The Dirty Dozen.....and the Clean 15!

How to Buy Produce When Organic isn't always Available!

AboutThis is a guest post from the Talented Blogger- Christina Wiley- from Juggling Real Food and Real Life. Check her out and follow her on pinteresttwitter and facebook for fantastic updates, tips, and tricks on getting REAL!

Heather asked me here today to share with you some important information to help you with your produce purchases.  Have you ever wondered if there are certain foods that you really need to buy organic and which ones are OK to buy conventional?  I would love to buy everything organic, but that is just not always possible for me.  I am limited by the selection I find at the grocery store.  I try to go to my local Farmer's Market once a week (in season) and I belong to an organic co-op.  Even with all of those resources available to me, I still can't find everything I want organic.  I talk to a lot of folks who have limited food resources available to them in their community.  They are just as interested as I am in feeding their families the cleanest and most nutrient dense food they can find.  Many are frustrated that they can't find the produce they want.  We all want to feel good about our food purchases. 

Thankfully, early on I learned about the "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean Fifteen".  These are lists created by EWG which evaluate the foods with the most and least amount of pesticides used in farming them.  You can check out more on the Environmental Working Group here.  I use these lists as a guide when shopping my grocery store.  I know that when I buy onions that if I can't find organic then it is probably OK since they are on the Clean Fifteen list.  I've been trying to teach my family some shortcuts on this as well since a lot of times the only time we have to shop is at like 11:00 at night at the 24 hour grocery store. During these times, I send my husband and stay home with the kids.  What I taught him is that if it has a skin that you peal away, like a melon, then it is OK if it is not organic.  If you eat the skin, like strawberries, it is best to buy organic.  Although, not perfect it generally is logical and that helps when making quick decisions at the grocery store.

The Dirty Dozen - These are the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and are best to buy organic. (Again, whenever you can.)

  1. Apples                                                                                    
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet Bell Pepper
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce 
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries
  12. Potatoes
They have also added two more..............
  1. Green Beans
  2. Kale

The Clean Fifteen - These are the fruits and vegetables with the least contamination and are therefore a better bet when buying conventionally grown produce.

  1. Onions                                                                                            
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Sweet Potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms 

Bottom line for me............if it is a matter of eating highly processed foods or fresh fruits and vegetables, I am definitely going for the fresh produce.  That being said, I prefer to buy organics where possible.  The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists have been a huge help for me when shopping my regular grocery store.  They are also a great guide for budget conscious folks. Use them to help your efforts at eating Real.



I sometimes feel like a "weirdo" for being a vegetarian. It is hilarious how people (who would never think about nutrition for themselves....Uh hum....BIG MAC) dig into how I am able to get all of the proper nutrients and vitamins while maintaining my non meat commitment. I am taunted and teased --even by members of my own family-- about "needing a burger" and laughed at by strangers in restaurants for ordering my "burger - no meat". There is an entire conspiracy against us Vegetarians and Vegans...if you don't believe me, read this article on 10 things you only THOUGHT were vegetarian!  I am sure that everyone has their own quirk...right?  Can't I be allowed to determine what I eat?

The good news is that I do have a few supportive people in my life who are now turning a page and are becoming "converts" to my way of life.... I knew it would happen because I am ALWAYS right! They do have some legitimate questions on how a vegetarian gets all of their protein and I would like to assure them and everyone else that it is possible to be healthy as a vegetarian. I am actually a much healthier eater now than when I was eating meat products. So, for them, I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions as well as give them a few ideas on how to get their protein!

Some Common Misconceptions:

  1. That I eat salads all day - BIG BUZZER SOUND! I eat so many awesome foods that don't go into a salad bowl.
  2. That my food is bland and boring - EVEN BIGGER BUZZER! I can honestly say that food tastes better! It isn't bogged down by grease and crud. It is real food and is seasoned with awesome seasonings. Being a vegetarian has forced me to eliminate CRAP from my diet and upgrade to flavorful foods!
  3. That I am lacking nutrition - BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION OF THEM ALL. I actually eat a rainbow of foods each having their own nutritional properties. With veggies, the more colorful they are, the healthier they are. Let's think about this realistically...How much vitamin c, a, and e are you getting from that Whopper?  Was there calcium in that there Nachos Supreme...oh, wait it was in the cheese sauce? I think I made my point.

