Staying home all day feels like a vacation at first, then slowly it starts to feel like you’re watching a show you don’t love on repeat for hours and hours. You can live with it, but it’s certainly not your top choice of things to do. Social distancing is crucial, there’s no other way to see it, so doing things at home that make you feel good should be an item on your everyday to-do list (along with putting on pants… baby steps).
In addition to staying active indoors with home workouts or TikTok dances, eating right can keep you feeling more like your normal-work-week self and less like someone who hasn’t seen daylight in four days (we’re not judging). Not to mention, healthy eating keeps your energy up and metabolism pumping. To keep on track, there are some kitchen essentials perfect for supporting healthy eating habits. We talked with dieticians to find out what appliances and gadgets are best to use to stay healthy while home.
Digital food scale
Jim Frith, an advanced sports nutritionist and founder of TopFitPros and End the Yo-Yo; the EAMAYW® System, said food scales are a hidden gem for all who meal prep — an option that can save a lot of time and stress during this hectic situation.
“You’re going to often make recipes you want to store, so weighing food in larger quantities is crucial,” he tells InStyle. “A lot of people think they have to spend time around food and that’s a big disincentive to being successful. Anything that can enhance convenience and enable time efficiency is key.”
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Not only does a veggie spinner ensure the food you're about to eat is cleaned properly, it also gets excess water out after a rinse and is a great prepping tool, Frith says.
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Taking notes on your food might seem weird at first, but it can help you keep track of what’s being stored, thus cutting down waste. Hannah Braye, a registered nutritionist and senior technical advisor at Bio-Kult, said taking notes on what you eat can keep you from overeating at home. “This could be as simple as ticking off a chart on the fridge every time you eat a portion of vegetables or have a glass of water,” she tells InStyle.
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When you’re eating healthy, foods can start to feel repetitive fast. Nobody wants to eat a salad every meal of every day, and a food processor can help you diversify meals to save you from burnout. Frith recommends using this tool to rice cauliflower or to make soups from fresh vegetables.
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Feeding yourself and a family? A slow cooker allows you to “batch-cook large amounts of healthy foods, without slaving over a hot stove.” Braye says. Even if you’re home alone, having already-made lunches will certainly save you time and energy.
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Pasta gets a bad wrap and is often labeled as an unhealthy meal, but in reality the only thing (literally) weighing it down is the starchy noodles. Pasta sauce has Frith's stamp of approval for being rich with nutrients and essential energizers. To save on the calories while still feeling like you’re indulging in a rich meal, he recommends purchasing a spiralizer and making noodles from the likes of zucchini and carrots.
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Packing vegetables and fruits into your day can be difficult, but blending them into one soup or smoothie is easy as pie. It’s a tasty trick that Braye recommends to anyone.
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Discount knives are great, but if you’ve ever struggled with cutting through a tomato, it’s time for something new and something sharp. A good knife is a time-saver, Frith says, and having just one quality cutter in your home can make all of the difference.
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Do certain textures or elements of fruits or vegetables trip you out? For Frith, it’s the skin on cucumbers. For others, it’s the furry feel of a peach. A peeler can help you maintain a diverse diet because it can get rid of the stuff you hate without wasting what you love.
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When it comes to storage containers, everybody has their own taste. For Braye, containers made from Pyrex with bamboo lids are a go-to because, “my food doesn’t come into contact with plastic (which can potentially leach hormone-disrupting chemicals) and it can be put straight in the microwave,” she says. “Pyrex is very strong, and I haven’t had any breakages even when carrying them around in my bag on the go.”
Getting a pack of different-sized containers can help your refrigerator stay organized, whether you opt for glass, bamboo, or food-safe plastic.
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