Over the last few weeks, following Cody’s birthday and a wonderful trip to visit our family in San Diego, my husband and I have been feeling lethargic and overall less healthy than we’d like. Because of this, we were looking for a way to reset our diets and kickstart some better habits for ourselves going into summer.
The Whole30 is a 30-day eating program designed to reset your metabolism, curb less-than-healthy cravings and heal you from the inside out. The Whole30 challenges participants to embrace scratch cooking and take a more critical look at labels to know precisely what they are putting into their bodies. The basics of the plan’s restrictions are as follows:
- No added sugar or sweeteners (this includes natural stuff like honey and stevia as well as artificial gunk like aspartame, however you can use fruit juice as a sweetener) u
- No grains (this includes even the super grain substitute, quinoa)
- No dairy (you can have clarified butter, or “ghee,” though!)
- No legumes (this includes peanuts, which many don’t know are actually legumes but excludes green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas)
- No alcohol (wine vinegars are fine, given there is no added sugar)
- No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
- No “compliant” recreations of non-compliant baked goods (this means you can’t slap eggs and bananas together with coconut flour to make pancakes or biscuits… It defeats the purpose and has a negative psychological impact on the efficacy of the program)
- No body measurements of any kind (this includes even one step on the scale)
Many of you following my Instagram feed have seen an influx of obnoxious food posts with the hashtag #whole30. I’ve also had several requests for more Whole30 information and of course, recipes! I’m going to be honest here and admit that I thought this was going to be really hard and that I would hate every second as well as despise all the boring food I’d be eating. However, as of Day 8 of our Whole30 we have been pleasantly surprised that while it has been very difficult, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of finding recipes that are compliant and the meals we’ve had so far have been far from boring and absolutely delicious (not to mention, pretty!).
Before sharing all the foods we have been enjoying, I should note a few other parameters of the plan.
- Three square meals a day, no snacking if you can help it (with the addition of a pre-workout and post-workout meal on days you exercise
- Construct your plate around 1-2 palm-sized servings of protein and fill the rest of your plate with vegetables, adding about 1-2 tablespoons of fat and occasional servings of fruit (we have had a lot of fruit because of lots of yummy in-season options available due to summer)
- Eat half of a meal sized potion of protein plus half a portion of fat 15-75 minutes before working out
- Eat a meal sized portion of protein and carb-dense vegetables like sweet potatoes or beets 15-30 minutes after working out
There is a whole lot more to this plan and its benefits but I am not nearly qualified to teach you about it. As with any diet or meal plan, it is always best to consult a medical professional, especially those receiving ongoing treatment for a chronic issue. You can read all about the Whole30 on their website.
For the challenge, I made a breakfast and a dinner everyday and used the leftovers for the following day’s lunch. The only exception to this was the first day of the challenge, for which I whipped up quick jar salads using compliant ingredients. I will be sharing some of the meals we have enjoyed over the course of our Whole30 challenge, so stay tuned!