“So, what does ‘eating clean’ exactly look like?”
“You talk about eating healthy, but what does that even mean?”
These are a few of the questions I’ve been receiving from readers over the past few weeks. My husband, who I like to say is the primary source of creativity behind my go-get-’em energy, suggested that I take photos of our cupboards, fridge and freezer to really answer that question.
I think this is possibly more intimate than photographing your underwear drawer — and to be fair, I even opened the “secret” snack cupboard for you (this is the only cupboard that my son, Jack, hasn’t figured out contains food so it’s where I keep things I just don’t want him to get into!).
I also want to show you that it’s not all about strict guidelines and uptight grocery shopping! Yes, while on the 30-day Making the Cut program, I had NO sugar, NO alcohol, NO NOTHING! But now we’re back to “normal” and that means a few indulgences here and there!
This is what sat on my counter while I photographed the rest of the kitchen. We keep a lot of fresh fruit in the house (you can see bananas, apples, clementines, grapes, blueberries, strawberries) and our boys will devour tomatoes (Liam), salad (Jack), and bell peppers -- so those are definite staples, as well. And yes, that is a glass of red wine with my salad lunch! FYI, this was a weekend shot and I wasn't drinking at noon with the boys!
The Fridge: I know we look like bachelors but this DOES feed us for a week. It helps that my husband eats lunch at his work's over-the-top amazing cafe/restaurant Monday through Friday.
The Fridge Door requires a disclaimer...that Hershey's Chocolate Syrup is straight from the devil himself (High Fructose Corn Syrup, first ingredient!) but we didn't see that when we bought it and my husband uses chocolate milk as a quick fat/protein/carb replacement after long training sessions. Next time, we'll find one that isn't loaded with HFCS.
I usually have more chicken in the freezer.
The cereals here are all very low in sugar, if any. My fave is the Barbara's Shredded Oats (Original only!) which is sweetened with a little molasses. And behind all that white flour and white sugar are my oat flour, whole wheat flour, spelt flour, etc!
The "Safe" Cupboard: Jack doesn't know this is here! Thankfully, he doesn't care about the scotch but those Maple Almond Butter packets (which is actually not like me to buy something so wasteful but they were on clearance) are AMAZING good and he knows it! I take one and a 100-calorie "One Bun" in my purse and have an instant protein/carb "sandwich" for snack time.
Don't ask me what "srouted" grain bagels are.
The 12-Grain Crackers, although the healthiest cracker option at Trader Joe's, is still a rare occurrence for us. The Mac n' Cheese? Well, it's all-natural but still refined/processed...so again, not very many appearances -- maybe once a week or so. And yes, I have a "crapload of chocolate chips". You have seen my baking recipes on this site, right? But I buy the best (organic, less filler/junk) -- it costs more but I would rather bake LESS and eat BETTER than bake more and eat crappier. Make sense?!
Larabars are my post-workout snack. They pack a hefty punch (200 calories) but have 2-8 ingredients that are completely plant-based. My fave is Peanut Butter Cookie (as shown); dates, peanuts, salt. Glorious!
Money Saving Tip: Our family’s favorite snack is trail mix but it can be super expensive when you have five-year-olds who double as Hoovers. I recently realized that although trail mix is around $4.99/lb, you can buy all the components of trail mix (cashews, peanuts, cranberries, raisins, seeds, almonds) for anywhere between $1.99 – 3.99/pound! So I buy them all individually and mix ‘em up in this jar. Voila!
But remember, trail mix (or any nuts) carry a whopping amount of calories, so measure them out and be diligent! Just a 1/4 cup of this mix gives me 175 calories.
In my next entry, I’ll walk you through every meal I ate today. You might be surprised…