Is organic food better for you than other food?

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The best way to improve your health is to eat more healthily and to get more exercise – this is often repeated, but do we even know what eating healthily is anymore? With the vast array of weight loss diets around, and the numerous supplements available, does anyone even care if anything makes organic food better for you?

Organic foods are becoming more prevalent and showing up in all sorts of stores from farmer’s markets to big box retail stores. While organic foods are often purchased at a higher cost due to the health claims that are tied to these food items, many question whether organic foods are healthier than other food options. There is still much debate on this and many different factors that impact the decision of whether or not you should purchase organic food or stick with other forms of food. Many of these factors are hotly contested as well as the reasonableness of defining what organic food is.

What Is Organic Food?

Organic food is food that is grown without the use of pesticides, irradiation, and other artificial substances. Having said that, the designation of what is organic will vary significantly from country to country and, generally speaking, food that is grown by an individual is not considered to be organic, even if no pesticides are used to grow it, due to the lack of regulation surrounding it. While organic food may need to be defined when it is resold, a looser interpretation of what is organic involves food grown without using pesticides, artificial hormones, and sometimes not using genetically modified ingredients as part of the growing process.

Differing Views on Nutrition

The world is very split on reaching their nutritional needs. While portions of the third world experience problems receiving a minimal number of calories per day, portions of the first world nations often suffer from the health side effects of too many calories which can result in being overweight, having heart diseases, and other weight-related illnesses like gout.

People in each of these extremes have differing views on the food that they consume. One group is often concerned with increasing their calories while the other is looking to reduce their calories and is less concerned with having nutritional shortfalls.

Studies, to date, have not shown that there is a difference between the nutritional content of organic and non-organic food. In other words, foods will contain the same calories, nutrients, and vitamin whether they are organic or not. As such, the lack of additional nutritional benefits that first world nations receive from organic food is not the primary concern for eating it, while in third world nations the increased cost, lower yield, and lack of additional calories would be a concern. Understanding the perspective of each group will help to better analyze if organic food is healthy for individuals and there are likely different responses to this question depending on who you are.

While many will indicate that organic food may not have added health benefits or ill health effects, if organic food reduces the quantity of food that you consume due to lower yield and higher cost, this can have positive or negative health effects depending on whether you are over or underweight.

Long-Term Impact of Pesticides and Hormones

The major health benefit that many people cite as relating to organic food is not due to the improved nutrition of food, but rather in the absence of substances like pesticides and added hormones that can harm your health. The challenge for scientists attempting to understand how damaging these substances are, and therefore how beneficial organic alternatives are, is the lack of consensus on the long-term impact of these substances.

Some pesticides have been banned both for the negative impact it has on the environment as well as for the chance that they will prove to be cancerous to those who eat foods treated with these pesticides. While the other alternative pesticides are deemed to not have the same ill effects on your health as the banned ones, science often identifies new risks and problems as it learns more about the impact of these substances and chemicals on the human body. While organic food has a longer track record for judgment, non-organic food as treated with varying pesticides and hormones have a shorter track record and may prove to be harmful to our health.

Giving hormones to animals who are then consumed (directly or indirectly (cheese or milk) may also impact your health, particularly impacting children during their growth stages. The impact that this has and how positive or negative is unknown but may be linked to rising rates or allergies, hormonal imbalances, and cancer. Many believe that hormonal problems lead to imbalances in their energy levels as well resulting in hyperactivity or sedateness.

Many people understand this and decide to only eat organic foods as a result. But is organic food better? While organic foods may not ultimately be healthier, they come with lower health risks and can dispel the concern that many have for the ingredients that can potentially impact our long-term health.

Varying Impact by Food Group

Of course, the impact that the pesticides and hormones have on food will greatly vary based on the food item itself. It is often considered to be safer to eat non-organic foods with thicker skins that you don’t eat, like a pumpkin or gourd, than fruits or vegetables with thinner skins that may more easily absorb the chemicals and pesticides like berries or peaches.

While organic food is not thought to be unhealthy, unless it is leading to lower calorie consumption for those who are lacking in calories, the health benefits of eating only organic are somewhat unproven, partly as non-organic foods have a shorter history. Organic eating is the safer way to eat healthily and many believe it can greatly enhance your long-term health and energy levels.

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Tall Girl Problems

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You can never find a dress that doesn’t look like a shirt

You would think that just putting clothes on wouldn’t be that hard – but when you’re a tall girl, the problems only start when you’re getting dressed. That cute dress that anyone else could wear and look amazing? You’d better put something on below it or you’re going to get arrested for public indecency. And let’s not get started on so-called “long sleeve shirts” that for some reason finish at your elbow.

