Detoxify Your Home & Eggplant Mushroom Chicken Parmesan

23 Mar

I read this article on AOL Health this morning and thought I would share.  I found it rather interesting! 

By Amy Capetta

It’s no secret that toxins are everywhere, from the polluted air we breathe in the great outdoors to the chemical-laced items that line the shelves inside our homes. While we have little control regarding the quality of the air that surrounds us outside, we can decrease the amount of toxins that we allow to enter our living quarters. “People have become more aware of the importance of living in a healthy home, which is why so many toxic-free products are becoming mainstream,” Kevin Tibbs, co-founder and formulation chemist of Better Life cleaning products, told AOL Health. Here’s how you can easily reduce the number of potential dangerous toxins in your own home.
Take Off Your Shoes
The easiest — and cheapest — way to keep toxins out of your home is to take your shoes off before stepping inside, Jennifer Taggart, founder of The Smart Mama and author of “Smart Mama’s Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child’s Toxic Chemical Exposure,” told AOL Health. “We track so much of the dirt in our homes from outside, and with that comes a host of contaminants, such as pesticides, cadmium, lead and more,” she explained. “This simple act can reduce your exposure to these contaminants by as much as 65 percent.”
Clean With Plant-Based Products
For years, white vinegar was known as the natural multipurpose cleaner, but a new generation of natural, coconut-based cleaners, such as Clorox’s Green Works, Shaklee’s Get Clean and Tibbs’ Better Life, are a great way to get your home clean without the harsh chemicals found in traditional cleaners.
Steam the Floor With Hot Water
Instead of cleaning hard floors with harsh cleaners, try steaming away the dirt and scuff marks with a mop that requires only water, such as the Bissell Steam Mop Deluxe hard floor cleaner. These “mops” are chemical free; eco-friendly; and are designed to clean and sanitize all ceramic, tile, hardwood, vinyl and laminated flooring. They typically have reusable micropads, which make them more environmentally friendly than disposable pads.

Choose Water-Based Paints and Coatings
Along with traditional cleaning products, numerous home improvement items, like paints, lacquers and floor coatings, also emit fumes called volatile organic compounds. These compounds, such as glycol ethers and alcohols, can contribute to numerous health problems, including respiratory problems, nausea, headaches and skin irritation. In fact, The United States Environmental Protection Agency confirms that they can result in short- and long-term adverse health effects. Tibbs suggested choosing paints and finishes that are made from natural ingredients, such as water, minerals or plant oils.
Wash Clothes With Salt- or Herbal-Based Soaps
Instead of pouring a cup full of traditional, chemical-based laundry detergent in your washing machine, consider using a natural cleaner made from a salt compound such as Borax (also known as sodium tetraborate) or washing soda (also known as sodium carbonate). Or look for a ready-made natural laundry detergent, such as Seventh Generation natural liquid detergent.
Purchase a Certified Water Filter
The OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quotes a new healthy study that found drinking water in 31 out of 35 U.S. cities to be contaminated by a dangerous form of chromium called hexavalent chromium, which is a known carcinogen when inhaled and a possible carcinogen when ingested. In previous studies, tap water has also been found to contain unsafe levels of metals, bacteria, viruses and cancer-causing chemicals. If investing in a whole-house water filter system is too expensive, you may want to purchase a water filter that is National Sanitation Foundation and American National Standards Institute tested and certified. Try the Brita UltraMax Dispenser water filter.
Toss Out Home Fragrances
Taggart suggested skipping air fresheners and candles. “Those scented products are usually made from petroleum-based synthetic scents and contain a host of irritants, allergens and carcinogens,” she stated. Instead, she suggested simmering water — either on the stove or in an electric kettle — and adding the real version of your favorite scent, like lemon peel, orange peel, pine needles or cinnamon. And if you and your family are lucky enough not to suffer from springtime allergies, Taggart also advised simply opening the windows. “After all, the indoor air in our homes is usually more polluted than the outdoor air — four to 10 times more polluted according to the EPA — due to the cleaners and products we use,” she explained. “So detoxify your home by letting the fresh air in!”


On to other things like my eats from yesterday:

  • Breakfast- Blueberry, Banana and Spinach Smoothie with Vanilla Protein and Almond Milk


  • AM Snack-  Almonds and Walnuts
  • Lunch-  Chicken Boca on Ezekiel Pita with Cheddar Cheese and Hummus


  • PM Snack-  Vita Top, BBQ Chips, 1 1/2 Tortilla Chips (I wanted to eat everything)
  • Dinner-  Sautéed Eggplant, Mushroom and Chicken Parmesan with a Caesar Salad


Sautéed Eggplant, Mushroom and Chicken Parmesan (Serves 4)

*This is based off my Easy and Quick Chicken Parmesan Recipe I post a few weeks back.


  • 1 lbs chicken breast (we used pre sliced natural chicken breast)
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (we used herb)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 Small Ball of Fresh Mozzarella
  • 1-2 cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1 Medium Eggplant Thinly Sliced
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Sauté the eggplant in olive oil in a pan over the stove and sprinkle with salt (optional) and pepper.  Flip the eggplant once and remove it once it is no longer firm.  In a small baking dish, cover the bottom with pasta sauce (about 1 cup), next line half of the sautéed eggplant on top of the pasta sauce followed by half the mushrooms.  Next lay the  chicken over the vegetables, and cover the chicken with another layer of eggplant and the cut baby bellas, pour the remaining past sauce over the mushrooms.  Next, evenly distribute the fresh mozzarella across the pasta sauce and then sprinkle the parmesan over the top of the dish.  Cover and back for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.  Let sit five minutes to cool. 

This is a great dish and the added eggplant really gives it more nutrients with hardly any extra calories.  If you like eggplant parmesan, you’ll love this dish!

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Sinful is taste, but not on the waste line.  I can’t wait until leftovers tonight!  : )


Served with a fresh salad to complete the meal!


We used this dressing for the first time and we both rate it two thumbs down.  It was WAY to thick!  We actually check the exp. date to make sure the dressing was still good even though I had bought it only hours before we opened it!



Question:  Do you do any of the tips mentioned in ways to detox your home?  What did you learn from the article?  I am now going home and throwing away all my air fresheners!  I’ll start boiling scents in water on the stove!



7 Responses to “Detoxify Your Home & Eggplant Mushroom Chicken Parmesan”

  1. Shanna, like Banana March 23, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    Interesting thoughts! I am a big proponent of taking of the shoes!

  2. Running Girl March 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    That recipe looks fabulous. Yum!
    My husband is from Iran, & culturally it was a huge deal growing up for him to take your shoes off before entering someone’s home. So, it’s something we’ve always done in our house, and now the thought of someone trekking their germs into the house via their shoes kind of creeps me out. 🙂

    It drives my mother crazy to come over, because she loves to wear her shoes indoor. I bought her a pair of fancy slippers to make her happy. 🙂

  3. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) March 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    I agree with Shanna. In my townhouse-everyone must take off their shoes. Although the dogs tend to track in some awful mud yuck.

    I’m a huge fan of eggplant parm. That looks amazing!

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life March 24, 2011 at 7:13 am #

      Our floors are flithy b\c of our dog right now and since they are travertine you can only use water to clean them (so we were told). I’m debating getting that steam mop for disenfecting our whole house! We also need to get better at not wearing our shoes in the house.


  1. Bump Pics and Wednesday Recap « Balanced Healthy Life - August 11, 2011

    […] Dinner-  Eggplant, Mushroom and Chicken Parmesan […]

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