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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 11, 2019

                    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                    4. Feed Your Brain

                    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                    6. Write it Down

                    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                    7. Listen to Music

                    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                    8. Visual Concepts

                    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                    9. Teach Someone Else

                    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                    More About Boosting Memory

                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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