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My Plastic-Free Kitchen

This summer I got rid of about 97% of the plastic in my kitchen. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time. Google the dangers of plastic and you'll come up with a half million results. It's no secret that plastics are at best questionable for our health. This isn't some hippie idea, it's serious enough that leading scientists, top research schools like Harvard, global environmental organizations, EPA programs, medical organizations and more have done research into the harmful effects of plastic. 

We can't avoid plastic. It's so ubiquitous we don't even notice it. Even though it's only really been in daily use, like in dishes, since the 50s. It's still too early to fully understand the daily effects of our modern reliance on this toxic chemical known as plastic. But we do know that BPA (Bisphenol A) is one of the most pervasive chemicals in modern life. BPA is a building block of plastic and is used in thousands of consumer products, including food packaging. It's one of many man-made chemicals classified as endocrine disruptors, which alter the function of the endocrine system by mimicking the role of the body's natural hormones. Creepy stuff with adverse consequences, like obesity, breast growth in men, early puberty for girls, breast and prostate cancers. Many plastic additives have been banned across Europe, Canada, and China, surprisingly. 

There's sufficient evidence to make you scratch your head, and perhaps think "Maybe I don't need all this plastic in my life." I can't control every piece of plastic I come in contact with, but I do have control over what I put in my mouth and on my body and in my home. I can limit my exposure to plastic, and make choices that align with what I value. 

By the way, I am of the belief that fear is one of the greatest killers. No fear mongering here. I promise. Just good old-fashioned pre-plastic common sense. It's important to find a balance between being practical, living normally, listening to your own inner guidance, heeding health warnings, but also not caving to fear. I don't live in fear of plastic, nor should anyone else. But that doesn't mean it's good for us. Just like I would get rid of black mold if it was growing in my house, I am getting rid of unnecessary plastic, particularly in my kitchen where it comes in contact with what goes into my, and my family's, body.

I actually found it liberating to get rid of most of the plastic in my kitchen. It felt like I was taking back a part of my life in some strange way. I couldn't believe the copious amounts of plastic I had tucked away--food/storage containers, cutting boards, measuring cups, dog and cat bowls, cooking utensils and more.

But when it came time to let go of some of the bowls I've always liked, it wasn't easy. 

I replaced what I wanted with metal or glass. I searched high and low for an all glass storage container set, but couldn't find one. So I bought this set below on the left with the red lids. The lids are BPA-free (when you buy plastic look for BPA-free) but my husband and I are still careful to not pack them so the food touches the lids. We love this set. I'll include a link to some of the things I purchased below at the end of this post. 

I love these 100% cotton food storage bags!

I suppose it's like when you clean out your closet, you then wear only your favorite clothes. I started using the beautiful midcentury glass cooking ware and bowls that my grandmother passed down to me years ago as storage containers. It now makes me so happy to see them being used every day! (And I'm sure it makes her smile, as well.)

See, I'm not going bananas and feverishly ridding my house of every ounce of plastic. I used plastic bags to toss (donate and recycle) my plastic containers. (On the hunt for BPA free plastic garbage bags!)

Goodbye plastic kitchen stuff!

I hope this has inspired you to at least reconsider the plastics in your kitchen, which I think, is the most important place to start. We can't do everything, but we can all do something. And sometimes, that's enough. 

Here are some of the things I bought. And I can honestly say I would purchase them all again. Great products all around! I've linked the titles to their Amazon page. 

Happy BPA Plastic-Free Zoning Your Kitchen!

"Plant Food + Wine" Review. Hint, it's Ambience + Hospitality + Delicious

There's this thing about LA--you don't leave your neighborhood much. If you're vegan and live in West Hollywood or Silver Lake, you know all the spots and exactly what to order in each. But if you happen to be in Encino for the day, you have to pull out your Happy Cow or Yelp app to find the best vegan place around you. If a new vegan restaurant opens up in LA and it's more than five miles away, it might as well be in Ojai. (Or is that just me?) 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Easy Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

When I became vegan, fettuccine alfredo was one of the top things I missed. Over the years, I tried different recipes and nothing really tasted quite like the dairy version, but this recipe comes close. I found it on the Silk website. I tweaked it a bit, and tada! It's awesome. And really easy to make too. If you've been missing alfredo sauce, say hello to your new friend!

