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5 Weird Health Foods Your Kitchen Needs

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I don’t really “go on diets” these days.

Let’s face it: The phrase mostly conjures images of egg whites and steamed broccoli, and for a lot of folks, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with solid nutritional practices can wind up a lot more boring than it should –  and that makes it way too easy to fall off the wagon.

The hard facts remain: For fat loss, you need to know how to avoid pit falls and bad foods. For muscle gain, it’s important to have a plan in place so you don’t miss meals. And while I don’t espouse planning out every single meal two weeks before you eat it, I do think it’s important to have an idea of what you’re going to eat and when. To that end, it’s super important to make a detailed shopping list and stick to it – this way, you always have the foods you need when you need them, and you never resort to eating bad food when you find yourself in a pinch.

Regardless of whether I’m trying to lose fat or gain muscle, these 5 favorite fitness-friendly foods are always front and center on my shopping list, and they’re an important component of how I maintain 192 pounds and 6-8% bodyfat year-round without driving myself crazy from dietary boredom. What’s always in your kitchen?

Almond butter

Almond Butter

1) Enhanced Nut Butters

I know a lot of Paleo folks won’t be pleased with me for this one, but nut butters are a pretty important part of my diet. I add them to shakes and throw ‘em in my oatmeal, but mostly, well, I eat it right out of the jar.

And now, there are companies making nut butter even better.

Now, almond butter is a better choice than peanut butter for a few reasons.

Mainly, the fat from almonds is primarily monounsaturated, which have been shown to help reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol (peanuts, by comparison are higher in polyunsaturated fat). Add to that the higher levels of Vitamin E (which may help prevent heart disease) and Magnesium (which may boost insulin sensitivity), and you can see why almond butter is superior.

The best of the best is “Nuts ‘n More Almond Butter.” These guys took already-awesome almond butter, added whey for protein, and increased the goodness by tossing in some organic flax. This increased the amount of healthy fats while also upping the already decent fiber content.

It’s like almond butter on steroids.

(If steroids made you healthier and better tasting instead of more muscular and getting you in trouble with the MLB).

You should eat this almond butter, is what I’m trying to say. And  for those of you who are loyal to the peanut, this company also makes a roid’d up peanut butter variation, as well as plenty of chocolate, toffee, and coconut flavors I haven’t tried. At any given time, I have at least two jars of these in my fridge.

Nutrition per 2tbsp (35g) serving:

Calories: 193
Total fat: 13g
Saturated fat : 1g
Trans fat: 0g
Carbohydrates: 5g
Sugars: 1g
Dietary Fiber: 4g
Protein: 14g

better'n'eggs copy

2) Liquid Egg Products

Seriously, I love me some eggs.  They’re healthy, delicious, and one of the cheapest sources of protein around, but in the quest for a filling breakfast (especially since I usually wait until the afternoon to eat my first meal), I can easily eat six or eight of these bad boys, which might exceed over my caloric needs.

What to do? As many a glum, yolk-loving, fitness-minded human has done, I eat egg whites – not because yolks are unhealthy, but purely to save on calories.

But cracking eggs to use the white and discard the yolks is annoying and messy as all hell, so to save time, energy and hassle, I use liquid stuff.

Now, a delicious feast of eggery just minutes away. I personally use Better’n Eggs Plus – a nice liquid egg white product with added Omega 3 fats. Per ¼ cup serving you’re getting about 6g protein, and 75mg EPA/DHA per serving, which may lower the risk of heart disease and inflammation (Yeah, that’s a tiny serving of Omega fats but every little bit helps.) This stuff is tasty, and makes life easy I generally go through about 2-3 cartons per week.

Nutrition per 1/4 cup (56g) serving:

Calories: 30
Total fat: 0g
Saturated fat : 0g
Trans fat: 0g
Carbohydrates: 1g
Sugars: 0g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Protein: 6g

Flapjacked

3) Flapjacked Pancakes

There have been many failed experiments along my path of trying to make edible and healthy pancakes. Once, I tried to make pancakes using oatmeal, protein powder, apple sauce, cottage cheese, and egg whites. The result was a strange amalgamation of protein peptides bound together by dark magic and sheer force of will.

I don’t know what it was, but a pancake it was not.

But then I found this product, and I can say with certainty, as a man who’s been thrown out of IHOP for nearly eating a hole in the table, that these pancakes are delicious – the best non-pancake house pancakes I’ve ever had. And they are actually easy to make: Just whisk it with water.

They’re moist and full of flavor; throw some blueberries in them and it’s even better. They come in Apple Cinnamon, Buttermilk, and Banana Hazelnut flavors, and I go through two packages of Flapjacked every week. Sometimes, I even make them for my mom.

Nutrition per 1/2 cup (53g) serving:

Calories: 200
Total fat: 4.5g
Saturated fat : 0.5g
Trans fat: 0g
Carbohydrates: 25g
Sugars: 9g
Dietary Fiber: 4g
Protein: 16g

Siggi's

4) Skyr (Yogurt for Vikings)

Anyone who’s up on health food knows about the general awesomeness of yogurt in general. Over the past year or so, Greek yogurt has gotten a lot of attention; I can see why. Much like me, Greek yogurt is thick, Mediterranean, and delicious.

Unlike me, though, Greek yogurt is passé. As far as I’m concerned, it’s old news, like the Spartans of 300 fame.

Instead, I start the party with Skyr, which is super bad-ass Icelandic yogurt that’s fit for Vikings, who are totally in right now.