Always being asked to get things off the top shelf

No, I don’t work here. No, I don’t want to pass you everything you can’t reach. Yes, the weather is fine up here. You know, if you’re going to be like that, fetch a step-ladder and get it yourself.

Getting your head cut off in photos

I mean, it’s better than getting your head cut off in real life, but it sometimes seems that you never actually went to all those parties or took those vacations. Well, most of you did, but clearly not your face.

Taking a shower

It’s so easy, you stand under the showerhead, turn it on, and wait for the water to flow over your hair and down your body. But for some reason, the water seems to start flowing somewhere around your chest. Who knew showers were designed for short people?

Standing next to other people

Other people look up to you, but not in a good way. Always craning their necks, asking ridiculous questions…and never take a photo with them. They’ll all look tiny. Turns out, other people were the problem all along!

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21 Challenges for a day to make you a better person

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Becoming the best version of yourself is no easy task. You might take a look at yourself and decide a million things need changing, or maybe just a few things need changing. In either case, there will be a few sticking points that you struggle to get past.

The simplest way to break through these issues is to hack away at them a little at a time. For example, if you find that you overeat, what is going to be easier? Eating a little less every week, or cutting down immediately to one small meal a day?

The fact is, however old you are, it has taken that many years to get to where you are. You can’t change 15, 20, 30, or 40 years of conditioning in just 30 seconds.

Sure, you can make a decision to change. You can overcome fears quickly given the right prompts. But ingrained habits will take a little longer.

Here’s our list of challenges for a day that you can try. See if you can improve your life and make yourself a better person.

  1. Spend a whole day without complaining. About ANYTHING.
  2. Hold doors open for other people
  3. Say ‘hello’ to everyone you meet. People are nicer than you think.
  4. Ignore the news. See how much happier you feel.
  5. Don’t snack between meals.
  6. If you smoke, cut it out for one day – or at the very least, cut it in half
  7. If you drink alcohol regularly, don’t. For just one day.
  8. Learn a new word. Use it in conversation.
  9. When someone asks you how you are today, tell them you’re fantastic. And tell them you hope they are too.
  10. Walk instead of driving or using public transport.
  11. Ditch the digital device. When you are with people, BE with them, don’t be caught up in your own little digital world.
  12. Practice catching negative thinking. Every time you have a bad thought, try and catch it, and throw it away. Eventually, turn this into positive thoughts all the time!
  13. Do a single push up once an hour, every hour (while you are awake obviously!)
  14. Don’t watch TV
  15. Don’t lie. Be honest with everyone.
  16. Only eat vegetables
  17. Only eat raw food (make sure it’s safe to eat – eg fruit, veg, cheese, etc. No raw chicken!)
  18. Clear out your wardrobe and donate the things you don’t need and don’t wear.
  19. Stay off social media. Kanye and Kim will still do whatever they are doing whether you are watching them or not.
  20. Make all your own meals.
  21. Smile. All the time. Until people think you’re crazy. That’s how much you need to smile.

Build new habits

Once you’ve tried a challenge for a day, don’t just stop. Try it again the following week. And then twice the week after that. As you gradually build up, you’ll find that your ‘new’ habits become your ‘true’ habits, and you’ll start to wonder how you lived the way you used to.

Do you have any challenges you’d like to try? Have you had any success at changing your habits? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Developing a Morning Routine – Get Hyped for the Day!

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What’s the point of developing a morning routine? You might just roll out of bed and hurl yourself into the day ahead without much thought or pre-planning. But most likely, that will be a recipe for disaster!

Look at your current morning routine

What do you do every day when you wake up? Roll out of bed? Go to the bathroom? Feed the dog? Make a pot of coffee?

Most of these things are probably essential, but they might not set you up for a great day.

Another common part of the morning routine for many people is to grab their phone and check their email the moment their eyes open. Your mind is not fully alert when you first wake up. You are prone to making rash decisions. So when the first email you read is bad news from work, you either react badly and send a reply you really shouldn’t, or you have a meltdown and start to panic.

And then it gets worse…

You’re now in a bad mood. You head to the shower, kick the innocent dog on the way, and get soap in your eyes because you’re not concentrating on the task at hand. Before you head out to work, you feed the dog, but don’t take him for a walk. You don’t eat anything yourself, because your mood has killed your appetite.

At work, the problem can’t be solved. You try thinking hard about it, but get a headache because you haven’t had enough to drink. You can’t concentrate properly because your stomach is rumbling, so you head out to the fast food place and fill yourself with junk.

How do you feel?

After feeling unwell all afternoon, you eventually decide the problem is unsolvable, and leave work early. You have got nothing worthwhile done.

