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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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                Jolie Choi

                Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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                Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                1. Exercise

                It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                2. Drink in Moderation

                I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                4. Watch Less Television

                A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                5. Eat Less Red Meat

                Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                6. Don’t Smoke

                This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                7. Socialize

                Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                9. Be Optimistic

                Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                10. Own a Pet

                Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                11. Drink Coffee

                Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                12. Eat Less

                Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                13. Meditate

                Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                15. Laugh Often

                Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                17. Cook Your Own Food

                When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                18. Eat Mushrooms

                Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                19. Floss

                Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                21. Have Sex

                Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

                More Health Tips

                Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                Reference

                [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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