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2018 Dirty Dozen

Dirty Dozen; pesticides on your produce toxins we don't need. Q4fit.com

I love that we seem to be getting much more aware of the foods that we eat.  Now we are still the fattest generation ever, but that has to do with the over processed foods we eat and the lack of movements that we do on a general basis.  

We are no longer eating the food we grow or raise and we no longer know which farm the rest of our food comes from.

We are also no longer working the farm, walking to work, or even tending to our yard.  As a society, we are no longer the people the last few generations were.

But, there are good things about this time in history too.  One of the best things is the access to information. We have at the tips of our fingers more information than we can even imagine.  This is both a blessing and a curse.

It is a blessing because if you want to know something it, Google it.  Easy peasy. There are multiple search engines, Safari, Bing, Yahoo. From there the info is almost endless.  You can find info in video form on youtube. You can search with images on Pinterest. You can find info like your old encyclopedia in Wikipedia, and that is just barely the beginning of ways to search and find.

Now that you have the world at your fingertips, the problem becomes what do you do with it.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t do anything with this knowledge. We play games, we watch mindless cute cat videos, we look at other people’s lives on Instagram and Facebook and find other ways to fill the small spaces of time in our days.

This week I became aware of a list.  Well, actually two lists. These lists are lists I think we should all be aware of.  The lists are irrelevant if we don’t do anything with this information, but I truly feel that if you have info that you know that others will benefit from, you NEED to share it.

According to the   Environmental Working Group, there is a list that they call the Dirty Dozen and then another list called the Clean 15.  These are lists that the EWG has put together in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP) report.  The Dirty Dozen is a list of fruits and veggies with the highest concentration of pesticides on them.

This sounds really scary, well it is.  Pesticides, although intended for insects, are at its source, poison.  That is why the farmers use them. Now, the pesticides won’t kill us the way they do those little critters, but when we eat the produce, we obviously eat the toxins.  The problem with ingesting these toxins is that we just hang on to them. The toxins are chemicals that our bodies don’t know how to get rid of, so our bodies store them.  As we eat more, we store more. Not cool.

I am in no way saying don’t eat these fruits and veggies, quite the opposite.  You should still eat them. Eat lots of them. They are still good for you. I love to eat all the things on this list.

The Dirty Dozen List

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

What a great list of produce.

There is good news to go with this list.  There is a pretty simple solution. Actually, there are a couple.  First, when you choose to eat organic, you are generally choosing to eat pesticide free.  Not always, but generally it is the better option.

There is another option. Wash your produce.  Yup, it really is that simple. You can use dish soap.  You can just use water. From what I have learned, it the action of rubbing that has the largest result in removing the toxins.  You can also use the little method below.


  1. Fill a large bowl with water.
  2. Then add a teaspoon of baking soda.
  3. Add the veggies.
  4. Soak for a minute or two.
  5. Scrub with a brush.
  6. And finally, rinse off the veggies.

The most important thing is that you are now informed and you have the power in your hands to choose to do something or not.  Let’s face it, knowledge is power. It is up to you.

In the next blog, we will talk about the Clean 15.  In the meantime, eat your fruits and veggies.


Accepting your own mortality is like eating your vegetables: You may not want to do it, but it's good for you. -Caitlin Doughty


Moving On From Stress

Stormy clouds to blue sky. Better times ahead, concept. Window on improved weather. Q4fit.com

We live in a very busy complicated world.  We are told on a regular basis just what we are supposed to do and feel.  We have invited strangers into our lives through social media and we feel that their opinion of us is needed, necessary, and worth listening to.  We are feeling totally overwhelmed if we don’t have our act together, we don’t have a plan, we don’t have a specific goal, or even have a clue what is going to happen next.  But I am here to remind you of something you already know, but have forgotten.

You are going to be ok.

  • Maybe not today.
  • Maybe not tomorrow.  
  • Maybe not next year.
  • Maybe not what you used to be all about, but ok just the same.

We have become used to being in constant stress and when we try to de-stress, we are supposed to know how to do that too.  We hear words like self-care, you do you, and total relaxation, yeah, like that is actually a thing.

With the world at our fingers in the form of our laptops, pads, phones, we should have things totally figured out or at least know where and how to find the answers.  And yet, we are actually living in a world with more stress, or so we are made to feel.

