Did I hear birds chirping? Signs of spring often inspire new beginnings and getting rid of the old. Let’s see if we can find some unhealthy items to clean out to make room for all your healthy habits. If you have been working on your healthy lifestyle through the winter, you have been cutting out inflammatory foods like soy, dairy, gluten, and of course your allergies. These are great places to start but are there still unhealthy items taking up space in your kitchen? It’s time to find out!
Let’s clean out some items and make space for keeping your lifestyle healthy!
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 in 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 have been linked to breast cancer, testicular cancer, infertility, obesity, and developmental delays. Anything that messes with your natural hormones is detrimental to your overall wellbeing.
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 Dirty 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 my house or in our offices. We use toaster ovens to heat up our lunches and leftovers. Not only does the food taste better, it also protects some of the nutrients in your favorite foods. If I’m eating broccoli, I want all the nutritional components I can get.
3) Highly Processed Foods
So, 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 get rid of any temptation of the convenient processed food. Processed foods are filled with GMO’s, 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 overlook the spice cabinet. You might be surprised to learn that the spice rack can harbor some chemicals and sugar that can sneak into your diet. There is no room for toxic spices in a healthy kitchen.
If you haven’t switched your table salt to Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Sea Salt, start there. Salt has so many healthy 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, and other synthetic chemicals along with an alarming amount of sugar found in many seasonings.
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 our favorites in our healthy recipes section to help you get started.
5) Unhealthy Cookware
It also is 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. Every time you use that scratched up Teflon, or other nonstick cookware, toxic chemicals are leaching into your food.
These chemicals have been linked to inflammation, developmental delays, cancer, and a number of other potential risks. Check out our favorite healthier cookware options for ideas on how to make an impactful upgrade. You use your cookware way to often to use toxic cookware!
6) Toxic Cleaners
We can’t talk about spring cleaning without 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 common cleaners have been connected to asthma, cancer, reproductive problems, and the list goes on.
Just because harmful chemicals aren’t listed 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 have been banned in the European Union but are still used in the United States. Find out more about the potential chemicals in your supplies and healthier alternatives to avoid them in our article.
Let’s Spring into Action for a Healthy Kitchen
Did you find you need to do a little spring cleaning? Maybe you found some items you need to ditch for a healthy kitchen. Or did the list inspire you to check other areas of your life? I always say 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.
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn