A couple of weeks ago I took the plunge and got rid of my microwave! And, guess what? I don’t miss it one bit!
I’ve been weaning myself off the microwave for a few years now, mainly because of my desire to cook my family real, whole foods.
To me, the microwave was a symbol of my previous not-so-natural lifestyle, where I relied more on convenience foods.
For these reasons and more, my microwave didn’t really get much use. It was generally topped with a stack of bills or school admin and a loaf of bread (gluten-free of course!). Anyway, after listening to a great podcast by The Minimalists (see link at the end of the blog) I was inspired to de-clutter and free up some space on my kitchen counter, so off it went.
Want to discover the health and natural living reasons why I ditched my microwave for good?
Here we go …
1. Retain the nutrients in our food
Zapping the heck out of your food with electromagnetic radiation just can’t be good for it. I don’t care what certain ‘experts’ (probably linked to big business and the corporations selling them) say about them being safe. From the research I have done, there are enough nutritionists and scientists (search Dr Mercola for more detail) saying microwaves create ‘dead food’ for me to take notice.
The theory is that when microwaves heat food they create extreme hot spots where the molecular structure of food is changed. When the molecular structure of your food changes, the nutrient content is diminished.
I’m no scientist so it’s hard to know who is right and who is wrong. What I do know is that I like to eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible – either raw, lightly steamed, baked or sometimes stir-fried in coconut oil. Blasting my food with electromagnetic radiation doesn’t fit with that ideal.
2. Avoid microplastic consumption
Most ready meals and food that is microwaved comes in a plastic container. As well as being bad for the environment, eating food that has been wrapped in plastic – and especially heated in plastic – is bad for us.
Why? Because when heated, plastic can break down and microparticles can leech out into your food. Heated plastic containers can release carcinogens and other toxins that will then be absorbed into your body through the food you eat.
Although these microplastics and toxins are consumed in tiny doses, it’s not something I want for our family. My goal is to reduce as many toxins as possible in our lives, both for my health and healing from autoimmune disease and to stop the toxic build-up in the bodies of my girls.
3. Limit exposure to electromagnetic radiation
Microwaves work by producing waves of electrical and magnetic radiation. With a microwave oven, these ‘microwaves’ are supposedly retained within the oven. The ‘official’ reports say that microwaves are safe to use. However, the more I learn, the more sceptical I become. Also, just by plugging in the microwave or having it on standby in the kitchen, exposure to EMFs is increased.
4. Reduce consumption of fast food and cook real food
For me, using the microwave was about fast food – both in the sense of convenience food and food that is rushed i.e. bunging something from the freezer in for a quick meal. That’s not what I want to do anymore, and removing the microwave removes the temptation!
Since going gluten-free and dairy-free there aren’t really any ready meals I can have. That has been a blessing in disguise actually, as it’s made me improve my cooking skills, cook real food and, unexpectedly, slow down.
As a busy working mum to two girls, rushing had become a way of life and the microwave fitted right into that.
Whilst cutting out ‘rushing’ from my life is still a work in progress, I have managed to slow down in the kitchen.
I regularly take an hour’s lunch break to cook or prepare a salad and I do the same at dinnertime, often listening to an inspiring podcast while doing it. And it’s an enjoyable part of my day, especially at lunchtime when the house is quiet and I’m on my own.
The meals that I make now come from organic whole foods that are mostly cooked from scratch. It does take more time but I find this approach so much more fulfilling.
5. Get more counter space!
This one was a revelation. I only had a small microwave but it is surprising how much space it took up. After I removed it (and cleaned away the layer of dust, the shame!) I was thrilled by the possibility of having extra counter space. What to do with it?
I eventually settled on converting the microwave corner into a space to help me feel more organised. It now houses a ‘to-do’ tray of all that life-admin stuff that used to creep all over the kitchen. And although the to-do tray doesn’t always get done, I am very pleased with it.
How to manage without a microwave
Honestly, it’s not that hard. Living microwave-free just takes a little more preparation:
- Foods that need to be reheated can be done on the stove, just add a little water so it doesn’t dry out
- If I need something from the freezer, by planning ahead I can take out what I need and defrost it in the fridge overnight
- And if I need a quick meal then my go-to is some form of eggs or a salad.
Have you got rid of your microwave? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments box below.