Paleo Butternut Squash and Porridge Made Easy

butternut squash porridge

Butternut Squash Porridge with Coconut Milk


Without the Difficult Cutting of the Squash.


Butternut Squash Soup

Stop avoiding cooking with Butternut because you find it too hard to peel the skin or you don’t want to pay overpriced costs for pre-cut squash. Simply choose the darkest medium-sized squash you can find (darker skin means ripe) and place it whole, on a parchment lined cookie sheet, into the oven at 425* for 45 minutes. (You will know that your squash is done because it will be soft). Take it out of the oven, cut off the top and then cut it in half (easy-peasy) scoop out seeds and discard. The, easily scoop out the inside, discarding the skin.

Now, you have two recipe options: (I usually make two squash and make both!)


Place the scooped out insides into a medium sauce pot; add a box of Imagine* Organic Vegetable Stock. Puree with a handheld soup mixer, then heat to desired temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you like your soup a bit sweet and savory, add a 1/4 c. or medium dollop of Coconut Culinary Milk from a box. (So Delicious* individual box brand usually in the Asian section of the Supermarket) Stir; serve hot. Cinnamon is optional.


Place the scooped out insides into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add 2 Tbs. Culinary (boxed) Coconut Milk and a pinch of salt to pull out the flavor. A dash of cinnamon is both good for you and optional. Serve hot.

I didn’t think that I would love squash as my breakfast porridge but I really do. It is a great ‪#‎Paleo alternative breakfast. The mashed texture is hearty and satisfying and the coconut milk adds a creamy dreamy quality to the porridge in lieu of butter.

The only real difference between the two recipes is the stock and the texture, but what was once hard to make is now, easy.

Butternut Squash is a great source of Potassium and Vitamin A, and has decent amounts of Vitamin C and fiber, while all along being low in sugar. It’s a win-win for nutrition and your waistline.

Journey to Organic – Don’t make it difficult nor expensive.

Be Well. xo

Journal Entry 1/4/2016

This November, our family surpassed five years of being on our organic journey.  I could not fully appreciate, nor comprehend how important putting the super-sized trashcan in my kitchen Fall of 2011 and stuffing my brain with horticultural and holistic health knowledge was going to be for my precious family until, this year.

I’m going to spend the better part of 2016 paying it forward and sharing what I have learned from my family’s health challenges that could have been absolute nightmares had I not, by the grace of g-d, stumbled into the horror that makes up much of America’s food supply.

I am so happy to close the chapter on 2015 but I will be forever grateful for what we have learned so that my family’s healing can truly move forward. 

Before I get into the pages that will tell my family’s stories, I will say, without a shadow of a doubt, that stubborn, organic eating has made a tremendous impact on the health of my children, husband and unbeknownst to me, me. If you are on the fence about taking your family fully organic, do not walk, RUN.

Mark Twain nailed it when he said, “It is much easier to fool people than to tell them they have been fooled”.

I will be eternally grateful to the Countries that have banned the additives, chemicals and foods that the U.S. has not. If it wasn’t for these Countries and their scientists successfully identifying and banning these toxins, I would have never found the information nor proof I needed to begin healing my family.

I’m going to leave this as the journal entry for today. I am just too angry at big industry right now to write objectively, but I promise you – this will be one blog that you will be grateful you read in 2016.

Journey to organic – it just may heal your family.

