I’m a little late getting started with my posts, but my husband and I have just finished our first week of Whole30. Along with actually making it through the plan for 30 days my secondary goal is to document the process, recipes, etc. for those curious or thinking about doing their own Whole30.
For those of you not familiar with Whole30, do yourself a favor and check out www.whole30.com or better yet, get a copy of It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig. Whole30 is a whole(aka REAL) foods-based eating plan that also addresses the psychology and other important yet often overlooked food responses such as gut and hormonal health. It Starts with Food is a great read and will change the way you look at food (or what you THINK is food!).
The meal planning is simple. QUALITY MEAT + VEGGIES+ FAT (+ compliant spices & sauces) = MEAL. We also have a couple of servings of fruit each day. That’s it. Real food. No junk. 30 days. We can do this, right?
Week 1 has been transitional so there’s still a bit of a learning curve. I haven’t been the best at taking pictures and documenting, but I have high hopes that next week we will be settled into a nice groove. That being said, here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been eating so far:
Breakfast has been basically the same so far – 4-5 scrambled eggs with chives, salt & pepper, a piece of fruit, and almonds or a half avocado. This weekend when I had some extra time, I sautéed up some prosciutto and added to the mix. YUM. To get in the necessary fat I’ve also added coconut milk to my black coffee. (REAL coconut milk from the can – the boxed stuff is not compliant; again, read It Starts with Food to find out why). Lacking? Veggies and more time in the am. Must do better!
Lunch – Lunch has been a BIG salad (dinner plate big) with grilled chicken, ½ diced avocado, cucumber & homemade vinaigrette; grilled turkey burgers with avocado and a salad or leftover ground turkey marinara over a sweet potato with a salad, green olives and homemade ranch dressing. I also tried the No Fuss Salmon cakes recipe in the book and it was delicious!
Dinner – One night I broke out my handy vegetable spiralizer and made zucchini noodles and some marinara with ground turkey. I had to make my own because all the jarred kinds at my local grocery had added sugar. It’s not the best picture but here’s how it turned out.
Side note: I’m still working on veggie noodle technique. If you cook them too long, their water releases and they get soupy. Not good for your sauces or their overall texture. Next time I will check Pinterest or the web before cooking. Spiralizing veggies is a big thing these days and there are some amazing looking creations out there!
On a busier night dinner was easy roast chicken in the crock pot along with some oven roasted veggies. From the leftovers I made yummy and health-rich bone broth that I have since used in other recipes. I love to cook and try new recipes so we also tried some chili, plantain nachos, pork chops and I made homemade ketchup. There are TONS of resources available for anyone wanting to try Whole30 so there are no excuses for food boredom!
Lessons learned this week? Food prep is ESSENTIAL. If you are not organized and prepared, 1)it will be hard to make good food choices on the fly and 2) you won’t find nearly enough to eat. Also, of all things I craved suprisingly it was a soda….and I only drank maybe one soda a week before. Thankfully I read a post from another Whole30 guru that suggested trying club soda with some sliced lemon and lime and found this to be a great way to break up the water monotany.
That being said, I spent yesterday afternoon getting us ready for week 2. I roasted chicken breasts, made a dipping sauce for the turkey breast I’m roasting later this week, made ketchup, blended up some coconut milk for coffee, made my FAVORITE chipotle orange sauce (which I will share later this week) to go with our cuban beef later this week, made a zucchini soup for a quick veggie addition to meals, stole a few of the roast chicken breasts for chicken salad, made a yummy morning protein mix of ground pork, apple, cinnamon and nutmeg for some breakfast variety and made sure to put any meat items in the fridge that needed to thaw for this week’s dinner. Finally, I prepackaged as much as I could in containers for quick grab and go lunches and tried to organize all that in the fridge. It sounds like a lot of work, but taking a few hours on the weekend to do all this will save you so much time during the week. I promise!
All in all, we rocked it in week one. And while I am feeling great about that I am also feeling some of the week 1 side effects mentioned in the Whole30 plan, specifically – tiredness. (And if you ask my husband – crankiness too. But we’ll pretend he didn’t say that). They say your energy level will change around days 7-11, so I’ll let you know how that goes. I plan on being more vigilant with my posts this week as I’m feeling well prepared and very excited. Here’s to another week of being Whole30 compliant!