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Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Warming Vegan Lentil Dahl

Posted on: September 23rd, 2021 by Anna Totzke

by Jill Jackson, CNP, NNCP 

Hello friends! I bring to you the perfect curried fall recipe. This recipe is easy to make and is vegan, gluten-free, and sugar free. It also works great for meal prepping and will freeze nicely! I hope you give it a try. 

Serves: 6-8 Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 20-25 mins Total time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini 
  • 1 large red bell pepper 
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 3/4 cup of dried red lentils 
  • 1 cup of full fat coconut milk 
  • 850 ml of vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp of fresh minced or grated ginger 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder 
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric 
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 small onion 
  • 1 large carrot 

Directions:

Begin by chopping all vegetables (bell pepper, carrot, zucchini and onion) into very small cubes. 

In a large pot or deep pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil (or oil of your choice) over medium heat and add in onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion begins to go translucent. 

Add in the rest of the vegetables and remaining oil and cook for another 3-5 minutes till vegetables begin to lightly soften. 

After rinsing your lentils, add them to your pot along with your vegetable broth. Add in all spices (you can adjust the amounts to your preferred taste) and add coconut milk. Mix everything together well. Bring to a simmer and allow mixture to cook for another 10-12 minutes, stir frequently to prevent the bottom burning. (Lentils should become nice and soft.)

Enjoy warm on its own or served with rice and naan bread! 

Creatively Cooking Canadian

Posted on: July 26th, 2021 by TouchStone Health

What Eating Local Has to Offer

By Jill Jackson, CNP, NNCP

As a passionate nutritionist eager to take on a challenge, I decided to poke my nose into the ever-rising interest of local cooking.

At first like many, I assumed the term “locally cooked” was best left as selling-point for expensive restaurants used to charge staggering amounts for a tiny plate of food. However, after some research I realized it can be done easily from the comfort of your own kitchen and at a reasonable price.

Currently “Local Food” is defined as food sold that is grown or made within your residing province or food sold across provincial borders within 50km of the originating province or territory.

Why Cook Local?

As a research project, I compared two recipes. One a non-local favorite recipe I frequently made and the other a locally sourced recipe. I found the manufacturers address or the farm address for all the called for ingredients in both recipes. I calculated the mileage that the food had to travel to get to my plate in my hometown of Waterloo Ontario. Upon comparison I was shocked! The ingredients of the non-local recipe had to travel from all over the world some 5,008 miles, whereas the local recipe had logged only 31.68 miles of travel. What does this mean?

For starters, cooking local ensures the freshest and most nutrient dense food. Fruits and vegetables that must travel large distances to reach your grocery store are often picked prematurely to guarantee they do not go bad throughout the duration of travel. Sadly, this causes nutrient value loss. The foods do not contain as high amounts of vitamin and minerals as they would if the produce were allowed to naturally ripen. Local fruits and vegetables can be picked at the peak of their freshness and ripeness, ready to be farm to fork within hours. You really are paying for top quality food when you buy local!

Local cooking also supports local businesses and farms. In 1931, 31.7% of the Canadian population lived Farms that were their livelihoods. As of 2006 only 2.2% of the Canadian population lived on a farm. This means the ratio of farmers went from 1 in every 3 rd person to 1 in every 46. Farms that mass produce often can run locals out of a job but eating local does the opposite, supports them and their families while also promoting biodiversity and sustainability.

Overall, it is considerably better for your health and the health of the environment.

Where to Look to Shop Local?

If you are located in Canada near the country, a quick drive to farm territory might be a great place to start. Where I am from, local produce stands can be found at the entrance of most farm driveways. A majority of the stands work via the honour system and the children of the farmers often love to be a part of creating the sales signs and seeing you purchase. This can be an inexpensive way to support local.

Another option would be choosing a grocery store that opts to carry some local products or finding a farmers’ market. Grocery stores will often distinguish what products are locally made, sometimes down to the exact farm, and farmers markets will be sure to do this as well.

I am confident you will thank yourself when cooking with local Canadian foods. Not only will your tastebuds be exploding with Canadian flavours, but the farmers will be tipping their hats to you in genuine appreciation.

