Managing your nutrition, especially when you first begin to make significant changes can seem like an uphill battle in the best of situations. Having healthy, nutritious items in your fridge, freezer, and pantry is useless if you don’t have the means to deploy them correctly. Should you be in the unfortunate situation of having a weak or depleted arsenal of kitchen equipment at your disposal, your aspirations of nutritional and physical triumph can seem as daunting a task as climbing Mt. Everest without any rope or oxygen.
And that’s no exaggeration.
Fear not. Apart from arming you with the basics and some add-ons, I’ll also let slip a few secrets that will give you an upper hand as you prepare to do battle.
Thus, I lay before you:
10 items that are essential too crafting up delightful meals that will dance across your tongue depositing delectably dangerous bursts of flavour. These items will have you storming about the kitchen cooking up gourmet meals that fit your nutritional needs with relative ease and maximum efficiency.
8 add-ons for your arsenal guaranteed to raise the awesomeness of your cooking by at least +11. Yeah, you can cook magnificent dishes with the essentials, but what happens when you’re having that gorgeous girl you met at the gym over for dinner? Cooking is one of the best ways to both impress and attract the opposite sex (proven in multiple studies by multiple people, in multiple countries..well documented). These items will boost your meal options, precision, overall quality, and make you look that much more proficient. Incorporate these items into your arsenal and reap the rewards.
5 optional performance boosters that when implemented will increase culinary productivity while slashing actual time in the kitchen and minimizing effort. As well as a little tool or two for you macronutrient calculating junkies.
Quality Knife Set:
Uses: Chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing, making your food do your biding.
You simply cannot do anything of quality or importance without a good quality knife. A dull, cracked one is arguably even worse than not having one at all. Being able to dissect various foods will not only provide you with optimal ingredients for tremendous meals but also let your proficiency in the kitchen take center stage.
Center stage in the kitchen is never a bad place to be.
Cast Iron Pan (strongly recommended if you have the energy or time to care for it properly):
Uses: Frying, Sautéing, baking.
For me, this is absolutely crucial. Cast Iron does require some extra effort as it needs to be lightly seasoned with oil regularly. However, the quality of seared steaks it will produce outweighs the extra care by a long shot. Steaks aside, it has proven to be very adept at frying chicken breasts to perfection. Eggs do fairly well in this vessel as well. Be prepared for some extra clean up though.
Non-stick Frying Pan(aluminum or stainless steel):
Uses: Eggs of any variety, Sautéing, Tossing.
This is your optimal egg cooker. With a little added butter nothing will stick making clean up a breeze. From what I’ve found, the eggs cook quicker and more evenly. Eggs aside, this is your ideal instrument for sautéing veggies. The light weight of this pan makes tossing vegetables and meat a breeze.
Stainless steel mixing bowls (S, M, L, XXXL):
Uses: Mixing, stirring, eating.
This is where the magic happens. Stainless steel bowls make for ideal mixing of ingredients, stirring of sauces, and eating. Yes, eating. I’ve always been a firm believer that your meal tastes exponentially better when all the components are swirled together into a delicious trifecta (or quad-fecta) of flavours. What better place to do this than in a huge mixing bowl. Mixing, stirring, and eating out of a big bowl also has the advantage of helping contain your food.
Nobody likes a mess or wasted food.
If you’re going to be cooking in a commercial kitchen it’s important to make sure that you’re butt is protected in case of an emergency.
Bamboo Cutting Board:
Uses: Food prep, annihilating veggies, massacring meat, cutting up carbs.
The majority of your food will have to go under the knife at some point before it reaches your gullet. Invest in a good cutting board, it’s well worth it. Bamboo is my preference as no toxins will leach into your food, it’s friendly on your knives, and is eco-friendly. I’d suggest trying to get one that has a little “ditch” around the perimeter. This ditch prevents the delicious juices from your meat running all over the counter.
Uses: Flipping your meat n eggs.
Omelets are an easy way to get essential nutrients down in the morning. Naturally these need to be flipped. Enter; “the flipper.” Egg dishes aside, it can also be used to easily manipulate fried steak, chicken breasts or veggies. Look for one with a stainless steel handle as the plastic ones are more likely to break than flip your food.
Uses: Impeccable accuracy of smaller ingredients.
Measuring spoons are an extremely important tool in a master chefs arsenal. Being able to measure with precision allows you to inject ideal amounts of flavour into your meal. They also give you the freedom to be accurate with your supplements, and possibly most important of all, coffee. How often is a meal ruined by a slight miscalculation of a minor ingredient? I fear the answer is “too often.” A surplus of ingredients such as salt, pepper, baking soda/powder, garlic, etc are often the culprits of inaccurate measurements. Invest in a good set of measuring spoons and never fear for your precious meal again.
Wooden/Bamboo Spoon, Spatula:
Uses: Stirring and flipping your creations without fear of harmful toxins leeching their way into your food.
Something about using wooden or bamboo utensils for cooking just feels right. I feel more connected with the rich history of culinary creations.
No. I’m not insane.
Stainless Steel Pots (S, M, L, XXXL):
Uses: Boiling, Mashing, Eating (I can’t be the only one).
The possibilities are endless. You can make protein rich poached, hard or soft boiled eggs, boil potatoes for future uses such as frying or mashing. Inedible beets can be transformed into an easily consumable micronutrient packed dishes. Roasts of ham or beef can be simmered for an afternoon and be reduced to a beautiful piece of pulled meat.
