Baby Steps To Clean Living: the toxin free kitchen

nontoxic kitchen

We’re kicking off 2015 by cleaning up our diets, homes and lifestyles.

We’re removing toxins, focusing on health giving ourselves grace in the process. We’re not trying to be perfect (or neurotic) just informed and intelligent.

Today we’re tackling the kitchen.

This will likely be a gradual process since things like pots and pans can be expensive. But that’s okay. We have to start somewhere right?



Cookware is a good place to start when it comes to creating a toxin free kitchen.

Nonstick cookware has been getting bad press for a while now.

There is certainly debate around the topic, but one thing that most experts agree on is that if your nonstick cookware is scratched and old,  you run the risk of toxins leaching into your food.

Nonstick cookware is coated with a synthetic polymer called polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon. This chemical has been shown to have harmful health effects and as scary as it sounds there is even something called the “Teflon Flu,” The longterm effects are still being studied. But in my opinion, this is certainly cause for concern.

I’ve had a set of nonstick pans for the past five years. I recently noticed how worn out they were and decided it was officially time to make a change.

the green pan

Some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, The Balanced Life receives commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Full disclosure.

I started by purchase a few Green Pans, but ultimately decided that even though they claim their chemical is “safer” than Teflon, it’s still a chemical and who knows what reports will come out in the future. I kept them and use them occasionally, but decided to go another route in terms of replacing my whole set.

le creuset pans

After months of research I decided to go with a mixture of cast iron skillets and ceramic cookware from Le Creuset.

It’s an investment for sure. Le Creuset isn’t cheap. But I believe it’s worth it. They will last a lifetime (there is a lifetime warranty!) and are truly some of the highest quality pans on the market.

I found great deals by shopping at the outlet. Some of my pans were 70% off retail price.

Through my research I also found these nontoxic cookware options to be very popular:


As I mentioned in the non toxic baby products post, plastic has got to go. Especially plastic containing BPA. Old tupperware sets that have been cluttering your cupboards would be a good place to start in your healthy kitchen overhaul.

The best option is to replace plastic with is glass. Stainless steel is the next best choice, followed by “safer” plastic (plastic marked with the number 1, 2, 4 or 5). In my opinion, it’s best to skip plastic all together.

The good news is there are a variety of classy, non-toxic food storage options on the market.


image via

Here are a few my favorite brands:

I love how the variety of sizes provided by Wean Green Snack Cubes. The tiny ones are perfect for my daughter’s little snacks (blueberries, applesauce, avocado chunks, etc.)

And I really love Blue Avocado’s Reusable Lunch Bags. My daughter is notorious for taking 1 bite of something and then saying “all done” so having these bags on hands saves money and the environment. Before I started using them I was going through ziplock bags like crazy.


My friends over at Blue Avocado are offering 20% off for Balanced Life beauties (that’s you!). Enter the code ‘balance20‘ at checkout. (They have adorable lunch bags too)

To save money and keep it simple, save glass jars and re-use them for food storage. I’ve been known to hoard empty salsa jars, pasta jars and any other jars I can get my hands on. 🙂


Water’s clean right?

I wish it were that simple.

Although we are very, very, very lucky to have access to clean drinking water (I don’t want to dismiss that major truth), filtering tap water is a simple change that can hep remove toxins from your daily routine.

If you’re a bottled water family – it’s time to make a change. Remember all the info I shared about BPA? If you still aren’t convinced, click here to read more about the best and worst bottled waters.

glass water filter

image via

So what can we do? We can take baby steps. Filter your water through a simple filtration in the fridge and don’t stress.

Recommended water filters:

If you want to take this beyond baby steps check out Wellness Mama’s post on the Best Water Filter Options. Just don’t drive yourself crazy okay? 🙂

contigo water bottle

The best nontoxic water bottles:

Baby Steps…

1. Buy one new pan every 1-2 months, replacing your old nonstick pans one by one.

2. Replace old tupperware with new glass, or stainless steel options.

3. Purchase a water filter.

4. Toss your old plastic water bottles and invest in one, high-quality water bottle to use each day.

Question: what is ONE thing you’ll do to detoxify your kitchen this year?



