The Secrets to a Healthy Pregnancy

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Frustrated?

This post is for anyone struggling with frustration.

Here are five statements in the form of the acronym FAITH to help ease your frustrations. I wrote them down when I felt frustrated myself. Hope they help you during a difficult time.

“F” is for focus: You cannot control your circumstances but you can control how you let them affect you. Focus on what you can control and leave the rest to God.

“A” is for acceptance: Ignorance and lack of judgment is a part of this world. Accept that there’s plenty of it and protect yourself through the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. But, always remember that no matter how much we know there is still so much we don’t.

“I” is for involvement: Sometimes all you can do is be there. Don’t get involved. Don’t try to fix it. Just be there.

“T” is for Thankfulness: Don’t dwell on what’s wrong, but instead count your blessings. It’s easy to get caught up on what needs fixing, but if we stop and realize all the good in our life we will see our problem for what it is: something small that is probably not worthy of robbing us our joy.

“H” is for hope: You can’t help someone that doesn’t want help. Choose to forgive and move on with hope of a better future. It’s better for you anyways. Perhaps one day they will come to their senses.

My FAITH propels me to keep going even in the toughest times. It has a lot to do with perspective. I hope these insights were helpful to you. Sometimes we all need a little reminder.

What helps you fight frustration? Let me know! I’d like to keep in touch.

Love,

Maria

Need help with stress? Check out my post Winning the War Against Stress

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Healthier baths

I use these dechlorination Vitamin C tablets when I bathe the girls. I wasn’t sure how much they worked but I knew it could only help. 

The other day, we didn’t add the tablets and we let the water linger in the tub like we usually do (until the end of the night when I flush it out). I walked in the bathroom and I could smell the chlorine in the water. We repeated the circumstance again when someone else bathed the girls and the same thing happened. The smell of chlorine filled the bathroom. 

I have been using these tablets since I learned of the effect of chlorine in the skin, around the time I was pregnant with my first born Bella. 

I also use Vitashower’s Vitamin C filter on the shower head. It works on most shower heads. 

This is a healthy tip from my family to yours.

Love,

Maria

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How to Get Rid of This Stomach Bug Naturally

It’s been more than 24 hours since JC and the girls were hit by this aggressive stomach bug/virus that’s going around. Many of you are dealing with it at home. Here is this post to help you get rid of it. 

It includes what I did to prevent it (in my case), treat it, and eliminate it (for JC and the girls). I have included tips from other dear mothers who also care for the more natural.

Prevention

1- Drink water proactively (or my yummy recipe in item 2 of the next section) and keep activity level to a minimum so you’re body is better able to fight against the virus/bacteria. 

2- Kefir with raw honey and cinnamon / probiotics (good bacteria to boost your system/ overcome bad bacteria). 

3- My friend Carey recommends grape juice. I got organic 100% Concord grape juice, no sugar added. Even though grape juice has a lot of sugar naturally, there is science behind this recommendation so don’t discard it. In essence, the grape juice changes the PH level in your tract so the virus can’t survive and it boosts your body with anti-viral chemicals. It works! 

4- My friend Maureen recommends Apple Cider Vinegar in water to alkalize the body so the virus won’t thrive. 2 teaspoons in 1 cup of water 3 times a day. 

5- I went to the chiropractor yesterday so I would have to add: Get adjusted! This way, your immune system and body are functioning at its full potential. 

If you begin feeling symptoms, implement these next steps…

For support during vomiting and loose stools 

In the case of viruses you pretty much have to let your body get rid of it. It typically lasts 24-48 hours. 

1- First, try fasting

Cut all foods and drink little fluids to stay hydrated. Your body is repelling the bug so anything you eat is likely to come out quickly (either up or down). Definitely no sugars or breads, since bacteria feeds from these and sugars suppress your immune system. 

2-Stay hydrated

Use my version of Gatorade or Pedialyte: 1 cup of coconut water, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, and 1 pinch of salt. It’s surprisingly tasty. I also added a banana since it was my breakfast but this is optional.