So....Now that I have cleared that UP....

(and meat-eaters too! I don't discriminate!)

The USDA recommends that women get approximately 46 grams of protein a day and men get about you can see how quickly this adds up!

1. Chickpeas and other beans- One cup of chickpeas, blackbeans, or kidney beans has about 15 grams of protein. I use beans a lot in cooking, especially chickpeas because they take on flavors well. My favorite recipe involving chickpeas is my "Faux" Chicken Nugget! I also eat a lot of hummus and spiced toasted chickpeas. Quick and easy! 

2. Greek Yogurt - One 6 ounce serving of greek yogurt contains about 15-20 grams of protein! This one is not vegan BUT there are soy yogurts that pack some major protein.  Just one 6 ounce cup gets you almost halfway to your daily amount of protein! Check out this FUN way to use Greek Yogurt to make a dough for pizza or even for flatbreads! It involves only 2 ingredients and is so versatile! 2 ingredient Greek Yogurt Dough

3. Quinoa - One cup contains about 18 grams of protein. Quinoa is considered to be a "superfood" and is hailed as one of the most perfect non-animal sources of protein on the planet! It is completely gluten free and is a complete protein! I use quinoa in EVERYTHING! You can have it like oatmeal for breakfast, like rice for meals, and even add it to breads and homemade veggie burgers.

 4. Almonds and Almond Butter - A handful of almonds has about 8 grams of protein! I toss almonds in breads, on top of yogurt, and simply snack on them! Peanut butter will have about the same amount. I have 2 tbsp of peanut butter with every meal! Here is a recipe for some Organic Peanut Butter & Chocolate Granola! So easy to make and packed with protein.

5. Veggies - I am a bad vegetarian and not too fond of a lot of veggies BUT there are a few that I love and it turns out that they are some of the best ones for me to like!
Kale -  2 cups has 9 grams of protein - Try these baked Kale Chips
Some others......
• 1 avocado - 10 grams
• 1 cup broccoli - 5 grams
• 1 cup spinach - 5 grams
• 1 cup boiled peas - 9
• 1 cup cooked sweet potato - 5 grams

6. Soy and other Non-Milks-  I am all about soy these days!  Soy milk contains 7 grams of protein per cup and most almond milks are the same. I am not vegan but I ONLY drink non-animal milks..I like the flavor better!

7. Breads and Grains - when choosing breads, go for those that are sprouted and/or whole grain.  READ THE LABEL!
• Oatmeal - 1 cup = 6 grams.
• Sprouted grain bread products -  about 7-10 grams per 2 pieces.

8. Chia Seeds - Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice.2 teaspoons have about 2 grams of protein - which doesn't sound like a lot - but it is a high quality protein that easily converts into energy! This is so easy to sprinkle on cereal and yogurt!

9. Hemp - If you are thinking that I am suggesting that you smoke are on the wrong blog! Hemp protein is  said to be the most complete source of protein in the plant kingdom!
It is quickly converted in the body to energy and is excellent for athletes. Hemp is available in tons of forms like milk, butter, protein powders, and oils. Use it for baking, smoothies, and in cooking. 
30 grams of hemp powder in your smoothie will give you about 11 grams of protein.

10. Tofu. Four ounces of tofu will get you about 9 grams of protein.Tofu is very easy to incorporate into your diet. It can be stir fried, baked, blended in a smoothie, added to homemade veggie burgers, etc. Even if you don't like the flavor of can easily be hidden in a smoothie and will give it a super cream texture!

