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9 Kitchen Tools to Help You Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions

9 Kitchen Tools to Help You Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions

We've rounded up the kitchen gadgets you'll need to help achieve your goals for 2020.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

There's nothing more aggravating than a drawer of kitchen tools you don't use. But, a few really good gadgets can make getting in the kitchen each day more pleasant. So to help keep your New Year's momentum going all year long, I've rounded up 9 gadgets to help make cooking easier. Sure, none of these are essential, but each one can make throwing together healthy meals a little quicker, easier, or just more fun.

Sturdy Sheet Pans

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Roasting is one of the easiest (I'm talking toss-with-a-little-oil-garlic-and-salt-and-then-throw-in-a-hot-oven kind of easy) and tastiest ways to prepare vegetables, so a sturdy nonstick sheet pan is always great to have in the kitchen. Veggies need space to roast, so go bigger if in doubt.

Instant Pot

I held off purchasing one of these for a long time, thinking these revamped pressure cookers were just a passing fad. But I finally gave in last year, and I have to admit I really love this appliance, particularly for meal prep at the start of a week. Cooking Light Diet member Liz Striegl (who lost 128 pounds with her husband!) agrees with that philosophy, adding that she uses it to get grains, legumes, stocks, and other meal components prepped for the week or in the freezer for quick, healthy meals. And don't feel pressure to get one with all the bells and whistles: There are lots of electric pressure cookers with 4.5 star ratings or higher for less than $100.

Cast-Iron Skillet

"I love and use my cast-iron skillets almost daily," said Cooking Light Diet member Patricia Reidy Lawrence, when asked what tools make healthy cooking easier. She also cited cast-iron skillets' versatility in terms of it going directly from stovetop to oven. This is something I've found helpful, too, particularly when cooking chicken or pork tenderloin. I sear and season poultry and meat on the stovetop, then finish off the cooking process in the oven to keep the meat juicy and tender. The seasoned coating also provides a natural nonstick surface.

Avocado Sock

Incorporating a little healthy fat increases satiety at a meal, and one of my favorites to add to tacos, eggs, toast, grain bowls, wraps, and salads are avocados. Diced, sliced, or mashed, it's hard to go wrong if you've got a ripe one. If not, you can wait a few days. Or stick it in the Avocado Sock overnight. The concept sounds crazy, but the small wool bag has been my fix for perfectly ripening an avocado overnight. Definitely not an essential cooking item, but if you're an avocado lover, it's worth trying.

Microplane

One of the keys to creating really good food that's also good for you is incorporating ingredients with big flavor profiles; fresh garlic, ginger, lemon zest, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese upgrades dishes. A small amount of one or two ingredients added to the right dish can upgrade it instantly, so consider a microplane to make prepping all of these easier. This handheld tool is a small-scale grater that creates a finer end product and has a more ergonomic design.

Kitchen Scale

When Cooking Light Diet Community members were polled to find out what their favorite kitchen tools were, a digital kitchen scale topped the list for many. Joanne Zuccaro Devaney said, "I weigh everything. Even my uncooked pasta." And Mary Gresham Dee felt the same way. "I'm also on the kitchen scale bandwagon. I never got pasta right and always ended up with too little or too much." We recommend spending $5 to $10 extra for a digital version to get the most accurate readings.

The Pampered Chef Mix N Chop

This gadget is a favorite among several Cooking Light Diet members, like Lauren Appell Aronson. It was new to me at first but quickly became a helpful tool. Instead of using my spatula to brown and crumble ground beef or my potato masher to macerate berries, I can use the Mix N Chop. Aronson says she finds it particularly helpful when cooking ground meat and poultry "to get that perfect consistency."

Immersion Blender

"My immersion blender!" was Kaylee Hammonds' immediate answer to our Cooking Light Diet poll of favorite kitchen gadgets. And I have to agree because it's one of my favorites, too. A good immersion blender is equally efficient when it comes to mixing smoothies, pureeing soups, and blending dips and sauces like hummus, but it takes up a lot less space than a blender or food processor. Another plus is that there's less equipment clean up.

Reusable Containers for Meal Prep

Have all the gadgets you need, but aren't sure what to make? Let the Cooking Light Diet help! Subscribe at Our SiteDiet.com today and start receiving your customizable meal plans.

Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD, is author of Meals That Heal: 100+ Everyday Anti-Inflammatory Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less, and a culinary nutrition expert known for her ability to simplify food and nutrition information. She received a 2017 James Beard Journalism award, and her work is regularly featured by Cooking Light, RealSimple, Parents, Health, EatingWell, Allrecipes, MyFitnessPal, eMeals, Rally Health, and the American Heart Association. You can follow her on Instagram (@realfoodreallife_rd) or visit carolynwilliamsrd.com.


3 Kitchen Tools Every Home Chef Needs

There are so many kitchen tools out there that promise to simplify your cooking and cut your prep time in half. While many of them may do what they advertise, the majority of these tools end up cluttering your shelves and drawers. Avocado slicers, yolk separators, and pineapple corers to name a few. If you find these useful and have the storage space, go for it. But in my experience, there are very few kitchen gadgets that are worth it.

With that being said, I wanted to share my 3 favorite tools that I use in the kitchen on a regular basis. Keep in mind everybody’s cooking needs are different and what works for some, may not work for others.


What is Portion Control?

First of all, it’s important to understand portion control. That’s because one of the easiest ways to take control of your diet is to manage your portion sizes. But what does that mean exactly? The definition of portion control is knowing exactly how much of a certain type of food you should eat at any given time. This keeps us from overeating, which is one of the most common pitfalls people experience when trying to make better dietary choices. With that in mind, read on for 10 tips to help you control your portions and set yourself up for healthy eating success in general.


Get Fit

Most workouts are now home-based, and obé Fitness guides you through classes, whether you're a novice or a gym rat. For a monthly fee, you can take unlimited live and on-demand HIIT, dance, sculpt, yoga, pilates, cardio boxing, barre, and other classes from your phone, tablet, or streaming device.

When you don't have enough time for a full workout, try J&J Official 7 Minute Workout (iOS, Android). The app's name is a bit of a misnomer, but in a good way: it offers a range of workouts from seven to 32 minutes each they were developed by the director of exercise physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.


Starbucks' New Espresso Could Help You Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

Blonde Espresso has the same amount of caffeine, but needs less cream and sugar added to it.

For the first time in 40 years, Starbucks is adding a new kind of espresso to its permanent menu one that could help you stick to your New Year's Resolutions of losing weight and cutting back on sugar.

While their bold, Signature Espresso will continue to be served, the new Blonde Espresso joins the menu Tuesday, January 9, giving you an option for the first time between light and dark roast when you order your next latte or macchiato.

Made with lightly roasted Latin American and East African beans, the Blonde Espresso is much brighter than the dark roast and has notes of citrus and caramel. Even though the Blonde Espresso is a lighter roast and has a much smoother flavor&mdashwhich means you can add less cream and sugar to it&mdashthere is still just as much caffeine in it as the original dark roast espresso.

Delish.com had a chance to taste-test the new Blonde Espresso and compare it to Starbucks' original Signature Espresso in advance of its launch.

The Blonde Espresso is much smoother compared to the original roast, which gives iced drinks&mdashlike the iced Americano we tasted&mdashless of a bitter aftertaste. If you like cold-brew coffee or don't want to dilute your iced drinks with milk, you'll probably like this.

Because the Blonde Espresso isn't as pungent as the dark roast, Starbucks makes flavored drinks with less syrup. For example, a tall vanilla latte made with the Blonde Espresso will only have one pump of syrup added to it while a drink with the Signature Espresso has two pumps. Despite having half the syrup, the Blonde Espresso drink tasted sweeter. So, if you're trying to keep your New Year's Resolution and consume less sugar but can't quite quit your Starbucks addition, this one's for you.

It's also ideal if you're new to coffee and haven't quite been able to enjoy the roastier flavor of the original stuff. However, if you like that bold coffee flavor, you might want to avoid ordering the Blonde Espresso in the flavored drinks, since the coffee flavor is so mild it's almost hard to notice.

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Download the Delish app.


How to Stick to Healthy Eating Resolutions for the New Year

New year, new me. It’s a popular mantra that we all tell ourselves going into a new year—vowing that this will finally be the year we’ll actually stick to our resolutions.

The truth is, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. While that number may seem daunting, it’s simply a sign that we’re not going about it in the right way.

It’s also no surprise that a large majority of these resolutions fall within the healthy eating category— 43 percent of Americans say they plan to lose weight and make healthier food decisions.

So if you fall into this percentage of people looking to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle—and you’re already feeling daunted in the second week of this new decade—here’s some practical advice on how to make 2020 your success story:

Set Realistic Goals

OatmealStories / RooM / Getty Images

“I think we have to sit back and say what is realistic in your lifestyle?” says Dr. Joan Salge Blake, author of Nutrition & You and a Clinical Associate Professor at Boston University.

