As we all know, one of the biggest hurdles to eating healthy is what stares at us from the recesses of our refrigerator. Sure, there’s fast food to avoid and healthy choices to make at restaurants…but the worst choices are the convenient ones we make in the comfort of our own home. You can usually find an overweight person in a restaurant to remind you what you are trying to change about yourself and that can spur you to make a better choice. Or you just think people are looking at what you’re eating and maybe you shame yourself into making a better choice. Whatever you do, most people are just more likely to make a better buying decision in a restaurant, where others are also making food choices.

At home, there’s no one to tell you what to eat, no one to look at and think, “Wow, I need to keep it in check or else.”

I’m not sure how most people get unhealthy food from the store to their homes. I don’t shop. I’m actually phobic of grocery shopping. I have panic attacks in grocery stores. I’m DEAD serious. My husband has done the grocery shopping during the entire almost-eight-years of our marriage. The number of times I have gone grocery shopping in the last eight years can easily be counted on one hand.

Which means I can tell him what to get. I can inform him of the label on bread that lets you know it’s really whole-grain. I can dictate my wish-list of healthy foods. Then, he just gets them. I’m not tempted to be lazy and just pick up a couple of “just in case” Lunchables for the kids. Thanks to him we discovered Amy’s Chocolate Graham Bunnies the kids adore.

And because he doesn’t mind shopping a couple/few times a week, we can keep lots of fresh veggies in our house. Buying the right amount of veggies has taken a while. People always OVERbuy veggies and then throw them out and think it’s a waste and too expensive to buy fresh. The key is buying enough and no more. Then you have to go out and do it again. Sure, it’s not as convenient as shopping once a week, but in most countries people buy dinner the same day, every day, so it’s really just a matter of making a small commitment. Just because your fridge is there doesn’t mean it should be packed.

This is what my fridge looks like immediately after grocery shopping:

The beer on the top shelf of the fridge and the top shelf of the door of the fridge has been there for probably six months. My husband likes it so it stays. His one vice is Pepsi, and since I don’t shop I really don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to telling him he can’t have his ONE thing.

You might notice there isn’t one bottle of water in there. I drink my water room temperature. I heard it was better for you, but really I do it like that because it’s easier to drink more at room temperature. The meat drawer actually freezes meat that’s in the back so this weeks meat is ground beef (80/20) and Polish Sausage. (Again, you try telling my polish husband he can’t have polish sausage. I dare you.)

We will go through that yogurt on the yogurt shelf in a week or less. Probably less. The girls and I decimate yogurt at a rate of approx. three a day. I’m totally ok with this because we don’t really drink a whole lot of milk, and I drink NO milk because it makes me horribly ill (the same way eggs and cottage cheese do) so I avoid it.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Oh, my weight this morning was a whopping 304.8  -bah humbug – bloated much? Why yes, yes I am. So, I’m just hanging on to how awesome my eating has been and honestly not worry about being a hormonal, bloated mess. It’s a marathon, not a race.

Note: I am not advocating judging others in public places. If you do, please don’t openly stare at them or say something. Shame will not keep you on your weight-loss journey and self-hatred will not help you sustain it. Putting yourself up against others may work in the short-term, but you always need to make choices for YOU. Not because you’re sitting across from a thin girl eating salad or a fat man eating steak. This has been a public service announcement from “Jen’s Super-Special Hug Yourself Because You’re OK Foundation” – now go hug yourself.

26 Comments on #Mamavation and How it has Changed My Fridge

  1. I’m sure my Hubs could follow my instructions for buying healthy foods, but I think it might lead to a few arguments and lots of frustration. But I totally get why grocery shopping is anxiety-producing.

    Love seeing your fridge. Why is Ragu an unhealthy hold-out? I love making my own sauce but don’t have the space to can it, so Ragu is what we usually have. Ragu doesn’ that HFCS, so I think it’s an acceptable choice for busy families. (Just curious)

    • Almost all the pasta dishes we make are sauteed veggies over pasta and the liquid from the veggies plus seasoning means we really don’t need any kind of sauce. I’m trying to go totally condiment-free because there’s just no real health value to it you can’t get in a better way from a different product. I don’t think Ragu is a bad choice for anyone else, it’s just something I’m trying to get rid of because you can get just as much goodness from sliced, sauteed tomatoes over pasta! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Somewhere there’s a Polish joke in the “You tell my Polish husband he can’t have Polish sausage.” I’m just too dumb to figure it out.

