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5 Tips to Handle the “Heat” of the Kitchen

5 Tips to Handle the “Heat” of the Kitchen

    The kitchen is where the magic takes place. Whether one is sautéing onions, button mushrooms and traffic-light-colored peppers for that tofu scramble or enjoying a pear, rhubarb and cranberry cooler straight from the blender, nothing can be more exciting than preparing healthy and satisfying lean meals.

    It is difficult, however, to cook these scrumptious feasts all the time. A fully prepared dinner of Sichuan spiced eggplants, Kan Shao green beans, brown rice and a garden salad is a delicious combination of flavors. Would anyone like a scoop of homemade coconut sorbet? Most of us would love to eat this meal, but who has the time and energy to make it? Who wants to slave in a hot kitchen all day long?

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    The following suggestions will give you some ideas on how to “beat the heat” concerning time management and temperature in the kitchen.

    Restaurants and Take-Out

    There is an old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen and go to a restaurant!” Having someone else fix the meal can be heavenly. Before considering becoming a potential customer of a certain establishment, thoroughly investigate the eatery to be sure the preparation methods and the food are high quality. The best bet would be to frequent those restaurants that cater to vegan tastes.

    Raw Food Diet

    Many experts are suggesting that people should consume about 75-85% of their fruit, veggies and herbs in their natural, raw state, while the other 15-25% of food should be cooked. Some leaders in the vegan community believe that foodstuffs should be consumed 100% raw. As Dr. Aris Latham has stated, “All (plant-based) foods have been cooked by the sun.”

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    The key to accomplishing the goal of eating a raw, live diet is to have the proper equipment. Besides just putting the fruit or vegetable in your mouth and eating it, blending and juicing are wonderful ways to consume food. Raw food is fresh, has plenty of fiber and retains most or all of its vitamins and minerals. Dehydrators are very popular also. They can heat food to as low as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the nutrients stay intact, thereby qualifying the food as “raw” within the diet’s limits.

    The good news is, whether a person is using blending, juicing or dehydrating techniques, the kitchen is kept cool!

    Freezing Dinners

    Spending time in a hot kitchen seven days a week can be painful. How about limiting that time to a few hours on one or two days? The plan is simple: pick a meal or meals that take an enormous amount of time to prepare. Choose a day to shop for the ingredients. Choose another day to make the food. Label the finished meals with the days of the week, then place them in the freezer. When it is time to eat, pop a dish into the microwave to thaw, cook and eat.

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    Potluck

    Another way to keep the kitchen cool is to host or attend a potluck. Potlucks usually require each person to make one dish instead of a full range of appetizers, entrées, salads, drinks and desserts. Keep the cooking area really heat free, and volunteer to provide the salad, gazpacho, fruit or drinks!

    One-Dish Meals

    Serving one-dish or all-in-one meals may be one of the oldest forms of time management in cooking. Cut up all of the materials to be used, put them in a pot or casserole dish and fire up the stove, oven or barbie! To further cut down on the heat and time, use a microwaveable stack cooker system to fix everything from the main entrée to the dessert. Electric crock pots, although they take a lot of time to cook the food, are an excellent way to control the temperature of the environment.

    Healthy eating can be a challenge to maintain. Ultimately, it is a challenge that is worth taking on. Preparing meals in the home is the optimum way to achieve these goals, but the experience doesn’t have to be drudgery! Have fun producing vibrant and mouth-watering meals.

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    Featured photo credit: https://www.shutterstock.com/ via shutterstock.com

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    Last Updated on May 15, 2019

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

    As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

    “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

    When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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    Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

    We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

    But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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    So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

    It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

    1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

    Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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    2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

    This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

    You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

    3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

    This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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    4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

    How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

    So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

    If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

    And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

    Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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