12 of the Best Ways to Get a Toxic Free Kitchen

 

12 of the Best Ways to a Toxin-Free Kitchen

Your kitchen is where you prepare healthy meals, so you want it as pristine as possible. And, that means free of toxins.

So, how do you get a toxic free kitchen? Try these 12 ways and get a new perspective on a healthy kitchen.

How to Get a Toxic Free Kitchen


First, you need to know a bit about PFCs to create a toxic-free kitchen. Where do you find PFCs? Think non-stick cookware, water, wrappers, clothing, carpeting, and yes, popcorn bags!?!

  • Poly-fluorochemicals, known as PFCs, are a family of chemicals that are widely used to make water, grease, and stain-repellent coatings. PFCs are used to make the following:
    • Non-stick cookware
    • Fast food wrappers/pizza boxes
    • Microwave popcorn bags
    • Stain resistant carpet coating
    • Stain resistant and water-repellent clothing

Are you surprised by this list? So, basically, anything that is grease, water or stain resistant could have been treated.

  • PFCs are found in water and soil, and in your blood, and some are linked to serious health effects.
  • PFOA is one of the chemicals in the PFC family. It is being phased out this year (2015). PFOA was a key ingredient in the production of Teflon pans.
  • Before you start celebrating the phase-out of PFOA, there is no evidence that chemicals replacing PFOA are any safer according to industry experts.
  • Just one more fact…
  • Is PFOA dangerous? EPA studies say “suggestive evidence of carcinogenicity”. Other studies have shown higher than normal cholesterol levels, thyroid disease, and reduced fertility.

Now that you’ve got the goods on PFCs, you can start learning how to avoid them.


1. Avoid non-stick cookware


You should try to avoid any type of non-stick cookware like pans, pie tins and cupcake tins. And, don’t forget the cookie sheets.

Non-stick cookware can release dangerous fumes if overheated. There’s actually a name for the flu-like symptoms. It’s called Polymer Fume Fever in humans.

Overheated non-stick cookware fumes are sometimes fatal to birds.

It’s unclear if non-stick cookware is a major source of PFC exposure compared to other sources (remember the list above). Some studies suggested that PFC exposure when using non-stick was low while other studies did not.

The lack of clarity around the dangers is kind of frustrating, isn’t it?

Not into risk taking?

Your best bet is to use other options. Try these other great ways to cook without the worry or risk.

  • Stainless Steel (actually better for cooking than non-stick)
  • Cast Iron
  • Ceramic Baking Dishes
  • Glass Baking and Pie Dishes

These alternatives have the added benefit of being long-lasting unlike non-stick pans and trays.


2. Use your cooking vent or air cleaner


Any type of combustion creates fumes. By using your cooking vent, you can remove these from your kitchen and breathe easier.

You may also find it helpful to put your air cleaner/purifier near your kitchen to clean up your air. A good air cleaner can remove cooking odors, smoke and any VOCs created while cooking.


3. Switch from plastic storage containers to glass


Once you switch from plastic storage containers to glass, you’ll wonder why you ever used plastic. You’ll love your glass storage containers.

Glass containers stack, clean up easily and are much healthier than plastic. Just think, no more greasy residue on your containers.

Use Glass Containers Instead of Plastic for Kitchen Storage

Trade in plastic pitchers for glass, and if you use plastic drinking glasses, consider switching to glass.


4. Roast, bake, broil and saute with the right oil


Use refined oils with higher smoke points for medium and high-temperature cooking.

Why?

Because when you use low smoke point oils like extra virgin olive oil for roasting and medium to high heat sauteing, you release harmful fumes.

Want to learn more? Read Cooking Oils 101. It’s got everything you need to know about cooking oils.


5. Make popcorn the old-fashioned way on the stove


Did you notice at the beginning of the article that microwave popcorn bags are coated with PFCs?

Try making popcorn on the stove in a stainless steel pot using a high heat oil like organic safflower or sunflower. You’ll realize that it’s pretty easy, and the popcorn tastes amazing.

After you add real butter, you’ll wonder why you ever ate microwave popcorn.


6. Limit use of take-out/processed food like pizza


Some take-out wrappers are treated with PFCs. While you may not want to alter your take out lifestyle, being aware of the issue is a good start.

It’s all about balance.

Try not store your leftovers in the wrapper or box.


7. Rethink plastic wrap


Rethink your use of plastic wrap by using it less often or not at all. Plastic wrap can be made with PVC or BPA. Neither is good.

Try Bee’s Wraps, an alternative to plastic wrap. Check out the video below to see how they work. You’ll be surprised at how well this plastic wrap alternative works!

baguette 1

Read more about which plastics to avoid.


8. Switch from plastic cutting boards to wood or glass


Using a wood cutting board is a great option to replace plastic. Think about how gnarly your plastic cutting boards look after a few months of slicing and dicing. Wood holds up much better and is healthier.

You can easily sanitize your wood boards by rubbing the surface with a lemon slice or using full strength vinegar.

