[ftc_disclosure type=”disclosure”]

I never thought I’d see the day where I was asking my hubby for kitchen appliances rather than jewelry or shoes but……well, life changes doesn’t it?  I’m trying to get my family to eat healthy (especially my husband who has Primary Progressive MS) but I barely have time to grocery shop let alone the time needed to make healthy meals.

What I’ve learned is that I needed kitchen gadgets that make cooking easier and faster with less clean up.  Here are the products that I either have or are on my wish list.

Instant Pot

Click to purchase on Amazon

I’m a huge fan of one pot meals in my crock pot.  I almost always have something in my crock pot at least two or three times a week.  I started hearing about the Instant Pot last year and this is on the TOP of my list now!  An Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, crock pot, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/searing pan, steamer and warming pot all rolled into one handy item.  I originally thought that it was merely a pressure cooker and was able to cook brisket and other tough meats in a fraction of the time but then I learned it is so much more. This isn’t your grandma’s pressure cooker!  You can make mashed potatoes in minutes, rice comes out fluffy, ribs are tasty like slow-cooked but half the time – you can even make cakes in it!  And, unlike a traditional slow cooker, you can put frozen meat directly into it.  This

 

Nutribullet

Click to purchase on Amazon

I’m a huge fan of smoothies.  It’s a quick breakfast or lunch when I’m running late but even more importantly I can get in at least 4 fruits and veggie servings for me and the fam at the start of the day.  I literally get spinach into every one of my smoothies and trust me – it might be green but you do not taste the spinach at all! At first I thought I could just get by with my blender but I learned there’s a big difference! First, the Nutribullet mixer is the cup so no need to mess up another glass and then have to clean the blender like I used to.  Plus, with the Nutribullet I can just throw things in – no prep except for washing the fruits and veggies.  Most importantly, unlike a blender, the Nutribullet literally pulverizes every you put into to it which helps unlock vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids (such as omega-3s) that have been trapped within the cell walls of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It’s a smooth smoothie loaded with nutrients.

 

Whiskware Pancake Batter Mixer with BlenderBall Wire Whisk

Click to purchase on Amazon

 

My son loves pancakes.  My mom who lives with us is in charge of making pancakes on the weekends but it’s a ridiculous mess (she uses her old fashioned electric frying pan, no stove top for her!)  to clean up.  Plus I’d love my son to start doing this on his own.  Enter the Whiskware Pancake Batter Mixer.  The batter mixer cleans up in less than 30 seconds and parts are top-rack dishwasher safe. Plus, the base doubles as a stand to keep the mixer stable while cooking. Now if I could stop him from getting the syrup all over the place!

 

5-Blade Spiralizer Vegetable Spiral Slicer, Noodle Maker, Fruits & Veggies Slicer

Click to purchase on Amazon

I’m working really hard to get carbs out of our life but it’s hard when I have two kids who LOVE pasta!  I’ve been slowly introducing zoodles (zucchini noodles) with marinara sauce and they’re enjoying it.  But the price of one package of fresh zucchini noodles is ridiculous and if I buy them on the weekend if I don’t use them right away they get a little funky.  This Vegetable Noodle Maker makes perfect noodles quickly and a lot cheaper than buying them in the store.

 

 

GeniCan

Click to learn more at genican.com

Nothing makes me crazier than planning out my dinner menu only to find that I don’t have one ingredient because no one bothered to tell me that we ran out.  I’ll admit, sometimes that person is me!  I’ll finish up one of my spices and completely forget when I get to the grocery that I need to replenish.  The GeniCan puts an end to that.  This is a smart device that attaches to the inside of your garbage or recycling bin and scans the bar code on anything you’re throwing out.  So, when your kids finish the last piece of sandwich bread when they toss the wrapper into the garbage they can scan the bar code on the bag and it will automatically be saved to a shopping list on your smartphone or delivered directly through Amazon Dash.  If something doesn’t have a bar code, like a banana, just hold the peel over the sensor and you’ll be prompted to say what item you want added to your list.  I love the idea of having everything added to my grocery list as soon as it’s finished.  And, when I’m on the road for business I can have it all delivered!

 

 

How the hell did I get to be 50-some-odd years old?! I remember not too long ago where I thought 50 was OLD. And now here I am and….. I don’t feel like how I thought 50-some-odd was supposed to feel.

We’re so hard on ourselves when it comes to aging and, for that matter, a bunch of other stuff.  And it certainly doesn’t help when we have teen-agers pointing out even more deficiencies than we considered ourselves.

Today I’m having a great day – I had a date night with my husband last night, went to a yoga class this morning and had some afternoon delight with said husband (sorry kids but yes, we do indeed have sex!)  But there are other times when I feel exhausted, overwhelmed and emotionally drained from all of the stress and obligations in my life.

And so, while I’m in this good place, I’ve decided to write myself a birthday letter.  I intend to pull it out when I’m 70 and see the advice I gave myself and whether I took it.  I also intend to look at it when I need some reminders about how to be happy and healthy.

Dear Alison,

Another year – time flies.  Hey listen, I know there are times when you don’t think you’ve accomplished enough, don’t look good enough or feel guilty that you haven’t done enough for your kids.  Guess what?  You ARE fabulous not in spite of  being 50 some-odd years-old but because your 50 some-odd years-old.  In case you forget, here are some of the bits of advice you live (or try to live) by:

  • Be passionate about something (or maybe more than one thing.) Advocate for it, fight for it and put your heart and soul into it.
  • Keep dancing whenever you have the chance and hop up on the bar to do it at least once every year.
  • Laugh at people who try to criticize you or bring you down – honestly it will diffuse them immediately.
  • Don’t dwell on friendships that didn’t survive. Take ownership for your part of the demise but then let it go.
  • Exercise your body and mind – A LOT. Learn something new every day.  Don’t be embarrassed to try a new class at the gym (people aren’t really staring at you if you trip.)
  • Consider it a win if you can do something that embarrasses your kids at least once per week.
  • It’s OK to get Botox or Juvederm if you want. If that makes you feel good why not?
  • Make smart healthy food choices but also indulge every now and then. Life is too short not to have a chocolate lava cake.
  • Keep creating your vision boards. You know that you’ve actualized everything you’ve wanted, why stop now?
  • There will be people who don’t like you. It’s OK! Act honorably, respectfully and kind and you’re good.  As long as you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you are there’s no one else that you need to impress.
  • Maintain a stable of good friendships – we always need our girlfriends to lift us up. ????
  • Try something new that’s out of your comfort zone as often as you can. Go to dinner by yourself.  Take a swing-dance class.  Make calls on behalf of a political candidate.
  • Don’t regret the past or fear the future. We can’t change the past and the future will never be as we imagine anyway.
  • Have faith that all your kids will find their way in life. Be OK with the evolving relationship you’ll have with them.
  • Be brave enough to be vulnerable to the people who love you.

Enjoy being 50 some-odd years-old – laugh, love and have wild adventures!

Love, Me