Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nutrition: Fridge vs Cupboards

It's easy to list what's in your fridge. If you have the basics of a healthy diet then your fridge probably has a variety of plant based products, multiple lean protein sources and a few natural/organic condiments.

These could include, but not limited to:

Pickles (I prefer clausen's)
Sauerkraut (same)
Greek Yogurt (Fage, Chiobani, Oikos are good. I wouldn't eat the Greek Gods brand)



Grass fed Beef
Free Range Poultry
Free Range Eggs

Almond Milk (unsweetened)
Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
(for me this comes from a patch at my parents house, and I'm a very lucky guy for this)

Minced Garlic
(You're supposed to cut it as you use it, but if you're like me then you prefer doing it all at once)

For me cholula almost always wins.

Natural organic ketchup
Personally I really like Annie's but making your own can be interesting on occasion as well.

Stone Ground Mustard
I prefer Boetje's Mustard. Theirs is simply the best.

This is actually what happens to be in my fridge right now but I also just went to the store yesterday. There's also some beer, different cheeses and I'm sure rotting food that I don't yet know about.....

The freezer is pretty boring, there's some random frozen meats and vegetables, but I usually keep some Ezekiel bread around too. Oh, and I'm a sucker for corn bread and ice cream (not at the same time). Everyone has their vice, and that's mine, so I have a couple mixes and a half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream, that I try to make last a very long time.

Where I feel people really go wrong is the crap in their cupboards.

Cupboards are usually where you stack the junk that wont ever go bad which usually means candies, pastries, chips, pastas, etc. These are things that wont help our waistlines, our performance goals, or quality of life.

I'd rather have this....
Than this....
Freeze Dried Food: Food in the Cupboard
You don't think it would've been cool to have a miniature little native american friend when you were that age? I do

The following is a short list of some of the foods that'd be good to keep in your cupboards.

It's actually what I keep stocked in my cupboards on a regular basis.

-Steel Cut Oats (always buy in bulk)
-Quinoa (same)
-Brown rice
I use brown rice sparingly. Mainly just pre/post workout on occasion but that's about it, should probably throw it away, it's getting old

-Chia Seed(that I grind w/ a coffee grinder)
-Flax Seed (grind those too)

-Protein Powder (whey+casein)
I really prefer Carlson's they make a great product for an overly reasonable price.
-Zinc (used as necessary)
-Melatonin (rare and random usage for whenever I want to go comatose for about 12 hours)

My spice rack gets used a ton but I run out of Turmeric and Watkin's Cinnamon all the time.

-Onion (yep, they're not even supposed to be refrigerated until you cut them)
-Sweet potato (same)
-Real Butter from grass feed cows (no need to refrigerate it either, in fact it'd get so hard you could barely use it)

-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Tarragon Vinegar
-Balsamic Vinegar
Interestingly, this is one item where paying more does make a difference, up to you.
-Dark chocolate
For my taste the darker the better but less than 70% cocoa and you're just eating candy.
-Peanut or almond butter:
I've tried alot of these and tend to enjoy Full Circle's the most, and it just so happens to be on the lesser expensive side.

Then I usually keep an assortment of tea's around. Right now it's
There's no rhyme of reason to this, I just think they taste good, except the Earl Greyer, Idk where it came from.

This usually surprises people but I do keep a good stock of canned goods in my cupboards. My mom has been canning food from her garden for longer than I've been around, and you don't go to her house w/o taking something home. It's usually tomatoes, green beans and applesauce. All of which are from soil that hasn't been depleted and the food was harvest when it was ripe, unlike the food you'd get in the store, so it's very good for you and comes in handy during the winter.

On my counter and dinning room table there are bowls of fruit that always have apples and w/e else I feel like having around at the time.

There are also things I don't keep in my kitchen on purpose.
A) I'll be more likely to eat them if they're around
B) They are so rarely used in my cooking that there's no point
C) Nutritionally they aren't the greatest choices in the world, so why give support by purchasing the stuff.

These would include:
-Wheat flour

-Sucralose (or any type of artificial sweetner for that matter)
If I want some sugar I'll have real sugar, we've been doing it for thousands of years. I think once in awhile is okay if you're living an active lifestyle and consuming 95% of your carbohydrates from better, plant based sources.

chocolate bars, twix, snickers, jolley ranchers (of which I don't even like hard candy), m&m's, chex mix. etc.

-Falsely marketed "healthy", "high in protein/fiber" stuff either.
You wont find a Fiber One Bar, Cliff Bar, Zone Bar, or anything else like that in my house. They're just candy too.

-Cold cereal's:
Cheerios, frosted flakes, Lucky Charms, Kix, sorry to burst your bubble these suck too. They're simply candy, and hold little to no nutritional value.

-This goes for the ones marketed to be "heatlhy" as well.
There's absolutely not one Kashi product in my house, nor Total, or anything else like that. They all suck, eat some real food.

And that's that. Really, in the end the basics get you by, most everyone just tries to make it complicated. Eat 5 big cups of vegetables every day and that'll go along way by itself.


  1. interesting... any recommendations for diversification of protein? i'm getting kind of tired of the same old meats & cottage cheese....

  2. To be honest I'm pretty close to dairy free these days. Unless cheese makes or breaks a meal I don't really use it.

    As far as diversification of protein. Quinoa has a complete amino acid chain, and I forgot to mention it in the post, but I always keep canned southwestern black beans on hand b/c I use them all the time.

    You can also get creative w/ your meats. I marinate pretty often, but if you don't have the patience, a little worcestershire or tabasco can be mixed in w/ any ground meat and adds a nice kick. I'm also big on dipping. Soy sauce and horse radish is one of my favorites.

  3. @Mandy: I don't know if you get it in the US, but kangaroo meat is great to use.

    As far as seafood goes, you have a huge range.

    Not to mention duck, rabbit, horse and other "non-traditional" meats (they are traditional in some cuisines, not typically the Western diet.

  4. That is a good point. I did not mention any seafood.

    There are also dried meats, such as salmon jerky and grass fed beef jerky.

    Also, I use and on a regular basis. Just type the food choice your wanting to use and recipes will come up that include that ingredient. Works well for me most of the time.

  5. Thanks! I like the soy sauce & horseradish idea... makes me feel like I'm eating sushi when I'm not :) Where do you get salmon jerky from? I do enjoy duck when I can find it, will have to try rabbit next time I get a hold of someone who hunts those.

  6. Google is a wonderful thing Mandy. Otherwise most 'health' food stores usually have some.

    And you don't have to wait for wild game.

    Grab your gun and go hunting. Totally kidding.

    You can get rabbit at the store too. Sometimes you'll see it at farmers markets as well.

    Good luck.

  7. Your lunches look fantastic! I’m defintely going to start preparing some cooked Fridge vs Cupboards.