Take a virtual tour of a competitor’s kitchen and learn the top tricks of the trade that will set you up for success during your next meal prep session.
“Cooking and doing food preparation is one of the highest acts of self-love you can participate in.” – The Betty Rocker
REFRIGERATOR & FREEZER STAPLES
|Almonds (keep them in the fridge or freezer for a longer shelf life. The cold doesn’t allow the oils to break down as quickly)|
|Cauliflower (my go-to EVERYTHING: hummus, mashed ‘fauxtatos’, rice, pizza crust , bread pudding, muffins and biscuits)|
|Hummus – Oasis brand is fat free and only 11 calories per serving|
|Spinach – and other greens like romaine and spring greens|
|Turkey – ground or nitrite free deli cuts|
ALL-STARS FOR YOUR PANTRY
|Fajita seasoning – think seasoning mixes – they’ve already done the work for you!|
|Hot sauce – not all created equal (watch out for sodium)|
|Natural Almond Butter|
|Natural Peanut Butter|
|Organic roasted tomatoes|
|Pb2 by Bell Plantation|
|Sugar free jello|
|Vegetable broth cubes|
The tools are just as important. A carpenter can’t build a home without his tool box. So, how can you expect to prepare your meals without your own?
|A good knife set|
|A good pot/pan set with a 4 quart pot|
|Countertop grill (if you’re like me and you live in an apartment that doesn’t allow outdoor grills)|
|Glass or aluminum baking set|
|Kitchen shears – you will thank me when you’re cutting your chicken versus slicing on the countertop with a sharp knife|
|Liquid measuring cups|
|Scale – I LOVE my Escali scale. It’s light and compact and can even travel. Easy to clean is also a plus!|
|Shaker cup(s) – I have more shaker cups than friends|
|Veggie spiralizer – if you haven’t had veggie noodles. You’re missing out.|
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
There are numerous recipe apps or meal trackers and calorie/macro counters. Having these apps at your fingertips will help ensure your success in the kitchen and help you switch things up.
|Food Network in the Kitchen|
|Fooducate – scans barcodes|
|LiveStrong (food library)|
|MyFitnessPal (food library)|
PEOPLE OR POPULAR NEWSLETTERS
If there’s someone you like or look up to, and they offer a newsletter, why not sign up for it? Often times, these newsletters are chock full of great tips and recipes that can help you keep things fun and fresh in the kitchen – and you don’t even have to think – they’re delivered right to your inbox.
HerSUPPZ.com (we think this one is The BEST one, of course!)
Seek out blogs as well – there are so many other folks out there tasting and sharing and blogging about it! A few, independent bloggers/experts:
JUST SAY NO: MY DIRTY DOZEN
All that aside, let’s look at a few things I avoid over the counter or in my food.
Sugar: evaporated, cane sugar, barley malt, rice sugar, fructose, corn syrup – it’s all sugar
Soy: science has shown that soy estrogens stimulate the thyroid which gives you a hyper-effect. This leads to a hypo-effect where you crash – poor energy, brain fog. All modern soy products are jam packed with anti-nutrients such as phytates, and toxins which are now linked to host of disease ranging from brain shrinkage to thyroid dysfunction.
Aspartame/Sucralose – neurotoxin and carcinogen
High Fructose Corn Syrup – #1 source of calories in America contributing to diabetes and obesity
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – turns off the “I’m full” receptors
Food Dyes – animal studies have linked food coloring to cancer
BHA and BHT – color preservative that effects the neurological system and when stored in the body can form cancer-causing compounds.
Potassium bromate – used for volume in food. Causes cancer in animals.
Trans Fat – increases bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and reduces the good.
Sulphur Dioxide – FDA does not recommend consumption by children. Causes breathing problems. Destroys Vitamin E and A in the body.
Sodium Nitrate – keeps meat red. Has carcinogenic properties once it enters the digestive system.
Sodium Sulphite – attributed to asthma, headaches, breathing problems. According to the FDA, 1 in 100 people are sensitive to sulphites.
You can read more about the no-no’s in your food from the Environmental Working Group here: http://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives
And, I get it. You can’t be perfect and avoid everything all the time. It’s almost impossible to be an informed consumer these days. But, at the least, this can help.
So step up your kitchen game and get to know your essentials to help make cooking and meal prep a breeze.
EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives: Environmental Working Group http://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives
Christine is a Women’s Physique Competitor of 6 years. She has roots in Wisconsin and currently resides in Colorado where you can find her hard at work in the Orthopedics Department at UCHealth.
She is an avid “14er” summiting the peaks of the Southern Rocky Mountain Front Range in her spare time. She has her sights on completing all of Colorado’s 14ers (the mountain peaks above 14,000 feet of which there are 58) in the next two years. A strong advocate for women’s health, she is also a personal trainer with special interest in pediatric and women’s fitness, nutrition and bodybuilding. Christine attributes much of her success to having built a strong foundation of knowledge from her peers, mentors and experts; as well as her fellow athletes.
Her supplement routine is what helps round out her competitive athleticism.
Christine loves participating in the success of others and does everything she can to help them smash their goals!
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