How to Detoxify Your Kitchen

by
LAURYN

Hello hello hello.

Today we have Torie Borelli of The Vida Well on the blog. I met Torie through one of my really good friends, Jackie. Both Jackie & Torie gave me a  tutorial on water which made me want an alkaline filtration system asap ( add it to my list ). 

When I was getting this tutorial, Torie also gave me a little walk through of things that are toxic in the kitchen. Needless to say I was blown away.

I’m excited to have her on The Skinny Confidential, not only because you guys will find this post useful, but because she just launched her new cookbook The Mexican Keto Cookbook. “It’s packed with authentic, full-flavored, health-conscious recipes designed to burn body fat. It includes the science behind keto, guides you on how to execute the diet effectively, and provides more than 100 amazing recipes.”

You can expect recipes for Chicken Tortilla Soup, Goat Cheese Enchiladas, & Spicy Cilantro Chicken Wings- YUM.

The Mexican Keto Cookbook has come out at the perfect time too because it makes such a good gift to give. I find her cookbook unique because you’ll get all the goodness of Mexican food but in a healthy way.

Anyway, this post isn’t about recipes! It’s about how to detoxify your kitchen. Torie is here to really break down toxic items that might be lurking in your kitchen. It’s kinda crazy that we use this stuff every single day & some of us might not be thinking about the nasty stuff it adds to our food.

Torie will be sharing the biggest toxicity culprits, as well as her favorite ways to DETOX your kitchen. I think you’ll find this post very valuable- I certainly did.

Oh, & be sure to check out my post on her blog where I’m talking pregnancy, intermittent fasting, & self-care.

With that, let’s meet Torie.

Hello TSC! I’m Torie Borrelli, an integrative nutritionist from The Vida Well, & author of the Mexican Keto Cookbook.

With the new year right around the corner, it’s a great time to detox your kitchen & start fresh – my Mexican Keto Cookbook is a perfect way to hit the ground running. I share tips on what to cook with to keep your body & kitchen healthy.

For me, my kitchen is a place where I spend a lot of time. It is a place where family & friends gather, & it’s where your healthy journey starts. The kitchen is our health backbone. Most of us come home from the grocery store, we unload our organic groceries & start to make dinner after a long day. You pull out that non-stick/teflon or aluminum pan, throw in your olive oil, cook it to a high heat, destroying all the properties & creating an inflammation brain bomb.

I know it gets overwhelming with so much information & everyone is doing their best, but we have to clean up our kitchens in order to live preventatively. So many of my clients’ homes are filled with toxins & they are shocked when I tell them how many they are consuming on the daily. This is completely counterproductive to our efforts to prepare anti-inflammatory, healthy meals.

When you heat your healthy food using toxic cookware, those toxins ( which contain harmful hormone-altering chemicals ) are leaked into your food & bombard the immune system, increasing inflammation & increasing your chance of disease.

Let me explain where the toxins are coming from & how to switch them out for safer alternatives for you & your family. We do not want these toxic products leaching into our bodies when we consume them. So let’s focus on things we eat our food on, what we store it in and what we cook it on.

Cookware

Unfortunately, buying the right foods is only half the battle. Recently, while helping a friend with some better choices, I noticed her scraped-up cookware in her kitchen. While she buys all organic food products, she was cooking all that beautiful food in toxic pots & pans. This was completely counterproductive to our efforts to prepare clean, healthy meals. And I know she’s not the only one cooking beautiful, healthy food on toxic cookware.

As I pulled out the first sauté pan, I saw that not only was it non-stick ( big no no ), but it was also made from aluminum ( another big no no ). The pan was badly scratched & had a surface that was peeling off.

Why is that bad?

Because all the toxins used in the peeling nonstick coating & aluminum materials were ending up in the food she cooked for her family.

This ‘aha’ moment inspired me to educate more people on this subject. I am here to talk to you about best practices for safe pots, pans, & cooking materials that so many of us just don’t even think about.

