Whole 30 Tips and Tricks and Confessions
Holy Cow. Where did the summer go? Hopefully, you have had a super productive season with just the right amount of calm and chaos! We’ve been busy trying to cross things off my Summer 2017 To Do List. (Did you catch that? Brad did. Sorry, honey.)
I’ve never been much of a formal list maker or goal setter in my personal life, but since discovering bullet journaling and writing down my Summer 2017 list, I’m semi-hooked! It is freeing to have a place to dump my brain and fun to cross things off as I get them accomplished. Trashing an idea even after I commit it to my list still gives me a slightly unsettled feeling, but goodness knows, all my ideas aren’t worthy of completion.
Sidebar….Anyone else doing a bullet journal? Please share with us how you do it and how it is working for you. Isn’t is fun to learn positive skills from others on social media? You are all so dang smart and creative, so please don’t keep your goodness to yourself. Share with us!
On to today’s Whole 30 topic……
In my last blog post, I told you about my adventure with the Whole 30 eating plan and promised to share some practical tips and recipes with you. At that time, I had just finished and was one week into reintroduction. Read all about it here: When a Splenda Addict Goes Whole 30. I would encourage you to also read the comments on that post where others shared some things that worked for them.
Confession is good for the soul, so here goes my Whole 30 truth…..
The first week after completing Whole 30 went great even though I didn’t follow the official reintroduction guidelines exactly. Brad and I were on vacation, but I still managed to stay mainly on plan, reintroducing foods slowly and avoiding sugar for the most part. The second week was another story. That week, Alissa and the 3 girls and my sister, Karen, joined me at our condo, and I quickly started vacation-style eating. I wouldn’t say my portions were crazy, but I definitely threw reintroduction rules out the window.
Since then, my sugar dragon has been roaring and spewing terrible flames almost every day.
There, I said it.
Here is what I’ve learned from this…..
- I’m addicted to sugar. The more I have the more I want and no amount really satisfies me.
- Dairy doesn’t seem to cause me problems unless it is in ice cream. 🙂
- Processed foods are a gateway to trouble for me.
My goal was to eat “compliant” (Whole 30 lingo) most of the time with just an occasional trip down Sugar Lane. I’m embarrassed to say I desperately need a reset and plan to start over again in a few days after I return from my Holy Yoga Reretreat.
I think it will be easier/harder this time.
- Easier because I have recipes I know we like, and if I did it once, I can do it again.
- Harder because I know the time and prep involved with eating this way.
- Easier because I know I will feel better just a few days in.
- Harder because……. sweets.
If you are considering starting your own Whole 30 journey or want to start with me on September 13 or so, these tips and tricks might help you!
My Whole 30 Tips
- Before you start, read It Starts with Food. When you understand the science behind it, you will be more inclined to realize FOOD IS MEDICINE.
- Familiarize yourself with the rules of the program. Whole 30
- Join a Facebook support group. It really helps to share the journey with others, and this is where I got most of my recipes. I’m in this one.
- Plan your meals at least a week in advance and stock up on lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Make a bunch of Crock Pot freezer meals to use when you just won’t have time to cook.
- Get a Yeti or My Bevi cup and be prepared to fill it with ice and water several times a day. I also love to drop 1 drop of Young Living Vitality Citrus oils in my water. (Think tangerine, orange, lemon, lime or jade lemon -my favs) Flavored water quickly becomes a treat when you have said so long to Diet Pepsi and artificially sweetened iced tea. (Let me know if you want to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils. I’d love to discuss them with you!)
- Carry almonds or other nuts in your bag to use in case of a food emergency, but make sure they aren’t roasted in a no-no type of oil.
- Decide what will be a special treat for you. I really missed my Diet Pepsi with lots of ice (truthfully, I still do) and Whole 30 made me aware that it had become a bit of a pacifier for me. When others were enjoying a sugar laden treat, I needed something so I didn’t pout in the corner. I learned to enjoy a half Cold Brew Coffee/Half Black Iced Tea from Starbucks.
- Order some compliant Larabars. My favorite was the Coconut which reminded me ever so slightly of an Almond Joy.
- It was worth the $$ to me to purchase Tessamae Ketchup and BBQ sauce and Chipoltle Mayo. We bought ours at Fresh Thyme.
- Try new foods. You will be surprised how your taste buds change during the month! Maybe this time, I will learn to like kale.
- Make enough food to have leftovers.
- Target has a lot of compliant foods that will make your life easier. And while you are there you can buy a cute new cardigan and some stuff you don’t need from the $ bins! Don’t you just love Target?
- Aldi is one of my favorite stores, and they carry several compliant items. WARNING: Read the labels because the ingredients have changed on some of their items and some may now INCLUDE sugar.
- I couldn’t find a shopping list for IGA, which is our little local grocery store. Maybe we can all work together and compile one.
- We don’t shop at Trader Joe’s, but lots of people do, so I am including this list.
- Basically, you can’t go wrong eating meat and fresh fruit and vegetables and plated fat!
- Once in awhile, I find myself CRAVING good lettuce.
- Chipoltle Pork Carnitas with lettuce, guacamole and salsa is compliant and yummy. It is very hard to eat out on Whole 30 because most foods are either prepared with non-compliant oil or have non-compliant ingredients.
- Buy yourself some dates. After your tastebuds wake up from their sugar-and-processed-food-induced coma, you will NOT BELIEVE how yummy they are!
Links to Recipes I’ve Tried or Want to Try
I made 2 recipes that we thought were just gross, Salmon Cakes and Shepherd’s Pie, but everything else we loved. At least once a week, I made sweet potato fries and roasted vegetables. We ate lots of eggs and shredded sweet potatoes for breakfast-so yummy!
- This is delish! Beef Enchilada Bake
- 7 Freezer Meals We liked each of these!
- This chicken is easy and delish! Bundt pan Chicken
- Chicken Pot Pie Soup sounds yummy.
- Helpful ideas
- Breakfast Recipe
- Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- Dump Ranch I didn’t make this, but everyone raves about it.
- Pork Carnitas
- 5 Ingredient Spaghetti Pie Spaghetti Squash is yummy.
- Roasted Lemon Rosemary Chicken This was delish!
- Chicken Tenders Jay’s Baking Me Crazy has a lot of good recipes.
- Paleo Pizza Casserole
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in Instapot
- Sloppy Joe Bowls
- Yummy! Enchilada Casserole
- This beef stew is DELICIOUS and I made it in the Instapot. I added mushrooms and used sweet potatoes….Instapot Beef Stew
There is no end to the recipes online, but these should help you get started. And me get restarted.
I bought a Whole 30 cookbook, but it was a waste of my money since we didn’t like the 2 recipes I made from it. I also purchased an Instapot and an Immersion blender which were helpful but certainly not essential. I did use my food processor a lot to shred all those sweet potatoes. I hope to put my zoodle maker to work on Round 2.
Even though my eating habits are still not always serving me well, I’m not beating myself up. This is a process and will take some time. I’m happy that I have kept up 3 of my positive habits….
- No Artificial Sweeteners
- No Soft drinks
- No flavored creamer in my coffee
I feel like eliminating those 3 things have probably propelled my health forward.
Important Revelation: With other “diets”, it is all about eating as little as possible. Whole 30 is all about “how am I going to eat all this food?” Seems like it should be an easy decision!
Now you know the rest of the story! Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for living a life of wellness, purpose and abundance. Making choices is a part of every day and I need to make better ones if I want to take the best care of my temple.
Now it’s your turn! Please share your links to favorite Whole 30 resources in the comments.