Know Your Ingredients
The Keto lifestyle has a very polarizing persona, and it's mostly due to all of the misinformation from people who've just dabbled in it a little or who've never tried it at all. Yes, the Keto lifestyle can be an intimidating proposition for the simple fact that the S.A.D., or Standard American Diet, is full of foods that are produced to sell, not for nutrition. What I mean is, a large portion of ingredients found in our processed foods are included to achieve AT LEAST 1 of these 3 goals:
- To make the food item TASTE better
- To make the food item LOOK better
- To maximize the food's SHELF LIFE
NUTRITION is an afterthought, so it's up to us to find the best foods and avoid all of the "edible food-like substances" that litter the grocery stores shelves. The 28-Day Keto Challenge is a very good first step. Understanding the percentage of each MACRO-nutrient our bodies need to function properly is a great way to make better decisions when purchasing food and preparing our meals. Also, consuming more whole foods is the best way to get all of the MICRO-nutrients that most of us don't even think about outside of the insurance of taking our daily multivitamin.
One of the biggest complaints I've heard about the Keto Lifestyle is that it limits variety of foods to choose from. That couldn't be farther from the truth. When over 80% of processed foods contain bi-products from corn, wheat, and/or soy, the Standard American Diet actually has the limited variety. The breakfast cereal aisle is the perfect example. A 100 different flavors yet they all contain almost exactly the same nutritional content (or lack there of).
One of the biggest issues with any healthy lifestyle or diet is that many food and drink companies use deceptive labeling to try and align themselves with trending health movements. This is the main reason we love the 28-Day Keto Challenge. It arms you with the knowledge to cut through the bull$#@t marketing tactics and puts you in a position to make long-term positive changes in you and your family's health.
For a lot of people it'll be a big change, so why not have this guide at your side to help you understand the effects, avoid any pitfalls and keep you progressing. It's only 28 days, it's on sale, and there's a 60-day money back guarantee, so you literally have nothing to lose. Download the digital version and start today!
#1 Home Cooking Program: Home Chef
Processing your own ingredients using the Top 3 Healthy Kitchen Appliances can be a little intimidating to those of us not used to cooking from scratch. However, if you took the 28-Day Keto Challenge, then you understand the importance of getting out of your comfort zone in order to cook and live healthier. Home Chef is the best home cooking program to continue growing from what you learned from the Keto challenge, whether you stick with the Keto lifestyle or not. With the best variety of any home cooking program, Home Chef features a huge selection of lifestyle categories, besides Keto-friendly ones.
The biggest benefit of Home Chef's program is that everything is separately packaged and portioned by meal. This provides beginners the ability to step outside of the box, without letting extra ingredients go to waste if they end up not liking the finished product. Another thing we really like about Home Chef is that they let you surf through their whole inventory of meals and recipes, so you get an idea of what you're getting yourself into before you pull the trigger. Here's a full list of Pros and Cons for the Home Chef Program:
- The recipe cards included super simple to follow and include step-by-step pictures online
- HUGE meal variety
- Able to customize which protein you want to use on most meals
- Cool add-ons like smoothies, deserts, protein-only packs, and more
- Meals start at $7.99 per serving!!!
- Student discount
Home Chef provides even the greenest of chefs the opportunity to "plate like a pro." They also work around many major food allergies and diets with recipe categories like these:
- Carb & Calorie Conscious
- and more...
If you're still on the fence about Home Chef, right now would be the time to try it out. As a new customer, they're offering $30 off of your first order. That's 3 free meals! Click the link below to browse their menu and you'll see what we're ranting and raving about.
CHECK OUT THE HOME CHEF MENU
If you're comfortable in the kitchen or you've had a few months under your belt with Home Chef, Amazon Fresh is the best way to create your own masterpieces while still getting fresh ingredients plopped on your doorstep. If you're lucky enough to live in a location where Amazon Fresh is available there's no better time to take advantage of this service. It cost an extra 14.99 per month (SNAP participants get FREE access to Amazon Fresh), but you get to grocery shop from your couch!