5 Ingredient Watermelon Feta

Posted on: June 21st, 2021 by TouchStone Health

Jill Jackson, CNP, NNCP

Hello friends! This recipe creation is a new favorite of mine!! It is perfect for cooling off in the summer heats. It is crisp, fresh and light with still an abundance of flavor. Since I like to keep things simple, this recipe is only 5 easily accessible ingredients. It is also gluten and grain free. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 4-5 people

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of cubed watermelon
  • ¼ cup of olive oil (preferably a lighter tasting oil)
  • ½ cup of crumbled feta
  • 1 generous handful of basil
  • Juice from 1 large lime (or 2 tbsp of lime concentrate)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  • Begin by cubing watermelon into bite sized cubes. Place in a medium to large bowl.
  • Next, crumble in feta and add in basil either whole or torn into smaller pieces.
  • In a separate small bowl add olive oil and lemon juice, whisk together until well
    combined. If you have a mason jar with a lid, vigorously shaking the olive oil and lemon
    juice together in the jar works as well.
  • Season with a salt and pepper, pour dressing over salad and mix all ingredients together
    till watermelon is evenly coated.
  • Plate and enjoy! (Tastes best chilled)

In Wellness,
Jill Jackson, CNP, NNCP

Is Following the Canadian’s Food Guide a Healthy Way of Eating?

Posted on: April 27th, 2021 by TouchStone Health

By Jill Jackson CNP, NNCP

If you are a Canadian citizen, chances are high that you have been taught to follow or at the very least, seen Canada’s Food Guide at some point in your life. I vividly remember being taught to follow it in school, even starting as early as grade 7 and 8. From a young age, I questioned the lack of individuality the food guide had to offer. How could a food guide really work for all Canadians who varied in age, genetic predispositions, weight, gender and so many other differentiating factors?

First, let’s have a quick history lesson. Where did this food guide originate? It was first released to the public in 1942 with the title “Canada’s Official Food Rules”. It was originally intended to assist with wartime nutrition and food rationing during a time when poverty overtook many areas of the country. There was 6 initial food groups: milk, fruit, vegetables, cereals & bread, meat & fish and eggs. Despite being made by the Nutrition Division of the Federal Government and the Canadian Council on Nutrition, it was evident that war time efficiency was of top priority, rightfully so. However, suggestions such as 4-6 slices of bread and only 1-2 servings of vegetables a day are hard to see as a nutritionist!

There were a few small changes and revisions made along the way. The guide continued to use emphasize food preservation/rationing and the term “Food Rules” was continued until 1949 when it changed to “A Pattern for Meals”. Providing an example of a “idealistic” breakfast, lunch and dinner, with bread and processed margarine still being a main staple. 

Revisions continued to become more specific. Finally, in 1977 terms such as “Meat and Alternatives” were introduced, at last giving an alternative option to those who wished to get protein elsewhere. In 1992, there was a large change in how the guide was presented. There were more suggestions, and it was appealing to the eye, getting Canadians excited about nutrition. It even recognized nutrition changes based on age and activity level and increased the suggested serving of fruits and vegetables jumped to 5-10. Unfortunately, the “grains” category still remained the biggest food group with the suggestion of a whopping 10-12 servings daily!

Finally, in 2007 there was a huge revision that took into account gender and age! Fruit and veggies remained a prominent category, oils were considered, dairy alternatives were considered and suggestions for including exercise were given as part of a healthy lifestyle. It was translated into many languages as Canada continued to grow to be a multicultural country. In my opinion, this was a great step! This is the guide I remember growing up with. 

Now the current 2019 food guide is part of the Government of Canada website. The main page shows a picture of a portioned plate with a variety of foods within each portion. From a far, the plate looks fairly well rounded. Half the plate is filled with different fruits and vegetables, a quarter of the plate filled with meat and alternatives and a quarter filled with various grains. The main written suggestions on this picture simply state the following;

  • Have plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Eat protein foods
  • Make water your drink of choice 
  • Choose whole grains

The next sliding page goes on to state a few more helpful suggestions with linked articles as to how to carry through with them.

So the big question you have all been waiting for…

IS THIS HEALTHY?

My answer…it depends.

