The Dirty Dozen: Choosing Produce With Less Pesticide

picture-4As organic food begins to occupy more and more space in grocery stores, you may have found yourself standing in the produce aisle wondering whether organic produce is worth the price. And if you can’t get organic, or it’s not in your budget, how do you make produce choices that limit your pesticide exposure?

In short, when does organic matter the most?

The Environmental Working Group decided to answer that question by studying the pesticides present on 47 different fruits and vegetables. From that, they released what they called the “dirty dozen” – 12 foods that you should avoid or buy organic whenever possible.

The EWG estimates that you can lower your pesticide exposure by up to 80% by focusing on the low-pesticide foods and/or eating the “dirty dozen” in organic form.

The Dirty Dozen: The 12 Most Contaminated

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Carrots
  • Pears

The Clean 15: The 15 Least Contaminated

  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Sweet Potato

You can read the full list of all 47, ranked from highest to lowest, or better yet, there’s a free wallet card to help you remember next time you’re shopping, and even an iPhone app!

Before You Diet: What We’ve Learned About Weight Loss

It’s the time of year for change. With the new year comes a drive for renewal that seems to touch almost everyone in the form of resolutions, new commitments and a dedication to just get better.

That drive, of course, is often focused on our health, and in particular, our weight. Before you jump on the latest diet fad, though, here are a few tips and ideas we’ve discovered in our years of helping patients find their best bodies.

It’s About Gaining Health, Not Losing Weight

Despite all the focus on losing weight, the truth is that healthy weight loss is a side effect. It’s the result of gaining health – of pursuing a healthy mind and body, and making changes that are sustainable in the long run. To find your best body, you first have to find your best health. The right weight will follow.

The Scale Isn’t The Story

It’s easy to become obsessed with the number on the scale, but it’s only part of the picture. Your weight is just one measure of health, and it’s not an entirely reliable one. The number on your scale can fluctuate based on any number of different factors, and the scale never tells you the difference between fat and muscle, how much water you’re retaining, or whether your changing weight is helping you or hurting you.

You Can’t Do It Without Moving Your Body

Research on people who’ve successfully lost weight has shown that almost no one can successfully sustain weight loss without doing some exercise. Dieting without exercise is a sure ticket to a yo-yo roller coaster of loss and gain that will leave you less healthy and more heavy than ever. You may need to do other things to find your best body, but you can bet that exercise is a prerequisite.

Sometimes, There Are Hidden Roadblocks

Your body is a complicated piece of machinery. Really complicated. And there are times when a simple “eat less, exercise more” prescription just doesn’t do the job. Things like food intolerances and toxicity can affect your metabolism, your energy and your ability to burn fat. Sometimes, it pays to dig deeper into your own biochemistry to make sure you’re not missing a piece of the puzzle.

Too Much Change at Once is A Tough Job

No matter how you choose to find your best health and your best body, it’s going to require change, and change is often a dish best served slowly. Biting off more than you can chew – like trying to have a pristine diet and perfect lifestyle – can be an overwhelming and unsustainable prospect. Try to make small changes you can sustain, and gradually add more over time.

If you need help with your health goals, you can learn more about the StoneTree Sustainable Body Change program here, or call 705-444-5331 to book a complimentary appointment to discover our unique approach to weight loss.

The Silver Bullet for Diabetes Prevention

November 14th was World Diabetes Day, celebrated in over 160 countries around the world. It’s most certainly a global problem, but diabetes has plenty of local presence, too: over 900 000 people have been diagnosed in Ontario alone.

Diabetes affects our ability to get sugar from the blood into the cells where it’s needed to run our bodies. In Type I diabetes, there simply is no insulin to do the sugar transfer job. The pancreas is supposed to produce it, but it doesn’t.  In Type II diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the cells just don’t respond to it – they’ve become “insulin resistant”.

Here’s the thing, though: Type II diabetes accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases, and it’s largely preventable.

You’ve heard that diabetes is genetic, but that’s not the entire story.  Your family may have given you susceptibility, but that’s it. The real trouble starts when you put that susceptibility in a high calorie, high fructose corn syrup, overweight environment.

But here’s the good news: if you’re heading down the genetic pathway to diabetes, you can change direction.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, clearly outlined the power of lifestyle change.  In this study, 523 people with pre-diabetes (their blood sugar was off, but not at diabetic levels yet), were given the following goals:

•    Reduce body weight by 5%
•    Reduce total dietary fat to <30%
•    Reduce dietary saturated fat to <10%
•    Increase dietary fiber to 30g/day
•    Walk 30 minutes/day

If the person did not achieve any of these goals, their chance of developing diabetes was approximately 30%.  Of the people who achieved 4-5 of these goals, however, not a single person went on to develop diabetes.  Not one.

The study points to one empowering result: we really do have the power to change our genetic destiny!

-Tara

Detoxification: Why it Works and How to Do It

Hi all,

This is an article we wrote for the Fall 2008 issue of Body Magazine – I thought you might find it interesting!

-Tara

Feeling Better Through Detoxification

Inside this complex organism we call “you”, a remarkable set of organs and processes works vigilantly to deal with unwanted and unneeded substances that find their way from the outside of your body to the inside.

The system works quite well. At least, it used to work well. Your natural detoxification organs – things like your bowels, kidneys, liver and skin – weren’t designed to deal with the excesses of modern life. Some unnecessary food, nutrients, and bacteria? Sure. Food additives, environmental toxins and modern stresses? That’s another matter altogether.

This toxic load builds over time, and can lead to an array of chronic problems like skin conditions, digestive and bowel complaints, allergies, fatigue, and headaches, to name just a few. In order to level the playing ground for your struggling system, additional forms of detoxification can be used to help your body “take out the trash” more regularly and effectively.

There are many ways to detoxify:

  • Diet regimes reduce the intake of toxicity from your food, and increase fiber and water intake to help flush your system.
  • Colon hydrotherapy gently cleanses the colon to improve bowel function and detoxify the liver.
  • Supplements can stimulate the detoxification systems of the body, and provide them with the vitamins and minerals they need to operate effectively.
  • Saunas induce sweating to help remove toxins via the skin, liver and kidneys.
  • IV Chelation uses substances intravenously (vitamin C, for example) to bind to toxins and flush them from the body.

Each detoxification strategy has its unique characteristics, and may be used in combination or alone depending on the ailment and your health history. To learn more about how detoxification can help you, contact us anytime at 444-5331.