Although probably on par nutritionally with Greek yogurt, I like Skyr better because not as many people eat it, and I’m trying to be a trendsetter.

Now, everyone go buy it so I can take credit.

Both yogurts are great diet foods – very high protein, pretty low in carbs, exceptionally filling and extraordinarily versatile, though flavoured Skyr tends to be lower in carbohydrates and calories than flavored Greek yogurt. I use them as low calorie additions to other meals, or as a snack between meals.

I eat siggi’s brand of skyr, but I should mention that’s because it’s the only brand I’ve ever come across. I go through about 6 tubs each week.

Nutrition per 5.3oz (170g) serving (Plain 0%):

Calories: 80
Total fat: 0g
Saturated fat : 0g
Trans fat: 0g
Carbohydrates: 5g
Sugars: 4g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Protein: 15g

Nutrition per 5.3oz (170g) serving (Coconut 2%):

Calories: 200
Total fat: 11g
Saturated fat : 10g
Trans fat: 0g
Carbohydrates: 11g
Sugars: 8g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Protein: 12g

Almond Milk

5) Almond Milk

I’m not a fan of regular milk for most people in most situations; at least not for fat loss.  If you’re a skinny kid looking to gain muscle, then it’s totally cool, and if you don’t have any issues with lactose, then skim milk (or even chocolate milk) can make a decent post-workout drink. But a lot of individuals are sensitive to dairy, and actually experience accelerated fat loss by removing it from their diet.

Almond milk has one third the calories of regular milk while scoring far lower on the Insulin Index.

No lactose, no dairy, no indigestion, no bloat, fewer calories…and frankly, I think it tastes better. Importantly, many brands of almond milk contain more calcium than moo juice, a critically undervalued nutrient for boosting testosterone and improving fat excretion. There’s pretty much no downside. I like Almond Breeze, but make sure you’re getting the unsweetened kind – the sweetening process can easily triple the calories.

Nutrition per 8oz (240ml) serving (Almond Breeze):

Calories: 30
Total fat: 2.5g
Saturated fat : 0g
Trans fat: 0g
Carbohydrates: 2g
Sugars: 0g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Protein: 1g

There you have it—5 foods you need in your kitchen. Between these 5 boredom busting foods and my standard nutrition strategies, I’m able to maintain a fun, healthy diet that keeps me lean pretty much year round.

What’s in your kitchen?

I want to know what upgrades you keep in your kitchen to help you meet your goals!

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

  • Michelle Storm

    Hello Roman, I have upgraded my All Natural Peanut Butter” to Almond Butter! You were not kidding when you said you can eat that by the spoon full” It's totally TDF! Thanks again for your advise & knowledge”

  • Hume

    By not eating egg yolk you missing a lot of important nutrition, and as far as colesterol, it is the good kind! Will not harm you!

  • cooky

    i'm trying to find almond milk and almond butter. here in austria it's not easy to find.

  • Very good point. I'll have to take him jogging more often =)

  • Coconut milk yogurt? That's delicious

  • You can order them online =) I'm certain that most recipes/pancake mixes would be okay with cottage cheese, though!

  • They're not super clean, but they are okay. I eat them mostly on high carb days or as my only carb meal of the day.

  • I'm hearing a lot of about the Vegan protein lately. I'll have to check it out. I'll order some Sun Warrior and let you know how I like it!

    Good point about the coconut

  • I'll have to look for it! I do believe it was just 4 egg whites, 1 cups of pancakes, and 2 scoops of protein powder.

  • 5 days per week?! Lucky girl.

    I have some recipes I'll be sharing in a future post, but if you just search “recipes” on the side of the page, a few will come up!

  • I heart cereal, but, alas, even the “healthy” ones aren't great for you.

  • For sure, it's crazy thick. Really keeps you full.

  • you're missing out on the footsie pajamas.

  • Generally, I recommend skipping milk because it's heavy on the lactose. Cottage cheese and yogurts are a lot lower in sugar, so I find that 3-7g of lactose isn't too detrimental if you aren't specifically lactose intolerance.

  • Tara

    Jorma, what's your typical food list then? I'm very curious!

  • Jorma

    Roman – I like that you bring up the point on the allergens. I threw out gluten and dairy (I never had severe reactions to them but I knew “instinctively” that if I cut them out I would be fitter).

    I've read a number of things since then about allergens and other inflammatory foods slowing fat loss.

    Doing that and dropping out a few other useless carbs, I dropped from 30% body fat to 13% and put on 10# LBM more or less at the same time (albeit “the same time” was a year).

  • Suzi

    almond Butter – check

    all whites – check

    almond milk – check

    pancakes .. maybe… sounds interesting

    yogurt – don't like greek much – luv light and fit .but will look into skyr …

    dog with feed-me-I-have-never-eaten eyes – check (plus two cats)

    footie pjs – um nope not gonna happen

  • deb UK based

    I really wish we had all that lovely stuff in the UK!!!! Great reading your articles, keep up the great work and help me wean myself off cereals – and bread, and bagels….!!!

  • Margo

    I love Skyr as well. The brand I get is called skyr.is you can get it usually at Whole Foods or other “Natural” grocers. I love the plain with a little bit of raw honey and I crumble some GoRaw Flax Snax over them (reminds me of granola but with no sugar or gluten, lots of fiber and very little carbs). I find that coconut milk (I buy SoDelicious unsweetened) is very good if you are having issues with milk.

