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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 January 14, 2019

                7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

                7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

                From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

                What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

                1. Take the scenic route.

                Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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                Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

                2. Distract yourself.

                No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

                3. Listen to music or podcasts.

                There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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                4. Bring a friend.

                Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

                Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

                5. Accessorize.

                There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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                For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

                6. Compete.

                A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

                7. Relax.

                The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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                With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

                Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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