    I love the transformation of your fridge! You don’t happen to have a before pic do you? : )

    I missed you somethin’ awful!

    • Greta – There is totally a Polish joke in there. Really, it’s the “try to take away a Polish man’s BEER and sausage and he turns into a raving lunatic” or something like that. LOL … I don’t have a before picture, but it was basically just the normal “packed with stuff” fridge and I didn’t know what was where and going inside didn’t HELP me choose food to eat, it made it more difficult, which raises frustration, which lowers the human ability to make a healthy, positive choice 🙂 (in my opinion)

      Rachel – Thank you *hugs* It’s going to get really interesting when I start trying to figure out how to get fellowships and stuff for college. There will probably be more work stuff too – all that uber-professional social media stuff I do. But it’s my lifeblood. It’s my future. And my future is looking like it might be pretty serious. I’m rooting for you SO hard, girl. So hard.

  3. I’m jealous of your fridge! Mostly because mine consists of penicillin and yogurt that has many more cultures than intended right now! My fridge is due for a good cleaning out. I also need to hit the grocery store for some freshness! I love the new look and title of your blog.

    • *MWAH* Thanks Kimberly 🙂 Don’t be jealous of the fridge, it took a long, long time to get it there. Almost three months. I’m glad you like the new look and title, I’m afraid people might get the wrong idea, but I have faith in everyone that knows me to know that I don’t mean it in a rude or mean way. I cannot wait because in about three months you’re going to be the next Mamavation Mom and I can’t wait to see where you go with that. But you not competing this time around gives me the ability to really cheer on the other ladies!! LOL Hope you’re feeling well.

  4. I am envious of how organized your fridge is and of how your husband can follow directions on HEALTHY food shopping

    I tell my husband what to get, and most of the time he gets it, but he also comes home with a ton of processed crap! UGH So, some of the veggies go to waste because I had planned for him to be eating those too, not just me!

    Have a great week!

  5. I would take the air out of our car tires, shave my head and prance around the streets nekkid than leave the grocery shopping to my husband. Why you ask? The simple comment that is said again and again “I took a few liberties with your list”. Say no more.
    I’m so glad to be seeing your tweets in the Mamavation world again. Just glad to be seeing you in the twitter world! Womp, womp!

    • LOL Steph, it’s been a LONG painful road to get where we are. But you know I made us vegan for a month once…he puts up with a lot LOL

      Gail, it’s not about being healthy with the sauce, it’s just that it’s so darn unnecessary.

      Leah, I think the reason I think everyone is looking at what I eat is a combination of personal issues AND the fact that I come from a LONG line of women who stare at what other people eat. Mostly to help decide what they were going to order, but it was an easy jump for me to feel others were doing it and not just to see if my plate was nummy….

      Thank you Shawnee!

      Lisa – my kids eat the greek yogurt but really, the one they love is Brown Cow Strawberry Greek yogurt. Brown Cow is DIRTY good. Tastes like it’s made from butter and love – but it’s 0% fat. I think they use witch-magic. LOL

  6. Your fridge looks a lot like mine, except that we keep the husband’s Diet Pepsi in the garage fridge because it’s his LIFE BLOOD.

    The top shelf of our fridge is devoted to yogurt because we also eat a lot of it — you’d think a bunch of 110-year-old Russian peasants live here.

    There’s no shame to using jarred pasta sauces — if you want to go healthier, try Muir Glen or Newman’s Own. Even Bertolli has an organic version now. Ragu is pretty high in added sugars

    I love your photo illustration!

  7. Your fridge looks so much better than mine! Good thing that’s my project for tomorrow.

    I read somewhere that if you could only eat one organic thing, make it dairy. So way to go on the organic milk and yogurt!

  8. I surely wish my fridge was as organized as yours!

    My kidlets devour yogurt too, if it’s not greek! They can’t really stand greek, so I stick to greek so MY supply doesn’t dwindle! 🙂

    We’ve missed you, love! Hope school is going great for you! 🙂


  9. I know exactly what you mean by people staring at what you are eating when you are overweight. I felt that too. Constantly. But it never changed what I ate or the amount I ate. Weird, huh?

