Lately, there has been a great amount of discussion surrounding the topic of GMO’s, “detoxing”, juice cleanses of all lengths and varieties, and organic vs. non-organic meats and produce. Why should someone choose to spend close to double the price for organic food items versus the regular old bag of apples and pre-packaged chicken? What exactly are we detoxing from with these juice cleanses and how important is it really? Why has Europe required companies to label food containing GMO’s since 2000 and should we also participate in a similar initiative here in the states, or at least support the companies that are openly making the pledge to start labeling foods using GMO’s now versus 5 or 10 years from now?
I am no expert on the topic, in fact, I was probably just like you when I heard stories on the news about high-fructose corn syrup or aspartame – I was hyped up by all the healthy sounding buzz words (home-grown, natural, local, environmentally friendly) and knew in general that GM foods are bad, organic is good. But how simple is that really? What about processed-food giants like Oscar Meyer, Coca Cola and Frito-Lay using the term “All-Natural” on some of their products, or Whole Foods line “365 Organic” importing their produce from China, where there is no regulation to meet our standards of what is considered to be organic in the first place?
Without delving too deep into details of the numerous documentaries I have watched, the 3-day juice cleanse I participated in as a detox experiment, or the articles upon articles I have read surrounding the controversies and public perceptions of GMO’s – I have narrowed it down to a few simple and basic rules of thumb that anyone can follow to lead a cleaner life style:
- Always buy organic meats and diary products – if there is only one rule you can incorporate immediately into your lives, make it this one. If you choose to consume meat, be sure you are avoiding the hormones, chemicals, and just plain bad karma I am sure follows the flesh of an animal that has been mistreated.
- Avoid processed sugars and corn products – stick to raw, organic and local honey, cane sugar or agave nectar. Let’s face it, we all crave a sweet carbonated beverage from time to time but if possible, buy naturally sweetened soda’s with a low glycemic index. While they aren’t great for you, they are far better than the artificial ingredients in a can of Coke.
- Eliminate products from the processed-food giants – even the ones labeled “All Natural”. This term has no meaning in the United States and is not regulated. Eat real, fresh whole foods; not some addictive combination of sugar, fat and salt. Feel like having some chips or french fries? Make your own and completely avoid the boxed, bagged and canned versions found in grocery stores and fat…I mean fast food chains.
By abiding by these three rules of thumb at the grocery store, you are on your way to clean eating and living a more responsible, healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Our bodies are self-healing, much like the earth itself – when we leave it alone and go back to what is wholesome and basic, it will return to its most efficient, effective, and highest functioning state. Juice cleanses absolutely work to detox our bodies (more on my 3-day cleanse for next time) but it is a band-aid to a much larger and cyclical problem. Why treat the symptoms of toxin build-up in our bodies when we can stop consuming it at the source?
Comment below if you follow any of these or more guidelines for eating clean and healthy in your daily lives.