27 May Inside the Fridge welcomes raw vegan & smoothie fanatic Jeff Sanders
Jeff Sanders is the host of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast, a weekly show that focuses on successful daily habits, productivity, personal growth, and plant-based health and fitness. Jeff is also a productivity coach, personal development junky, avid marathon runner, and passionate raw vegan. He blogs every week at JeffSanders.com and you can get a free copy of his eBook, The 5 AM Miracle, at 5amMiracle.com. Connect with Jeff on Facebook and Twitter.
Where do you shop for food?
Whole Foods Market is my favorite. Most of my produce comes from there. During the summer I love to hit up the Nashville Farmers Market. In the not too distant past I bought produce directly from a local farm through a CSA and I bought produce in bulk from local wholesalers.
Do you love food shopping or dread it?
I shop for food almost every day of the week, so what’s not to love? I buy my food as fresh as possible and I always look forward to filling my cart with a rainbow of colors.
What is the single most important thing on your mind when you are shopping for food?
Fruit! As a raw vegan I eat a lot of fruit so I’m always looking for organic fruits and veggies that are in season and as tasty as possible.
How often do you shop?
I am in the grocery store 4-5 days a week. Since my diet is predominately produce, I need fresh food all the time. I make trips early in the morning before the crowds show up.
What is your weekly food budget?
I budget $250 a week, but I always spend more. I live with the philosophy that I will pay for my health now in the grocery store or later in the hospital. It’s not an easy thing to manage because I spend more on food than everyone else I know. I wish organic produce was subsidized by the government, but that’s a battle for another day.
How many times a week do you eat out? (based on 21 meals/week)
My habits of eating out vary depending on how serious I am about my health. In the last 6 months I averaged 5-6 times a week but recently it has dropped to 1-2. Eating out for me can also be cheaper than buying organic produce, but I ‘m always healthier when I prepare my own food.
What is the most coveted food in the fridge right now for each member of the household? Why?
My #1 food is bananas, though I don’t store them in the fridge. My wife craves orange juice more than anything, so we usually have multiple gallons of OJ and dozens of bananas on hand at any given time. I love bananas because they are tasty, filling, easy to transport, and incredibly healthy. My wife love OJ because it’s sweet and satisfying all day long.
What convenience product can you not live without?
Bags of frozen fruit – I make smoothies every morning and always love to grab the pre-chopped frozen fruit. I could make this myself but I just find it easier to buy the package.
What cooking utensil/piece of equipment/appliance do you live for?
Vitamix! I absolutely love my blender. It has changed my eating habits more than any other appliance or food. I have written blog posts and recorded podcasts episodes all about this blender because it is just so freakin’ awesome! It has the power of a jet engine and makes my smoothies perfect every time.
When you hear the word “homemade” what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Smoothies – I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but since I prepare my own smoothies every morning, they are my favorite homemade food. I don’t bake, so this is my equivalent of an apple pie.
What food/s are important when recalling food memories?
I didn’t grow up vegan, so some of my most common food memories include my dad grilling steaks on our deck. Our meals would include sirloin, mashed potatoes, corn or green beans, and a glass of milk. Call it the Standard American Diet. This was my upbringing in Missouri in the 90s.
How have your cooking/shopping habits changed over the last 10 years?
Dramatically! I went vegan 4 years ago, which changed everything. 10 years ago I was a freshman in college eating (and drinking) as much as I could get my hands on in the all-you-can-eat cafeteria. I didn’t cook anything and I didn’t buy food expect for cheap beer because I could eat as much as I wanted on my meal plan.
What was the last meal you cooked from scratch?
Do smoothies count? Otherwise, I never have and likely never will cook anything from scratch.
What was the last meal you cooked from convenience products?
I occasionally purchase meals from a meal-delivery service here in Nashville called “My Veggie Chef.” They deliver frozen vegan meals right to my door and the preparation is very easy. It’s incredibly convenient, but the meals do take about 30-45 minutes to prepare.
What words of wisdom or advice do you have for other folks who are doing their best every day to fill the fridge?
Cut the fat and buy more raw fruits and veggies. There is no doubt that those two pieces of advice have changed my life more than any others. A low fat diet that is filled with nature’s best is always a great decision. You will feel fantastic on day one and it only gets better after that. Perfection is not the goal. Love your food and love the journey to getting healthier over time.
What are you working on these days that you’d like to tell us about?
Within the next year I will be putting together an eCourse on successful daily habits that focuses on health and nutrition as the basis for incredible productivity and extraordinary energy. Through my blog and podcast I ask people to tell me what they are struggling with and the most common themes revolve around daily habits that lead to long-term results.
Health is a journey not a destination, so daily habits are the center of everything. When you master what you do every day, you master your whole life.
Check out my podcast, The 5 AM Miracle!
Thank you, Jeff!