I have 4 kids running around the house, so not having to pile them into the car and corral them through grocery store aisles is a huge plus. On top of that, every parent shares the frustration of saying, "NO!" 100 times as they grab junk food off the shelves and say, "Can we get this?!"
- Price - It's about the same either way when you figure in gas money and travel time. Also, it's nice not having to worry about the "impulse buys" on the end caps of each aisle and in the checkout line (even though Amazon does a little cross-selling too).
- Selection - If you're not a die-hard "store brand" fan than the selection is about the same and sometimes better with Amazon Fresh.
The only thing that caught me by surprise is that it's harder to gauge how much you're buying on Amazon Fresh since you don't have a physical cart to cut you off. On the other hand, if you have enough fridge and freezer space, you'll be fine. In the end, Amazon Fresh won my heart over because it's only getting better as they build their network of delivery locations and product offerings. Now, the nice part is that if we have to go to the store, it's only for a few things and we're in and out before the kids realize we passed the cereal aisle.
Click the button below to see the latest deals and coupons for tons of fresh produce and name-brand grocery items from stores near you!
Whether you're making JELLO shots for Grandma's birthday or green juice cubes for a superfood boost to your smoothies, covered ice trays are an essential addition to your kitchen. Obviously, the lids help prevent spilling any of that "good stuff" and they make it easier to stack multiple trays, but there's a feature you may not be thinking of. If you've been spoiled for years by a fridge with a built-in ice maker, you may have missed the dawning of silicone ice trays. Instead of wrestling a rigid, plastic tray, that ends up shooting a few cubes across the kitchen, silicone trays allow you to pop out single cubes with ease. Additionally, if you're going to be saving homemade vegetable juice, pesto, tomato paste, and other prepared ingredients, you want to be able to remove those cubes as clean as possible.
Our favorite trays are the OMorc Silicone-bottom Ice Trays because they have the best of both worlds. The frames and lids are made with ridged BPA-free plastic for easy handling and stacking. Yet, the bottom of each cube cup is made of flexible BPA-free silicone for easy and clean cube removal. Also, the dishwasher-safe BPA-free plastic and silicone are safe enough to freeze homemade baby food.
OMorc's newest versions have redesigned lids that separate and seal each individual cube for less spillage and mess. They sell them in packs of 4 and the new low price is less than $14, so don't hesitate to get creative.
Top 3 Vacuum Sealing Systems
Another way to take advantage of bulk savings, sales, and seasonal storage is by using a vacuum sealing system. FoodSaver has always had the best reputation in the game when it comes to quality and consistency. Also, they back up their products with an impressive 5-YEAR WARRANTY!
FoodSaver has models in all shapes and sizes, but we narrowed down our list down to the best beginner, intermediate, and expert level vacuum sealing systems. FoodSaver fits most people's needs and that's why they took the beginner and intermediate spots, but for expert-level "food preppers" we have a special treat.
If you're a beginner or just looking to save some leftovers once in a while, the FoodSaver FM2000 is perfect. The FM2000 provides you with the best vacuum sealing for the price and it comes with a handheld connection for sealing more than just bags.
This is the Cadillac of vacuum sealing systems. Everything is automatic from bag detection to moist-food detection. It also features a built-in handheld sealer for zipper bags, containers, jars, and wine bottles.
If the FoodSaver V4840 is the Cadillac of vacuum sealing systems then the Avid Armor Vacuum Sealer is the Mack Truck. This commercial-grade vacuum sealing system is built of heavy-duty stainless steel and it features 680 Watts of vacuum power. It also comes with an accessory port and vacuum tube for zipper bags, containers, jars, and wine bottles.
Best Accessories For Vacuum Sealing Systems
BEST CHEST FREEZER UNDER $200
One thing you'll notice while in Chef Mode is that you can never have enough freezer space. If you have some extra room in your kitchen or garage, a chest freezer like the Arctic King 5 ft³ will quickly pay for itself by saving you time AND money. Unless you have a large household, the 5 cubic foot model from Arctic King should be more than enough extra room. Right now, the best deal is at Walmart, so click the button below to see how you can get FREE 2-day delivery right to your door.Buy on Walmart.com