I really do love a fresh start any time of the year, and I’ve found that keeping my must-have kitchen gadgets and tools around and visible really makes it easy to start anew whenever I need to.
Start Getting Healthy When You’re Ready
While I really believe you can start over at any time of the year, week, or even the day, I feel like it’s easier to say “My life is going to be different, starting now” when you’ve got the camaraderie that goes along with January 1st. I love to hear people dreaming about what they want their lives to look like and what they’re going to do to get there. But I love to make changes in the spring and summer, too, when the weather encourages me to explore all of my favorite fresh fruits and vegetables again (I can get stuck in a soup/chili/stew rut when it’s cold and blah outside).
If you’re like me and still attempting to clean up your diet, cook from home more often, and meal prep as much as possible so you don’t have as many temptations to go out because of convenience, fatigue, or a too-full schedule, you might love these things I’ve been using the past few years and want to put them on your Christmas list:
Kitchen Gadgets and Tools That Make Life Easier
Anything that makes cooking easier or more fun is a plus. I’ve found some things help me get more vegetables in, drink fewer frou-frou coffee drinks full of insane amounts of sugar, and make getting a meal on the table easier:
It took me a while to understand the Instant Pot. Once I did, I wanted the biggest model available so I could not only throw dinner together quickly and without hovering over it, but cook less frequently altogether. Leftovers make going out more of an effort than eating at home.
The 6-quart Instant Pot model is wonderful and what I started with years ago, but the 8-quart Instant Pot lets you make enough food to feed a small family for two nights. This thing (the Instant Pot in general, not the 8-quart specifically) was almost worth it just to get perfect hard-boiled eggs without worrying about boiling water splattering everywhere.
This is a tried-and-true love of mine. I’ve had one since the day I got married and love to toss things in early in the day so dinner’s ready when I don’t have the energy left in me to cook anything anyway. It’s like the food prep equivalent of the “get your workout done first thing in the morning” bit of wisdom. My Crock-Pot needs to be replaced at this point. It’s the second one I’ve had and there are some things I don’t like about it compared to the first one I had. I really want to try the Ninja Multi-Cooker. The more I look at that, the more I want to click the “Add to Cart” button right now. Lol I’ve been looking at it for at least a year.
Ninja Coffee Bar
I’ve had my Ninja Coffee Bar for a year or two and I don’t miss my Keurig or regular coffee maker at all. It’s saved me money, time (no driving anywhere to get a fancy drink), and calories. I can control how much sugar is in my drink, choose to use one type of milk or a blend, and enjoy a cozy break on the couch with a hot “comfort beverage” without going anywhere. Most days, I just drink coffee black. I can make a whole or half pot or just enough for an afternoon cup when I’m the only one in the house willing to drink coffee. You can choose a glass or thermal carafe. When I researched them, it sounded like the glass one would keep coffee hot longer, so that’s the one I picked.
For the most part, I’ve given up on regular noodles. Most of them have negative effects on my body no matter what I do or what I try, plus I could always use more veggies in my diet. Pretty sure I’m not going to be deficient in anything for swapping zucchini noodles in for wheat. I’ve tried so many spiralizers and they either didn’t perform or I was paranoid about sharp pieces of metal ending up in my food. I settled on The Inspiralizer.
I bought a Vitamix similar to this one a long time ago and I love it, but I have a few regrets. First, it’s red and that doesn’t even kind of match my kitchen or my dream kitchen I hope to have one day. Oops. I also talked myself into the 48 oz container instead of waiting, saving more, and getting the whole set that had wet and dry containers and a whopping 64 oz container (among other things) included. So now when I want to make soup or more than one or two smoothies (depends on what’s in there), I run out of room. I also don’t like that I can’t toss the container into the dishwasher, but I am suuuuper lazy about hand washing in general. I have eczema on my hands, so anything that can be washed by a machine is my friend.
All that said about the Vitamix, I still love it for large-ish quantities and hard-to-blend items like celery. It’s also good for making bulletproof coffee if I don’t want to use a small, handheld frother. Even greens do better in there, but I’m not that picky about little specks of spinach in my drink. What I use most often (one smoothie at a time, and I’d never put soup or hot coffee in it) is the Nutri Ninja Auto iQ Blender. I can make one smoothie at a time and then throw the cup, lids, and blade in the dishwasher. If I’m able to put parts in the dishwasher, it’s less of a big deal that I can only make one smoothie at a time in it.
I hate chopping things up. It’s the worst part of meal prep to me. Ceramic knives have taken the bite out of it somewhat. I only have two sizes, but I’m considering this set from TAKIUP. Ceramic knives can be fragile, so don’t just toss them in the sink or fling them down on the counter. However, in my experience, they maintain a sharp edge and are more fun to work with. They’re lightweight, don’t rust, and the ones I have are dishwasher safe (not sure about others).
What are some of the things you’re adding to your kitchen (or reintroducing to your kitchen, maybe) to make this year healthier? I’ll be adding some other “get healthy” posts in other categories soon, so keep your eyes peeled.