Detoxing Your Cookware

Did you ever think that your pots & pans might be contributing to your toxin exposure? The equipment & methods chosen to cook food definitely have the potential to impact, not only the nutritional profile but also the overall exposure to toxins ( yes, they get absorbed into your food ). Below I will break down the things you should & should not have in your kitchen. Make sure you look up linings, coatings, & fillers to know what is really in your cookware. Even the fancy brands have hidden toxins.

What is toxic?

Aluminum can cause heavy metal toxicity. Aluminum is long known to be neurotoxic, with evidence that constant exposure is linked to many neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, autism, & Parkinson’s disease, among others.

Despite being highly toxic, aluminum is found in a shocking number of our foods & products, & most of us have no idea. Some of those are:

    ♡ Aluminum products, including foil, cans, juice pouches, tins, & water.

    ♡ Baby formula ( yeah, it’s messed up! ).

♡ Baking powder, some salts.

    ♡ Cosmetics & personal care products such as antiperspirants, deodorants ( including salt crystals, made of alum ), lotions, sunscreens, & shampoos.

    ♡ Drugs like antacids, analgesics, antidiarrheals, & others.

  ♡ Kitchen tools & cookware.

    ♡ Processed foods, coloring, & caking agents.

    ♡ Self-rising flour, coffee creamers, baked goods.

    ♡ Toothpaste.

It’s not only aluminum we have to worry about. Remember how I said my friend’s nonstick pan was a big no-no? Well, there’s a good reason for that. Teflon & anything nonstick is usually made using poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These substances release perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a carcinogenic chemical, when heated. In addition, many of them contain dangerous heavy metals that can flake off during cooking & get into your food.

Recommendations For Keeping A Non-Toxic Kitchen

Get rid of things that are ( very ) toxic: 

+ Microwave:
Get rid of your microwave. It changes the molecules in the food by vibrating them to heat using a form of radio waves.

+ Aluminum cookware, cans ( with BPA lining ) & aluminum foil:
I stay away from these & use unbleached parchment paper instead, which saves washing dishes so I love it. Various studies have linked elevated aluminum levels to everything from anemia & other blood disorders to ALS & Parkinson’s. Avoid all aluminum cookware. Note that pans with an aluminum core within cookware made of safer metals ( such as stainless steel ) are fine—you just want to make sure that no aluminum touches your food. 

+ Non stick or Teflon cookware:
This is one of the most toxic of all cookware with its synthetic coating & the chemical PFOA & polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is a plastic polymer that can release harmful & carcinogenic gases. 

+ Crockpots:
Most options commonly have Teflon liners. Be sure to read labels & make sure you aren’t buying anything with a Teflon, non stick, or chemical coating. 

+ Plastics:
An endocrine ( hormone disruptor ) found in all plastic. Get rid of all plastic, including cutting boards, cooking utensils ( spatulas ), kids dishware, tupperware, ziplock bags, saran wrap straws, coffee pods & spoons. Plastics cause estrogen dominance which can lead to PMS, PCOS, acne, etc.

+ Conventional/Synthetic Cleaning products:
Get rid of these ASAP! You not only inhale these toxins, but you absorb them through your largest organ, your skin! Bleach especially. Try Branch Basics or another non-toxic brand. White vinegar & baking soda really work well too.

Your Best Options:

♡ Cast Iron

My grandma always used hers & not much else. I wish I had taken notes from her & started using my cast iron much sooner than I did! They’re great because they’re non-toxic, they maintain really high heat, & they’re nearly unbreakable. You can use cast irons for almost everything–I love braising meats & sticking the whole pan in the oven. My brand of choice is Lodge Logic, made in America.

TIP: They can be pricey so you might want to check out a thrift store to get a good deal. I recommend buying one large & one small. Learn how to season it properly by oiling it after every use & not washing it with soap to help create a naturally non-stick type of pan.

♡ Ceramic or enameled

Ceramic is an organic material that has been used for centuries for baking, dating back to ancient cultures. It uses a far-infrared cooking technology, meaning that it cooks foods from the inside & outside at the same time. It can be used on the stove top, BBQ, & in the oven, & it will never scratch.

