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

Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Cinnamon Apples

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Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Cinnamon Apples

Ingredients for Oatmeal:

1/3 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup water or almond milk

1 Tbs chia seeds

1/4 c pumpkin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbs Greek yogurt

Ingredients for Cinnamon Apples:

1 Honeycrisp apple, cut into bite sized chunks

1 Tbs coconut oil

1/4 tsp cinnamon

 

Instructions:

Add rolled oats and liquid into a small pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Add chia seeds, pumpkin and cinnamon and stir. At this point I usually add some more almond milk (it depends on how thick you want it). Let everything cook on low for about 5-7 minutes. When the oatmeal is almost done, stir in the spoonful of yogurt. Add to a bowl and top with apple topping (recipe below). You can also add other toppings such as almond butter, shredded coconut, nuts, etc.

Cinnamon Apple Instructions:

Heat coconut oil in a pan on medium heat. Add chopped apples and cinnamon and stir until everything is coated. Put a lid on the pan and let the apples cook. Stir occasionally. Apples are done when they are soft. It should take about 10 minutes.

Easy Breakfast Ideas: Overnight Quinoa

One of the most common complaints I get from patients is that they don't know what to eat for breakfast. The barriers here include 1) people don't have enough time in the morning and/or 2) they are used to eating standard American breakfasts that are full of carbs and sugar (pancakes, sugar cereal, etc). This usually leaves people fatigued and hungry again almost immediately. Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing easy, healthy breakfast recipes that can be made ahead or in under 10 minutes. 

 

Today I am sharing a recipe for overnight quinoa. This is a fun twist on overnight oatmeal that has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years. It has extra protein from the quinoa and greek yogurt and healthy fat from the chia seeds, so it will keep you full for hours!

 

Overnight Quinoa

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

-1/3 cup quinoa

-½ cup blueberries (or other berries)

-1 tbsp chia seeds

-1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

-1/2 cup almond milk

-cinnamon

Instructions:

Add all ingredients and stir together.  Place in the fridge over night.  In the morning, add any toppings, such as nuts, nut butter, granola etc. Make several servings on Sunday to have breakfast ready for the entire week!