Tag Archives: Fridge Challenge

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Freshpet Puts on the Chef’s Hat for a Fridge Challenge Meal

After six weeks of the Freshpet Fridge Challenge, we’ve been thrilled to see how pet parents are viewing fresh foods in a different light when it comes to feeding us and our fur-kids.

 

So, after chronicling the Fridge Challenges taken by Dr. Katy Nelson and other pet bloggers, it was our turn to cook for ourselves using only shelf-stable foods! However, as we soon found out, life without the fridge is not only difficult, but can be a bit frightening.

 

Yesterday, members of the Freshpet team headed to the grocery store to see what shelf-stable ingredients we could find for a fridge-free dinner. We had a plan, which was to build a well-balanced meal that included the following:

 

  • A good source of protein
  • A green vegetable
  • Some sort of carbohydrates
  • Keep our meal to a reasonable price

 

With this simple strategy in mind and shopping basket in hand, we headed to the pasta aisle to tackle our carbohydrate portion of the Fridge Challenge meal. We grabbed a big box of bow tie pasta along with a large jar of pasta sauce, which pained us because we love to make homemade pasta sauce with local ingredients. Next, we wandered over to the canned meats section of the grocery store. Next to the canned tuna, tucked away on the top shelf, lay canned chicken, which we decided to try because it was high in protein and seemed like a much better option than SPAM! Lastly, we grabbed a small container of parmesan cheese and a can of green beans. After all, how much different could canned green beans taste than fresh green beans?

 

What we picked up at the store for our Fridge Challenge Meal!

What we picked up at the store for our Fridge Challenge Meal!

Checkout was a breeze and light on the wallet, which was one upside of our shelf-stable meal. When we got home, cooking was a synch – another upside of shelf-stable foods. All we needed to do was boil water, cook the pasta and combine the ingredients. However, this came with a price. When we cracked the lids on the cans, we were surprised to find that the canned chicken looked and smelled more like tuna, while the green beans had been floating in some sort of liquid. This was a bit unnerving, but we pushed on for the taste test anyway!

 

After we combined the pasta, pasta sauce, cheese and canned chicken, the meal certainly was not the most delicious we’ve ever tried. That’s what happens when you lack the flavors in fresh pasta sauce, seasoned chicken or market green beans. Right away, we missed that flavorful pop in every bite – such is the life of shelf-stable eating.
When we got around to cleaning up, there was yet another unanticipated result of our shelf-stable evening: no leftovers! On the back of almost all canned food, you’ll find the words “Refrigerate After Opening.” Unfortunately, that meant that the leftover pasta in the pot, remaining pasta sauce and extra cheese had nowhere to go but the trash as we couldn’t crack open the fridge – what a waste!

 

No more than 45 minutes later, we were hungry again. Slouched over on the couch and in what felt like a food coma, we longed for something else from the fridge, but knew it was off limits. As we quickly learned, the simple carbohydrates in the pasta and pasta sauce weren’t providing much energy from which our bodies could feed. Moreover, the higher sodium content found in canned pasta sauce and canned green beans made us question whether our Fridge Challenge meal could hold a candle to fresh food at all. At least the canned chicken was high in protein, but when mixed with everything else, it became apparent that without fresh options, healthy eating truly is a challenge!

 

Chicken Green Beans Dinner

 

The noticeable drop in our energy levels and lingering hunger really made us think about what a shelf-stable diet would do to our health. Doing this everyday, at least twice a day, certainly would have an impact on our bodies. As Fridge Challenge blogger “Keep the Tail Wagging” asked, “Remember the movie Super Size Me?…It’s astounding what difference removing fresh food from our diets makes.” 

 

But that’s what our pups and kitties were doing for decades until 2006, when we introduced healthier, fresher meals from the fridge. If anything, this meal and the Fridge Challenge in general only further reinforces the positive impact that fresh food has on our bodies, and in the lives of our pets. As we continue to serve our babies food from the fridge, whether by itself or in combination with dry kibble, it’s comforting to know that they are getting more of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and energized…which is just the way we like them!
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Keep the Tail Wagging Forgoes the Fridge

Featured: No Fridge Feels Like “Super Size Me”

I am blogging on behalf of Freshpet and I received compensation for my time for sharing my experience and views on the Freshpet Fridge Challenge; all my views are my own. 

 

Love this food - but not too often!

Love this food – but not too often!

 

Yummmm! Not the healthiest meal, but I’ll take a couple bites.  Just not 2x a day, every day.