You may also like to use glass cutting boards because you can clean them in the dishwasher.


9. Try wood or stainless cooking utensils and not plastic


Consider replacing your plastics with wood or stainless for spoons, spatulas, and ladles.

After all, you won’t need your plastic spatula, since you’ll be ditching your non-stick pans, right?


10. Use safe kitchen cleaners and soaps


Kitchen cleaners and soaps may contain harmful ingredients. The Consumer Products Safety Commission regulates these items and has lax guidelines for ingredient disclosure.

Cleaning Products Aren't Tested for Safety

In fact, the guidelines are so lax that manufacturers can disclose all, some or none of the ingredients. So, even if you do a good job of label reading, you could still be using a product that produces harmful fumes.

It’s disturbing, isn’t it?

Learn more about what’s in your cleaners and soaps. Find safer alternatives or make your own.

Shop the Pure Living Space clean and all natural laundry and cleaning products. Highly effective and safe for your family!

 


11. Install a water filter


Are you still drinking unfiltered tap water? If so, you may want to install a water filter.

Your drinking water has PFCs.

And, here’s the kicker.

The EPA does not regulate the amount of PFOA or PFOS (both types of PFCs). A good carbon filter will take care of these contaminants for you.

Click here to check out your options.

The Minimalist Guide to Water Filters is a great resource for anyone looking for a top-notch water filter. It’s a great, simple tool to pick the right type of filter with a short list of the best-rated filters.


12. Don’t use the self-cleaning oven feature


You may think that using the self-cleaning setting on your oven is a great idea because you’re simply heating up the oven and not using any cleaners.

Unfortunately, when your oven reaches over 600 degrees, it can start emitting nasty fumes. These fumes come from your oven’s interior coating off-gassing or residual food burning and releasing carbon monoxide. Neither is good.

While it is well documented that pet birds can succumb to self-cleaning oven fumes, it’s unclear how toxic the fumes are to humans, with the exception of carbon monoxide.

Why risk it?

You know when you use the self-cleaning feature, your house fills with fumes that last for hours. Do you really want to breathe that?

What should you use instead?

Try generously sprinkling baking soda in your oven. Pour white vinegar on top coating the baking soda. Listen for the bubbling sound.

This is the sound of cleaning taking place without any effort on your part. Wait 3-5 hours. Then mop up the vinegar and soda with a towel. You’ll be amazed at the shine.


Just curious…


How many of the 12 best ways were a surprise to you? A few? More?

If so, sign up for Zen of Pure Living 12 Week Email Series. You’ll learn how to create a toxic-free home easily and without the hassle. Subscribers call it a “must read”.  Sign up!

Please share!

The Surprising Way to a Clean Oven Without Fumes

The Surprising Way to Clean Your Oven Without Fumes

You may think that using the self-cleaning setting on your oven is a great idea because you’re simply heating up the oven and not using any cleaners.

Unfortunately, when your oven reaches over 600 degrees, it can start emitting nasty fumes. These fumes can be from your oven’s interior coating off-gassing or residual food burning and releasing carbon monoxide. Neither is good.

While it is well documented that pet birds can be killed from self-cleaning oven fumes, it’s unclear how toxic the fumes are to humans, with the exception of carbon monoxide.

Why risk it?

You know when you use the self-cleaning feature, your house fills with fumes that last for hours. Do you really want to breathe that?

What should you do instead?


How to Get a Clean Oven Without Fumes


You can clean your oven easily by following these simple steps. Very little elbow grease is involved, really!

Fill the bottom of your oven with an even layer of baking soda. Pour white vinegar over the baking soda.

You’ll hear bubbling as the soda and vinegar react. This is the sound of cleaning taking place in your oven without any effort from you.

Close the oven door and wait for three to five hours. Wait longer for greasier messes. Then, wipe up the vinegar and soda with an absorbent towel. You might have one or two areas to work on, but it won’t be much.

It’s a bit like magic.

Plus, no awful fumes.


Just Curious


Was this helpful to you?

If so, sign up for Zen of Pure Living 12 Week Email Series. You’ll learn how to create a toxic free home easily and without the hassle. Sign up!

Please share!

How to Get an Amazing Water Filter Dirt Cheap

How to Get an Amazing Water Filter Dirt Cheap

You can easily get overwhelmed when shopping for a home water filter system. Wouldn’t it be great if it were easier? Well, it is pretty simple if you know who to trust.

A good place to start with building trust is checking out the systems’ certifications. The gold standard is NSF certification. NSF has several types of certifications. It is an international third-party that tests and verifies manufacturers’ claims.

Not all manufacturers take advantage of these certifications. You should find ones that do.


What to Look for in a Home Water Filter


For carbon filter systems, you want a system tested for NSF 42-Aesthetic Effects and NSF 53-Health Effects. It’s not enough to just check for certifications, you need to read the results.

Yes, it’s a lot of fine print!

Fortunately for you, you’ve got people to do this for you. Each NSF test has a minimum reduction requirement that could be as little as 50%. You probably want to know if a system is only reducing 50% of a contaminant or if it’s achieving a 99% reduction. Which would you rather have?

