Dinner Diva
Can you live without the microwave?

By: Leanne Ely

I don’t use a microwave and this has nothing to do with following a Paleo lifestyle. I started avoiding microwaves when I was a new mother. My distaste for microwaves actually came from a lactation nurse. A week after my son was born, he was in the hospital for a week with RSV. He was too sick to nurse, so I was pumping a lot. The nurses froze the breast milk for me to take home with me, but I was given instructions to NOT microwave it, not even for 20 seconds.

When I asked why, the nurse said that nuking it would kill all of the nutrients and enzymes in the milk and I’d be left with nothing.

If breast milk is stripped of its nutrients when microwaved, then what about vegetables, eggs and meat?Microwaves, Are microwaves safe?, food safety, Nutrients

A microwave is a nutrient zapper. Plain and simple. And when you’re dishing out a fortune on healthy foods, which we already know are depleted of many of their minerals and vitamins by the time we buy them, why would you want to remove all that nutrition in the name of convenience? In fact, those nutrients that are removed from vegetables through microwaving are transformed into carcinogenic free radicals.

The Russians banned microwaves back in 1976. The following reasons were cited in some very dated literature, so I can’t know for sure how scientific these findings were, but they are enough for me to unplug the microwave for good:

• Thawing frozen fruits in the microwave turned some of their compounds into carcinogens
• Microwaved plants (especially root veggies) were found to have carcinogenic free radicals
• Even short amounts of time in the microwave turned plant alkaloids in cooked, raw and frozen veggies into carcinogens
• When microwaving grains and milk, amino acids were converted into carcinogenic substances

Russian investigators found carcinogens in almost all of the microwaved food that they tested.

I know what you’re thinking . . . “But Leanne! How will I live without a microwave?”

You learn to get by! We didn’t have microwaves in our kitchens prior to the mid to late 80s. We got by just fine back then!

We should be eating raw foods more often anyway, so here’s a good excuse to bulk up on the raw leafy greens with every meal (yes, even breakfast).

Instead of sticking frozen food in the microwave to thaw it, use your refrigerator. You can also use a bowl of cold water to thaw your food.

Reheat foods in a toaster oven, a sauce pan or in the frying pan, depending on what you’re dealing with. Casseroles do fine in the oven (reheat foods at a temperature of 200-250), leftover pizza is delicious reheated in the frying pan, and soups or coffee can be heated in a saucepan on the stove! Trust me when I tell you food tastes better this way, too.

Will it be hard to get used to life without the microwave? For a day or two. But it’s like anything else. You will learn to adapt!

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PS– Going back to the Paleo lifestyle, have you heard about the latest 30 Day Paleo Challenge? Our Fall Paleo Challenge Menus are here! Just in time for those cooler temperatures! Join us here!

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