Inside the Fridge welcomes athlete/author/recipe developer Kristina LaRue of Love
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Inside the Fridge welcomes athlete/author/recipe developer Kristina LaRue of Love


Kristina LaRue LoveandZestLove and Zest’s Kristina LaRue joins us today on Inside the Fridge.  Author, recipe developer, athlete, blogger, Orlando, FL media personality and registered dietitian nutritionist, Kristina is a force to be reckoned with-and I say that with the best of intentions.  

I recently spent time with Kristina during a shared Uber ride in Atlanta, GA. (let me stop here and say that you must realize she’s a pretty avid runner and fitness enthusiast. I, on the other hand, am not.)  The group conversation in the car turned to running.  For the first time EVER, I actually sat up and listened to what was being said because the idea of signing up for a 5K had begun floating around in my head.  What struck me about her the most was the “yes, you can” pep talk she delivered while I was trying to talk myself out of into signing up for the race. I peppered her with questions and hemmed and hawed about why I couldn’t do it.

Then she told me something that remains in my head today. She told me I could walk part of the race.  

Of course I knew I could WALK if I needed to–it’s over 3 miles for God’s sake. The difference in having Kristina say it-an accomplished athlete and competitive runner- made it truly OK to walk. The goal became just to finish. 

The switch flipped and I made the commitment to run (jog/walk-let’s be real) the Santa Claws and Paws 5K on December 15th. Thanks for our little talk, Kristina. 


And now, our interview…

Kristina LaRue's Fridge


ITF: Do you love food shopping or dread it? Why?
KL: I typically look forward to grocery shopping, especially if I have time to explore the isles. Sometimes my husband goes with me and other times I’m on a mission and go really quick.

ITF: What is the single most important thing on your mind when you are shopping for food?

KL: I’m a multi-tasker so I can’t just pick one. Taste, Quality, Price.

ITF: How many do you shop for? Ages?   

KL: Me and the hubs; we’re 27 and 28.

ITF:  What is your weekly food budget?

KL: Well, this is a funny one and not so funny when trying to manage the budget. We are very focused about managing our allocating our money in the budget but the food department is always the hardest to stay on track. We typically budget $100 per week in groceries and then $50 for eating out. It never quite works out as we had planned…. why is this so difficult??

ITF: How do you plan your weekly meals? Create a spreadsheet or fly by the seat of your pants?

KL: Old fashioned pen to paper. I get lots of joy out of creating our weekly menus.

ITF: What is the most coveted food in the fridge right now for each member of the household? Why?

KL: My eggnog—the husband doesn’t really like eggnog so I get it all to myself. Him probably the Minty Mallows from Trader Joes,.. he’s got a real big sweet tooth.


Kristina’s Eggnog Frappucino

ITF:  What convenience product can you not live without?

KL: Tortilla chips—we’re big chips and salsa, chips and guac and nachos lovers.

ITF: What brands do you swear by? 

KL: Udi’s gluten free breads, Cabot cheese, Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Chips, I also like The Fresh Market and Trader Joe’s store brands.

ITF: What food/s are important when recalling food memories?

KL: Hmm— mom used a lot of canned veg and cream cheese, must be a southern thing?

ITF: How have your cooking/shopping habits changed over the last 10 years?

KL: Gosh. Well, I’ve been shopping on my own for almost 10 years. WOW. In college, I didn’t cook much (I didn’t really learn to cook until we got married), so I would buy more convenience and snacky foods.

ITF: What was the last meal you cooked from convenience products? What was the menu?

KL: Last night, precooked rotisserie chicken, roasted green beans, and Tuscan Bean & Kale Soup, and this amazing 3 Cheese Sourdough Bread from The Fresh Market.



Kristina’s Healthy White Chicken Chili with Kale …made with rotisserie chicken

ITF: If one person could cook for you tonight, who would it be?

KL: Jamie Oliver. Love that guy, and so does my husband. I don’t know who would be more excited.

ITF: What words of wisdom or advice do you have for other folks who are doing their best every day to fill the fridge?

KL: Just keep working at it, keep a list of your family favorite recipes on hand so that you’re not reinventing the wheel every week trying to figure out what to cook. Prep 1-2 meals in advance on the weekends if possible so that you can make weeknight dinners easier.

ITF: What are you working on these days that you’d like to tell us about?