Here’s what is positive about it: It looks pretty, a bonus for drawing the reader’s attention towards nutrition. It is definitely is more diverse than it used to be. It also provides a wonderful amount of links for further reading! It caters to First Nations and Indigenous people. Also, I never thought the Canadian Food Guide would be suggesting mindful eating practices, but it does and that’s awesome! It’s translated into more languages than ever before, as Canadas diversity continues to grow. And last but not least, most importantly, it is emphasizing fruits and vegetables as half your plate, making it the predominant food choice. 

Unfortunately, I still feel there are a long list of cons. I will just name a few as to not keep you reading all day.

  • It has reverted back to taking away gender, age and food groups making it less specific. I understand the attempt to make nutrition less confusing, but diet is not a one-size-fits-all situation and people should be given that disclaimer front and center. 
  • Food groups have now disappeared on the main page. It is replaced with the saying “eat a variety of foods each day.” I know what this saying is referring to (as a trained nutritionist) however, the average person may be eating a variety of different processed foods or a variety of foods all within one food group and still consider that “a variety”. Though the picture is great, the comments on the main page have become extremely vague. Unless people are clicking on the links a page over, I feel it leaves much for incorrect interpretation. 
  • It still is heavily influenced by conventional dairy and meat products which do not always need to be essential in a healthy diet and in many instances can cause health issues. In the 6 recipes given as suggestions I still found ingredients such as conventional low fat yogurt, margarine, and light mayo. There is now so much science and research showing how these foods can be damaging to the human body! It has me scratching my head as to why they are still included. 
  • Common allergens such as gluten, dairy and eggs are not overly taken into account. It leaves limited options for those suffering from all to common allergies and intolerances. 
  • There is a more in-depth guideline under the websites subheading “For Professionals”. It has further explanation and evidence. I feel this information should be front and center for all to read. It would limit confusion and give people the information they need to feel impowered to eat better. Nutrition is so important, it is literally what keeps us living on a day to day basis!! Information such as this should not be marketed to professionals only. 

In conclusion, I hope you take the Canadian Food Guide with a grain of salt. Clearly, suggestions from the Canadian Food Guide have not always worked as a majority of Canadians still walk around overweight, underweight, sick, or nearly dead! If you have never considered nutrition before, it may be a good place to begin, but please also consider what has been stated above. Always remember that no two people are the same, therefore, no two diets should be either. 

I could ramble about this interesting topic for days, so if you have questions or any opinions to add please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email! I would love to hear from you. 

In Wellness, 

Jill Jackson CNP, NNCP

100 Days to Preconception Health

Posted on: April 2nd, 2021 by TouchStone Health

by Dr. Melanie Reidl, N.D.

If you’re wanting to conceive this spring/summer, you’ve got just enough time to focus on your preconception health! Because it takes approximately 100 days to impact egg and sperm quality as they mature, I recommend that both partners begin their ‘trying’ journey by taking 3-4 months to prepare their bodies and minds.

As a women’s health, fertility, and perinatal care-focused ND, my goal is to help you achieve a healthy pregnancy and baby. I struggled with my own fertility and pregnancy issues, so I truly understand the emotional impact as well as the need for a more holistic and integrative approach to preconception healthcare and fertility.

Preconception healthcare can help treat the root cause of fertility issues, can reduce risk of miscarriage or pregnancy complications, and improve fertility treatment outcomes. It can also ensure the best possible start for your baby, as the beginning of a child’s life has been shown to influence his/her health as an adult.

A preconception healthcare approach with me includes the following: lab testing, diet and lifestyle modifications, stress reduction and mindfulness practices, and individualized supplementation protocols.

Lab tests are done to determine thyroid function, hormone levels, nutrient levels such as iron, B12, and vitamin D3, and more depending on my assessment of your current health and health history.

Individualized dietary and lifestyle modifications are essential: they set the foundation for optimal fertility! I help my patients establish a whole foods fertility diet and healthy lifestyle habits such as optimizing sleep and exercise. Stress reduction and mindfulness practices are woven into their plan as stress has a significant impact on fertility.

Finally, individualized supplementation protocols are provided to each of my patients. The supplements I select help to optimize preconception nutritional status, and treat any underlying disorders/imbalances that may impact fertility.