Be well. xo

#organic, #nutrition, #family, #health, #toxins


Organic Cold Remedies

Back by Popular Demand…
Help your body heal itself by giving it organic ingredients it recognizes.
Cough and Cold Remedy:
• 1 lg. organic red onion (fresher the better), skinned, sliced width wise in 1/2” layers
• A portion from one jar of 100% Raw Certified Manukah Honey, Bio Active 20+
In a med. glass bowl, reconstruct the onion by adding the bottom slice and a generous layer of honey between. Add next slice and repeat the process until the onion is reassembled. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and leave on counter for a minimum of four hours or overnight. The onion will create a natural cold and cough medicine syrup, approximately 1/2 c. to a 1 cup. The syrup smells like onion but tastes more like honey. (magic) Drink 2T. of the syrup, as needed.Note: Administer the next portion when cough reappears, approximately three to five hours later. Allow the syrup 15 minutes to show signs of relief after each dose. There are no side effects and you cannot overdose on this syrup, so take it when you feel the cough returning. Repeat process with another onion as needed each day. You can assemble the onion at night and leave it on the counter overnight for syrup in the morning. I make one onion per person, per cold day. The onion and honey are both superfoods and strong, healing agents. You can combine this cough syrup with Sore Throat Tea (below) to feel better within one to three days.Sore Throat Tea:
(use with cough syrup or alone, if just experiencing a sore throat)

• 2 cloves garlic, smashed
• squeeze lemon
• smidge cayenne pepper
• 1T. raw, organic honey
• 2 c. spring, water

In sauce pot, place water and garlic on medium high heat. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer 15 min. covered. Cool, slightly. Serve warm enough to sip. Give this after cough syrup or 2-3 times a day. Can add ¼ cup of garlic water to your favorite tea, lemon, honey and cayenne as well.

Note: Colds need plenty of rest for your body to heal. The above remedies are intended to help heal a cough and/or sore throat.  A spoon of Manukkah honey with tea is also a great pick me up when you start to fee a cold is coming. The honey tea can also be incorporated into your overall remedy routine.

Food suggestions during Flu Symptoms (BRAT DIET)

*Rice (white rice, steamed with water and the second day you can steam it with chicken broth, if desired. Nothing else)
*Apples (organic – applesauce too – not with added sugar or artificial sweeteners)
*Toast and other crackers with salt (salt is depleted when you sweat or throw up and it is essential to get back into the diet).

**Broth (Chicken broth) is also a good option on the second day. Without the chicken.

Note: When signs of cold appear, it is always a great rememdy to put up a pot of organic chicken soup. Include plenty of organic ingredients such as, onion, garlic, celery, carrots and oregano. Add organic chicken broth to increase flavor (optional).

If vomiting, limit all food intake and administer only a SIP of tea or water every thirty minutes until vomiting has stopped. The liquid is necessary to remain hydrated but any food or even too much liquid will aggravate the stomach. After vomiting has stopped for more than three hours, you can begin the above “BRAT” diet until back to health.

Journey to Organic – it’s the simplest path to easy relief.

Be Well. xo

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365 Organic Tips –3, 4, 8, 9 Who Do We Appreciate?

Here is your GUIDE to what PLUs we appreciate and which we don’t.

Slowly American grocers and restaurants are getting the message that organic is where it’s at and GMO’s gotta go, but we still have a long road until we are informed 100% of the time. In the interim, it is helpful to know how you can tell on your own, and this is where PLUs come in handy.

PLU Codes:

On fresh produce, stickers are placed on items to separate them into four categories:


Codes starting with:

*9 means this food is from organic seed and grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or chemicals. The seed’s DNA is found in nature and not genetically modified. Finally, the produce is not submitted to radiation EVER. This code is usually a five digit number and begins with 9.

Organic food is full of more nutrients and antioxidants than any “look alike” non-food.

*4 means grown conventionally with harmful pesticide and synthetic fertilizers and likely from non-organic seed. This is “look alike food”

*8 means genetically modified organism. The seed has been opened in a lab and organisms have been forced in altering its DNA and enabling larger quantities of pesticides to be sprayed on it without dying. This is “look alike food” and has not been proven safe for consumption. Over 60 countries have banned or require strict labeling of this produce. Many countries restrict feeding GMOs to their livestock and do not receive meat or poultry from America if the livestock is fed GMOs. America does not require labeling of GMOs nor restriction of feeding it to children or livestock. Canola, soy, corn, beet and cottonseed are the largest crops in the U.S.

*3 means this item has been irradiated. Irradiated is a “softer” word for radiation. Foods are irradiated for the prevention of foodborne illness, to extend shelf life for years, to destroy or inactivate insects, to delay sprouting and ripening as well as sterilization. Sterilization allows the food to be stored for years without refrigeration. Hospitals claim that sterilization of foods is useful for patients with severely impaired immune systems, such as patients with AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy. Foods that are sterilized by irradiation are exposed to substantially higher levels of treatment than those approved for general use.

In Summary:

3,4,8,9 are PLU numbers found on stickered produce that communicate how your food is grown/created or treated. Look for numbers starting with 9 for organic produce — grown without harmful pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

What I do:

I shop Farmer’s Markets and purchase local, organic food. When shopping supermarkets, I am looking for “organic” communication in the description and/or the PLU numbers. I work hard to avoid anything that is not grown organically. However, if grown conventionally without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, I will consider. Foods such as bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, avocados, asparagus, pineapple, honeydew, snap peas, sweet potatoes and onions fall into this latter category. Irradiated foods or foods that are genetically altered are not welcome in my cart or on my table.

Journey to Organic – it’s in the numbers.

Be Well. xo

365 Organic Tips – Sleeping Green

Sleeping Green. Yes it matters. If we spend a 1/3 of our life sleeping then what we sleep on should not only be comfortable but it should be free of chemicals that are carcinogenic. (Carcinogenic means that these chemicals have been proven to cause cancer). I recently read that a leading mattress company that claims its foam beds shape to your body and eliminate movement delivers a whopping 61 chemicals in its mattresses – five of which are considered carcinogenic. Mattresses like cigarettes (once were) are unregulated. No one is monitoring or saying “no” to the chemicals being used in your mattress. It took years of lawsuits to finally get the cigarette Industry regulated. What will it take for the mattress Industry to be regulated?

Your Nose May Be Trying to Tell You Something:

A good rule of thumb when buying a product is if it smells like harmful chemicals, chances are that it is made from harmful chemicals. If you begin to complain of arthritis, flu, weakened immune system, sore throat, depression and/or autoimmune disorders shortly after purchasing a foam or petroleum based mattress, remove the mattress to the garage for a month and see if your condition reverses. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Choosing organic materials is one of the best ways to reduce the toxins you inhale while sleeping.  

Recently, I completed my research to replace the mattresses in our home. This is what I learned:

1)      Wool is a natural fire retardant and also wicks away moisture helping you to sweat less. Organic wool is without chemicals and likely comes from animals unharmed when harvested.

2)      If your mattress is over (7) seven years old and not organic, chances are it may contain flame retardant chemicals that have been phased out for health reasons.

3)      If the mattress stinks when you go to buy it, DON’T buy it! It is likely full of toxic chemicals.

4)      If you have purchased a foam or petroleum based mattress air it out in your garage for two weeks before you sleep on it. If you can cover it with an organic cotton pad, do that. If you can get rid of it and buy an organic mattress, even better.

5)      Manmade latex is made with chemicals and can be toxic. Natural latex is made from trees and is not toxic. Organic latex is made from Organic trees, which ensures the soil and water supply the organic tree grows in also meet organic requirements and is non toxic.

6)      Some organic companies not only meet organic requirements for their materials but also use machines that  meet organic requirements. Some owners even go as far as to restrict works from smoking, wearing fragrances, wearing clothes washed in fabric softeners or even having smokers in their home. (I thought Kosher was stringent.)

7)      Like organic food some companies may comply with organic standards but not pay to be certified so that they can remain competitive with their pricing. These companies may allow for testing but do not pay for certification so they can pass the savings onto their customers.

8)      Some organic mattress brands ensure 30% of their materials are organic and make sure that all remaining materials are non- toxic or have the lowest VOC levels. This allows for competitive pricing while being mindful of their customers health.

9)      Many organic mattress brands that are 100% organic are manufactured by hand in the U.S.with attention to every inch of material being used as organic and harm-free.

10)   Prices on organic beds range from $8,000 for a California King made with 100% organic materials, by hand, (incredibly comfortable) to $2500 for a like-size but perhaps only the essential items organic and low VOC to $1500 for an online brand that contains low VOC emissions and some organic materials but has removed the middle-man to ensure low pricing.

11)   Mattresses with low VOCs (chemical pollution/emissions) can increase quality of sleep which may decrease and/or eliminate insomnia or other ailments.

Where does your mattress go when you are done using it?

We are living in an age when the health of our bodies and the health of our planet go hand-in-hand. The good news is that when you find a healthy mattress you likely have found one that is also biodegradable, so both you and the planet win. Consider your biodegradable purchase as contributing to the greater whole of the world and in return the world is rewarding you by protecting your health and/or that of a dear family member.

In Summary:

When shopping for a mattress or concerned about ailments that surfaced around the time you purchased your last mattress, you may wish to look into organic mattresses or mattresses made with predominately organic, low VOC materials. Your health is equally– if not more important– than the comfort of your back. Ideally, you want a mattress that delivers both comfort and low VOCs. If you are able to shop at stores with multiple organic brands, do that. It will give you the opportunity to test out comfort and price while simultaneously allowing you to explore which materials should absolutely be organic and which materials don’t have to be.

Journey to Organic – you’ll definitely sleep better.

Be well. xo

365 Organic Tips – Healthy Pesticide Eating Leads to Obesity.


Even though thousands of studies have been conducted on the ill effects of each artificial layer and ingredient added to once food, for today, let’s look at the most common layer of toxic substance that you are exposed to on a daily basis, pesticides.  Second only to genetically modified ingredients, pesticides are absorbed by the majority of conventional produce and have been repeatedly found to wreak havoc on your body.


— If you’re eating non-organic celery today, you may be ingesting 67 pesticides with it, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group.

The group, a nonprofit focused on public health, scoured nearly 100,000 produce pesticide reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine what fruits and vegetables we eat have the highest, and lowest, amounts of chemical residue.

Most alarming are the fruits and vegetables dubbed the “Dirty Dozen,” which contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving. These foods are believed to be most susceptible because they have soft skin that tends to absorb more pesticides.

“It’s critical people know what they are consuming,” the Environmental Working Group’s Amy Rosenthal said. “The list is based on pesticide tests conducted after the produce was washed with USDA high-power pressure water system. The numbers reflect the closest thing to what consumers are buying at the store.”


A study recently conducted by Mercer University School of Medicine pinpointed growing exposure to pesticides as a contributor to the obesity crisis that is currently sweeping the globe. Researchers examined whether or not pesticide exposure played a role in worldwide childhood obesity. They studied 6,800 subjects, 6-19 years of age and reached their conclusion by observing one of the most common used pesticides on the GLOBE – a pesticide known as 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP).

What the researchers found is a higher prevalence of obesity in the participants with high urinary concentrations of 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP).

Increased exposure to foods sprayed with pesticides increases the likelihood that you will be battling with the bulge, or worse, as child or adult.

This study was based on just ONE common pesticide.


When was the last time your doctor ran a test to look for pesticides and toxic build up in your body? There are over 80,000 toxic chemicals in the U.S. used regularly and over 500 chemicals stored in our body. Believe it or not, the average individual has at least seven pesticides tested in their urine.  If your body is acting out, consider either toxic testing or toxic elimination diets before filling drug prescriptions.


Everything doesn’t make you fat or lead to disease, but it is logical that whatever scientists add to food to make it last longer, protect it from bugs, increase its shelf life and/or make it more visually appealing may not be healthy for children or adults to ingest on a daily basis. Testing shows that pesticide consumption could inhibit metabolism and proper nutrient absorption, which may contribute to obesity, depression and disease. The average person has over 500 chemicals in their body of which at least 7 of them are pesticides.

Seek out toxic testing and/or integrate toxic elimination diets into your regular body maintenance routine. Help your liver by letting it do its job. (More on the job of the liver and your job as its caretaker in an upcoming blog).


