Advertising
Advertising

Cook Healthy Meals Under 15 Minutes With These 10 Smart Products

Cook Healthy Meals Under 15 Minutes With These 10 Smart Products

We all appreciate a delicious home cooked meal at the end of a busy day. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find the time and energy to make dinner when you get in from work. You’re probably all too familiar with the sinking feeling you get when trying to find something quick and delicious to eat in your fridge. Cooking dinner takes too long, and you’re too exhausted by the time it’s ready to actually enjoy it anyway. A takeaway might seem like the perfect solution, but they are both expensive and unhealthy. The average takeaway meal is high in calories, fat, and salt, which will only make you feel worse in the long run!

That’s the bad news. But the good news is that cooking doesn’t necessarily have to take up a lot of your time. With the right equipment, it’s easy to put together a meal that requires very little planning and energy. Here at Lifehack, we’re proud to present 10 kitchen gadgets that will help revolutionize weekday dinnertime!

1. Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker

    This clever cooker cuts down your cooking time by up to 70%. Not only that, but it’s actually 7 kitchen products contained within just one unit! Whether you use the slow cooker, steamer, or any other of its 5 functions, the inner steel cooking pot will save you a lot of time.

    Customer Review: “Awesome features, Very well built appliance and consistently improving for every new model. Perfect for almost every cooking need.” – Phoebe, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

    2. Kuhn Rikon Swiss Pull Chop

    Advertising

      This clever gadget makes chopping food easy. All you have to do is place the food inside the sturdy container, pull the cord a few times, and you’re done! You’ll save time on chopping and slicing.

      Customer Review: “This product is a must for your kitchen if you enjoy cooking from scratch. It easily chops all crisp veggies and nuts into fine chops.” – Donna H Holmes

      3. Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

        This device saves you the hassle of boiling water and watching over your eggs as they cook. Use it to make boiled, scrambled, and poached eggs, along with individual omelettes.

        Customer Review: “I must say, I have become very fond of this little unassuming appliance. I like the way it saves me from having dishes or pans to wash that have cooked egg white stuck to them.” – CACGH

        4. NuWave 20631 Oven Pro Plus

          This portable infrared oven cuts down your cooking time by up to 70%, with up to 75% less energy compared to a standard oven. It cooks meat, fish, vegetables, and even desserts to perfection.

          Advertising

          Customer Review: “It really is and does what it says in the ads. It’s remarkably flexible, fast, easy to clean and generally a pleasure to use.” – Doctor Sardonicus

          5. Chefaith 16-Blade Apple Slicer

            If you need to slice an apple in a hurry, don’t reach for a knife – use this apple slicer instead. Simply place the slicer on top of a medium-sized fruit, and press down. The fruit will be cored and sliced within seconds!

            Customer Review: “Used this today for the first time, and I’m wondering how I ever lived without it! I used it on both large and medium Granny Smith apples from my tree.” – Sarah F. Carr

            6. Philips Airfryer

              The Airfryer’s patented “starfish” design allows a quick and result. It allows you to cook with up to 75% less fat! Just one tablespoon of oil is all you need! It also allows you to grill, bake, steam or roast food.

              Advertising

              Customer Review: “Love this airfryer!! I throw all sorts of frozen goodies in here and they all come out so crispy and delicious in just a few minutes! Quiet, easy to clean, and super convenient. Machine itself is a beautiful shiny white that fits perfectly with my kitchen :)” – Mina Kim

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

                This versatile cooker lets you throw in your ingredients the night or morning before, and then heats them up for you during the day to create a delicious meal. You can look forward to an instant dinner after a long day at work!

                Customer Review: “My wife and I like to make up enough of something to eat on for about 3 days on the weekends so we can eat better in the middle of the week. Wow everything i have cooked in this has came out like my grand mother had made it, sooo tasty :)” – Canable

                8. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth

                  This kitchen gadget makes cooking sous vide easy. You will no longer have to spend time making sure the water is exactly the right temperature. Just attach it to the side of a pot, add water and ingredients, and get cooking.

                  Advertising

                  Customer Review: “Cooking with the Anova Sous Vide has made kitchen time much less hectic. Similar to a slow cooker, I’m able to put food items that are vacuum sealed (or water displaced) into the water bath and leave it until I’m ready to serve the item.” – KttyKat16

                  9. 45 Second Omelet Maker

                    As the name implies, this clever product enables you to cook an individual omelet within 45 seconds. Handmade in stoneware clay, it also looks stylish in the kitchen.

                    Customer Review: “I bought 2 because of the comments and I’m glad I did. One for me and one for my husband. We both use them at work for quick eggs without hassle that taste great. I’d highly recommend!” – SCGINVA

                    10. Microwave Pasta Cooker

                      This cooker means that you no longer have to wait around as the water for your pasta heats up. Instead, you’ll be able to cook it in the microwave in minutes, thus saving time and mess.

