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Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook: 1400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes!

I bought this cookbook, because I began to run out of ideas after I used my 3-headed crockpot. Obviously I haven’t tested every suggestion in this encyclopedia, but those I have tried are excellent. I’m particularly fond of the Prairie Fire Dip. You will have to make lots of substitutions to keep the recipes clean, but it’s also great that the author includes nutritional information at the end of each recipe.

Ingredient substitutions

Please recognize that by suggesting this book I am interested more in the ideas for what is possible concerning flavor palettes. What are some interesting ways to use turkey for the 1,000th time? How can I avoid burn out with sweet potatoes or spinach? Often the recipes in their current forms are not helpful for your diet. So why put this cookbook here?

In general, these recipes are quite easy to modify. Check the serving size, and adjust up or down to fit your crock pot. Where it calls for Velveeta, use Swiss. Where it calls for hamburger, use the leanest blend possible. If it asks for lots of sugar, substitute stevia. Does a caserole ask for crumbled Ritz crackers on top? Use Glutino instead. Many of the changes will be readily apparent. If it asks for meat (but you’re a vegetarian), use firm tofu. As with any food choices, generally the healthier options should be obvious.

Keep it interesting

Repetition can be lethal. Boredom with your food is a very good way to blow your plan completely. As I said above, I use this cookbook for ideas about flavors and presentations. I’m also concerned about developing food aversions. In 2011 I ate so many meals consisting of eggs, black beans, and spinach that I still have an aversion to spinach to this day (Thanks a lot, Tim Ferriss…). This is strange, since I do like spinach. But for some reason psychologically I won’t buy it at the grocery store. If I do it goes bad. However, if there’s a spinach salad at someone else’s home or at a restaurant, I enjoy it enthusiastically. Strange, yes? At any rate, I don’t want that happening to you.

So, please use this book as I intend. There are lots of fantastically flavored options in here to keep your menu creative and varied. I’m not espousing many of the recipes in the cookbook “as is;” however, I do feel most of them can be readily adjusted. Remaining engaged in and excited about nutrition is a huge component in meeting your personal training goals. If you have any specific questions about ingredient substitutions, please contact me directly.

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Jack Kirven is a mobile personal trainer in Charlotte, NC. He is the owner of INTEGRE8T Wellness.

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