  • J

    I love your blogs! They are so informational and amusing! You really inspire me to live a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying the things I love about food. Thanks for all of your posts! = ))

  • Joy

    Hey Roman

    It felt really good to read your list and think, “hey, that's pretty much the same as mine”. I have never seen almond butter in Australia, but always keep a supply of fresh raw almonds in the fridge, and have taken a great liking to the almond milk (great mixed with protein powder as a shake). I make my pancakes out of buckwheat flour. It's an acquired taste but some frozen berries thrown into a saucepan and served hot on top with a sprinkle of cinnamon works well. Cheers, Joy

  • Dan

    It's my birthday so my mom bought me groceries. She asked for my wish list. I put Siggi's skyr on it, and my WORD is it thick. It's a full meal in itself, definitely worth the money.

  • ruby

    cute as well as informative post – I love your humor… I want to see a pic of you in your he-man footie pjs, too! ok back to biz… I avoid processed foods as much as possible, so go with whole eggs, no packaged mixes. I'm with you on almond butter (sometimes Justin's all-natural chocolate almond butter with pure cocoa – yum!) I also use almond milk, including to make lattes at home – they're great! Mostly, clean proteins, veggies and fruit, green tea and lots of good filtered water. I try to minimize dairy, but like some cheese and yes, Greek yogurt. Being a good Greek girl, I'm entitled – kalamata olives in my salads, too. Here's a good tip – add a few drops of oregano oil to olive oil for salads – it's powerfully healthy, and adds a zesty zing to great salads.

  • paul d

    John,

    I have a severe allergy to dairy (only recently discovered) so you can imagine what a body for life based diet of low fat yoghurt, whey protein and meal replacement shakes was doing to my system. I now use coconut (a real coconut) + sunwarrior protein (chocolate) for vegans (maybe check it out if you have clients that cannot do have whey protein like me – nb I do not mean to endorse here) + walnuts + banana. Totally ends up like mousse, and due to the relatively high fat content of coconut flesh, it is really satiating. I also daily use 3-4 greens (kale, cucumber and celery) + non-flavoured protein powder + walnuts + chia seeds ground and have a green smoothie. Tastes ok actually, and is awesome for health.

  • Tara

    Heyyy Roman. I just want to see a pic of you in those He-man feetie pj's. lol!

  • ron

    Hey Roman,

    Great information, but whats up with drinking milk, as a body builder can't we drink fat free & skimmed milk!

    Also i am getting e-mails now that it's OK to eat the yolk of the egg…

    Were throwing away the best part of the egg. That it's OK to eat as many whole eggs that you want etc.

    Oh, and on 100% wheat bread. I am read articles that if your trying to get down to single digit body fat %numbers. This should not be in your daily diet…

    Would really like to get your feed back on these questions…

    Loyal Reader

    Thanks

  • Kia Komadina

    My kitchen staples are:

    Frozen berries

    Greek yogurt (home made) – Passe` maybe, but still YUM! ;-)

    Combination nut butter (almonds, cashews and brazil nuts)

    A fresh pot of Veggie soup

    Raw goats milk

    Sunwarrior Protien Powder

    Pure Maple Syrup – for all things sweet ;-)

    PS. I am an Australian so can't get some of the awesome sounding products you mentioned.

  • Kelcey

    I have been adding flax meal and protein powder to my almond butter for years. I am now experimenting with coconut, almond and mesquite flours in pancakes and muffins, as well as sprouted flours and grains (sprouted quinoa my new fav.)

  • paul d

    Roman,

    Awesome. I was folowing your program for a while and had to take some time off for health reasons, but look fwd to resuming soon. I am now at the age of 40 seeing ribs and abs in the top half of my body for the first time in my life. I have recently found out I have a severe allergy to milk (not just lactose) and also wheat and gluten. Can you imagine what heaps of whey protein plus low fat yoghurt were doing me on the body for life based diet. I recently bought sunwarrior hypoallegenic vegan protein and gave away $400 + in full strength nutrition shakes and pure whey protein powders. I have found that coconut (real coconuts with the water and flesh) + protein powder (chocolate) + walnuts (dam allergy to almonds) + rasberries + banana makes a perfect mouse. It is awesome. In addition, a green smoothie with all the same ingredients minus the choc flavouring including celery, spinach, kale and cabbage tastes awesome and digests amazingly. The fat profile of coconuts is pretty interesting, and makes for a great alternative to milk.

    Keep up the great work.

    Paul

  • Thanks, now I'm hungry! I'm pretty much on the same page w/u except…..I LOVE CEREAL! Not the sugary kid stuff either. Grape Nuts, just whole grain barly & crunchy carbs. Is that so bad? I think I'll have a bowl now.

  • McB

    All good info,…but never mind all that. I personally, do not want to see Brock in a speedo, all greased up this spring. Let him eat all he wants….

  • sinclair

    I like your almond butter idea. Can I have to many almonds with the butter and the milk? just kidding. Probably not though right?

  • Ishbel

    Hi Roman,

    I live in Norway, so skyr is easily found. My staples are…

    eggs

    oatmeal

    cottage cheese (unfortunately not low fat, so need to take it easy there)

    skyr

    chicken

    and LOADs of veggies

  • Cass

    Roman,

    Another great post, thanks! Do you happen to know if Heidi's is gluten-free?

    Also, nice to meet someone who is as obsessed with pancakes as me (though I must admit, I really like my protein pancake recipe and use it for at least 4- 5 mornings per week…even my kids like it!).

