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Healthy Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Your Slow Cooker

Healthy Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Your Slow Cooker

The slow cooker is not just for your slow roasts – it is the ultimate tool, particularly for those who run a tight schedule. There are a hundred and one things to make in a slow cooker, and some seriously healthy (and easy) foods that could slot in to your daily routine.

There are really no excuses to not eat well these days. Everything is at our fingertips. Fresh produce, cookbooks, recipes – and amazing cooking tools to make things ridiculously easy for us. When we make our own foods we know what we are putting into our bodies. We can use wholesome ingredients and understand what it is we are consuming and how much. We are in control of our health. We can also tailor what we make to our own desires. Need more greens in your diet? Go ahead. Gluten intolerant? Leave it out. There are endless delicious and healthy things we can prepare in a slow cooker, most of which just might surprise you …

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Veg and Chickpea Curry

veg and chick pea curry

    See – not just for hunks of meat! This curry is

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    • Delicious and easy
    • high in protein
    • Full of vegetables packed with nutrients and vitamins.
    • Heat onion and carrots in oil and add curry powder, garlic, ginger and a little sugar.
    • Place this mix inside slow cooker along with chopped green beans, carrots, chickpeas and peppers – and choose between regular potato or a sweet potato if you prefer it on the sweeter side.
    • Cook for 6 hours until tender

    Poached Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Lemon

    lemon salmon
      • High in Omega 3
      • High in protein
      • Make a broth in the slow-cooker out of a few cups of water, some white wine, a few slices of lemon, a shallot, a bay leaf and some sprigs of dill or your choice of herbs.
      • Leave the fish to cook for just half an hour (checking in on it) and you get a moist delicious salmon fillet in no time!

      Cuban-Style Beef

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      cuban beef
        • Low calorie
        • High in protein
        • High in B Vitamins
        • Rub a portion of beef with cumin, oregano and salt and pepper.
        • Brown roast the meat and then transfer it to a slow-cooker.
        • Cook onions, peppers, garlic, water, salt and pepper with crushed tomatoes on a low simmer for around 4 minutes and then transfer to the slow-cooker.
        • Cook for 10 hours until tender.

        Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup

        54f67185df2ca_-_tternut-squash-and-white-bean-soup-recipe-wdy1014-agv2sw-s2
          • High in potassium
          • Nutrient rich
          • Packed with vitamins
          • Place squash, chickpeas, and any winter veg you desire in a slow cooker with salt, pepper and vegetable stock
          • Cook for 6 hours and serve with crusty bread and your choice of garnish. Too easy.

          Chicken Tagine

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          chicken tagone
            • Very high in protein
            • High in vitamins
            • Spices help adrenal function
            • Warms the body in winter months
            • Throw butternut squash, carrots, onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, broth and raisins into a 6-quart slow-cooker.
            • Rub spices into the chicken and place on top of the veg.
            • Cover with lid and cook for 8 hours.

            Sweet Potato Soup

            10832_sweet_potato_soup
              • Packed with potassium
              • High in vitamin C
              • Calcium rich
              • Combine onions, potatoes, garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, 6 cups of water and salt and pepper in a 5-6 qt slow-cooker until vegetables are very tender.
              • Puree the soup in a blender
              • Serve with yoghurt and slivered almonds.

              Chipotle Beef Chilli

              chipotle-BeefChili
                • High in iron
                • High in protein
                • High in potassium
                • High in B vitamins
                • Simply add beef, chipotle peppers, onion, chilli powder, garlic, salt, cumin, tomato puree and beef stock to the slow-cooker
                • Cover on low for 6-8 hours until beef is tender.
                • Add coriander upon serving if you wish.

                Honey-Butter Peas and Carrots

                2013-04-24-carrot-pea-mint-salad-thumb-625xauto-320033
                  • High in vitamins A, C, and K
                  • High in fibre
                  • High in manganese
                  • Place chopped carrots, onions, garlic cloves, peas, butter, salt, pepper and a little water in the slow cooker.
                  • This will only take about 20 minutes, so just check to see when vegetables are tender and ready to serve.

                  Pork Tacos

                  pulledpork
                    • High in protein
                    • Contains omega 6
                    • Place the pork in the slow cooker
                    • Mix together tomato salsa, chill powder, some garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin and brown sugar in a separate bowl
                    • Pour the salsa over the pork.
                    • Cook on low for 8 hours and shred the pork when it is tender.
                    • Serve in flour tortillas with corn and avocado, or with whatever healthy options you desire!

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                    Last Updated on November 20, 2020

                    Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

                    Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

                    Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

                    One 2017 study found that:[1]

                    “after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

                    This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

                    Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

                      As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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                      Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

                      1. Remember Your Why

                      It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

                      Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

                      2. Go to Bed Early

                      If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

                      This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

                      3. Make a Commitment

                      I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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                      Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

                      You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

                      4. Find a Friend

                      If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

                      Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

                      Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

                      5. Treat Yourself

                      We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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                      You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

                      6. Change your Mindset

                      Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

                      When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

                      7. Plan Your Day

                      You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

                      Time blocking

                        8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

                        Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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                        For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

                        9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

                        Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

                        10.  Set Multiple Alarms

                        Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

                        Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

                        Final Thoughts

                        About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

                        Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

                        More Tips on Morning Exercises

                        Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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