Whole30: 30 Recipes, Pics, Yays & Nays, & My Top 10 Countdown
Any difficult journey is made easier by people who patiently walk beside you, encouraging and spurring you on. What made my journey painless was having an awesome coach, one who answered any question at any time, settled my expectations and calmed my fears. My Whole30 journey would have taken a dive if it hadn't been for the expert care and advice from Krysten at Krysten's Kitchen. So very thankful for her tips and training, as this gave me the confidence boost I needed to make this a successful journey. One looooooong glance back at our text convo the past month will validate the enormous amount of time and effort it took to help wrap my head around this new way of eating, and it has become a journal, to some degree, of the struggles and successes of my journey. A huge thank you to Krysten for her determination to help me succeed. ❤️ Make sure you visit her website as she has amazing resources, recipes, and tips on how to eat healthy! Click Here: Krysten's Kitchen.
If you don't really know me, then I must clue you in that there is a tiny little rule-follower living inside of me. This never allowed me to cheat, and the Whole30 rule which guided me in this is if you cheat, then the next day becomes Day One. Nope. Was NOT going to do that. My family, however, does not have any sort of little rule-followers living inside of them, and therefore, were not influenced by this in any way, shape or form. Most fell off the wagon by Day 4. 🙄 That's OK. They still ate the dinners and were able to give me the valuable reviews I needed to decide whether or not to keep recipes for the future or toss them out with the trash.
WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?
As with any learning experience, there are things you keep and things you discard. And there are things you learn along the way that aid in your success. Here is a random list (in no particular order) of what I learned, what I liked most, tips for the journey, and what I don't think I'll use or eat again:
1. SHREDDING CHICKEN
is super easy with a hand-held mixer! Krysten told me about this!! Wow. Wish I had all those wasted hours back of shredding cooked chicken with a fork. Why isn't this taught in school??
2. ARROWROOT FLOUR
or powder changes the consistency of any liquid to SNOT. My family has become expert arrowroot
detectors. They called it out each time I tried to use it. Will search for a replacement, ha. This, for us, is definitely a NAY.
3. PROTEIN BARS
My favorite (W30 compliant) bar ever is RXBAR. I will eat these until I die. They're THAT good! Never used to like any sort of protein bars. But I now have found my favorite one in the WHOLE world, thanks to Krysten. COCONUT CHOCOLATE. WHAT??
Dairy is not something I ever thought I could live without. CHEESE made the world go 'round for me. But now? I'm OK without it. But what helped for me was a tip, (again), from Krysten. NUTRITIONAL YEAST! Tastes like cheese! True story!
One of my very favorite breakfasts included toasting slices of sweet potato. Wow-- so delicious, didn't miss bread at all! Here are a few pics with explanation:
• Raspberry Chia Seed jam, from Krysten's Kitchen was so delicious. Will be making this again! Only difficult thing for me was hiding those expensive raspberries from the vultures who live in my house.
• I'm including two pics of eggs over sweet potato toast--both with avocado. It was fun to be creative with this. Enjoyed this breakfast so much--super filling.
• Since W30 does not allow for peanuts or (obviously) peanut butter, I was thrilled to learn about Almond Butter from Thrive Market. Wow! Would put this on my sweet potato toast, or even on a banana. So delicious!!
• The first time we sliced sweet potatoes, we roasted them in the oven and brushed some olive oil on top with some sprinkles of sea salt. Wow! Tasted like chips. Since that time, Krysten taught me that Sprouts sells them already cut and frozen. Time saver, (not money saver), but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
6. AVOCADOS & CREAM!
Yesss! We put avocados on everything. Healthy fat. Yum. Cream? Yes, SOUR CREAM SUBSTITUTE! This is a must if you enjoy sour cream on anything. Check out this quick and easy recipe made from cashews by Krysten's Kitchen! Made all of our Mexican recipes that much better!!
Double yessss! Not sure I could ever live without it.
Matt, a dear friend of our family, grabbed a huge slab of pork belly from Costco when we first started W30, and smoked it using salt, paprika, pepper, garlic and bay leaves. We loved this, though next time he swears he will use less salt. Still so delicious.
Ever since I worked for EF Hutton back in my college
days, I've been hooked on coffee. But for years I would enjoy it either with cream & chemicals, or heavy laden with milk (lattes, yum). This month, since I had to forego dairy (and chemicals), I tried it a number of ways and landed on black. I'm kinda OK with it, though no longer do I go to bed looking forward to waking up because of my coffee. 🥺 I DO, however, MISS MY LATTES. So, my solution will be cashew milk. Krysten has a good recipe for it on her site. Best part? It FROTHS!