If you’re not already an avid gym-goer, setting a goal to go to the gym five times a week is likely not going to stick, says Salge Blake. Instead, you should tell yourself, “I’m going to make subtle changes that are obtainable and doable in my lifestyle,” she adds.

One subtle change, Blake notes, is to avoid eating late in the day—a habit that’s proven to lead to rapid weight gain. “Many of us consume the majority of our calories later on in the afternoon and evening,” says Blake. “But when you think about this logically, when you need energy the most is when you first get up until 5 p.m.”

Seek Some Assistance

Getty Images / bymuratdeniz

“Talking to a registered dietitian is important,” says Sandra J. Arevalo, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. “People try to make changes all the time, but if you don’t succeed you need to know why, and a registered dietitian can help you figure out where the problem is, and offer solutions and ways to achieve your resolutions this time.”

You can also hold yourself accountable through one of many popular food-tracking apps. And meal kit delivery services with specific healthy-eating plans can also help. One that goes all-in is Sakara, a prepared meal delivery service that focuses on vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, superfood-packed options. Read our Sakara review to see if it’s worth it, and check out other healthy meal kit options.

Think Long-Term

Temporary actions don’t usually yield permanent results. Since the word “diet” tends to carry an expiration date, many choose to call their process a habit or lifestyle change instead.

“If you follow one of the [dieting] fads you could possibly lose a lot of weight real fast but you will regain it once you go back to your old eating habits,” says Arevalo.

Make Some Plans

Bookmark These Healthy Eating Cookbooks Coming Out in 2020 Of course when we’re on the go, it’s easy to resort to the convenience of fast food. But Salge Blake offers another solution to fast-paced lives—one that still saves time without compromising healthy eating: pre-planning meals for the week in advance.

“ It’s interesting because people will often say planning takes time—it does take time, but it takes little time compared to the amount of time that is being wasted standing on line getting food on the go,” says Salge Blake.

But Salge Blake is also realistic: “I’m not saying all of them but most of them—your breakfast and your lunch and most of your dinners. I know with dinners you want to have some spontaneity but it can’t be spontaneous every night.”

Check out our favorite meal prep staples, meal prep containers, tips for Instant Pot meal prep, and meal prep cookbooks to keep you inspired and on track.

Give It Time

Arevalo remembers a patient of hers who was looking to lose weight. At first, the patient quickly gave up because she felt she wasn’t seeing enough results for the time she was putting in. The second time around, she set a different goal: “S he made her resolution to be a different woman, to achieve her goal weight regardless of length of time and she came to see me for help.”

“We worked for a couple of months, setting smart goals at each bi-weekly visit, doing weekly weight checks and keeping a food diary. Time wasn’t her goal this time, just the weight,” says Arevalo.


26 Products to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions on Track

Well, here we are about to face a new year. I know I have high hopes for 2021, and you probably do, too. After 2020, there's nowhere to go but up, right? Let's hope I don't eat my words later…

While the start of 2021 might look a little different than previous New Year's Days, it's still a good opportunity to think about your goals, wishes, and dreams. These don't necessarily have to be big, life-changing things—you can start small. Or if you're feeling up to the challenge, why not manifest something huge? There are no rules here.

Everyone sets different resolutions for the new year, but I think a majority of people tend to ditch their resolutions mid-January. In fact, apparently, January 17 is the day most people give up, according to a study by the fitness app Strava.

There are steps you can take to ensure your success and beat the January 17 fatigue. Having someone to hold you accountable or writing down your goals in a journal and keeping track of them throughout your progress could help. And of course, having the right tools and products can keep you on track. We've rounded up some items that can help, based on common resolutions or goals. Take a look below.

If Your Resolution Is… to Eat Healthier

The New Year is a good opportunity to start fresh with your eating plan. A lot of people decide to embark on very restrictive diets on January 1, but you don't have to feel pressured to do that or to deprive yourself. Start by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, or make a plan to order less takeout and try new recipes. Small lifestyle changes can help you stick to your resolution. Here are some tools that can get you excited about meal prepping.

I have a couple of these reusable zipper bags at home, and they're my favorite kitchen accessory. I use them to store cut veggies and fruit, and using them makes me feel better about reducing the waste of plastic baggies.


