The Blended Cleanse {+Greeny Tahini Smoothie Recipe}

Those that know me know I’ve been on a long road to improve my health. Since going gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian (among other things) I’ve had highs and lows, and it’s been downright hard sometimes. But one thing I’ve learned is that health is a constant committment that I will have to be conscious of for the rest of my life. Food can be medicine, but the wrong food can be toxic. To me, feeling amazing inside and out is better than the fleeting pleasure of eating a Big Mac…

Although my diet seems squeaky-clean, I’m nowhere near perfect. I’m only human. I slip up and chow down on french fries sometimes, and as you’ve learned, I love me some vegan ice cream! I believe that enjoying your food without punishing yourself for doing it is ESSENTIAL to living the skinny lifestyle. BUT, I don’t always feel so great after those slip ups, especially when they start to add up.

Enter Cleansing.

{{Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist (yet :)): I’ve done my research but this is just MY experience}}

I get enjoyment out of reading every book ever written about holistic nutrition and healing, so I’ve come across the subject of detox a number of times. I first heard about it when reading “Skinny Bitch” (which I highly recommend, although Jamie won’t read it because she’s afraid it will convince her to go vegetarian :)), and tried a week-long raw fruits and veggies cleanse while I was living in LA. After that, I was hooked on how amazing I could feel. Since, I’ve tried juice cleanses, green smoothie cleanses and veggie broth detoxes; some worked, others didn’t. The thing about cleansing is we are all completely different people with different environments and DNA, so there is no cookie cutter cleanse that works best for everyone. But cleansing to some degree is important no matter who you are, for a whole bunch of reasons.

Think about it this way. Every process in our body requires energy. Some processes, like breathing and cell detoxification, are constant – without them, we’d keel over in seconds. Others, digestion for example, can be put on hold when there are more important things to tend to. Digestion takes up a TON of energy (which is why you feel groggy after a gigantic meal), and when we are eating things that are difficult to digest, like meat, dairy and gluten, our body takes energy away from the detoxification process (which is basically the process of removing toxins from our cells to keep us from getting sick and dying). Ergo – you age quicker, your digestion and metabolism slow down, and your energy levels drop. Most people don’t realize they need to cleanse, because they have gotten used to the way they feel. But even just a few days of giving your body a rest makes a load of difference.

So what cleansing  does is it allows your body to take the energy it would normally use for digestion and put it towards inner housecleaning. Because of this, your first few days on a cleanse are a little bit miserable. Think about deep cleaning your house – it always looks worse before it looks better, because you have to take all the old junk out of the back of the closet in order to get rid of it. Same goes for cleansing. Your body rustles up toxins, which will make you feel worse, only to get rid of them and allow you to reap the benefits.

I could go on and on about the benefits of cleansing in general, but let’s get down and dirty about why blended cleanses are optimal. {{Blended foods = smoothies and blended soups}}

  • Blended foods require very little energy to digest. The blender basically pre-digests the food for you, so your body doesn’t have to expend the energy. Bonus points if you “chew” your smoothie, so the enzymes in your saliva have a chance to pitch in too.
  • Blended foods, rather than juices, have fiber that help flush out all those toxins you rustled up. Fiber also helps you stay full longer, so you aren’t completely starving between meals.
  • Green juices are great, and can definitely serve as a supplement to a blended cleanse, but alone, they are all sugar, no fiber, meaning they enter the bloodstream quickly and spike your blood sugar. For some, juice alone works great. However, for people who have never cleansed before, or who have Candida (like me), all that sugar just feeds the bad bacteria in our gut and makes us bloated and miserable. Trust me, I’ve had cleanses go wrong because I wasn’t aware of this fact. Like I said, I will make green juice in addition to my blended smoothies and soups, but not instead of them.

Tips for a blended cleanse:

  • Never cleansed before? Make sure you eat clean during the days leading up to the cleanse. No alcohol, sugar, caffeine, or dairy, and all animal products should be eaten with fresh vegetables (meat has no fiber, so veggies keep things moving). You can even start by doing blended foods for one or two meals a day, sticking with solid foods at lunch or dinner {{This alone is a great cleanse for beginners}}
  • Make sure your smoothies incorporate veggies, not just fruit! Remember the whole blood sugar thing I mentioned earlier? Same goes for all-fruit smoothies. Bad news bears. Make sure your smoothies are at least half veggies (I love spinach and romaine because they don’t make your smoothies taste green), up to 2/3 if you are using high glycemic fruits like bananas, dates or mangos.
  • Blended soups are best raw, but you can also steam veggies and blend them with veggie broth for a more warming experience. This is especially ideal in the winter.
  • Love a creamy texture? Bananas work great, but avocados make things smooth without the sugar spike – and they are chock-full of essential fats that you NEED during the cleansing process.
  • DAIRY IS OUT – if you normally use milk or yogurt in your smoothies, sub almond or coconut milk and skip the yogurt all together (even non-dairy versions are loaded with sugar). Dairy causes your body to make excess mucus, which gets stuck in your digestive system and keeps toxins from being released.

I LOVE Gena of Choosing Raw’s Mellow Green Smoothie – it’s great for green smoothie newbies and awesome for cleansing. I’ve adapted it to up the greens content, but feel free to play with it and make it your own!

Greeny Tahini Smoothie

{{Photo Credit: Gena Hamshaw, Choosing Raw}}

1 large frozen banana or 1/2 large avocado
1 heaping tbsp tahini {if you feel more comfortable with peanut or almond butter, those work too – just make sure you buy all natural, no sugar added}
6 large handfuls of romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, and/or baby spinach
3/4 cup almond milk
1 scoop vegan protein powder {I like SunWarrior rice protein or Bob’s Red Mill hemp protein}
Stevia and vanilla extract to taste

I started my cleanse yesterday, and I plan to continue it at least until Friday (hoping to extend it through next week, but we’ll see). If you are interested in cleansing with me, email me for more information! I have a ton of recipes that I won’t overload you all with now, but I’m happy to share them to help get you started. I also highly recommend checking out Clean by Alejandro Junger – it’s a great guide to gentle cleansing for health nuts and junk food eaters alike.

Happy Cleansing!

❤ Sarah

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Girl’s Guide to the Oregon Brewers Festival

BREWFEST!

Ohhh the Monday after Portland’s favorite weekend… Sadly Brewfest has come and gone and so has my valid excuse of a weekend of as much beer drinking sampling as possible.  For those of you that don’t know OBF is the largest  outdoor beer festival in North America.  It takes place every year, the last weekend in July, along the Portland waterfront and features  around 85 handcrafted beers from breweries across the country. While I only got to make it down one FULL day this year I was still able to squeeze through as many extremely long lines as possible. 

Helpful hint: Friday night and all day Saturday tend to have the longest lines so if you’re a huge beer fan {like this chick} and actually want to try as many as possible attempt to go Thursday.  By Sunday some beers are already tapped out and considering OBF attracted 80,000 people last year if you go Saturday {like we did} prepare to wait in at least half hour lines or come up with another sneaky strategy:)

Cool Fact: OBF offers a free root beer garden for designated drivers! <– So plan accordingly!

Being a girl, it’s only natural to be drawn to every beer with  “raspberry, pineapple, huckleberry, honey, cream, pomegranate, berry, etc.” in its name, however,  I’m also a giant sucker for a beer with a lot of bite {aka IPA’s}.  While IPA’s may not be the lowest in calories {or anywhere close} It’s Brewfest so that’s a valid exuse right??

 Although I didn’t get around to as many taps as I would have liked, here are a few of this years favorites:

Pineapple Express {from Collaborator}: Clearly the name drew a lot of attention but this beer was nice and light and left the bitterness behind.  With the perfect touch of pineapple and fruity sweetness it was very refreshing.

Pomegranate Wheat Ale {from Moylan’s Brewing Co}: Golden in color, the hop levels in this beer are kept low so you get the perfect {and not overpowering} flavor of pomegranate.

Lady of Avalon {from Ninkasi Brewing Co}: I have a major weakness for any Ninkasi so I knew I had to give this one a try. While this pilsener did not have as much bite as the famous Ninkasi Total Domination IPA {<– One of my favs} it had the perfect aroma of spice.

What if I’m gluten free? Deschutes Brewery started offering their Gluten Free Golden Ale last year, and after tapping out before the weekend even started, they planned ahead this year to be able to accomodate those with gluten sensitivity. It’s the only one offered at this point, but if you want to see more GF selection, write them an email and tell them!

 Game plan for next year… MAKE ALL 4 DAYS! Happy Monday everyone!

 ❤ Jamie

Friday’s Fab Finds

THIS WEEK’S FAB FINDS

It’s here//Portland Brewfest!

