Cook Healthy Meals Under 15 Minutes With These 10 Smart Products

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We all appreciate a delicious home cooked meal at the end of a busy day. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find the time and energy to make dinner when you get in from work. You’re probably all too familiar with the sinking feeling you get when trying to find something quick and delicious to eat in your fridge. Cooking dinner takes too long, and you’re too exhausted by the time it’s ready to actually enjoy it anyway. A takeaway might seem like the perfect solution, but they are both expensive and unhealthy. The average takeaway meal is high in calories, fat, and salt, which will only make you feel worse in the long run!

That’s the bad news. But the good news is that cooking doesn’t necessarily have to take up a lot of your time. With the right equipment, it’s easy to put together a meal that requires very little planning and energy. Here at Lifehack, we’re proud to present 10 kitchen gadgets that will help revolutionize weekday dinnertime!

1. Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker

This clever cooker cuts down your cooking time by up to 70%. Not only that, but it’s actually 7 kitchen contained within just one unit! Whether you use the slow cooker, steamer, or any other of its 5 functions, the inner steel cooking pot will save you a lot of time.

Customer Review: “Awesome features, Very well built appliance and consistently improving for every new model. Perfect for almost every cooking need.” – Phoebe, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

2. Kuhn Rikon Swiss Pull Chop

This clever gadget makes chopping food easy. All you have to do is place the food inside the sturdy container, pull the cord a few times, and you’re done! You’ll save time on chopping and slicing.

Customer Review: “This product is a must for your kitchen if you enjoy cooking from scratch. It easily chops all crisp veggies and nuts into fine chops.” – Donna H Holmes

3. Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

This device saves you the hassle of boiling water and watching over your eggs as they . Use it to make boiled, scrambled, and poached eggs, along with individual omelettes.

Customer Review: “I must say, I have become very fond of this little unassuming appliance. I like the way it saves me from having dishes or pans to wash that have cooked egg white stuck to them.” – CACGH

4. NuWave 20631 Oven Pro Plus

This portable infrared oven cuts down your cooking time by up to 70%, with up to 75% less energy compared to a standard oven. It cooks meat, fish, vegetables, and even desserts to perfection.

Customer Review: “It really is and does what it says in the ads. It’s remarkably flexible, fast, easy to clean and generally a pleasure to use.” – Doctor Sardonicus

5. Chefaith 16-Blade Apple Slicer

If you need to slice an apple in a hurry, don’t reach for a knife – use this apple slicer instead. Simply place the slicer on top of a medium-sized fruit, and press down. The fruit will be cored and sliced within seconds!

Customer Review: “Used this today for the first time, and I’m wondering how I ever lived without it! I used it on both large and medium Granny Smith apples from my tree.” – Sarah F. Carr

6. Philips Airfryer

The Airfryer’s patented “starfish” design allows a quick and result. It allows you to cook with up to 75% less fat! Just one tablespoon of oil is all you need! It also allows you to grill, bake, steam or roast food.

Customer Review: “Love this airfryer!! I throw all sorts of frozen goodies in here and they all come out so crispy and delicious in just a few ! Quiet, easy to clean, and super convenient. Machine itself is a beautiful shiny white that fits perfectly with my kitchen :)” – Mina Kim

7. Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker

This versatile cooker lets you throw in your ingredients the night or morning before, and then heats them up for you during the day to create a delicious meal. You can look forward to an instant dinner after a long day at work!

Customer Review: “My wife and I like to make up enough of something to eat on for about 3 days on the weekends so we can eat better in the middle of the week. Wow everything i have cooked in this has came out like my grand mother had made it, sooo tasty :)” – Canable

8. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth

This kitchen gadget makes cooking sous vide easy. You will no longer have to spend time making sure the water is exactly the right temperature. Just attach it to the side of a pot, add water and ingredients, and get cooking.

Customer Review: “Cooking with the Anova Sous Vide has made kitchen time much less hectic. Similar to a slow cooker, I’m able to put food items that are vacuum sealed (or water displaced) into the water bath and leave it until I’m ready to serve the item.” – KttyKat16

9. 45 Second Omelet Maker

As the name implies, this clever product enables you to cook an individual omelet within 45 seconds. Handmade in stoneware clay, it also looks stylish in the kitchen.

Customer Review: “I bought 2 because of the comments and I’m glad I did. One for me and one for my husband. We both use them at work for quick eggs without hassle that taste great. I’d highly recommend!” – SCGINVA

10. Microwave Pasta Cooker

This cooker means that you no longer have to wait around as the water for your pasta heats up. Instead, you’ll be able to cook it in the microwave in minutes, thus saving time and mess.

