As I get to the close of my second week doing a Whole30, I have to say – I’m feeling pretty good! This isn’t my first time attempting a Whole30, but it has been a while since I tried. The most interesting thing about this is the feeling of familiarity. It’s like putting on an old sweater you forgot you loved. I won’t lie – the first couple days were ROUGH. I thought I was getting the flu, but really, it was just my body going through the bends without demon sugar. By the end of the first week, I was out of the sugar cravings red zone and well on my way to feeling better about the whole situation. During this process, I’ve made a point to be really aware of changes that don’t have anything to do with my weight. One of my favorite parts of a Whole30 is that scales are a no-no. I have a tendency to live and die by what the scale says, so taking that out of the equation is really really good for me. Instead, I’ve been paying attention to the little victories that are happening every day. Like the fact that my inflammation is almost non-existent. Jill and I both suffer from some crazy inflammation issues. We’ve always been pretty sure a fair amount of it was because of what we were eating, but now I’m even more convinced. My leg hasn’t swollen this week, and my joints don’t feel like I’m 97 years old. I’ve also gotten back to the gym. I’m basically training for my upcoming 10K training – and man do I need it! But I’ve noticed I feel pretty good after a workout – even when I’m really pushing myself I don’t feel like I might die at any moment. This is huge! I’m also loving the energy I have. I’m pretty sure this is because I’m eating a real breakfast now instead of drinking half a pot of coffee with sugary creamer and hoping for the best. There are fewer and fewer late afternoon crashes and more and more feeling sustained throughout the day. So, what I’m really saying is – SO FAR SO GOOD! Even if doing a Whole30 isn’t on your radar, I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes I’ve found so far. Meal Prep has taken on a whole new meaning for this month. I am not just planning my dinners, but breakfasts and lunches as well. Sometimes that means making something special for breakfast or lunch, but most of the time it’s making sure I have enough leftovers for those as well as feeding my family. Here is another hilarious side effect of this – my family is actually eating leftovers. I am a notorious over cooker. As in, I cook way too much. But since I’ve been cooking for a Whole30 I’m shocked to discover that my family is REALLY into the leftovers. (Sometimes, that’s not such a great thing. Like when I’ve made plans for a particular leftover and someone got to it before I did. Husband, I’m looking at you!) It’s also made me really aware of when I’m going to need to eat. I need to make sure I’ve got food at the office, and at home. Emergency protein for when a plan falls through (because your husband ate your leftovers!) is also really important. So, I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes from the last couple weeks!
I made a HUGE batch of these meatballs the weekend before I started my Whole30. Like, tripled the recipe huge. I am SO glad I did! I was able to make enough to get me through a weeks of lunches (even the occasion breakfast!) and still put half in the freezer. I made up a lovely curry (with my FAVE yellow curry paste) with loads of veggies. In the recipe she only used bok choy and carrots. I used carrots, onions, zucchini and roasted sweet potatoes. If was hearty and comforting is the best possible way. Curry is my go-to comfort food. So this was the perfect thing for my first week on a Whole30. I’m definitely going to make this again! I think I will tweak this recipe a bit to make it my own. I think adding in some more Asian flavors like Coconut Aminos and ginger would be PERFECT for this awesome recipe.
Roasted Chicken and Veggies
This is just one of those go-to recipes for me. I make it at least once a week, even when I’m not on a Whole30. Being able to throw everything in the oven at once and not worry about one part of dinner getting ready before another. It’s a one pan wonder that doesn’t even NEED a recipe. I just chop up whatever veg I have that needs to get used. Usually that’s carrots, sweet potatoes, zuchinni, yellow squash and onions. Often I’ll throw in some sliced mushrooms if I have them. Drizzle with avocado oil, season with salt, pepper and garlic and then throw some similarly seasoned bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs on top and pop it in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. The chicken is juicy, the veggies are delicious and tender. It’s the perfect weeknight meal! I usually try to throw another side in there as well. Anything from cauliflower rice to Brussels sprouts with bacon to a crunchy green salad. It’ always gets eaten up and I usually have to protect my leftovers with promises of screentime loss.
We ALL know I had deep feelings of love for my Instant Pot, but doing a Whole30 has brought that love to the next level. My pal Summer put some shots of her cooking this up on Snapchat and I demanded the recipe. She emailed it right over and as I read through I KNEW I would love it. I was not wrong. After searching the spice section of Whole Foods like a crazy person I finally found the Garam Masala seasoning, and it was worth every penny. Next time, I think I will just go to the Indian grocery in my neighborhood. While at Whole Foods I also discovered a brand of Ghee I am OFFICIALLY obsessed with. You guys, THIS GHEE IS AMAZING! I could eat it with a spoon! I have been cooking anything that’s not nailed down in it. Anyway, this recipe is amazing. EVERYONE in my house liked it. And I straight up HID the leftovers from my family. THAT’S how tasty this was! I could eat this once a week if not more! Also, the author of this recipe taught me about shredding chicken with the paddle attachement of my Kitchenaide and YOU GUYS! MY LIFE IS CHANGED! I will never burn myself on hot chicken ever again! Sure, there is one more dish to wash, but I cook so I don’t have to wash dishes. That’s Dustin’s job! A quick word about making this recipe Whole30 compliant. It calls for coconut yogurt. But I couldn’t find any coconut yogurt that wasn’t sweetened. Even the plain was sweetened. Whole Foods, ya let me down. So, I suggest subbing coconut milk for the yogurt. With only 3 tablespoons being called for, I don’t think it would make that big of a difference in the texture of the final product. I DO think you will probably end up licking your plate and hiding the leftovers. Just saying.
I also can’t express how much I am LOVING the Whole30 Cookbook! Jill and I got it last month, and when I went through to mark off recipes I wanted to try I basically marked half the book. It’s a great place for really, really great recipies and instructions on getting the basics down. I used it to make my own ghee (though it was not NEARLY as good as the one I bought! Because – PINK SALT IS DELICIOUS!), cauliflower rice, mayo and more. I made the fritatta, a couple of the salad and slaw recipes and have THREE recipes to try out next week. I can’t wait! I am so happy to have such a great resource. It’s easy to find recipes that say they are Whole30 compliant. Then you read them and they are so NOT! This book is a great resource for getting food in front of you that is tasty and totally on track.
That said, the Pinterest board we created for this has been super helpful too! I love finding new things to try and sharing it with Jill! Follow us on Pinterest to get even more examples of just how delicious a Whole30 can be!
So! Share with me? Have you ever done a Whole30 before?? I want to hear how it went!! Talk to me in the comments!