Jamie:

While its been a crazy busy week for me {family reunion at the coast, best friend in town with her new baby, Portland Brewfest and Camas Days.. just to name a few!} I’ve somehow found a few spare minutes to scour the blog world.

Style Inspiration: It’s hard to even pick one outfit from this blog. Jessie over at  Seams for a Desire is constantly mixing high and low-end pieces to put together the perfect outfit.  From the looks of it, she tends to find a statement piece and build her outfit around it.  When she posted this skirt today I knew it had to be featured in our fab finds roundup.  It’s not something I would typically be drawn to when shopping but after seeing Jessie put it with the perfect pieces I’ve gotta have it.

Daily Eats: Broccoli slaw has been my latest addiction (<– Strange right?).  While I am never drawn to deli counter food (mainly due to caloric intake, low quality ingredients, and heat lamps) this is a welcomed acception.  It’s inspired me  to make many of my own variations at home and when i ran across this simple one on Fitnessista (Broccoli slaw, humus, balsamic and chicken) I knew it had to be thrown into the mix this weekend.

Winning Workout: Does anyone remember Natalie Portman’s body in Black Swan? Yeah… I think enough said.  Here are 5 moves her trainer {New York City Ballet dancer Mary Helen Bowers} had Natalie do daily.  I don’t think I need to do any persuading to have you give this one a try.

Sarah:

After a week packed with work stuff, I can’t WAIT to relax and enjoy Portland Brewfest! I may not be a beer drinker, but sober or wasted, it’s always an amazing time.

DIY-dizzle: My Brewfest outfit is the same EVERY year (see above :))- oversized tank partially tucked into cut offs, and my knee-high gladiator sandals. This year, I’m thinking about going with a crop top, which is why I got super pumped when I found a tutorial from Blogilates on how to make your own raceback tank out of an old t-shirt! I have an ungodly number of old sorority shirts, so I want to make a couple of these to rock all through the summer.

Mas Edamame: I’m still on a high from that edamame hummus I made earlier in the week…luckily I stumbled across a recipe from AllRecipes.com for Crispy Edamame. I’ve never seen it prepared this way before, but it looks amazing! I’m hoping to veganize the cheese out of it and share the updated version with you!

Daring Hair: Although I rock a short ‘do, I saw this wrapped low pony from Refined Style and I’m kind of obsessing over it. All I can say is, thank God for great extensions!

Well it’s looking like another packed weekend and considering we’ll be spending the entire time outside we hope the sun stays shining! Have a good weekend!!

❤ Jamie&Sarah

{Photo via Jamie’s brother:)}

Manicure Madness

NAIL TRENDING

I have been a huge fan of the accent nail for a while now, and it never fails to inspire my creativity.  I never thought the days would come back around where I could pick 5 colors for a manicure {like I did every time when I was 10… my mom is probably still cringing(love you!)}.  But hey, at least this time I’m a little more color coordinated! I have attempted many of these combos, although some may be a little out of the corporate world’s comfort zone.  Regardless, here are a few of my current favorites:

{OMBRE}

{Chevron+Sparkle}

{Glittering Gray}

{Diagonal Duo}

{glitter // lacquer // chevron // chrome // 3D pearls}

{Glitter accent nail}

{Gradient Glitter}

The weekend is almost here, and while today feels like a Monday {considering I’ve been on vacation the past few days:)}  It is a pleasant surprise every time I’m reminded tomorrow is Friday and the weekend {and Portland Brew Fest} is here! 

❤ Jamie

Photo Credits {Image1, Image2, Image3, Image4, Image5, Image6, Image7}

Kristine’s Kickin’ Edamame Hummus

Ask anyone – I am a hummus ADDICT. So much so, in fact, that for a brief period of my post grad life, I worked at a local company packaging and delivering fresh hummus, which basically meant I ate it for free. Now that I don’t have the ole hummus hookup anymore, I’ve been forced to create my own recipes that tantalize my tastebuds. You will never see me eating plain hummus, I’m a flavor gal through and through and I love experimenting with new ingredients.

When my boyfriend’s sister, Kristine, who is a pro at entertaining as well as a Pampered Chef guru, told me she had a recipe for edamame hummus, I HAD to try it. I now have her to thank for this delish recipe I can add to my collection.

Just FYI – it’s spicy. If you can’t handle the heat, you might be a little bit of a pansy, but don’t worry, I’ll still love you! It’s still delicious even if you tone down the hot stuff.

