Limiting Your Exposure To Pesticides On Your Fruit And Veg

Fruit and veg

The UK Government recommends eating five portions of fruit and veg every single day as part of what we can do to reduce the risk of contracting certain diet-related chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. And, as a nation we are definitely taking this advice to heart, “eating the rainbow” – generally much to benefit our health. But, are these gifts from nature as healthy as we think?

Many of our fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides to kill insects that damage the crop. And, although we are told that the levels used are safe for human consumption, many of us worry that they could in fact be harmful to us – even carcinogenic. So, what can we do to limit our exposure to them?

All fruit and vegetables regardless of how they are grown will have a layer of surface dirt and the majority will have a layer of pesticides and herbicides on them too. I have three ways of ensuring that my produce is as clean as possible before I eat them, which I’d like to share with you today.

1. The Vinegar Wash

This is simply four parts water to one part white vinegar. All you need to do is soak your produce for 20-60 minutes and then rinse well to remove the vinegar taste. You’ll be amazed at how brown the water can be!

2. Lemon Spray

This is an alternative to option one above, take one Tablespoon of Lemon Juice, two Tablespoon of Baking Soda and one Cup of Water (240ml) and put them all into a clean spray bottle. Spray the produce generously with the solution, let it stand for fifteen minutes and then rinse well with fresh water.

3. Buy Organic

Buying organic can be a good way to reduce your exposure to man-made chemicals but it’s still important to wash the produce thoroughly. It’s not necessarily the most economical of the choices and so taking a look at the list presented below called “The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15” could be helpful to you when deciding whether you should buy organic or not. The list is complied by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) whose mission it is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. The EWG regularly undertakes a review of the fruits and vegetables available to us in order to determine our overall pesticide exposure. The “Dirty Dozen” are the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide loads. The “Clean 15” are the 15 fruits and vegetables with the least pesticide residue.

The EWG also added a “plus” category to their Dirty Dozen to include select foods that contain trace amounts of highly hazardous pesticides. These don’t meet the traditional standards to be on the list, yet are included as a plus due to insecticide contamination.

Dirty Dozen & Clean 15


(Choose organic where possible)


(Doesn’t have to be 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

“Plus”: Hot Peppers

1. Avocados

2. Sweet Corn

3. Pineapples

4. Sweet Peas Frozen

5. Onions

6. Papayas

7. Aubergines

8. Asparagus

9. Kiwis

10. cabbage

11. Cauliflower

12. Cantaloupes

13. Broccoli

14. Mushrooms

15. Honeydew Melons

NOTE: This list is the latest, being published on 30th August 2019. Check the EWG website ( regularly for updates.

Water – The Essential Guide

If drinking enough water is the only thing that you do regularly as part of your daily routine then in my opinion you can give yourself a big fat pat on the back – well done! Drinking the right amount of water each day is probably the most important thing that you can do for your overall health and wellbeing.

As human beings around 60% of our body is made up of water, we can live for weeks without food, not recommended, but only a couple of days without water. Water is crucial to so many of our body’s functions that losing just 2% of our body weight in fluid can actually reduce our physical and mental performance by up to 25%. I’ve seen a whole array of different aliments clear up when people simply start drinking more water. These include headaches, low energy levels, dry skin & skin rashes, brain fog, poor concentration, dizziness, tummy aches and constipation.

How much water should I drink?

clip_image002It seems that the general consensus in the UK is that we should be drinking around eight glasses of water per day, where 1 glass equates to 240ml (8oz), and 4 glasses is translated as roughly 1 litre. This means that your total water intake for the day should be approximately 2 litres. This figure is not set in stone and will vary depending on a number of factors such as your size, level of physical activity, the temperature of where you live, and how much caffeine or alcohol you consume. The more active you are, the hotter the climate and the more caffeine and alcohol you drink the more water you should have.

How do I know I am drinking enough water?

Crude as this may sound the best way to tell if you are properly hydrated is by checking the colour of your urine as well as considering how often you go to the toilet. If you find yourself visiting the toilet every 2-3 hours, have an abundance of urine which is clear and light yellow in colour then chances are that you are properly hydrated. If you don’t tend to visit the toilet all that often and when you do, your urine is dark, smelly and there’s not much of it, then it’s likely that you’re not drinking enough water and you should up your intake. It is also worth mentioning here that when you first start to increase your water consumption, you WILL need to go to the bathroom more often than you’re used to, but that will only last for a few days and then the body will adjust. You’ll be so glad you did as you’ll be reaping the many rewards.