I find it truly amazing how getting diet, lifestyle, stress reduction/mindfulness practices, and supplementation right can make the world of a difference in fertility and pregnancy outcomes. If you or someone you know is beginning their journey, I would be so happy and honoured to help.

What You Should Know About H2O

Posted on: March 15th, 2021 by TouchStone Health

By Jill Jackson, Certified Nutritional Practitioner

Water is one of the most vital things for human life. Without water we would all be dead within 4 days to a week. As morbid as that may be, it shows how essential it is for human life. Collectively the human body is between 60-66% water, that’s a pretty large percentage! This percentage is even larger when the human fetus is developing in the womb (up to 80%). Our bones contain about 30% water, and it is a main component of all fluids in our body.

Water is involved in many important functions such as:

  • Circulation
  • Body temperature regulation
  • Elimination of waste
  • Elimination of toxins
  • Digestion and absorption
  • The carrying of electrolytes

That’s just to name a few. In a 24 hour day we lose 1.5 liters of water through urine only. Also an additional 400ml through the breath, 150ml through feces and 750ml through our skin. That equals 2.8 liters of water loss every single day. The simple answer would be to say that 2.8 liters is the amount of water we should be drinking each day. However, the body can make a small amount of water by metabolizing certain nutrients and we also receive water directly from food. This still leaves us with an average of 1-1.5 liters of water that we need to get from elsewhere.

Why 6-8 glasses?
Why does this magic number ‘6-8’ appear everywhere? It’s because 6-8 cups are an estimated daily intake that stems back to a 1945 US Food and Nutrition Board recommendation. A little outdated if you ask me! Water intake will vary depending on your size, activity level, climate, and your diet. It should be completely individualized to you!

The consequences of not drinking enough water:
With all the functions adequate water consumption supports, there is bound to be a host of negative things that can happen to our bodies when we lack proper hydration. Dehydration can affect both our physical and mental health. Water protects our organs and digestive system. Dehydration can cause gastric ulcers, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, irritation, migraines, lupus, light headedness, and chronic fatigue. It can even cause things like joint pain since cartilage cushioning requires water to remain fluid and function properly. A lot of these symptoms can be missed or be mistaken to be caused from other ailments.

Is there a maximum amount of water you should intake?
Drinking above around 2 liters daily can be harmful to your body. Too much water can be hard on your kidneys, causing over hydration. In severe cases, you can die. A few cases have been seen in marathon runners or people who take certain drugs, disturbing their thirst reflex. Keep in mind there has been far more people who have died from dehydration than over hydration. It is rare, but it can happen.

How should we get water into our diet?
We should get water from water, and we should never try to obtain hydration simply from sugary pops and coffee. Water is the simplest form of hydration. There is a ton of debate about what water is best. However, a high elevation spring water seems to be the cleanest and purest source but realistically it is not attainable for all. Tap or city water can contain a horrible amount of toxins. It can be hard to know what dangers can be found in our tap water, for this reason, I recommend water that has had some type of filtration. Installing a reverse osmosis tap would be a great option. Cost wise this may not be an option for many, in that case I recommend the Santevia jug filters. Any filtration is better than none!

In summary, water is absolutely life sustaining. Sadly, I feel that much of the world’s Western population lives day to day unknowingly dehydrated. If you haven’t already, add proper hydration to the top of your health goals and you will soon see the difference it can make in your daily life!

Are You Suffering from Adrenal Fatigue?

Posted on: February 12th, 2021 by TouchStone Health

by Jill Jackson, CNP

You may have heard the term “adrenal fatigue” as it is slowly gaining popularity in the media, but what is it? How can we fix our adrenals? Today we will briefly be discussing just that!

The purpose of the adrenal glands is to respond to stressors. This includes all types of stress whether it be physical, emotional, or environmental. The adrenals enable your body to deal with stressors ranging from the common cold to relationship problems. Your energy, endurance, vitality, and your very life depend all on well-functioning adrenals.

Underactive adrenals can be labeled as “adrenal fatigue”. While not generally considered a life-threatening medical emergency by conventional doctors, there are still a handful of life changing side effects. It is often caused by an excess of stress over a period of time. Stress can be cumulative, and everybody has a different tolerance to stress.

