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June Special: Living With Alzheimer’s Disease

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June is the “Alzheimer’s and brain health awareness month”, an opportunity to “go purple” and shed light on dementia and the huge impact it has on those affected.

The Numbers

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Alzheimer’s disease has become a very serious public health issue. An estimated 47 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease worldwide, and around 5.8 million Americans are affected.

In 2018, Alzheimer’s was the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The Facts

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First, let’s start by explaining Alzheimer’s disease. Simply, it is a progressive disease that impairs memory and cognition or thinking ability.

It usually affects people over 60 years of age, but in very rare cases, it may affect people as young as 30.

At first, the impairment is mild and might be brushed off as a part of normal aging. Later on, however, it hinders daily activities and the person becomes more and more dependent on caregivers or family members.

More information on how to tell the difference between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease can be found here.

The causes of this disease are not yet fully understood, but it could be attributed to multiple factors including genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors.

The Coping Process

Joyful adult daughter greeting happy surprised senior mother in garden

If you are a caregiver for someone who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, you might sometimes feel overwhelmed. Don’t beat yourself up though, this is completely normal.

As the disease progresses, it tends to alter the patient’s personality which presents you with some difficult challenges.

Understanding the changes might make it a lot easier for you to cope.

Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Getting upset more easily
  2. Worrying too much about daily life
  3. Lack of interest or apathy towards things they used to enjoy
  4. Becoming suspicious, or even delusional
  5. Confusion
  6. Repeating information or questions

As the disease advances, these changes will become increasingly prevalent.

Here are our top tips to deal with them:

1. Be Patient

No matter how overwhelmed you might feel, you should avoid showing your frustration as it might negatively affect your loved one’s mood and emotions.

Instead, try to take deep breaths or withdraw for a couple of minutes until you regain your composure.

Also, try to always stay calm and patient with your loved ones to avoid conflict.

2. Keep It Simple

People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can no longer process information as efficiently as they used to.

Try to use simple sentences in a clear voice, away from any distractions or loud noises.

You could also repeat information as many times as you feel necessary to make sure that your message has gotten through.

3. Be Realistic

If the patient is a loved one of yours, you might find yourself setting unattainable goals.

For example, you want their house to be super tidy, their clothes to be clean, and their appearance to be neat. Unfortunately, this will not always be the case given the nature of this condition.

Instead of wasting precious quality time arguing over these small things, accept that things will not always be perfect.

4. Understand What Lies Beneath The Actions

If you used to love playing chess with your grandpa, you might feel a bit hurt that he’s no longer interested in chess.

But it’s not because your grandpa doesn’t love spending time with you anymore, it’s because chess has become too challenging for him after he lost some of his critical thinking skills due to Alzheimer’s.

So instead of pushing him to do something he can no longer do, try to find something else you can both enjoy together.

5. Be Prepared

In the early stages of the disease, the patient might still be able to remain independent. However, their autonomy is tremendously compromised in the later stages.

Although it is hard to discuss, you need to make plans with your loved ones for when they will become completely dependent and need 24/7 care.

You might also want to get legal advice regarding an Advance Health and Care directive or a living will to agree on who will have the power to make financial and health decisions.

Because this is a progressive disease, the earlier you discuss these issues the more involved the patient will be. Remember, in Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and cognitive function decline are irreversible.

Prevention

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There are many ways to improve your brain health and reduce your risk of cognitive impairment.

1. Get Moving

The benefits of regular exercise are too many to list here, but let me tell you, it’s one of the biggest favors you could ever do yourself.

Some studies have shown that exercise has helped improve cognitive function in people who had memory problems.

It’s also been shown that physical activity can reduce cognitive decline.

2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Your brain needs sleep for many essential functions including learning and memories consolidation.

This is why it’s not surprising that studies have shown that those who get less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep per day score lower on mental function tests.

3. Buddy Up

Having regular social interactions may help maintain your cognitive functions and memory as you age.

Some research suggests that those who maintain regular ties with people are less likely to have cognitive function decline compared to those who don’t.

4. Mental Exercise

Staying mentally active is just as important as staying physically active.

It’s been suggested that education, reading, or other forms of mental stimulation help keep your brain healthy and may lower your risk of dementia.

So next time you have some extra time on your hand, invest in a new book or maybe enroll in a course at a nearby university.

How To Help

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If you’re interested in leaving a positive impact and helping those affected, make sure you check out the Alzheimer’s Association website.

You can donate money that goes to research and providing Alzheimer’s care and support, participate in fundraising events, and much more.

Follow this link for more information.