The thing is that life was never promised to be stress-free.  Ok, maybe that doesn’t make you feel any better either, but it should.  Life is stressful. It always has been, it always will be. It is just different stress than ever before.

A hundred years ago when people lived to the ripe old age of  40ish, not kidding for men it was 26 for women it was 42, they had stress.  They just didn’t tell everyone. You just dealt with it. Now, we know so much more about how to handle such stress.  We know that just ‘handling it’ isn’t the answer either. We are way more complex beings for that. And it is totally possible that ‘handling it’ may have lead to the lifeline being as short as it was. Hhhmmm

Learning how to deal with stress is really important.  The stress isn’t going anywhere so it’s time to find what works for you.  We all have different levels of stress. We all have different kinds of stress.  We all have different ways we deal with stress. So with all those variable is there any one thing that is constant? Actually yes, there is.

It won’t last forever.

Does that seem lame?  It shouldn’t. I know when you are up to your eyeballs in whatever it is you have to deal with.  That is the last thing you want to hear. It’s like hearing someone tell you to cheer up when you are sad.  ‘ yeah, sure, I’ll get right on that!’ But it is truer than true. Nothing lasts forever.

  • Tomorrow the sun will come up and a whole new day will begin.  
  • Jan 1 will happen and a new year will begin.
  • June 21 will come and another summer will be here.  
  • Babies are born and people die.
  • Nothing lasts forever.
  • Your stress won’t either!

When you are thinking about that stress, think about when you were all upset about studying for finals in high school.  You got through that.  You asked that girl out for a date.  Maybe she said no, maybe she is your wife now.  You got through that.  That job interview that was making you sweat through your shirt.  You got through that.  You survived so many things that you have totally forgotten about and then moved on to the next great adventure.

It’s time to move on to that next great adventure that is waiting for you.  Take a breath. Close your eyes for a moment. Take your shot at the next thing that will cause you stress and deal with it.  

  • Have a cry.
  • Have a laugh.
  • Eat the cake.
  • Drink the drink.
  • Drive that car.
  • Take that flight.
  • Show up for that interview.
  • Be on time for that meeting.
  • Call that friend.
  • Forgive that family member.
  • Pet the dog.
  • Feel the sun on your face.


Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There's going to be stress in life, but it's your choice whether you let it affect you or not. – Valerie Bertinelli


Food is Not the Enemy

Food fight nutrition concept as a fresh healthy broccoli fighting an unhealthy cheese burger. Food is Not the Enemy Q4fit.com

Do you feel like you are all alone out there with no support?  There are a lot of people that are trying so hard to make positive changes in their world and they are doing all the right stuff and yet feel like they are doing it all by themselves.

Anytime you are trying to change something you know that you will be up against resistance.  Even if the change is for good and even if everyone wants the change. But, the ugly truth is that we are sometimes our own worst enemy.

Weight Loss is hard. 

It will never change. Some people are never going to know the struggle of someone who has thought about how much they weigh, what size they are, if people are watching them eat, is this the right amount of food, am I eating too much or not enough, how many calories are in this, or can others see the jiggle that I feel when all I am doing is walking?

These sound awful and even hurtful, and they are, but someone who is struggling with their own self-image and weight loss knows all too well that these kinds of conversations that never really end inside your own head and yet would never in a million years say them out loud to another human unless they really, really want to hurt them.

When you want to know the real secret to lose weight you actually only need to look inside your own mind. Not your plate.  Not your gym. Not your fridge. Not your jeans. Not even your genes. The real secret to weight loss is…you need to get your own mind and attitude in the place that it needs to be to make it happen.

  • Anyone can order a meal and eat it.
  • Anyone can show up at the gym.
  • Anyone can get off the couch and burn some calories.
  • Anyone can restrict the number of calories you consume.  
  • Want me to go on?
  • Or do you get my meaning?

Until you truly ready to deal with why you eat too much, move too little, eat more unhealthy choices than is good for you and everything that you do to yourself to slow or halt your progress, you will never be THAT size and stay THAT size.

Food is not bad for you.  Remember that, food is not the enemy.  You really should not have that kind of attachment to any one or group of food.  Food is meant to sustain you. Yup, some of it tastes amazing. Some of it smells like you have wakened in a dreamland.  But until you can get a handle on why you are eating and when and how much, food will always feel like the bad guy.

