This can be a touchy subject. I am a Southern girl and hospitality is high on my list. I would never want to offend or invoke feelings of discomfort to those I invite into my home. But, when I can, I educate our house guests as to why I am politely asking them to remove their shoes at the door. I have not always felt this way, but after many hours of research, I concluded that wearing shoes in the house is extremely bad for your health. I have narrowed my research down to what I feel are 5 good reasons to promote dropping your shoes at the door.
1. Bacteria on the bottoms of shoes – A large portion of the bacteria found on your shoes is from stepping on fecal matter. It originates from public restroom floors or contact with animal fecal material from being outdoors. The most common occurrence from this type of bacteria is E. coli bacteria which can cause sickness including diarrhea and other illnesses according to the CDC. This can be especially problematic for those who have young children that crawl and play along the floors. This bacteria can be easily transmitted to tile and carpet. Cleaning your floors and vacuuming your carpet will greatly cut down on the amount of bacteria in your home.
2. Toxins on shoes – Shoes pick up all kinds of toxins in the course of a day. Anywhere you walk, you are likely grabbing a toxin. From the dry cleaners to the gas station, and everywhere in between, there are toxins. Environmental pollution from spilled gasoline at the pump to walking through grass that has recently been sprayed. All of it then comes right into your home. This is probably the most important reason I initially began removing my shoes at the door. These pollutants are extremely harmful to our systems and can potentially cause serious side effects.
3. Dirty – I have two young boys. Dirt is a constant. If they wore their shoes in the house, I would be cleaning the floors all day long! I believe this one is pretty self-explanatory. No shoes=no dirt.
4. General Health – I am a firm believer in the notion that not wearing shoes in the house makes for overall healthier people. Given that we have discussed the fact that large amounts of bacteria and toxins travel on shoes, it makes sense to me that a home without shoes is healthier than a home with shoes. I believe the instances of allergic reactions and respiratory issues as well as general sickness is much lower.
5. Comfort – Whether you work outside the home or are a stay-home mommy, when you finish your workday, the first thing you want to do is take off your shoes and relax. Make your home a haven of comfort. Put a few pairs of comfy slippers by the door that you can slip into as soon as you walk inside. You may even want to offer a pair to your guests if you feel they are uncomfortable removing their shoes. Remember, hospitality for guests is still crucial.
Now for the good stuff. One of the very first books I bought when I decided to follow a clean eating lifestyle was Sophie Uliano’s The Gorgeously Green Diet – How to Live Lean and Green. I have prepared countless numbers of her recipes and they are all fabulous. Her website www.SophieUliano.com is full of helpful ideas and perfect ways to eat and live a gorgeously green lifestyle. She posted this Lemon Chia Seed muffin recipe on twitter last summer and my family fell in love with them. I made a batch this week and she kindly gave me permission to share the recipe with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut palm sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups sprouted spelt flour (just use Spelt if you can’t find the sprouted version)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1/2 cup rice milk (I used almond milk)
2 TBSP chia seeds
Makes 6-8 medium muffins. Preheat oven to 350. Beat the sugar and oil in the food processor until creamy. While the processor is still running, slowly add the eggs. Finally, add the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, vanilla extract and milk. Process well. Finally add the chia seeds and pulse just to mix them in. Line a muffin tin with liners and fill each liner with the batter.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve immediately, or gently warm again before serving.