Interested in doing Whole 30 to start 2020 off right?! After a holiday season full of indulgence in every way it is time to detox from all the sugar and carbs that have filled our bellies for the past few months. I tend to lose control and have a “screw it” mentality by the end of the year — with Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday and New Year’s it is easy to lose track! But it is always nice to reset at the beginning of the year and take control!
This will be my third time doing it over the past few years but if you have never done it there is definitely a learning curve! So my goal in this blog post is to lay it out for you and give you the resources you need to be confident in tackling the 30 days head-on! Now, I am not a dietician nor am I qualified to give advice on this topic. I am just laying out some of the facts as well as some resources to help you jump start this journey!
Use these 30 days to eliminate certain foods from your diet. By avoiding sugar, alcohol, legumes, grains, dairy, which are inflammatory you are resetting your body.
What are inflammatory foods?
Foods that trigger an immune response which causes the body to protect itself. If you are continuously eating these foods your body can stay in a chronic state of inflammation which can lead to other health issues.
There is no one-size-fits-all diet because all of our bodies handle foods differently.
by eliminating inflammatory foods for 30 days you are letting your body heal from the damage caused by them.
CLICK HERE for the nitty-gritty details but here is the rundown…
- Eat real whole foods. Meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, natural fats, herbs, spices, and seasonings. A simple list of ingredients or no ingredients because they are unprocessed.
- What to avoid for 30 days:
- Sugar – real or artificial.
- Alcohol, in any form.
- Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
- Baked goods, junk foods or combinations of foods with approved ingredients to use as desserts.
- No scale or body measurements
- Exceptions to the rule:
- Ghee or clarified butter
- Fruit juice – pure juice from fruit that is part of an ingredient list
- Certain legumes – green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas
- Vinegar and botanical extracts – Most vinegars (white, red wine, balsamic, apple cider vinegar, and rice) and alcohol-based botanical extracts (vanilla, lemon, lavender) are allowed. Just not malt-based items bc they contain gluten.
- Coconut aminos
GIVE IT 30 DAYS:
If you make the decision to do the program, DO THE PROGRAM. There are no cheat days or an option for a slip. There are no foods you have to eat or restrictions on how much food you can eat. It does take a lot of effort, there is a ton of food prep and lots of modifications when at restaurants but it is doable! It is only 30 days and from my experience, it is so worth it!
Some of the possible benefits:
- Glowing skin, strong hair and nails
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
- Breaks emotional attachment to food
- Helps with depression and anxiety
- Fertility (bc of reduced inflammation)
- Manage or reverse symptoms of serious diseases
- CLICK HERE for a Pinterest board I just started with a lot of different tips and tricks as well as grocery lists and food items that are compliant!
- CLICK HERE for a Pinterest board with a ton of tested and loved recipes that you can prep!
- CLICK HERE for a Whole 30 Survival Guide made by Jordan Zelesnick who runs the blog JZ-Eats.com and the Instagram @Jzeats. She has some amazing recipes and is local to Baltimore, can’t wait to try them out while doing the whole 30!
- Order The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
- CLICK HERE for a list of items from Trader Joes that are Whole 30 Approved!
- A few tips from the Whole 30 Instagram:
Condiments, sauces, and oils to make the 30 days easier. I love these items and use them all the time. The ketchup takes some getting used to, but its better than no ketchup! It is an investment but they last for months and are great ways to make a few lifestyle changes long-term! (Does not have to be these exact items, I have a few different brands that I love. I ordered some of these items to prepare.)
Grocery store staples:
- Meats, fish, and eggs. Grass-fed, cage-free, wild-caught, pastured, and organic.
- Produce. Organic if possible! Dark leafy aka nutrient-dense.
- Canned pumpkin, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. Just make sure that is the only ingredient.
- Fruit. Organic if possible. Seasonal.
- Coconut milk.
- Canned Olives.
- Raw or dry roasted almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts.
- Almond Butter or Cashew Butter.
Going into Whole 30 I take this as a challenge. A challenge to try new recipes, eat clean foods, drink lots of water, getting into a workout routine and focus on my goals for 2020. As you move through the process you will withdrawal from sugar and carbs with headaches and frustration but then you will feel better than ever and create a better relationship with food and how you eat it. A sharper mind, a happier being and a healthier body is what is instore and moving forward you will be able to make the right decisions for your individual, beautiful and unique body. Take this time to learn to love yourself from the inside out for who you are and really take the steps to be a better you in 2020, whatever that means to you.
An easy and quick go-to meal I have shared on the blog before. It does have to be modified for Whole 30 by not adding the cheese and tortilla strips and switching out the dressing for a compliant option! Other than that it is super easy and can be made in jars ahead of time to take on the go!
I hope this blogpost is helpful to anyone who is new to or needs a refresher on the Whole 30! I will be updating this blog post as I go with recipes I love, tips and tricks I learn along the way (again) and any other necessary information! If you have any questions or additional info you think needs to be added leave it in the comments below!!