    Any recipes you can share? keep in mind, even though I am woman, I am a crappy cook, so easy, quick and yummy are always a plus :)

    Cass

  • Jean

    I'm a vet, so it pains me to see overly plump dogs (especially when they belong to fit people!) After all, he's not making his food choices! I see from his photo he's a master of making Longing Puppy Eyes at you – be strong! remember that food does not equal love!

  • Kimberly

    Thanks for the good tips. Can you tell me if Heidis pancake mix is clean? The ingredients aren't on the site. Thanks. I love cottage cheese pancakes. Love your dog!

  • Barbara

    great post, as usual ;-))

    one question, though: you always recommend skipping dairy if you want to lose fat (I assume this mostly refers to regular milk??? since you definitely do recommend yogurt and cottage cheese). What is it about dairy/milk that makes shedding off fat hard? Is it lactose? casein? whey? And what about lactose-free cheeses (that are low in fat and contain zero carbs)??? Ok to eat??

    P.S.: Brock sure is a supercute dog!!! (like parent like child :-) ???)

    And I can see how he is fluent in “human-speak” ….. And I absolutely love the fact that he doesn't give a damn about his dad's diet suggestions!!!!!! ;-))

  • Joanna

    Can you post the zombie oatmeal-protein-pancake recipe too? I don't think we can get Heidi's stuff in the UK. Also I can't find almond milk so could you suggest another alternative to dairy? Thank you!

  • I'm 57 years old so I know what food makes me feel old or young;-) I found out that eating ezikiel bread really helps. I usually eat whole grain bread from grocerie stores and allways feel like dragging when delivering pizzas. I go up and down the stairs very slowly at 260 pounds 5'11''. dietin is not easy around pizza ;-) but we do fairly good trying to keep my carbs to 30 grams per meal and my fat to arong 15 gms per meal with lots of vegs etc. but when I eat ekikiel bread I'm like 30 years old againg able to run down the stairs again “didn't say run up them ;-) but down where I usually have to be slow with my knees ;-). Also one time I did the fit for life diet with only oranges for breakfast etc. I never had been alive like that before in my life! Protein breakfast does not give me the life energy as fruit does however eating fruit every morning just isn't going to happen for me any way. after one month I had oranges coming out of my ears and have never been able to return to just fruit in the morning. sometimes now I add some fruit to yogurt and toast etc. but am unable to do the whole fruit thing plus can't wake up and start making smothies. But lots of fruit and living vegs and living grains is really good for you plus the stuff mentioned in the article above. I don't thinkstore bought whole grain bread is really that much healthier than white bread as it has to last on the shelf also. bread should go bad after one day. our daily bread and sprouted also for all carbs.

  • I'm 57 years old so I know what food makes me feel old or young;-) I found out that eating ezikiel bread really helps. I usually eat whole grain bread from grocerie stores and allways feel like dragging when delivering pizzas. I go up and down the stairs very slowly at 260 pounds 5'11''. dietin is not easy around pizza ;-) but we do fairly good trying to keep my carbs to 30 grams per meal and my fat to arong 15 gms per meal with lots of vegs etc. but when I eat ekikiel bread I'm like 30 years old againg able to run down the stairs again “didn't say run up them ;-) but down where I usually have to be slow with my knees ;-). Also one time I did the fit for life diet with only oranges for breakfast etc. I never had been alive like that before in my life! Protein breakfast does not give me the life energy as fruit does however eating fruit every morning just isn't going to happen for me any way. after one month I had oranges coming out of my ears and have never been able to return to just fruit in the morning. sometimes now I add some fruit to yogurt and toast etc. but am unable to do the whole fruit thing plus can't wake up and start making smothies. But lots of fruit and living vegs and living grains is really good for you plus the stuff mentioned in the article above. I don't thinkstore bought whole grain bread is really that much healthier than white bread as it has to last on the shelf also. bread should go bad after one day. our daily bread and sprouted also for all carbs.

  • I'm 57 years old so I know what food makes me feel old or young;-) I found out that eating ezikiel bread really helps. I usually eat whole grain bread from grocerie stores and allways feel like dragging when delivering pizzas. I go up and down the stairs very slowly at 260 pounds 5'11''. dietin is not easy around pizza ;-) but we do fairly good trying to keep my carbs to 30 grams per meal and my fat to arong 15 gms per meal with lots of vegs etc. but when I eat ekikiel bread I'm like 30 years old againg able to run down the stairs again “didn't say run up them ;-) but down where I usually have to be slow with my knees ;-). Also one time I did the fit for life diet with only oranges for breakfast etc. I never had been alive like that before in my life! Protein breakfast does not give me the life energy as fruit does however eating fruit every morning just isn't going to happen for me any way. after one month I had oranges coming out of my ears and have never been able to return to just fruit in the morning. sometimes now I add some fruit to yogurt and toast etc. but am unable to do the whole fruit thing plus can't wake up and start making smothies. But lots of fruit and living vegs and living grains is really good for you plus the stuff mentioned in the article above. I don't thinkstore bought whole grain bread is really that much healthier than white bread as it has to last on the shelf also. bread should go bad after one day. our daily bread and sprouted also for all carbs.

  • michele b

    Another awesome post! Trader joes has a almond/flaxseed butter that I LOVE, but where might I find Heidi's pancakes? Or will the egg & cottage cheese concoction work with my usual multigrain pancake mix? Hmmm…

  • Dianne

    Always have protein pancakes in the freezer…homemade.

