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Refrigerator Look Book: Matthew Basso

The founder of Iron Lotus Personal Training and the DBX3 at-home workout program sees nutrition as essential to getting fit. He's got the protein shakes to prove it.

Matthew BassoFitness is Matthew Basso’s MO, but the founder of Long Island’s Iron Lotus Personal Training also emphasizes his approach to nutrition as essential to staying in shape (for both himself, and clients).

That approach includes cutting sugar, eating balanced meals in controlled portions, and not shying away from supplementation. “The more energy you burn, the more your body needs to restore nutrients,” he says. “The worse your diet is, the better the supplementation needs to be.”

To spread the word, Basso included a nutritional guide and meal plan in his new at-home fitness program, DBX3, and his personal training sessions includes food coaching and healthy meal delivery for busier clients (not to mention Thai yoga massage that may change your life).

Here’s what he keeps in his fridge.

Obvious question first: What’s hiding in that huge stack of containers on the top shelf? I participate in my own meal program, and those contain my meals for the next two days. I have the restaurant I work with, Red Restaurant, weigh out my meals and put them in separate containers so I can travel with them if necessary. The contents are mostly grilled chicken, salmon, or steak with grilled veggies and rice.

You have yogurt, but almond milk. Are you generally pro- or anti-dairy? I’m pro-dairy, if it’s organic and from a great source. Milk has some really good benefits, but I’m slightly lactose intolerant. I use the almond milk mostly for shakes so that my stomach isn’t in pain. Additionally, I’ll eat yogurt. It’s an awesome source of protein and healthy bacteria for the gut.

Matthew Basso fridgeYou have both almond and peanut butter. People are often confused about which is better for them. Your thoughts? I love nuts, so I snack on pretty much every kind. If I had to pick a nut butter that was best for you I’d go with almond butter. Usually the saturated fat content of almond butter is a bit lower than peanut butter. However, I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and peanut butter has more protein so I tend to use both. It all depends on what I’m eating!

What do you do with the goji and cacao powders? I use the goji and cacao powder in my protein shakes. They are great sources of antioxidants and don’t interfere with the chocolate flavor of my shakes.

I see omega-3s—what’s the other supplement behind that bottle? Are you a big proponent of supplements? Fish oil is a must! I can’t say that enough. Other than that, I take a multivitamin, whey protein, amino acids, as well as vitamins D and C. I’m a big proponent of the supplements that our body needs that we can get from food, but we don’t usually get on a daily basis. For those of us that are active, we really need to take supplements to keep us healthy.

I don’t see a lot of fruits or vegetables. Are they hiding in a drawer, do you get them elsewhere, or are you not a fan? My veggies are in my meal containers, and I eat fruit sparingly. I think fruit has many benefits, but it’s also a source of sugar, so I limit my intake. If the old saying is an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then in my experience I’ve learned that a whey protein shake a day keeps the doctor away.

What would you say are the main guiding principles of your approach to nutrition? Basically, this: A. Eat less sugar. B. Watch what you eat, and don’t go overboard. Focus on portion control. C. You need protein, fat, and carbs in your diet. It’s more about timing meals throughout the day rather than restricting certain groups.

And what do you like to eat before and after workouts? Before a workout, I take amino acids. I believe this helps prevent muscle tissue breakdown during the workout. If I’m lacking in energy, I’ll drink some Yerba Mate tea. After a workout, it’s a protein shake all the way. —Lisa Elaine Held

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