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Denver Nutrition, LLC
Transformation Through Nutrition
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Debbie Allen, MNT, CHHP
Master Nutrition Therapist

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Simple Steps to Cleanse Your Kitchen

When we think about a cleanse, we usually think about a diet we are going to follow. This is a different kind of cleanse. Over the years, most of the items on this list are just second nature to me. I am sharing my list to help you learn how to eat as clean as possible, including all the containers and cookware, as well as pesticide and GMO free condiments and pantry food.

Microwave: Throw it away

microwaves suck Microwaving food cooks it at a very high temperature in a very short amount of time, resulting in a great deal of nutrient loss for most foods, especially vegetables. There are so many studies and reports that prove the hazards of microwave usage already listed on the web. I posted an article about this on the web over 20 years ago. Read more here

The real reason to eliminate a microwave is a short and quick answer: Microwaves distort the moleclular structure of food. Microwaves destroy much of the nutrients and cause many other problems with the immune system. Most folks like to recive nutrients from their food - don't you?

Use this - not that...
microwave I use this toaster oven instead of a microwave. It's nice and large with two shelves. Most food can be warmed up within 20 minutes..easy!

Toaster or full-size oven (convection mode, usually) — for “solid” foods that hold their shape, like lasagna, homemade pizza, and casseroles. No special instructions — just heat for 10-20 minutes, usually around 350-400 degrees F.

A steamer is great for foods that spread out too much to put in the oven. Also, perfect for a pile of broccoli or other chopped vegetables, use a steamer on your stove. Steaming your veggies helps to retain most of the valuable nutrients. It also increases the antioxidant content.

cast-iron-simmer Simmering
For liquidy, saucy dishes, stews and soups, simmering in a cast iron pan is just the best! Often I add a little water to the pan to avoid burning and sticking. After two or three minutes of bubbling over medium heat (stir frequently to avoid sticking), most foods are ready to eat. Note: The longer you use the iron pans, the actually season and will last a very long time. Great for camping too!

Proper and safe pots, pans and storage

NO Teflon Pots or Pans
NO Plastic

REMOVE: Plastic containers - even water bottles

water-bottlesPlastic can be very handy and won't break like glass.
But, it's so important to understand that most plastic contain a hazardous mix of chemicals and additives, including:
BPA (BisPhenol-A), which disrupts the endocrine system by mimicking the female hormone estrogen,
PBDEs (PolyBrominated DCiphenyl Ethers), which cause reproductive problems and
Phthalates, another group of reproductive toxins, commonly used to make plastic used in food packaging. Phthalates can disrupt levels of hormones like estrogen and testosterone.
Polystyrene is used extensively for disposible drink cups, take-out containers, and disposable cutlery. Polystyrene contains benzene, butadiene and styrene that can migrate into food or drinks and store in body fat. Polystyrene can cause irritation of eyes, nose and throat as well as effects on the nervous system.

This list of industrial chemicals that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. Some research has shown that these chemicals may seep into food or beverages from containers made with chemicals. Exposure is a concern because of possible health effects on the brain, hormones, behavior and a possible link to increased blood pressure. Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

If you must - by all means avoid heat. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.
Plastic water bottles initially sound like a great idea. However, studies have shown where Plastic Bottled water exposure to varying temperatures over several weeks, left at higher temperatures, like the temperature in a hot car, levels of BPA and antimony increased.

Use this: Glass, Cereamic or Stainless Steel - NOT that...
Use glass, cereamic or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.

The pollution that has been created by plastic is off the charts!! Plastic pollution is one the most serious threats to our environment, creating toxic exposure in every phase of its life cycle. Do your best and minimize further pollution by using sustianable containers in your kitchen.


Cookware: NO TEFLON (Another plastic)

teflon-scratch Do you own pans that look like this? If so, you have been eating nonstick (plastic) coating. Please - throw them away right now!
Teflon is the most common non-stick coating, a chemical mixture of perfluorochemicals (chemicals with lots of fluoride atoms). Teflon is used as an additive to paints, fabrics, carpets, and clothing. The primary chemical in Teflon, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), has a high melting point (327 ºC), ideal for cooking.

However, when heated to temperatures above 350 ºC (662 ºF), PTFE begins to degrade, releasing fine particles and a variety of gaseous compounds that can cause damage to the lungs when inhaled (Waritz, 1975). Numerous case studies in the 1900s have documented flu-like symptoms after inhalation of PTFE fumes by workers in PTFE-using factories and by people overheating non-stick pans in the kitchen. This condition is called polymer fume fever, or “Teflon flu”, and presents with temporary, intense, but not serious symptoms such as fever, shivering, sore throat and coughing (Harris, 1951 & Shumizu, 2012).