KL: Definitely working on getting our budget in line in the food category. Cooking more and eating out less. Anyone have any tips?

Help a sista out! Please leave your tips budgeting tips for Kristina in the comments section below.


No Comments
  • Kristina @ Love & Zest
    Posted at 19:06h, 03 December

    First off Robin, you are incredibly sweet! I wanted to cry reading this post.. I had no idea you signed up for a 5K and that our little uber chat meant something!! That is amazing that you took the first step 🙂 You’re going to rock it– do you get to bring your dog?? Thanks again for featuring me on your blog!!

    • Robin
      Posted at 09:29h, 04 December

      You never know how your words will touch someone! 🙂 Thank you. Yes, you can bring dogs, but I’m thinking of going solo on this first one—I need to focus 🙂 !

  • Regan @ The Healthy Aperture Blog
    Posted at 04:45h, 04 December

    Yes, Yes, Yes! Kristina is one of the main reasons I decided to do the Half… because I knew she’d walked part of her marathon with CabotFit. And she still rocked it 🙂 So glad to see one of my favorite bloggers featured today. Love Kristina!!

    • Robin
      Posted at 09:29h, 04 December

      She should add “coach” to her list of talents!

      • Kristina @ Love & Zest
        Posted at 10:55h, 05 December

        You guys are cracking me up. Can I just say, I’m a big Regan Miller Jones Inc Fan! #soulsistas #wareaglestateofmind

  • Min
    Posted at 07:27h, 04 December

    I must have this conversation with Kristina ASAP ;). One of my goals for next year – run a half marathon! I shall call you soon, Kristina hehe. I plan out my meals and write them down on a piece of paper as well – normally on Friday. It’s the only way I know how. I wish I had some legitimate family recipes. Korean cooks’ recipes = pinch of this and pinch of that.

  • Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition
    Posted at 09:52h, 04 December

    Food budgeting is on our list of goals for 2015 as well! I’ll be checking this post frequently to see what tips readers leave 🙂 For me, part of my plan is to eat lunch at home [and assist the hubs in packing a lunch….].

    • Robin
      Posted at 12:18h, 04 December

      Eating at home is key! Leftovers are our friends—looks like leftover fish, potatoes and salad will be lunch for me today!

    • Kristina @ Love & Zest
      Posted at 10:58h, 05 December

      LOL!! Assist the hubs is high on up on my priority list for 2015 too… that guy runs out the door without a lunch or breakfast. #guyprobs

  • Whitney @ Sweet Cayenne
    Posted at 10:31h, 04 December

    I’m totally down with the written menu by hand – and if I don’t plan a menu, I definitely end up overspending in the food budget department. A couple tips that have helped me w/ staying in my food budget are:
    1. Planning my weekly menu around the sale ads that come out every Wednesday – when I lived in Dallas, the ads for Sprouts, Central Market and Kroger always came out on Wednesdays, so I would plan my menu for the following week based off of that and shop over the weekend. These ads really help me determine which fruits and veggies I will buy!
    2. Having 1-2 vegetarian days per week goes a long way in stretching the food budget! We try to use beans and rice, lentils or ancient grains as the base of our meals on these days!

    • Robin
      Posted at 12:17h, 04 December

      Great tips, Whitney! You are fortunate that you have a vegetarian friendly husband who loves to eat that kind of food! I’m still working on it in this house!!

  • Alanna
    Posted at 10:54h, 04 December

    Love this!! I have been bad lately about meal planning but I always make a list before going grocery shopping. It is totally OK to walk – I had to stop a couple of times during my last half marathon and actually didn’t beat myself up over it.

    • Robin
      Posted at 12:16h, 04 December

      Thanks, Alanna! Meal planning=budget success!

    • Kristina @ Love & Zest
      Posted at 11:01h, 05 December

      Every run will look different… if you’re running for a fun, it should be fun 🙂 The moment it’s not, we have to reevaluate our priorities because beating yourself up = not fun.

  • Jessica @ Nutritioulicious
    Posted at 11:59h, 04 December

    I think Kristina needs to do a marathon-running pep talk for the #BlogBruleeAlumni! Love, love reading the Inside the Fridge interviews!

    • Robin
      Posted at 12:16h, 04 December

      Jessica, thanks for always being a fan!! 🙂 Excited to have yours up soon!