If you think you are eating healthy by eating conventional produce and ordering salads at conventional or fast food restaurants, ask yourself if eating pesticides is truly healthy eating.


Journey to Organic – Healthy eating has no place for pesticides.

Be Well. xo

365 Organic Tips – Tip 5


Shake it up.  It is so easy to fall into a food circle where you eat the same foods in rotation every week. Did you know that there were originally over 4,000 different varieties of potatoes? 7,500 different kinds of apple trees, 307 varieties of corn and the list goes on. There are many foods that we no longer are able to buy at the grocery store and many that have become extinct all together. The foods that remain in our grocery stores were not selected because they were the most nutritious, but rather selection is often based on cost, location, longevity and demand. Criteria and competition pushed many healthy and delicious selections out of the grocery store leaving conventional grocery stores with the same day in and day out choices. The next time you walk into your local conventional grocery store stop and look at their selection of produce — ignore the 46,000+ processed food items and just focus on the produce. What happened to the purple potatoes and purple and red carrots? Where is the white asparagus, blue corn and blue foot mushrooms? Our rainbow is shrinking, and these “once foods” full of antioxidants and essential minerals are rare choices. Instead, we are offered the same type of potato, the same apple, the same orange carrots and on and on with limited variety. When I showed my kids purple potatoes they honestly had no idea that there were any other choices than “new”, “sweet” or “russet” potatoes. Where are the other 3, 997 varieties? What did their nutrients do for our bodies?

If you are ready to shake your diet up a bit, here’s an exercises to think about and try:

Close your eyes and think about what you have consumed over the past week. (If it’s impossible to remember what you had for breakfast, call your doctor and discuss early onset Alzheimer’s.  Hopefully, you will see the meals (eventually) pass before your eyes). Write down as many of the items as you can with as many ingredients as you can. Include beverages.  Do your best. Don’t beat yourself up if you leave some off.

Now, look at your list and reflect. Do you keep seeing the same items over and over again like, “Red Delicious apple“ or “iceberg lettuce” or other unmentionable food choices? If so, it’s time to SHAKE IT UP, knock some non-foods out of your diet and try some new produce varieties.

Action Step:

To inspire you to think out of the package, here is my 2014 list of 100 foods to eat. What I’m going to do is cross off each food item once I’ve eaten it. When I’m done, I’ll create a new list of new choices to remind myself to add variety to my diet for the rest of the year. The goal is to constantly be adding new nutrients that make an impact on the overall health of your body. Permission to eat. Love.

Bok choy Black sesame seeds Santa Rosa Plum Coconut Milk Black Rice
Cactus Flower Black radish Champagne grapes Cinnamon Brussel Sprouts
Cherimoya Blue corn Akorn Squash Cumin Red onion
Dinosaur Kale Persian Cucumber Dinosaur Fruit Artichoke Red Rice
Ghee Okra Blackberries Orange Bell Pepper Maitake Mushroom
Japanese Yam Raw honey comb Strawberries Habanero Pepper Enoki Mushrooms
Orange and yellow Heirloom Tomato Purple Cabbage Romanesco   Broccoli Purple Bell Pepper Shimeji Mushroom
Papaya Coconut Aminos (soy sauce alternative) Macadamia nuts Cayenne Pepper Hearts of Palm
Persimmon Sauerkraut Sesame Seeds Turmeric Leeks
Pine Nuts Ginger Satsuma   Tangerine Red Chard Mango
Pomegranate Madagascar almonds Pistachio Nuts Thyme Mangosteen
Pumpkin Seeds Daikon radish Green curry Garbanzo Beans Crookneck Yellow Squash
Purple Carrot Acai Japanese (loose) green tea White Peach White Nectarine
Purple Potato Tarragon Loganberries Baby Kale Arugula
Quinoa Honey Crisp Apple Jonagold Apple Oyster Mushroom Barley
Red Carrot Wheat Grass Blue corn White Tea Galia (honeydew/cantaloupe)
Spaghetti Squash Japanese Eggplant Yellow curry Alfalfa Sprouts Chanterelle Mushroom
Water From a Healthy Spring or Artesian Well Zucchini Flowers Organic Eggs from Farmer’s Market Green Plum (prune Reine-Claude) Butterscotch dates
Yellow Carrot Acorn Squash Blueberries Edible Roses Seaweed salad
Rainbow Chard Japanese Cabbage Broccoli Rabe Sunflower Sprouts Porcini Mushroom

