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Put Them in and Leave It! 7 Slow Cookers For Busy People To Cook Healthy Meals At Home

Put Them in and Leave It! 7 Slow Cookers For Busy People To Cook Healthy Meals At Home

You’ve had a long, hard day at work, and a tiring and unpleasant commute home.

When you finally get back to your place, you have your heart set on eating a healthy, substantial meal – but you can’t find the strength or motivation to begin cooking. Instead, you take the easy way out, and pick up your phone and order a takeout.

I’m sure you can relate to the above scenario as it’s very common nowadays. Preparing and cooking a decent meal usually takes at least an hour. So, if you’ve arrived home from work, and it’s already late (and you’re exhausted), then cooking a meal is probably the last thing you’d like to do.

The problem is, eating out and ordering takeout is expensive, and in most cases an unhealthy choice.

Luckily, there is a way out of this dilemma, in the shape and form of a slow cooker. Also known as crock pots, slow cookers have become popular in recent years with people who are too busy to spend time cooking – but still want to enjoy healthy, homemade meals.

7 Slow Cookers That Can Transform Your Diet and Life

Slow cookers offer you the chance to enjoy a delicious, wholesome meal when you arrive home from work. They do this by slowly cooking your food for a long period of time at a low temperature.

This ‘slow cooking’ approach brings out the flavours in most foods, including: casseroles, pot meals, soups and stews.

Most slow cookers have Low, Medium and High settings. The Low setting will cook food about 6 to 10 hours. The High setting will cook food in 4 to 6 hours. One hour in a conventional oven at 350 F is equivalent to about 4 hours on High, or 8 hours on Low.

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If you prepare your meal the evening before, or in the morning, all you need to do is switch on the cooker (at Low setting) before you head out for work. However, all the cookers we list below also have digital timers, and these will allow you to precisely choose when your cooker comes on, at what temperature setting, and for how long.

Hopefully, I’ve given you just enough information on slow cookers to whet your appetite

1. Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

    This slow cooker features a digital countdown control that allows you to program cook times anywhere from 30 minutes to 20 hours. It also shifts to Warm setting automatically once your specified cook time has completed.

    The Crock-Pot keeps food safe on the go with robust carrying handles and hinged locking lids.

    Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, $49.50

    2. Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker

      Stylish and easy-to-use, this slow cooker is equipped with protection against brief power outages, so when you come home your digital clocks might have lost their time – but your meal will still be hot and ready to eat.

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      It’s perfect for cooking large cuts of meat. You just need to set the desired meat temperature, and the cooker automatically shifts to keep warm when the temperature is reached.

      Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, $49

      3. Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker

        If you want more features than slow cooking, then Instant Pot could be a good choice for you.

        This top-selling multi-cooker combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1. These are: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and warmer.

        There are also 14 Smart Programs to choose from. These programs allow you to easily make, heat or treat the following: soup, meat/stew, bean/chilli, poultry, rice, multigrains, porridge, yogurt, etc.

        Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, $129.99

        4. Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker

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          This slow cooker features Cuisinart’s brushed stainless steel housing and a 6-quart nonstick cooking pot that lets you brown or sauté directly in the unit.

          Three fully programmable cooking functions let you sauté vegetables, brown meats and slow cook your favorite comfort foods right in the unit.

          Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker, $140.76

          5. Cuisinart PSC-650 Stainless Steel 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

            This programmable slow cooker offers a removable round-shaped ceramic cooking pot, brushed stainless-steel housing, glass lid with stainless-steel rim, and cool-touch chrome-plated handles. The 24-hour programmable digital timer has Simmer, Low and High modes – all which feature an auto keep-warm function. it also comes with a cooking rack and recipe book.

            Cuisinart PSC-650 Stainless Steel 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, $46.43

            6. KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Quart. Slow Cooker

              This slow cooker features an easy-to-read digital display, that ensures comfortable viewing of the remaining cook time and temperature while the cooker is in use.

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              The generous 6-quart capacity is perfect for small and large recipes from soups to roasts.

              KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Quart. Slow Cooker, $99

              7. BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker

                To finish on, how about something a little different. The exterior of this slow cooker is a chalkboard, which makes it perfect for drawing on and for writing down recipes or allergy concerns. This neat feature is also great for getting the kids involved in the kitchen! With its inbuilt digital time, you can simply choose the time and heat, and let the slow cooker do the rest. (The cooker automatically switches into Warm mode when cooking is complete.)

                And in case you’re wondering, the box includes two chalk sticks, so you can start writing on the cooker from day one.

                BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker, $49.99

                On a final note, you may be surprised to learn that slow cookers use less electricity than conventional ovens. So, now you have no excuses for not having tasty and nutritious food waiting for you each evening when you come home.

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                Gone through a few heartbreaks and lost hundreds of friends but I am still happy with my life.

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                Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                1. Cat Camel Stretch

                Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                3. Jumping Jacks

                Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                4. Abductor Side Lifts

                Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                5. Balancing Table Pose

                This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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                  6. Leg Squats

                  Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                  Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                  The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                  7. Push Ups

                  You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                  An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                  Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                  This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                  8. Bicycle Crunches

                  There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                  Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                  9. Lunges

                  Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                  Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                  This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                  10. Bicep Curls

                  You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                  Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                  Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                  Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                  Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                  These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                  You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                  Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                  More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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