Back home, you find the dog has relieved himself on the carpet, because he didn’t get his walk earlier. It’s not his fault, but you shout at him, and fell guilty the rest of the night. You get little sleep, still worrying about work, and arrive at the office the following day completely worn out…only to discover someone else fixed the problem just after you left yesterday.

You still have a bad day as you are extremely tired, and you snap at anyone who comes near.

But you couldn’t have done it any better, right?

Developing a morning routine

What if you made a few simple changes? How big would the impact be on your life?

Every person is an individual, and will have their own idea of what constitutes a great morning routine. However, there are certain things that can set you up for victory no matter what. Discounting the obvious things mentioned above, ie feeding pets, using the bathroom and so on, here are a few things to incorporate in your morning routine:

  • Exercise: Although you might not feel like it, getting a little bit of exercise gets your engine running. You don’t have to do an hour in the gym. A minute or so of push-ups, squats (with no weight), lunges, or anything that gets the blood pumping and gets you breathing heavily. Follow this up with a few seconds of stretching to get your muscles ready for the day.
  • Meditation: 10 minutes is all you need to get your head in the right place. You may think of meditation as a way of calming yourself down, so you might think that doing it later in the day is better – but if you do it first thing in the morning, you are strengthening yourself for the upcoming day, not fighting against what has already occurred. Use apps such as Headspace or Calm to help guide you.
  • Journal: Write down three things you are grateful for every single day. You don’t have to use a proper journal, just a piece of paper will work, but you must physically write it rather than type it on a screen. And if you don’t think you have anything to be grateful for, you’re wrong. You’re alive, you can write, you have a roof over your head. Things could always be worse, and the way to move forward is to be grateful for what you already have.
  • Fuel: Put something in your body that energizes you for the day ahead, whether it is a regular breakfast, or Bulletproof coffee. If you are currently on some kind of fast, then fine, don’t fuel yourself. If you aren’t fasting, eat something that is going to give you sustainable energy – preferably not a Pop Tart!

You can pick and choose what you do, as you are an individual, and you can make your own decisions. But if you can do as many of the above things as possible, you’ll set yourself up for a great day.

Getting hyped for the day ahead

So, now you are alive with your blood pumping, mentally calm, quite happy, and grateful for what you have. But are you hyped and excited for what is to come?

Add to your journal three things you are excited about happening. It might be a show you are going to, or a party, or just that you are going shopping for a new outfit. Maybe you’re meeting someone, or you have a massage booked. Whatever it is, write it down, and look forward to it right now. You can even add in something you are hoping for, if it is something that gets you truly excited!

While you do this, put on your personal “Get Hyped” playlist to get you in the mood. Here are our top 5 choices for hype songs:

Best Day of My Life – American Authors

If this song doesn’t brighten your day, then there’s not a lot we can do for you. It’s so catchy and cheerful, you can’t help but get hyped for the day!

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

It doesn’t matter whether you like Bruno Mars or not, the fact is it’s very difficult to stop yourself dancing to this song!

Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns n’ Roses

It’s an anthem. It makes you feel the passion to live. Get excited!

Stronger – Kanye West

Because what doesn’t kill you is going to make you stronger.

Viva la Vida – Coldplay

The title means either “Long Live Life” or just “Live the Life”, which is exactly what you should be doing – living life, not just surviving.

Face the day!

That’s it. You’re now fully prepared for the day, and you’re excited about it too. Every day could be the best day of your life, so make sure you’re ready to take advantage of it.

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Best practices for life, love…and business

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The concept of best practices is not new. It’s how you differentiate a beginner from a master – for example, anyone can make a cake. The master chef knows the best way to do things to make the cake that much better, while the beginner just follows the recipe as well as they can. But can you really have best practices for life, love…and business?

Setting your standards high

Anyone can do anything. How many times have you been told that? You can grow up to become president, or an astronaut, anything you want. The problem is, most people never try and reach the heights of what they could be, and if they do try, they fail because they don’t know what they are meant to be doing.

The way to find the best practices for whatever you choose is often to work backwards. The goal may be to become an astronaut. The last step is to be sitting in the chair, strapped in, waiting for the rocket to launch. But how did you get there? Years of training? Luck?

You can find out a lot of information through a web search – “how do I become an astronaut?” – but you can also discover a large amount by studying successful astronauts. How did Neil Armstrong become an astronaut? What about Buzz Aldrin? John Glenn? Susan Helms? By studying each of these people (even just a quick glance through Wikipedia entries), you will find patterns. These patterns will be things like discovering they flew jet planes before training to be astronauts, they studied physics in school, and perhaps they trained as engineers.

