I am a working Mom of two who has to travel for work and I have a very hectic schedule. That said, I still love to cook and feel strongly that weight loss is enhanced immensely when we begin to cook and prepare our own meals. I have a few tools that I could simply not live without for healthy, easy cooking. I use these tools every week and they are staples in any healthy kitchen. I encourage you to invest in each of these and take some time to research and use them effectively. I am a real advocate for cooking double what I need using these tools so I can grab and go with leftovers for much of my busy week.
1. Slow Cooker
I do not know where I would be without my slow cooker! I just recently invested in a new one that has an app on my phone so that I can adjust cooking times and temps when away from home or turn it off altogether. I have often heard from clients that the worry and fear of leaving a heated appliance on when away from home was their biggest deterrent from using their slow cooker. That is no longer a worry! Slow cooker cooking is extremely healthy because there is no need for added fats or sauces. Consider a higher-end slow cooker that has a cast iron pot that allows any browning of meats or veggies needed for a recipe to be done right in that pot and transferred into the slow-cooker itself. I prepare everything from soups to stews to shredded chicken or pork to pot roast. Even eggs and oatmeal can be prepped for a week of healthy make-ahead meals. Link to my “slow-cooker pulled chicken video”
2. Immersion blender
I am in love with my immersion blender and could kick myself for not getting one sooner. People often only think of it as a tool to blend soups, but it has many other uses. I use it to blend healthy mashed cauliflower into dreamy peaks of whipped deliciousness. It whips my homemade Dijon Balsamic vinaigrette into a creamy, thick and luxuriousdressing.I make homemade soups in large batches with ease and the convenience of not having to transfer batches to a blender or processor, then cleaning that appliance is definitely worth the modest investment. It makes amazing hummus and gravies, awesome scrambled eggs with a great consistency, smoothies and even tomato sauce.
This amazing tool turns everyday fruits and veggies into noodles, chips and other shapes. Probably the most popular use is to create vegetable noodles as a replacement in your favorite pasta recipes. This immediately adds added nutrients to your meal, while lowering carbs, calories and sugars. Plus, it’s an unprocessed way to enjoy pasta and is gluten-free. I love to add vegetable noodles to my clear broth soups or simply toss them onto a sauté pan with butter and parmesan cheese. My kids love them and it’s a great way to get extra veggies in without them noticing. I often spiralize double what I need while I have the device out and store them and cook them later in the week.
4. Muffin Tin
One of the hardest parts of weight loss is portion control. I use my muffin tin to take care of it for me. I am a real fan of the muffin tin for everything from make ahead breakfasts to perfectly portioned individual meatloaves. I make-ahead oatmeal cups and egg muffins each week so that breakfast is a no-brainer on the go. I even use mini muffin tins to make decadent desserts that freeze nicely, like dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They are seriously satisfying while perfectly portioned. Link to my egg muffins video
5. Seltzer Maker
One of the important parts of weight loss is staying hydrated. It is a very real problem when we mistake thirst for hunger. I urge all of my clients to stay extremely well hydrated and always recommend getting a seltzer maker. I love to shake up my water intake with seltzer. It helps me feel like I am having something a little fancy. On nights when I really want a glass of wine but shouldn’t have one I will crush lime into a beautiful wine glass and add seltzer. I add strawberries, lemons, mint and even raspberries for a kick.