What if you don’t like the taste of water? Then what?

clip_image004Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring! Try turning drinking water into a fabulous experience by using a beautiful glass or goblet. Improve the taste by adding flavour without the extra calories, sugars or other unnecessary chemicals of drinking fizzy drinks, juices, teas and coffees – simply add a slice of lemon, lime, cucumber or orange to your water. Mint also works well. On a cold day, you may want to drink your water warmed with a touch of lemon.

When and how should I drink water?

· Drink 1-2 glasses of water on rising first thing in the morning. You will have been asleep for 6 to 10 hours, so it’s time to hydrate! This can even replace morning coffee, as rehydrating the body and brain will lead to clearer thinking and better energy

· Keep a lovely pitcher of filtered water in your fridge at home or near your workspace containing the amount of water you want to drink each day. This makes it easy to remember to drink water and to track your intake

· Drink a cup of water before exercise

· Sip water slowly and at intervals during exercise

· Bottles, bottles everywhere! Keep glass bottles of water in your car, at the office, or around your work areas. Glass is best not only for your health but also for the planet.

· If you can’t access a filter for your water, then let drinking water stand at room temp for an hour or more. This reduces the amount of chlorine in drinking water, as the chlorine will start to evaporate

· If you have digestive challenges, drink most of your water between meals

· Add Trace Minerals, Sea Salt or Green Powder to water to increase nutrient content and improve the pH of your body

How-to Choose the Healthiest Kinds of Water:

Water Filters

Filtering water improves the taste and smell of water, often by reducing chlorine, which is added to kill harmful bacteria. Some filters can also reduce other contaminants such as lead, benzene, MTBE, chloramines, and PCBs.

There are many types of water filters as well as many types of water filtering technologies. Finding the “best one” depends on the amount of space you can afford to clear out for it, your budget, and the specific water contaminants in your area.

These are some of the top filters and ways to help you decide what best fits your needs.

Types of Filter Technology

· Reverse Osmosis: This process pushes water through a semi-permeable membrane that blocks particles larger than water molecules. Reverse osmosis can remove many contaminants that have not been removed by activated carbon, including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrates and perchlorate as well as some parasites.

Reverse osmosis does not remove chlorine or volatile organic chemicals. However, reputable units are generally coupled with good carbon filtration to ensure removal of these contaminants.

Reverse osmosis filters are more effective at removing many kinds of contaminants, but are more expensive, require more maintenance, and require much more energy and water in order to function.

· Activated Carbon: Activated carbon is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up pores between the carbon atoms, which increases the surface area of the carbon, allowing it to absorb and trap contaminants. When the pores become full, the filtering stops and the carbon filter needs to be replaced.     

Activated carbon cannot effectively remove common pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate and perchlorate. Generally, carbon filters come in two forms, carbon block and granulated activated carbon. The former appears to be more effective. Carbon filters remove fewer contaminants than reverse osmosis filters but are less expensive and use less energy and water.

· Pitchers or large dispensers: These are typically fitted with an activated carbon filter that can remove contaminants and improve taste and odour. Many can reduce chlorine, lead, and mercury contamination. They’re easy to use, don’t require installation and can be stored in the refrigerator.

Bottled Water


Bottled water is easy and convenient, but there are many different kinds of water.

It’s important to be informed about where your water comes from as many companies have been found guilty of filling their brands with regular tap water to increase their profit margins. Make sure to research and go for the brands you trust most.

· Mineral Water: This water comes from a mineral spring that contains various minerals including salt and sulphur compounds. Example: Evian

· Artesian Water: This ground water is confined under pressure between layers of underground rock called a confined aquifer. Artesian water rises to the top of the aquifer when a well taps the confined aquifer. Example: Fiji

· Spring Water: This water is derived from underground formation from which water flows naturally to the earth’s surface. It must be collected at the spring or underground through a borehole feeding the spring. Example: Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water

· Purified Water: Water produced by distillation, deionization or reverse osmosis. Example: Aquafina

When choosing a bottled water besides aesthetics, it is also important to consider that it usually comes in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers, which are generally considered safe. But when stored in warm temperatures, the plastic may leach chemicals into the water, which may lead to potential health risks.