 

Over on Keep the Tail Wagging, I’ve been writing about the Freshpet Fridge Challenge that I’m participating in.  Thankfully, today is the last day and I can go back to eating fresh food.  The one thing that I took from this challenge is that with kibble, our dogs are eating a fast food diet.

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FFC - Cat Tipper

Follow CatTipper’s Fridge Challenge

Featured: CatTipper Reflects on Seven Days Without the “Magical Fridge”

 

 

Today marks the end of our seven-day #FridgeChallenge, the challenge put forth by Freshpet to bloggers to live without the refrigerator for seven days. (Pets were exempt from the challenge but we weren’t allowed to use the refrigerator for our own items.)

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FFC - Dog Splendor

DogSplendor Takes the Fridge Challenge

Featured: After the Challenge, DogSplendor Believes in Fresh for All!

 

 

This past week I’ve been sharing insights from my participation in the Freshpet Fridge Challenge. The challenge was established to bring attention to the importance of fresh foods in your dog’s diet. And while my dogs didn’t go without fresh food for the length of this challenge, I did, and let me just say, it really drove home the importance of fresh for all!

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Dr. Katy Answers More of Your Questions about your pups and kitties

 

With so many great questions about pups and kitties from Monday’s Mini-Challenge, Dr. Katy has answered three more below.

If your question was chosen by Dr. Katy, please send us a private message on Facebook to receive your Freshpet goodie!

 

Freshpet parent Tiffany asks… Dr. Nelson, I have a neutered male cat and understand that urinary tract infections are common. I feed him only Freshpet.  Do you have any recommendations as to how I can prevent a future infection?

 

Actually, urinary tract infections are not as common in male cats as they are in female cats. If your cat has appeared to have a UTI in the past, what you are more than likely seeing are occasional flare-ups of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

 

At times of flare-ups, treatment should be instituted by a veterinarian to control symptoms and prevent them from progressing. A variety of therapeutics have been found to be effective, so work with your veterinarian to determine the therapy that is right for your kitty.

 

But as you pointed out, an important part of treatment of FLUTD is prevention of further episodes.  Diet plays a huge role in this.  Cats typically do not drink a sufficient amount of water to keep their urine diluted.  Therefore, a fresh, moist food is considered ideal as these foods are higher in water content than any kibble alternatives and tend to lead to more diluted urine.

 

Freshpet parent Aejin asks… What can I do to improve the condition of dog’s teeth?

 

Just like in people, there is no substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth for prevention of periodontal disease. Studies have shown that a minimum of three times a week is needed to prevent tartar build-up, but daily brushing is required to reverse gingivitis. There are numerous products out there to make the process easier for you and your pet:  finger brushes, regular soft-bristled brushes, flavored toothpastes (do NOT use human toothpaste with fluoride), etc. Chew toys vary in effectiveness, and with severe dental disease are not advised, as teeth can be weakened and could potentially break.  Bones and other hard toys are discouraged in these situations, as well.

 

Regular, anesthetized prophylactic cleanings done in your veterinarian’s office are the very best way to get a thorough cleaning of the teeth, and are the only way to clean below the gum line, where the most dangerous bacteria tend to gather. Talk with your veterinarian to learn more about this process, and to have a dental exam done on your pet.

 

Freshpet parent Rob asks… My cat can only eat food without wheat in it. I feed him Freshpet, but he’s having trouble with hairballs. Is there a supplement I can give him to help with this issue? Something natural, perhaps?

 

Without having additional information, I can advise only up to a point. Hairballs are often blamed for a variety of actual diseases, and the reason so many hairball remedies are considered “ineffective” is because frequently they’re being used to treat something that is a symptom, rather than addressing the real problem.

 

In my opinion, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to start by giving your kitty a lion cut. Should the hairballs continue or begin to worsen, perhaps resulting in an upset stomach, it is likely time to talk with your veterinarian about instituting a work up to find what is troubling your kitty.

 

IMPORTANT: Please note that in-person veterinary recommendations are always the most appropriate way to deal with questions about your pet. Dr. Katy’s answers are well-informed, however, it can often be difficult to determine the best course of action without her seeing your pet in-person. As such, we recommend that prior to taking action, please visit your personal veterinarian to determine what’s right for you and your pet.

FFC - Lille Punkin

Lille Punkin’ Takes on the Fridge Challenge

Featured: With Fridge Broken, Lille Punkin’s Challenge Was All Too Real

 

 

The following is part of a series of content in partnership with Freshpet! Opinions are my own. Awhile back, we told you about our dead fridge and how we were going to be taking a week with no cold food.  Well, that week turned into a week and a half. I was not happy.

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