    Love to spread some almond butter, mashed banana , cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup and eat it like a sandwich….love it postworkout with my shake.

    Also a new fav I found: Justins Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Relatively low in sugar at 7g/2T. So tasty on those pancakes, had some today on that almond meal bread (recipe you provided) and just on plain bananas.

    Other staples…spinach, eggs, veggies galore, berries (especially my many pounds of blueberries I just picked yesterday here in Florida), cooked chicken breasts, and my Chobani plain yogurt , sundried tomatoes and my bowl full of tomatoes always on the counter for snacking . Lots more to list but won't.

    I looked at Siggis but way too $$ for me at

    over $2 each!

    thanks for reading…D

  • Rick

    In your perfect day, you mentioned that you like your eggs over easy or slightly over easy of something along those lines, do you mix liquid egg whites in while making eggs like that, or just in omelets and scrambled type dishes?

  • Jay

    blueberries

    nuts

    yogurt

    Celery

    Carrots

    Avocados

    Tea

    water

    Quinoa (with ground beef and spinach salad)

  • debbies21

    spinach

    frozen shrimp

    frozen blueberries

    green tea

    string beans

    Best pancake recipe:

    3 eggs separated

    3/4 cup nonfat cottage cheese

    1/4 cup whole wheat flour

    beat whites until soft peaks, beat egg yolks till thick. add cottage cheese to yolks, fold in whites.

    spoon on to preheated griddle. it takes about 2 2 1/2 mnutes each side.

  • Dawn

    Great post. I eat greek yogurt because thats all I get in my Country. I too use almond milk, non sweetened, and low fat goat milk. The one thing I cannot live without is liquid egg white. I have it for dinner or breakfast with two whole eggs about 5 times a week.

  • James

    Is the naturally more almond butter worth the fat profile and protein even though it was cane juice added? I didn't realize the protein boost comes from egg whites but I don't see that as a problem.

  • Nice post! Loved your puppy pic :)

    I love to have mixed raw nuts instead of nut butters and coconut milk instead of almond milk…it tastes great with coffee, especially if you add cinnamon and a pinch of vanilla…

    Cottage cheese – oh yes! i love to snack on it with mixed nuts and cinnamon…

    Theeen…canned salmon (great stuff!)

    Loooots of veggies…

    Carrots are my favorites :) coz they are sweet and im not having anything sweet all 6 days a week (except my cheat days ;))

  • Ara

    Hi john,

    I dont know if you are a coffee fan as much as i am but this is one of the things is always in my kitchen, i used to feel remorse about it but i found a coffee that is actually good for your health better jet it only has 9 cal black no sugar offcourse. Is called organo gold made of Chinese mushrum and organic Arabian coffee. It tastes great and is good for your health you can check out how good it is here: http://www.organogold.com

  • torch

    great article, although i love milk .ithink i will try the almond milk and see if it works for me.

  • Tish

    Couldn't decide on 5…

    -> nut butters (almond, peanut, sesame/tahini)

    -> hemp hearts &/or protein powder

    -> spinach

    -> apples (plus fresh & frozen fruit)

    -> oatmeal

    -> brown rice cakes

    -> coffee (dark fair trade organic)

  • RegiGirl

    This is my first post here. I've been reading for a few weeks now and love the info. Thanks tons. I'm sick of trying to “find” myself through this layer of loose fat and have lost about 30 pounds. It's taken 2 years is my only bitch.

    My staples are:

    fresh spinach (for my egg whites and feta cheese breakfast) I go through 2 bags a week.

    egg whites – see above :)

    salsa – gotta have it

    chicken breast – I learned to cook this so well that it melts in your mouth

    tomatoes – crave them ever since I was pregnant with my last kid (must need something they have although I think by now it might just be habit)

    spices and dijon mustard

    On Sundays (my cooking day usually unless I'm out riding my harley) I make a coconut milk/chicken broth soup with tons of veggies and then blend it, put it in individual containers, and freeze most of it for the week. It's delicious and I add leftover meat or beans or a slice of cheese on it. It's definitely become one of my staples. It's lowcal and I call it my diet soup, although I wanna think of a better name. I'm not on a diet, I just eat awesome.

  • Dana DiCesaris

    Can you share some of your amazing recipe for Breakfast and dinner. I would like to know more about how to make amazing breakfast and dinner.

    Thanks

  • Danelle

    Pretty good protein pancake recipe:

    Preheat a skillet on the stove and brush with a little walnut or canola oil or spray with a nonstick cooking spray

    Mix together in a medium bowl:

    A scoop or two of protein powder (vanilla)

    1/8 to 1/4 cup powdered egg whites, optional

    1/8 to 1/4 cup spelt flour

    1 whole egg or liquid egg whites

    a little salt

    a little baking powder (I use double acting)

    Almond milk (I like Almond breeze original or unsweetened vanilla)

    A packet or two of Truvia, optional

    Cinnamon, optional

    Mix together. You want the consistency to be a little thin. Look up a cake recipe to get the RATIO of baking powder to salt correct. I dont measure. I just whang the stuff in a bowl, mix, and pour into a large skillet. Play around with dry ingredient to liquid ingredient ratios to get that slightly thinner consistency.

    Top with sugar free preserves or better yet, pureed fruit (Yum)

  • Lee

    Don't see how you can say cut out dairy and have 2 of the 5 be dairy:

    Cottage Cheese and Yogurt?

    Have you tried the Coconut milk yogurt?

