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April 2024

Kitchen Upgrade

Kitchen Upgrade

Simple kitchen swaps can make a huge impact on your health. This months challenge focuses on replacing common use items in your kitchen with toxin free versions. The Intermediate Challenge contains options. You can select 1 option, or elect to do both! If you’ve already completed both options, feel free to move on to the Advanced challenge! For more info on products and brands we recommend for non-toxic kitchen items, check out this blog post!

Select a Challenge Level below and get started!

Swap your oils! If you're still cooking with any of these common unhealthy oils:

  • Canola

  • Vegetable

  • Corn

  • Soybean

  • Safflower

  • Peanut

Swap for a healthier option:

  • Avocado

  • Coconut

  • Olive Oil (Note: extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point, and is ideal for dressings and other cold dishes, but not ideal for heat. Look for a traditional olive oil with a high smoke point if you intend to use it for cooking.)

  • Tallow (Grass-Fed)

  • Butter


  • Ghee (Grass-Fed)

Learn more about choosing oils here.


Swap your oils if you haven't already (see the Beginners Challenge), AND

Option 1: Swap your core spices.

Check the ingredients on the herb, spices, and seasonings you use most often. Are they organic? Do they contain added colors, flavors, sweeteners, anti-caking agents, or preservatives? If so, replace them this month with organic options that only contain the spice or herb. We use a LOT of spices at Real Food Made Simple, so we buy our organic spices in bulk through Azure Standard, but you can find high-quality organic options in most grocery stores.

Option 2: Swap your cutting boards.

If you’re still using plastic cutting boards, it’s time to upgrade! Studies have shown that plastic cutting boards actually hold MORE bacteria than wood or bamboo options. Cutting on a plastic surface is also also shown to release microscopic shavings of plastic into the food you’re cutting and eating (yuck)!


Swap your oils and spices or cutting boards if you haven't already (see the Beginners and Intermediate Challenge), AND ditch non-stick cookware.

We admit, non-stick cookware is a tough one to give up, but it is absolutely worth it when it comes to your health. Non-stick cookware and bakeware are commonly covered with coatings, like Teflon, that contain PFAS chemicals (otherwise known as forever chemicals). At high temperatures, these coatings release fumes that can be harmful to your health.

We know getting a whole new set of cookware can be daunting, but you do NOT have to do this all at once. If you currently own any stainless or cast iron cookware or glass bakeware that you aren’t using, try using it in place of non-stick cookware a few times per week! If you don’t current own any stainless or cast-iron pans, invest in one this month that is the same size as your favorite skillet. (You know, the one you always grab first.)

TIP: Lodge Cast Iron has outlet stores and "crash and dent" sections of their stores where you can purchase discounted cast iron items.

Wether you’re new to this kind of cookware or not, be sure to check out our article on “How to Non-Stick Your Pans” (coming soon)!


Got plastic cooking utensils? Swap them out for stainless steel, wood, or bamboo!

Just like plastic cutting boards, plastic spatulas and other cooking utensils have been shown to release microplastics into your food. Exposure to heat while stirring and flipping food in a hot pan breaks the plastic down even more quickly.

Already completed this challenge?

Head back to the Monthly Challenge home page to tackle a new challenge!

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