Some of the symptoms include generalized extreme fatigue (despite adequate sleep), general feeling of unwellness, eyes that are sensitive to light, fluctuating blood pressure (often too low), mood swings, suppressed immune system, excessive perspiration, prone to crying, and emotional upset causing complete exhaustion, the list could go on and on.

However, if that list sounds like you, the good news is with proper guidance and nutrition the adrenals can be repaired to a highly functioning state. You may want to try some of these suggestions:

  • Remove caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
  • Make sure you are getting adequate sleep. The more sleep the better.
  • Talk to a nutritionist or naturopath about trying restorative supplements like ashwagandha, rhodiola or acerola cherry for adrenal health.
  • Exercise! The key here is balance as both over and under exertion can act as a stressor.
  • Limit or remove dairy, processed foods, white sugars, artificial sweeteners, and fried foods. Swap them out for a diet filled with fresh fruits and veggies!
  • Stay hydrated. Aim to drink 1.5-2L of water a day.
  • Focus changing your attitude and having a positive disposition on life!

Adrenal fatigue may sometimes be scary, but restoration is possible with a little time and dedication to healing. It is a condition far more common than you may think, you are not alone! Once again, my biggest recommendation is taking guidance from a professional (a Nutritionist or Naturopath) and educating yourself on adrenal health. One of my favorite resources for all
things adrenal health is the book “Adrenal Fatigue – The 21 st Century Stress Syndrome” by James L. Wilson. It is an easy yet informative read. Please contact me if you would like more information on this important topic and remember healing is possible.

In Wellness,
Jill Jackson, CNP, NNCP

Welcome Holistic Nutritionist to TouchStone!

Posted on: January 29th, 2021 by TouchStone Health

Hello all! I am excited to be joining the amazing team at TouchStone Health!  I am a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, however I more commonly go by the term “Holistic Nutritionist”. 

When I am not creating my newest healthy recipe or working on client protocols, you might catch me running the trails and finding any excuse to be outside.  My love of the outdoors continues to grow day by day.  I have not always been sporty and arguably some may say I am still not, but as my love for wellness grows, I realized that daily movement was a necessity for vibrant health.  Ever since then, I have been passionate about fitness as a pillar of health.  

I also believe another important pillar of health is treating illness and disease by the root cause.  Treating a person’s symptoms rather than aiming to identify the initial cause has been a concept that never made sense to me.  For this reason, I focus on education, prevention and improving health by addressing the root cause in my practice. 

As I have such a love for fitness, it is one of my specialties that I enjoy helping others with it. I have tried a variety of styles of workouts and have found what I love and an associated diet that makes me feel my best. Through COVID I trained for my first half marathon (which unfortunately got canceled last minute) and I unexpectantly fell in love with the sport. Perhaps you too have found a love for running or at home workouts since the gyms have been closed. I would love to assist you to find the best nutrition that you can pair with your training regime. 

One of the habits that makes me feel my best is plant-based nutrition. I have been a vegetarian for over 5 years and have also dabbled in veganism. While I can appreciate this diet may not work for all, it most certainly can work for many. If you are new to this lifestyle, check in with me as there is definitely a right and wrong way to approach it. I would love to assist you!

 I am thrilled to be working alongside this awesome team of professionals here at TouchStone Health.  I am confident that TouchStone will provide you with all the help you need to get on track to vitality. I would love to meet you! You can find out more about me under the clinicians subheading at the top of the page or visit my Instagram @holisticallyjill

In Wellness, 

Jill Jackson, CNP, NNCP 

Have you been trying to get pregnant but only getting negative pregnancy tests? OR Are you thinking about growing your family?

Posted on: September 9th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Preparing for Pregnancy e-Program!

Have you been trying to get pregnant but only getting negative pregnancy tests?

OR

Are you thinking about growing your family?

Written by: Alexandria Muirhead, R.H.N.

Preparing for Pregnancy e-Program is a self-paced, online program that helps you optimize your health and boost your fertility to help you get pregnant! This e-program also reduces your risk of miscarriages, corrects any nutritional deficiencies to ensure your baby has all the nutrients required to grow and helps you have a healthy pregnancy!