Use this - not that...
Use ceramic, cast iron or stainless steel cookware. Both cast iron and ceramic are basically non-stick cookware. Easy to clean and will last a liftetime. Most of the cookware listed below can be bought at, Kohls or various other stores. I enjoy cooking with all three varieties.
cuisinart-cookware cast-iron-cooking cookware-stainless

Pantry: Restock Your Kitchen with Real Food

You want to remove all of the junk that you currently have clogging up the kitchen. Let's replace it with whole real food to emphasize a healthier lifestyle. The idea here is that if it is in the house we are more tempted to nibble on it. Unhealthy foods are usually easier to prepare and less time-consuming so when we get hungry we tend to rip open a bag as opposed to fixing up a healthier alternative.

1. Read the labels of your canned goods. If you cannot read the label, or if it reads like a chemistry lab - throw it out. My pantry consists of a few cans of organic beans, some canned (jars) of tomatoes from my garden, tuna and sardines and my newest addition: my own canned fermented vegetables (yum!). I also have a variety of gluten free crackers, rice, potatoes, onions, garlic. Sound expensive? You might be surprised to learn that buying real food can be cheaper than piling processed crap into your grocery cart.
    Here’s the proof:
  • Boxed flavored rice mix: 15 cents/oz. vs. Real brown rice: 6 cents/oz.
  • Boxed high-sugar cereal: 32 cents/oz. vs. Rolled oats: 9 cents/oz.
  • Frozen fish sticks: 30 cents/oz. vs. Canned tuna: 17 cents/oz.
  • Boxed potatoes: 26 cents/oz. vs. Fresh potatoes: 4 cents/oz.
2. Condiments: Try to purchase fewer prepared condiments such as dressings and marinades, which tend to be high in salt and sugar, and make your onw fresh every day with fresh or dried herbs and spices, vinegars and oils for flavor. reading-food-labels

3. Grab a large black trash bag.
    4. Open the pantry and review/remove these items:
  • Baked goods/packaged cakes
  • Breads/Bagels/Pasta
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • Chips
  • Chocolate
  • Crackers
  • Flavored nuts
  • Granola bars
  • Instant packaged foods (cake mix, mashed potatoes, macaroni)
  • Pretzels
    5. Open up the refrigerator and review/remove these items:
  • Alcohol
  • Any caloric beverage
  • Fruit juice
  • Milk
  • Processed meats (deli, pre packed)
  • Restaurant leftovers
  • Sweetened yogurt, sweetened anything
    6. Open the freezer and review/remove these items:
  • Candy/chocolate
  • Cookie dough
  • Frozen dinners
  • Hot dogs
  • Ice cream
  • Waffles
This list is not necessarily complete - but a good start and you get the idea here, right? If it comes in a box, bag, or some sort of wrapper throw it out. If it has more than 3 ingredients throw it out. If you cannot pronounce some of the ingredients throw it out. If you are not sure about a certain food a good rule of thumb is to throw it out.

Wow - this seems so wasteful!
Absolutely not! What you are throwing away is not food. They are substances that promote disease and an unhealthy lifestyle. Please feel free to be liberated while throwing this crap away. Do a little dance if you want.

One excuse you may be making up in your head right now is that certain food is needed because it’s for the kids or your significant other. This is a wonderful opportunity to promote health throughout your household. If you are making the switch to a healthier lifestyle and are beginning to understand the real dangers that unhealthy foods can promote wouldn’t you want to share that with your loved ones?

Another thing I’d like you to consider is this. If you’re the one making the meals for everyone at home they’ll eat what you make. Sit down with family and friends and explain what this means to you. You may field some resistance but that’s simply due to the fact that most people don’t like change. If you change, that means something is changing in their life and that can be scary sometimes. Ask for their support but be firm and let them know you are dialed in with or without them.


This is a great list of essential tools for for all kitchens, covering most cooking needs.

Hot Pot/Slow Cooker
Stainless Steamer
blender hot-pot steamer
Measuring Cup Citrus Juicer Measuring Spoons
measure-cup juicer spoons
Cast Iron Pans Sauce Pans Baking Sheets
cast-iron green-sauce-pans baking-sheets
Salad Spinner Mixing Bowls Glass Storage Containers
salad-spinner mixing-bowls glass-storage
Cutting Board Knife Set Tongs
wood-board knife-set tongs

Need help with a "Kitchen Cleanse"? Call me, Debbie Allen.
I would be honored to help guide you and your kitchen to better healthy options.

Good health begins with taking responsibility for our own body.
Contact Me Now to Begin Your Transformation.

If you have questions, need more information or would like to schedule
a FREE 30 minute phone consult: Call Debbie Allen, MNT at 303-782-4842.

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