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Banana Pudding Cheesecake

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This banana pudding cheesecake will become your #1 dessert. In addition to a great taste, it is so easy to make. Even absolute beginners will be able to make one with astonishing results. The crust is not complicated at all, the filling is easy to combine, and who does not know how to whip a heavy cream for a final layer?

banana pudding cheesecake 2

Delicious Dessert with an Amazing Banana Flavor

This banana pudding cheesecake, as the name says, uses banana pudding. The pudding adds a nice banana flavor and is much better than using an extract. Also, the starch in the pudding gives this cake an impeccable creamy yet firm filling. Sometimes when you cut through the cake it tends to spill out. To prevent that you need to bake the cake for longer periods and at the end you get a dry instead of moist cake.

Let us go through the ingredients:

  • This recipe calls for some ingredients not available in some countries. Also, this is a tip for substitute as well, so that you do not have to spend some extra money.
  • Nilla wafers – the recipe calls for Nilla wafers or Vanilla Wafers. If you do not have these any shortbread biscuits will be okay, or even go with crushed ladyfingers.
  • Cream cheese – speaking about cream cheese, you can get plain cream cheese in a block, or for a super fancy cheesecake, go with mascarpone.
  • As a final layer, we are using a whipped cream. If you are living in an area where you can find Cool Whip, then you can use it as well.
  • You do not have banana pudding? No worries, you can use vanilla pudding and add some banana extract. We mentioned above adding plain banana extract may give a weird taste after baking, but when combined with vanilla pudding it will be just the right. It will taste natural and not artificial.

When baking, make sure your cake is surrounded by water. The water will prevent the cheesecake from drying out too much and cracking during the baking time.

With these tips, you are ready to make the best banana pudding cheesecake ever!

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes + inactive time
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serve: 12 slices

The crust:

  • 1 ¾ cup (175g) finely crushed or ground Nilla Wafers
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

The filling:

  • (450g) cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 5oz.(45g) box banana pudding mix
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 pinch salt

To serve:

  • 1 ½ cups (350ml) heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Crushed Nilla wafers, to sprinkle

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Grease springform pan with butter.
  2. Make the crust; in a bowl combine crushed wafers and butter. Stir well.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a parchment paper-lined springform pan. (8-inch pan)
  4. Press the mixture with a spatula. Place aside.
  5. Make the filling; in a bowl, mix all filling ingredients. Pour the filling over the crust.
  6. Cover the bottom with an aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan. Pour around hot water, so it reaches half the springform.
  7. Bake the cake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  8. Cool the cake in the oven for 1 hour.
  9. Place into a fridge and chill for 5 hours.
  10. Cover the cake with whipped cream, sliced bananas, and crushed wafers.
  11. Slice and serve.

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Print
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Banana Pudding Cheesecake

  • Author: Mom Fab
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + inactive time
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

This banana pudding cheesecake will become your #1 dessert. In addition to a great taste, it is so easy to make. Even absolute beginners will be able to make one with astonishing results. The crust is not complicated at all, the filling is easy to combine, and who does not know how to whip a heavy cream for a final layer?

Delicious Dessert with an Amazing Banana Flavor

This banana pudding cheesecake, as the name says, uses banana pudding. The pudding adds a nice banana flavor and is much better than using an extract. Also, the starch in the pudding gives this cake an impeccable creamy yet firm filling. Sometimes when you cut through the cake it tends to spill out. To prevent that you need to bake the cake for longer periods and at the end you get a dry instead of moist cake.

Let us go through the ingredients:

  • This recipe calls for some ingredients not available in some countries. Also, this is a tip for substitute as well, so that you do not have to spend some extra money.
  • Nilla wafers – the recipe calls for Nilla wafers or Vanilla Wafers. If you do not have these any shortbread biscuits will be okay, or even go with crushed ladyfingers.
  • Cream cheese – speaking about cream cheese, you can get plain cream cheese in a block, or for a super fancy cheesecake, go with mascarpone.
  • As a final layer, we are using a whipped cream. If you are living in an area where you can find Cool Whip, then you can use it as well.
  • You do not have banana pudding? No worries, you can use vanilla pudding and add some banana extract. We mentioned above adding plain banana extract may give a weird taste after baking, but when combined with vanilla pudding it will be just the right. It will taste natural and not artificial.

When baking, make sure your cake is surrounded by water. The water will prevent the cheesecake from drying out too much and cracking during the baking time.

With these tips, you are ready to make the best banana pudding cheesecake ever!