    Tastes good, no lactose (or caseins or whey).

  • John

    Good information…great dog!

  • Jonathan Perkins

    The almond milk is a questionable choice. Yes, it's much lower in calories and yes, it doesn't have lactose for the majority of people who are lactose intolerant. However, you need to point out that the one you show is the UNSWEETENED version. And to replace a standard milk with 8 grams of protein with almond which has 1?

    The standard sweetened version almond milk gets half it's calories from sugar, 37% from fat and a paltry 1 gram of protein.

    In the meantime, you can suggest a cup of lactose FREE and FAT FREE or 1% milk for the people who have lactose intolerance. That has slightly more calories (80 versus 60) but a whopping 8 grams of protein, low fat and the simple carbs that are needed first thing in the morning or directly after a workout.

    (Studies show simple carbs and protein first thing in the morning will dramatically increase the muscle repair and cut down on the muscle loss after fasting. I know you don't want links, but let me know and I'll post links to the studies.)

  • jilligan

    Super Protien Pancake Recipe – makes 24, macro – 73 cals each, 1 g f, 7 g carb, 8.5 g protien, 1 g fiber – get a food processor fitted out with the steel blade, process 2 c oatmeal, 2.5 oz vanilla protien powder, 4 TBSN ground flax seeds. Add 4 c NF cottage cheese, 6 egg whites (apprx 2/3 c), 1 tbs vanilla, buttload of cinnamon and water to desired consistancy. Cook on griddle like a normal pancake. Refridgerate leftovers, easily toasted for breakfast every morning…

  • Crystal C

    How do you feel about liquid egg whites by Egg Whites International? I've seen their ad in multiple places and have become curious.

    staples in my kitchen (all from Trader Joes)

    -wild alaskan salmon (in a can)

    -TJ greek yogurt

    -sugar snap peas

    -big bottles of water!

  • Oh, sweet, found it!

    http://www.skyr.is/

    Looks like it comes in flavors as well =)

    Nice, I'll check it out. Thanks!

  • Allison

    Their is another Icelandic yogurt called skyr.is (or something very close to that). They sell it an Whole Foods right next to the Siggi's. I love them both! I think the skyr.is only comes in plain, but that is what I usually get so that is fine with me.

  • Ha, you're right about Brock.

    As for Almond butter in France, that's a bit beyond me (I've never been there). However, I'm certain there are some US based companies that ship internationally.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help =(

  • Lea

    hi roman, i live in ffrance where cool healthy food just isn't on the menu! where in ffrance can i get hold of almond butter? it's only very recently they started selling peanut butter!

    i love your dog Brock but i have the disticnt impression that he's saying ” close the fridge door and TAKE ME FOR A RUN JOHN!”

    much better than munching yet again, no?

  • I want your puppy!

  • Vicky

    I was curious about Isabel's 4 foods you should NEVER eat and the 5 flat belly foods. I lost patience with the “sales pitch” before they got to that part (if they ever did). V

  • I'd love a recipe – the more cool stuff on my site, the better =)

    I am not a fan of agave nectar (aftertaste is weird), but I like the idea of mixing almond butter with something like maple syrup.

    In fact, the New York Peanut Butter Co. makes a pre-blended version called “mighty maple” which is PB flavored with maple syrup. Perfect for pancakes =)

  • Lynette

    I didn't realize you liked cottage cheese pancakes as much as I do! I make mine homemade, I have to amazing recipes that I use that I will share if you like! I top mine with a bit of agave nectar. Another thing I do to top them is take a tablespoon of almond butter and mix a tablespoon of agave nectar. Another few staples in my fridge is always spinach and hummus!

  • Glenn

    Awesome blog Roman – one of your funniest!

    I have a great pancake recipe that I tweaked from one of Dave Ruel's videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd7FdqTHbjY&feature=player_embedded) which from memory goes something like:

    3/4 cup oatmeal, 2 scoops protein powder, 2 eggs, stevia to taste, milk – blend and cook like normal.

    It makes really good pancakes!

  • This is a great post and amusing to read, which meant I read it all. I have a little problem with my diet called intolerance which blows many items out of the water. Namely all gluten and dairy protein. I don't bother with the GF or dairy free synthetics or alternatives as they suck and there is no point eating food for the sake of it if you don't enjoy it.

    My staples are:

    *nut butter

    *tinned fish in spring water(tuna and red salmon)

    *apples

    *and when I need a carb fix, Hale and Hearty pancake mix (golden flax, rice and tapioca, buckwheat and quinoa)

    *Kara coconut milk

    *frozen broccoli

  • Hey Podo,

    good info regarding the fats! Let me know how you like Heidi's and skyr!

  • podo

    You probably won't ever see this late (late) comment, but I just found your site so I'm playing catch-up. I found the answer to the no-fat/good-fat thing, or at least what they *say* is the answer:

    According to current U.S. Food and Drug Administration food labeling regulations, foods containing less than 0.5 g of fat per serving are labeled as 0 g fat per serving. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats and contribute 75 milligrams (mg) or 0.075 grams (g) of fat (a negligible amount of fat but a healthy amount for your diet) per serving of Better'n Eggs Plus™.

    Heidi's I have to order online, but they have Sourdough and Oats&Apple too, so I'm trying all 3. Skyr is found in most (all?) Whole Foods Markets, which are huge around here, and while I hate yogurt, I'm going to get one or two and at least try it.

  • Ylwa

    With risk of being censored here, but the view of you cooking pancakes in hee-man feetie pajamas with a modestly large erection must be a sight for soar eyes.