3- Teas and Organic Apple Sauce

My friend Leilani (a registered nurse) recommends organic apple sauce with teas. “Try some organic applesauce and some teas (chamomile or ginger) no caffeine. Start with sips of liquid 1/2 oz every 30 minutes. If they throw up wait 1-2 hours before trying again.”

4- Homeopathy

I called my naturopath and she recommends Nux Vomica (I got the Hylands brand, 4 tablets under the tongue 4 times a day) and Slippery Elm (1 teaspoon with 1 cup of water). I started these two things this afternoon. 

If fever occurs

1- Garlic Socks 

Bella got a fever. I immediately made Carey’s recipe for garlic socks: coconut oil, garlic, thieves oil, tea tree oil, lavender. It’s really easy. Just mix 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3 garlic cloves in the food processor. Then in a separate container add the oils (7 drops of each, optional). I waited until Bella was asleep and I massaged her feet and covered them with socks, I also rubbed it on her back up and down across her spine and on her center area above her ribs. 

2- Calcium Lactate

I also dissolved 3 pills of Calcium Lactate in water for Bella to drink throughout the night. I took a little bit of the water with the calcium and placed it on her head with my hand to cool her off as she slept. 

These two things, along with prayer, began decreasing the fever consistently. In the morning, her fever was gone. 

After the vomit and diarrhea have subsided

Introduce foods slowly. Start with Baby foods like banana (1/2 and see how it goes), or banana.  

I had my first real meal today a couple of hours ago and it went well. 

A note to my friends that breastfeed: You don’t need to stop nursing your child. It’s actually best that you continue, so that you pass the antibodies to your baby and actually help him or her fight the disease. 

I hope we can all be out of the woods soon. 

Love,

Maria


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Getting In Shape BEFORE Pregnancy

I got a wake-up call when my mom told me that she gained 35 pounds during her pregnancy with me. I was already 20 pounds overweight at that time and I wasn’t even pregnant yet. I couldn’t imagine putting on 35 more pounds on my 5’3” body. So, it made sense for me to get in shape before conceiving. That way, it would be easier to go back to my optimal weight after delivering the baby.

The key to reaching your healthy weight is making sure to establish an exercise routine you enjoy combined with healthy eating habits. Losing weight will be a thing of the past the moment you get pregnant because nutrition becomes vital and so does making sure that you have enough daily calories. So, now is the time to get in shape.

It is important for you to set a goal. First, determine your goal by looking up your healthy weight range. Babycenter.com has a helpful weight tracker. Enter your weight and height and you will see your body mass indicator (BMI). Aim for the healthy range, which is a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. There are different considerations to take into account when defining your goal. How far are you from your healthy weight range? How long should it take you to reach it? Once you have a goal, establish a plan that encompasses both a diet plan and an exercise routine.

I immediately stopped eating fast food meals and began training for a 5K race with my friend Evelyn. We ran five times a week in the mornings. And doing this together, as friends, helped us keep each other accountable. When I got pregnant with my first born Bella, I had achieved a healthy weight and, once I delivered her, I lost the 20-pounds of pregnancy weight after the delivery and a few of days of breastfeeding. Basically, it was all baby weight! This can be you if you want to!

Check out my book The Secrets to a Healthy Pregnancy, for a preheating and pregnancy guide so you too can have a healthy pregnancy, baby, and birth!

Much love,

Maria

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Are you doing everything you can to help your baby thrive?

Pregnancy is a critical time in the development of your child. Many of us think of our future children with aspirations of what they could be. We envision leaders and artists…intellectuals. We see them through the lens of a parent that sees nothing but potential. Lastly, but most importantly, we want a healthy child.

However, many of us forget or neglect to care for our babies early on during pregnancy, conception, or even preconception. There are practices we can take on before we conceive to help our child have the best environment (our body) for his or her development from day 1. I want to give you my chapter called Preheating the Oven so you can prepare for pregnancy. Download it for free.

