In our modern ways of living we seem to have included a steady stream of toxins to make their way into our lives without even realising the severe detrimental effects these can have on our bodies. So I have set out on trying to make changes to how I live daily, the products I use, the food I eat, the way I cook etc to slowly but surely eliminate as many toxins and chemicals from my life as possible.I share this so we can all be inspired to make little or as many changes to our lives so we can live cleaner, healthier and toxin free.
Household cleaners: I have completely eliminated the use of chemical infested household cleaners. These sprays are not just harmful chemicals but their nano particles floating in the air make their way into our lungs without us even realising it. These chemicals also get easily absorbed into our body through our skin. They are extreme irritants for our delicate eyes. So I decided to throw out all these chemical based cleaners and replaced them all with simple, clean homemade ones.
All you need to make your own cleaners is vinegar, water and essential oil and 2 to 3 reusable plastic bottles.
For making kitchen cleaners: For making an effective kitchen spray, fill a bottle half with vinegar and half with water. Add a few drops of essential oils to reduce the odour (I use Rose fragrance). Just shake well before each use. Vinegar is non toxic, easily available and light on your pocket too. It is also a very effective cleaner and cleans kitchen surfaces perfectly. Living room spray: Fill your reusable bottle with clean water and add just about half or a quarter bottle of any essential oil like lemon oil or lavender oil. Shake the bottle before use. This leaves your room smelling fresh and clean. And remember this is non toxic! Essential oils can be expensive but as lemon is easily available, this fragrance is usually much cheaper but has all the benefits of essential oil.
Refrigerator cleaning: Take one tea spoon baking soda and half a cup of vinegar. Let this bubble up as you mix them. The quantity of the baking soda and vinegar can always be adjusted to suit your needs. For cleaning places like the refrigerator it works well to have a running liquid consistency. Just take your cleaning sponge and squeeze into this mix. Remove all excess fluid and wipe the surfaces clean. This works like a wonder. And the ingredients are all non toxic!
Cooking Methods: I have finally completely removed all utensils coated with teflon and as many aluminium utensils as possible (I am still using pressure cookers and they are hard anodised made of aluminium but should I find a suitable replacement I shall update here). I do not use microwave oven in my home. My logic for this is simple; I want my food heated the way food had been heated throughout the ages, on fire! Yes, regular ovens are fine, but I only really use them for baking. For cooking or reheating foods it’s the regular hob for me.
I am sharing some pics of earthen ware I use to cook my meals. These are fun and exciting to use. But they do need attention and can also cause food to stick to the bottom of the pan when they are new. Earthen ware is free of chemicals (as long as they are not glazed) and you can always get one small pot to get used to this first then get more pots. I now cook using a good mix of earthen ware, glass ware and ceramic coated cookware (but do note that all ceramic coated cookware is made of aluminium which has a coating of ceramic on top. So if you must get this cookware then do invest in a trustworthy brand). The most important reason I am cautious about cookware is because heavy metals like lead and cadmium have made their way into our bodies through cookware like teflon coated ones (as the teflon coating always gets slashed and all the toxins then leach into our food). Therefore investing in good cookware is highly advisable for a healthy lifestyle. Let’s all share more healthy Natural living and help each other live happier lives.
Ms Aditi Pathak is based in Singapore. Widely travelled and from a Services background, cooking is one of her many passions.