• Nick Holderbaum

What Does Your Pump Operator Bring to the Table?

What does your pump operator bring to the table? Not the fireground, but the dinner table.

When it’s your responsibility to cook, it’s your responsibility to bring real food to the table. If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know that I am a proponent of the primal diet and lifestyle (eat like our ancestors ate). I don’t expect pump operators to know what’s healthy and what’s not; however, we can all agree that standby or lasagna is probably not health promoting! Be less concerned with achieving outside approval and more with the impact you’re having on the health of others. You may not gain popularity by cooking roasted veggies and steak, as you would with enchiladas, but you will gain peace of mind knowing you provided them with a nutrient-dense meal, leaving them full of energy instead of crashed in the recliner 10 minutes after dinner.

A few tips to get you started:

  • Stick to meat and vegetables.

  • Google search paleo/primal/Whole30 recipes if you’re unsure of what to cook.

  • Avoid vegetable/seed oils when cooking and in condiments/dressings/sauces - Instead, cook with grass-fed butter (Kerrygold), olive oil, or coconut oil.

  • Grains are for the birds only.

  • Cowpool - Have everyone pitch in on buying a half-cow or quarter-cow from a local farmer at the beginning of the year. This will save your crew time and money in the long-term and ensure you’re getting quality meat.

  • You can still make pasta dishes and sandwiches, just leave out the noodles and bread. For example, meatballs in a bowl or deli-meat piled high with vegetables. In essence you are just eating the good stuff.

  • Set it and forget about it - Use a slow cooker or instant pot. Chicken breasts and veggies in the slow cooker or instant pot with Frank’s hot sauce or olive oil/lemon/garlic mixture is always a winner.

  • Buy grass-fed beef, pastured chicken/eggs, and wild-caught salmon when the budget allows.

  • Come up with 3-5 go to recipes that everyone enjoys and cycle them.

  • Swap table salt for sea salt.

It’s that simple. You are now informed enough to serve up delicious, healthy meals. Have some respect for your crew and yourself by cooking real food, not bullshit. Your health, your hands.

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