Diet Plans, Good Nutrition & Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating Plans, Healthy Snacks & Healthy Recipes

Rev up your healthy eating plan with these ten kitchen gadgets that help you cut calories from your recipes, and leave you with extra time to do other things like work out at your local Gold's Gym. Carry out your diet plan with ease with tools like the oil mister which uses less oil to coat the bottom of your pan than pouring it in. And for smart nutrition, use an immersion blender to make delectable soups like's Curried Carrot soup, and get your recommended daily intake of vitamin A while enjoying this savory soup. Soups can complement your healthy dinner recipes, or they can be the centerpiece of your meal when accompanied by whole grain rolls or salad.

10 Slimming Kitchen Tools

Most of us know which foods to avoid if we’re on a diet. But what kitchen gadgets should we have? highlights 10 genius gizmos.

Stocking your home with the right prep and cook tools is a key step in keeping those extra pounds away. You probably already own a food processor and blender, but here are some kitchen aids that make it easy to slash calories and fat, picked by Joy Bauer, Today show nutrition expert and author of the new cookbook Slim and Scrumptious; Lauren Deen, author of Cook Yourself Thin Faster; and celebrity trainer Kathie “High Voltage” Dolgin.

Immersion Blender
This handheld tool lets you whip up smoothies in the glass and purée soups right in the pot—a get-thin trick, since research shows that having low-cal soup before a meal helps you eat less. “I use asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and squash,” Bauer says. “They’re high in volume, low in calories, and you get that luxurious texture. Beans work well, too.”

It’s great for cooking vegetables without adding oil—and for keeping most of the nutrients. This inexpensive item “can also steam fish,” Deen says.

Oil Mister
Fill it with canola or olive oil, and it will save you “significant calories,” Bauer notes. “Even healthy oils can add weight. For example, every tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories and 14 grams of fat. With a mister, you can cover the whole bottom of a pan with just a teaspoon of oil.”

Apple Divider
This ingenious (and inexpensive!) invention removes the core and cuts apples into convenient wedges in a single stroke, so you can bag them up and take them with you. “It makes you much more likely to snack on fruit,” Dolgin says.

“I like it for grating cheese—you end up using less,” Deen says. It’s also handy for grating small amounts of chocolate. Bauer makes citrus zest with hers: “You can use the zest in banana bread, in sauces for fish, even burgers. It’s calorie-free but gives food a lot of punch.”

Handheld Chopper
This makes it easy to chop veggies—no more excuses for not getting your five-plus slimming fruits and veggies a day. “I use it to chop carrots, water chestnuts, red bell pepper, and celery,” Bauer says. Unlike a food processor, it will also chop nuts without turning them into paste.

Kitchen Scissors
Invest in a good pair and keep them sharp: “They make it easy to cut the fat off chicken, trim vegetables, cut pizza, and snip herbs,” Deen says. The flavor of herbs, Bauer says, “more than makes up for what’s not going in your food—like butter and salt.”

Portion Patrol
Avoid overdoing it with these handy guides.

Nine-Inch Plates: In the last few decades, the average dinner plate has grown from 8 1⁄2 inches to 12 inches! Make sure yours are closer to 9 inches—about the size of today’s salad plate. “That’s my dinner plate,” Dolgin says. “If it doesn’t fit on a salad plate, I’m not eating it.”

Small glasses and espresso cups: Deen uses them to serve puddings and chocolate mousse: “They look pretty and satisfy your sugar craving—but you control the calories.”

Muffin tins: “You can make small quiches and portion out side dishes, too,” Deen says.

Shave calories from your healthy eating plan by choosing a few or all of these kitchen gadgets to help you prepare healthy snacks and meals. For example, with your diet plan in mind, skip buying jarred salsa at the store, which can have added sugar and salt, and make your own using these gadgets. Focusing on nutrition doesn't mean giving up flavor, and the Mayo Clinic suggests “whether it's mild, fruity, scorching, smooth or chunky, salsa is a great companion for potatoes, vegetables, fish, chicken or meats.” And for healthy dinner recipes, search your favorite websites like Pinterest and for new ideas, and ask the fitness experts at the Gold's family fitness center near you for their top suggestions.

Part of every healthy eating plan is portion control, so try using muffin tins as suggested to create individual portions of foods ranging from meatloaf to quiches. Adhering to your diet plan is simple when you know from the start how much each muffin portion equals in calories and nutritional content. For smart nutrition in the morning, try this recipe from for Mini-Mushroom Sausage Quiches that you can make ahead of time, and then pop into the microwave for breakfast before work and school. Make healthy dinner recipes ahead of time, too, using muffin tins, so if you are stuck with little time to cook between work and your child's soccer game, you can quickly put dinner on the table without resorting to fast food.