Amy Culver - The Queen Of Lean

12/29/12
Holiday stress

12/15/12
Holiday season isn't all just about food

12/01/12
Plan ahead to stay on the right track

11/17/12
Prioritize this Thanksgiving

11/03/12
Choose treats wisely during the holidays

10/20/12
Starting a weightlifting routine

10/06/12
Healthy body has right signs

09/22/12
You need a livable food plan

09/08/12
Tailor your food according to needs

08/25/12
Plan strategies for when life gets hectic

08/11/12
Traveling can challenge eating habits

07/28/12
Parenting your own inner spoiled child

07/14/12
Long-term motives create long-lasting results

06/30/12
Interval training works for anyone

06/16/12
Check ingredients when eating out

06/02/12
Get out of the house for your workout

05/19/12
Lack of sleep may lead to weight gain

05/05/12
Cooking extra saves time and calories

04/21/12
Even small changes can make an impact

04/07/12
Swimming is a good
all-around exercise

03/24/12
Don't let slip-ups destroy your plan

03/10/12
Make your lifestyle and health compatible

02/25/12
A little exercise can yield big results

02/11/12
Food plans can help you eat right

01/28/12
Moderation is weight-loss key

01/14/12
Give your weight-loss plan time

12/31/11
Combat post-holiday blues with activity

12/17/11
Choose holiday calories carefully

12/03/11
Good kitchen tools make life easier

11/19/11
Enjoy feast in moderation

11/05/11
Start planning holiday meals now

10/22/11
Don't buy Halloween candy too early

10/08/11
Theaters offer healthy snacks

09/24/11:
Try to avoid evening snacking

09/10/11:
Tips to stave off hunger pangs

08/27/11:
Stuck?  Reassess your routine

08/13/11:
Avoid peaks and valleys in diet

07/30/11:
Measure size of food portion to help tip scale in your favor

07/16/11:
Learn to love being thin

07/02/11:
Change your lifestyle; don't just diet

06/18/11:
Fruity thoughts to keep fit

06/04/11:
Water can ease cravings

05/21/11:
Working a pool into your exercise routine

05/07/11:
Stay focused, move forward

04/23/11:
Delay caving to craving

04/09/11:
Review of daily plan should include diet & activities

03/26/11:
Holidays are never-ending

03/12/11:
Measuring food is key to weight loss

02/26/11:
Food-logging can help in weight loss

02/12/11:
Find ways to make exercise fun

01/29/11:
Reserve time for your exercise program

01/15/11:
Substitutions for your holiday treats

01/01/11:
Moderation is key to good diet

2010:
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Good kitchen tools make life easier

I enjoy cooking but don't always have the time for elaborate meals, so most of my meals are pretty simple.  I'm always looking for ways to make cooking even easier.  Good tools are a great way to simplify your life in the kitchen.  Here are a few of my favorites, and with Christmas coming up, you might want to add one or two of them to your wish list.

Last Christmas, I received a toaster oven.  Mine is big enough so that I can cook two small casseroles in it.  It was wonderful during our long, hot summer.  I was still able to cook easy oven meals, but without heating up the whole kitchen.  It also uses less electricity than my big oven.  What I didn't know until I started using it was that it cooks faster than a regular oven.  Because it's small, it preheats faster and the cooking time is shorter.  For example, a meatloaf will take an hour in the oven, but only 45 minutes in the toaster oven. 
 
Another gift I received last year was a stick blender.  I had no idea how handy these are; I use mine every day.  I make a lot of shakes and my stick blender handles ice just as well as a regular blender and cleanup is much easier.  I have also used it to make my own salad dressings.  This allows me to control the fat content.  I mix together fruit, balsamic vinegar, spices and a bit of olive oil.  It tastes great. 

I also get a lot of use from my slow cooker.  Nothing beats setting up dinner early in the day and being able to just forget about it.  If you get a larger one, you can cook ahead and freeze.