Whole 30 Diary Day 1:
Steve and I are so ready to take on this 30-day challenge! I will be sharing our experience as well as recipes we love and things we have learned! Last night (NYE) we stayed in with our fur babies, made a nice dinner and desserts and cheersed to 2020 in our pajamas. While we were hanging out I decided to do a little bit of food prep and made egg bites they were so good and super easy to make! Only a few ingredients and something we can snack on when we are hungry that will keep us full!
This morning we have both had a black coffee and I am off to try out another recipe! Okay so I ended up making this White Chicken Chili for dinner and it was really good! I added frozen organic spinach, corn, and broccoli to make it hardier and we topped it with avocado and cilantro! Oh…I also mixed some tapioca flour with water and added it in to thicken it up a bit and it worked great! Super yummy and I def recommend trying it! Steve and I were chatting about ways to modify it a bit so if we do that I will let you guys know what we do!
Before I went to bed I made Chia Pudding, just off the top of my head because it was late and I added too many chia seeds…oops! CLICK HERE to download JZEats Whole 30 Survival Guide with a Chia Pudding recipe that I will be using next time I make it! Top it with whatever you have: fruit, coconut flakes, almond butter, cashew butter, etc!
I woke up with a bit of a headache which I was fully expecting after a holiday season of indulging in whatever was around me. I had a cup of coffee which helped but it has lingered a bit. I had my chia pudding with almond butter, bananas, berries and coconut flakes which was so yummy! For lunch, I had the White Chicken Chili again because it is that good! I prepped BLT Avocado Chicken Salad for lunches tomorrow. I used this exact recipe except I used the Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo and it tasted amazing! I will let you know my full thoughts after I try it tomorrow.
For dinner, I made these Chicken Avocado Burgers exactly how the recipe said with a side of both regular and sweet potato fries with Primal Kitchen Ketchup and it was SO good! I thought we would have a burger or two leftover for lunches tomorrow but nope…we ate them all! So flavorful and the recipe could not be easier! We wrapped them in lettuce which was delicious, highly recommend trying them!
Missed a few days of this diary because of the weekend but let’s catch up! The only downside of doing Whole30 so far has been the morning headaches, it is because my body is detoxing from processed foods and sugars and they should subside in a week or so! A cup of coffee followed by lots of water usually helps and I am good the rest of the day! Besides that, I feel pretty good! Having to prep all of the food we eat is a lot but it is fun to get back in the kitchen and get creative with our meals again! Friday night we made Whole 30 Pho that was recommended to me by one of you guys and it was so good, we loved it! The recipe is from the Whole 30 Cookbook:
Saturday morning I decided to try the copy cat egg bites from Starbucks but Whole30 compliant. I purchased these trays that are for the Instapot, they worked great and are so easy to remove the egg bites as well as clean! I went off of this Instant Pot Egg Bite recipe but I added lots more veggies and used some cashew milk because that is all I had. The egg bites came out silky and tasted so good. IF you are not looking for a healthy version and want to try to make the exact egg bites from Starbucks I would use THIS RECIPE or THIS RECIPE because the ingredients are a little more decadent! I have not tried these recipes so just a suggestion, Pinterest has a lot of different ones so you can check there too!
For dinner we made tacos, Steve used these wraps instead of a regular flower tortilla and he loved them! I made mine as a salad with a base of romaine lettuce and we used this taco seasoning, this yogurt substitute and, this hot sauce! I am currently meal planning for this upcoming week so I will share my recipes on-deck below!
The headaches are gone and I feel…completely normal. My sister and I were chatting and we both agree we don’t feel any different except we have noticed a lot less bloat, my stomach is flatter than usual. But that is about it. She said she has been dealing with some headaches so I think that comes and goes at different times for different people. I was also talking to Steve the other day and we have been loving getting creative with our meals and we both agree we don’t feel deprived at all. The only time a sweet tooth creeps in for us is at night but not having an option to give in to it has been so great because it comes and goes pretty quickly! We will make some tea or have a few pieces of dried fruit but other than that we end up deciding to watch a show and go to bed! So overall it has been a really great thing for us!
I have been eating chia pudding with a variety of toppings as I get hungry in the morning, I have also been eating the egg bites too so both of those have been staples! For dinner earlier this week I made Chicken Tikka Masala and it was amazing! I followed the exact recipe and it will be on the menu again, pretty easy too! I also made the Salsbury Steak Meatballs and Gravy and it was beyond, highly recommend even if you are not on Whole 30 but looking for a healthier version of a hardy meal! The mash is like you are eating mashed potatoes but it is turnips and cauliflower! On Sunday we roasted a whole chicken and shredded it which has been great for easy lunches throughout the week! I used the leftover mash and added some of the chicken and avocado on top, I also used the chicken to make a chicken salad. I put the chicken salad on a bed of spinach and arugula and added peppers, broccoli, and avocado on top…so good! Wednesday night I made this Creamy Lemon Garlic Chicken, I roasted some broccoli, brussel sprouts and onions and made these Smashed Potatoes. Once again, a delicious and filling meal that we both loved so much! Tonight I am headed to my parents for dinner and my mom is making a Whole 30 meal for me so I will share with you guys what she makes!
Tomorrow we will be halfway through the Whole 30, time has gone by so fast! It has been such a great experience so far! I’ve had no negative side effects since those headaches and I have been feeling great, sleeping soundly and excited about trying new meals! I’m not the type of person that looks at recipes for meals, I usually just throw stuff together and hope for the best but since doing Whole 30 I have been trying lots of recipes and I have learned so many new cooking techniques and have been able to up my skills in the kitchen! We have loved every recipe we have tried and have so many new dinners we will be adding into our rotation even after we are finished with the Whole 30! Below are a few things that I have been eating lately:
-Chicken salad with spinach, arugula, primal kitchen chipotle lime mayo, yellow pepper, broccoli, avocado. The chicken was from the whole chicken I made in the Instant pot earlier in the week! So easy and delicious! It is so important to get some raw veggies into your diet throughout the week!
–Bone broth: I made some bone broth in the Instant Pot, it was so easy to make and so delicious! Just save the whole chicken bones and throw away pieces of your veggies for the week and you are good to go! So many benefits and is such a great cold-weather snack!
-Animal style jalapeno burgers with bacon, sauteed peppers/onion/mushrooms, chipotle lime mayo, and avocado wrapped in romaine with a side of roasted veggies. This meal came about when Steve and I were leaving the gym and he was craving Burger King. Obviously, that was not an option so we decided to make something to curb the craving and it was so delicious and so much healthier than any fast food! Sometimes it is fun to create our own meals without following a recipe!
-Crispy smashed potatoes, avocado, bacon bits and, a poached egg with a side of berries. This was also just off the top of our heads! We love the cripsy smashed potatoes and we thought it would be good as the base for a breakfast and this is what we came up with!
-Pot roast with turnip/cauliflower mash, smashed potatoes and, carrots/asparagus: I went to Aldi and found an organic 2 1/2 lb chuck roast, I knew Steve would love to make a Sunday night pot roast! No recipe, just us cooking together to make a meal and it was unbelieveable delicious. We both had the leftovers for lunch the next day, my mom was over and she tried it and asked for the recipe so I will write one up and share!
-Smoothie: spinach, frozen fruit, almond butter and, cashew milk. Another made-up recipe but it is going to be my go-to! Add A LOT of spinach then a little cashew milk and blend down, then add in the rest of the items along with more spinach and blend it all together. It will be green and packed with tons of nutrients but you don’t taste the spinach at all! It is amazing!
–Tuscan Garlic Shrimp – We made this Monday night and it was so easy and so delicious! We had no leftovers so you know its good! This will also be a staple in our dinner rotation moving forward because it is so flavorful and different! Highly recommend!!
–Taco Soup – SO good!! Highly recommend!
–Egg Roll in a Bowl – delicious! I think it is better for lunch or a side dish, not a full-blown dinner but you can make a lot and have it for a few days which is so nice!
-Zucchini noodles & meatballs – this is something we have always made and we love it! Just make meatballs and cook them in the oven, while that is happening put some pasta sauce in a pan with garlic and onion then add in some veggies! Let it all cook then add the meatballs into the sauce. Add the zucchini noodles in at the end stir and serve!
–Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana– Make this ASAP!! It is SO easy and beyond good! Next time we make it we are going to add in more veggies but def try the recipe as is first and see what you think!
–Philly Not So Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers – such a great spin on a classic! It was filling, tasted amazing and so easy!!
–Greek Burgers – SO juicy, flavorful and delicious!! I added a little more of each of the spices and used lots of fresh instead of dried and it was amazing! Instead of putting the toppings on top I chopped them up and mixed them into the mayo and we loved it! I made some potatoes and broccoli on the side!
–InstaPot BBQ Pulled Pork – I have this in the instant pot right now! It takes 6 hours so perfect to cook all day! I am also cooking some sweet potatoes and will be slicing them to make sliders with so avocado too!
Recipes on deck:
A few notes as I go thru Whole 30:
Drink lots and lots of water, it will prevent headaches!
Whole 30 recipes tend to have A LOT of the same ingredients (garlic, ginger, onion) so choose a few recipes you want to do for the week and make a list — it will be pretty small because you won’t need a ton of stuff!
You can use almond milk and cashew milk interchangeable so don’t feel the need to purchase both!
You can use arrowroot starch and tapioca starch interchangeably so don’t feel the need to purchase both either!
Having a whole chicken to cook and shred for lunches during the week has been a lifesaver! Save the bones and stuff you can’t eat, I have it in a bag in the fridge. I also have a bag of the throw-away pieces from my vegetables and I will be making Bone Broth with it all!