Customer Review: “I highly recommend this to any college student or adult who needs a fast microwave pasta cooker!” – Kelsi Murphy

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How To Make Stupid Mistakes

Have you ever made silly decisions or actions that you later regretted? Perhaps invested in something that with hindsight, just wasn’t worth it? Continued to do something even though you knew it would hurt you in the long run?

These are examples of cognitive biases, simple errors we all make in our day-to-day thinking. In The Art Of Thinking Clearly, Rolf Dobelli shares common day to day that people make and how to avoid them.

In engaging prose and with practical examples and anecdotes, this book is an eye-opening look at human reasoning and is essential reading for anyone with important decisions to make.

Avoid Making Common Mistakes Again

Dobelli’s goal is to learn to recognise and evade the biggest errors in thinking. By doing that, he believes we might “experience a leap in prosperity. We need no extra cunning, no new ideas, no unnecessary gadgets, no frantic hyperactivity—all we need is less irrationality.”

This book is simple and clear, which makes it easy for you to change the way you think and transform your decision-making-work, at home, every day. It reveals in short chapters, the most common errors of judgment, and how best to avoid them. While the list of fallacies is not complete, it’s a great launching pad into the best of what others have already figured out.

Reading Duration: 7 hrs 56 mins

Get The Art Of Thinking Clearly from Amazon at $9.98

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Why Some Losers Become Winners, but Others Stay as Losers

We all know Milton Hershey as the founder of Hershey’s chocolate which is one of the best known candies in America. But Hershey actually built up 3 candy companies ending in complete failure before his ultimate success. As a young entrepreneur, Hershey set up his own candy shop with $150 in Philadelphia will little success. Over the next few years he started over again in New York and Chicago but failed both times. Not giving up and convinced he could succeed, he set up the Lancaster Caramel Company and within a few short years, he finally had a thriving business which led him to start the Hershey Chocolate Company which we know and love.

Despite his failures, Hershey used his resilience and belief to carry on and achieve his dreams. While many would have been tempted to give up, drowning in the negativity that failure can bring, Hershey shows how determination, learning and improving is the real recipe for success.

By default, we can’t wait to win

As humans, we are wired to get instant results and it’s all down to survival. In caveman times, survival meant hunting down food and making fires. If we didn’t get immediate results with these, our lives would be at risk.

Nowadays as individuals, our need for survival and instant results starts from the moment we’re born. Crying is a way of getting the instant attention we need from our parents in order to make sure we’re fed and looked after. Therefore it’s ingrained in us from an early age to get instant results and this stays wired in our brains throughout our lives.

But we have to wait and we lose

In modern times, society has shaped the way we get success. We may want money but we typically only receive our salary after completing a period of work or we only receive a reward after working hard at something. Therefore we’re often forced to work hard and wait in order to get the success we crave and the real threat to our lives that our ancestors faced, has pretty much disappeared.

So while lack of instant results doesn’t mean a threat to our survival, in our brains, that need is still lurking and our instinct tends to tells us to quit if instant results aren’t apparent.

But the key is understanding that the waiting period serves as a crucial time to work harder and improve rather than give up.

From losing to becoming a loser

When people fail, they don’t instantly. They become losers as soon as they start to victimize themselves. They tell themselves the ‘facts’ or excuses to justify something negative in their abilities.

These limiting beliefs are formed from past experiences, mistakes or times they’ve been stuck. They often tell ourselves and others things such as “If I were younger, I would have got this”, or “If they had given me more opportunities, things would have been different.”

But if they’re being honest, these are the things they tell themselves to justify their failures and no one really cares what they could have done or why they failed. Failure is failure.

This isn’t to sound harsh but rather to highlight the fact that we often box ourselves into this idea of failure or label ourselves harshly. In reality, the reason we failed was because we didn’t persevere, keep faith and belief, and used the failure as a way of learning and improving ourselves towards the success we wanted.

This negative need to reason away our failures doesn’t get us anywhere as Ben Horowitz says in his book The Hard Thing About Hard Things,

A great reason for failing won’t preserve one dollar for your investors, won’t save one employee’s job, or get you one new customer.

Act like a winner and move on

We have to fight against the need to make excuses and quit when failure comes knocking and it’s all down to mindset.

It’s natural to think back to past failures and use it as evidence that you’ll never succeed but this is only detrimental to your chances of achieving your dreams. Focus your mind on the goal and do all you can to get there. There will always be roadblocks but the key is to work through the problems, don’t blame, don’t buy into your limiting beliefs but use each bump in the road as a chance to learn something. In other words, think of it as life giving you a solution for you to realise – something only this situation would teach you in order to move further towards success.

