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Clean Cuisine


You’ve been told your whole life about the importance of clean eating right? Well what if you’ve been taking the concept of clean eating wrong this whole time? Dirty Dozen Clean Fifteen is a clever little ditty that tells us that some of our veges are clean and some of them are not so much. We break it down for you.

 

We all know the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, but we often disregard how the produce was grown.

Take pesticides, for example. There’s a huge body of evidence that links these nasty chemicals to a variety of health concerns.

The Dirty Dozen refers to 12 most ‘dirty’ crops, or those which farmers use the most pesticides on.

Alternatively, the Clean Fifteen refers to 15 crops that use the least amount of pesticides.

It’s not just a random guess, nor is it static data; the list is compiled from an analysis of the United States government’s Pesticide Data Program report, a pesticide residue monitoring system enacted back in 1991.

A new report is released every year and, although most of the information stays the same, sometimes crops come in at different numbers depending on varying pesticide residue levels.

Importantly, these handy little lists determine which fruits and veggies you should be buying organic, where possible, making your next grocery shop that little bit healthier.

The Dirty Dozen defines the top twelve crops that farmers use the most pesticides on, and therefore have the most pesticide residue when the reach the shelves of the supermarket – despite being washed beforehand. The EWG recommends buying organic:

1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Kale
4. Nectarines
5. Apples
6.Grapes
7. Peaches
8. Cherries
9. Pears
10. Tomatoes
11. Celery
12. Potatoes

While it’s also wise to buy the Clean 15 when it’s organically grown, these fruits and vegetables are recorded as having little to no pesticide residue in a conventional setting:

1. Avocados
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Frozen sweet peas
5. Onions
6. Papayas
7. Eggplants
8. Asparagus
9. Kiwifruit
10. Cabbages
11. Cauliflower
12. Cantaloupes
13. Broccoli
14. Mushrooms
15. Honeydew melons


 

What hunger are you feeding?


In a world where people are bombarded with celebrity diets and images of photoshopped bodies, disordered eating has become the new normal while our body’s natural hunger cues are being ignored.

 

Oxford Women’s Health Dietitian Sara Widdowson is encouraging people to recognise what hunger they are actually feeding, when it comes to our complicated relationship with body image and Sara says humans are born intuitive eaters, meaning they listen to their body’s hunger and fullness cues.

For example, a baby may cry when they are hungry and stop when they are full.

Although body shapes are incredibly diverse, when people begin to develop a sense of self-image around ages five-seven, the body’s natural hunger cues can become blurred as weight-related stigma pressures people to think their body needs to be a certain size. With complex emotions comes a tendency to eat for comfort or over-eat when full.

“Paying attention to what we eat and why we are eating it is important to ensure our bodies are getting the nutrients they need to be healthy,” Sara says.

“It’s important for people to acknowledge that food and the experience of eating is complicated. We live in a world that celebrates dieting but dieting fights those cues your body is giving you about hunger, so you develop distrust.”

She says it is important to celebrate non-weight-related outcomes such as sticking to a regular fitness plan rather than being concerned by the number showing on the scales.

Having a healthy relationship with food and ensuring your body is getting the nutrients that it needs is paramount.

“People can be healthy at all sizes, so we need to focus on health-related goals rather than weight-related goals. We know that diets don’t work because when the body experiences a major calorie deficit it protects itself as if there’s a famine and does everything it can to preserve itself.”

A good way to reconnect with your body’s intuitive cues is to practice being mindful of the experience of eating, such as recognising how you feel before, during and after a meal.

Doing this can also help to identify emotional triggers, when you consider what you are eating and why you are eating it, Sara says.

“People will eat food as a socially acceptable way to self-soothe. If you come home from work and you’re stressed and reach for the wine or chocolate, it’s the stress doing that.

Try to find something else that makes you feel just as relaxed.”