    My 5 can't-live-without-always-needs-to-be-in-my-kitchen-stuff varies a bit depending on if I'm on a low-carb day (in that case you won't find any fruit or yoghurt) or not, but on more diverse days I would say:

    Fresh fruit – I like to start my days with a fresh fruit salad and my no 2

    Cottage cheese.

    Yoghurt – Ususally the greek one. I would love to try the Skyr you talked about but the Icelanders seems to've kept this a well hidden secret. I haven't seen it anywhere in Sweden yet.

    Cherry tomatoes – The ultimate low-carb snack. Especially with some feta-cheese cubes. I finish a box under 2 min. Probably a minute and a half

    Peanut butter – With some chopped up apple this satisfies any sweet-tooth craving. Fresh, creamy, crisp and sweet at one. Kinda like me.

  • Meshel

    Originally Posted By John RomanielloOriginally Posted By MeshelFive things in my kitchen?

    5) Soured Red Beets and Hardboiled Eggs. The longer the eggs are in the beet juice the more flavor they pick up, yummy. Ok, I may not always have these, but frequently.

    Once again you elicited a laugh…and I needed that today.

    Michelle

    Michelle,

    You hard boil the eggs in the beet juice, or hardboil them and then let them soak? I love both eggs and beets, and I'd love to try this. Thanks for enlightening me =)

    And as always, I'm happy you enjoyed the post.

    Soured/pickled red beet eggs are something my family has always had and I sometimes forget that others have no idea what I am talking about…it must be a Pennsylvania Dutch ‘thing’.

    Hard-boil your eggs as normal. You can use fresh beets (cook them and keep the juice, making sure to strain it) or canned, plain beets from the grocery store (keeping the juice). To 2 cups of red beet juice (you can add water if you do not have enough beet juice) you will add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup sugar, adding salt and pepper to taste. Put the beets and hard-boiled eggs into the juice. You can adjust the ratio of vinegar and sugar to your preference. Personally, I use a bit less sugar but you need it to balance out the vinegar. The eggs will absorb the flavors the longer they are in the beet juice bath…I would wait at least one day.

    I would love to know what you think.

  • Originally Posted By MeshelFive things in my kitchen?

    5) Soured Red Beets and Hardboiled Eggs. The longer the eggs are in the beet juice the more flavor they pick up, yummy. Ok, I may not always have these, but frequently.

    Once again you elicited a laugh…and I needed that today.

    Michelle

    Michelle,

    You hard boil the eggs in the beet juice, or hardboil them and then let them soak? I love both eggs and beets, and I'd love to try this. Thanks for enlightening me =)

    And as always, I'm happy you enjoyed the post.

  • @Per – Sirena's right – he actually did have the fermented shark in Iceland. They were hanging it outside in some barn, letting it rot. You know…for added flavor. Evidently, it tastes better than it smells.

  • Originally Posted By SirenaWhenever I read your posts, I always feel like the random sober girl at the party, left behind by her drunk friends, and caught in the middle of some hush hush conversation with a bunch of horny, single, intoxicated single guys. “Hey, how'd this chic get here?”

    But, hey, I'm not complaining that it seems like I'm the only girl at the party.

    Your self-deprecating humor keeps me coming back for more. Plus, any guy who knows a thing or two about Thundercats is much more of a turn on than any form of chivalry. And if he can quote “The Family Guy”, even better.

    Thanks for a great post, John :)

    Ciao.

    …so, what you're saying is, you have some drunk friends, and you're hiding them from us?

    All kidding aside, while I'm not sure I fully agree with the drunken frat boy comparison, I'll take the compliments in sense in which they word uttered. I'm easy that way. Well, I'm easy in general.

    That said, I know my writing lends itself to a bit of a “boys club” feel, so I appreciate ladies like you and Meshel stopping by to add some authentic estrogen to the mix. Otherwise it's just me and the guys talking about my hair products and Cher, and people start asking questions.

  • bitch

    @Brendan – higher % = higher saturateddddd fatttttt content— be careful!!

  • @Per – I believe that he did taste some kind of fermented meat, not sure if it was shark or seal, but he did taste a similar dish on one of his travels.

    LOL you're winning my heart slowly but surely!

  • Per

    The “Big Five” of my kitchen:

    1. Active Yoghurt, natural 0.5% fat with Acidophilus culture. Although greek yoghurt are available I use it in the cooking from time to time but not that much for breakfast.

    2. Almonds (used with the morning müsli, but, after this tip about almond butter, I will buy even more and make my own almond butter with flax-seed, I am making my own PB already in order to avoid the preservatives and other nasty stuff)

    3. Skinless chicken breast, I always stock up when there is an offer at any of the local supermarkets. The variety is endless and only the local spice assortment and the imagination sets the limits of the cooking options one has with chicken.

    4. Eggs, boiled for breakfast, or raw in the vanilla protein-powder/blueberry smoothie or as omelett on weekends. Haven't explored the egg white substitue yet.

    5. Cinamon (I would like to write cottage cheese but I don't *always* have it) flavours up any smoothie, rich in antioxidants and from what I've heard also boosts fat burning.

    @Sirena, if he was tasting bizarre food in Iceland, he really should have tried the fermented shark meat (By the way, it would go great with your vomiting-training Roman!)

