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Refrigerator Look Book: Erika Kendall

Recovering food addict and "A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss" blogger explains how her foods choices keep her healthy—and why Mac n Cheese trumps smoothies.
Erika Kendall post her wellness awakening. (Photo: Erika Kendall)
Erika Kendall post her wellness awakening. (Photo: Erika Kendall)


It’s hard to believe Erika Kendall when she tells you that she used to be a “330 pound couch potato.”

Now a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, fitness columnist, and creator of A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss, a super smart and popular weight loss blog, it’s Kendall’s passion (and daily reality) to advise others on how to get healthy.

“I’m still on my fitness journey, still working hard and learning the tricks of the trade,” she says. “I’m also still doing what I can to help other people who were, and are, just like me.”

By “people who were just like me,” Kendall means food addicts and emotional eaters, syndromes that she’s still recovering from, she explains.

Because of this, Kendall is “mindful of the kinds of food I’m taking in to avoid slipping back into my old habits,” she says. “I believe in eating delicious food made well, and my fridge definitely embodies that.”

Inside it you won’t find any processed food, beef, pork, or squid. No processed food because of her emotional eating. The rest? “A byproduct of a rebellious phase in my teens,” Kendall says. “I also don’t eat squid. Because, yuck.”

Here’s what she and her chef husband have stocked their fridge with right now…

Erika 2Is that homemade iced tea on the top shelf? Yes! That’s a chamomile and lavender bedtime tea. Sleep was never rewarding until I’d had a night of rest after drinking that stuff. Seriously.

That looks like a giant bushel of kale on the top left. How do you like to prepare it? Believe it or not, I eat it raw with a little bit of almond oil, sandwiched in an omelet. It keeps me from wolfing down my omelet, helps fill me up when its being eaten alongside all that protein, and quite frankly it tastes awesome.

That’s so smart! I see you have Fage yogurt… I try to find ways to infuse extra protein into our diet, but the totally fat-free Greek yogurts have too chalky of a texture. I mix a little Fage with lime and get a good sour cream replacement for tacos. I mix a little fish sauce with it and get something that tastes eerily close to mayonnaise.

Erika 1Love those ideas! Your freezer is overloaded with berries. I’m guessing they’re for smoothies? Strangely enough, I’m not a smoothie person! For someone like me who’s recovering from emotional eating, drinking my sugar isn’t the best idea. I do, however, use berries to make jams to mix into oatmeal or Greek yogurt. Also frozen strawberries make for an excellent snack. You get a teeny bit of sweetness in every bite, but you can’t eat them too quickly, and you’ll actually be satisfied far before you can even finish a few… if you can even hold them in your hand at all!

Erika 3Ha! That’s a lot of cheese in the door. Yeah, it was Macaroni and Cheese Week in our house. We don’t do cheese often—maybe once a month or so—but when we do, we go all in: Gruyere, Emmenthaler, Parmesan, New York cheddar. I know it all sounds very fancy pants, but my husband’s a chef…

A chef! Lucky you. I notice the Braag’s Apple Cider Vinegar. How do you use it? It’s the vinaigrette maker’s dream. It has bright flavors, and, nutritionally, it can help neutralize any acidity that I might’ve taken in my body throughout the day. —Jamie McKillop

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