recipes

Whole30: Week 1

The idea that I can’t do something usually immediately results in my desire to do that thing. I’m not sure why I wasn’t a more rebellious child/teenager. I looked at the Whole30 and assumed it would be too hard, too restrictive, too lonely. If you’re not familiar with the program it’s based eating three healthy meals, limiting snacks, and eliminating soy, sugar, grains, dairy, and alcohol. I read everything they offer on their website Whole30.com, including the very helpful “But can I have…” FAQ page. I decided what I agreed with and what I wanted to amend (yes to the occasional glass of wine and fresh corn, no to strictly keeping to three meals) and declared the pizza I was eating while reading to be my last for THIRTY WHOLE DAYS.

I’m not going to lie, it’s not really fun or easy. I got the “carb flu” – look it up it’s a real thing. I had to BYO snacks and drink to the movies (the new Xmen was SUPER good) and my coffee has coconut milk or nothing in it. My delicious ice cream is just chilling in the freezer and cinnamon toast crunch boxes sit unopened in the pantry. BUT I am glad that I’m doing it. It’s only been a week but I can see positive changes in my body and sleep. (You’re not supposed to weigh yourself but I needed the extra motivation.) It’s not a diet – it’s a challenge that will hopefully create healthy habits. Here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve learned so far:

1. Get a buddy. Either have your spouse commit to eating compliantly when with you or convince a friend that they should do it with you. I’m the primary when it comes to making dinner (he’s the primary for dishes 😉) so that part wasn’t hard. He can eat whatever he wants at work, but when we’re together he’s eating what I eat. Notable exception was the movies, but he made sure I was happy with what I had to eat too! I also have a good friend who just started and my sister starts in June. This also helps you to discuss the program in a constructive manner instead of complaining all. The. Time. Which you will probably do anyways because you want carbs and sugar and milk in your coffee.

2. Follow Whole30 and Whole30Recipes and other healthy food bloggers/bakers/cooks on Instagram. The added motivation and inspiration is so helpful. So many of them post the recipes right there and you’ll quickly find yourself saying “I have all those ingredients!” Also get a Pinterest board up and running. Here’s mine!

3. Prep your kitchen. DON’T throw non-compliant food away. Give it away, put it in a box, do whatever, just don’t throw it away. I HATE how many paleo/Whole30/healthy eating blogs said STEP ONE GET OUT THE GARBAGE CAN. What I mean is stock your fridge with fresh fruits and veggies, tons of avocados, interesting proteins, coconut milk, and almond butter. LARABARS ARE ON SALE AT TARGET RIGHT NOW

4. Figure out how to handle social situations with food. Check menus before making plans, call and ask what the ingredients are, suggest Whole30 friendly restaurants. Be prepared to eat a lot of eggs and salads and to take the buns and cheese off everything. I brought a can of seltzer and apple and plantain chips with me to the movies. Technically that’s compliant, but not in the true spirit of Whole30.  But I’m a spirited person so it’s fine.

5. When cooking and prepping double recipes/amounts so you’ll have extra food and ingredients for tomorrow’s lunch or to be frozen and used later. This makes everything easier and you’re less likely to give up because you don’t have time to pack a lunch or cook dinner. Whenever I adopted an “eff this, it’s too hard” attitude, I was a mean combination of hungry, tired, and lazy. Making a PBJ is easier than making a whole compliant meal, but more difficult than just heating up leftovers. MAKE IT EASY.

And here’s some photos of what I’ve been eating:

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This week’s meals.

I have a super hard time meal planning in a way that makes any sense. As new home owners we’re trying to stick to budget and the best way for us to save a little extra money is by eating at home. The hardest part is figuring out how to buy on sale and affordable and then also use that to make healthy meals that taste good. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

When we lived closer to the city we saved $$$$ by shopping at Safeway, Costco, and Trader Joes (cookie butter anyone?). Here, I have Shoppers, Giant, and Food Lion. Every trip is preceded by some one saying “SIGHHHH I miss Publix.” But, we soldier on. In my experience Food Lion has been least expensive but they often don’t have the best variety. And their app is basically useless. Shoppers just isn’t my favorite – unless we’re picking up their knockoff cronies. Giant is just meh. They are all equal distance so we usually head to Food Lion unless there’s an amazing sale some where else.

Anyways… We are challenging ourselves to eat at home and bring our lunches to work. Lately our lunches have been: baby kale salad (plus a protein for hubs), Greek yogurt, piece of fruit, veggies with hummus. Summer is just around the corner and I don’t want to be totally embarrassed. Plus I might have brainwashed myself into thinking this makes me feel better.

Dinner this week:
Tuesday: sweet potato and cauliflower sausage soup. I add ginger, homemade bone broth, and sautéed onion.
Wednesday: happy hour with Hub’s friends. I’ll try to order something with the word salad in it.
Thursday: pesto with chicken and asparagus. Hubs doesn’t eat asparagus so he’ll get green beans or brussel spouts.
Friday: lazy ground turkey pot pie. Aka browned ground turkey + homemade cream of chicken + frozen veggies and whatever’s in the bottom of the veggie drawer + easy biscuit topping. This is Hub’s favorite meal I make… Definitely top three at the very least. It sounds and looks difficult to make and tastes amazing. And takes 15 minutes to throw in the oven. WINNING.

I’m not sure how to keep mixing it up. I tried to make stir fry once. We threw it out.

We have occasionally taken advantage of groupons to have those “ingredients in box” subscriptions sent to the house. (And then quickly canceled them. I don’t know who can afford them once the coupon runs out.) I was hoping that I’d learn a few things, but unfortunately I rarely liked the meal enough to add it to our rotation. The meals I did LOVE unfortunately included ingredients that are hard to get i.e. Ahi tuna, Indian spices, and cool Korean sauces.

So that’s it. A nice ramble-y post about food.