Spicy Edamame Hummus

1 10 oz. package frozen shelled edamame
Juice from 1-2 lemons
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. tahini
3 cloves garlic
1 T. minced ginger {{I didn’t use this in this batch, but I LOVE ginger hummus so I highly recommend trying it!}}
1 T. Thai red chile paste
1 1/2 t. sea salt

dash toasted sesame oil {{the original recipe also called for olive oil, but I don’t notice a difference whether it’s included or not, so I skip it to save calories. But if you like that fuller flavor, add it on in sister!}}
Hot chili oil {{optional, but I highly recommend it}}

Prepare edamame according to package instructions. Put cooked edamame and remaining ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. Feel free to play around with the liquid content to reach your desired consistency (I tend to like my hummus a little thicker, as that’s how we did it at my old job at King Harvest). If you still want more spice, garnish with Sriracha sauce! Serve with rice crackers, veggies, or as a spread on a wrap or sandwich.

Stay happy, healthy and hot!!

❤ Sarah

Tin Shed and Back to Eden Bakery

POST-HORSE RACES – Dinner and Dessert in North PDX

Last week, in spirit of opening day at Del Mar, Sarah and I headed to the Portland horse tracks {with some friends} to get in on the action.  After I learned very quickly to stop betting on the underdog, we decided to ditch out on the races and head over to TIN SHED.  My love of brunch has taken me there many times over the past year but I’d never seen {nor experienced} their dinner menu.  Tin Shed is known for their unique menu {and hour-long wait for Sunday brunch} so every time I go I try to stay away from anything too mainstream. Their “Tim Curry” is my typical go-to. The roasted veggies, sweet potato, onion and mushroom soak up the coconut curry sauce perfectly and the raisins, avocado and peanuts make the perfect sprinkles, and it’s served over a bed of spinach instead of rice.  Not your typical brunch item right? Considering I’m pretty good at “sticking to what ya know”, I knew when we went for dinner I had to get the dinner version {Baby Beluga}.  It’s the same thing but with added lentils and served over jasmine rice. <– Amazing! Typically I’m not a fan of anything that includes rice, lentils and starchy vegetables all in one dish but it actually wasn’t as heavy as it sounds. 

They have healthier options {like our choices: Baby Beluga and Rice N Beans} but they also have more mainstream items {that also populated our table – boys will be boys!} like burgers, sandwiches and tacos. Be sure to try their fresh and delicious hand crafted cocktails, and if you have any questions ask your server.  I’ve never had a more honest server, he pretty much made the decision for each and every one of us, putting our indecisive tendencies to rest.

Considering I am known for being the person that has to have something sweet after everything she eats, I was easily persuaded when Sarah wanted to head to her favorite bakery down the street, Back to Eden. The bakery is entirely vegan, with a number of gluten free, soy free, and cane sugar free options for health conscious and food sensitive patrons alike. The bakery has a rustic but colorful feel and draws a diverse crowd, definitely not your stereotypical vegan place. They serve soy soft serve and Coconut Bliss ice cream, which can be made into a sundae or a shake, in addition to raw desserts and baked goods like cheesecake, cookies, muffins and fudge. Sarah and I both opted for a scoop of Coconut Bliss ice cream, which is sweetened with agave nectar as opposed to white sugar.

While I could go on for a while about these two places… I’m on VACATION and my cousins are tugging at my legs to get back to the sand castle building compitition <– Yup FAMILY REUNION time 🙂 But be sure to check them out for yourself, and let us know what you think!

The Skinny:

Tin Shed

  • Location: 1438 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR
  • Phone503-288-6966
  • Hours: Open daily 7 am – 10 pm
  • Menu
  • Cost: Entrees range from $8-12
  • Must Try: Baby Beluga, Rice n Beans

Back to Eden

  • Location: 2217 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR
  • Hours: Open daily 9 am – 10 pm (hours change seasonally, check their blog for updates)
  • Menu
  • Cost: $3-7
  • Must Try: Forest Park Sundae, Vanilla Chai Shake

❤ Jamie

Motivation Monday

Repeat after me…

This is my Monday mantra. When it comes to workouts, I love the quickie. I can’t stand doing hours of cardio, dragging my butt to the gym for a lengthy strength workout. While that definitely works for some people (if that’s you, get it girl!!), it doesn’t for me, ESPECIALLY not to start the week. I’m a high intensity kinda girl. I love short, quick bursts of all out effort, followed by a short rest periods, because they allow me to send my cardio through the roof while getting toned. The best part? High intensity training works you hard and fast so you don’t have to spend a whole hour on a workout. I usually take 15-20 minutes in the morning to crank it out, then get on with my day.

