Have you heard of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15?  The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) puts out a guide each year to educate consumers about which twelve fruits and vegetables have the highest level of  pesticides.  This list is updated every year.

              Dirty Dozen 2015
1) Apples
2) Peaches
3) Nectarines
4) Strawberries
5) Grapes
6) Celery
7) Spinach
8) Sweet Bell Peppers
9) Cucumbers
10)   Cherry Tomatoes
11)   Snap Peas-Imported
12)   Potatoes
Plus:  Hot Peppers, Kale & Collard Greens

Cut out the list above and carry it with you or put the list in your phone for a quick reference while you shop.

Shopping your local farmer’s market is a great way to get pesticide free produce.  Ask the farmer if they spray their crops to be sure you are getting organic produce.  Many farmer’s are not “Certified Organic” because of the additionalcost required by the government for that designation.  Be aware, the cost will be reflected in what you pay for that distinction, you can decide if that is important to you.
Go to spokanecares.org and type “Farmers Markets” in the search for a current list of farmer’s markets in our area.
              What is your unique gift?  We all have unique gifts but often fail to recognize them.
Each day you are giving to others and you may not even recognize it.  some gifts  we are born with while others are learned So, the next time someone asks for something from you, stop and think about what it is and you might discover that it is your unique gift.My gift is connecting and caring for others.  I am an Empath.  Do you find yourself organizing all the family events? Always there for friends and family members? Willing to lend a hand when someone is in need?  The one everyone goes to for advice?  Are you the one willing to listen to friends and family at any hour?  If you are shaking your head yes to any of the above or others not listed, then that is your unique gift!`An empath is marked by an acute sensitivity to the feeling of others, Empaths can actually feel another’s pain and can heal it in some way. Since Empaths pick up on the feelings of others, there is a great understanding and ability to really “see” the other person. Others tune into the Empaths energy and tend to gravitate towards them knowing they are “safe” with this empathetic person. Empaths can have a very expressive personality, are great listeners and often seen counseling and not just in the professional area, they will always find themselves helping others out and putting their own needs aside to do so.Very often there can be a swing to the opposite
end of the spectrum being quiet with a need to withdraw from the outside world to be alone and daydream. Empaths are passionate towards nature, beauty, animals and children. Animals are especially
dear to the heart. There is often an attraction to a special kind of animal but empathy towards all animals is a common characteristic. Animals and young children are especially attracted and drawn to the
Empath’s qualities. There tends to be an immediate connection of sorts.So, what is your unique gift?  A great way to find out is to ask others.  You can do this in person, via email or social media.  You will be pleasantly surprised by how others perceive you and your gifts.  You can also do this for others without solicitation.  You can share with your friends and loved ones their unique gifts.  This is so much more meaningful and lasting than any gift you could buy.















In gratitude,
Sabrina Gonder, CHHC, CCWS

Growing up as a kid in the Spokane Valley, every year we would grow a garden.  We planted corn, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers, squash, pumpkins, strawberries, rhubarb and more.

I loved eating the food from our garden however, I didn’t enjoy having to weed the garden.  Looking back I probably netted more strawberries in my belly than weeds picked.  My intentions were to get all the weeds picked in one day so I could play and this plan worked unless a creepy crawly thing showed up, then it was game over.

I really didn’t give much thought growing up about where my food came from.  food was food and there weren’t Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO’s) or Conventionally grown versus Organic concerns because all food was what we now call organic.

So, what happened to our food?  Why did we change a great thing and mess with nature?  The answer isn’t simple and it’s controversial.

The first genetically modified plant was produced in 1983, using an antibiotic-resistant tobacco plant.  In 1984, the transgenic Flvr Savr tomato was approved by the FDA for marketing in the US-the modification allowed the tomato to delay ripening after picking.  This was just the beginning.  For a detailed timeline, visit gmoinsider.org.


Tips to avoid GMO’s

1. Buy Organic.

2. Look for the Non GMO project seal.

3. Avoid at-risk ingredients: Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Cottonseed, Sugar Beets, Hawaiian Papaya (most) and a small amount of Zucchini Yellow Squash.



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