1. If you've resolved to better hydrate yourself, a time-marked water bottle so you can easily keep track of how much you're drinking. It also features an easy to hold handle and a wide-mouth opening that makes cleaning and filling it with ice cubes super easy.

Get it on Amazon Canada for $23.95+. Also available in a smaller size and in 11 colours.


7. Spend some time on home improvement projects together

How about trying your hand on some cool home improvement projects this year with your family? Such projects will not only improve your living place but you will also get to spend lots of quality time together as a family. You could try out some DIY projects. They are a fun and creative way to spend time and when finished, you&rsquoll have something elegant to decorate your house with. They come in at all sorts of different budgets. Some of them don&rsquot require much time to complete either.

You could also try something organic. Plant a tree in your backyard or spend some time in the garden together with your family. Preparing home emergency preparedness kit or making your entrance more inviting is also a great idea.


Exactly What to Do if Your New Year&rsquos Resolution Is Already Slipping

Feel your resolve getting weak? A behavioral psychologist explains the most common reasons resolutions fail&mdashand how to make yours stick.

With each new year comes a new opportunity to better ourselves. We vow to kick our sugar addictions, call our parents more, and check Facebook less. Yet within weeks, most of us are back to snacking, screening parentalꃊlls, and mindlessly scrolling through our newsfeeds.

But before you become one more person observing਍itch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day (yep, it’s a real thing January 17 is the day most people throw in the towel), know this: There’s still time to revamp a resolution that&aposs losing steamਊnd initiate the lasting change you aimed for back on January 1. “The most important thing is to first figure out the top reasons why resolutions fail, and then use that to get back on track,” says behavioral psychologist Art Markman, PhD.

Markman, the author of Smart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others explains the top five reasons New Year’s resolutions fail𠅊nd the small tweaks to make to fix each mistake.

Your resolution is framed in a negative way

We often make resolutions around what we want to stop doing instead of what we want to start doing, says Markman. “When you have a behavior you’re trying to change, whether it’s eating less or checking your email fewer times a day, you actually have to put another behavior in its place,” he explains. “The key is to focus on a positive action that you’re going to perform in the situation where you were doing the old behavior.”

So instead of vowing to give up a certain behavior or do without something, frame your resolution around the new positive action you will do in place of it. Let&aposs say you want to quit mindlessly scrolling through your phoneਊt night. Instead of pledging to turn off your device by 10 p.m., vow to start getting ready for bed at that time instead. This way, you unplug digitally while rewarding yourself with more sleep𠅊 positive action that can motivate real change.

Your end goal is too vague

Resolving to exercise twice a week sounds like a solid plan, but it isn’t targeted enough, says Markman. “Your goal has to be so specific that the actions you’re going to take [to accomplish it] can make it onto your calendar,” he says. “‘Twice a week’ isn’t on your calendar, but ‘Mondays and Thursdays at 4 p.m.’ is.”

Getting specific doesn’t just help you realize what you need to do in order to see your resolution through it also highlights the things that could get in the way of it (think: your weekly manicure also scheduled at 4 p.m. on Thursdays). Start accounting forਊll possible roadblocks, and add into your planner the steps you’re taking to get them out of the way so you can actually make it to the gym, rather than make excuses.

You don't address the root cause

In order to carry out a resolution, you need to know the who, what, when, where, and why of the behavior you’re trying to change. For example, if want to stop biting your nails, pay attention to the circumstances under which you engage in the habit.

“I encourage people failing at their resolution to keep a habit diary for a week or two,” says Markman. “Not so they can change their behavior, but just to watch it and see what they’re doing.” Once you realize that you always bite your nails while anxiously finishing a work project, you’ll be better equipped to take actions to stop it—like buying desk toys to busy your hands throughout the day or just being more mindful about keeping your fingers on your keyboard as the deadline ticks away.

You think it's all about willpower

Willpower is overrated. According to Markman, people often believe their commitment is enough to prevent them from falling back into their bad habits. Sadly, a pantry full of cheese popcorn isn’t going to magically become less tempting just because you’ve told yourself you’ll stop gobbling it down while you watch Netflix.

𠇊t this point you’re riding the brakes,” says Markman. “Your motivational system is reminding you of the snack in the kitchen and you have to rely on your willpower to keep you from eating it. But just like in a car, if you ride the brakes long enough, they’re going to fail.”

The solution? Rather than relying on willpower, structure your environment so the thing you want or habit you&aposre trying to break is so difficult to get or do that won’t bother attempting it. Because you can’t eat a pint of ice cream you never bought, right?

