Doctor's Orders: Go Organic
Honestly, some organic produce isn't worth the extra cash. However, the nonprofit organization known as the Environmental Working Group has a list it calls "The Dirty Dozen," which labels the 12 fruits and veggies produced with the highest amounts of pesticides. It may very well be worthwhile to go organic when buying these foods:
Some studies also show that certain types of organic produce contain more antioxidants than their industrial kin. These include:
When it comes to dairy, it's definitely worth it to buy organic. Research suggests that organic milk (milk from cows raised organically) contains higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), than regular (conventional, industrial) milk. These healthy fats can help you lose body fat; build lean, strong muscle; and even offer cardio-protective benefits.
Since dairy products like cottage cheese and yogurt are made from milk, it's also smart to choose organic versions of these products. Of course, if you buy skim milk or fat-free dairy products, you won't be getting the benefits of these healthy fats. So only buy organic if you go with low-, reduced-, or the whole-fat versions of these dairy products.
Organic beef (beef from organically raised cattle) is also worth the extra cash. Like the milk from organically raised dairy cows, the beef from organically raised cattle contains higher levels of CLA and omega-3 fatty acids. Research also has shown that organic beef contains higher levels of beta-carotene and vitamin E than conventional beef.
Every rest day is an active rest day. Rest days are for recovery; they're not an excuse to be lazy. Get out and hit 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio today, or perform 30-60 minutes of your favorite activity: hiking, biking, walking, playing a sport, etc.