Favorite Whole30 Products

Here are some of my favorite pantry staples and appliances that made my whole 30 experience easy and tasty :)

Whole 30 - DONE

Yahoo! It’s over!

As much as I loved doing the Whole30, that’s exactly how I feel. I didn’t necessarily miss any particular food, but I was ready to not have to be so careful. I missed going out and eating something without worry that there was a little bit of dairy or that something was cooked with butter. I missed the freedom of having a glass of red wine if I wanted to (this was actually the first non Whole30 thing that passed these lips!). I was also ready to add some convenience back into my life. Not that I even eat processed/crappy snacks to begin with, but I was feeling a little burnt out from having to be so prepared all the time. For example, if Rory and I were going to hang out at my parents during the day, I would bring my own lunch even though they have a stocked kitchen.

Overall, I would definitely recommend doing the Whole30, especially if you feel like you need a reset. I personally felt like I had been in a downward spiral of carbs, sugar and overeating after pregnancy and postpartum. I now feel more in control of what I put in my body. I don’t recommend doing the Whole30 if you’re not totally committed or if you’re looking to simply lose weight. It is so much more than that. If you were interested in weight loss, I would suggest doing the Whole30 as a means to get you on track for an overall lifestyle change in the long term.

How I Feel

I’m feeling good! I lost 4 pounds, which is still a few pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, but I am comfortably back into most of my jeans. I feel so much more comfortable in my body - which is all that matters! I am ok with this because it is normal to hang onto a couple extra pounds while breastfeeding, which I have no plans to stop anytime soon.

My mood is still good, digestive symptoms are gone. They did start to sneak up a little around week 3, and I was eating way too many nuts and nut butters around this time. I already knew this was an issue so I plan to be mindful about how many nuts I’m eating and making sure I soak them and not eating any roasted in bad oils.

Going Forward

On a daily basis, I would like to eat as close to Whole30 as possible, especially when I’m making dinner at home. Initially, I intended to introduce one non compliant food at a time, and I still do for the most part; however, I did go out to dinner last night and along with the aforementioned red wine, ate small amounts of hummus and parmesan cheese. I feel totally fine. I didn’t think dairy or legumes were problem foods for me anyway. I am pretty sure that grains and/or natural sugars (I don’t ever really consume refined sugar, but was having things like maple syrup or raw honey) are what were causing my digestive issues. I will introduce them in good time, but for now, I have no desire to add them back in. Going forward, I plan to eat paleo (minus maple syrup, honey, etc) 80% of the time, and then living a little the other 20%.

What I Ate

I got into such a good groove with meal planning and cooking. I absolutely intend to keep this up. Prior to the Whole30 I felt like I was in a rut of making the same, boring meals over and over. It was fun to try new recipes and get creative in the kitchen. I included some recipes and links in my last post but here are a few more ideas:

Breakfast

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  • Cauliflower Oatmeal. I found this recipe on Instagram and I changed it up a little every time I make it. Combine 1/2 banana (can sub mashed sweet potato), 1/2 cup riced cauliflower, 3 TBS ground flax, 1 cup non dairy milk of choice, and cinnamon in a small pot. Bring to a boil then bring down the heat to medium low. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. It’s done when the mixture thickens and has an oatmeal-like consistency. Pour in a bowl and add toppings (nuts, nut or seed butter, coconut butter, shredded coconut, blueberries).

  • Sweet Potato Toast. Cut a sweet potato long ways into thin slices, then toast as you would toast bread. When it’s ready, you can add whatever you’d like on top! You can do sunflower butter with sliced banana, avocado and a fried egg, coconut butter with blueberries.

  • Half of a baked sweet potato topped with almond butter, apples sautéed in coconut oil and cinnamon and a sprinkle of paleo cereal.

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Lunch

  • Egg Drop Soup. Heat up chicken broth, slowly pour in a whisked egg while stirring with a fork (so it gets stringy), then add kelp noodles and spinach at the end.

  • Nori Wrap filled with avocado, sliced carrots, beets and chicken

  • Bowl of roasted vegetables and protein of choice with a drizzle of tahini

Dinner

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  • Egg Roll in a Bowl

  • Buffalo Wings

  • Chili from Whole30 cookbook served over baked potato and topped with avocado

  • Carnitas from Whole30 cookbook served with cauliflower rice, peppers, sweet potatoes and guacamole

  • Cod with pesto zucchini noodles, sautéed kale and roasted carrots

  • Vegetable curry (make sure to use a sauce with compliant ingredients or make your own) with shrimp

  • Spiralized potatoes cooked in bacon fat with bacon and over easy eggs

Other

  • Cardamom Cashew Milk. Soak 1 cup cashews over night. Strain and rinse then add to a blender with 3 dates, about 1/2 tsp cardamom, and a dash of cinnamon and cayenne. Blend for about 2 minutes on high. This was so good in coffee and chai tea! I love making cashew milk because it doesn’t require straining.

