Kitchen Hacks: Making the Most of Your Time

Written by : Ashley Tresoline Bella Foodie, LLC & Michelle Crean- Empowerment

The stereotypical image of mothers slaving away over the stove, stuck in a never ending cycle of preparing meals for their family is not as out of date as we might think. Mothers will spend more than three years of their adult lives in the kitchen, according to a recent study. Since feeding ourselves and our families is a necessary part of our daily routine, we came up with a few tips to make your time in the kitchen more efficient, as well as a mini workout circuit you can do while cooking!

Here are a few helpful hints to make your time in the kitchen a breeze.

– My number one hack isn’t about a fast way to peel potatoes or cut perfect tomato halves, it is about comfort. Invest in well-made anti-fatigue mats for your kitchen, they make a world of difference. To get the most effective use out of them put them in areas of your kitchen that you do a lot of standing. My mats are where I do the majority of my food prep and at the sink for washing dishes.  I love mine because it helps with my lower back pain and my Mom even loves them because she has Arthritis in one of her feet.

– If you are going to be on your feet for a longtime cooking, stop and stretch every hour. It makes a world of difference at the end of a long day especially on marathon cooking days like holidays.

–  To make cleaning a snap when you are preparing a meal use a large bowl to but all your scraps and trash in. It will save you from walking back and forth to the trash can every few minutes. One trip to the trash and your workspace stays clean.

–  Trying to mix a batter in a stubborn bowl that just won’t stay put? Put a damp moppine (dish towel) under it. It helps the stability and you can safely mix any batter.

–  Always read a recipe all the way through before starting to cook it, especially in baking. You’d be surprised how many people don’t think this is necessary and find out halfway through cooking that they are missing some equipment or ingredient.

– Preheat baking sheets in the oven before roasting veggies for a more even cooking.

– Love using the zip fresh ginger gives a recipe but hate peeling it? Use the tip of a spoon to remove the delicate papery skin.

– Love the flavor of onions and garlic in dishes but hate eating chunks of it, use a handheld grater. By doing this it will also help add wonderful moisture to your meatballs.

– To make crisp breaded bake chicken or extra crispy bacon position a cooling rack on a baking sheet so the air can circulate and the fat will drip down.

While your chicken is baking, try these easy to do moves to get your exercise in for the day:

  1. Step Ups: Utilize that step stool for more than reaching items on a shelf! Stand behind it with feet hip distance apart and step up with the right foot, then left, then lower the right foot down, then the left- that’s 1 rep. Be sure entire foot is on the step, keep your chest lifted and core tight, and try to find a comfortable cadence for 20 reps.
  2. Calf raises: While you’re stirring try this easy move to strengthen the backs of the legs and glutes. Stand with feet hip distance apart, tighten through your core and raise yourself up on the balls of your feet, then slowly lower down. Do 10-12 reps
  3. Countertop push-ups: Using your counter or island, place hands shoulder width apart, take a step back so your body is angled, brace your core and lower your chest toward the counter then push back to start position. Do 10-12 reps
  4. Arm circles: Grab those soup cans or water bottles-one in each hand- and raise arms out to the side. Make small circles forward for 20 reps then reverse direction for 20 reps. Keep your chest high and neck long.
  5. Island squats: Stand behind your island or counter, placing both hands shoulder width apart, feet hip distance apart. Keeping palms flat, stick your rear back like you’re sitting in a chair then lower down to a comfortable position. Pressing down into the floor with your heels and engaging the muscles right under your buttocks, straighten legs to return to the starting upright position. Repeat 10-15 times

 

If kitchen time is a necessary part of our lives, why not make your time there easier and try some of the tips while cooking and multitask by getting that workout in as well!

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