We Are More Than What We Eat
What most of us don’t realize is that health is more than what we eat. We can change our diets. We can consume organic, seasonal food and cleanse our bodies of processed foods and sugars, but that alone is not enough. There is more impacting our lives and bodies than food alone.
I was a professional house cleaner for 15 years. Somewhere around year 6, I started eating healthy. I ate only organic and cut out most processed foods. One day while cleaning someone’s shower with bleach, I got short of breath, my heart started racing, and my eyes burned. It finally dawned on me… wow, this really couldn’t be healthy for me if my body is reacting like this! That was where my health journey started going beyond the realm of food alone. My eyes were opened to the fact that there was more going into my body and affecting my health than just the food that I was eating. What about the items that use to prepare, cook, and store our food? Those can leach chemicals into our bodies too! Here are some easy, inexpensive tips to detox your kitchen in under $100:
1. Change Out Your Non-Stick Pans: $20
If you are like me, you have a “go to” skillet that gets used up to several times a day. Many people use Teflon or a non-stick pan for ease of use. These are coated with a synthetic polymer called polytetrafluoroetheylene. When heated to high temperatures, the toxic fumes released have been known to kill pet birds and cause flu-like symptoms in people. No, thank you!
You can easily switch out to a safer alternative for under $20. My favorite skillet or pan is the Lodge 10” cast iron skillet. It’s a great size and not too heavy. Stainless steel is another good option, but go with surgical-grade if you can which can cost a bit more.
A cast iron or stainless steel pan can become non-stick most of the time simply by preheating it. If food does stick, you can use steel wool to clean a stainless pan, and for cast iron put a bit of water in it and bring it to a simmer. You should be able to easily wipe out the stuck food with a dish brush. Make sure to avoid using soap on your cast iron, because it takes off the seasoning, which is what makes food not stick.
2. Use Bees Wrap Instead of Plastic Wrap: $21.50
Some of us wouldn’t know what to do without plastic wrap, but it’s easier than you think to get rid of it. One of my favorite finds is BeesWrap. It is made of organic cotton, beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. It does everything plastic wrap does but without the plastic and chemicals that come along with plastic.
The beeswax warms up in your hands causing it to shape and mold to whatever you need it to cover or wrap around. It sticks to itself and holds its shape. The Beeswrap is reusable and easy to wash by simply rinsing. My favorite is the 3 pack they offer for $18. It comes with a small, medium, and large size.
3. Avoid Using a Microwave: Free
We haven’t had a microwave in 6 years, and we don’t miss it one bit. Microwaves change your food’s chemical structure, emit low amounts of radiation, and can cause chemical leakage from whatever container you are using to heat the food up in.
Simple options for not using a microwave include: 5” mini-skillets for reheating leftovers, saucepans for reheating liquids, and toaster or regular oven. If possible, get rid of your microwave altogether. If it’s not there, you will be impressed with how easy it is to creatively find a new (old-fashioned) way to reheat your food.
4. Change Out Plastic Storage for Glass $15-$50
One of my basic rules in having a non-toxic kitchen is to avoid plastic at all costs. There are some safer plastic options out there, but in my opinion, there are no completely safe plastic options and plastic isn’t good for the environment.
Glass is one of the safest food storage methods. There are no chemicals to leak into your food like with plastic. Plus, it’s easy to wash and store. My favorite is the Pyrex stackable bowls for $19-25. I also love Mason jars which are cheap and easy to find at many local stores. Mason jars don’t work great for leftovers, but they are wonderful for dry storage of bulk goods.
5. Stainless Steel Water Bottles $20-25
Speaking of plastic, water bottles are another easy way to make your kitchen non-toxic. Change out those disposable or non-disposable plastic water bottles for a stainless steel one. Again, plastic isn’t safe nor is it good for the environment.
My secret to keeping up with our water bottles is we only have one each. You’d be amazed at how much more likely you are to keep up with something when you only have one of it. It makes for a clutter-free kitchen and a happy mom.
My favorite bottles are Klean Kanteen, because they are high quality, come in various sizes, and have different lid options. But there are many other great brands and stainless steel bottle options out there!