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A Clean Sweep

February 10th, 2012 - By Therese Madden




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Better nutrition begins with a little Spring cleaning. Cookbook author and teacher, Christina Pirello says now is a great time to rid your pantry of convenience foods and stock it with healthier homemade options.

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Here’s a sampling of what some people are having for dinner tonight:
“Yeah, we’re having boxed mac and cheese for dinner.”
“Chicken noodle soup from a box.”
Every now and then I just like to curl up and have a bowl of cereal for dinner.”

Christina Pirello

No doubt, packaged foods are convenient and people eat them all the time. But, we if we go by food activist Michael Pollan’s rules on what we should be eating. You shouldn’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Like many of the ingredients in those packaged favorites.
“Aspartame?” “No.”
“Potassium Carbonate?” “For what?”
“Blue #1?” “Maybe on an easter egg.”

Well, cookbook author and cooking teacher, Christina Pirello’s latest book is called I’m Mad as Hell and I’m not Going to Eat it Anymore. In it she shares some tips for people who want to get away from eating processed junk food. And it starts with a mop. “So, the best way for people to start, and this may sound weird but I always tell people if you really want to commit to changing the way you eat the first thing you have to do is clean your kitchen. Not clean out your kitchen, but clean your kitchen, from top to bottom, wash your cabinets, everything. Just clean your kitchen, it sort of sets your head up for this new kitchen, so do that.”

Why wait for a nice spring day to start spring cleaning? “Then the next thing I advise people to do is take one ingredient a week, or one item a week that you know is not serving you. Take it out! And add one thing a week that you know is better for you.” Like getting rid of soda and replacing it with herbal tea. For the next week, she suggests going one night without meat for dinner. Whatever you decide to eliminate, Pirello says it’s important to make the changes gradually.

“You haven’t made anyone in your family nuts by saying okay we are going from dinner in a bucket to tofu and sprouts for the rest of our lives, cause guess what? They’re not going to do it. They’re not going to do it.”

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