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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

New to Organic? – Start with This Inexpensive Breakfast

One question that I get a lot is “How should a person get started with organic food?” One complaint I hear a lot is that organic food costs too much.

Let me both answer this question and address this complaint with a story.

Last week, Brian, a new friend of mine, came to me for some food-related advice. He wanted to know what he could be doing to eat healthier, as he was “crashing” in the middle of the afternoon. Brian was very concerned that his eating habits were negatively impacting his ability to perform at work, which would impact his ability to make money.

He did not know much about organic and was very concerned about the price. When I started talking about organic food, the first words out of his mouth were “Hey, I don’t make $20,000 per month.”

Brian went on to tell me about the fast-food breakfasts that he had been eating and he didn’t think it was the cause of his problem.

While I can’t say for sure these egg McMuffins with sausage were the exact cause of the problem, I know that they weren’t helping. Aside from the fact that the nutritional value of this food has to be very poor, it is also full of GMOs and synthetic growth hormones, neither of which is good for the body.

So, what I suggested to Brian was that he transition into organic food slowly and begin with breakfast. I threw out the idea of starting with an organic breakfast comprised of organic oatmeal with an organic banana and sweetened with organic palm sugar.

Again, he mentioned his concern about the cost and I told him not to worry.  I said that I didn’t think it would be more than $4 or $5 dollars. As it turns out, I was very far off from that price range.

Let’s take a close look at the cost. Since he doesn’t live near an organic market and might not have found the ingredients so easily, I did the shopping for him and this what I came up with.

Bag of Organic Palm Sugar: $4.99
Organic Oats: $0.73
Organic Bananas: $0.52

Those were the prices for what I paid but he certainly was not going to eat the whole bag of organic palm sugar nor was he going to use the whole bag of organic oatmeal. Let’s assume he used 1/20th of the bag of organic palm sugar and 1/2 of the bag of the organic oatmeal.

The cost of this breakfast now breaks down like this.

Organic Palm Sugar: $0.25
Organic Oats: $0.37
Organic Bananas: $0.52

Total Cost of this Breakfast: $1.14

My $4 to $5 original estimate for this breakfast was way, way high.  Approximately 400% too high.

As you can see, this is a pretty easy way to get someone started with organic. While palm sugar may be a new ingredient for people, bananas and oatmeal are certainly not.

And what was Brian’s take of this organic breakfast? He said “I felt full of energy and it was a hearty breakfast.  You’re ready to start your day……This slow transition into organic has been a healthy epiphany about how food can change your day.”

The next time you meet someone who wants to get started with organic food or is nervous about the high cost of organic, please share this post with them.

Because the more people we can get eating organic, the better.

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Living Maxwell

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.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Are Fermented Foods the Key to Happiness?

Whether it is with a salad or any other dish that I am making at home, organic fermented foods – usually sauerkraut (above) or kimchee – can almost always be found on my plate. Why is this?

I have come to understand that if we want to have a strong immune system, we must take care of our gut and provide it with beneficial bacteria.

And that is exactly what fermented foods give us – beneficial bacteria.

Dr. Natascha Campbell-McBride, a Russian neurologist and founder of the GAPS Diet, says that:

“about 85% of our immune system is located in the gut wall. This fact has been established by basic physiology research in the 1930s and the 1940s. Your gut, your digestive wall, is the biggest and the most important immune organ in your body. There is a very tight conversation and a relationship going on between the gut flora that lives inside your digestive system and your immune system.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — Organic Apples Contain More Diverse, Healthier Bacteria than Conventional

An apple a day will keep the doctor away.

Thanks to a new study, that saying has taken on even more meaning, particularly for organic apples.

In a recently published paper in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, it was found that organic apples contain a more diverse population of beneficial bacteria than conventional apples.

Researchers analyzed the peel, flesh, seeds, and stem of both organically and conventionally grown apples, looking to find how much and what kinds of bacteria were present. While organic and conventional apples contained the same amount of bacteria, there was a big discrepancy in the types of bacteria found.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink