On Tuesday, I shared the Dirty Dozen and paired it with CrossFit’s Dirty Thirty workout, creating the very first Dirty Dozen, Dirty Thirty. Today, let’s see what foods the Environmental Working Group reveal to be the cleanest, The Clean Fifteen.
These foods on these lists are from conventional farming. The Clean Fifteen are foods with the least amount of pesticides on them. If you get your foods from a CSA, farmers market, or an organic grocer, you don’t have too much to worry about either way.
While the foods on this list are considered “Clean”, don’t interpret “Clean” for “environmental”. Many of these foods do still have pesticides used on them, but the residue is not present. This does not mean these are foods that don’t require pesticides.
What is the big deal about pesticides anyways, you might wonder? Good question. It’s been a while since I mentioned my deep love and appreciation for bees, but now’s as good of a time as ever.
Many pesticides don’t discriminate between which types of “pests” it exterminates. It’s a poison, or another chemical, sprayed on the plants to keep aphids and other insects from eating them. The problem is it gets into non-pesky insects, like bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, and yes, kills them. In fact, pesticides containing neonicotinoids is right now being considered the biggest cause of Colony Collapse Syndrome in pollinating beehives across the country. It’s not pretty.
So, whether you are eating the Dirty Dozen or the Clean Fifteen, it’s better to go organic, if possible. It’s definitely better for you, but it’s also better for the environment.
And Speaking of Clean…
One of my favorite exercises in CrossFit is the Clean. You do need some sort of equipment for this exercise. If you have access to a barbell, dumbbells, or a medicine ball, you’ll be good to go. Please, please, please watch the videos (linked on the equipment name) or read the directions before just throwing a barbell around, folks. Cleans are super fun, but you can still hurt yourself if you aren’t careful.
For dumbbells and medicine balls, it’s a little bit easier, but still require practice to get comfortable.
Before each exercise, perform one clean. One. Clean. Then do 15 reps of each exercise.
15 each of:
Avocado Armadillo Rolls– Start in sitting position. Roll onto your back and bring your feet over your head. Roll back and use the momentum to propel yourself to your feet in a squat.
Sweet Corn Skull-crushers- Using dumbbells, plate weight, or medicine ball: standing or sitting, hold the weight with both hands and raise overhead. Keep your elbows close to your ear and bend ONLY your elbows to bring weight behind skull. Raise back to overhead.
Pineapple Push-ups: Begin in a plank position, either on your toes or on your knees. Slowly lower your body towards the floor while maintaining a rigid torso and head aligned with your spine. Your elbows should remain close to the sides of your body or flare outwards slightly. When your chin or chest touch the floor, press upwards back to your plank position.
Frozen Peas Frog Hops: Stand with legs apart, hands at your side. Squat down and place hands on ground between your legs. Jump up and bring legs together, squat down to place hands on ground on the outside of your legs. Jump up and repeat cycle
Onion Overhead Sit-ups: If using dumbbells or medicine ball: Hold ball or weights at chest while lying down in sit-up. Press weight overhead when sitting up.
Papaya Passes (Plank Pass): Place weight (dumbbell, medicine ball, sandbag) between your hands. Rise up in a plank hold. Keeping your body from shifting weight (try spreading your feet apart to distribute weight if needed), pass the weight from side to side.
Eggplants Can’t Jump (Elephants Can’t Jump):Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart. Bring your hands together clasped at your midsection (belly button level). Swing one knee up to meet your clasped hands (try not to bring hands down to meet the knee). When knee has returned to starting position, bring other knee up. Count completion of both sides as one repetition.
Asparagus Aquarist Kicks: Lay on your back with legs straight out. You can place your hands under your butt for extra support. Lift your feet a few inches off the ground. As if you are doing the back stroke in a swimming pool, kick your legs in a fluttering motion. Keep your legs as straight as possible, and hovering off the ground for the entire duration of the exercise.
Kiwi Kangaroo Jumps: Start in standing position. Bend slightly down and swing arms back to help with propulsion, then jump as far forward as you can, letting your body land in a squat to stabilize your effort. Exercise can be measured in distance or repetitions
Cabbage Crunches: Lie on the ground. Place hands behind head for support (lightly press head into hands and hands lightly into head). Lift your shoulders off the ground and crunch your abdomen. Lower back to the ground.
Cauliflower Crossovers: Position yourself on your side, in a side plank (supported by one elbow and if needed, one knee on the ground). Raise your upper leg up slightly, and move it forward and back, keeping the leg straight and maintaining a tight core. Keep your hips from moving or shifting. Let only the leg move. Switch sides.
Cantaloupe Calf-Raises: Stand upright, feet together. Raise arms laterally even with the shoulder. As you circle them in a medium diameter forward, also raise up onto your toes. Come back down as your circle completes. If you can keep the tempo and not lose count, try to go twice as fast with your calf raises as your arm circles. If you need another challenge, hold a five pound weight in each hand, or stand on the edge of a step and let your ankle hang off the edge as you do your calf raises.
Broccoli Bird-Dogs: Start in neutral position, on all fours. Maintain a neutral spine by casting eyes downward. Extend your right arm and left leg away from each other until they are parallel to the floor. Hold for 2 seconds, returning to to all four. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
Mushroom Climbers (Mountain Climbers): In a plank position, on your hands. Bring one leg all the way up to meet the elbow. Return to plank and repeat on the other side. (Video is of a modification called “Grasshopper” which demonstrates bringing the knee to opposite elbow)
Honeydew Melon Hippy Knee Huggers: Stand in neutral pose. Lift one leg and hold it with both arms, hugging it as close to your chest as you can manage. Hold the position for a count of 3 and release. Raise the other leg and repeat.
Don’t forget to do 1 clean, with a barbell, dumbbells, or medicine ball before each exercise.
Now you aren’t just eating clean, you’re exercising clean and mean as well!