Alex Muirhead has created this online program to address all areas of your life that impact your fertility such as your cycle, sleep, movement, mindset, nutrition and more. It’s based on scientific research and her experience in practice.

Who is this e-Program for?

  • Thinking about getting pregnant in the next 12 months
  • Have been trying but haven’t been able to get pregnant yet
  • Worried about whether or not they can get pregnant
  • Worried about miscarriages
  • Have a pre-existing health condition/illness (IBS, autoimmune disease, diabetes, PCOS, endometriosis, etc)
  • Have irregular, short or long cycles
  • Have painful periods
  • Experience PMS
  • Have digestive issues (heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea)

This e-Program helps address any underlying health issue that interferes with your fertility. A body system that is out of balance and not functioning properly can have a really big impact on your ability to get pregnant. This e-program identifies if you have any imbalances and provides you with the proper tools to rebalance that system.

What does the e-Program Include?

  • 8 modules, each covering an important area for fertility
  • 3 bonus modules
  • Easy to understand information
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Worksheets
  • Resources
  • Personalized supplements 
  • & more!

Each module contains a video of Alex Muirhead educating you on that particular topic and a step-by-step guide to help you implement everything you learnt in that video! In addition, she has created specialized worksheets and compiled resources pertaining to that module!

Are you Interested in Learning More About the e-Program?

If you are! Then click HERE or follow Alex Muirhead on instagram, @alexmuirhead_RHN . She has lots of information about her e-program and why it works.

  1. Discount for Launch Week!!

The e-program is 25% off during launch week! 

When is launch week?? September 8th to 14th! 

Use the promo code LAUNCH at check out for 25% off!

3 Kitchen Item Swaps to Promote Hormone Balance

Posted on: September 3rd, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Alexandria Muirhead, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Many say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where people gather to laugh and show love for others. It is one of the most important rooms in the house where we create meals to nourish ourselves, family and friends. There are many items that we use in our kitchen that we believe are safe but in reality they can have a negative impact on our health. These impacts can happen right away or happen over years. This phenomenon is called bioaccumulation and it can contribute to a whole host of health issues including autoimmune diseases and infertility. This is caused by chemicals and toxins that disrupt our normal body systems such as our immune system, hormonal (endocrine) system, circulatory system, nervous system and more. It affects all of our body systems and leads to symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, irritability, digestive issues, gas, bloating, allergies, asthma, PMS, brittle nails, hair loss, and sleep troubles.

Please don’t panic or worry! Keep reading!

Just as your body accumulates these toxins and chemicals, your body can eliminate them once you have stopped exposing yourself to them! Our bodies are so amazing and fascinating. They want to be in homeostasis and have all of our systems working together flawlessly. In Holistic Nutrition, we know that once you remove what is causing you to feel unwell, support your body and give it time to rebalance, that your health will be restored! I believe this and know this to be true because I have personally experienced it. You can not heal in the same environment that you became sick in.

The top 3 kitchen item swaps that you can do to reduce your exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals!

  • Ditch the Non-Stick!

Yes, I know. This one was hard for me to do as well. Isn’t non-stick so convent and easy? Nothing sticks to it and it’s a breeze to clean. These are amazing qualities but they come with a price. Teflon coated cookware contain chemicals that over time leach out into your food and you consume it. PFC, PFOS and PFOA are three chemicals that bioaccumulate and disrupt your body systems. 1.They have banned PFOA from being used in teflon products since it has been shown to be carcinogenic to the thyroid, kidneys, testicles, ovarian and bladder. 2. There is growing evidence that states that PFOA are not the only chemical to have negative effects on our health.

Teflon manufacturers say that it can be safe, if used properly. We don use it the way the manufacturer recommended which exposes us to these chemicals. Proper use of non-stick pans including not heating it higher than 260oC (500oF), do use if coating is chipped or scratched and use for a maximum of 6 months. It has been shown that an empty pan or a pan with oil can heat to 500oF within 2 minutes. We have all done these things and I am included in this! I had the same non-stick pan for years with scratches and would place some oil in the pan to heat up and I am sure it got to above 500oF.  Those chemicals are released once these things happen and get into our bodies.