Scale

Ingredients

The crust:

  • 1 ¾ cup (175g) finely crushed or ground Nilla Wafers
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

The filling:

  • (450g) cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 5oz.(45g) box banana pudding mix
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 pinch salt

To serve:

  • 1 ½ cups (350ml) heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Crushed Nilla wafers, to sprinkle

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Grease springform pan with butter.
  2. Make the crust; in a bowl combine crushed wafers and butter. Stir well.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a parchment paper-lined springform pan. (8-inch pan)
  4. Press the mixture with a spatula. Place aside.
  5. Make the filling; in a bowl, mix all filling ingredients. Pour the filling over the crust.
  6. Cover the bottom with an aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan. Pour around hot water, so it reaches half the springform.
  7. Bake the cake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  8. Cool the cake in the oven for 1 hour.
  9. Place into a fridge and chill for 5 hours.
  10. Cover the cake with whipped cream, sliced bananas, and crushed wafers.
  11. Slice and serve.

WORK IT OUT: 11 WORKOUT OUTFIT IDEAS TO HELP YOU GET IN THE ZONE

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We recently heard from several of our readers that they would love another edition of our workout outfits. They wanted an article focused on women that are either starting back on the journey of getting in shape or who prefer something a little different in what to wear. We were so excited to hear this feedback and jumped right on it!

This week we’re focusing on outfits for different workouts and the different women who are trying them out. From taking a walk with the kids to lifting weights at home to taking a Zoom pilates class for the first time, we have the perfect outfit for you.

Ready to get started on working out or keep your routine rolling? Here are 11 great outfits to get you inspired to get up and moving in style.

FOR THE DOG-LOVER

workout outfit 1

One of the easiest (and most fun!) ways to start working on getting in shape? Taking your pup for a walk! Whether you’re cruising around the neighborhood with the kids and your puppy in tow or going to the local park, wearing the right outfit can keep you comfortable and help get you inspired to get moving. Slip-on a pair of comfortable Loose-Fit Pants and add your favorite Crew-Neck Tee. Throw on a Zip-Up Hoodie if the weather calls for it and don’t forget your Walking Shoes!

FOR THE AT-HOME YOGI

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Getting into the whole yoga scene at home? Make sure that you have the right gear to get started. Try a comfortable pair of Cropped Leggings, add a Supportive Sports Bra and a comfortable Loose Tank Top and grab a cute Yoga Mat and you’re ready to get zen.

FOR THE DARING DANCER

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Ready to dance it out at home? I think most would agree that dancing is a lot of fun! It’s also a great way to get your kids involved! Dancing burns major calories and lets you tailor to your own skill level. Put on some music and slip on a pair of comfy Workout Shorts, add a Supportive Sports Bra and your favorite Loose Tee and slip on a great pair of Sneakers and you’re ready to dance the day or night away.

FOR THE ZUMBA QUEEN

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Much like dancing, Zumba is a super fun (and easy!) way to burn calories without killing your joints. To get ready for your at-home workout, start with a pair of Supportive Workout Shoes and Comfortable Socks, add a pair of Cropped Workout Pants and a Comfy Tee and make sure to have a Cute Water Bottle nearby for when you need to get hydrated!

FOR THE BEACH WALKER

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Love walking at the beach and taking in the sun and sand? Make sure that you have the right outfit to be comfy and keep safe from the sun. Pick out a comfortable Workout Dress, add a pair of Supportive Walking Shoes, grab a Sports Visor and don’t forget your favorite Sunglasses!

FOR THE JOYFUL JOGGER

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Have you taken your workout up a notch to jogging? Help get yourself in gear with the right outfit and equipment! Slip on a pair of Cropped Pants, add a Supportive Sports Bra and a Cute Loose Tee, and don’t forget your Favorite Running Shoes!

FOR THE BARRE BEAUTY

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We love Barre to help tone in a fun and unexpected way that won’t make your joints sore. To get ready for an at-home barre workout, make sure that you wear a pair of Comfortable Workout Pants, add a Long-Sleeve Sports Tee. Then grab some Cute Legwarmers and don’t forget a Chic Headband!

FOR THE HIGH-INTENSITY LOVER

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One of the best at-home workouts is definitely HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). HIIT workouts are quick, intense and you can tailor them to fit your own skill and fitness level. To train at home, make sure that you pick out a pair of Comfy Sports Pants, add a Loose Top, slip on some Supportive Training Shoes and don’t forget Moisture-Wicking Socks!

FOR THE PILATES PRINCESS

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Whether you’re doing a Zoom class or simply following along with a YouTube regimen, doing pilates at home is a great way to start getting fit. Start your outfit with the perfect pair of Fitted Leggings, add a Loose Sports Tee and a Supportive Sports Bra, and don’t forget your Pilates Socks to help keep you from slipping while you work out.