There are tons of other ways to get protein. Many fruits contain protein and eggs are also good. I just don't like eggs! Many veggie burger products are also excellent sources for protein but since I am also trying to eliminate processed foods (and I am cheap) ...those are a luxury item! Making your own veggie burgers will taste better, ensure there are no processed foods, and can be tailored to what you like or what you need!

If you have some other great protein sources...let me know- And please....if you aren't a vegetarian or a vegan...don't give them lip for choosing an alternative lifestyle. I am sure that they, in return, will not laugh at you as you eat your bacon burger!

Diets from A-Z

 B is for .......THE BEVERLY HILLS DIET!
Will you celebrate weight loss?

If you are following the May series, you know that I am covering as many Diets from A-Z that I can... Click HERE to see the complete list.

Well, I got to B for Beverly Hills Diet BUT found a few other cool B's so you get a bonus on the letter B. I couldn't stop at just one and so be honest, I will revisit the letter B in the next post simply because there were so many fun B diets!

New Beverly Hills Diet

The Beverly Hills Diet has been around for sometime (since 1981) and is based around food combinations. The founder of the Beverly  Hills Diet, Judy Mazel, believes that we began having weight issues when we started having our 3 "square meals" a day combining proteins, carbohydrates, veggies and etc together.

In this diet, proteins go with proteins, carbohydrates go with carbohydrates, and fruit gets combined with nothing! The rules are VERY particular about how to eat - they break food into 3 categories.

Fruits–carbohydrates that are a separate group due to the quick digestive properties.
Carbohydrates–everything other than protein.
Protein–obtained from meat, dairy and sources of vegetable protein.
Fats–avoid animal, saturated and trans fats, which slow digestion.

This diet boasts a 10-15 pound weight loss in the first 35 days. 

So how does it work?
 For breakfast you can have your choice of many fruits (but only one at a time), such as pineapple, strawberries, grapes, or watermelon.

Eat as much fruit as you want for breakfast but wait at least an hour before changing to another fruit and at least two hours before eating carbohydrates, fats, or protein. Once you move to carbs, fats, or proteins ---no more fruit for the rest of the day!

Now....If the next thing you eat after the fruit is a carbohydrate, you can eat carbs in any amount until you eat protein. Once you have even the slightest amount of protein -- you now must eat almost all proteins for the remainder of the day!

One meal a day can be a freebie where  your carbs and protein can play nicely together . Here's the catch...if you have your "freebie" meal  for lunch, you are still stuck eating almost all protein for the rest of the day!

So what can you drink?
This is the BEAUTY of the Beverly Hills diet!

Wine and fruit juices can be substituted for fruit AND CHAMPAGNE CAN GO WITH ANYTHING!!! Other alcoholic beverages count as carbs....Hey..any diet that lets champagne play all a great one in my book. You should stick to water as much as possible for meal time....when in doubt...pop the bubbly!

So...Will you celebrate on the Beverly Hills diet? I can see how you might loose weight....but with a lack of exercise and possibly missing out on veggies if you eat protein too early in the day...I am not sure if you could or should sustain it for long periods of time....Let me know if you have had success on this diet plan!

5 Perfectly Pinnable Posts!

Pin IT Challenge!

A big thank you to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for coming up with this challenge! I NEVER say no to one of those! are 5 of my most "pinnable" posts! They are some of my favorites to either explore, share, or EAT!!! Enjoy!

These are SOOOOO good and can be made with or without beer! I chose not to BUT they are awesome either way! I put the cheese and peppers on top so the kids could have them plain. They called them bagels....they were gone in an instant!


These were such a godsend for me! Being a vegetarian, I miss out on all of the awesome sauces out there! Now, I can enjoy them on my Fake Chicken Nuggets...See "faux" just sounds better! The kids gobble them up and my husband asks for them daily. Good thing they only take a few minutes to make and are easy enough to have all of the time!

Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Squash Enchiladas!! So good and so easy!! Very low fat and gorgeous to look at

My Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Squash Enchiladas

One word...YUMMY! These were enough to impress my parents who believe that veggies are the devil's candy! Okay, maybe they aren't that bad BUT they think that I am evil for avoiding processed foods. They send my kids home with lots of goodie bags when they visit! I sent some of these their way and they at least said that they liked them! That is enough for me!


Diets from A-Z 

I had WAY too much fun with this one! This is my new may series where I will explore a new diet every day--alphabetically.  I found so many new diets- the junk food diet is REAL?!? There is a Q Diet?!?! If anyone has a post on a great diet on this list (or just fun)...send it my way, I would LOVE to link it into the master list!


10 Foods you SHOULD be eating!

I loved this one because I am always finding lists of what I should NOT be eating. It was nice to put together a lost of GREAT POWERHOUSE foods  and explain why you should have them.

So...there it is! A list of my 5 perfectly Pinnable Posts!

A is for Adkins

Diets from A-Z

A is for ADKINS!

During the month of May, I plan  to give you the low down on at least 26 different ways that we have designed to loose weight. In doing research, I found hundreds of diets so I want to learn more and share everything I can find! Some of these may be faith based, some physician inspired, and some are true CRASH diets.

Click HERE for the complete list of diets from A-Z that I will be going through. I will continue to link in so that you have a complete guide at month's end!

A is for Adkins

The Adkins diet is a diet that many people will SWEAR BY! It all started in 1963 when Dr. Robert C. Atkins began to Scientifically study the effects of carbohydrates on weight gain. Dr. Adkins theory is that our food pyramid should be flipped almost upside down! He promotes the majority of your diet coming from meats and proteins, followed by vegetables, then fruits, oils and nuts, and the minority of our daily intake should come from starches. The diet boasts that you can loose up to 15 pounds in 2 weeks.

In the height of Adkins popularity, many  "followers" used the Adkins ideology to lose weight by ordering "bacon cheeseburgers with no buns" with a nice side of mayo! Is it following the diet? that! Somehow I don't think this is what Dr. Adkins meant BUT it was working for many Americans so the trend raged on.  The diet is broken into phases with phase 1 being little to no carboydrates at all. You also have to almost COMPLETELY avoid sugar since sugar has a high carbohydrate count.  As you move through the phases, you will add in some complete carbs and eventually end with a "lifestyle" instead of a "diet" designed to keep the weight off!

Tips for surviving Adkins:
  • Check all seasonings for added sugar. It can sneak up on you!
  • Keep veggies on the "allowed" list available for snacking  (you will be starving for the first few days then your hunger seems to regulate to the plan)
Reagent Strips For Urinalysis
Try using "ketone" test strips to measure results. When the body is in the fat burning state — where it has no carbohydrates to burn and is breaking down your body's fat for energy, the body releases long fatty acids (the stuff you ave been storing around your mid section and thighs) for the body to use. At the end of the burning process, there will be some fragments that are not completely burned that will spill into your urine.

Being in "ketosis" simply means that you're burning your stored fat and using it as your body's source of energy--meaning you loose weight! 

The test sticks will keep you aware of your progress of "ketosis". The pad on the tester will turn dark when your body is burning stored fats.  It helps you know if you have overdone your carbs for the day. If you have....start exercising ASAP and you can still save the day!

Allowed Foods:
  • Almost all meats
  • Eggs (a low-carb dieters best friend)
  • Most cheeses (check labels for carb counts)
  • Oils and Fats 
  • Nuts
  • Spices
  • Vegetables - 12 to 15 carbs a day should come from veggies. The Adkins site suggests eating salad veggies like arugula, romaine, and spinach in their raw form. 

