Fitness Friday: Feed your need

July 13, 2012
The triangle pose helps open and stretch the body. SOURCE IMAGES

Happy Friday droolers! Well we made it through another week. I must report that Droolface is still not walking. He does a few steps here and there, then giggles and goes back to crawling. It's like he knows we want him to walk and he gets a kick out of that possible? Probably not, but it does seem that way sometimes.

So here is what we are talking about today - organic food. What does this have to do with fitness? Well, a healthy body needs healthy food to thrive.

Kids and adults alike are what they eat. It's not just a cute saying.

For example, the other day I missed lunch, so while filling up the minivan at a WaWa, I popped into the store and grabbed one of their soft pretzels (one of my major downfalls). It was delicious and salty and I washed it down with a large bottle of water.

Later that day, I felt bloated and uncomfortable. It was just too much carbs for my stomach I guess. It was not a great feeling. If I had enjoyed a salad or some carrots with hummus, I likely would still have been full, but not have had that bloated feeling. You get where I'm going with this?

(Don't worry, there is some fitness coming, but first things first!)

There are lots of experts out there with lots of opinions about which foods are super and which ones are to be avoided. I make it more simple - stay away from overly processed and go for whole, natural foods. Always choose a pineapple over processed pineapple juice.

To help with grocery shopping, here is a quick list called The Dirty Dozen. These are foods that should be purchased organically. Organic foods remove pesticides, antibiotics and other not-so-yummy ingredients.

The Dirty Dozen:

1. Celery: Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals (64 of them!) that are used on crops. Buy organic celery, or choose alternatives like broccoli, radishes, and onions.

2. Peaches: Multiple pesticides (as many as 62 of them) are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit.

3. Strawberries: If you buy strawberries, especially out of season, they’re most likely imported from countries that have less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. 59 pesticides have been detected in residue on strawberries. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.

4. Apples: Like peaches, apples are typically grown with poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Tests have found 42 different pesticides as residue on apples. Scrubbing and peeling doesn’t eliminate chemical residue completely, so it’s best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas, and tangerines.

5. Blueberries: Blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.

6. Nectarines: With 33 different types of pesticides found on nectarines, they rank up there with apples and peaches among the dirtiest tree fruit. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya, and mango.

7. Bell peppers: Peppers have thin skins that don’t offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They’re often heavily sprayed with insecticides. (Tests have found 49 different pesticides on sweet bell peppers.) Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include green peas, broccoli, and cabbage.

8. Spinach: Spinach can be laced with as many as 48 different pesticides, making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetable.

9. Kale: Traditionally, kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus, and broccoli.

10. Cherries: Even locally grown cherries are not necessarily safe. Cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue then imported cherries. Government testing has found 42 different pesticides on cherries. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include raspberries and cranberries.

11. Potatoes: This family-friendly vegetable can be laced with as many as 37 different pesticides. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage, and earthy mushrooms.

12. Grapes: Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Only imported grapes make the 2010 Dirty Dozen list. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape’s thin skin. Remember, wine is made from grapes, which testing shows can harbor as many as 34 different pesticides. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and raspberries.


And now for the fitness!

This week I interviewed Kate Fitzgerald of Involution Yoga, which will be opening next week outside Lewes.

Fitzgerald had long been suffering from soreness from several car accidents. While on vacation in North Carolina she decided to take an Ashtanga yoga class. It turned out to be the perfect solution for her aches and pains.

She now is a licensed Ashtanga yoga teacher, and regularly takes classes and workshops to improve her skills.

Unlike other yoga practices, Ashtanga uses the same series of poses every time. It's this sequence that creates an inner heat, improves strength and flexibility. As one continues performing the series (3-5 times each week), she improves and finds new meaning in each pose.

Here are two poses from the primary Ashtanga series.

1. Padangushthasana - Big word, great pose.

Stand with your feet shoulder/hip width apart, hands on waist. Then bending forward, wrap your first three fingers around your big toes. Looking forward and up, open the chest and sternum, and lengthen the spine. Bending at ellbows, focus on lengthening neck muscles, while keeping your head close to your knees. Lift your head out and hold. Then slowly release the position and return to standing.

2. Triangle-pose.

Standing with feet shoulder width apart, step your right foot out to the side, keeping your at a 90 degree angle (toes point straight/forward). Turn your left foot so it turns slightly in, and extend arms out to your sides, parallel to the floor. Then grab right big toe (thumb from outside, index- and middle-finger from inside) and raise the opposite hand straight up in the air so it is perpendicular to the floor. Turn your head to look at your raised hand and hold. Slowly release and repeat on opposite side.


Ashtanga is a lifelong practice and not for everyone, said Fitzgerald. Learn more about Ashtanga online or contact a local yoga practice to see if they offer beginner classes.

Have a great weekend in the kingdom of drool - we will see you back here Monday!


  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."