Whole 30 Part 2 – All About the Food
Plan Your Food
You will think about food and think about preparing food more than you did before Whole30. Spend time finding recipes, planning your weekly meal plan, and making shopping lists. This will require some effort and time. However, this is where you will find success. Planning on the front-end has a causal effect to success on the back-end – your ability to follow the program when it comes to meal time. My wife and I like the app Paprika for meal and grocery planning as well as recipe management.
Hooray for bloggers and super-moms who share their Whole30 recipes! You do not have to start from scratch. (start here and here) Do some Googling and you’ll find thousands of recipes that are Whole30 compliant. Try new recipes and find a few staples (I list mine below). I find myself returning to my recipe search almost weekly. I find that I need to “keep it fresh” since you’ll be repeating the same ingredients in many of your meals.
My “Go-To” Recipes
Kale Salad with Sauteed Apples from Brooklyn Supper
BLT Salad from So…Let’s Hang Out
Zesty Chicken Bites from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles from Elephant & Chick
Sausage Egg McMuffin from Nom Nom Paleo
Chipotle Pork with Pineapple Slaw from Primally Inspired
Rustic Stew from So…Let’s Hang Out
Favorite Blogs and Sites
In addition to the sites shared above, these are a few other favorites.
My Staple Recipes and Foods
These are my “must have” and “can’t live without” foods on Whole30. You’ll find a few that you couldn’t survive without, too.
Potato Wedges and Fries – No need to follow a recipe, you can Google and find your own style. Cut your potatoes, coat in oil and seasoning, and bake.
Smoothies – I have a smoothie for breakfast every morning. Ingredients: bananas, orange juice, carrots, kale or spinach, frozen berries or another frozen fruit, coconut oil, and ice. I blend it in my Vitamix and chow down.
Whole30 Breakfast – The new staple in our house. Bake potatoes then shred or cut. Cook on a frying pan with Ghee, salt, pepper, and other spices such as onion powder. Fry a few eggs. Warm some ham or sausage. Serve with lots of salsa.
Zoodles – Eat spaghetti and meatballs, beef and broccoli, and many other dishes by using zoodles. “Z” is for zucchini and “oodles” is for noodles. You can also use sweet potatoes or other vegetables in place of noodles. I use this Spiralizer on the KitchenAid. It is incredible easy to make and almost no mess to clean up.
Ghee – You can make your own Ghee (clarified butter). I buy mine from Trader Joe’s.
Sauces – Take the time and money to get Whole30 approved sauces. I get coconut aminos from Whole Foods to replace the soy sauce. Make or buy some ketchup. I like this Whole30 site for mayo and other sauce ideas. I did not invest in sauces during my first Whole30. I enjoyed the food options during my next Whole30s much more once I invested in sauces.
Tuna – I’m a sucker for a can of tuna with salt and pepper. It’s a quick and easy meal or snack.
Prepare You Food
My first Whole30 taught me that I need to prepare food in advance. I also learned that preparing and eating healthier food takes more time, energy, and planning. I chopped fruits and vegetables once a week and place them in the refrigerator to make them easy and quick to eat. Marinating meat was important because I craved the flavor and spices. Put your snacks, nuts, and other non-meal food in convenient and important places (keep reading).
My biggest challenge on Whole30 is snacking. I’m used to eating something before I go to bed – not because I am hungry, but because it is what I do. It’s in my head; it’s a habit. My workplace has candy and mints and other food around almost daily. I’m surrounded by it. To be successful, I have to deliberately purchase healthy snacks and place them in places where I find myself eating unhealthy snacks. These places are: my house, my desk at work, my car, and my briefcase. If I have a healthy, Whole30 snack in each of these places, I can grab that snack when the temptation to eat a Mini Snickers bar comes my way.
My Favorite Snacks
Lara Bars – I survive on Lara Bars during Whole30. I also eat them when I’m not on Whole30. This site shows which bars are compliant. I get mine at HEB, Walmart, or REI. You can find them anywhere and they are inexpensive compared to other health bars.
Almonds and Cashews – I get the big tubs from Costco.
Dried Fruit – I enjoy a handful of dried apples or pineapple anytime I have a hunger craving. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and most any grocery store will have an assortment of dried fruit.
Coconut Milk Ice Cream – I put half a can of coconut milk in the Vitamix with frozen mango and frozen pineapple. I have to work hard to get it to blend, but it makes smooth and delicious ice cream that is better than anything you can buy at the store. This is my treat when my wife or friends are having Blue Bell.
Fruit – I pre-cut fruit so it is easy to grab and eat. I prefer pineapple and mango over most other fruits. I also have bananas and apples in the house at all times.
One of my biggest struggles that has now translated into a big success is eating at restaurants while doing Whole30. My wife and I like to eat at a restaurant about once a week. I also travel for business about every 4 weeks, sometimes internationally. Below are my ideas for how to eat at restaurants while on Whole30.
Do your research – Do some online research. Browse menus and see what Google has to say about restaurants in your area.
Ask questions – Ask your waiter lots of questions. If you’re nice, you can even ask the chef to come over to answer a few questions. “What kind of oil do you use” or “could you make it without cream” are common questions. I’ve never had a negative experience asking these kind of questions. Most restaurants – even chains – will do their best to help you find something or adapt something on their menu.
Stick to basics – Salads can usually be adjusted to meet Whole30 standards. So can fish and most other meat dishes.
My Favorite Restaurants
Chipotle – Order a burrito bowl with no rice and no bean but lots of lettuce. Order the carnitas (I get double meat) with guacamole and salsa. I’m also obsessed with the Chipotle Tabasco sauce.
Five Guys – Order you burger and ask for a lettuce bun. They will even chop up your burger and toss it with lettuce and veggies in a bowl if you ask.
Steakhouse – Any steakhouse will cook you a delicious steak and replace the potato or fries with a salad and veggies.
Costco – Confession….we eat at Costco frequently for dinner or date night. They have a Chicken Caesar Salad I order and instead of using the Caesar dressing I bring my own olive oil and balsamic dressing.
Thai – Most Thai restaurants have a curry dish that is Whole30 compliant. My favorite Thai restaurant will serve me steamed veggies in place of the rice. There’s also usually meat appetizers that you can try that are flavored with spices and coconut milk.