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Chef Secrets: 11 Kitchen Essentials for Easy Cooking and Healthy Eating

kitchen

By Team Best Life

Some kitchen setups support weight loss efforts while others sabotage them. (The one pictured above looks like a good start to us!) Luckily it’s easy to make over a less-than-healthy cooking and baking space. If you have the right gadgets on your counters and fill your fridge and cabinets with the right foods your kitchen can be a weight loss haven, says Best Life chef Sidra Forman. Here are her 11 healthy kitchen essentials:

Must-Have Gadgets
1. A peeler
A good peeler opens up a whole world of fresh vegetables that might otherwise seem like a huge amount of labor to get through.

2. A salad spinner
Greens are low in calories and loaded with fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients, plant chemicals that protect against disease. A salad spinner makes it easier to incorporate them into your diet. Whether you’re cooking with them or creating a salad (like this tasty Peach Salad with Balsamic Dressing), you’ll want to start with clean and dry greens.

3. A roasting pan or heavy bottom skillet
Roasting is a cooking method that doesn’t require a ton of fat and brings out the flavors in all sorts of foods. If you do a lot of roasting, you’ll need a heavy bottom skillet. These allow you to cook over high heat—they distribute the heat nicely throughout the bottom of the pan—so food cooks properly without burning. A larger size pan is a good buy because you can use it for a lot of different foods.
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Pantry Workout: Get Fit with Your Kitchen Staples

If you forgo the gym to get your workouts in at home, you know outfitting your home gym with a variety of equipment can be just as expensive as a gym membership itself. You don’t actually need to spend tons of cash on cardio machines, weights, kettlebells and resistance bands to get a varied workout- you may have everything you need already right in your kitchen.

The kitchen is usually a place you want to stay away from as much as possible when trying to lose weight, but if you use it right, it can be the home gym you’ve always dreamed of. By using items most people can already find in their kitchen or pantry, you can get in a great workout, and possibly be inspired to make a new healthy dish for dinner at the same time.

Soup cans can double as hand weights. Soup cans are very light, so if you are starting a fitness routine for the first time, these are easy to use because they are light and easy to hold. As you become stronger, you can use heavier objects like jars of coins or frozen water bottles, which have the added bonus of melting while you sweat so you can down some ice cold water after your workout.


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Prepare Your Home For Weight Loss Room by Room

I love the heat of summer, so although there is much to love about fall – football, cider, pumpkins, boots, etc. – I cannot say I look forward to fall. I certainly relish it once it arrives though, because fall also brings tailgating, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts, and the promise of Christmas parties. It can be a dangerous season for dieting, especially combined with more inclement weather which tempts us to stay inside and inactive. At the advent of the autumn season, I encourage you to prepare your home to help you meet your weight loss goals throughout the cooler months when you will likely be spending more time inside.

Kitchen: Clean out the pantry and fridge, eliminating temptations. Place the healthiest options within sight and easy reach. Take the fruit out of the crisper and put it on the top shelf or on the counter. Make it easy to grab smaller plates, bowls, and flatware. According to Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, when we choose a 12-inch plate over a 10-inch plate we are likely to eat up to 22 percent more, we eat up to 14 percent more using a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon, and we will fill a shorter, wider cup 30 percent more than a taller, thinner cup.


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