Avoiding sugar was not hard for me, since I had already been avoiding it for almost a year now. This was no biggie. But for some in my family (who shall remain anonymous), this was too difficult to achieve. It's a process. Definitely hard in the beginning, but so worth it when you consider the damaging effects sugar has on your body. And with diabetes in the family, this was a must for me.
I will say, though, that before I started Whole30, Krysten introduced the most delicious gummies in the world to me, and I became obsessed. They're made by Smart Sweets, and I DID miss them during Whole30. Check this out--two of their options are plant-based, and all are free from sugar alcohols, artificial flavoring and colors, have just 3 grams of sugar per bag, are non-GMO, and are gluten free. So much yes here, but since they are not W30 compliant, I had to wait on those. You can find them at Thrive Market, Sprouts, WholeFoods, Smart Sweets' website (use code KRYSTENSKITCHEN for free shipping), or on Amazon.
More than halfway through, I broke down and bought a spiralizer. Wow. Love it. And will continue to spiralize everything I can. Not only does it make everything look pretty and quite fancy, but it kinda fooled my kids into thinking they were eating actual noodles instead of veggies! Here's what I bought, and I love it (though I have poked & cut myself with the blades already, ha):
So here begins thirty days of a different recipe each day. Below you will find a picture of each dinner for all 30 days (with exception of one birthday cake picture.) If you click on the pictures, you will be taken to the recipe and review from our family. After the thirty days I have listed my results from eating this way for a month, and our top ten countdown. Enjoy!
Whole30 Day One:
Mom's Meat Sauce Over Zucchini Noodles
Whole30 Day Two:
Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
Whole30 Day Three:
Slow CookerWhite Chicken Chili
Whole30 Day Four:
BBQ Pork with Steamed Broccoli & Red Mashed Potatoes
Whole30 Day Five:
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Whole30 Day Six:
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken
Whole30 Day Seven:
Egg Roll in a Bowl with Creamy Chili Sauce
Whole30 Day Eight:
Lazy Dog Cobb Salad
Whole30 Day Nine:
Vegetable Breakfast Casserole for Dinner
Whole30 Day Ten:
Mock Chipotle Whole30 Salad
Whole30 Day Eleven:
BBQ Tri-Tip Bites with Veggies & Potatoes
Whole30 Day Twelve:
BBQ Chicken, Asparagus, Mushrooms, Homemade Bacon, and Fresh Pineapple
Whole30 Day Thirteen:
BBQ Chicken, Cauliflower Rice, Roasted Veggies, Green Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette, & Broccoli Salad
Whole30 Day Fourteen:
Chicken, Broccoli, Rice, and Mushroom Comfort Food Casserole
Whole30 Day Fifteen:
Slow Cooker Tomato Balsamic Chicken
Whole30 Day Sixteen:
Whole30 Day Seventeen:
BBQ TURKEY BURGERS
Whole30 Day Eighteen:
Garlic Herb Steak Bites with Peppers & Potatoes
Whole30 Day Nineteen:
Grandma Winnie's Birthday Cake!
Whole30 Day Twenty:
(Non)-Traditional Greek Salad
Whole30 Day Twenty-One:
Whole30 Day Twenty-Two:
Creamy Chicken Soup (No Dairy)
Whole30 Day Twenty-Three:
Ground Turkey & Veggies with a side of Potato Onion Soup
Whole30 Day Twenty-Four:
Sweet Potato Taco Shells with Carnitas, Guacamole, Salsa & Cilantro
Whole30 Day Twenty-Five:
Faux Alfredo Sauce with Chicken on Zoodles with Roasted Red Peppers
Whole30 Day Twenty-Six:
Sunday Pot Roast
Whole30 Day Twenty-Seven:
Whole30 Day Twenty-Eight:
Stuffed Chicken Tenderloins with W30 gravy, green beans, red potatoes and chunks of cantaloupe
Whole30 Day Twenty-Nine:
Chicken Zucchini Enchiladas
Whole30 Day Thirty:
Creamy Garlic Sauce with Chicken Sausage, Mushrooms and Broccoli over Zoodles served with Butternut Squash Soup
On Whole30, you're not supposed to weigh yourself until after it's all over. I was so pleased to find I had lost 10.5 lbs, but actually what I value more than this is how I feel. Honestly, I feel more energetic than I have in a long time. And thankfully, my mother-of-six-brain-fog has decreased significantly. Now when I paired this with working out at my gym for an hour four days a week, the benefits increased exponentially. And I feel great!
Next week I will be taking a blood test to see if my cholesterol has improved. Completely expecting this, and will update the article with these results when I get them.
And now for the VOTING RESULTS from my family.
Click on the dinners listed below
for the review, pic, and recipe: