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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 January 3, 2020

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

    The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

    1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

    Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

     I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

    To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

    And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

     2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

    Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

    3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

    Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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    4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

    The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

    5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

    Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

    6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

    Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

    7. Positive people smile a lot!

    When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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    8. People who are positive are great communicators.

    They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

    9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

    One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

    10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

    Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

    How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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    I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

    Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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