You&rsquore going at it alone

News flash: If you succeed in carrying out your resolution, no one’s going to say Congratulations, but it&aposs not that big a deal because you had a support system. “If you find yourself ditching your resolution, phone a friend,” suggests Markman. 𠇏ind somebody who’s willing to serve as your backup so that when you’re about to slip, you can call or text them for support instead.” Crushing your goals਍oesn’t count any less if you do it with a little help from your friends.

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13 Ways to Actually Keep Your New Year's Resolutions, According to Fitness Trainers

"It doesn't matter what you look like when you don't feel good. A great body is awesome, but it won't make you happy long-term unless your commitment to weight-loss is based in your happiness and health. People who have earned their body through hard work and dedication to long-term results are some of the happiest people i know, because their results are based on being centered in who they are, not what they look like." &mdashLacey Stone, creator of the 8 WEEKS TO CHANGE program and trainer on E!'s Revenge Body

"That's my daily motto. I check in with myself every morning when I wake up &mdash if I'm still thinking about the same thing, it's immediately my top of each day. Make your health a priority and you'll be surprised that you can make time, you can make a change, and you can see a difference!" &mdashRebecca Kennedy, creator of RK Fitness, Nike Master Trainer, and Barry's Bootcamp Master Trainer

"When you know what to do, it frees your mind up to focus on taking action. On the other hand, a lack of clarity almost always leads to a lack of follow-through." &mdashAdam Rosante, fitness and Nutrition coach and author of Super Smoothie Revolution

"There's a reason that most people put the weight back on after they go through a New Year's resolution: They aren't looking for long-term changes. Really focus on why you want to improve your health, not just what you need to do in the short term to make sure you meet your goals. This will ensure you're on the right track long after you ring in the New Year." &mdashJoseph Holder, Nike trainer and S10 trainer

"Try not to think about what you're giving up to create positive change in your habits and/or lifestyle it's about what you're gaining, whether that be more energy, more muscle tone, fitness friendships/community, more knowledge, etc." &mdashKira Stokes, creator of The Stoked Method

"I like the bathroom mirror in lipstick or eyeliner. And phrase it with authority and confidence! 'I go to the gym three days a week cause I'm a badass bitch from hell and my body is a wonderland.'" &mdashJulia Lucas, Nike Run Club head coach

"And love them hard! I'm all about the tribe. my fit fam is everything to me. They are a support system and they provide endless inspiration &mdash laughs and positive vibes only!" &mdashLauren Duhamel, Modelfit trainer

"Don't be too hard on yourself and don't try to drastically change your daily routine! Make small steps to a bigger goal. Smaller changes are easier to incorporate, and you're less likely to give up." &mdashAlex Silver-Fagan, Nike trainer

RELATED: [link href="/body/health-fitness/a47817/15-minute-butt-workout/" target="_blank" 0="data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"" link_updater_label="internal_full"]Sculpt a Tighter, Perkier Butt In Just 15 Minutes

"Find a friend, a family member, a trainer, nutritionist, health coach, whoever to help you stay accountable and on course. Having someone who will give you that extra push or encouragement can make all the difference, pushing you through extra rough patches and breaking negative cycles that we have a hard time breaking on our own. Plus, you'll have someone to celebrate with once you achieve your goal!" &mdashLauren Williams, Nike trainer

"Find things you enjoy that are also healthy for you, so it feels like nourishment not punishment." &mdashPhoenix Carnevale, instructor at Daily Burn and Equinox

"We're loyal to our jobs, our friends, our significant others. Why can't we stay loyal to ourselves? If there is one thing that is truly important and deserves your loyalty, it's your health!" &mdashAmanda Kloots, creator of The Rope class at Studio B

"I have something I call a Dream Board. I wake up and have coffee in front of my dreams every morning. Post pictures with specific goals written on them so each morning you're reminded of what's important to you." &mdashHolly Rilinger, creator of LIFTED

"Habits take time to form, and more time to change in both cases, consistency is key. How to stay consistent? Use what motivates you: an inspiring picture (how you want to look or what you want to do), metrics (how fast you want to run, how much weight you want to be able to lift, how many days you want to work out per month), social accountability (who you'll work out with, who you'll share your struggles and successes with), or rewards (gifts you give yourself along the way) &mdash and check in every day to keep sight of your progress." &mdashJared Kaplan, founder of Studio 26