Have you ever done Whole30? Dave completed it last February (I made it 12 days but then had to stop because I was nursing Charlie and my milk supply went down too much) and we did it together in October. There’s no sugar-coating it (or sugar in general :P)–it is NOT easy, but for a serious health reset, it gets the job done! Our best results have been weight loss (it was the perfect way to lose the lingering five pounds of pregnancy weight, and then some), way less bloating, overall improvement in gut health, clearer skin, and increased energy. We aren’t planning to do it this year since it is kind of stressful and we don’t need that on top of Dave’s CPA studies, but since I know many people like to tackle it in January, I wanted to share some of the recipes and foods we relied on.
A little extra context if you’re not familiar with the program: it’s outlined in this book and is essentially an elimination diet that helps you identify how certain food groups specifically affect you. It’s not meant to be a lifestyle program–it’s a reset. For 30 days, you completely cut out sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol, legumes, and soy, and then reintroduce each group one by one over the following 10-13 days. There are absolutely no “cheats” allowed (even vanilla is off-limits because it technically contains alcohol) and you do slip up, even by accident, you’re supposed to start over. Like I said, not easy, but it’s only 30 days!
Here are some of the things we ate and loved:
Breakfast: Sausage Hash Brown Egg Bake (great for lunch too), Sweet Potato Apple Breakfast Bake, Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Bake, scrambled eggs with veggies, fruit bowls (usually apples, bananas, berries, almond butter, cinnamon, unsweetened coconut, and pecans)
Lunch: Leftovers!! Also, Trader Joe’s turkey burgers or chili lime chicken burgers on lettuce wraps with guacamole, salads with compliant dressing
Snacks: Sliced apples with cinnamon, sliced bananas with almond butter, compliant LaraBars (only some flavors are compliant so check the labels), almonds, pistachios, blueberries, leftover roasted vegetables
Dinner: Chicken Enchilada Soup, Crockpot White Chicken Chili, Cajun salmon (using the spice blend from this recipe)/grilled chicken/pork tenderloin with roasted vegetables, pulled pork from Costco over baked sweet potatoes with broccoli, Sausage Potato Spinach Soup (with compliant sausage and chicken broth, and subbing the cream for canned coconut milk)
Drinks: So. Much. La Croix. And good-quality coffee (we LOVE Counter Culture) with compliant almond milk.
Eating out: Possibly the hardest part of Whole30 for us is the fact that eating out is next to impossible, and that’s one of our favorite activities! The salad bar at Whole Foods is the best option since they list all their ingredients so clearly and it’s pretty easy to find compliant things. We also occasionally grabbed Chipotle carnitas (the only compliant meat there) salads with salsa and guacamole.
If you’ve completed the program, or are interested in it, I’d love to hear your tips and thoughts below!
Currently working through it now as a little reset from the holidays! So far we have loved making chilis, and sheet pan dinners. I’ve become obsessed with chicken fajita salads topped with pico and guacamole, yum!
That is a perfect Whole30 staple! Sheet pan dinners are the best, on and off of the program :)
I’ve never felt better than when I am doing a Whole 30! I’m in my last year of law school now and I actually really love doing one during exam season. I found that sticking to the Whole 30 diet gives me more energy and makes it easier to focus!
That is a great point! Maybe I’ll plan to work some compliant meals into our rotation during the weeks of Dave’s exams :)
Love this post! You know we love us anything Whole30-related. ;) My biggest piece of advice is to plan out your meals and always have some quick protein on hand for when you’re hangry. For us that’s eggs and tuna. I will need to check out Trader Joe’s for those turkey burgers. Do y’all have Zoe’s Kitchen in NC? It’s a nicer fast/casual restaurant and I am pretty sure I got a compliant meal there not too long ago.
Y’all are the Whole30 champions, haha! I’ll have to look into Zoe’s Kitchen…it sounds familiar but I’ve never been!
My favorite whole30 recipe was Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes. You make the buffalo chicken in the slow cooker, and we’d top with Tessemae’s creamy ranch. It’s so delicious that it’s now in our non-whole30 dinner rotation! https://therealfoodrds.com/slow-cooker-buffalo-chicken/
That sounds so easy to make–gotta love the crockpot! Unfortunately, buffalo sauce was one of my pregnancy aversions and I never regained a taste for it…Dave, on the other hand, would LOVE this meal! Thanks for sharing!
It is so interesting that you posted this today, particularly the comment about nursing your son. We are on day 11 of our second Whole30…and just this morning I decided to stop following it strictly because I felt my milk was low two nights in a row. (Nursing a 2 month old) I ate a big bowl of oatmeal. =) Did you jump back in to all grains, dairy, etc? Or did you attempt to ease out of it? I know it’s different for everyone, but I’m curious what worked for you! I want to encourage my husband and continue to eat whole foods, but I’m going to have to include carbs, I think. Thanks!
Oatmeal was the first thing I reintroduced too! I had originally planned to only add grains and dairy back into my diet and stay away from everything else that isn’t allowed, but honestly, that only lasted a few days…my willpower wasn’t strong enough when I wasn’t “all in,” haha! I did still have compliant dinners every night since Dave stayed on the program, but other than that, I ended up calling it quits and trying it again post-nursing :) Congratulations on your new baby, by the way, and cheering you on with nursing! xo
Thinking about Whole 30 for sometime closer to the wedding, but it does not sound like fun at all. Or maybe while Ian is on deployment and I need something to focus on. Proud of you and Dave for accomplishing it!
These all sound so delicious! I’m hoping to do whole30 again this year after the baby. Will definitely refer to your list! ;)
Thank you SO much for posting this, especially the breakfast recipes! I’m on Day 16 and feeling fantastic, but was in need of more recipes. :)
So glad it’s going well! Having those breakfast bakes on hand was huge for me. Cheering you on!!