    And on behalf of the male comment contributors of this blog, I apologize if we appear to be drunk, single and seeking carnal pleasure. I know I'm neither of those. At least not in the comments section of *this* blog… ;O)

    My favourite quote from Family Guy however is when Mr Pewtersmith is trying to buy Peter off dating Lois: “Lois may be worth a million dollars to you but to me shes worthless”

  • John M.

    I take about four heaping tablespoons of the frozen spinach and and about five or six frozen strawberries and toss them all into my Magic bullet cup. I've tried a few different flavors of Crystal Light and for some odd reason the best tasting mix so far has been “Rasberry Lemonade.” Blend it up and you're good to go. I'm not going to say its the best tasting thing ever but after you've had it a few times it's delightfully refreshing. Let's put it this way, I drink it immediately after I toss back my tablespoon of Carlson's Fish Oil so if you've tried that, it tastes much better. And it gives me a spectacular stream of perky energy for several hours.

  • Whenever I read your posts, I always feel like the random sober girl at the party, left behind by her drunk friends, and caught in the middle of some hush hush conversation with a bunch of horny, single, intoxicated single guys. “Hey, how'd this chic get here?”

    But, hey, I'm not complaining that it seems like I'm the only girl at the party.

    Your self-deprecating humor keeps me coming back for more. Plus, any guy who knows a thing or two about Thundercats is much more of a turn on than any form of chivalry. And if he can quote “The Family Guy”, even better.

    Thanks for introducing the Naturally More Almond Butter, I'll have to try it out next time at the grocery store. I'd love to try out the skyr, which if you watch “Bizarre Foods” with Andrew Zimmern, he tasted the stuff while eating his way through Scandinavia. If it wasn't for my poor Asian can't eat dairy genes, I'd indulge in some skyr and cottage cheese pancakes.

    As far as my kitchen?

    1) Coconut oil – both for cooking and as a skin moisturizer. I actually keep a separate container of coconut oil in the bathroom to avoid cross-contamination.

    2) White rice – Like any good Filipina, I've got a 20 lb. bag of white rice sitting in the pantry, stocked as always.

    3) Fresh spring water – Call me nuts, but I love taking the hour drive once a month to a local natural spring in filling up my 5 gallon jugs and stocking up like during the Cuban Missle Crisis.

    4) Raw, organic almonds (or cashews or walnuts) – Great snacking material. I even keep a little ziplock baggie in my purse as a snacking emergency.

    5) Fresh fruit (apples, bananas, avocados, or pears) – Always love having fresh fruit on hand, and make a perfect pair with the raw organic nuts!

    Thanks for a great post, John :)

    Ciao.

  • Meshel

    Five things in my kitchen?

    1) Frozen broccoli and/or green beans.

    2) Fresh fruit – the fresher the better. I love being able to go to the back yard and come in with a box of strawberries, raspberries or cherries.

    3) Yogurt – whatever I can find that is sugar free. The grocery store has not yet caught on to the Greek yogurt craze…let alone find the skyr you talk about.

    4) Hummus and fresh veggies.

    5) Soured Red Beets and Hardboiled Eggs. The longer the eggs are in the beet juice the more flavor they pick up, yummy. Ok, I may not always have these, but frequently.

    I love learning about new products and will definitely be checking out Heidi’s pancakes and the kicked up nut butters. Thanks for the recs.

    Once again you elicited a laugh…and I needed that today.

    Michelle

  • @John M. – Thanks for the compliment, John!

    I am definitely with you on the salsa – Mexican supermarkets and most good health food stores have a great variety of fresh stuff to choose from.

    I normally have it with steak, chicken, and actually a fist sized portion of pico de gallo makes an excellent side dish with almost any lunch.

    Gotta say – the spinach with crystal light sounds revolting. I can't wait to try it so I can be wrong. Got a recipe you'd want to post for us?

  • John M.

    I have to say man, you have the funniest fitness blog ever. My five key items are:

    1) Frozen Spinach. I mix with crystal light and strawberries once a day and I'm one step closer to Popeye sized biceps :)

    2) Olive Oil. I'm trying to gain muscle, so I take a teaspoon of it after each meal and throw some on my salads

    3) Tortillas. I'm Mexican American and everything I grew up eating was in a tortilla. Regardless of the food item I'm eating, i like to eat one corn tortilla on the side to scoop my food into, whether it be steak, eggs or chicken etc.

    4) Salsa. There are a few foods you can't add salsa to, but salsa improves the flavor of just about any dish. Find a Mexican Supermarket and you get fresh hand made salsa with no preservatives.

    5) Bananas. I love all kinds of fruit, but bananas seem to go good with anything. I cut them up and put them in plain yogurt. They taste good in chocolate or vanilla protein shakes. I take them with me and eat them plain when I'm on the go.

  • @Brendan – Hey Brendan, thanks for the feedback. Regarding fat levels, I try to keep it to fat free or 1%. I'm not a fan of the taste or texture of anything above that, so for me it's more of a personal preference.

    From my view, the only time there is merit to eating dairy products with 2% or greater fat content is if you're a skinny guy trying to put on weight. For most people, I'd say no.

    The Skyr I talked about is 0% fat and 100% delicious. If you can find it in a health food store near you, I definitely recommend trying it.

  • Brendan

    Hey John, loved your comment about the He-Man feetie pajamas – do you know where I can get a pair?

    Loved the post today. Quick question for you…what are your thoughts about fat levels in dairy products? I always buy fat-free yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, etc. but often wonder if there is merit in 1%, 2% or 3.25% products. What is the fat content of the Skyr that you wrote about?