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Sophie Keller

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How Happy Is... 5 Easy Steps To A Healthy Kitchen

Posted: 09/08/09 08:09 AM ET

The kitchen in most people's house is the heart of the home and, if big enough, where much of the communal activity takes place. The state of the kitchen is very indicative of the wellbeing of the individuals living there. So, this week I wanted to give you 5 quick and easy tips to help you improve the health of your kitchen.


Tip 1. Clear the Decks: As in all my articles about the home, I can't resist doing my usual and telling you to clear out all the kitchen cupboards and get rid of anything that you haven't used in the last 12 months. If you have blunt knives, then sharpen them. If you need more plates or glasses, then get them. If the walls look tired, then give them a lick of paint. Clean out the drawers and do whatever you need to make the kitchen sparkling clean. Then keep it that way, at all times. Imagine Gordon Ramsey is inspecting the state of your kitchen. What would he say about it? If you are cooking food it needs to be in an extremely hygienic environment and clearing out and cleaning is the first step to giving your kitchen a new lease of life.

Tip 2. Under The Sink: If you were to take all the cleaning products that you have under your sink and poured the liquid from every one of them in to a bucket, (i.e. surface cleaners, floor cleaners, wood cleaners, window cleaners, silver cleaners, bathroom and kitchen cleaners,) you will find that a huge amount of poisonous chemicals would be collected in to that one container. (i.e. ammonia, formaldehyde, xylene, bleach etc) Many of these products are extremely toxic, they are dangerous to inhale or get on your skin, never mind poisonous to swallow. There are so many ecological products on the market that surely it makes much more sense to replace the toxic ones with ones that are much safer to have in your house. They might vary in price slightly, but it is definitely worth limiting the amount of poison that you keep under your sink and, if you want to keep it cheap, you can always use products like baking soda, Borax, white vinegar and cornstarch.

Tip 3. Inside Your Fridge: If you tend to buy food in packets or jars, then get in to a habit of reading what's on the label. The more it reads like real ingredients, the better it is for you and the more it reads like a chemistry experiment, the worse it is for you. If you don't know what a word is, then look it up. If there are additives in it, just be aware that they won't provide your body with the nutrients it needs for health or energy. As a rule of thumb, you will tend to find more additives in foods that have low nutritional value. If you find you really can't do without your favorite food, then try to find a more natural alternative.


Tip 4. The Stove: On a lighter note, it is ideal to have a stove in a position whereby if you are cooking you can see who is coming through the kitchen door, without turning around. However, if, like most of us, you don't have that luxury and when you are at your stove your back is to the door, then you might want to consider putting a mirror above the cooker, so that you can see the reflection of anyone who might be entering in to the room behind you. It is the same concept of not having your back to the door when you are in your bed or at a desk. But in this case, you obviously can't move the stove; so putting up a mirror is an easy and effective solution.


Tip 5. Filter your water: If you drink your tap water without filtering it, then it would certainly be wise to find out exactly what is in it. If there is any chlorine in it, which very likely there is, then filter it. You need to be drinking a large amount of water a day to replenish your cells and that means that it's important to make sure that you are feeding your organs with a pure form of water, not with a continuous dose of a cheap bleach. (Chlorine) There are also a lot of other hidden ingredients in tap water as well, which may or may not, have been eradicated at the water treatment facility. So my advice is to find out exactly what is in your water and then, if needs be, filter it. Whether you get an extra drinking tap fitted or simply use a filter jug that you put on your sideboard.


If you have been trying to contact me, I am sorry my e-mail has been down recently as we are about to launch a brand new 'howhappyis' site, with even more tips, video and entertainment. However, it is working now, so please feel free contact me at sophie@howhappyis.com.