If you want to succeed after failures, start to think like a success person:

  • Widen Your Perspective: The big picture can be hard to see when we’re focused on what’s going on in the present moment. The idea is to realise that each journey to success will always have its ups and downs. When the downs occur it can blindside us into thinking success isn’t possible. Step back and keep your eye on the bigger picture because usually those downs are followed by wonderful ups.
  • Breakdown The Challenge: The big goal can seem daunting at times which is why breaking it down into manageable chunks is the secret to keeping the motivation going. Life is ever-changing and so are our ideas, beliefs and perspectives. With each smaller challenge you overcome you bring a bigger sense of achievement and possibility of the larger outcome and this is where the magic happens – you will slowly but surely see that what you want is possible.

If you really want to succeed then you must realize that no one really cares about your failures. If you want to move on from your down times, don’t make giving up an option. No matter how much you feel you’re struggling, these are the moments that present the necessary learning curve you need to achieve your big goals.

Read this article to learn more about how to keep persevering on your journey to big things: The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better

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Want To Raise Good Kids? Here Are 5 movies That Will Help You Out

Deciding what movie to take your to can be overwhelming. The sheer amount of blockbuster films, cartoons and animations can make any parent wonder what the most appropriate movie is to watch with their children. The impressionable nature of kids can mean that exposing them to negative teachings could result in picking up bad habits from a young age.

Think that’s an exaggeration? It’s been scientifically proven that what children watch, especially with films and TV, has a strong ability to influence and shape their minds. The power of persuasion was discussed in an article by Dr. Jeremy Dean who commented that “stories work so well to persuade us because if they’re well told, we get swept up in them, and we are transported inside them.[1]

This can work in both a negative and positive way. If parents can be strategic in what they select for their kids and then utilise the impressionable window of time after the film has finished to discuss the story line and valuable character traits, children will be more open to learn, understand and make positive connections.

With this in mind, here are 5 movies that will give you the opportunity to you teach children valuable life lessons.

1. Frozen (2013)

Frozen tell the story of fearless optimist Anna who teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey to find Anna’s sister. This child-like comedy sees the characters encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf.

Lessons Learned: This is a wonderful story about sibling love rather than the traditional ‘man saves the day’ movie. It shows the importance of family bonds with strong character traits of kindness, love and self-worth.

Get Frozen on iTunes.

2. Brave (2012)

Princess Merida is betrothed to a prince but wants to be anything but a “princess”. Instead she longs to be free, climb her favourite mountain, and use her archery skills. She attempts to run away and be “herself” and learns some lessons along the way.

This is a story of a girl determined to make her own path in life and break the stereotypical idea of a princess. Her defiance of tradition means relying on her bravery and archery skills to beat an evil curse. This movie is a great example for both boys and girls that shows the ideas of self-love, bravery and grit.

Get Brave on iTunes.

3. Charlotte’s Webb (2006)

This film tells of a unique friendship between a pig called Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. The unlikely pair come together after Wilbur’s life becomes endangered and Charlotte helps create a plan to save him.

This movie is a intricate example of friendship and self-love with the characters displaying a strong sense of kindness, self-worth and love that children can learn from.

Get Charlotte’s Web in iTunes.

4. Moana (2016)

Based on stories from Polynesian mythology, this animation tells the story of Moana Waialiki. Daughter of a chief and expert navigator of the seas, Moana island experiences failing crops and local fisherman are no longer able to catch fish. She learns that the demigod Maui caused the blight by stealing the heart of the goddess, Te Fiti and the only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to return Te Fiti’s heart. Moana then sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific.

This is a tale of a girl overcoming impossible odds and discovering herself in the process. It teaches children the rewards of perseverance and the importance of knowing their identity. This is especially wonderful for the empowerment of girls as well as courage, curiosity and sticking to your goals.

Get Moana on iTunes.

5. Finding Nemo (2003)

Nemo, a clown fish, gets lost one day despite his father Marlin’s warning of the dangers of the sea. Nemo subsequently gets abducted by a boat and netted up to be sent to an office fish tank in Sydney. Marlin starts his journey to try and find Nemo encountering many characters along the way including a forgetful blue tang fish called Dory. The two travel a great distance, encountering dangerous situations in pursuit of Nemo. Meanwhile, Nemo along with the other captured sea animals in the fish tank, plot a way to return to Sydney Harbour to live their lives free again.

This is a tale of survival but ultimately one of love. The characters show a wonderful example of perseverance, compassion and courage teaching children the importance of love and to never give up.

Get Finding Nemo on iTunes.

So, next time you sit down with your kids to watch a film, choose one that explains an important life lesson. Use this time to have a conversation and allow children to understand what they have been watching and how they can connect this with their own life. It’s possible to make movie-watching fun and educational at the same time!

