A preview from The NEW Fat Flush Cookbook

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. I bet yours is filled with laughter, love, and nourishing ingredients, but you may be overlooking some important things. In this preview from my NEW Fat Flush Cookbook I cover the rundown on how to make your kitchen the most nourishing, healing place it can be—before you even begin cooking.

Essential Utensils
I personally prefer heavy-duty, stainless-steel, waterless cookware, which cooks in a vacuum seal. When food cooks in its own juices, high flavor, tenderness, and high nutritional value are guaranteed. In fact, studies have shown that cooking in vacuum-sealed cookware rather than non-sealed cookware retains more vitamins and minerals and produces less fat. At the same time, less salt and less of every seasoning is required for high-quality taste. I personally use Le Creuset cookware for all my cooking. Although it is a heavier line of cookware, I feel secure that it is enamel-covered iron and safe. Enamel, Corning Ware, glass, and Pyrex are also acceptable. For those of you who are anemic, you might consider cooking with iron-based utensils because the extra iron picked up from cooking can actually be therapeutic. When a high acidbased food like spaghetti sauce, for example, is cooked in iron pots, it contains six times more iron than when it is made in ceramic cookware.

Choose heavy-duty tin or black steel for your baking needs.

Stay Away from Aluminum
As a quick reminder, do aluminum-proof the kitchen as much as possible. Aluminum inhibits the body's utilization of key minerals like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Scary, right? On top of that, some researchers believe that it can neutralize pepsin, an important digestive enzyme in the stomach. Replace all aluminum steamers, measuring cups, spoons, bread pans, and cookie sheets with stainless steel or Pyrex.

You should avoid aluminum foil also. When cooking, opt for parchment paper (like Beyond Gourmet unbleached parchment paper), which the French have used for years in their “en papillote” dishes to seal in juices. This can be used for roasting veggies as well. For storing and freezing, you can first cover with wax paper then foil, which prevents the aluminum from leaching into foods.

Can't tell whether your utensils are fused with aluminum that could leach into your food? Simple: test with a magnet. A magnet will not cling to aluminum but will to tin or nickel—which is often used with stainless steel.

Curb the Copper
You would also be wise to replace all copper-lined cookware. This metal can upset the sensitive zinc-copper balance in your system. Excess copper has been linked to depression, insomnia, anorexia nervosa, compulsive behavior, anxiety, hyperactivity, various skin disorders, and hair loss. Need I say more?

Consider a Water Filter for Your Home
With pure, clean water becoming extinct and with bottled water not always being reliable, a home water filter is no longer a luxury but a necessity. I recommend the CWR Crown Ultra-Ceramic Water Filter, the most effective water filtration system available. The filter is made of ultrafine ceramic with pores so small that they trap bacteria, parasites, and particles down to 0.8 micron in size. The filtering system provides a comprehensive, three-stage process.

In the first stage the tiny pores in the ceramic remove bacteria, parasites, rust, and dirt. The second filter state is composed of high-density matrix carbon that removes chlorine, pesticides, and other chemicals like chloramines and trihalomethanes. In the third stage, a heavy-metal–removing compound eliminates lead and copper.

Knives
I would be remiss if I did not remind you how important the right knives are for chopping, paring, slicing, and carving— everything from fruits and veggies to roasts and turkeys. At the very least, you will need one high-quality utility knife and one 4-inch paring knife for the majority of your cutting needs in the smart kitchen. If you are planning to purchase a new knife set and you want something durable, then I highly recommend MAC Japanese knives, which are acclaimed by chefs all over the world as the world's finest knives. The MAC knives are what I personally use because they have a razorsharp edge, stay sharp a long time, and have thin blades for easy slicing. They are easily available online.

Thermos
A wide-mouthed thermos is helpful for taking soups, stews, and leftovers to work with you.

The Flaxseed Grinder
Since ground flax seeds are such a potent source of metabolism-boosting omega-3s and fiber-rich lignans— which function as natural hormone balancers—a specially designed flaxseed grinder is a valuable smart kitchen item. The Krups F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder with stainless-steel blades is an efficient, easy-to-use grinder. You can find it and similar products online.

Mortar and Pestle
Many of the recipes call for crushed dried herbs. To crush my herbs, I like to use a mortar and pestle, which is best for extracting the essence of the dried herbs and spices used in the recipes. The mortar and pestle crushes the herbs, which in turn release the volatile oils that contain the herbs' health and aromatic qualities. The aromas of the ground, dried herbs or spices are nearly four times as strong as the aromas from the same herbs and spices before they are ground.

Seed Grinder
For grinding and crushing seeds (like anise, fennel, or coriander), a small hand-turned mill is very useful.

For over 200 family-friendly recipes and snacks to make in your new kitchen—including Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, and Gluten-Free options—pick up your copy of The NEW Fat Flush Cookbook.

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Visionary health expert Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, has always been a trendsetter. With millions of followers nationwide, she has the uncanny ability to pinpoint major health concerns and provide solutions years ahead of anybody else.

Highly respected as the grande dame of alternative health and award-winning author of 30 books, she single-handedly launched the weight loss/detox revolution in her New York Times bestseller The Fat Flush Plan. A Connecticut College and Teachers College, Columbia University graduate, Dr. Ann Louise was recognized as one of the top ten nutritionists in the country by Self magazine and was the recipient of the American Medical Writers Association award for excellence. She has been a popular columnist for First magazine since 2003.

Website: www.annlouise.com