What I Do

I look for new varieties of produce in season and search Farmer’s Markets and heirloom online farmers for grains to increase variety.  Some of my favorite apples that are in season for a short period of time are: Jonagold, Braeburn, Macintosh, and Honey Crisp. I also love Santa Rosa Plums and this year I tried GREEN plumbs, Romanesco broccoli/cauliflower mix and Cherimoya fruit and I’m hooked. If you haven’t tried them, make a point of it. Nothing makes me happier than when I come across an heirloom variety or some new vegetable or fruit that I’ve never tasted before.

Journey to Organic – Shake up your nutrition…it just may be the spice you have been looking for.

Be Well.


365 Organic Tips – Tip 4

Journey to Organic

Eat Fresh

Eat Fresh. Eat Fresh. I said it three times but what does it really mean?  I thought it meant to eat only raw veggies and fruits, but it doesn’t. If your body is searching for nutrients, it will remain hungry, and it will ask you to eat again. This is where, I believe, dieters fail themselves. Calories are definitely king in weight loss but ask yourself:

“Why is it that most dieters end up gaining the weight + back after their diet is over”?

A)     lack of nutrients in the body

B)     old overeating habits

C)     both

The correct answer is C.  After starving your body by dieting on frozen, pre-made, non-fat diet entrees, diet soda, and a few pesticide salads tossed in the mix. When the dieting torture is over WHAT DO YOU THINK your body wants? WHOLE, FRESH NUTRITION, and it’s hungry. Think about it.


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365 Organic Tips – Tip 4

Eat Fresh

Eat Fresh. Eat Fresh. I said it three times but what does it really mean?  I thought it meant to eat only raw veggies and fruits, but it doesn’t. If your body is searching for nutrients, it will remain hungry, and it will ask you to eat again. This is where, I believe, dieters fail themselves. Calories are definitely king in weight loss but ask yourself:

“Why is it that most dieters end up gaining the weight + back after their diet is over”?

A)     lack of nutrients in the body

B)     old overeating habits

C)     both

The correct answer is C.  After starving your body by dieting on frozen, pre-made, non-fat diet entrees, diet soda, and a few pesticide salads tossed in the mix. When the dieting torture is over WHAT DO YOU THINK your body wants? WHOLE, FRESH NUTRITION, and it’s hungry. Think about it.

If you are making an investment in your health and that of your family’s then, the first priority should be to ensure that what everyone consumes works hard for their bodies. Whole, fresh, organic nutrition and pure spring or artesian water are more important than anything else that you can buy for yourself or your family.  Nutrients are the building blocks of life.

What “Eat Fresh” means is to source organic food locally to increase nutritional content and absorption.

It also means to eat food fresh/local rather than aged and conventional. The moment food is picked from the vine it starts to lose its nutrition. The longer it takes to reach your table the more nutrition it has lost.  If you are bargain shopping organic food to save money but your food is over two months old, it is still better than pesticide or GMO food, but the longer it journeyed to reach you the less nutritious it will be when you consume it. Make sense?

If savings is what you are after, search out your local organic Farmer’s Market vendors. You can save as much as .50 cents a pound on fruit, and if you shop at the end of the day perhaps, even more. If weather inhibits the growth of a variety of produce, organic flash frozen produce is another option.

Nutritional Comparison: Organic Versus Non-Organic

Below is an assortment of organically grown items to compare to conventional produce.  What I encourage you to think about is what the nutrients actually DO for your body and how much MORE of them you are getting by consuming organic produce.