  • unsweetened tea
  • water
  • coffee and diet soda should be limited 
  • flavored waters (check for zero carbs)
  • Limit caffeinated beverages to 2 or less a day. Caffeinated beverages can cause sweet cravings
  • Sweeten with artificial sweeteners if needed BUT they do have some carbs - about 1 per pack- and are also said to cause cravings.
  • Unsweetened/Unflavored Soy or Almond Milk
  • Cream (Heavy or light)

No No's:
  • Breads
  • Rice
  • Pastas
  • Sodas
  • Sweeteners
  • Fruits ( not in their entirety but they do have natural sugars so avoid most except for berries)
  • Sweet Veggies (corn, peas, onions, and green beans have higher counts so be very careful)
  • Juices (sugary)
  • Yogurt 
  • Beans...Heavy in carbs! black beans, pinto beans,  etc.

The people at Adkins have now made it much easier to follow the plan. They now provide sack bars, meal replaements, shakes, and online support. Some of the supplements are not until the second phase of the program but they are certainly nice to have! In the "early days" however, you were required to go by the book and advice (which is why so many people got it wrong!)

I personally do this diet but in a modified  "healthier" way. I am vegetarian so meat is out of the question. I found after becoming a vegetarian that  eating cookies, chips, and breads all day (while vegetarian) was not so god for my waist line...I was gaining weight! I was able to knock off 20 pounds with my version of the diet, so I am a fan. Not a fan of how some people follow the diet BUT it CAN BE DONE IN A HEALTHY WAY!

I hope that this helped some of you to better understand the diet! If you have any success or "heck no" stories, I would love to hear them! Link them in the comments so we an share!

Diets From A-Z

So Many Diets....So Little Time!

May Series

I honestly thought that I had done every diet in the world but I just found out that I have not! I started making a list of the diets out there and realized that I had every letter in the alphabet...sometimes the same letters over and over! So, I decided to make a list of them to share. This will actually be a full series for the month of May. I will begin at the letter A and will expose as much as I can find out about each diet! I will come back and link up the pages of the articles so you will have a complete listing of the diets by the month's end!

Please note that I do not stand behind any of the diets listed simply found it to be funny that there were so many out there. Some of these diets are belied based, some are low caloric diets, and some are crash diets. Consult a doctor before trying any of these or other diets found online!

A- Adkins - we have all heard of this one! Low carb
B - Beverly Hills Diet - very restrictive and low in calories. you do the diet for six weeks!
C - Cookie Diet - just like it says! You consume low fat cookies as meals
D - Dukan Diet -  based around oatbran and proteins.
E - Edenic Diet - A diet based on the diets of Adam and Eve! Mostly fruit.
F - Fruititarian - Only Fruits!
G - Grapefruit Juice Diet - low carb diet where you drink grapefruit juice before every meal.
H - Hallelujiah Diet - living foods like fruit and veggies. Basically vegan with little to no processed foods.
I - Israeli Army Diet - Apples only the 1st 2 days, then Cheese for 2, salad for 2.
J - Junk Food Diet - really! lacks nutrition but some swear by it!
K - Kosher - based around Jewish law. Not terribly restrictive in foods only in processes of making them
L - Lemonade Diet - sometimes called the Master Cleanse
M - Mediterranean -  inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of southern Italy, Greece, and Spain
O - Type "O" Blood Diet - suggests that type o blood needs a different diet!
P - Paleo - Think CAVEMAN! only things you could kill or pick!
Q - Q Diet - an undiet!
R - Real Food Diet - emphasis on super nutrient foods!
S - South Beach Diet - low carbs at first then works in complex carbs
T - T factor diet - based on counting fat grams (the older way to diet!)
U - Upside Down diet - also known as the reverse diet!
V - Vegan -  no animals or byproducts! no cheese, butters, creams, or meat!
W - Word of Wisdom Diet - from the Church of Latter Day Saints - real food based
X - X Factor Diet - similar to the Adkins diet.
Y - Younger You Diet - designed for overall youthful appearance and feel!
Z - Zone Diet - promotes consuming calories from carbohydrates, protein, and fat in a balanced ratio.

If I find any other Fun or Cooky ones along the way, I will certainly add them to the list of what I am sharing!

Follow Frugal Fit Family all month long to learn more about these and other diets! Free Guest Pass