What’s In My Refrigerator: Confessions of a Fitness Coach

Our beloved refrigerator at home in the kitchen

“Is that bread in your cart?”

“Uh, yeah.”

And yes, I have been approached on more than one occasion in the market with this question.

Multiple occasions, as a matter of fact.   And different versions of the theme: what’s in my shopping cart.

And more often than not, it is a question asked with body language rather than spoken word.  You know, when the eyeball scrutiny of shopping cart contents takes place before eye contact.

Has this ever happened to you? Maybe my position as fitness coach screams “open book” about whatever I eat.  Honestly, I used to have to hide the MnM’s under the greens to avoid a tongue lashing.  If there was anything more meaty than sprouts on my cart, I was set up for “tsk tsks”.

All that being said, I have made an attitude adjustment and am now happy to be approached in this fashion.  As what we eat is so central to attaining the body composition, fat loss, energy, shape and health that we aspire to, if someone can learn from what’s piled in my cart (and it DOES get heaped mighty high!), then so be it and the more inquiries the merrier.

To make a preemptive strike in the event you and I bump carts in the market any time soon, here is an honest inventory of what is in my refrigerator today.  Warning: this is a long list.

Here’s what’s in my refrigerator today

  • veggies: mushrooms (2 kinds), celery, carrots baby bok choy, sugar snap peas, kale, collard greens, spinach, arugula, romaine, cilantro, leftover baked potatoes, corn, 2 baked yams, roasted red peppers.
  • fruit: apples, dates, oranges
  • grains, seeds: corn tortillas, sprouted grain burrito, sprouted bread, wholegrain artisan loaf, wholegrain pancake mix, ground flax seed, leftover brown jasmine rice, leftover bulgur, Ezekial cold cereal, buckwheat noodles, mochi
  • beans, savories, and their friends: black beans, kidney beans, leftover homemade veggie-bean-grain- noodle soup, homemade hummus, miso, tofu, tempeh.
  • condiments: ketchup, mustard, mirin, salsa (green and red), pickles.
  • also: sesame butter, peanut butter, blueberry all-fruit preserves, almond milk, white wine, teriyaki sauce, maple syrup, blueberry syrup, french roast coffee beans.

Yes, we’re fortunate enough to have a fridge that’s bursting at the seems.  One of the operational hazards of a plant-strong diet is it all takes up so dang much space!

I’m not real fond of cooking but I’m extremely fond of eating.  And this fridge profile allows me to prep meals easily.  Simple meals that bring satiety and keep me trim.  Remember, you create muscle shape with how you train your muscles.   It is revealed by how you eat:  you carve your figure with your fork.

I can literally eat freely from this fridge of any of its contents, without having to worry about weight gain. Or having to adle my brain with calorie counting or calculations of the macronutrients:  protein, carbohydrate, and fat.  They’re all in there in fine balance that give me energy, keep me light and strong, and completely satisfy with their colors and flavors.

It’s the fuel that juices my exercise, from full workouts to Fit Quickies.

There’s nothing in there that can get me into trouble.

Now, should I start on the freezer list?  Pantry?  Or is it “uncle” already?

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  1. Hey Lani, I really like this post!

    Your fridge looks to be pretty healthy. I think it’s great that you keep it stocked with good-for-you foods, so you can’t mess up and eat something bad.

    • @Casey: Thanks Casey, and you make a good point, it’s no accident that our shape reflects what’s in our fridge. What you have is what you’ll eat, right?

      😉 Lani

  2. Lani, your fridge and mine sound very similar, except that with 6 of us in the family, it takes two refrigerators.

    I had to smile about feeling the need to hide the M&M’s when some one scrutinizes our cart. I am convinced that part of the freedom we have in a lifetime of health and fitness (and for some of us overcoming an eating disorder) is the fact that all things are permissible and pleasurable in moderation. Heck, even too much of the RIGHT foods can leave you with gas!

    Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration.


    • @Gina Parris: Gina, I’m betting it does take 2 fridges! Wow!


  3. No, No…..no uncle, bring it on…..either one or preferably both!

    My goal is to have a fridge just like that and I have started the change over. Your salsa, ketchup, mustard, blueberry syrup…..do you buy them sugar free?

    Thanks so much, Lani, loved the article!


    • @Jean: No sugar in salsa, a little in the blueberry, ketchup it depends on what I can get my hands on, though I aspire to!

      Glad you likey!


  4. Lani, is your kitchen dairy-free?

    • @lisa: Yes.

  5. Oh too true. I love the line about carving your figure with your fork…I learned just how true that was this summer when I finally went gluten free and 10 pounds of inflammation left my body revealing all those muscle cuts I knew I had! Thanks for your work Lani.

  6. I cant do gluten…are the Food for Life brown rice tortillas “allowed” or are they too processed?

  7. Here is the website:

    I know it has a smidge of added oil, but the total fat is only 2.5g. I cannot, for the life of me, find any vegan GF/yeast-free bread-type products ANYWHERE! :-( I don’t handle potatoes well (nightshade issue, I assume) so my choice is limited! :-(

    Also, any tips for those trying to gain wt/muscle? Im having a really hard time bringing my cals past 1200!

    Is Sun warrior protein powder allowed? My protein doesn’t even get to 10% of my cals. Is it ok to go as high as 15% cals from protein, too? http://www.sunwarrior.com/warriorblend/info.html


    • Lani


      Take a look at my 5 food groups for some ideas about bringing your calories into a good range:

      I’m not big on powders, so can’t recommend any one in particular. The protein RDA is .80 grams per kg/day, and in the Starch Solution, Dr. McDougall gives a range of 30 – 80 a day, depending! You may just needing more calories which, from a whole foods plant-based diet, would also increase your protein. Some suggestions for investigations!



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