Eating with a Purpose – Barracks Cooking

Notoriously... not healthy
Notoriously… not healthy
How do you justify whining about not making advancements in your own fitness when this is all you eat?
“I can’t afford to eat clean. I don’t have an oven. I don’t even have a toaster! I hate the Army, all they gave me is a stupid microwave that doesn’t work, and a damn fridge. I can’t eat at the DFAC because the food is gross. I’m barely surviving.”
Stop crying, go to your Barracks NCO, get your microwave replaced, go to the grocery store, and get to work.
Pictured... a typical barracks room
Pictured… a typical barracks room
I live in the barracks at Fort Bragg. It definitely is cramped, with an austere kitchen, to put it lightly. I have a refridgerator, a microwave, and cabinets. That’s it. However, I’ve figured out a way to eat as healthy as possible, without having to eat out three times a day, seven days a week. I still eat out occasionally, have lunch with the guys once or twice or three a week, but all my other meals are in my room, with food I’ve made/bought which is much healthier than eating out. Granted, if this situation applies to you, it’s on you to be creative as hell to keep yourself from getting bored. Never be afraid to try new things!

If you buy one appliance to augment your shitty kitchen scenario, I’d buy a blender, and a good one. This will run you about $100, but I would highly suggest getting one of these:

I tried the smaller one (Magic Bullet) but I tried making a mega kale smoothie and I broke the motor. The Nutri-Bullet, on the other hand, is a powerhouse. I made an extra thick smoothie once just to see what would happened, and the motor unscrewed the top rather than breaking. I use mine at least twice a day, every day, bottom line it works really well.

Pictured: Dave's diet... metal and fruit
Pictured: Dave’s diet… metal and fruit
Your blender will be your most valuable tool, period. I make bulletproof coffee, protein concoctions, and every type of kale smoothie you could imagine.
Shopping List:
Alright, now you drove down All American, got off at Raeford, and took a right towards Harris Teeter. Here’s where you have fun: the grocery store. My typical shopping trip looks something like this:
  • 2-4 pre-cooked rotisserie chickens
  • 2 dozen pre-shelled hard boiled eggs
  • 1 pound of kale
  • multiple bags of frozen berries (absolute money, and way cheaper than buying fresh ones)
  • Ben & Jerry’s (this requires no explanation)
  • coconut oil
  • raw almond butter
  • raw honey
  • superfruit juice (there’s multiple “green/superfood” juices out there, take your pick, these are for sweetening, and lightening up the texture of smoothies)
  • organic whole milk
  • chia seeds
  • almonds/various nuts
  • coffee
  • organic grass-fed butter
  • steel-cut oatmeal
  • 10% milkfat Greek yogurt
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest bars
Some of those things I don’t need to buy every time, but that’s pretty much what I eat. Now here’s some meal ideas:
-1 cup bulletproof coffee (coffee, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, blend it for 20 seconds: The Latte —From Hell)
-6 whole eggs
-1 packet steel-cut instant oatmeal
-Quest bars (or any protein bars)
-1/2 a chicken, and a kale mega smoothie
-glass of whole milk
-same as lunch, or be creative
Before Bed:
-two scoops protein powder, with 2 tablespoons of raw almond butter and 16oz whole milk
It’s nothing you’ll see in a magazine, it’s not glamorous, but being a barracks rat does not excuse you from eating healthily. I can normally get 90% of my food, period, for the week on between $100-$125. You can too.
For bonus points, buy a bunch of containers, find a friend with a house and a grill, and go hog wild on their kitchen once a week. If you do that, you can make anything you want! However, if you don’t have friends and are a sad little panda, you can hang out in your room and watch Netflix all day (after the gym) and still eat heartily!

Barefoot Dave out,

Barefoot Dave Name Tape Final

David Baden (Barefoot Dave) is not a medical expert in the fields of nutrition or fitness. The opinions expressed here, while researched and vetted against some professionals, are still just the opinions of David Baden as a result of personal experience with himself and those who have sought help from him.

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