PS– In case you missed it…Baby Steps To Clean Eating, Baby Steps To Natural Skin Care And MakeupBaby Steps To Natural Cleaning Supplies and Baby Steps To Non Toxic Baby Products.

PPS – Did you find this post helpful? If so, I’d love for you to share it with your friends! 🙂

disclaimer: This post was not sponsored. All thoughts are my own. Affiliate links are used which costs the same to you but a small percentage goes to support The Balanced Life. 

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  1. Susie 6 years ago

    Love this post, and super excited that I am good in all these categories, I didn’t realize how clean I was in the kitchen 🙂

  2. Urban Wife 6 years ago

    I’m totally guilty of using Ziplocs. That’s one area I could improve on this year and love the Blue Avocado baggies you’ve linked.

  3. Rachel S 6 years ago

    Thank you for this one! I have been switching out my pots and pans. What are your recommendations for cooking utensils? I use bamboo and wood but they aren’t convenient, such as spatulas, slotted spoons.

    • Robin Long 6 years ago

      Great question! I use a mix of wood and silicone. Silicone is recommended for cast iron pots and pans. I haven’t dug much into what’s most “green” as far as utensils go. But I’m pretty happy with my set up right now. A mix of wood, stainless serving pieces and silicone. 🙂

  4. Maureen 6 years ago

    I tried to place and order on Blue Avocado and the code wasn’t working. Are there restrictions?

    • Robin Long 6 years ago

      Hi Maureen!
      Thanks for letting me know. I had a typo! I’ve updated the code to: balance20

      That should work. If it doesn’t, let me know!

  5. Jennifer 6 years ago

    Is stainless steel cookware a good choice? That is what I currently use daily. The only time I use nonstick is to cook eggs, they stick too much in the stainless.

  6. Lauren 6 years ago

    The code is not working for me either…

    • Robin Long 6 years ago

      Hi Lauren!
      I’ve contacted the folks at Blue Avocado and will get back to you ASAP! Thanks for your patience. 🙂

  7. Uta 6 years ago

    Oh Robin, this post comes a the correct time! I need to switch out a couple of pans soon so I’m currently doing lots of research on greener and healthier options. Right now I tend to ceramic cookware as well.

  8. Maureen 6 years ago

    No luck!

    • Robin Long 6 years ago

      Hi Maureen!
      I’ve contacted the folks at Blue Avocado and will get back to you ASAP! Thanks for your patience. 🙂

  9. Mary 6 years ago

    I’m wondering about how safe my slow cooker is. Have you done any research on those by chance? I’d love any information you’ve found. And did you purchase a dutch oven? I’m really still confused on what I use one for – I’d like to replace my stockpot – can a dutch oven serve as both? Thanks Robin!

    • Robin Long 6 years ago

      Hi Mary!
      This is a great question. My slow cooker is ceramic so I’ve never had any concerns there. But I also haven’t researched it much. One step at a time. 🙂 And as for the dutch oven – I hope one of our cooking-savvy sisters will answer that one! I’m not sure of that. I think a dutch oven is very versatile. I have a stock pot right now but I’m not sure what the benefits are of having both. Sorry! xo

    • Jennifer 6 years ago

      I have enamel coated castiron dutch ovens and I love them! I always use them to make my soups in, everything from chicken noodle to chili.

  10. Rachel 6 years ago

    I love Klean Kanteen! They are from my hometown Chico, California and they rock.

  11. Betsie 6 years ago

    I love cast iron! Lodge is the way to go if you can’t afford to invest in Le Crueset at the moment (plus cast irons without ceramic exteriors can withstand higher heat). One small suggestion: it would be super helpful to have a discussion about what we mean by “toxins” in all these posts. I think it’s a term that gets slung around a lot, so being precise about what we mean by “toxins” is helpful (for me at least).

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