  • Flax Crackers. Add flax seeds and water to a jar in a 1:1 ratio (I did about 3/4 cup of each) and let sit overnight. Pour out onto a parchment lined pan and put in the oven at 200 degrees for about 3 hours. They’re done when they’re crunchy and break easily. You can add whatever spices or herbs you’d like! I just added a little sea salt because I like to change up the dip/topping.

Whole 30 - Halfway There!

Today is day 15 of the Whole30 and I can’t say enough good things about it. The Whole30 is a 30 day challenge during which you give up all grains, dairy, legumes, sugars and alcohol. It focuses on eating a whole food diet. You can read more about it here.

Here are some details about my Whole30 journey!

Why I decided to do the Whole30

I was more than ready to do some type of clean-eating reset or elimination diet when I started. After giving birth, I have been hanging on to about 10 extra pounds. And I felt it. I was still eating healthy, but no where near how I once ate before pregnancy. Once pregnancy was over, the breastfeeding hanger kicked in. I felt like I had lost all control of what and how much I was putting in my mouth. I knew it wouldn’t last forever and would slow down once Rory started eating solids, so I gave myself some grace until he reached 6 months.

In addition to feeling heavy and weighed down, I had also been experiencing some pretty bad digestive issues since giving birth (I’ll spare you the details). I had found that I had a sensitivity to nuts through Nutrition Response Testing, and avoiding them definitely made a difference, but the problem wasn’t completely handled.

How I’m Feeling

I feel AMAZING! I want to shout it from the roof tops. Seriously. For the first time in a year and a half, I finally feel like “myself” again. Obviously my body will never be exactly the same as it was, but I at least feel comfortable in my skin.

My digestive symptoms are GONE. I have not experienced one “episode” since starting the Whole30. At this point, I am in no rush to introduce any of the forbidden foods, but I am curious to find out what was causing this issue. Before the Whole30, symptoms would flare when I ate nuts; however, I started eating small amounts of nuts a few days ago and my body is handling them just fine.

I am nicer. I experienced a little bit of postpartum depression and anxiety after giving birth. Nothing crazy, but my mind and emotions were not in a good place, and it was clear through my behavior (mostly just at home. Poor Pat.) I only noticed this in the past few days, but since January, I stopped snapping, I’m crying less and when I’m in a stressful situation, I’ve been able to handle it much more gracefully.

What I’m Eating

I’ve been having so much fun cooking! I’m not creative when it comes to making my own recipes. But I’ve been cooking a lot so I thought I’d share some good recipes I’ve found with you all!

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Breakfast

  • Sautéed sweet potato and apples with cinnamon, almond butter and coconut yogurt. Make sure you buy sugar free.

  • Chia pudding. Mix 1 cup non dairy milk of choice with 3 Tbs chia seeds. Stir and let sit over night. In the morning, pour into a bowl and top with almond or sunflower butter, coconut shreds, blueberries and pumpkin seeds.

  • Banana egg scramble. Heat up 1 Tbs coconut oil over low medium heat. Mash a banana and add to the pan. Stir for about two minutes, until fragrant. Whisk two eggs with a little non dairy milk, cinnamon and about 1/2 - 1 Tbs of each hemp and chia seeds. Add to the pan and stir as if you were making scrambled eggs. It’s done when the eggs are cooked through. Add to a bowl with almond butter, blueberries and coconut yogurt.

  • Paleo Cereal

  • Eggs, bacon, roasted potatoes. Classic!

Lunch

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  • Tuna salad made with homemade or a whole30 complaint mayo. Add some chopped veggies for a crunch. Serve in romaine lettuce or collard wraps.

  • Turkey “sandwich” (make sure turkey has no nitrates, sugar or antibiotics) with avocado, sprouts, spinach on a roasted eggplant “bun”

  • Big salad with roasted veggies, avocado, protein of choice, seeds and a compliant dressing.

  • Leftovers!

Dinner

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Snacks (not typically allowed but #breastfeeding)

  • Almond Pulp Crackers

  • Guacamole and Plantain Chips

  • Hardboiled eggs

  • Flax crackers

  • Date dipped in nut butter or tahini

Other

  • Almond milk (soak 1 cup almonds over night. strain and add to blender with about 3 cups water. blend on high for 2 minutes. Use cheese cloth or a nut milk bag to strain. I put a large mason jar in a bowl and put a strainer on top of that, and squeeze the nut milk bag on top. this helps to double strain and avoid a huge mess). Or make cashew milk, which is similar but you don’t have to strain!

  • Homemade Mayo from Whole30 cookbook