What to use instead!

Once I learned about the chemicals in non-stick pans I began to look into alternatives! It took me a while to come around since non-stick is so convenient but the health benefits are worth it! Instead you can use cast iron pans or stainless steel pans. Cast iron can take a little bit of maintenance but is an excellent option once you’ve gotten the hang of it. There are lots of resources online on how to use and care for cast iron! Stainless steel is another opinion! Food tends to stick which is why oil, broth or water should be used. You can find lots of resources on how to use and care for stainless steel pans with a quick google search!

  • Ditch the Plastic!

This is a big one since plastic has taken over the modern kitchen. There are plastic utensils (spatula, stirring spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, masher, whisks), plastic cutting boards, plastic measure cups/spoons, plastic mixing bowls, plastic strainer, plastic wrap, plastic food storage containers, plastic water bottles and the list goes on and on!

This is a really important one since all of these plastics contain chemicals called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s) and exposes us to xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals that have the same chemical structure as estrogen and therefore binds to the estrogen receptors in our bodies. They have a very strong effect and contribute to hormonal imbalances, estrogen dominance, low progesterone, endometriosis, PCOS, and estrogen driven cancers.

How and what to use instead?!

I always recommend switching things slowly and doing this process gradually. First become aware of all the plastic you are using in your kitchen. Once something gets worn out and is in need of being replaced, buy the non-plastic option! This makes it much easier to do and does not create a large financial burden of having to buy everything at once.

Instead of… Happy Hormone Swap
Plastic Utensils (spatula, stirring spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, masher, whisks, etc) Wooden or Stainless Steel Utensils
Plastic Cutting Board Wooden Cutting Board (plastic cutting boards also harbor and allow bacteria to grow, wood is always best!)
Plastic Measuring Cups/Spoons Stainless Steel or Glass Measuring Cups or Spoons
Plastic Mixing Bowls Stainless Steel, Ceramic, or Glass Mixing Bowls
Plastic Strainer Stainless Steel Strainer
Plastic Food Wrap Beeswax Wraps
Plastic Food Storage Containers Glass or Stainless Steel Containers
Plastic Water Bottles Glass or Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Don’t feel overwhelmed by this change. It’s best to take it slow and do things one at a time. Use this knowledge as power and begin to switch over these items to reduce you and your families exposure to xenoestrogens. Stores like Winners and Homesense are great place’s to get some of these items at a lower cost.

  • Ditch the Toxic Cleaners & Soaps!

There seems to be a cleaner for everything these days, am I right? Every surface and area of the home seems to have a specific cleaner to clean it. Conventional household and kitchen cleaners are a major source of toxic exposure in the home. You can use The Environmental Working Group to see where you cleaners rank. They have a system that they use to tell you if your cleaners are toxic or not. I also believe that household cleaners are a big waste of money! You really don’t need a different cleaner for every surface and room. Homemade cleaners are the best and safest option and save you lots of money! Having one all purpose, natural cleaner will reduce the toxins in your home, save you money and reduce the clutter in your laundry room where you store your cleaners.

Your hand soap, dish soap and dishwasher detergent also contain chemicals that we want to avoid!

What to use instead?

Make your own! Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. You can add essential oils to give it a natural smell if you wish! Vinegar is a very potent disinfectant and kills bacteria. That is why it is used in preserving, so bacteria and mold does not grow.

Natural Cleaners! You can use castile soap and dilute it to use all over your home. You can also visit your local Health Food Store and ask them about safe and non=toxic cleaning products they carry. Two of my favorite brands are:

Branch Basics  and Seventh Generation. Branch Basics is a really great company that creates safe and effective cleaning products. Their products are safe for humans and for the environment and are not tested on animals. Seventh Generation is a wonderful company that has cleaners, baby items, soaps, and dishwashing detergent/pucks.

Small actions everyday that are in alignment with your wellness goals is what creates sustainable change and allows you to achieve those goals!

Citation

https://www.ncceh.ca/sites/default/files/Health_effects_PFCs_Oct_2010.pdf

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid pfoa.html#:~:text=IARC%20has%20classified%20PFOA%20as,limited%20evidence%20in%20lab%20animals

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