Moreover, pregnancy is a time when what we eat and how we take care of our bodies will impact our baby to different degrees. I have written a book to help you have your best possible pregnancy so you can have a healthy pregnancy, baby, and childbirth. I have created a 4-week guide series that is free until January 18. You can sign up on thehealthypregnancycoach.com.

Lastly, once you deliver your baby, there are so many decisions to make regarding his or her care. My book includes a bonus chapter called Healthy Babies that serves as a foundation to caring for your children’s health in all of its aspects–physically, emotionally, and psychologically. You can get the book plus the bonus chapter at a 20% discount ($15.95 plus $3 shipping in the U.S.) if you preorder it at mariawizel.com/preorder. It has incredibly valuable information and a life changing story you want to make sure you read.

To your family’s health!

Until next week,

Maria

PS
Want to stay connected? You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Do you want to feel better than ever? What everyone needs to know about “Clean Eating.”

you ever feel like you don’t half enough energy? Do you feel pain in your body and can’t understand why? Are you never satisfied from food? Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Do you get sick frequently?

Our bodies aren’t meant to digest all the sugar and artificial ingredients we consume in the processed foods we eat every day. This is one of the main causes of disease and dysfunction in our bodies. I propose a solution that is not only manageable but also enjoyable. If you stick with it you will feel better than ever before: a 90-day Eating Clean challenge. Why 90 days? Because that is how long it takes for your body to regenerate nearly all of it’s 7 to 10 trillion cells.

My cross-fit coach says that your body’s health and fit is the result of 80% diet and 20% exercise. I’ve seen the exponential impact of a healthy diet in my life.

Clean eating is a balanced diet that focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fats, and protein. I like that eating clean is flexible. It encourages you to control portion sizes, but doesn’t ban any food groups.


 Meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans can eat clean because it doesn’t require eating (or prohibit) meat, eggs, or other animal products.

Here are my top 3 reasons to eat clean.

1) It makes you stronger.

Physically: You have more energy and don’t get sick as often. Avoiding artificial ingredients keeps your cells strong so your body systems work efficiently. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, since 70 percent of the cells that make up the body’s immune system are found in the wall of the gut, what we eat also may affect the body’s immune response. When you allow your digestive system a break from processing refined sugars artificial ingredients, it can focus on healing and protecting your body.
 You also sleep better. Studies show how eating habits aid in sounder and more satisfying sleep.

Emotionally/Psychologically: You feel balanced and less volatile to fluctuating circumstances. In other words, you are more able to remain happy while others are moody.  Scientists in New Zealand, that performed studies on nearly 300 young adults scientists, found that a higher intake of fruits and veggies resulted in more energy, calm, and greater feelings of overall happiness. Another study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that young adults who eat more fruits and veggies were happier, more positive, and creative.

2) You look better.

Your body appreciates clean eating. Inflammation is reduced. Your abdomen will flatten. Your skin will look more luminous and hydrated. Zits and black heads will begin fading. Your eyes will look bright and alert. Your teeth and gums will even be healthier. 


This is a result of fueling and nourishing your body with healthy foods and nutrients in quantities that you wouldn’t consume normally, even with supplements.

3)   
You get to eat more often
.

Clean eating isn’t a diet that deprives you from food. You don’t feel hungry or starved because you are fueling your body every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism active. Tosca Reno, author of The Eat-Clean Diet series, says that “Eating foods, like lean protein, good-for-you carbs and fats, fresh fruits, and vegetables, six times a day in the right amounts with lots of water, along with regular exercise, will turn your sluggish metabolism into a fat-burning machine.” Reno adds that dedicating yourself to the clean eating lifestyle will result in a weight loss of about 3 pounds a week.

