Five tools for a healthier meal

We all know that having the right diet depends on what you keep stored in your kitchen cabinets. Don’t set yourself up for failure – prepare for success.

Using lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat food items is essential if you’re planning on having a healthy diet. But did you know the tools you’re using in the kitchen may also determine whether or not you’re going to eat healthy meals? Read on to learn what tools of the trade you should keep in your hands when you’re cooking.

All day slow cooker

Simply toss in whatever veggies, meat and spices you have planned for dinner, set the cooker on low and go about your daily life. After a hard day of work the sweet smells of your slow-cooked, home-cooked meal will make you glad to be at home. Not only does a slow cooker save time, it saves you money and calories by encouraging you to eat at home with the family and not at the restaurant down the street.

Rising freshness

Want to make your house smell like heaven and make your family drool? You can do both by investing in a bread machine. By baking your own bread, you’re the final word on what ingredients will be in each slice, making it possible to give your bread an added boost of fibre, whole wheat, bananas, or nuts. Of course, you can always bake bread in your oven, but a bread maker makes the process easy, which makes you more likely to keep fresh-baked bread around the house. Also, you eliminate all the additives, preservatives and chemicals found in bread at the store.

Grill in

Want the flavours of the great outdoors without the open flame? It’s time to purchase an indoor grill. One of the best advertised is George Foreman’s Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, but there are a number of other brands that offer many of the same benefits. On top of grilled flavour, indoor grills are easy to clean and like their outdoor counterparts, an indoor grill allows the fat from your meats to slide off the grill, making sure it never touches your mouth.

Slick, non-stick cookware

No matter what you’re cooking, you’ll have to add some oil or butter to keep it from sticking to the pan—unless you swap in your grandmother’s frying pan, skillet, and saucepan for non-stick cookware. By keeping slick, non-stick cookware in your kitchen, you reduce the amount of fats that find their way into your food due to the necessary slathering of oil or butter. Thanks to their popularity, you can pick up a set of non-stick cookware for relatively cheap at any store that sells kitchenware.

Oil of O’Spray

Cooking often requires oil on the bottom surface of the pot or pan being used. Instead of pouring oil, spray it. Don’t like the flavour of oils that come in spray cans? You can pick up an oil sprayer, fill it with your oil of choice, and spray just the right amount on your cookware. This keeps you from using more oil than is necessary, saving you money and preventing you from getting extra oil-based fat.

A juicy snack

When you’re on the go and need a pick-me-up, you have a few options. You can grab an energy bar, a pack of peanut butter crackers, or a glass of juice.

If you prefer to get your nutrition in a glass, buying a high-quality juicer is a must. With a powerful juicer in your hands you can blend whatever fruit or vegetable you can find for an instant, powerful jolt of energy and good health, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.

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