The Dirty Dozen

Why does the purchase of a $30 bottle of wine not seem to bother the average person, yet the thought of buying organic produce tends to be accompanied with a raised eyebrows? We seem to be confronted with ‘organic’ products everywhere we go, from make- up and cleaning products, to fresh produce. I have always been a health conscious person; however, I must admit before I began my nutrition studies I was sceptical about all of the organic ‘hype’. I frequently asked myself why on earth you would pay sometimes double the price for ‘organic’ apples when you can buy them from the likes of Coles and Woolworths?

Being a nutrition student does come with many perks, however it is also accompanied with a few downfalls, a steady income being one of them. Therefore, I have tested everything, to work out how I can practice what I preach to the best of my ability, whilst remaining to continue to live within my means.

Going back to basics. I’m sure you heard it time and time again, especially with the recent ‘Paleo’ ‘Vegan’ and ‘Gluten Free’ hype. I am not a Paleo, a Vegan or a Coeliac however, I am a fan of going back to basics when it comes to food. Why? Because it contains no additives, preservatives or artificial colours and flavours. The consequences of regular intakes of processed foods, unconscious consumption of insecticides found in fresh produce, and the chemicals we are exposed to through body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and moisturisers directly impacts our mental health and cognition.

In my books, going back to basics means eating food in its natural state, avoiding ‘low fat’ products, processed meats and refined sugar. Believe it or not, making your own sauces, bread, cakes, nut mylk, spice mixes as well as cleaning and beauty products is surprisingly CHEAPER, especially when you buy in BULK, best of all you know EVERYTHING that is in it. Sure, it takes more time out of your day than picking it up off the shelf, however, it is important to understand that this time is an INVESTMENT in your health and wellbeing.

No wonder cancer is so prevalent in our society, our poor bodies are exposed to harmful pollutants wherever we go. Although ‘unhealthy’ habits are perceived as being the ‘norm’ we are fortunate enough to live in an age now where ‘healthy’ is making a comeback. We have unlimited access to an extensive range of information across the internet, however choosing which information you choose to abide by is the main concern. Many people are misled into believing false and exaggerated information for example consuming chia seeds at breakfast, kale at lunch and raw deserts for dinner will make you ‘healthy’. The reality is, yes these so called ‘superfoods’ provide your body with an extensive range of nutrients, however, it is just as important to be mindful of everything else you are consuming throughout the day, in conjunction with your lifestyle on a mental and physical level.

I am a huge advocate on spreading the word that ‘healthy’ DOES NOT have to mean bland, boring, complicated or EXPENSIVE. The ‘Dirty Dozen’ and the ‘Clean 15’ are tools I use when choosing where to spend my money on organic produce wisely. The ‘Dirty Dozen’ is a list of foods which contain the most significant traces of pesticides and insecticides (the ones to buy organic and avoid in the supermarket), and the ‘Clean 15’ is the list of fruits and vegetables which you can afford to buy non organic varieties.

A healthy life should not discriminate against certain populations of people, some assume that a ‘healthy’ and fulfilling life can only be led by the wealthy. I am here writing to you, to prove that this is not the case. Everyone should have the opportunity to live their BEST and HEALTHIEST life, regardless of their circumstances. I will admit when a product contains ‘organic’ in its title the price is higher than a ‘non organic’ product. Therefore, I will share with you my top tips for introducing a little DIY luxury into your life, and a few pointers as to where and where not spend your money.

My top tips for buying organic products are:

  1. Buy in bulk – this saves you both time and money and encourages you to cook in bulk and freeze for later use (Buy nuts and seeds in bulk, this will save you bucket loads)
  2. Follow the ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean 15’ when purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables.
  3. Make your own cleaning products, bath scrubs, hair treatments, body lotions and shower gels. This will save you money, limit the amount of toxins your body is exposed to and protect the environment.
  4. Invest in natural make up such as Inika. Cosmetic brands such as Inika are kinder to your skin and the environment.
  5. Meet your friends at your local farmers market on the weekend to purchase your fresh produce. By doing this you know your produce is fresh and of good quality, it will keep for longer, support local farmers has not be stored for a long duration or sprayed with chemicals to the same degree as the supermarket chains.

Keep an eye out this month for my DIY beauty and cleaning products using ingredients that can be found within the store. Feel free to pop in and say hi, so I can help you package up exactly what you need.


Laura x.

PS If you want to know more about the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15” check out EWG’s website and get the guide here

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Name: Laura Saunders

Profession: Director

Company: NOURISHED. Nutrition. Fitness. Wellness

Facebook: nourishednfw

Instagram: nourished_n.f.w

Laura began NOURISHED. N.F.W to love life; Continue a process of self-discovery; and unite like-minded women to live by the maxim: “a community of women who acknowledge another woman’s beauty, without questioning their own”.

Laura’s own health journey has been long and tortuous, she is able help and assist no matter what health, fitness or wellness goals you may have. Laura says: “After experiencing my own battles with health along the way, I can honestly say I have tried EVERYTHING from low carb high fat to vegetarian diet, CrossFit to Bikram Yoga, and finally Acupuncture to Hard Core Spartan Training

As a direct result, Laura knows know first- hand how it feels to be constantly tired, having poor self- esteem in regards to body image and an extremely negative outlook on life.