Coach Jonathan Wong has a Doctorate of Science in Holistic Medicine and is the author of "The Happy Body - Getting to the root of YOUR fitness, health and productivity". He is also the founder and CEO of Genesis Gym Singapore (tm), which aims to provide the best personal training and fitness services in Singapore. The views expressed below are his own.
Eating at home is well known to have many positive effects -- social and emotional, as well as physical -- because you'll be able to control everything that goes into your food preparation.
Here are three kitchen appliances that can make cooking at home even healthier and more enjoyable.
1. Safe cookware
It's true that you won't suddenly have heavy metal poisoning when you eat from a non-stick pan. But toxic burdens can add up because we live in a toxic world, as Dr Mark Schauss talks about in his book which I reviewed here.
So, choosing cookware that does not add to this load is a good idea. I reccommend a set of glass containers to store hot food in, as glass is free from chemical toxins found in plastics. They are also easier to clean if there is oil on them. A good set lasts pretty much forever as long as you don't drop them.
For pans, I like cast iron pans. They are easy to clean, have no toxic coatings and actually get MORE non-stick over time! Pretty cool and well worth the money. Again, you buy these once in your life and never again. An added benefit is that they are rather heavy and give your forearms a good workout!
2. A slow cooker
Yes, people in Singapore are busy, and finding time to cook can be a challenge. So a slow cooker can be a wisechoice. They are not expensive ($50-$100) and allow you to dump food in at night and have it ready for breakfast or to pack to school or work. Alternatively, you can dump food in when you wake up and have food ready to eat when you get home in the evening. There are many good recipe websites for slow cooked food. Choose recipes that suit your activity level and carbohydrate needs.
3. A good blender
One of my nutrition mentors, anti-cancer expert (who also happen to have written the forward for my book) Dr Bob Rakowski recommends at least 6-8 servings of fruit and veggies to get the amount of plant nutrients required for detoxification. These servings will also contribute valuable anti-oxidant effects.
From the thousands of initial consultations that all clients who do personal training at Genesis Gym go through, I would say that only about 10 per cent of them meet these requirements for fruit and veggie intake.
One easy way to get all these nutrients in would be to invest in a good blender. A juicer gets rid of all the fiber and nutrients in the skin of the fruit or the pulp of the vegetable. So I much prefer a blender which grinds everything up, retaining all the nutrients. Add a bit of ice and water (which gets blended up too) and you have a great smoothie.
My family has had a good experience with this model but any professional blender would be well worth the investment because it won't fall apart with the first carrot that happens to be a little too hard for cheap blender blades and motors.
Imagine a day where you have adequate fruit and veggies in a smoothie, ready to eat meals from a slow cooker, and glass containers to bring it out with you. Getting into great shape would be pretty automatic if you did these things consistently.