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So I have not been the savviest when it comes to this subject and have known that I need to step up my game. Here’s some of what I have learned after a bit of research…
Did you know chemical toxins are sneaking into your body on a daily basis—even if you’re living a super healthy lifestyle?
Toxins piggyback on the products you buy and use every day: household cleaners, soaps, lotions, detergent…they ride in on the soles of your shoes, hide in your food packaging, and even in the food itself!
What kind of toxins are we talking about?
- Bisphenol-A (BPA): A synthetic estrogen found in plastics and canned foods (and in 95% of people tested by the CDC). BPA is a synthetic estrogen, capable of blocking or mimicking the role of natural estrogen in the body, leading to hormonal imbalance, weight gain, and even infertility & miscarriage.
- Phthalates: A synthetic estrogen found in scented products, personal care products, and soft plastics (and found in 98% of people tested).
- Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA): A thyroid disrupting chemical found in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant products, and some food packaging.
- Pesticides: Hormone disrupting, developmental and reproductive toxins, neurotoxic, and carcinogenic, these are found as residues on conventionally grown produce and in meat and dairy products.
These chemicals have the ability to undo some of the hard work you’re putting into transforming your health, and they can leave you vulnerable to health struggles and disease. For me, I always think of my 2 girls and how these things will affect them as they grow and develop.
This may sound very “doom and gloom,” but know that there are things you can do to reduce your exposure and cut your risk of illness and disease as a result. You can make a big impact by focusing on your kitchen. Here are 6 simple steps to taking the toxins out:
- Go Organic. This might seem obvious, but eating organically isn’t just about more nutritious food, it’s about avoiding potent, dangerous pesticide residues linked to cancer, learning disabilities, neurotoxicity—and even weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes!
- Ditch Canned Foods.Canned foods of all kinds (beans, soup, soda) are lined with an epoxy coating that contains BPA, which can leach into the food it comes in contact with. Canned tomatoes are the worst, as their acidity pulls more BPA from the epoxy, into the food. Aim for food packed in glass jars. If canned beans are a must for your household, only buy Eden Organic brand beans, as they line their cans with a BPA-free enamel coating.
- Pass On Plastic.Those plastic tupperware containers that have been cluttering up your cabinets? Toss em! Some of the molecules used to produce that plastic isn’t tightly bound, which means that, like the BPA from cans, they can also leach into your food. Instead opt for Glasslock Containers or Stainless Steel Lunch Box and Food Storage Container. Also these plastic Food Containers are BPA free and are another great alternative. Big box stores all sell similar inexpensive containers in all shapes and sizes and of course Amazon!
- Skip the Non-Stick.
Non-stick cookware is made with PFOAs which has been shown to be released as a gas during high-temperature cooking. PFOA is a carcinogen, liver toxicant, and is linked to thyroid disease. Cast iron, when seasoned properly is a perfect alternative to non-stick! Check out this small Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 3 Piece Skillet Set on Amazon as an idea of what to look for.
- Green Your Cleaners.
Conventional household cleaners are full of a wide array of harmful chemicals, from ones that are acutely toxic to ones that are more subtle in their effects. Harsh chemicals are overkill and generally unnecessary. Use vinegar and baking soda to clean, and you’ll be much better off! (See Resources for a simple recipe.) A good friend of mine also turned us on to the O3 Pure Professional Eco Laundry Ozone Washer System. This hooks up to your washing machine and enables you to wash your clothes without detergent. We’ve saved a decent amount of money and have removed a source of chemicals by doing so. (Thanks, Ash) Yes, I know this does not pertain to the kitchen, but an article entitled “1 Tip to detoxify your Laundry Room” wouldn’t be very exciting.
- Watch Your Water.Did you know that your tap water can contain a long list of chemicals? From chlorine to fluoride, and unchecked pharmaceuticals, your water can deliver daily doses of toxins that have no place inside your body, and that contribute to your overall toxic load. While water filtration is a complicated and nuanced subject, the basics are this: always filter your water!
Detoxing isn’t just about cutting out sugar and drinking green juices. Real detoxing happens when you start removing toxins from the source. You’re likely already on a healthy kick in the kitchen, so keep up that momentum, make the simple shifts outlined here, and you’ll be on your way to a toxic-free kitchen in short order!
Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen List (organic food resource):
Clean Your Whole House with Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon