This is where you will find our kitchen and weight loss essentials. The kitchen tools, appliances big & small, favorite books, products and services that have helped us eat better and lose weight.
My Kitchen & Weight Loss Essentials
I love slow cooking. I use my slow cookers all the time and am always reading and researching the most popular brands and models so I can make informed recommendations to my readers. If you are in the market for a new slow cooker, I’d recommend one of the following…
Hamilton Beach Set and Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker (affiliate link)
It’s not fancy, but the intuitive interface, locking lid, and modest price have made it the best deal for your money three years running, according to The WireCutter review site.
It is one of the few modern slow cookers that doesn’t seem to cook too hot, a major advantage.
Also it’s the only slow cooker with a heat probe to monitor the doneness of roasts and other meats. It shows up as a favorite regularly on review sites and with slow cooker experts.
Its size and shape make it the most versatile because it is easier to use a large cooker for smaller quantities than the other way around.
Cuisinart 3.5-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker (affiliate link)
When the cook time ends, the appliance automatically shifts to the “warm” setting, so dinner stays hot and ready to serve without overcooking.
The 3-1/2-Quart size is perfect for 2 or 3 people. If you are looking for a larger family you may want to get the 4- or 6-Quart one.
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker (affiliate link)
The Crock-Pot (affiliate link) Touchscreen is easy to use (read: don’t need to be a computer scientist to work the control panel), features a glass lid so you can keep an eye on things, and a timer that goes to 20 hours, even on high.
Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Stay-or-Go Slow Cooker (affiliate link)
So, unless I’m cooking for a crowd, or won’t be available to manually switch it to warm, this is the slow cooker I use most.
Instant Pot Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker (affiliate link)
My latest greatest kitchen helper is my Instant Pot 6-Quart 7-in-1 Multifunctional Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker (affiliate link), Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer.
I mostly use it as an all-in-one slow cooker, since the saute/browning function allows you to do all your precooking in the same pot.
I’ve also had great success cooking rice and plan to experiment with pressure cooking this summer.
Blender (affiliate link)– High Performance
I hardly ever pull out my food processor (affiliate link) anymore.
Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale (affiliate link)
It’s small, easy to clean and very accurate, measuring in pounds, ounces and grams. I love the tare function, which allows you to put any size bowl on it and zero it out and then just get the weight of the food.
Meal Measure Portion Control Tool (affiliate link)
When I first started Weight Watchers, I was clueless about portion sizes. While measuring cups will work, this handy portion control tool helps you measure your food right on your plate.
It fits most dinner plates and allows you to fill each area with one cup (or one-half cup) for vegetables and/or fruit, starch and protein.
The protein portion is equal to the size of standard deck of cards, the recommended 3 to 4 ounces. I still pull it out from time to time when I feel like portions are creeping up.
Hydro Flask (affiliate link) – Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest ways I know to keep all my systems functioning optimally. Water helps with hunger, energy, skin, and elimination. I love water, which is a good thing, especially when you live in the desert.
Drinking water is easier with a HydroFlask, the modern version of an old-fashioned thermos. The HydroFlask BPD-free water bottle comes with a lifetime warranty and is constructed of double-wall, vacuum-insulated, premium-grade 18/8 stainless steel that promises to keep your drink cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours.
It can help you stay on track with drinking plenty of cold refreshing water throughout your busy days.
After decades of trial and error with attempting to balance my love of food and desire to stay slim, I’ve come to understand that home cooking is one of the keys to eating great and losing weight.
And while I genuinely enjoy cooking, I do get tired and overwhelmed sometimes trying to figure out what to cook.
The solution of course is planning your meals ahead.
Meal Planning Mommies – 12-Week Meal Planner & eCookbook (affiliate link)
Through her organized meal plans, delicious recipes, and practical, user-friendly grocery lists, she equips you with everything you need to successfully get dinner on the table, night after night!
doTERRA’s Slim & Sassy® metabolic blend contains Grapefruit, Lemon, Peppermint, Ginger and Cinnamon essential oils.
Now you can get the benefits from these oils in the new, easy-to-carry gum Slim & Sassy Gum.
This special metabolic blend of essential oils can help you reach your weight management goals.
Slim & Sassy helps you manage your cravings during the day while also supporting a healthy metabolism.
Each piece of sugar-free gum contains one drop of Slim & Sassy essential oil blend.
Slim & Sassy Trim Shake
I’ve had several readers inquire about which protein powder I use for my smoothies and protein shakes.
I’m a doTERRA Wellness Advocate.
I love their essential oils. I believe in the company.
I trust the products and place an order every month.
So Slim & Sassy Trim Shake is the logical, easy choice.
I’m not the kind of person to spend hours researching the pros and cons of various protein powders.
My only requirement is that they be free of artificial sweeteners.
I appreciate that Trim Shake uses stevia. I find the addition of Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic adaptogenic herb used to help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia, attractive too.
Intro to Essential Oils eBook
Interested in learning more about natural health and how easy it is to incorporate essential oils into your everyday life?
It’s not nearly as complicated as you might think!
Our free ebook is a great introduction with basic information on the history of essential oils, the power and potency of the oils and why quality matters.
We’ll also share a few favorite recipes and tips to give you an idea just how easy, fun, and helpful essential oils can be.
Eat Stop Eat (affiliate link)
Even as a successful Weight Watcher, I’m always curious about different strategies for lasting weight loss. I’ve been reading a lot about “intermittent fasting” and was intrigued by not only its weight loss benefits, but also its effects on health and aging.
The simple strategy frees you from all the complicated “diet” rules that can be so overwhelming.
Whereas popular weight loss advice like “watch what you eat” or “exercise more” requires constant discipline, with Eat Stop Eat you simply apply a small amount of restraint once or twice a week while you enjoy a flood of food-freedom the rest of the time. And more importantly to me at this stage of my life – Eat Stop Eat reverses the #1 cause of accelerated aging!
Craftsy Online Classes (affiliate link)
Have you heard of Craftsy or taken any of their online classes?
They have a wide range of offerings including cooking, knitting, sewing, quilting, painting, gardening, cake decorating, jewelry making and more.
What I love best is their great selection of cooking classes which you can watch wherever and whenever you want – so much more helpful than watching the Food Network!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links and using them to make purchases helps keep this blog running. We use (or have used) all of these products and recommend them because they are companies (or services that we have found to be trustworthy and helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions about any of these items. Thank you for supporting Simple Nourished Living!
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