FOR THE AT-HOME WEIGHTLIFTER

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Looking to get fit at home with some light weightlifting? Slip-on a pair of comfortable Loose-Fitting Shorts and add a Moisture-Wicking Top. Then grab a comfy Sport Headband and throw on some Supportive Training Shoes.

FOR THE SERIOUS STRETCHER

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Love getting loose at home with some easy stretching? Whether you’ve spent all day cleaning or chasing kids, stretching is a great way to loosen up your muscles and fight aches and pains. To get ready to stretch, grab a Slip-Resistant Mat, add a pair of Loose Flowy Pants. Add a Long-Sleeve Tee and some Grippy Socks to help you keep steady while you stretch.

Other Fashion Articles:

6 Ways to Make Cleaning the House More Eco-Friendly (And Safe!)

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Going to the store and picking up the first cleaning product you see on the shelf can come with some drawbacks. After all, traditional cleaning products are filled with mysterious chemicals and, not only that, they’re packaged in wasteful plastic that’s going to end up in the landfill sooner rather than later.

How can you make your cleaning process healthier both for your family and for the planet? Turns out, there are several ways you can do so, just by making a few switches and some conscientious decisions.

Here are six easy ways to make cleaning the house more eco-friendly and safer at the same time.

1. Make Use of Those Pantry Staples

You likely already have everything you need to keep your house spotless in your fridge and pantry right now. There’s no need to rush out and buy an extra product.

The three major wunderkinds when it comes to eco-friendly, safe cleaning? Lemon, vinegar and baking soda.

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These three items come in handy in a whole host of situations.

Use lemon and baking soda to remove stains. Combine lemon peel and white vinegar for an easy, all-purpose cleaner. Rub lemon across your countertops or dishes to disinfect.

Baking soda and water can remove rust and grease. It can even clean away tough, stuck-on stains in your oven, around your toilet bowl or on your clothes.

Vinegar comes in handy when it comes time to clean your dishwasher (which, yes, you should be doing on a regular basis!), as well as when you want to wash your windows.

To find exact ingredient quantities for any of these uses, all it takes is a quick Google search from your phone and you’re on your way to a cleaner house, no harsh chemicals or extra plastic required.

2. Ditch the Paper Towels

This one is a bit more for the planet’s health versus your own, but it’s still a good practice all the way around: ditch those paper towels. You don’t need them!

Save some trees and start using re-usable, washable cloths to clean all the surfaces in your home. You can even take things a step further and purchase cloth napkins for your dining room to replace the paper ones.

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Just remember to frequently wash all your cleaning cloths with hot water, to reduce the chances of any mildew build-up or the chances of spreading germs from surface to surface.

3. Forgo the Air Freshener

You may think that sweet-smelling air freshener is innocent but think again. An NRDC test showed that more than a dozen household air fresheners contained chemicals that can disrupt your body’s hormones.

Keep that danger away from your family and use all-natural air fresheners: the actual air. Just crack the windows every so often!

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If it’s too cold out, give your home a cozy scent by boiling some oranges and cinnamon sticks in water on the stove for a while, or popping a few teaspoons of vanilla into an oven-safe dish and letting it rest in the warm oven for a few hours.

4. Pick Your Sponge Carefully

Did you know that the typical plastic or polyester sponge not only takes forever to break down in a landfill once you toss it, but it also can produce chloroform when it’s exposed to certain liquids? Yikes!

Go with a healthier sponge. Look for those made from cellulose (you can find them on Amazon or at just about any health food store). Cellulose sponges are biodegradable and are even more naturally absorbent than your normal sponge!

5. Don’t Throw Out the Bad Just Yet!

But wait! If you’re trying to make your cleaning process that much more eco-friendly and safe for the family, you may be tempted to just toss out all your old, chemical-laden cleaners. You’ll want to think twice before you do, though.

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Just throwing your old cleaners into the trash can means they end up in a landfill — where all those chemicals end up in the local soil and water system.

Instead, investigate ways your community may provide resources for toxic recycling. If they don’t currently offer any way for residents to recycle toxic products, ask why!

6. Think of Your Resource Usage

Lastly, beyond thinking of the cleaning products you use, think about the resources you’re using every time you pour a bucket of water to mop the floor, you run a cycle on the washing machine or dishwasher or you plug in the vacuum.

How can you reduce your energy and water usage as you clean?

Some simple ways include using more old-fashioned methods for cleaning rugs and mats (taking a rug outside and giving it a good beating was the way things went before the advent of electricity), only running wash cycles when you have a full load of laundry or dishes and choosing cleaners that don’t require water dilution.

