Greetings faithful readers!!!
February was amusing; I had the opportunity of training in 10° and 60° weather… sometimes in the same weekend! I’m a month into training and it happens to be “National Nutrition Month”, so I figured the most appropriate topic for this month would be fueling the body. After all, everyone needs to eat!
Picture overload disclaimer: I may have been a bit picture-happy with this blog. It’s food… I promise you will thank me.
Ironman Nutrition: A Full Fridge
It’s one thing to coach someone on what to eat before, during, and after training. It takes a whole new set of skills to be the athlete fighting cravings, preparing, and planning my own meals. Planning meals, shopping with a list and organizing the ice box is a sure bet to a nutritious mind set, decrease food waste and save some moola. ????
I’d like to think balancing our dairy farm, grad school, and my consulting business, Farmstead Nutrition, gives me some schedule-juggling street cred. It all starts with planning meals and snacks with a mighty grocery list. Next up: slicing, dicing, pre-portioning, storing … welcome to the wonderful world of meal prep!
This will be my 5th summer of triathlons. Fueling my body for long training sessions and refueling afterwards isn’t new to me, but it’s always important to tweak my training nutrition plan with tips from other triathletes or new research.
At this point, it’s easy to conjure up images meticulous measuring, weighing, and extreme detail. It’s not that difficult! Meal prep is all about finding nutritional balance and doing the hard work up front help satisfy cravings throughout the week.
My kitchen hasn’t turned into a laboratory (although my swim goggles make occasional appearances for onion cutting)!
The VIP (Very Important Prepping) Tour
As a Dietitian, meal prep and grocery lists have always been exciting to me. It’s important to carry that excitement into cooking. Most of my food planning involves produce, dairy, and meats, so my meal prep involves a lot of fridge action.
The only action happening in the pantry is grains and canned goods (even my peanut butter is kept out on the counter for easy access).
Without further ado, I’ll blog you through a tour of my VIP (aka Very Important Prepping) fridge with tips that help me train, maintain a nutritiously full tummy, and avoid hiring a personal chef…
Welcome to my fridge, please keep your eyes reading at all times and save all questions for the end of the tour (seriously post questions if you have any) – enjoy!
Stop #1: “The Milk Shelf”
We usually go through 1.5-2 gallons per week between my chocolate milk and for cooking. I also store prep bowls with veggies or other food I’ve started for the day’s meals. (Pro tip: as long as the bowl isn’t see-through the hubby usually leaves it alone).
Stop #2: “The Shelf of Eggsellence”
With all the muscle break down during training, I rely on high biological protein – sources that contain the essential amino acids in a proportion similar to that required by the body. Almost all the protein I’m eating from these foods is absorbed by my body.
I use eggs for breakfast most every day (we really need to add some chickens to the farm). I also keep a mixture of yogurts here; big tubs for cooking, small cups for lunches, tubes for on-the go.
Apparently, the carrots must have had a sleep over party with the yogurt because they’re supposed to be on a lower shelf.
Stop #3: “The limbo shelf”
Any food items used throughout the week, for prepping and recipes, and left overs. Canned pumpkin isn’t just for pie, I use it in muffins, soup, sauces and pancakes/waffles.
The drawer below is the all-important cheese drawer. I use cheese in moderation, so I have a rotating supply. I have Feta for stuffing meats.Romano and Parmesan for salads and soups. Mozzarella for pizza, cucumber/onion salad. Cheddar for egg sandwiches, pasta and other dinner dishes (I can make a moo-licious veggie grilled cheese).
Stop #4: “The Meal Prep Mothership!”
Any meal prep I do Sunday and Monday for lunches, training munchies, or afternoon snacks goes here. This shelf is strategically below eye-level, so the hubby doesn’t eat everything and destroy the entire universe (okay I’m exaggerating a little… just a little). The crisper drawer below stores; tomatoes, salad, onions, apples and additional produce.
Stop #5: “Umami shelf”
The savory shelf. Food safety is always first – any uncooked meat is kept on the bottom shelf tightly bagged, in a container to thaw, or to marinate. After the meat is used for deliciousness, I wipe down the shelf with a disinfectant wipe. If you haven’t guessed already this is Leah the fur-child’s favorite shelf.
Last Stop: WATER!
Okay, so this isn’t technically in my fridge, but it’s a super important item that serves as my compass for daily nutritional decision. Meet my 48oz friend, Nalgene. She keeps me hydrated and less crazy. Hydration prevents hunger/thirst confusion and detours poor food decisions. My hubby prefers a case of bottled water in his truck. Whatever works for you (just remember to recycle)!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the “Very Important Prep Fridge Tour.” Meal prep and organization can go a long way, even if you’re not training for a triathlon! Remember it’s not just about having a full fridge; it’s about the quality and plan for the fridge full of food. Plan a few meals, plan a shopping list and plan the when, what, where and how.
Spilt Milk: NYC or bust!
In November it seemed like a great idea to schedule a February birthday NYC get-away with 2 girlfriends… the same weekend I had a 3 hour ride and 9 mile run weekend on my training schedule.
Well…. needless to say that weekend was the end to my training honeymoon. Long days of sight-seeing and early morning workouts apparently leaves little time for sleep (math was never my strong suit).
Despite my moans and groans, the company of my sister on the bike ride and friend Libby during the run helped me grind it out with a smile.
The moral of the story? Try not to bite off more than you can chew, but always make sure you have crazy friends to support you on your journey. Friendship makes everything better!
I guess that’s another thing cows and I have in common… we are very social creatures : )
Whether you’re following my journey because you think I’m crazy or you’re just curious, thanks for the love and support!
Once again chatter away with comments or puns.