How to Slow Cook Your Way to a Fitter Body

Crock Pot Cooking Keeps You on Track

Vegetable stew with white beans, potatoes, carrots and chicken
Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

Abs are not only made in the kitchen but also achieved in the crock pot. Slow cooker is just another name for crock pot, and they have resurfaced as the hottest trend for healthy nutrition accountability.

Crock pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your personal needs and allow for easy meal prep and getting ready for a busy week where cooking daily can be difficult. Selecting a large crock pot with a timer is the best way to cook multiple meals in one pot while you’re sleeping or off doing other things. It really takes the stress out of healthy cooking, which is a common complaint with many who are trying to get fit and struggling with nutrition.

Personally, I own two crock pots and have both going at the same time with differing things like steel-cut oats and lean meats. Whether I load them up before going to bed, prior to work, or using a weekend day for food prep, it is so awesome to have all my meals cooked for several days. Crock pots are not just for cold winter days but year-round slow cooking, and there is nothing better than walking in from work or waking up to the house smelling like you've been cooking all day.

I recommend purchasing several serving size seal-tight containers easily portable in a cooler to portion out your crock pot creations. Your slow cook leftovers will become a refrigerator full of grab and go meals for the week and keep you on track with eating healthy and reaching your fitness goals. The following crock pot meal ideas will help get you started.

Slow Cook Meats for Muscle

Crock Pot Chicken
Crock Pot Meats and Veggies Make Meals for the Week. Rita Maas The Image Bank/Getty Images

Lean meats are a great protein souce and slow cook to tender perfection in the crock pot. How much chicken, lean beef, or even pork being crocked will be based on if you are cooking for one or a larger family. Either way, you will be hooked after your first slow cook. Any lean meat can be cooked in the crock pot for the same amount of time, and you will enjoy the simplicity of this all-in-one pot chicken dish for starters:

  • Add 6 to 12 whole boneless and skinless chicken breasts to the crock pot
  • Chop up hearty vegetables that you like and toss those in (frozen is OK)
  • Add a small amount of chicken, vegetable, or beef broth (salsa works, too)
  • Sprinkle your favorite herbs all over the food (going spicy will boost metabolism)
  • Turn crock pot on low and cook for 7 to 8 hours (timer shifts to warm after selected cook time is complete)

Time for you to be off doing what your day or night demands. Either way, when you come back, your food will be ready to enjoy. Eat up and portion out the leftovers for your weekly meals.

Never-Dry, Slow Cooked Brown Rice

Crock Pot Brown Rice
Never Dry Crock Pot Brown Rice. Thomas Firak Photography/Getty Images

Brown rice is a fabulous healthy carb easy to slow cook in the crock pot. I use a round 4-quart crock pot set to high and cook it for approximately 3 to 5 hours and I have never had dry, bland rice cooking it this way:

  • Measure 2 cups organic brown rice and add to crock pot
  • Add 5 cups water
  • Add one 14.5oz can organic ready-cut diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • Add 4 ribs chopped organic celery
  • Chop and add half of a large onion
  • Spice it up by squirting hot chili sauce all over the top before stirring
  • My favorite herbs to use with this recipe: no-salt herb blend about 2tbsp, half to 1 tsp cumin and half tsp paprika
  • Once all the ingredients are in, stir it all up and let it cook for 2 hours. Stir again and check to see how the rice is doing. It will be done when liquid is absorbed but without rice being mushy. Enjoy hot from the crock pot and divide the leftovers as part of your grab and go weekly meals.

Steel-Cut Oats Rock the Crock Pot

Slow Cooked Oats
Slow Cooked Steel Cut Oats for High Fiber and Fitness. Annabelle Breakey Photodisc/Getty Images

I prefer steel-cut oats in the crock pot, which are not only an excellent source of fiber but also a heart-healthy antioxidant superfood. They can be prepared before going to bed and a nutrient-dense breakfast meal ready to power up your morning and kick start your metabolism for the day.

  • Add 1 to 2 cups steel-cut oats to the crock pot (1 cup of oats requires 3 cups of water)
  • Add in water according to steel-cut oats measurement
  • Power up the oats by adding in chopped walnuts, tablespoon ground flax meal, 1 tsp cinnamon,  2 cinnamon sticks, chopped up apple, banana, or bag of frozen blueberries (pick your favorite add-ins)
  • Set the timer to low and cook for 6 to 7 hours
  • Time to hit the sheets. Breakfast will be ready in the morning. Divide any leftovers into portions for the rest of the week.


International Society of Sports Nutrition, position stand: protein and exercise, Bill Campbell, Richard B Kreider, 9-26-07, Nutrition for Everyone, carbohydrates, last reviewed Dec. 2012

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