 

To help you remember, I summarized Clean Eating into 3 main principles:

  1. Eat six small meals a day every 2-3 hours, including a mandatory breakfast within an hour of waking up.
  2. Drink 2-3 liters of water (about 13 eight-ounce cups) daily.
  3. Eat healthy portions of:
  • Lean protein (40% of your meal)
  • Complex carbohydrates (30% of your meal)
  • Healthy fats (30% of your meal or 2-3 servings a day)
  • Utilize fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber as snacks or carbs in your meal.

Here are the 10 foods to avoid:

  1. Over-processed foods, especially white flour and sugar
  2. Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame
  3. Sugary beverages, such as soda and juice
  4. Alcohol
  5. Foods with chemical additives like food dyes and sodium nitrite
  6. Foods with preservatives (including most fast foods)
  7. Artificial foods, such as processed cheese slices
  8. Saturated fats and trans fats
  9. Calorie-dense foods with no nutritional value
  10. Fast foods

Look for healthier options when you eat out. My favorites are Chipotle, Giardinos, Elevation Burger, and Tijuana Flats because they offer whole foods.

My wish is this post helps you feel healthier, look healthier, and be healthier. It typically happens in that order. I read this quote by Jim Rohn this week and wanted it to share it with you. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Hope you find a way!

Love,

Maria

 

References

Check out a sample meal plan here. http://fitclub-studios.com/fitness-tips/eat-clean/

Check out this link for a guide to lean protein and good carbs. http://melaniemitro.blogspot.com/2012/02/list-of-clean-foods.html.

Check out this link for a guide to healthy fats. http://www.the30clean.com/fats-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/.

Check out herbs you can incorporate into your clean eating cooking. 
http://m.dummies.com/how-to/content/eating-clean-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html

Studies on eating clean. http://news.health.com/2014/09/02/5-reasons-to-eat-healthier-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-your-weight

General info. http://www.webmd.com/diet/eat-clean-diet

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20 Ways to Fight Your Cold and Flu Naturally

When you are trying to be healthy (especially during pregnancy), you may want to minimize the amount of medication you use, which mostly treats your symptoms anyways. At the same time, you want to get better fast! I’ve been there. And I’ve been able to get over my cold or flu quickly and naturally! You can do it too.

Very recently, I was able to stay healthy while my entire household got sick by doing some of these natural remedies.

Here are 20 ways to boost you immune system and win the war against you cold and flu.