Anyway, your report-reading peeps poured over countless reports and found one system that really stood out.


Best Buy – Austin Springs Under Counter Water Filter System


The Austin Springs Under Counter Water Filter System is a best buy. It removes 60 contaminants including chlorine (97%) and chloramine (98%), VOC’s (95-99%) including TTHM’s (95%), lead (99%), mercury (97%), and MTBE (82%). It even comes with a faucet in either Chrome or Brushed Nickel.

What about maintaining healthy minerals?

The Austin Springs Water Filter maintains levels of healthy minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium in your tap water. So, no worries about stripping out the good stuff with the bad stuff.

So, it’s tested and certified and maintains healthy minerals.

And, it’s got a great sales price at $99 (regularly $199) with FREE shipping (US 48), and a money back guarantee.


Get Super Clean Filtered Water at a Dirt Cheap Price


What’s left to decide?

Do you want chrome or brushed nickel? Order now! Don’t miss this opportunity to get super clean water at a dirt cheap price.

If you don’t want to install it under your counter, try the Counter Top Water Filter. It’s equally great.

Please share with your friends to make their water filter shopping easier!

How to Instantly Make Your Soups and Vegetables Tastier

How to Season Soups & Vegetables Like a Chef

You try to eat more vegetables and healthy soups, but sometimes that sautéed mixed vegetable dish gets a little dull. Your soups taste good but not great. So, what should you do?

You’ve tried adding just the right amount of salt to your soups and vegetables or throwing in a few more spices. But, did you know that balancing acid is important as well?


How to Season Soups & Vegetables Like a Chef


According to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats, adding the right acid can turn an average dish into an outstanding one.

Experiment with different acids like lemons, limes, plum vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, raw coconut vinegar, tamari, white wine vinegar and coconut aminos.

Try squeezing lemon or balsamic on your vegetable saute to brighten it up. Put a dash of vinegar into your soups to make it really stand out. Use a little apple cider vinegar on sautéed cabbage to give it zing. Splash some tamari on mushrooms for a stand out dish.

Start with a dash or a squeeze at first until you get a feel for how it will impact the flavor. Be creative!

What’s your favorite way to dress up your dishes?

Suggested reading:

How to End the Unripe and Overripe Avocado Problem

Six Things Cooking Geeks Know About Cooking Oils That You Don’t

Safe Non Toxic Ways to Clean Your Kitchen

Erase Ten Years and Have Glowing Skin

Erase 10 Years and Have Glowing Skin

By Emily Geizer

While you may not actually want your face to look like a baby’s butt, you probably would like fewer lines and more glisten, right?

Below are my Three Essential Steps for getting ID’d when you’re 40!

Three Essential Steps to Glowing Skin


Step #1: Eat for Radiance


Believe it or not, your skin reveals a lot about you. When it glows it hints at all the healthy habits you’ve incorporated into your life.

Clean Eating is an essential healthy habit for radiant skin. Radiant skin is a common result of my upcoming Clean Eating & Cleanse Program.

Clean out the old and make way for new beauty boosting habits with my upcoming cleanse.

 


Step #2: Hydrate


Forget the old rule to drink 6-8 8oz glasses of water. What’s necessary for your optimal health is different from a 10-year-old child. Instead, drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 lb., drink 75 ounces of water. Water is critical for flushing the toxins, and it helps maintain the elasticity in your skin.

The good news: Water is FREE and my upcoming Fall Cleanse will flush the other toxins!

 


Step #3: Time to Re-evaluate Your Skin Products: there’s an app for that!!


“Being Healthy” isn’t just about what goes into our bodies. What we put ON our bodies is just as important!  You may have heard that the European Union has banned 1,100 chemicals. And the US? Only 11.

You need to be your own advocate here, because:

  • Cosmetic companies are allowed to skip governmental review or approval of ingredients and labeling.
  • Products labeled “organic” or “natural” can contain petrochemicals, heavy metals,and other toxins; those certified as organic can contain as little as 10 percent organic ingredients by weight or volume. Even children’s products!
  • Your cosmetics are filled with chemicals that studies have proven to cause significant hormonal disruption, weight gain, skin irritations, cancer, allergies, and more.

The good news: there’s a FREE app for that!

Even if you think your products are clean (as I mistakenly did), you’ll want to download Skin Deep App and verify! If you can’t find your products, then it is likely that the company won’t disclose its ingredients.

As you know, my choice for safe products that also work incredibly well is Beautycounter. This simple switch has saved me loads of time reading ingredients because Beautycounter’s 5-step screening process is the most rigorous in the industry and gives me peace of mind.

 


About the Author Emily Geizer:

Emily Geizer is passionate about health and happiness, and knows the two are closely connected. She helps women up level their health with fun, simple strategies that even the busiest woman can implement. Her popular Mind Body Thrive Cleanse is a great jumpstart for the newbie as well as cleansing enthusiasts.