Food Quality and Gizmos and Gadgets

Me 2Eating healthy. We all know we need to do it, we all want to do it…. until it comes time to actually do it. LOL When it comes to fueling your body with healthy things there is no way around cooking and preparing your own food. At the end of the day, it’s just what you have to do whether you are battling the bulge (like yours truly) or if you have health issues like, high blood pressure (prepackaged and fast foods have a crap-ton of sodium), diabetes (good luck finding something that doesn’t taste like cardboard that’s not carb heavy or full of sugar).

It’s a horrible truth.

Most things packaged and prepared for you is robbing Peter to pay Paul. What I mean by this is: If they cut the calories, they dump in chemicals and salt. If they cut the salt they dump in sugar… you can’t win.

So… there is definitely a consensus among these organizations that we should aim for less than 1500 mg of sodium per day, and definitely not more than 2300 mg.

Let’s take the middle of the road and say no more than 1900mgs a day. (This number might need to be less if you have high blood pressure) If you eat pre-packaged food or fast food aimed at selling you on lower calories you might trip and fall face first into 1/3 or HALF of your daily sodium intake in a single meal.

Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers

Cool Wrap Boxes

I actually ate the Café Steamers for a long time and I couldn’t figure out why the weight stopped coming off. I looked at the label….really looked at it and saw the carb and sodium count and was like “Oh, that might be why.” Companies use the blue area in the photos above to sell their products to us and they hope and pray we won’t look past that to see the stuff outlined in red. 600mg and 40g of carbs for one “Healthy” Steamer. 900mg of sodium and 30g of carbs in one “lite and fit” cool chicken wrap. (Yes I’m picking on you little Miss Donna, don’t kill me *hugs* ^_^) This is somewhat false advertising in my opinion. To shove low calorie, high fiber information at people front and center all while failing to mention that it’s full of salt and carbs is a little shady.

Anywho… moving on to some solutions for this.

“To lose one pound a week you would have to put yourself in a 500-calorie deficit every day.”

One pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. To lose one pound of fat, you need to tip your personal energy balance so you’re burning 3,500 more calories than you are eating.

The bottom line: You need to exercise and you need to eat better. To lose weight you are just going to have to suck it up, get moving and purchase fresh food and cook it.

The latter fact has several problems for those of us with a busy schedule. Cooking can be time consuming. I know I was constantly forgetting to thaw out whatever meat I wanted for dinner. Some of the things I wanted to have for lunch just weren’t conducive to having in the office… rinse and repeat. It was just so much easier to go out for lunch or to have a frozen meal…. but most things worth having are seldom easy.

right now                        easy 2

But I have found some gadgets that make cooking food quite a bit easier… and faster.

The Sharper Image Super Wave Halogen Oven! I’m sure you have seen the NuWave oven on infomercials. This is the same thing but instead of being 150 bucks I got it for $45. I love this device and it really does cook food from frozen to fabulous in next to no time at all. It also makes cooking almost anything (frozen or not) super quick and easy. It makes pork chops and fish “feel and taste” fried with 70696__36219_zoomnext to no oil and zero breading. Next to no oil means that I usually brush a little olive or ginger oil on whatever I’m cooking before I add the seasonings. (Yes, ginger oil is a thing and yes its “Asian” because Tena loves all things from the East.)

Oven CaptureA Halogen Oven is the epitome of set it and forget it. I can season the food, put it in the Halogen Oven, turn it on, and walk away. It cooks food evenly, all the way around so there is no flipping, basting, turning or stirring required. It’s not difficult to clean in my opinion, but you will have to take care with the lid. It houses the electrical parts so it cannot but submerged in water.

The other little gizmo I love is my egg steamer. It cooks up to seven eggs at a time and it’s as easy to operate as it come (add water then put on lid… lol simple) I had originally gotten this little gadget with the intention of taking it to work because I am not a fan of cold boiled eggs and there just isn’t a way to cook them in the office. The only reason I haven’t taken the steamer into work is due to the noise it makes. It’s dead quiet when it’s cooking but once it’s done it lets out a screech any fire alarm or smoke detector would be proud of… and there’s no way to make it NOT wail like a scalded banshee once it’s done. It has no on off switch which means it’s on as soon as you plug it in and the only way to turn it off is to unplug it.

This is not a problem at home when my time is my own, but at work I could see a project manager needing me as soon as I start cooking my egg and I can also see this thing wailing like a wounded Egg genie Redharpy as it sat unattended until I could get back to it… my coworkers reaction to this noise would not be pretty. It may have to live across the street in our break room. This would mean no eggs for breakfast, but it would open up the possibility of them chopped up in a salad during lunch ^_^.

The other gadget I adore is my little no name food processor I got from Big Lots for 10 dollars. It chops, dices and smashes things into tasty scoops of healthy yumminess.

Matt and I generally make our own hummus with it because hummus is a good thing but the price and salt content of some of the store brands – not so much. Making your own hummus is not only cheap and easy, it’s also kind of fun. We experiment with adding all kinds of spices and stuff to the chick peas to come up with various flavor combinations. I highly recommend adding cilantro and/or dill to your hummus. You won’t regret it. One of our hummus recipes can be found HERE.

There are a number of things that can be done to make cooking easier you just have to figure out what works best for you. Just don’t give up, give in and hop back on the fast food train. It may have taken you over a month to lose five pounds in a healthy way. It would be sad to make bad food choices and gain that weight back and lose that progress in less than 2 weeks. It’s not worth it.

Just remember – nothing tastes as good as being confident and healthy feels.

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