                      Customer Review: “I highly recommend this to any college student or adult who needs a fast microwave pasta cooker!” – Kelsi Murphy

                      More by this author

                      Brian Lee

                      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

                      How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples) 7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity How to Answer Behavioral Based Interview Questions Smartly 100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier 10 Best New Products That People Don’t Know About

                      Trending in Smartcut

                      1 How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways 2 How to Use the 5 Whys to Get to the Root Cause of Any Problem 3 4 Ways to Focus on Your Goals and Avoid Distractions 4 How to Bullet Journal to Skyrocket Your Productivity 5 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                      How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

                      How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

                      Memory plays an integral role in our lives, both in the short and long term. If you’re wondering how to improve memory, I’m here to tell you that there are natural and effective ways to do so.

                      Despite what you might think, improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it.

                      Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve memory efficiently and reduce the risk of memory loss.

                      1. Meditate

                      We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts, and figures into our conscious minds.

                      Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder, then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

                      Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. Research suggests that the more information and distractions you receive, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory[1].

                      Fortunately, meditation can help.

                      Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

                      While any amount of meditation will do something to help your memory, one study pointed out that “8 but not 4 weeks of brief, daily meditation decreased negative mood state and enhanced attention, working memory, and recognition memory as well as decreased state anxiety scores”[2].

                      Therefore, if you’re looking for the most benefits, try sticking with a meditation practice for at least 8 weeks.

                      However, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

                      2. Get Plenty of Sleep

                      If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then it’s likely that you’re not able to remember well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

                      If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities, including your memory.

                      Advertising

                      If you want to learn how to improve memory, how much sleep should you be getting?

                      Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation[3], you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things[4].

                      If you want to improve memory, get plenty of sleep.

                        Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!), but if you care about improving your long and short term memory, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

                        Try these three things to naturally improve your sleep cycle:

                        • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
                        • Don’t eat too late
                        • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

                        Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

                        However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory.

                        3. Challenge Your Brain

                        When was the last time you challenged your brain?

                        I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or under-sleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and memory games.

                        To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

                        Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-solving ability, and memory.

                        There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

                        • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
                        • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
                        • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

                        If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

                        Advertising

                        Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it; try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

                        4. Take More Breaks

                        When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctly remember working all the hours under the sun—and many under the moon, too!

                        At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat, and tears.

                        However, if you want to know how to improve memory, taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative, and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

                        Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

                        One 2011 study from the University of Illinois concluded that “the brain is built to detect and respond to change…and prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”[5].

                        This is based on something called the “vigilance decrement.” This can be applied to many things. For example, we often don’t notice the feeling of clothing touch our bodies because our brain becomes accustomed to the sensation. However, if you change clothes, you’ll likely notice the difference in texture and temperature for a few minutes.

                        When you take a break from memorizing information, it refocuses your attention and energy, leading to increased focus overall.

                        It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart, and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

                        Basically, make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

                        5. Learn a New Skill

                        I love this quote, as it’s 100% true but frequently overlooked:

                        “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

                        From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

                        Advertising

                        Let me give you an example of this:

                        Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day, many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

                        Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

                        The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you rather than letting you work in your own way.

                        Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction into learning a new skill (computer coding).

                        It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career, and the ongoing learning made the call center job much more bearable.

                        Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus, and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking out new information. When learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly becomes a habit, too.

                        If you want to know how to learn something new every day, check out this article.

                        6. Start Working out

                        If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

                        Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory[6].

                        Regular physical activities increase blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. A well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

                        Even if you don’t have much time, research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines[7].

                        Interested in getting started?

                        Advertising

                        Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

                        • Join a gym
                        • Join a sports team
                        • Buy a bike
                        • Take up hiking
                        • Dance to your favorite music

                        7. Eat Healthier Foods

                        I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

                        This applies to your brain, too.

                        The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health, as well.

                        Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. But any fruits, vegetables, or foods high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory. Here’re some ideas: 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

                        Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain, leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

                        If you want to improve your mental health, eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

                        • Turmeric – Helps new brain cells grown
                        • Broccoli – Protects the brain against damage
                        • Nuts – Improves memory
                        • Green tea – Enhances brain performance, memory and focus[8]
                        • Fish oilFish oil supplements can increase your brain power

                        Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

                        Also, remember that your brain is about 75% water, so dehydration can have a huge effect on the way your brain functions. Stay hydrated if you really want to improve memory!

                        Final Thoughts

                        I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be helpful for you.

                        You don’t need to implement them all, but you can try out the ones that appeal to you.

                        But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory and avoiding cognitive decline, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested.

                        More on How to Improve Memory

                        Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        Read Next