Think of this like a fancy, ( usually colored & beautifully made ) cast iron that doesn’t need to be seasoned & is dishwasher safe. It is way more expensive than a cast iron, but I see it as a worthwhile investment. You don’t need to go out & buy a whole set all at once. Maybe start with one to see if you like it, & continue to grow your collection over time. For all the readers getting married, this is definitely an item you’ll want to add to your registry! Just be careful because even nice brands have toxic linings which can leach into your food. 

♡ Clay pots ( Vita Clay

Most crock pots are finished with a non-stick material allowing for things to be cooked for hours & hours & never stick. That means that the non-stick material on most is harmful, but I did find two versions that aren’t harmful. 

To be honest I never thought of my slow cooker as being toxic until recently. I did some research & found that the company, Vita Clay, makes a good one & an Instapot is good too. 

♡ Glass (  tempered) – Mason jars, Weck jars, glass storage containers

This is a great eco-friendly choice that is very durable. If you haven’t already, please do yourself & your family a favor by getting rid of all plastic containers & kitchen accessories. Plastic is a hormone disruptor that can have seriously negative effects on our health. Once you have some amazing glass items like Pyrex dishes, you’ll see that they can be used for so many great things (  storage, baking, etc.), & you won’t even miss your plastic.

♡ Stainless steel ( not mixed with other metals ):

+ Kettle

+ Pots & pans

+ Baking sheets

+ Food containers

+ Water bottles

I would say this is the most affordable non-toxic option. I use some bowls for mixing & holding ingredients, & I’ll also use stainless steel for baking, boiling, cooking pasta & rice, & as baking sheets for roasting my veggies. The only downside to this is that food tends to stick, but there are ways around this.

TIP: Try to stay away from cooking acidic foods like tomato sauce in stainless steel; there are studies that show it may leak nickel and chromium. I know Costco is now selling nice stainless steel pans.

♡ Carbon steel

♡ Unbleached parchment paper

♡ Silicon bags- I use Stasher Bags.

♡ Beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap

You can check out what’s in my pantry here too.

A Couple of Mind Boggling Things to Point Out:

♡ A chemical called Dioxin, which is basically bleach, is found in toilet paper, paper napkins & paper towels. Stop patting your food with them & using them on your body. This chemical is fat soluble & accumulates within our bodies.

♡ Tap water contains cancer causing chemicals that leach into our food when we wash or cook with it. Chloramines, fluoride & arsenic are just a few. Check the EWG’s tap water database to see the bad guys in your local water. For the best water check out my post.

♡ Our cabinets & floors contain Formaldehyde which is then airborne, meaning we breathe it in all day.

♡ Fragrances are toxic & are endocrine disrupters. Get rid of them & use essential oils or the real thing.

After I left my friend’s house, I felt horrible that I had to throw away all of her pots & pans. However I was thankful she was receptive to my input. It may seem like a drastic decision to many of you, but know that it is for the best, & a key step towards living a healthier, non-toxic, eco-friendly lifestyle. You don’t have to do it all at once, but even baby steps like throwing one item away at a time will get you closer to the clean life we all want to live.

Tune into my Instagram @thevidawell for more tips on living a preventive lifestyle. Remember, diseases such as cancer don’t discriminate, let’s not wait until it’s too late to switch to a non-toxic lifestyle.

Would love your guys’ hot take on toxicity in the kitchen. Share anything below. Be sure to follow Torie on Instagram, stalk her book here, & scope my post on her blog.

 x, lauryn

+ avoid nasty plastics that are seeping into your tea.

++ check out some of these non-toxic life hacks.

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  1. AvatarQuinn

    Thank you for this post! I think people will be astounded when they begin to research themselves!

    Reply
  2. AvatarLexie

    Soooo valuable. I feel like one day I think something & the next day all the answers to my questions are on your blog! Thank you!

    Reply
  3. AvatarSharon

    This piece has been an absolute eye opener- i really had no idea i had so many toxins around my house. I believe in eating natural and fresh yet my choices were all going to waste due to what i was using for meal preparation. Thanks for clearing up all my misconceptions.

    Reply
  4. AvatarFranke

    You have a point. We can’t clean completely our kitchen with just a vacuum cleaner or wash the plates in the sink. We really need to detoxify everything. I’ll try this one at home. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply