Amy Culver - The Queen Of Lean

Holiday stress

Holiday season isn't all just about food

Plan ahead to stay on the right track

Prioritize this Thanksgiving

Choose treats wisely during the holidays

Starting a weightlifting routine

Healthy body has right signs

You need a livable food plan

Tailor your food according to needs

Plan strategies for when life gets hectic

Traveling can challenge eating habits

Parenting your own inner spoiled child

Long-term motives create long-lasting results

Interval training works for anyone

Check ingredients when eating out

Get out of the house for your workout

Lack of sleep may lead to weight gain

Cooking extra saves time and calories

Even small changes can make an impact

Swimming is a good
all-around exercise

Don't let slip-ups destroy your plan

Make your lifestyle and health compatible

A little exercise can yield big results

Food plans can help you eat right

Moderation is weight-loss key

Give your weight-loss plan time

Combat post-holiday blues with activity

Choose holiday calories carefully

Good kitchen tools make life easier

Enjoy feast in moderation

Start planning holiday meals now

Don't buy Halloween candy too early

Theaters offer healthy snacks

Try to avoid evening snacking

Tips to stave off hunger pangs

Stuck?  Reassess your routine

Avoid peaks and valleys in diet

Measure size of food portion to help tip scale in your favor

Learn to love being thin

Change your lifestyle; don't just diet

Fruity thoughts to keep fit

Water can ease cravings

Working a pool into your exercise routine

Stay focused, move forward

Delay caving to craving

Review of daily plan should include diet & activities

Holidays are never-ending

Measuring food is key to weight loss

Food-logging can help in weight loss

Find ways to make exercise fun

Reserve time for your exercise program

Substitutions for your holiday treats

Moderation is key to good diet

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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.