Organic apples, potatoes, pears, wheat and sweet corn all have drastically higher nutritional content than their conventionally grown counterparts, including:

63: Percent more calcium. (Calcium helps build bones)

78: Percent more chromium. (Chromium is a critical cofactor in the action of insulin)

73: Percent more iron. (Iron helps build strong muscles and fill you with energy)

118: Percent more magnesium. (Magnesium is a key contributor in metabolism)

178: Percent more molybdenum. (Copper, zinc, selenium, and molybdenum are involved in many biochemical processes supporting life. The most important of these processes are cellular respiration, cellular utilization of oxygen, DNA and RNA reproduction, maintenance of cell membrane integrity, and sequestration of free radicals.)

91: Percent more phosphorus. (Phosphorus is essential to bone strength, because it’s the main structural component of bones and teeth, as calcium phosphate. Phosphorus is also an important element in energy production).

125: Percent more potassium. (Potassium helps your muscles contract, helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of body cells and helps maintain normal blood pressure by blunting the effect of sodium. Potassium may also reduce your risk of recurrent kidney stones and possibly bone loss as we get older).

60: Percent more zinc. (Zinc stimulates the activity of about 100 enzymes in the body. It also supports: your healthy immune system,  is necessary to synthesize DNA, is essential for wound healing and supports the healthy growth and development of the body during adolescence, childhood and pregnancy).

Overall, Organic Produce Delivers:

40: Additional percentage of antioxidants contained in organic fruit and vegetables compared with non-organic. (An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When the chain reaction occurs in a cell, it can cause damage or death to the cell. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions).

30: Percentage increase in levels of flavonoids contained in organic vegetables compared with conventionally grown produce. (Flavonoids can increase the vitamin c inside cells and may inhibit the destruction of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, which may keep you younger looking)

55: Additional percentage of vitamin C contained in organic tomatoes at the stage of commercial maturity, compared with conventional tomatoes.

79 and 97: Percentage increase in levels of quercetin (reduces blood pressure) and kaempferol, both flavonoids, in organic tomatoes compared with conventional tomatoes. A10-year study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry compared organic tomatoes with standard produce and found that organic tomatoes had almost double the quantity of antioxidants.

 139: Additional percentage of phenolic content (associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, and some forms of cancer) contained in organic tomatoes at the stage of commercial maturity, compared with conventional tomatoes.

57: Additional percentage of lycopene (considered a potential agent for prevention of some types of cancers, particularly prostate cancer) contained in organic ketchup with conventional national brands.

30: Average percentage increase in levels of resveratrol (antioxidant linked to reduce risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease) found in organic red grapes compared with conventionally grown red grapes.

49: Average percentage of whole food ingredients contained in organic breads, versus 24 percent in “natural” bread and only 12 percent in conventional bread.

58: Percentage increase of polyphenols (antioxidants that help prevent cardiovascular disease) in organically grown berries and corn compared with conventionally grown berries and corn.

52: Percentage increase in levels of vitamin C in organically grown berries and corn compared with conventionally grown berries and corn. (Vitamin C strengthens immunity, protects from diseases like scurvy and is essential to the development and maintenance of scar tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage)

And on and on…


I shop Farmer’s Markets to purchase my produce, dairy, nuts and dried fruits as well as meats from local, organic vendors. I supplement with items from Whole Foods. I dine predominately at organic restaurants with the same local, fresh standards as I have. When faced with having to make a choice at a non-organic restaurant, I choose wild fish and dine on only vegetables low in pesticides or breads baked with olive oil.  

Summing It Up:

Nutrients are what our bodies run on. If you’re not feeling energized or good about your weight, what are you feeding yourself to ensure your body isn’t starved for nutrition? Search for local, fresh organic foods to increase essential vitamin and mineral absorption. In Nutritional Comparison studies organic produces delivers more nutrients as compared to the same conventional produce.