If you’re moving into a new home or purchasing new appliances in the near future, you can take things further by specifically looking for green, energy-friendly, water usage-reducing appliances.

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Organic vs Non-Organic Foods for The Family

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When you are in the grocery store, it can be overwhelming to see the number of items such as produce that are marked organic. After all, is it that much better for you than regular foods? What’s the difference between items that are organic, versus the ones that are non-organic? Let’s look at how these food products can differ, and what you can do to make smart choices for your family while grocery shopping…. without getting completely overwhelmed!

organic vs non-organic

Organic foods are nothing new – after all, the Organic Trade Association noted that in 2019, sales of organic foods totaled over $50 billion dollars, up from $39 billion in 2014. For the most part, people think that organic foods are better than non-organic in regards to how they affect the environment and that they are healthier than foods that aren’t organic. But what does it mean when a food is organic?

What are Organic Foods?

In essence, organic foods have basically been farmed without the use of pesticides, chemicals, or other added chemicals. Organic foods also can’t include things like artificial colors or sweeteners. Popular organic items include meat products, produce, and even certain cereals! There is research that shows that consuming organic foods may actually provide more nutritional content than regular foods, but those factors can vary based on how the food is grown and handled.

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One study, in particular, showed almost a 70% increase in antioxidants in foods grown and consumed that were organic, as well as higher levels of micronutrients like Vitamin C! Even so, much of the evidence out there today is on the fence as to whether or not organic foods really are more nutrient-dense than their non-organic counterparts. With that said, be mindful of what’s important to you in regards to being fresh.

According to the Environmental Working Group, there are certain fruits and veggies that are more prone to pesticide usage, and these include items like peaches, grapes, spinach, strawberries, potatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. If you’re aiming for organic, these would be the best ones to look for!

What are Non-Organic Foods?

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got the non-organic produce. These foods typically use some type of pesticide or other chemical during the production process and can be modified during production as well. Granted, using these methods to grow foods can help to limit bacteria that might pop up. Non-organic items are usually much cheaper than organic as well. On the flip side, we don’t know if there are any long-term side effects from consuming the chemicals that might be used on non-organic foods. Most of the time, these items won’t have the nutrient density that you’ll find in organic foods.

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Some foods that you’ll find on the shelves that are part of the “Clean 15”. These are foods that are typically low in chemicals and pesticides.  These are also the items that you can get non-organic if you so choose. These include items like sweet potatoes, avocados, grapefruit, mangos, mushrooms, pineapples, onions, and asparagus, just to name a few.

Organic vs Non-Organic

Deciding on produce can be tricky when it comes to organic vs non-organic. Keep in mind that there are other products in the store that will have those labels as well. These products can include items like eggs, meat, and milk! You can find both organic and non-organic versions of beef, pork, dairy products, and chicken. Many people like to avoid hormones or antibiotics that might have been given to the animals prior to production by going the organic route.

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When deciding between organic and non-organic foods on your next trip to the grocery store, just remember this – there are products on the shelves that say they’re organic….and they are still very unhealthy for you. For example, cookies or ice cream. Just because a product says it’s organic, doesn’t mean it’s lower in calories! Some of these items might even have more calories and fat as opposed to their non-organic counterparts. Be aware of what you’re getting before you add it to your grocery cart.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re going organic, adding in some regular products, or just scanning the shelves and aisles to see what would be best for you and your family, keep some things in mind:

  • whether to go organic or non-organic
  • wash your fruits and veggies before consuming them,
  • pick produce when it’s in season – this will ensure that it’s the freshest that it can be!

Lastly, remember to check food labels (for packaged items) and read the ingredient list. Just because something is listed as organic, doesn’t mean it’s not full of unnecessary additives or tons of extra sugar. Do your research, read your labels, and decide what’s best for you and your family!

Other Helpful Articles:

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Latest Posts

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June Special: Living With Alzheimer’s Disease

June is the “Alzheimer’s and brain health awareness month”, an opportunity to “go purple” and shed light on dementia and the huge impact it...
banana pudding cheesecake 2

Banana Pudding Cheesecake

This banana pudding cheesecake will become your #1 dessert. In addition to a great taste, it is so easy to make. Even absolute beginners...
blank

WORK IT OUT: 11 WORKOUT OUTFIT IDEAS TO HELP YOU GET IN THE ZONE

We recently heard from several of our readers that they would love another edition of our workout outfits. They wanted an article focused on...
blank

6 Ways to Make Cleaning the House More Eco-Friendly (And Safe!)

Going to the store and picking up the first cleaning product you see on the shelf can come with some drawbacks. After all, traditional...