By combining the stories of people who are successful in a particular field, you will find the ideal model to follow to become whatever you want to be – ideally, this will be a simple, straightforward plan. The simpler it is, the better. When you can turn it into a list with checkboxes, you’ve most likely found the best practices to get you the result you desired.

Applying modelling to the best practices for life

There is an ideal ‘you’. At the moment, you might not be aware what it is, but unless you discover what you want to be, you’ll end up living your life in disappointment.

Spend some time setting some goals for yourself, and work out what will make you happy – design the life that would truly make you fulfilled.

And then, start the modelling process. Find people who have achieved everything you want to achieve (this doesn’t have to be one person for all your goals, you can find people for each goal you have) and find out how they did it. Create a model to follow to help you achieve greatness.

How can this work for love?

Modelling can work for anything – life, business, and love included. Try to make a list of people who have relationships you admire, people who are clearly in love and do what is best for their relationships. Remember, these don’t have to be famous people, they can just be people you know. When you’ve made a list of at least 5 people, look at the people on your list with a critical eye. What exactly do they do to make their relationships so fantastic? Are they always complementary to their partner? Do they treat them as an equal? And do they pamper them? Do they get up early or stay up late? Are they always spending a night in with their partner, or are they always going out?

Once you find common patterns, you’ll be able to attempt to emulate them in order to improve your own relationships. There will always be an outlier that does something different, but they are usually the exception – if you want to be successful, you’ll often have a better chance by following the path that others have taken before you, for these are the best practices. Best practices for life are simply the rules that specify the best way to do things for you to achieve the result you desire. There are of course other ways to achieve the results, but they usually won’t be as straightforward.

Building your own best practices for life

Only you know what you truly want to be and do. Once you’ve set your goals and found some people to model, make a list of your own best practices – things you need to do every day, things you need to do in certain situations, places you need to go, things you need to learn, and so on. Follow your list as if your happiness depended on it – because in a way, it does.

One thing to remember: a best practice will never put you or anyone else in danger. Your health, safety, and well-being is paramount. Without those three things, you stand little chance of being truly happy, so always look after yourself. There is a reason they are called “best” practices!

Don’t delay your happiness. Get started now, set some goals, find some models, and write down your own personal best practices!

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Boss Girls Profile: Ronda Rousey

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Ronda Rousey is an American fighter and actress, born February 1st 1987. She won Olympic bronze in 2008 for judo, and has been an MMA champion in both Strikeforce and the UFC. She has appeared in several movies, including Furious 7 and The Expendables 3.

What make Ronda Rousey a Boss Girl?

Ronda didn’t have everything handed to her on a plate. After a difficult childhood that included battling a speech disorder and the death of her father (who committed suicide after being paralysed in an accident), she followed in her mother’s footsteps and began training to become a judoka at the age of 11. At 17, she qualified for the 2004 Olympics, and won gold in the World Junior Judo Championships.

She won several more medal in the following years, including a bronze at the 2008 Olympics.

After retiring from judo, she began training in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and won her first match in 23 seconds. In 2012 she became the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and went on to become the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Her matches were known for being very short as she often dominated her opponents.

She lost the title in November 2015, and was unable to regain it in a title match in December 2016.

So if she is no longer the champion, why is Ronda Rousey a Boss Girl? Simply, because she battled through numerous difficulties to become the best in the world. She is a household name via a sport that is dominated by men. She’s as tough as leather, and strong as an ox. If you can emulate a tenth of what Ronda has achieved, you’ll be a success.

Ronda Rousey quotes – 10 of the best

“I’m scared of failure all the time, but I’m not scared enough to stop trying.”

“Once you start caring about people’s opinions of you, you give up control.”

“It is one thing to fight other people, but fighting yourself is different. If you’re fighting yourself, who wins? Who loses?”

“It is not about just winning the round. It is not just about winning the fight. It is about winning every single second of your life.”

“There is nothing in my life that I would go back and change, even the darkest moments. All the successes and greatest joys in my life are a result of the absolute worst things. Every missed opportunity is a blessing in disguise.”

“No matter how much you try or what you say, people aren’t going to fully understand you or where you’re coming from. You just have to get used to being misunderstood.”

“To be the best, you have to constantly be challenging yourself, raising the bar, pushing the limits of what you can do. Don’t stand still, leap forward.”

“No drug or amount of money or favoritism can ever give you belief in yourself.”

“There are so many ridiculous arguments that MMA is somehow anti-woman. Fighting is not a man’s thing, it is a human thing. To say that it is anti-woman is an anti-feminist statement.”

“There have always been people who have written me off. They’re not going away. I use that to motivate me. I’m driven to show them just how wrong they are.”

Photo credit: PedroGaytan [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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