We, as humans, have attached way too many feelings to the food we eat.

We need to stop using food.  

Take a look at the people you will see today.  Whether it is on the train to work. The people at work.  The kids at school. Even the people on the tv. When was the last time you saw someone who was actually going to die of starvation because they missed a meal?  Going hungry is not a punishment. Being hungry should not be a cause to grab the first food item you see and stuff it in as quickly as you can and not stop until either it is all gone or you are so uncomfortable you lost track of what you were actually doing.

It’s time to spend some introspection.  Being overweight is not normally a death sentence, although it can be.

When you are ready to start one more time, let’s make sure it is the best time and the last time.

I have actually created a “Fast Start Weight Loss & Better Health Guide”

You can download it for free.

We can and will walk through your journey with you.  As I sit here writing this, I am yet again, recommitting myself to my own goals and will be right there with you.

It’s time to live the life you were meant to live in the size that you were meant to be.


Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. – Og Mandino


Celebrate Change

Celebrate Change even as we celebrate aging. Q4fit.com

This time of year is a busy one at our house.  For years it was, of course, back to school. Just like millions of families, it is time to get back on the bus to school and regular schedule.  But as it happens, time marches on. We no longer have kids running out to get school supplies. No fall boots to buy, no lunch bags to grab, backpacks are just for fun now, so that means we get to focus on other things.   

It’s funny how things change.  

Some days I really miss the chaos of getting three kids out the door to school.  There was comfort in knowing the routine. The kids knew what was expected of them and they knew what to expect from us.  The morning routines were crazy but expected. We all knew our jobs and we all knew what the day was going to start like. The end of the school day was always different.  With multiple activities from everyone in the house, I had one of those crazy big calendars on the fridge and the saying was “if it wasn’t in the calendar, it didn’t exist”.

Yup, times have changed so much.  

When we started out with our little family, we thought we knew what it would look like.  Boy, did we have no idea. There is no way on earth that I would or could have expected my world to look like it does.  But that is life. If all of life was predicted and expected, it would be so amazingly boring.

Now, two of our three kids live in their own homes.  Now, if we want chaos, we just invite them all home. And that is when I remember that sound and kind of miss it.  

Life is supposed to change.  We are supposed to learn to adapt to the new.  We are not supposed to get so comfortable in our own world that we start to become part of the furniture.  Change is actually the only constant you can depend on.

Like the fact that it was just Doug’s birthday.  Cake, candles, presents, special dinner, you know, birthday stuff.  But now the birthdays are so different. For one thing, we have a grandson and within the month we will have another grandbaby.  I am so amazingly excited. Talk about change. The noise is no longer the adult kids as much as it is all of us playing with the toddler in the room.

The other thing that is funny this year is that Doug is actually excited about this birthday.  He is 55 years young. Some birthdays are lots of fun. Some are supposed to be a party, like every birthday that ends in a 0…30,40, 50.  Some birthdays are a little harder to handle like …30,40,50. We, tend to put a whole lot of importance on that all-important number. How old you are has less to do with the number and more to do with how old you feel.  But, Doug has had fun with 55. In some places, he now receives a seniors discount. Oh man!

The funny thing about the discount is that I doubt he will ever ask for it.  Just because he is old enough to get it, he still has to ask for it. Like most things that we are entitled to, you still may have to ask for it.

The best part of this 55 age thing is that we are both so much healthier than we were most of the rest of our lives.  Since finding the gym and losing the bulk of our extra weight, we are in much better shape than we have been in most of our adult lives.  Had we been this healthy while our kids were young and doing that back to school routine, our world would have looked so different.

So, we look back at all the things we could have, would have, should have and realize that we still can.  Sure things have changed and we are not kids in our 20’s anymore, but we are now in the place where we will embrace that change and run with it.  We are celebrating the fact that Doug may be the oldest guy in our gym. Without asking, it is a little hard to know for sure. We may not be the fastest, strongest, most agile, compared to the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s that train alongside us.  But we are there doing it instead of living with the regret of giving up.

Embrace change.  Learn to love it.  Or at least learn to accept it.  Change is a good thing. Do all you can to never stop changing.


Happy Birthday, Doug!

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. – Carol Burnett