Journey to Organic… It’s fresh

Be Well xo

365 Days of Organic Tips Tip 3

FAT is your FRIEND

Really. Avoiding healthy fats in your diet and replacing them with non-fat, ultra-lean meat or low fat is a HUGE mistake.  It’s the kind of mistake that leads to weight gain or even worse creates disease. Don’t fall into the trap of allowing food manufacturers to tell you that it is better to replace real food –in its organic state– with a low fat or non-fat chemical riddled choice. Diet foods have been marketed to be short cuts to weight loss. In reality, eating diet foods saturated in chemicals and/or higher amounts of sugar and sodium increase dissatisfaction and nutrient absorption, which leads to weight gain and disease.

Food choices should be based on nutritional value derived from eating whole, organic foods to meet the requirements of your body. PERIOD.  

As for fat, WE NEED IT.  Fat is an essential nutrient. It provides energy, helps absorb and store the vitamins A, D, E and K, and maintains our core body temperature. Healthy fat choices like olive oil, grass fed lean meats, avocado, egg yolks, organic whole-milk dairy or nuts should be consumed in healthy amounts with at least one serving in every meal.

How Many Calories and Fat Grams Do You Need?

Here’s a little exercise taken from the University of Maryland Heart Health Medical Journals to determine what your body fat and calorie requirements are.

First, assess your activity level.

This formula will help you to calculate the number of calories and percentage of fat grams you need each day at your current weight if you are relatively inactive to moderately active.

Moderately active person = a working person who doesn’t do a great deal of exercise

Relatively inactive person = a person with a sedentary lifestyle

If you’re more than moderately active, calorie needs may have to be adjusted so that you don’t lose weight.

To determine the number of calories and fat grams you need to consume each day in order to lose or gain weight, consult your doctor or a registered dietitian. (or save some money and figure if you are 5 feet and female with  a small frame you should, at minimum, weigh a 100lbs. Add 5-10lbs for each inch (the larger amount is for large boned frames).

To maintain your current weight, follow this formula:

•Write your body weight in the equation that fits your activity level and gender. Then, multiply.

Moderately active male:

 _____ pounds x 15 calories = _____ total calories per day.

Moderately active female:

 ____ pounds x 12 calories = _____ total calories per day.

Relatively inactive male:

 ____ pounds x 13 calories = _____ total calories per day.

Relatively inactive female:

 ____ pounds x 10 calories = _____ total calories per day.

THEN: Take total calories and multiply by 30 percent.

 ____ calories per day x .30 = ____ calories from fat per day.

Take calories from fat per day and divide by 9 (there are 9 calories per gram of fat):

 ____ calories from fat per day divided by 9 =____ fat grams per day

Remember, saturated fats should account for only 10 percent of the total fat grams consumed.

Look at the labels and use the per serving, fat gram amount to keep a tally for a week and see where your fat intake lands. Adjust accordingly.


If I eat too much fat in one meal, I lower it significantly for the next two meals to balance it out. In the beginning when I was trying to wean myself off of non-fat foods, I was reading labels constantly and comparing low fat or non-fat selections with whole fat organic selections. I looked beyond the calorie count to learn which foods were working harder for me. I learned that not all organic choices offer whole fat or provide the right fats, so it’s important not to become complacent in thinking that if it says “organic” it must be the best choice.

I don’t use ANY ARTIFICIAL SWEETNERS. I rarely drink anything but non-sweetened green tea or water.

I add avocado (1/4 of a half) to my meals. I reach for 100% pure, organic or Greek (no pesticide) olive oil and enjoy semi-lean organic grass fed, meats and whole milk dairy products. I like gelato and cookies but I don’t eat them every night, but I will eat them, and I do love them.

Summing it up: 

Eat organic whole fats in thoughtful quantities. Choose grass fed lean (but not too lean) meats and dairy products. Whole fats help to trigger satiation in the body and the body tells the brain it’s full, which leaves you more satisfied for longer stretches of time. Fat is essential for proper vitamin absorption, energy and warmth. Don’t avoid it. Eat fat to lose fat.

Journey to Organic – Real fat is where it’s at.

Be Well. xo