Glass Storage Containers:
Uses: Eating on the run, safe food storage.
An absolute necessity for sticking to your meal plan while living a hectic life. These are the ultimate vehicle for eating on the move. Sturdy, airtight, reliable, and free of toxins.
8 Items Guaranteed to Raise Sex Appeal & Cooking Proficiency
Measuring Cups (Can also use a shaker cup, my personal preference):
Uses: Measuring liquid ingredients, science experiments (baking soda and vinegar is my favourite).
We can’t always freestyle in the kitchen. Not only to maintain the integrity of picky meals but also to balance different flavours accurately. As cumbersome as they may be, measuring cups are your friend in these cases.
Glass Baking Dish:
Uses: Baking meatzilla or a meatza.
The glass baking dish. A key component in any chefs arsenal. The mother of all tools of mass construction. Utilizing this dish not only allows for delicious home fries of any variety, but also opens up a new world of batch cooking. You could very easily load this beauty up with chicken breasts and toss it in the oven for an hour. Your result will be enough delicious protein for the next few days.
Electric or Stove top Kettle:
Uses: Boiling water. This is a given.
Water isn’t gonna boil itself. Essential for tea and coffee. As committed as you may be to the Paleolithic way of eating, you sure as hell don’t need to cook like one. Thanks to the inventions of the electric and stove top kettle you no longer need to start a fire in your living room to boil water.
Coffee Maker/French Press/Stove top Espresso/Aero Press:
Uses: Probably used for brewing the nectar of the gods. Confirm/Deny.
Coffee deserves respect and thus proper methods of brewing. An average Joe coffeemaker will suffice..but a French or aero press will brew arguably the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had. Likewise can be said for a stove top espresso maker. Depending on your preference of course.
Extra Large Fork/Knife/Spoon:
Uses: For those massive feasts, preferably eaten out of a trough like vessel. Big meals require big utensils, stirring, mashing.
A personal preference of mine. I derive an immense amount of pleasure from chowing down with an over-sized fork and knife. You can’t help but feel awesome and unstoppable.
Uses: I would suggest using a baking sheet to bake things in the oven.
For cookies on those cheat days, batches of bacon (please take a moment to appreciate bacon), should you lack a glass baking dish, most dishes can be cooked on here.
Sweet or regular potatoes also do very well when baked.
Blender (options range from GNC individual blender to the holy grail of blending/food processing; The Vitamix):
Uses: Pulverizing various ingredients into protein & energy packed beverages.
Smoothies, guacamole, salsa, mashed potatoes, pureed cauliflower, iced coffee beverages..you’re possibilities are both endless and delicious.
Stainless Steel Wok:
Uses: It’s a Wok. You will automatically cook awesome things. Enough said.
Guaranteed to raise levels of culinary talent, meal taste, and sex appeal by +6 all on its own. Ideal uses are stir-fries, sautéing vegetables, and cooking for the family or your hot date.
Uses: Cooking delicious meats, chilies, and stews while you tackle your day.
Ever have those days where you come home to an empty fridge, thawed meat, and zero desire to cook? Suffer this late night despair no longer. Toss your meat in, pour in a little liquid, add in some veggies and you’re good to go. Simply turn on when you head off to work, and look forward to coming home to a vat of meat. Meatballs, duck, chicken, turkey, chili, stew. Keep your eye out for one on sale and snap it up.
Uses: Cooking rice and steaming vegetables. Nothing clever for this one.
These items (sometimes come as one unit) have one simple purpose. To cook beautiful, flawless rice, and perfectly steam veggies. Falling under the same wing as the slow cooker, this add-on while maximize what and how much you can do in the kitchen while enabling you too spend less time fussing around with your various dishes. A beautiful, essential component of hands-off cooking.
Uses: Melting chocolate, sucking every drop of moisture from leftovers, an object to rest my slow cooker on. See: “Essentially Useless.”
I detest the microwave, and thus have relegated it to the add-ons section. As well as the farthest corner of my living room. The impact from the harmful radiation waves is more than enough for me to stick to using a pan to reheat foods or just eat them cold. I will admit that they have some uses, such as thawing foods quickly, or melting chocolate and butter. Use at your own risk.
Uses: Calculating your macronutrients, weighing your pet cacti.
If you’re trying to fine-tune your body, your diet will require the utmost precision. By having a food scale handy you can easily track you macronutrient intake and adjust as you see fit. A priceless addition for the physique fanatic.
Standard 1 ounce Shot Glass:
Uses: Measuring the correct ratios for a grapefruit juice and club soda, Vodka, Supplements.
This only applies to those of you on very specific diets. When your fluid needs from various sources call for measuring this is the easiest, most accurate way to do it. Chances are you won’t be having large amounts of said liquids, so you won’t be spending your afternoon measuring out 4 liters of water.
For example: I drink a combined two ounces each of club soda and grapefruit juice. This combination is taken with my daily pills to enhance breakdown and speed of absorption into the bloodstream. In an instance such as this, it’s beneficial to measure.
When used properly, the shot glass can be an efficient way to take your liquid supplements (Fish oil, Carnitine, etc.)
Food for Thought
The instruments that are key to your nutritional success are all laid out for you. The rest is up to you. If you have all the tools but find yourself lacking the willpower or know-how, feel free to contact about online coaching. I’ll set you up on an awesome, individualized plan designed to take you too your goals.
Stay hungry, stay sexy my friends.