Think it is expensive to go organic? It really isn't. Organic food is becoming more and more popular in grocery stores resulting in prices going down. Whether it is a local grocery store like Kroger, Publix or Shoprite, if you start looking for organic produce, meat or wild-caught fish, you will find it. Plus, in the frozen food section there are plenty of organic vegetables available. Also, the prevalence of farmer's markets can make it easy to get access to organic food.
Interestingly enough, there are other options such as co-op deliveries and shelf stable foods from major internet retailers. I am happy to see so many more organic products being available at websites such as Vitacost.com and amazon.com. The deals you can find on the internet are really good and free shipping is usually available once you hit a certain dollar threshold.
People often ask me why they should eat organic. The primary reason is chemical avoidance. Chemicals and pesticides are so prevalent in our environment, they are everywhere! Food, water, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste and the air we breathe are just a few of the ways we are exposed to chemicals every single day.
These chemicals damage our bodies by affecting our endocrine system (hormones), the digestive system, immune system and cardiovascular system. Even worse, is when these systems become damaged, our organs become diseased and unable to fight off illness. Organic food is one way we can help reduce our exposure to chemicals and pesticides.
Let's look at how food that is grown with chemicals and pesticides affect the digestive system. Why the digestive system? It is the center of our bodies health. When the digestive system is not as healthy as it can the following systems and organs are affected:
The immune system weakens because 70% of it is found in the gut.
The thyroid gets out of balance and can become slow and sluggish or over-productive.
Mental health is affected due to the direct communication pathway our gut has with the brain. Depression, anxiety and moodiness are just a few of the symptoms of an unhealthy gut.
The respiratory system relies on the gut because the gut is responsible for breaking down food into nutrients that the lungs need to function.
These are just a few of the ways the digestive system is critical to the functioning of the rest of the body. How do you know if your digestive system is not working properly?
Does any of this sound like you?
✅Diarrhea and/or constipation
✅Bloating and gas
✅Congestion, coughing, wheezing
✅Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
✅Headaches and migraines
✅Acne and eczema
✅Lack of energy
✅Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you answered yes to just one of the above, your digestive system is not working properly. Eating organic food is one way you can help heal the gut. Do you need help getting your gut healthy? I am here to help!
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering so you can get back to living. I offer a FREE 30 minute call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how we can heal your gut using the Simply Great Health program.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Thrive in your career by being more focused
✅Eliminate the embarrassing gas and bloating
✅Go out with friends without being afraid of not getting to a bathroom in time
✅Move your body
✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your gut and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
Once you make the decision to start eating more organic food, making the transition can be a little overwhelming. The trick is to start slow and retrain yourself how to grocery shop. Organic food is very easy to find but it is like anything, you have to know your prices. As you learn the regular and sale prices of organic food, you'll get more used to finding organic foods you will love.
A few tips on how to shop organic and maintain your budget:
1) Buy produce in season. I bought organic zucchini for two people for $0.89 and served it as a side dish for one dinner. The non-organic zucchini would have been more expensive and full of pesticides.
2) Look for sales and discounts. Typically, when a food is being introduced at a supermarket, the food manufacturer will have a sale on it to increase the likelihood a person will try it. There is no reason you can't stock up when a product is on sale.
3) Choose where you are going to invest in organic products. For example, buying organic meat and serving it with frozen organic vegetables is a great choice. Organic meat has higher nutrients, which means you can serve less of it because your family will get fuller faster.
4) Have at least one meatless meal per week. Not only will it help your body be as healthy as it can be, it will reduce your overall grocery bill. Eating more plant based foods has significant health benefits. It lowers cholesterol, assists with weight management and heals the digestive tract.
Now that you have a few ways on how to shop for organic foods, it is time to use those ingredients in recipes. The easiest way to use your organic food is to continue to cook like you normally would and use the organic ingredients! I recognize it may not always be easy to get organic versions of all foods you like to eat.
I would recommend following the 80/20 rule. When you cook, use at least 80% organic ingredients. For example, I made an organic vegetarian lasagna and could not find organic lasagna noodles. Oh well! The rest of the dish was organic and tasted great! Below are some recipes to try.
Healthy Broccoli Casserole from Healthy Fitness Meals. This casserole does not call for meat but if you must add it, organic chicken is a great choice. There are also tips on how to make this vegan by substituting nut milk. Also, gluten free by using gluten free breadcrumbs. Click here for the recipe.
Organic Teriyaki Chicken Recipe from Reluctant Entertainer. This recipe is very flexible because you can pick vegetables that are in-season and swap out the brown rice for quinoa, farro or white rice. It is probably difficult to find organic soy sauce but that is OK. Remember, if the recipe is using at least 60% organic ingredients, you are making a very nourishing and satisfying dish. Click here for the recipe.
Quick and Easy Vegetable Lasagna from The Seasoned Mom. Since one of my suggestions is to have a meat free meal once per week, I wanted you to see how easy it is to make a vegetarian meal. Lasagna is always a hit and a very easy dish to make vegetarian. I haven't been able to find organic lasagna noodles so if you do, that is great! Click here for the recipe.
Apple and Sweet Potato Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from The Organic Dietitian. This dish has a sweet and savory theme going for it. Also, it only takes a total of 35 minutes to cook. That is a great thing when crunched for time. If someone doesn't like sweet potatoes, you can substitute white, yukon gold or red potatoes. Click here for the recipe.
Easy Baked Tacos from Feasting at Home. This recipe is vegetarian because it doesn't use meat. However, if you need to add meat, feel free to go ahead. I've never tried to bake tacos but it makes sense. Instead of heating up the shells separately, you are stuffing and heating the shells all at once. If you add ground beef to it, I would keep that on the side so the shells don't soften up with the meat juices. Click here for the recipe.
I hope you enjoyed learning why we need to eat organic for our health and how to do it inexpensively. Avoiding chemicals and pesticides the best we can is one way we can help our bodies stay healthy and disease free.
Do you think you will eat more organic food? Are you already organic? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.