In addition, plastic bottles are not healthy for the planet due to the huge amounts of fossil fuels that are burned in order to fill and distribute them. It takes three times the amount of water to produce a bottle of water as it does to fill it. Plus, plastic bottles take about 500-1000 years to decompose and are one of the worst known ocean pollutants.

The best bottled water to go for is one that is not made from plastic such as the reusable, stainless steel bottle that uses reverse osmosis technology. such as those made by Hydro Flask or Klean Kanteen.

At times when bottled water on the-go is an absolute must, look for brands with the NSF certification logo or choose a brand that uses glass bottles such as, but not limited to Eden Springs and Voss. While they may be pricier, you can wash and refill them at home for multiple uses and they help save our planet!

Dealing with the onslaught of man-made chemicals and the effects on our bodies

Pollution pic

The world we live in today is very different to the one that we evolved in. It is filled with man-made chemicals, which can take their toll on our health. They are everywhere.

They can be found in the medicines we take, the products we use to clean our homes and beautify our bodies. They are on the surfaces of the fresh fruits and vegetables that we eat and they are added to our foods to prolong shelf life and to enhance taste. They are even given to animals in the form of antibiotics to keep them healthy. They are in the air that we breathe and in the water that we drink… the list goes on. I’m sure you get my drift. It seems that we cannot escape them.

We are amazing. Our bodies are designed with an incredible capacity to heal and to deal with many things, including these man-made chemicals. However, for some, being exposed to them will create an added burden especially on the body’s detoxification processes. And that’s when we may notice their effects on our bodies. I certainly have experience of this.

I consulted my doctor after I developed an array of worrying symptoms

Back in 2007 I consulted a doctor after developing rashes and sores on my body, she asked me if I had changed my washing powder or personal hygiene products – I hadn’t. I was given a cream to help with the problem. It helped for a while but then the rashes and sores started to get worse. I knew deep down that the cream wouldn’t solve the problem. My instinct told me that I was probably developing a sensitivity, but to what? A good friend pointed me in the direction of a lady who could test for such things, who told me to avoid many of the chemicals used as preservatives in modern cleaning, beauty and make-up products, as well as in certain foods!

Many modern-day cures simply mask the symptoms

Armed with the list of what to avoid I set out to cleanse my life of these chemicals. What followed was what felt like a lifetime of doing my best to disengage my body from these chemicals and replace them with non-toxic alternatives. I was given very little information on what to do or how to go about it. It was very much a process of discovery, one of trial and error to see what worked for me – after all, our bodies are in many ways unique. I’m pleased to say that if I was now to inadvertently use a product containing one of these chemicals it would not trigger the same reaction. But more importantly this experience opened my eyes to a broader definition of what being healthy means.

Health is a matrix of many things

I discovered that being healthy is more than just eating less and exercising more. Health is a matrix of many things. What we are, is what we consume both physically and emotionally. I learnt that our body has an innate and evolved wisdom beyond any book or authority and we must listen to the clues it gives us for us to have optimal health.

Could you be suffering from the effects of man-made chemicals?

If you find yourself suffering with unexplained headaches or rashes, breathing problems, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, poor memory, digestive problems like bloating and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or are catching colds and flus more often than you should then you might like to consider reviewing the level of man-made chemicals that you are currently exposed to. It could be that you too have developed some sensitivities, intolerances and allergies towards certain man-made chemicals. And even if you haven’t it does no harm to reduce the exposure to them anyway. No one truly knows the long term effects they have on our bodies.

Over the coming weeks and months I would like to share some of the ways that I have reduced my exposure to man-made chemicals. I will also be running a number of reset cleanse programmes where you will get the opportunity to give your body a brief break from the onslaught of the modern world. I will teach you how to listen to your body’s innate wisdom – After all, it is the ultimate authority for every phase of our life.

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As always, if you would like to chat more about any of the things that I share, then please reach out. I’d love to help.



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