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Better Choices

10 Organic Foods You’ll Always Find in My Kitchen

For someone who loves organic food so much and cooks so often, my refrigerator is surprisingly empty. How could this be?

Well, I go food shopping A LOT and pretty much only buy whatever I need for the next meal that I’ll be eating. I have the good fortune of being able to do this because an amazing organic market is literally less a one minute walk from my apartment.

Plus, I LOVE going food shopping and making multiple trips to the market in one day is not exactly a burden. Staring at all of the amazing fruits and vegetables in the produce section is one of my favorite things to do.

Even though I do tend to “buy on-demand”, you’ll pretty much always find these 10 organic foods in my kitchen:

COCONUT OIL I am a huge fan of coconut oil.  Not only is it high in lauric acid and great to use after a workout but it is one of the few oils that you can safely heat and cook with. (Olive oil is not one of them.)

Aside from using organic coconut oil in my smoothies, I use it as a moisturizer as well.

PALM SUGAR Not only is palm sugar low on the glycemic index, but it is a very sustainable alternative sweetener.

I am pretty obsessed with palm sugar these days and love its mild sweetness. Plus, it is super-easy to travel with.

CHIA SEEDS  Chia seeds continue to explode in popularity — and for very good reason.

Chia seeds are an incredible source of protein, and I use them in my morning smoothie and for puddings.

I seem to alternate back and forth between the seeds and the sprouted chia seed powder. Some people believe that the powder is more easily absorbed in the body. I go both ways on that one.

BRAZIL NUTS I drink a good amount of nut milk, and my preferred nut is definitely Brazil nuts.

Brazil nuts are high in fiber and protein (14%), and contain many amino acids and minerals, including selenium.

I always store my Brazil nuts in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

CACAO POWDER According to various pieces of research that I’ve seen, cacao contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any food on the planet.

Along with using it in my smoothies, I will also drink it straight.

I’ll take a 1/2 teaspoon of cacao powder, 1/4 teaspoon of maca, 1/8th of a teaspoon of palm sugar, and then stir in 1/4 cup of warm water. I’ll drink this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach in order to allow for maximum absorption.

QUINOA I must eat quinoa about 3-4 times per week and can’t seem to get enough of it.

Rich in protein and containing all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is also an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.

SAUERKRAUT If you’ve never added sauerkraut to your salads, definitely give it a try it. This will take your salad to a whole different level.

Sauerkraut is a fermented food and provides the body with beneficial bacteria. I particularly love the Biodynamic caraway sauerkraut from Hawthorne Valley. It is spectacular.

SEA VEGETABLES I try to consume sea vegetables, either kelp and dulse, on a daily basis.

Kelp has very high levels of iodine and is fantastic for the thyroid. The importance of sea vegetables does not get nearly enough attention as it should.

BLACK SESAME SEEDS As I wrote about recently, black sesame seeds have become an absolute fixture on my salads and quinoa.

Not only are they full of magnesium, calcium, copper, and zinc, but some people believe that they help to reverse gray hair (of which I have plenty).

GOJI BERRIES Considered the most important food/herb in Chinese medicine, goji berries are rich in minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.

I have a tremendous amount of difficulty not devouring the whole bag in just one sitting. They are that good and that good for you.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic – Conventional Meat Contains Twice as Many Superbugs

Aside from the fact that conventionally-raised animals can be pumped with synthetic growth hormones and can be fed genetically-modified grain that has been sprayed with super-toxic pesticides, there is now another scary reason to avoid conventional meat: superbugs.

In results from a just released study, Consumers Reports found that 18 percent of the ground beef samples from conventionally-raised cows contained dangerous superbugs resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics used to treat illness in humans. This is compared with just 9 percent of ground beef from samples that were sustainably produced.

Consumer Reports purchased 300 packages – 458 pounds – of conventionally and sustainably produced ground beef from grocery, big-box, and natural food stores in 26 cities across the country.

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A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

5 Reasons to Eat Organic Apples

In a previous post, I wrote that milk is the most important organic product that a family can buy.

But milk is by no means the only item that people should be concerned about.

The worst offender on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list are apples.

Forbes magazine recently did an excellent piece talking about five reasons to eat organic apples, and I wanted to share the highlights with you and provide commentary. To read the full article, click here.

Reason #1 – The average conventionally grown apple has more pesticide residue on it than any other fruit or vegetable.

Data from the Environmental Working Group showed that 98% of 700 apples tested had pesticides on them and that 48 different pesticides appeared. WOW!!!!

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

5 Essential Ways to Avoid Genetically-Modified Food (GMOs)

Recently, I got an e-mail from a reader asking how she would know if she is eating genetically-modified soy or not.

Figuring that many other people may have that same question, I wanted to explain how to avoid eating genetically-modified food (GMOs) and the things that you need to look out for.

#1 – Buy USDA Certified Organic Products  GMOs are prohibited in organic food. Therefore, look for products that contain the USDA certified organic seal.

Even though GMOs are prohibited in organic, organic crops can be contaminated by GMOs through cross-pollination and drift. (That is why the proliferation of GMOs is a real threat to organic farming. The co-existence of GM-crops and organic crops is simply not possible, despite what our government would like us to believe.)

USDA rules require that organic certifiers test samples from at least 5% of the operations they certify on an annual basis.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink