Canine Nutrition

3 Reasons Why Living Fridge Free is Not for Me

16 Comments 06 October 2013

Kol’s Note: I am writing about the Freshpet #FridgeChallenge as a part of a promotional campaign and I am being compensated for my time and for sharing my experience. However, all opinions are 100% my own.

This week has been one of the most challenging weeks ever.

When Freshpet asked if I would try living without my fridge for a full week, I knew I could do it. What I didn’t know was just how hard it would be, how much it would affect me and how good that first taste of fresh food would be after a week of eating preserved goods.

It would have been easy to grab convenience foods, like packaged pasta, canned ravioli and pizza buns. The only problem is that I hate that stuff – or rather, I love it, but my body hates it. I have a lot of food allergies, including a few preservatives and most importantly, MSG, so reaching for pre-made food on a regular basis would have pretty much done me in. Instead, I committed to making healthy meals from scratch, using only ingredients from the pantry and veggies that I could store on the counter. I ate a lot of beans, lentils, and quinoa. I tried to eat as many plants as I usually do, but it was really hard. The kinds of plants that can be stored on the counter tend to be a little carb heavy: potato, sweet potato, beets, carrots, bananas, pears and apples. I think the lightest foods I ate all week were zucchini and mushrooms (both wilted a bit after a day on the counter.) After a while, all the starches started to taste the same: bland, boring and heavy. I missed the light and flavourful aspect that fresh food brings to my diet.

Reason #1 Fridge Free Living is Not for Me:

Fresh food just tastes better. I’m one of those people who believe that good food should just taste good.

This treat doesn't take great...but I'm eating it.

This treat doesn’t take great…but I’m eating it.

My high-carb, high sugar diet left me with low energy.

People, like dogs, can use carbohydrates to fulfill their energy needs. The trouble is that not all carbs are created equal. Starchy carbohydrates like the ones I ate all week: potato, sweet potato, and grains, like wheat and oatmeal work their magic really fast and are quickly broken down into sugars. They give you a spurt of energy, but that doesn’t last long. On the flip side, the fresh carbs I usually like to eat: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus, digest slowly giving you a steady supply of energy for hours.

There were a lot of highs and lows in my energy this week and frankly, it’s left me pretty exhausted. Feeling how sluggish, head achey and tired I was while eating a diet rich in fast release carbohydrates made me seriously question the average canine diet. Kibble, even good kibble, tends to rely on quick release carbs to fulfill energy needs and to help the kibble bind together. No wonder our dogs nap so much! They’re burnt out.

Reason #2 Fridge Free Living is Not for Me:

Just because we can use carbs to fill our energy needs, doesn’t mean we should.

I'm exhausted.

I’m exhausted.

Besides my energy issues, much to my chagrin, I’m starting this month’s K9 Kamp fitness challenge, almost 2 lbs heavier than I was a week ago. I’m really going to have to kick it into high gear. Aside from making me feel totally lazy, all these carbs have gone straight to my waist. *just awful*

Breaking the Bank: How I Spent Kol’s Chewy Money

While I was super grateful (as were my family, friends and coworkers) to be allowed to eat out fresh foods, man! Is that ever pricey? I can live without most foods, but the idea of living without fresh coffee served with cream makes me want to poke my own eyes out. Real life confession:  I spent more than $60 on coffee this week. I should be ashamed of myself.

On the flip side, eating a diet devoid of things like fresh meat, cheese, dairy, eggs and fresh vegetables was significantly cheaper and in some ways, a lot easier. I can see why people reach for the pantry when money is tight or time is short. I can see why poverty and weight issues can go hand in hand. My fresh food diet can be pricey and cooking everything from scratch takes a lot of time. In all honestly, eating more pre-made food is something I may not have ever changed, if it didn’t make me feel so darn crappy.

Reason #3 Fridge Free Living is Not for Me:

Eating foods like box pasta, canned soup and kibbles might be convenient, but it doesn’t make us feel our best.

*YAWN* Time for another nap, I guess.

*YAWN* Time for another nap, I guess.

While I’m super glad that our Freshpet #FridgeChallenge is over, I’m really glad I did it.

Life has been super busy the last few months and I’ve been backsliding a little on my nutrition and cutting some corners. Going fridge free, all at once like this, was a huge eye opener and it reminded me not only how I want to feed myself, but also, how I want to feed Kolchak and Felix. We all feel better when we eat fresh and I’m determined to keep our diet that way, even if the cost means sacrificing in other areas. I’ll just have to cut back on those pricey lattes.

Bark Back: If you had to live fridge free for a week, what do you think you would miss the most?

Don’t forget! Freshpet is giving away a mini-fridge and a year’s supply of Freshpet food. All you have to do is tell them why you couldn’t live without your fridge. Click here to enter now. Plus, decode this week’s mini-challenge for your chance to win other prizes.

Your Comments

16 Comments so far

  1. BoingyDog says:

    This is a post after my own heart! When I get really broke, it’s all carbs. I have Candida (bad!) so going that route is NEVER good for me. I agree that just because we can use carbs for energy doesn’t mean we should – I definitely shouldn’t. I would’ve died doing this challenge, but I would’ve saved lots of money! LOL. Honestly, I’d miss my farmer’s market mixed greens more than anything. They’re so fresh, tasty and they add flowers into them. When I get too far off my Candida diet that’s always what I miss the most.

    • KolchakPuggle says:

      Yum! I wish my farmer’s market had those – they sound delicious! You brought up another very good point – candida! I know I fed Felix a carb rich diet for only 2 days and he got very yeasty in his ears and on his skin. That’s definitely a sign that carbs just don’t work for you!

  2. Jodi says:

    I couldn’t do it. I live on salads and hard-boiled eggs, and we know those don’t stay on the counter. :-D

  3. Carol Bryant says:

    I give you a lot of credit, Jodi. I think I would miss milk, cheese, hmmm and ice!

    • KolchakPuggle says:

      Thank you Carol. Oh man. Cheese is so darn good. It’s very high on my list of foods I am overwhelmingly glad to have back.

  4. Maggie says:

    I’m proud of you for making it (all those Starbucks trips included)! I don’t think I could’ve done it because I rely on my fridge 5 times a day! Since I work from home, it’s breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner all from my fridge. But, to be honest, until you started this challenge, I never once consciously thought about how much I rely on my fridge. Now, if you excuse me, I’m off to give it a little hug…

    • KolchakPuggle says:

      LOL, I hugged mine too and I’ve been cooing sweet nothings at it each time I grab something cold. I would be lost without it, as I can’t see myself eating a preserved, shelf stable diet for any prolonged period of time. If this is how crummy I felt after a week, how would I feel after a month or even a year? *shudder*

  5. MelF says:

    I am so impressed you did this Jodi! I know I certainly couldn’t have done it. Wow.
    I have been trying to eat more natural foods, but I have to admit the pre-made stuff is so much more convenient when I get home from walking the dogs at the dog park.
    I think I could survive on the starches your mentioned, but like you, I would be feeling awfully run down. Perhaps the chili would last me a week, but I would still need a refrigerator to store it afterwards. It was yummy though. :)

    Great post. Glad you shared your experience.

    • KolchakPuggle says:

      Thank You Mel!

      It definitely made me think about how I cook. Now that I’m living on my own servings – and the work it takes to make & preserve those servings – is high on my thought list. Do you have a crock pot? I’m going to be thinking about easy ways to feed yourself without wasting and without eating the same thing every day!

  6. Stefanie says:

    Good job, Jodi! I agree with everything you have to say – especially the coffee part! :) I also think it’s no coincidence that after my fridge-free week of eating from the pantry, I now have the flu. This time of year you can’t be sure, but fresh nutrition definitely gives your immune system a boost!

    • KolchakPuggle says:

      I have the worst cold ever Stephanie. I assumed it was just a co-incidence, but you’re right. There wasn’t much vitamin C in my diet the last few weeks and there is usually a ton. Hmmmm…now that’s food for thought!

  7. Pamela | Something Wagging says:

    The boat I was living on the past month had both a freezer and fridge. To keep it cold, they had to run a very noisy generator for about 3 hours a day. Believe me, it’s a strange disconnect to be anchored in paradise, swimming by barracuda, and hearing the engine running like crazy.

    It definitely had me wondering if I could do without refrigeration if the noise was the only way to keep it cold.

    On the other hand, two cruisers I met with pets had to fish every day to keep their animals fed. Not sure I’m that skilled a hunter.

    I’m wondering if using a dehydrator would be one way to get fresh food without refrigerating it. Maybe you should have asked Kol and Felix to share theirs. :)

    Anyway, it was a great post. You’ve definitely given me more to think about.

    • KolchakPuggle says:

      But you were on a boat! How awesome was that? How on earth did you ever come home?? ( I mean, I guess you missed Honey, but WOW!)

      I wonder if solar panels could be rigged up to keep the fridge powered? I don’t think I’d receommend the fridge free diet to ANYONE for long period of time. Even the most gently preserved food just isn’t a substitute for fresh, but yes! The dehydrator can help. If I knew I would have to live fridge free for a while, I think I’d really plan for it with my dehydrator.


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Advent Calendar for Dog Lovers Day 18: Freshpet Giveaway | Kol's NotesKol's Notes - 18 December, 2013

    [...] me to undertake the crazy experiment of living without my fridge for a whole week (spoiler alert: It was awful and I don’t recommend it). Their Freshpet Vital food rolls are a staple here. We love to chop them into bits and use them [...]

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