    Yes, the room temperature water is correct. I’ve read the same thing about it being better for your stomach and digestion. Others say that ice cold water speeds up your metabolism, but I think it’s a very minute amount, so I drink my water room temperature as well. But I already have stomach issues and if I drink ice water after a workout I can get REALLY painful stomach cramps. Like stabbing pains. Another thing was when I was living in China, they ALWAYS told me it was unhealthy to drink cold drinks with warm food. Even the soda there was served warm. So that is why I looked into it. They have a point.

    I heart you! XXOO

  10. I think that fridge shot takes even more courage than the EXPOSED posts that are going on right now!

    So seriously? You are in my head.

    The last few weeks I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by my life, and my husband as graciously stepped in to help with my half of the division of labor. He’s grocery shopped each week for about the last month. And more and more things I “cant” or “don’t” eat have shown up with each trip.

    I got panicky every time I walked into my own kitchen. And I don’t use that word lightly. I mean, I’m a chick with an anxiety disorder for pete’s sake.

    Yesterday I threw shit out. And I went to the grocery store. I did. I appreciate the help, but am going to delegate toilet scrubbing or something. Because I need to NOT have to panic when I walk in my kitchen.


    • Oh MrsFatass…I know your name, really I do. I feel like a jackass for not being able to remember it right now. Anxiety disorders are the bane of my existence and when it comes to food? Oh yeah. I can stand and stare at something for an hour weighing how much “damage” it’s going to do to my body and my plans of world domination. There’s a site that has a bracelet you can buy that syas on it “one bite one decision” and man, part of me wants it with every fiber of my being, and the other half is like “that will push you over the edge into the eating disorder you both crave and fear. See, I cry when I’m in the middle of a grocery store. The overwhelm is too much for me. Too much “bad” food to get to the “good” food. It’s an awful scene.

  11. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Brown cow – Greek w/ strawberry! I tell people about it and they look at me like I’m nuts!!! I feel VERY lucky that my grocery store carries it. As for the fridge… I’ve been meaning to clean mine out – there are leftovers way in the back that are so old I have NO clue what they once were! Hub’s hasn’t let go of his pepsi’s either but we made a deal to keep them out of the “family” fridge and picked up a cheap one on Craig’s list for the garage. It works for us!

    I also keep a ton of fruit and cheese sticks at the house to make sure that the growing boys in my life (hubby included) can always find a snack when they are hungry. I’m going to be curious to see how my fridge changes over the next 8 weeks and beyond – between MILI and/or Mamavation Mom it should be entertaining 🙂 Thanks for sharing… It’s inspiring 🙂

    **and I’m purposely ignoring your weight comment – you are more than a number on a scale ***

  12. I’m so jealous of your fridge!

    My husband absolutely refuses to give up junk food, but for the Move it & lose it challenge, we agreed that I would do the shopping, and he wouldn’t bring anything into the house unless I approved.

    I totally feel you on the anxiety disorders too… I have random panic attacks. We’ve figured out very few triggers, just sometimes I’m sure I’m going to die and ,,, well… I’m sure you know the feeling.

    I have my fridge mostly cleaned out of junk right now. And I’m like you, I go to the store every couple of days to get fresh things. I don’t know what I’m going to eat a week from now!


    My hubby’s vice is also Pepsi…

    I really enjoyed your refrigerator, it’s inspiring me to go clean mine out again! I’m so motivated and inspired by everyone.

    Keep up the good work, ONE DAY AT A TIME!!


  14. Fun pic. Our fridge hardly has any labels in it, not even for our milk or yogurt. Looking at it, we mostly have veggies and cooked grains in there at the moment. I do keep chocolate in it a lot though… super dark and I love cooking with cocoa nibs lately.

  15. Since I live at home I only do grocery shopping when I go away for work at other people’s homes and the rest of the time its mostly whatever my mom cooks. sure we have yogurt and veggies etc but theres still the unhealthy stuff too

    good luck with your week and thanks for letting us see inside your fridge

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