I’m no personal trainer, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but here are a few of my favorite toning moves:

Burpees. {{I use the term “favorite” loosely here. I hate these. But I love the results.}}

Push-up Jacks. {{Try on an incline if you are like me and do push ups on your knees}}

Kickboxing. {{I used to train with a semi-pro boxer, and nothing in the world gets my endorphins flowing more than beating the crap out of stuff. Never tried it? Check out cardio kickboxing, it’s a great way to get a feel for boxing and classes are offered just about everywhere.  Or do like Jamie and I used to and gather a couple gals on the weekend and go in on a mini group session}}

Happy Monday!

❤ Sarah

Friday’s Fab Finds

….So true – we plan on doing just that this weekend! But before we check out, here’s a look at a few fab finds from this past week!

Jamie:

Bake it: I’m never one to pass up any recipe with buffalo sauce so when I ran across these stuffed buffalo chicken breasts on Skinny Taste I knew they were a must.

Train for it: Since I’m getting heavily persuaded to do a full marathon I figured these 101 Greatest Running Tips might be worth browsing through. Ohhh Women’s Health what would I do without you?

Make it: DIY lace/America/studded shorts are popping up everywhere. So when I get some time this is definitely on the {To Do} List!

Sarah:

Work it: My goal for the summer is to get a killer 6-pack, so I’m dying to try You+Me=Fit‘s “300 Reps for Perfect Abs” workout. I love workouts I can do in my room before I hop in the shower in the morning, so this is perfect for me.

Nail it: I’m the first to admit {that unlike Jamie} I suck at keeping a consistent nail-care routine, but we’ve got some fun outings planned this weekend so I feel the need for a fabulous manicure. Tonight, I’m planning on rocking a glitter gradient manicure with this how-to from Makeup.com.

Sip it: To drink or not to drink? For me, that’s always the question leading into the weekend. Luckily, I’m prepared for either scenario. If I decide to indulge, I’m doing it the healthy way with Tone It Up’s light variations of classic cocktails, which use stevia, my favorite sweetener, to lower the sugar content of drinks like Strawberry Margs and Mojitos. If booze ends up being a no-go, never fear, Kimberly Snyder echoes my sentiment that hydration doesn’t have to be boring with a few beautifying virgin summer drink recipes.(Cilantro Jalapeno Limeade? Where do I sign up??)

If you are anything like us, your weekend is about to be jam-packed and totally fabulous! Enjoy it {indulge a little} and come Monday we’ll all be searching for that motivation to get back on track!

So sip on a cocktail or mocktail and celebrate a little this weekend!

❤ Sarah&Jamie

{Photo’s via dawnbydawn (top) and Just Putzing (bottom)}

Quinoa Salad Cups

Salad Cups with Quinoa, Shrimp, Avocado & Lemon Dressing

To say I’m addicted to quinoa is an understatement. Every Sunday, I find myself making a different batch to stock the fridge for quick meals and lunches for the week. Quinoa is not only a complex carbohydrate and one serving has more protein than an egg, but it is also on the short list of  foods Sarah can actually eat.  No I’m kidding… kind of… but it is gluten free and has become a favorite dish for many vegans and vegetarians.  Even though I am none of those things and still have trouble typing vegan without instinctively typing “Vegas”, I do eat quinoa on the regular. While my reoccurring combinations tend to be Mexican themed or include everything but the kitchen sink (artichokes, avocado, olives, corn, water chestnuts, black or garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and the occasional cheese),  I am starting to adapt to the theory of {{sometimes}} less is more.  That’s why when I ran across this recipe on Cookin’ Canuck, I knew it would be a welcome change to go along with the very welcome summer weather.

Ingredients

The salad:
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled {{Veganize it = substitute marinated soy curls or tempeh}}
  • 1 medium tomato , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small avocado, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 oz. Myzithra (or feta) cheese, crumbled  <– {{Always optional}}

The dressing:

  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large Boston lettuce leaves <– {{Swiss chard and butter lettuce leaves work great as well}}

Instructions

             The salad:
  1. Rinse quinoa well and drain
  2. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.<– (In a rush? Just put the quinoa and water (or chicken/veg broth)  in a rice cooker)
  3. Set a large saucepan of lightly salted water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink, 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Drain and immediately plunge the shrimp into ice water to stop the shrimp from cooking further.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together quinoa, shrimp, tomatoes and avocado.
     