Reference

[1] http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/01/why-stories-sell-transportation-leads-to-persuasion.php

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Astronauts on Apollo 13 Could Have Died, Their Fear Saved Them

In 1970, aboard 13 were in a dire situation. They were going to land on the moon, but after an oxygen-tank explosion, the three men had to move to the lunar module of spacecraft so that they safely return home. There was just one problem with this plan: the lunar module was only designed for two men for a period of 36 hours. They needed enough air for three men for 96 hours. They would suffocate if they could not remove the CO2 from the air.[1]

The odds were against , but the team at NASA didn’t give up. Motivated by of losing their guys, they gathered the materials that they knew the men would on the lunar module and challenged themselves to make a CO2 scrubber.

Even though the mission didn’t turn out the way NASA had planned, the story has a happy ending. The emergency system that NASA developed on the fly the astronauts’ lives.

Fear drove the NASA team to be more creative.

Many people believe that creativity will only flourish when someone has lots of time and freedom. It’s true that people that feel too frightened or under too much pressure will have a hard time producing. Sometimes a small amount of fear pushes people to be extra creative.

Fear Is a Protective Fence

There is such thing as a healthy amount of fear. Fear keeps us from taking big risks, and it helps us stay safe.

Your amygdala, the primitive part of your brain, is responsible for your impulse control and fear.[2] The amygdalae are the home of the fight or flight response. Being frightened all the time is not good for us, but having enough fear to prevent us from making bad choices keeps us from engaging in risky behaviors.[3]

The Problem With the Fence

When people are playing it safe all the time, it’s easy to fall into a routine. Our brain loves the idea of routine because it can go on autopilot. When something works, there’s no need to change anything.

This is the comfort zone. It’s a safe place, but there isn’t much going on here. There’s no pressure to improve anything because everything seems to be moving along just fine.

We all need breaks from pressure once in a while, but if we are always comfortable, we can never grow. When we don’t have to worry about anything, there’s nothing to stimulate innovation.

Problems motivate you to find solutions. Changes lead to adaptation. If you have an issue that you can’t solve right away, you’ll keep working on that problem in your mind – even if you don’t realize it. Problem solving like this causes us to put more energy and attention into dealing with the issue.

The space between what we have and what we want is sometimes called creative tension. Having a gap between our reality and a desired outcome may be stressful, but prompts us to do our best work.[4]

The Fence Is Unnecessary

You don’t really need that fence. The person who has no reason to make changes will continue on the same path indefinitely. Tension and new circumstances motivate creativity. Sometimes we need a little push to reach our full potential. Tighter deadlines, new tools, a different team, or an accident can spur you to tackle problems in new ways.

Pixar, creators of some of the greatest animated films of our time, had to rethink their creative process. Instead of teaching people to avoid failure, they changed their culture to encourage people to fail quickly. Instead of creating crippling fear around making mistakes they worked to develop a sense of creative tension.

This healthy amount of fear allows people to be okay with being wrong early in the process. They are willing to try new things. The creative tension that they experience makes their fear a friend to their creativity.

Use Fear to Get You in Gear

Living with too much fear every day is unhealthy. Your brain naturally tries to avoid being put under so much stress. Use creative tension to look at problems in new ways. You’ll see new perspectives and options you never noticed before.

Taking on a new role, working in a different place, and new people and tools can push you to try things outside of your normal routine. Your routine won’t inspire change by itself. Having to adjust to new situations can help you look at things in ways you never saw them before.

This new way of thinking is the seed for creative growth. If you are becoming to relaxed or complacent, you may need to create change for yourself. To experience some creative tension:

  • Set a deadline. If you don’t have a due date for a project, create your own. This will keep you from procrastinating and force you to think about the problem.
  • Come up with a more ambitious target. When what you’re doing feels way too easy, challenge yourself. You’ll be less likely to get bored, and you’d be amazed at what you can come up with.
  • Change your routine. Doing the same thing every day or completing a task in the same way keeps you from reaching your creative potential. Doing something just because you’ve always done it that way isn’t a good enough rationale. Think about new ways to do what you do.

Not every kind of work gives you the flexibility to make changes to your role. You may be expected to do things in a certain way. Even if you can’t alter your role, you can change how you think about it. No matter what your job expects of you, you are always free to challenge yourself to think about things from a new angle.

You can think about how another person might think about the work that you are doing. If you were the CEO of the company, how would you feel about the work? If you are performing a service, what would you want as a customer. These new perspectives can make you think about what you do in new and exciting ways.

Sheer terror isn’t going to make you a better worker, but creative tension can push you to do incredible things. People can’t innovate when they stagnate. Find ways to break out of your comfort zone and embrace the creativity that comes from a challenge.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

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