

12 Strategies to strengthen your immune system-my husbands favorite one was #6, make more love….Go figure. 😉

And then articles upon articles about blue birds, mushrooms, children gardening, and canning veggies.  I just LOVE it! I think we’re going to subscribe to a year subscription to it so we can enjoy it for the next year.

And speaking of DH and learning to eat better, etc-I have to give major props. We had just gotten back in town on Sunday from a weekend away and we were all tired…We had to go to the store to get a few things to start our week. Well we show up at one store and they had ZERO along the lines of all natural, organic, local, or anything of the sorts. I was tired…and feeling weak in the self-discipline area and said, “Come on, lets just grab a few things and I’ll go to another store later this week…” He let me know right quick like that we weren’t going to just grab a few things but rather go to another store that may sell  more. I was annoyed at first with the thought of hauling two tired boys back in the car and yet to another store when we were all ready to just get home….But then it was like a light bulb lit up in my head and I couldn’t believe that I was hearing how involved and serious he was. So off to another store we went….And boy was I happy. This store was loaded with great new foods that we had never seen!

Here is DH happily making his own peanut butter. He said the smell of the fresh peanut butter reminded him of his childhood. 🙂

Fall Garden Update

Finally a garden update because there is finally a garden to update about! I am so excited….The fall garden is finally in the ground! It may be a littler early, that’s the big question and since I bought way too many plants (yes, all my seedlings except for our peas, didn’t make it) if these plants don’t make it, well then we’ll just replant what we have left. I am very optimistic about what we’ve done so far though so I think everything is going to turn out great!!

Before, we start on the fall garden though let me show off what’s left of the spring/summer garden:

Sweet Potatoes & Peppers

We have tons of peppers still coming and and the sweet potatoes have taken over every bit of space left! I had no clue their vine would grow into such a beautiful yet consuming little thing. Anyways, we’re still eating our peppers like crazy and we’re really excited for the sweet potatoes to be ripe here shortly!

Now on to our fall garden….We have quite the selection going on. This is our first year doing this so I am soooo excited! In this bed we have peas, lettuce, two types of cabbage, and two types of collards:

Bed 1

Oh yeah….And what you can’t see in this bed are our carrots that we’ve also planted:


Then in our other bed we have some broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, and onions:

Bed 2

So we’ll see….This is all an experiment and we’ve save all the other plants just incase this Indian Summer makes it too hot for these little guys to make it! I’m really looking forward to eating some yummy greens and I’ll update again soon on how everything seems to be handling the heat.

Diamond in the Rough….

I sent my husband to the store this morning to pick up more Equal for my coffee and I admit, he did good! Normally rather than coming back with Equal (the artificial sugar in the blue packets) he comes back with Sweet & Low which I despise (the artificial sugar in the pink pack) and it never fails I get so annoyed with him! Some how he has a mental block on what to pick up and gets the wrong thing every time!

Another disagreement we’re going through right now is giving up my Equal all together. Yes, I do agree that artificial sugar isn’t good for you! Any sort of ingredient that has a warning label on foods, is made in a factory with no walls because of its ability to combust, and is known to possibly cause cancer can’t be good for you. Yes, I understand! And yes, we’re on a mission to eliminate all processed foods and to eat as much natural and organic food as possible to steer clear of the majority of chemicals that are in foods these days….for some reason though, I could never give up my Equal. Bottom line is: I only drink my coffee with a sweetener. I’m not willing to give up my coffee (no way Jose’!!). I don’t like regular sugar in it. I’ve tried all the other alternatives like honey and just don’t care for it….So what it boils down to is-I’m going to still use my few packets of Equal a day.

So lo and behold I send Aaron to the store at 6:30am this morning to grab some for my coffee and he walks in and says, “I have something new for you to try.” I was immediately put off! “How can you ruin my coffee at 6:30 in the morning and expect me to be happy!!!”

But what he shows up with is this!:

Sun Crystals

He tells me that he sat and read every one of the sugar labels to see what all was in them. I was so impressed and couldn’t believe my ears…..but on the same plate, I was still skeptical. Would my coffee still be good!?

I read the label myself and saw that the only ingredients are Stevia (which is a South American plant and even though there are controversies regarding the plant-there are NO PROVEN  side effects regarding this plant) and then Sugar Cane….

If I’m going to use sugar or an artificial sweetener, how could this get any better!? And when I tasted my coffee it was…..dee-lish! I was so impressed and so happy that I can now make my coffee in the mornings and know that I’m not putting something else factory made into my body that can possibly cause more problems than good…rather I can enjoy my coffee like its meant to be enjoyed and then go about my day.