For a couple of years now, meal prepping has been continuously gaining popularity due to its numerous benefits. Meal prepping not only helps you save time and money, it also allows you to efficiently manage your weight, improve overall health and reduce stress due to rushed preparations. The current situation, which limited the number of grocery trips individuals can take and closed down hundreds of food businesses, further encouraged people to start meal prepping. To make your meal prepping easier and more exciting, here’s a list of kitchen tools that will make this seemingly hard task a walk in the park:

Sous Vide Machine

From tough meats to versatile eggs, a sous vide machine will definitely diversify your menu and make meal prepping a breeze. For instance, you can easily make a smoked brisket without a smoker — and inside your home — with this amazing tool. All you have to do is brine the meat and glaze it, cook it in the sous vide machine, rub it with a mix of spices and herbs and place it in the oven. High-end sous vide machines can be a little pricey but this review of sou vide machines shows that there are a lot of affordable options out there that are just as reliable as the pricey ones. If you consider yourself tech-savvy, there are also a lot of high-tech choices that can be programmed and controlled both manually and through an app.

Egg Cooker

Eggs are a staple for meal preppers due to their versatility and high nutrient content. However, cooking eggs can be a little tricky — especially if you are going for gooey and decadent softboiled ones. If you want to save yourself from constantly worrying and keeping tabs on the pot to get that perfectly boiled egg, then invest in a good egg cooker. This list of the best egg cooker for 2020 noted impressive options that allow you to cook up to 10 eggs at a time, come in five cute colours, and have removable trays that let you cook poached eggs, as well as omelets.

Rice Cooker

If you’re looking for a quick and convenient way to make whole-grain meals, rice cookers are versatile and pack a punch. For instance, cooking gluten-free quinoa can be a breeze. All you have to do is combine your choice of broth with the quinoa and some salt, and push a button. Once it’s ready, you can use it to make a salad, parfait, and even stuffed bell peppers. If you don’t already have a rice cooker, there are several reviews of the best 2020 rice cookers available on this website, listing their prominent features and price points to help you pick the right model for your budget and lifestyle.

Food Chopper

We can all agree that the most time-consuming part of cooking is preparing all the ingredients. All the chopping and dicing can go for hours on end especially if you are meal prepping a big batch, leaving your hands tired and numb. Fortunately, with a reliable food chopper, you can say goodbye to this tedious task forever and focus more on the actual cooking. This review of the best food choppers of 2020 showcases an extensive list of manual and automatic food choppers. Hand choppers that require you to either push down or pull a handle are usually perfect for small vegetables such as onions and cloves of garlic while the automatic ones are great for larger vegetables and fruits such as carrots, apples, zucchinis and even harder foods like nuts.

A lot of people usually shy away from meal prepping because of how overwhelming and daunting it seems. However, with these tools meal prepping, even big batches can be easier and even more fun.

 

Exclusively for slendier.com from Britta Winger

 

Imagine if the only expert you needed to listen to about what to eat is you. Intuitive eating is the concept taking the wellness world by storm because it’s makes you the expert on you.

We are excited by this concept – at Slendier we are all about people bringing their happy self to the table. So, anything that encourages us to get in touch with what our bodies need is worth exploring.

 

So, how do I start?

It seems that we need to learn to trust our bodies. To do that, we need to identify the kind of hunger we’re experiencing – and that can be hard. Some of us eat even when we’re not hungry; it can be from habit, or to please your Mum who has been cooking all day, or because you’re watching a mukbang on YouTube or…. well you get it.

So really getting in touch with why you’re eating is key. According to healthline, the kinds of hunger are:

Physical hunger. This biological urge tells you to replenish nutrients. It builds gradually and has different signals, such as a growling stomach, fatigue, or irritability. It’s satisfied when you eat any food.

Emotional hunger. This is driven by emotional need. Sadness, loneliness, and boredom are some of the feelings that can create cravings for food, often comfort foods. Eating then causes guilt and self-hatred.

 

And then?

With kindness in your heart and no judgement in your mind start keeping a journal of your eating behaviours and attitudes. When you eat, ask yourself if you’re experiencing physical or emotional hunger.

