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.
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.
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.
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.