Meatless Monday Recipe: Vegan Risotto

Meatless Monday Recipe: Vegan Risotto

I can't even begin to describe how much I love this risotto. It's one of my top 3 favorite meals. I snapped this iPhone photo the other night before I devoured it. Full Disclosure: I've never made this, but my husband Brad makes it at least twice a month. He has a couple of different versions: one with asparagus and Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base for spring and summer, and another for fall and winter that includes mushrooms and Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base. (The No Chicken Base is lighter.) We top them both with freshly grated lemon zest and truffle oil. It goes perfect with kale chips.

Announcement: Four New Healing Through Hypnosis Workshops!

Announcement: Four New Healing Through Hypnosis Workshops!

Big news!

I have four new Healing Through Hypnosis workshops scheduled for October through January. Each is a one day, all day, fun day, filled with breakthroughs, insights and transformation! I hope you can join me for 1, 2, 3 or all 4. For details, please visit the EVENTS page on my new website that my talented husband Brad Klopman built. (And if you need a website, don't hesitate to contact him at

Meatless Monday Recipe: Baked Tofu and Homemade Croutons

Meatless Monday Recipe: Baked Tofu and Homemade Croutons

 get it when people tell me they don't like tofu. In and of itself, tofu is bland and mushy. But you have to think of it as a blank slate. It'll take on the wonderful flavors of what it's cooked with, and, done right, out of the oven or the frying pan, it's delightfully crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Honestly, there's nothing like perfectly done tofu. More often than not though, when ordered out, it's less than perfect. But I've got a recipe that is pretty hard to screw up. It makes the perfect baked tofu time after time. 

Cynthia's Favorite Vegan Things for September

Cynthia's Favorite Vegan Things for September

You wouldn't think it'd be so hard to find vegan granola, but it is. A lot of them use honey. I prefer to support vegan companies, but honestly I'm just grateful to find a vegan option in most companies. I'm sure there's a vegan company that makes vegan granola, but I haven't found them yet.

I really like this granola. I use it for my acai bowls. But here's the thing about Kind. I went to their website to read about them, fully thinking they were a vegan company, I mean with a name like that, how can you not be, right? I read their mission statement, and it's awesome: "to spread and celebrate kindness." But then I was surprised to see that some of their products contain dairy. Huh? The truth is, until Kind goes all vegan, they are not a Kind company. They are supporting one of the cruelest forms of abuse in the world--the dairy and veal industry. Just to make sure I was reading this correctly and that they hadn't changed their policy, I wrote them and asked if they still use dairy. This was part of their reply:

Cynthia's Favorite Vegan Things for August

Cynthia's Favorite Vegan Things for August

I haven't had tuna fish in 30+ years, but my mom's tuna sandwiches were one of my favorite things growing up. Forewarned, if you eat tuna, you'll hate this product. If you're vegan and haven't had tuna in years, you'll appreciate it. My husband and I first tried this at the Natural Products Expo West. I loved it. I now eat Toona straight out of the can with crackers and some of that Treeline nut cheese that I mentioned in June's Favorite Things post. I've made Toona sandwiches with this and an old school Toona casserole that turned out great. (I'll post a recipe soon.) Here's a quick peek on the Live Strong Blog as to why you're better off ditching real tuna. $4.49 on Vitacost.

An open letter to those who are outraged about the outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion

An open letter to those who are outraged about the outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion

An open letter to those who are outraged about the outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion:

I understand that the murder of Cecil the lion has gotten you upset. And not upset for the same reason others are upset. You’re not upset about the killing of Cecil, you’re upset that people are upset about the killing of Cecil.

I’ve heard your debate, “Why the public outcry over an animal when there are people dying in Africa every day?” I get it. I’m a vegan. And I’ve been an animal rights activist for 27 years. When I hear about the killing of Cecil, I too join with the public in a collective shaking of our heads, but like you I also assume that those who are angry or sad because of Cecil’s death are not making a connection—but not the connection between animals and people, rather the connection between animals and animals.