Do you hear birds chirping? Signs of spring often inspire new beginnings and getting rid of the old. Let’s look at some unhealthy items to clean out to make room for all your new healthy habits. If you’ve been working on your healthy lifestyle through the winter, you’ve been cutting out inflammatory foods like soy, dairy, gluten, and your food allergies. These are great places to start, but are some unhealthy items still taking up space in your kitchen? It’s time to find out!
Let’s clean out some items and make space for a healthy lifestyle!
Spring Clean these 6 Items to Ditch for a Healthy Kitchen and a Healthier Lifestyle
1) Plastic Food Containers
Did you know a study found the average person ingests 5 grams of plastic every week? Not on purpose but through our foods, water, and even the air we breathe. Ditch your plastic food containers for the healthier glass option. The convenience of plastics isn’t worth the health risks. Plastic has become so pervasive in our lives along with the too-common health risks of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals they contain. Endocrine disruptors mimic hormones, and researchers have linked them to breast cancer, testicular cancer, infertility, obesity, and developmental delays. Anything that messes with your natural hormones is detrimental to your overall well-being.
When plastic products break down from heating, cooling, or as they age, those chemicals leach into your food. Clean these out of your cupboard and please never heat your food in them — especially in the microwave. Speaking of microwaves, that’s our next item to ditch for a healthier kitchen.
2) The Microwave
Send that microwave to the electronics recycler and upgrade to a toaster oven. You might be surprised that you won’t find a microwave at the Flynn house or our offices. We use toaster ovens to heat up our lunches and leftovers. Not only does the food taste better, but it also protects some of the nutrients in foods. If you’re eating broccoli, you want all the nutritional components possible.
3) Highly Processed Foods
You may have started purchasing healthier foods, but you might still have a lot of highly processed foods in the pantry or kitchen cabinets. Toss them if they are expired or donate them if they aren’t. Commit to your healthy lifestyle and eliminate any temptation to reach for convenient processed food. Processed foods have GMOs, chemicals, and other inflammatory ingredients. Make space on your shelf and in your life for healthier options.
4) Unhealthy Seasonings
As you upgrade your refrigerator and pantry with healthier foods, don’t forget the spice cabinet. You might be surprised that the spice rack can harbor some chemical additives, including the notorious monosodium glutamate (MSG). Small amounts of sugar can also sneak into your diet if you’re not careful — it can be hidden under names like dextrose and corn syrup solids. There’s no room for toxic spices in a healthy kitchen.
If you still need to switch your table salt to Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Sea Salt, start there. Salt has many health benefits if it doesn’t have the added chemicals. Upgrade your most common spices with organic ones, ditch the suspect ones, and keep an eye on the labels of your seasonings too. There could be flavor enhancers, artificial colors, preservatives, other synthetic chemicals, and an alarming amount of sugar in many seasoning mixes.
Don’t sabotage your healthy diet with harmful chemicals and added sugars! The best way to know what is in your seasonings is to make your own with quality organic spices. Find some of our favorites in our healthy recipes section to help you get started.
5) Unhealthy Cookware
It’s also time to recycle that nonstick cookware that’s all scratched up in your cupboard and replace it with healthier cookware like ceramic, stainless steel, glass, or cast iron. Each time you use that scratched-up Teflon, or other nonstick cookware, toxic chemicals are leaching into your food.
These chemicals contribute to inflammation, developmental delays, cancer, and other potential risks. Check out our favorite healthier cookware options for ideas on how to make an impactful upgrade. You use your cookware way too often to use toxic cookware!
6) Toxic Cleaners
We cannot talk about spring cleaning without also talking about toxic cleaners. Make sure you are cleaning with nontoxic cleaners! Many popular cleaners have chemicals that are harmful to humans and harmful to the environment. Your spring-cleaning supplies shouldn’t be toxic to your health, yet many chemicals found in everyday cleaners researchers have connected to asthma, cancer, reproductive problems, and more.
Just because harmful chemicals don’t show up on the bottle doesn’t mean they aren’t inside your everyday cleaners. There is no FDA requirement regarding labeling your cleaning supplies. Some of these chemicals are banned in the European Union, yet we still use them in the United States. Find out more about the potential chemicals in your cleaning supplies and healthier alternatives in our article.
Spring Action and Create A Healthy Kitchen
Do you need to do a little spring cleaning? You may have discovered some items you need to ditch for a healthy kitchen. Or perhaps the list inspired you to check other areas of your life. It’s good to start somewhere, but you also have to keep improving. A healthy lifestyle is about taking steps in the right direction every day. Every day? Every day.