    The Dressing:
     
  6. Whisk together lemon juice, honey, oregano, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
  7. Toss the dressing with the quinoa mixture. Gently stir in Myzithra (or feta) cheese. Divide the quinoa salad between 4 lettuce leaves of choice and serve.

❤ Jamie

{{Recipe and Image via The Cookin Canuck}}

Organic: Not Just for Hippies

I’ve been called a hippie many times.

Shocker, right?

But in all honesty, despite my free spirited nature and almost-vegan diet, I’m completely mainstream. I love clothes that don’t look like a potato sack, I endulge in trashy TV on occasion, and I commute over an hour to work each day in a car that isn’t a bike or a hybrid.

That being said, the hippie in me is obsessed with eating organically. Thing is, buying organic isn’t really all that hippie anymore. In fact, with the emergence of Whole Foods and the popularity of sustainability, it’s downright mainstream.

I’ve got plenty of reasons why I believe organic is the only way to go. There are numerous social and environmental benefits of eating this way, but most importantly, it’s HEALTHIER! Why? Because I said so:

1. Organic foods are higher in vitamins and minerals than their conventional counterparts. Sound like a load of bull? It’s not. Studies suggest that certain fruits and vegetables, when produced organically, contain higher levels of trace minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Sure, there are degress of variability, that’s just science for you. But all-in-all, you are getting more bang for your buck with organic produce. Cause hey, the higher the nutrient content of your food, the less you have to eat to fulfill your body’s needs!

2. Pesticides are extremely toxic. Ok, I know I’m not the only one who is totally freaked out about putting stuff in my body that was made in a science lab…if it doesn’t occur naturally in the world then it probably wasn’t intended for human consumption (that includes processed foods…but I’ll touch on that in another post). Unfortunately, every time you eat conventional foods, you are ingesting all the nasty chemicals they put on that food to repel insects. Yeah, bugs are gross, but trust me, these chemicals are grosser. I mean, think about it this way: pesticides are designed to KILL bugs. What makes you think they’re not slowly killing you too? Yeah…stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

3. It tastes better. Yes, I made this one up. Kind of. There isn’t really any scientific evidence to back this one up, but my science is life experience and I say, organic tastes better. Go to the store and buy one conventional apple and one organic (extra special bonus points if it’s local), and tell me which one tastes better. It’s a no brainer. The conventional ones taste like tap water.

4. Organic farmers don’t use GMOs. GMO = genetically modified organism. Essentially, these are seeds that have been changed in a lab so that they naturally repel pests and grow bigger faster, yeilding more crop than is normal. Great for money-hungry food companies, not great for consumers. As a rule, I try to stay away from anything that boasts being “modified” (except modified push-ups, the real ones are too hardddd!), because that basically insinuates that it’s not real. I do NOT want to know what some science nerd did to it to make it “modified”, and I sure as hell don’t want my body to become a lab experiment gone wrong. GMO consumption has been linked to food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and even certain cancers. That’s no joke my friends!

I feel like the excuse I hear most often when it comes to not eating organic is “it’s too expensive”!! But honey, let’s be real; our body is our hottest accessory. My reasoning is, all the clothes, jewelry and makeup in the world won’t make up for the natural glow I get when I eat healthy and treat my insides right. That said, there are ways to cut costs while still eating like a queen.

First and foremost – shop local! I can spend 20 bucks at my local farmer’s market on an assortment of produce that would cost me twice that at Whole Foods. Yes, most local farms don’t have organic certification, as it’s pretty pricey, but a lot of them still use organic farming practices. Just ask, and they’ll usually tell you how they do things.

Second  – skip the packaging and buy in bulk. Even at Whole Foods, bulk nuts and grains are cheaper than buying them pre-packaged, plus you can control how much you buy.

Third – avoid the dirty dozen. Some conventional product is worse than others. Follow the Environmental Working Group’s guidelines for what produce is safer to buy conventional, and what shouldn’t be touched with a ten-foot pole.

And lastly – stay away from organic “processed food”. Yeah, those cookies might have the USDA Certified Organic seal on them, but don’t be fooled. They are still simple carbohydrates with a ginormous dose of sugar. There is nothing wrong with stuff like this in moderation, but saturate your diet with organic whole foods, and save the indulgence for something that’s really worth it. {{Cocktail anyone?}}

For more info on the USDA certification, check out their website.

Stay happy, healthy, and organically hot!

❤ Sarah