Lately I have been spending a LOT of time in the Kitchen. Now that Reese is a year and has 8 (I may even spy 9) teeth, she is over pureed food and wants finger food that she can chew chew chew. Since I am now 18 weeks pregnant and ravenous, I am happy to be chopping up fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses for her meals so I can grab a nibble. As a result, I have been making weekly, and sometimes even bi-weekly trips to the supermarket. While of course I only want the best and healthiest for Reese and myself (and baby number 2!), the cost of Organic, all-natural, hormone-free options tends to be as much as double the price as non-organic!! I decided to reach out to my favorite nutritionist, Arielle Fierman Haspel of BeWellwithArielle.com for some straight answers – What do I REALLY need to buy organic?! She was kind enough to take some time and respond with great advice and a few good tips to hold on to! See her fabulous recommendations below!
Here’s the deal Amanda, treating yourself with high quality foods is an investment, but a really healthy, long-term investment.
Imagine this: How do you feel after one “healthy” meal – lets say a kale salad with some salmon and delicious dressing? Pretty good, right? What about when you have two healthy meals in a day? Makes you feel even better – more energized, fit and maybe even happier, right? What if you ate pretty much healthy for every meal, all year, all of your life? Sounds even more amazing, right? Overtime, not only will you FEEL better, you will certainly look better, you may not have to work out as hard AND it may even prevent expensive doctors appointments in the future. (Not to mention, you happen to have a baby in your belly and you want to treat him/her with the most nutritious foods possible so she/he can develop just the way he/she needs to before she comes into the world!)
In saying that, though, there are so many different options at the supermarket and organic is definitely the priciest. A jar of organic nut butter can sometimes run $14 and I know you would rather to pamper yourself with a new lipgloss for that kind of money! I’ve cleared it up for you and wrote out my definite organic must-haves and the foods that you can forgo so you can splurge on that extra lipgloss (even when you definitely don’t need another one)!
First, let me simplify what organic means… in general, “organic” means:
- your body isn’t ingesting un-necessary pesticides and chemicals that may wreak havoc to your skin, liver and organs. Organic fruits and vegetables ensures that your apple and carrots weren’t sprayed with chemicals that kill living things.
- your body isn’t absorbing un-necessary hormones that may wreak havoc to YOUR hormones. It ensures that the animals were fed a diet free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and GMOs – genetically modified foods (which, in-turn has an effect on your metabolism, liver and hormones.)
When possible, buy the following organic:
• Fruits: Organic apples, pears, peaches, blueberries, strawberries
• Veggies: Organic celery, peppers, tomatoes
• Root Veggies: Organic potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, squash
• Leafy Green Veggies: All lettuces, kale, cabbage, spinach, collards
• Animal Proteins: Eggs, beef, poultry and dairy (milk, yogurt, butter, cheese)
Opportunities to save and buy non-organic:
• Nuts: Nuts, nut butters, and seeds
• Oils: Olive, sesame, flax
• Grains: Oats, pastas, granola
• Canned Beans: Chickpeas, black beans
Really looking to save your cash because your budget is tight and you can’t afford to buy everything listed in the recommended Organic list? DEFINITELY make the one swap to animal proteins in organic options. So sorry to say, but think twice before you go on that Starbucks run. That café latte has hormones in it! Healthier option? A Few ideas: make it yourself or find a local mom and pop coffee shop that serves organic milk, drink it black, or even better, bring along your own little container of organic milk or almond milk! Remember how all of your healthy choices add up to a really healthy feeling (and looking) body.
Invested in the Yummy Organic greens? You must try BeWellwithArielle.com’s Purple Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seeds recipe!
Not convinced Fruits and Veggies are worth swapping? Do a taste-test! Organic fruits and veggies often taste better and last longer! Try it out yourself – organic avocado vs. conventional avocado. I bet the conventional will brown faster than the organic one and often organic bananas are even sweeter than conventional!
Support Local Farmers Markets! When possible, I suggest buying local produce (even non-organic) over organic. Have a farmers market nearby? Take a trip! Often local is less expensive, definitely more fresh than the supermarket, and less traveled than the apple from Guatemala that took 2 airplanes and 5 highways to get in the produce aisle in the supermarket.
Remember: This isn’t meant to make you crazy. It’s meant to educate you and inspire you to make healthy decisions and to be a smart consumer. Love yourself enough to make good decisions that work for YOUR body so you can live a healthy lifestyle and so you can feel like the best version of yourself.