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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 10, 2019

                7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                1. Gratitude

                Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                Gratitude-Quotes

                  2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                  This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                  For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                  What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                  Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                  3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                  This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                  Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                  An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                  Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                  write down goals

                    4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                    According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                    There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                    5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                    Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                    Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                    6. Rise Earlier

                    The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                    For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                    So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                    Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                    7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                    Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                    Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                    It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                    Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                    More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                    Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                    [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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