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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 March 13, 2019

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                1. Work on the small tasks.

                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                3. Upgrade yourself

                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                4. Talk to a friend.

                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                7. Read a book (or blog).

                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                8. Have a quick nap.

                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                10. Find some competition.

                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                11. Go exercise.

                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                12. Take a good break.

                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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