10/23/2013 11:38 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Trying to Talk to My Family and Integrate Healthy Foods Into Our Lifestyles

I am very busy most of the time working and traveling, but so are my son and husband. We have a different situation going on with us because David takes care of our son and I work, and my work takes me away a lot. Whenever I get a chance to be home, my husband and I share as much as I can about what we know is healthy and what isn't. Which nowadays is a daunting prospect.

I recently found the dirty dozen foods on my iPhone, which I was able to share with my husband. That may sound simple, but I didn't realize what isn't that bad to eat non-organic and what is bad to eat non-organic. Also, if your kid is on a travel team, this means you will constantly be looking for a healthy choice, "take out" situation. Which means that when you get home you might stick it in the microwave to heat up, because that's the quickest thing. When kids are so hungry and complaining you try but resort to the healthiest, fastest food you can find, which sometimes isn't so healthy. And when you are a parent, you learn quickly it's all about how quick you need to move when you are maneuvering homework, travel sports and dinner. That's a complicated situation. When you are traveling on a sports team with your kid or just for work, it's not always in or near a city you are familiar with. So sometimes you just want the kid to eat so you'll get pizza, if they'll eat it, and hope they will eat a salad too. Usually they don't.

So my husband and I try and find lists of what is the healthiest take away food, and fruits you can snack on, which is what my husband has been doing. But the "Dirty Dozen" fruits and veggies with the most pesticides, this year, are important to know:

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Hot Peppers
  7. Nectarines
  8. Peaches
  9. Potatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Sweet bell peppers

But the list has widened to include squash and leafy green veggies like kale and collards. So even though it's called the Dirty Dozen, it's really like 15. What you need to remember when you shop is how loaded with pesticides the fruit or veggie may be that you are putting in your cart. The rise in allergies and a host of other illnesses could be contributed to how we grow our food. So for us, we tend to buy organic unless it's a very thick-skinned fruit. But here is what I've found to be the "Clean 15" that you can buy with out the use of so many pesticides:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Sweet Corn
  6. Eggplant
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Onions
  12. Papayas
  13. Pineapples
  14. Sweet peas
  15. Sweet potatoes

It's so hard to make the right choices for your family. We are lucky enough to be able to afford organic. But there are also some deals to be had with organic food. You need to research. There is a really good article posted on the net on called "Meet This Year's Dirty Dozen: 12 Fruits And Veggies to be Wary of." You'll find the article very enlightening and it may change the way you eat.

As far as doing things the right way for the people I love? I find I always need to look it up to be "better safe than sorry." I have more allergies now than I ever did. So I need to watch what I eat.

It's good to know about foods and what foods do what and have what vitamins in them. Now I'm staying away from wheat. Wheat and gluten seems to be in everything. So I just try to be diligent. But some days that doesn't work out for me and I break out.

I'm still learning discipline. I also get tired of swallowing vitamins and drinking drinks instead of eating. Now I try and eat the vitamins in my food. What has saved me is knowing that with every meal I need to eat raw food, like a salad or fruit. Although I recently purchased a machine called the "Nutibullet." It comes with a book on what foods have what vitamins in them. But you can research that too on the net or ask a health practitioner who understands how important a good diet is, and what a good diet is. For me I have found a combination of drinks and foods and that works.

I want to feel like I can still eat and chew my food as opposed to drinking everything. Oh yeah, and I forgot about water. I found that out the hard way from the headaches I would get when I was traveling. A person needs to drink two quarts a day. So I tried it and it made a difference. After that I found myself grabbing for food when really, I was just thirsty and needed to drink water. When I take a sec and listen to my body, I feel better. Yeah, you'll need to pee more often, but I'll take the healthy feeling over worrying that now I need to stop and use the rest room. What's the big deal, right?

All I can tell you is you can't give up on what you feed yourself or how you treat yourself or your family. And some days you may just go awry. But just keep trying and you'll get there. Anyway, that's what I tell myself, and it's working. So, good luck with that, and take care

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Cancer Schmancer Movement. CSM, founded by Fran Drescher, is embarking on a major prevention program through healthy lifestyle. In this series, five well-known celebrities will discuss their journey and struggles with various health issues and how a preventative lifestyle factors in as a solution. To see all the posts in the series, click here. To learn more about the Cancer Schmancer Movement, click here.

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