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7 Time-Saving Tools For Healthy Cooking

7 Time-Saving Tools For Healthy Cooking

We all want to eat healthily but sometimes our busy lifestyles come between us and a better diet. With today’s array of kitchen gadgets on offer though it really doesn’t have to be a choice between saving time and eating well, you can do both.

Here’s our choice of 7 time-saving tools which will help you create healthy meals however busy your day.

Rice Cooker

Rice is delicious, nutritious and can be combined with a wide range of stir-fry meals to create healthy fast food. A rice cooker makes certain you get perfect fluffy rice every time, with no concerns about half-cooked grains or burnt saucepans. Rice cookers also often can be used in a dual purpose way, doubling up as steamers and therefore saving space, as outlined below.

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rice cooker

    Vegetable Steamer

    We are all encouraged to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, but if we want optimum health there’s no harm in increasing that number. A steamer is the best way to preserve the nutrients in the food plus it has the advantage of being quick. Vegetables come out crisp and tasting good, a far cry from the soggy cabbage and over boiled leaks of yesteryear.

    steamer under the white background
      Steamer under white background

      Juicer

      Another way to top up our levels of nutrients is to drink our vitamins. Juicing has become popular in the last few years and there are now many juicer models available which make cleaning and storing them a breeze. If you are often short of time in the morning you can even prepare your juice the night before and then grab it from the fridge on your way out the door.

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      fresh lemon, making lemon juice with squeezer isolated on white background
        Fresh lemon, making lemon juice with squeezer isolated on white background

        Blender

        While some people love juices, others are fonder of smoothies, and blenders can mix these up in a flash. If you add yogurt, or even occasionally ice-cream, this can also be an ideal way to get children to eat more healthily as they often won’t even realize fruit is lurking in the delicious drink.

        healthy smoothie ingredients in blender with fresh fruit on kitchen table
          Healthy smoothie ingredients in blender with fresh fruit on kitchen table

          Slow Cooker

          Another lifesaver if you are out of the house most of the day is a slow cooker. All the ingredients can be popped in first thing in the morning and then the cooker works its magic over the next eight hours. This means you come home to a healthy, hot and delicious meal with little effort. Slow cookers also use small amounts of electricity so they are a great money-saver too.

          Pinto and garbanzo beans cooked in slow cooker with vegetables.
            Pinto and garbanzo beans cooked in slow cooker with vegetables.

            Vegetable Spiralizer

            Many of us now enjoy living a lower carb lifestyle, but let’s be honest we miss the ease and versatility of pasta. Vegetable spiralizers are a relatively new addition to our kitchens but they are a super easy way of increasing our intake of vegetables, while creating delicious meals. You can quickly turn courgettes, carrots and a wide range of other vegetables into spirals, which are a substitute for pasta or can be added to stir-fry dishes or salad.

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            spiralizer

              Water filter

              It’s easily forgotten but the quality of our water can make a big difference to the food and drink we enjoy. Many hard water areas particularly can affect how our food tastes and that’s why it’s important to use a water filter. Making the move to have a water filter fitted at the tap makes it easy to have clean, fresh filtered water available whenever you need it, plus it cuts back on any waste from disposable filters.

              Try out even one or two of these time-saving gadgets and you will be well on your way to living a healthier life, all while spending as little time as possible preparing and cooking meals.

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              blue water filter on a white background
                Blue water filter on a white background

                Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com

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                Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                1. Breathe

                The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                2. Loosen up

                After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                3. Chew slowly

                Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                4. Let go

                Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                It’s not. Promise.

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                Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                5. Enjoy the journey

                Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                6. Look at the big picture

                The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                Will this matter to me…

                • Next week?
                • Next month?
                • Next year?
                • In 10 years?

                Hint: No, it won’t.

                I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                8. Practice patience every day

                Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                Final thoughts

                Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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