  1. Inforce Immune Builder ($34): This substance has been used in Asia for over 500 years and is said to be “the best immune enhancement substance on the planet.” http://www.amazon.com/inForce-Builder-Support-Coriolus-Versicolor/dp/B004LA6S7Y
  2. ACF Immune Support ($21): It’s loaded with natural boosting ingredients that are safe to consume during pregnancy. http://www.amazon.com/ACF-Buried-Treasure-16-oz/dp/B002FJY2EY/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1415747894&sr=1-1&keywords=acf+immune+support
  3. Juicing: Juice mostly vegetables, use beets with their leaves to sweeten. If you are brave juice 1/4 onion and 3 garlic cloves for antibacterial function.
  4. Vitamin C bath tablets by Vitashower ($25): Dissolve in warm bath water to remove chlorine from tap water. I also use their shower filter. http://www.amazon.com/Vitabath-Vita-c-bath-Effervescent-Vitamin-Dechlorination/dp/B005OCXQLE/ref=pd_sim_hi_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=06FA9V6XN7KEACEYMHMV
  5. Sea Salt Baths: Pour Sea Salt by Real Salt or similar type in bath and relax. Enjoy it’s natural healing properties.
  6. Vitamin C + Biofizz by Designs for Health ($29): Take 1 teaspoon in 8 ounces of water. Drink repeatedly throughout the day. Keep yourself hydrated with this or water. http://www.amazon.com/Designs-Health-BioFizz-Powder-180g/dp/B000FH11JC
  7. Ginger tea: Ginger Root is a powerful natural remedy. Cut 4 inches of ginger root into 1-inch pieces. Place in saucepan with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer until water turns yellow. Sweeten with raw honey. Add raw milk (optional).
  8. Have a tea of apple cider vinegar, honey, and lemon. Check out a good recipe here: http://somecallitnatural.com/2013/01/cough-and-bronchial-concoction-remedy-oregano-oil-mullein-valerian/
  9. Eat as healthy as possible, so that your digestive system can help your immune system get you better. Reduce the amount of sugar you consume, since it suppresses the immune system.
  10. Have some cinnamon with raw honey: 1 teaspoonful. Not only is it a tasty treat, but these ingredients are natural antibiotics.
  11. Try Bee Propolis for a more potent version of raw honey.
  12. Cod Liver Oil by Carlson ($32): Natural Vitamin D helps fight viruses and infections. http://www.amazon.com/Carlson-Norwegian-Cod-Liver-Lemon/dp/B003B3P4PO/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1415749919&sr=1-1&keywords=cod+liver+oil+carlson
  13. Sleep as much as possible. Rest helps your body recover. This seems the most intuitive, but don’t underestimate its powerful effect.
  14. Take a hot and steamy shower – let the hot water hit your forehead. I do this as soon as I wake up and at bedtime to clear my nasal passages. This is great to dry a runny nose, and reduce nasal congestion and sinus pressure. While you shower, try blowing your nose gently and slowly. One nostril at a time (cover the other one).
  15. Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray (12): Helps relieve nasal congestion. http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-Wellness-Colloidal-Silver/dp/B0014H3BPE/ref=sr_1_2?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1415748274&sr=1-2&keywords=Colloidal+Silver+Nasal+Spray More info on its benefits here: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientreview-779-COLLOIDAL+SILVER.aspx?drugid=779&drugname=COLLOIDAL+SILVER
  16. Elderberry Syrup by Gaia ($20): Great for boosting immune function and relieving cough. http://www.amazon.com/Gaia-Herbs-Elderberry-Health-Beauty/dp/B001TLH5CU/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1415748403&sr=1-1&keywords=gaia+elderberry+syrup
  17. Elderberry spray ($10): Great for sore throats. http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Answer-Sambucus-nigra-Extract/dp/B00DKER4G6/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_3?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1415748470&sr=1-3-fkmr1&keywords=gaia+elderberry+spray
  18. Salt water gargles: Put a teaspoon of sea salt by Real Salt in warm water and gargle to reduce inflammation of the throat.
  19. Calcium Lactate by Standard Process ($6-10) helps activate white blood cells and reduce fever. http://shop.vitadocs.com/calcium-supplements/standard-process-calcium-lactate-90-tablets-detail
  20. Garlic socks: This is my friend Carey’s recipe: 2 Tbsp coconut oil, 7 drops of tea tree oil, 7 drops of lavender oil, 7 drops of thieves oil, 3 garlic cloves minced into a paste. I’ve used oil of oregano instead of thieves and it works great too. Before bedtime, put the paste on your feet, then socks.

 

 

Hope this list helps you get better now or in the future!

 

Love,

 

Maria

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The Amazing Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a group of fat‑soluble secosteroids found in egg yolks, liver, and fish oils. Vitamin D has amazing health benefits. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and facilitating normal immune system function. Although it’s consumption is important throughout one’s entire life, it is particularly important during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

During pregnancy, sufficient vitamin D concentrations are needed to address the growing demand for calcium on the part of the baby. Vitamin D is important for your baby’s normal growth, the formation of his or her bones and teeth; and the development of his or her nervous system, lungs, and immune system function.