If it’s physical hunger, rank your hunger from 1–10. If you are a “1” you are starving and would practically eat anything not nailed down. If you are a “10”, you are stuffed full and couldn’t fit in another thing (so not hungry at all!)

Then after you eat, repeat the ranking. What’s your number now?

The idea is to eat when you’re hungry but not starving (so about a 3 or 4), and then to stop when you’re comfortably full — not stuffed (so about an 8).

 

What if it’s emotional hunger?

Good question. There might be a need for emotional help or support. If you have the time and money, you could explore counselling. There are some amazing online counselling services who might be beneficial in a time of social distancing.

Otherwise, intuitive eating has 10 key principles that are so empowering. The principles range from:

  • Rejecting the diet mentality
  • Make peace with food
  • Honour your health with a gentle nutrition approach

 

Where can you go for more information?

If you’d like to explore intuitive eating further, you can check out these resources:

 

Have a good food day everyone.

Team Slendier

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our way of life for now. Times are challenging, and if we are currently healthy it seems the best we can do is look after ourselves and self-isolate as a way of caring for others.

But first – a disclaimer: in no way do we pretend to have medical training and you need to decide which advice is best for you and your family right now. That said, we’ve put together some information we think might be helpful in boosting your immune system.

 

First of all – what is the immune system? 

Your immune system defends the body from infection, and it is like a web of networked cells, tissues and organs in your body. Your immune system is found in:

  • skin
  • bone marrow
  • the thymus, a gland in your upper chest
  • white blood cells, which fight infection
  • lymph, a milky fluid carrying white blood cells
  • the lymphatic system – which takes care of the lymphatic drainage of your body- a network of tiny vessels that carry lymph around the body 
  • lymph nodes, small lumps in your groin, armpit, around your neck and elsewhere
  • the spleen, an organ under your ribs on the left
  • mucous membranes, like the lining of the inside of your mouth

 

How does the immune system work?

The skin and mucous membranes are the first line of defence against bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances. They act as a physical barrier, and they also contain immune cells.

When your skin has a cut, harmful microbes (tiny particles) can enter and invade your body. The cut triggers certain immune cells in the bloodstream that try to destroy the invaders.

In an infection, white blood cells identify the microbe, produce antibodies to fight the infection, and help other immune responses to occur. They also ‘remember’ the attack.

A Balanced Diet for a Stronger Immune System

Nutritionists agree that you can generally get all the nutrients you need for a strong immune system from a balanced diet. And with a couple of exceptions — folic acid for pregnant women, for example — most healthy people do not need to use supplements.

The 5 Food Groups are the acknowledged and benchmarked standard for nutritional balance. Each food group has important nutrients. The amount of each food you need will vary during your life, depending on factors such as how active you are and whether or not you are growing, pregnant, breastfeeding and more.

 

The 5 Food Groups are:

 

A word on vegetables and legumes (beans and peas)

Vegetables and legumes have hundreds of natural nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. To get the most from this group:

  • choose vegetables and legumes in season
  • look for different colours:
    • greens like beans, peas and broccoli
    • red, orange or yellow vegetables like capsicums, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin
    • purple vegetables like red cabbage and eggplant

 

Get more sleep

Sleep is important for your immune system. Research shows that sleep-deprived people can have suppressed immunity, meaning that they’re more at risk of catching viruses.

If you feel worried or you are anxious (about COVID-19, for example), you’re more at risk of sleep problems such as insomnia

There are some great apps and podcasts that can help you to sleep. We love the Calm app and the podcast Sleep With Me.  

 

Sanitise your phone

According to a new study, some viruses (including human coronaviruses that came before COVID-19) can remain infectious on surfaces for up to 9 days. So you should disinfect the ‘portable petri dish‘ that is your mobile phone regularly with a cleaning product that is 70% ethanol.

 

Pay Attention to your Mental Health

If you are feeling stressed or worried about the coronavirus (COVID-19), help is available. Speak to your GP or contact any of these organisations:

  • Beyond Blue offers mental-health counselling 24 hours a day on 1300 22 4636. You can also speak to someone via online chat (3pm to 12am, 7 days a week).
  • Children and young adults (up to age 25) can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 to speak with a counsellor, 24 hours a day. Online chat is also available 24/7.
  • Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 to speak with a trained mental health supporter, 24 hours a day. Online chat is available between 7pm and midnight (AEST), 7 days a week. You can also text 0477 13 11 14 between 6pm and midnight (AEST), 7 days a week.

 

Try and Have Fun

We won’t try and tell you how to have fun, but there are some fun things to do right now:

  1. Have an online dinner party. Use Zoom or Google Hangouts and see your friends online. Canva has even developed some fun virtual backgrounds to spice up your Zoom social occasion.
  2. Join an online choir. You can join in and sing songs with people from around the world. It’s incredible and uplifting at a time when we need it. 
  3. Do any number of free, creative things online. 

 

Source: The World Health Organization (WHO)

 

Sources:

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (General information about the immune system)MedlinePlus (Immune response)myVMC (Human Immune System)National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Overview of the immune system)

National Health and Medical Research Council (Eat for Health Australian Dietary Guidelines)eatforhealth.gov.au (Five food groups)NSW Department of Health (Choose water as a drink)Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australian Health Survey: Nutrition)

 

Go on. Be honest. We all know someone who is a teeny bit frightened of eating a plant-based diet, being vegetarian, vegan or any other label. We’re not talking about eyeing off the centre piece at a wedding; we’re talking about embracing a way of eating that puts plants first and meat last.

Welp, you might like to pass this blog on to your planty-scaredy-cats because we have a BIG, HUGE and ENORMOUS secret. Ready?

You don’t have to become a vegan to eat more veggies.

There. We said it. You don’t have to become a this, that, or the other thing in order to eat more healthily or sustainably.

We’ve put together this guide to help entice plant-relunctants to embrace this world of delicious goodness that might just help their bodies and the planet.

1) Start with one day a week

According to the not-for-profit group Meatless Monday, going without meat for one day a week has a 100 year history. Choosing to have a plant-based diet for one day or even one meal a week is a great place to start.

2) Explore brilliant recipes

We, erhhmm, have a large range of tasty recipes that will appeal to the whole family. Like loads; you can get a free e-book of 57 recipes using delicious plant-based ingredients.

Of course, you might not like to take our word for it (not sure why), and that’s OK – we still love you. There are a million places to explore plant-based recipes. Here’s one:

Think plant-based recipes are dull and boring? Think again! Here are some tasty recipes chock full of fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains.

55 Plant-Based Diet Recipes You’ll Crave

3) Understand protein

There’s so much confusing information about nutrition, but one of the things people think about plant-based eating is that you’ll come up short in the protein department and be all floppy and tired. That’s not true; understanding protein and how it works is important. This article in Men’s Health explains how protein is formed really well:

“To form a protein, 20 different amino acids bond together in a chain, of which 11 are produced by your body. Food is considered a complete protein when it contains the nine amino acids your body can’t manufacture. Most complete proteins are animal based, except for soy – which means tofu, edamame, tempeh and miso are all complete plant based proteins.”

Did we happen to mention we sell soy and edamame pasta? #Justsayin’.

4) Experiment!

The world of meat alternatives is growing every day. There are a lot of varieties and fast food chains have even put vegan meat on the menu. So if the idea of eating plants that look and taste like plants is unappealing – you can always go the meatless meat route.

And look, we also need to let you know that we’ve invented a series of combination boxes that let you experiment with our products. There’s pastas, sauces and ready meals to chomp on. They’re great value, delivered to your door, yummy, healthy and Mother Nature will send you a thank you card (no she won’t because… trees).

So, go nuts on the plants. Your body and the planet will thank you.

 

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Where you can buy Slendier products

Slendier products are available in the health food aisle of major supermarkets such as Coles, Foodworks, IGA and Woolworths throughout Australia and New Zealand.

From time to time you can also find our products online at catch.com.au

We sell all of Slendier products online here and offer free delivery for all orders over $100

Coles
Woolworths
Iga
Foodworks
Catch

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