When it comes to transformation, there is no truer statement than “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!” Seriously, no matter how many thousands of crunches you do, miles you run, or weights you lift, a bad diet will always outweigh (pun intended 😉 ) even the best exercise plan (which is why we keep adding new recipes and include a full nutrition plan in the TRANSFORM app).
With that being said, there are definitely some helpful tools to keep you on track toward reaching your goals, and these 4 things, specifically, have been absolutely essential in my own transformation, as well as the transformations of those we work with. Each is super simple, and likely something you already have lying around in your cupboards, so hopefully there’s very little $$$ required to deck out your kitchen! Check out the best gear on the block for changing your body…and your life!
- Slow Cooker: Okay I’ll admit, I wasn’t an adamant slow cooker user until recently. Is it just me, or does the phrase “crockpot cooking” automatically bring back flashbacks of overly salty mystery foods made by Grandma? I’m telling you, these bad boys are actually complete game changers!! If it wasn’t for my slow cooker, I would never have the time to make fresh meals at home. I love the convenience of dumping in chicken breasts and a couple of simple ingredients (like salsa or fresh veggies) in the morning, and having the most tender, delicious meal by dinner time. Perfect for mamas on the go!
- Blender Bottle: Water and protein intake are two of the most important aspects to full body transformation, so a proper vessel for both of these is SO vital to success. Keeping a blender or water bottle on hand at all times is the best way to ensure you’re getting enough protein…no matter where you are! I throw mine in my purse in the morning with a scoop of protein powder and have it ready for whenever I need it. Just add water and pair with a piece of fruit, and you’ve got a complete meal (or hearty snack, depending on your meal plan). Rinse it out and fill it back up with ice cold water to make sure you’re getting the hydration you need!
- Plastic Containers: This may sound a bit cliche, but it’s oh, so true!! “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” How do you avoid this? By having pre-made, pre-portioned meals!! This is the ticket to staying on track in even the most hectic of situations. Honestly, at least a few times a week (or day) I’m caught in between a kid’s sports practice and a conference call with little to no time to whip up a diet-friendly meal. By having meals portioned out in plastic containers in the fridge, I save myself the urge to drive thru and grab something fatty or splurge on something off-plan. So convenient, and crucial to weight loss (or intentional weight gain) success!
- Kitchen Food Scale: As much as I would like to tell you that it’s fine to “eyeball”?measure ingredients as you throw them in your pan?anyone who knows me (eh hem…EWL peeps!!) knows this is the HUGEST no-no in my book. If you’re trying to transform your body and dial in your nutrition, then you MUST know what you are actually putting into your body. You can’t possibly know by “eyeballing” your portions…you MUST measure. Having a food scale on hand to make sure you’re appropriating the right amount of chicken, cheese, or any ingredient is imperative to ensuring success. Although it may seem tedious at first, after a few weeks of religious use, it really does become a natural part of the cooking process, and you won’t even THINK about preparing a meal without it!
My Favorites Plus Some More:
Simple as they may be, these 4 kitchen essentials are the golden ticket to longstanding, full-body transformation! Remember, it’s not as much what you DO as it is what you EAT! Have more kitchen essentials? Post below!
Kitchen Hacks: My Top 8 Tips and Tricks!
Ask the Powells: How Do I Gain Healthy Weight?
Carb Cycling: The Extreme Cycle
The Extreme Cycle | Meal Planning Tips
Ask the Powells: How Can I Structure My Meals?
What protein powder would you recommend as a meal replacement? Thanks! Amy
Hi Amy: For protein powders in general, Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, whey-based powders with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. This would serve as the protein portion for any meal. Add a fat for a low-carb meal or a carb for a high-carb meal. Hope that helps!
I love watching Chris and Heidi , I was 28lbs overweight, I’ve lost 14lb so far . You are both so generous with advice and so honest, you have inspired me xxx Pauline
Congratulations! That’s awesome!
About the containers, how long does it stay fresh? And how do you fill them? Your kids need to eat so do mine but how do i use containers for the whole family of 5? Do you Cook everything and than fill the containers or fill it with RAW and than Cook when needed? I hope you understand what i mean ?
Hi Silvia: You can either pack each meal separately (like if you’re going to work, etc.), or if you’re prepping foods for your family, you can put each food in a container so it’s easy for your kids to get to and easier to use when you’re ready to prepare meals. Meats are cooked before you put them in containers, and you can either cook veggies first and then store them, or store them raw and then cook them. Hope that helps!
What is your favorite “simple” and healthy crockpot meal?
Hi Kelli: Heidi loves chicken topped with salsa!
Hello! What are you eating in the above picture? It looks like pulled chicken ?l Where are your recipes?
Thank you so much!
Hi Michele: Chris and Heidi have recipes here on the blog and in all of their books: https://heidipowell.net/books-dvds/.
I would say my oven and the grill pan for the stovetop. They both have been a great way for us to cook chicken, fish, and veggies a lot healthier. Just roasting or grilling with a little olive oil and S&P and the natural flavors come out incredible. Sometimes you don’t even need the oil. Super easy and healthy! Thank you Heidi for all the daily tips and advice! I look forward to learning something new each day! ?
Your tips and positive attitude are so refreshing!
What would be your advice for someone like myself. I work full time, am a full time student, and have a busy social life. I get intense cravings and just love to snack! My goal is to lose weight (about 60 lbs) and become more fit.
Hi Holly: You can get some great tips that can work with any schedule in this post: https://heidipowell.net/9060. This post might be helpful too: https://heidipowell.net/10556/ask-the-powells-how-can-i-structure-my-meals-2/. You can do this!
A decade of hypothyroidism has left me 60lbs overweight. Proper meds and a mainly lifting gym schedule has changed nothing…help! (please?)
Hi Corrina: You can learn about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in this post: https://heidipowell.net/9060. And please discuss this program, or any nutrition and exercise program, with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. You can do this!
When you are making a stir fry for the family how would you measure it out to get the right amount per carb, veggies, and protein?
This is a great question! I’d measure out the portions for each person for each macro ahead of time, then cook it all together, and then divide it evenly between all the members of your family. “Combined” foods like stir fry can be tricky, but it can be done!
Hello I lyk u a lottt
And wanna meet u plz come to Mumbai India
Please please please
Hi Swati: Heidi so wishes she could personally help everyone, but since she can’t, she and Chris have made all their transformation tools available for all of us to use to achieve our goals! You can learn about their carb cycling program here: https://heidipowell.net/9060. You can do this!