Studies suggest vitamin D may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. But unfortunately, an estimated 40-75% of people are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been related to pre-eclampsia, fetal neurological disorder, rickets, and osteomalacia. Symptoms of deficiency include bone pain, muscle weakness, and more subtle symptoms, like fatigue.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, calcium from the mother’s bones is mobilized. This causes a rise in bone turnover and a reduction in bone mass.
Your body produces vitamin D naturally through direct exposure to sunlight. Just 10 minutes a day of mid-day sun exposure can go a long way. If you’re staying longer under the sun, I recommend you protect your skin with a natural sunscreen, like Shea butter.
Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can get it through food sources (like egg-yolks and fish) and/or supplements. Since I breastfeed, in addition to my prenatals, I take two capsules of Calcium with Vitamin D by Nature’s Sunshine at bedtime, as prescribed by my naturopath.
If we are intentional about nourishing our bodies during these demanding times not only will we will be healthy now but we will remain healthy later in life.
My upcoming book THE SECRETS TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY has more information on nutrients to consume during pregnancy and in preparation to breastfeed. You can preorder your autographed copy for a 20% discount ($15.95) at http://mariawizel.com/preorder or get the first chapter free at http://mariawizel.com/free.

To your health!

Love,

Maria

Sources:
WebMD
Princeton.edu

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How to Handle Cravings

There is something about drinking out of a Starbucks cup that makes you feel better right away.

This is partially how, last week, I realized I had once again become “addicted” to Starbucks. What used to be an occasional treat was becoming more and more like a daily craving.

Several years ago, I learned that the best way to eliminate a habit is to replace it with another. I’ve applied this to many areas of life, including my diet. During pregnancy I did a lot of what I call, “creative craving substitution” because I wanted to nourish my baby and body as much as possible, and keep a healthy weight.

Last week I came up with a healthy substitute for my Starbucks drink. It has been effective for 5 days now. Yesterday I made it for my husband and he really liked it so I thought I should share it with you.

Firstly, I kept my venti plastic cup and straw from the last drink. This is the same cup/straw I use to drink my replacement drink. I wash it well and have a straw brush I use to clean it. My plan is to replace it weekly.

Maria’s Venti Iced Vanilla Creme

Difficulty: Easy! It takes about a minute to make.

Ingredients:
1 cup ice
1 tbsp Organic Agave Nectar
A tsp of vanilla extract
Cinnamon
Raw milk (or milk of choice)

Method:
Fill 1/3 of venti cup with ice
Pour the vanilla extract
Squirt agave (or sweetener of choice)
Pour milk
Shake
Sprinkle cinnamon

This recipe works great for me but you can make changes and adapt it to your taste. The goal is to satisfy your craving with a much healthier (and perhaps cheaper and more convenient) option.

My upcoming book has a section dedicated to creative ways to substitute cravings. Stay tuned by liking our page Facebook.com/thehealthypregnancybook or subscribing to our blog mariawizel.com.

A big hug,

Maria

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True Nutrition

Nutrition isn’t about just making sure that your plate is filled with enough veggies. It’s about so much more. It is about making healthy choices daily. Getting into a habit of rejecting the things that are harmful for your body, like sugar, genetically modified foods (GMOs), and unhealthy fats. It’s like that saying, “A minute in your lips, and forever on your hips.” Think about the long-term effects of what you eat and say YES to your health.

It is always better to eat wholesome foods—the food God made for us to eat. I like how my mom says that the best way to eat it is “as close to the tree as possible.” This is particularly true with produce, which becomes less nutritious or even harmful when the industry alters it in laboratories or adds chemicals to keep the weeds from killing it.

At the same time, I know it is nearly impossible to eat healthy all the time, especially nowadays when the food industry uses GMOs in much of the processed foods and very few restaurants use organic produce. Recently, my daughter told me that Krispy Kreme is setting up shop close to our home. I wasn’t thrilled. I love those Krispy Kreme donuts when they are fresh and having them (and a blinking red light) close to me is going to be tempting, but I love my health even more. You can have a treat once in a while, but not all the time, not every day.

So, if staying away from some foods will make you healthier, how much is your health worth to you? You cannot control what is served everywhere you go, but you can control what is in your refrigerator, where you shop, and what you put in your shopping cart. And that’s a good place to start.

Check out my post: If you think you can’t afford organic.