Happy Monday! I am a bit late on my weekly post due to a great weekend with my parents. I shared a bit on the blog last week how I am jump starting a new holistic wellness journey. I'm seeking healthy lifestyle habits, strength, confidence and inner peace. I thought this week I would continue along the wellness category since I'm currently doing the Whole30 challenge and am just finishing day 17! WOOOO! I know this is a very common elimination diet challenge a lot of people do so I thought since I am finally past the halfway point I would share some things I've learned so far, tips, staples, and favorite meals + snacks.
Whole 30 = NO dairy, added or artificial sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, msg, peanuts, or baked goods.
Whole 30 staples
Here's alllllll the goods. Over the weekend my parents helped me take back a good haul to Spokane. I would say these are my staples for doing Whole30 + transitioning to a lifestyle change.
- Avocado Oil. You are definitely allowed to have olive oil, but I am really liking and just feel better about the avocado oil.
- Ghee. The best stuff!!! I love this coconut flavored one. This is a better alternative to butter (again, not that butter is all bad for you or you can't have it on Whole30, I just personally dig it). This along with regular coconut oil works great for sautéing veggies.
- Primal Kitchen Mayo. *Not pictured* Primal Kitchen is an amazing brand, mostly avocado-based paleo products. I also got a salad dressing from them- it's a game changer! I would buy this at a local Huckleberrys, online at Thrive Market or Amazon. Personally I LOVE Thrive Market.
- Almonds + Almond Butter. Filling and full of protein- the best! I put almond butter and sometimes plain almonds in a nutri bullet smoothie to help it be more filling like a meal (along with packing it full of greens).
- Avocado. Not much to say aside from avocados are just the BEST. They work with any meal and make everything better. I think I have at least half of one a day. I love putting avo on grilled chicken or dipping steak into homemade guacamole.
- Lemons + Limes. I put lemon or lime in almost every meal. Especially with simple salad dressings or for added flavor to meats and dinners.
- La Croix. Because duh.
- Green Tea. I am not a coffee drinker but adore tea. I am making sure to drink even more tea- especially green tea with added lemon!
- RX + Lara bars. Seriously such a lifesaver for snacks and breakfasts! I would avoid the chocolate flavored Lara Bars because they have some extra sugar. I mostly stick to blueberry muffin or apple pie, but truthfully I just like the RX bars better. I love to put my bars in the fridge so it feels like a cold treat.
- Vitamins!!! I have a B12 deficiency and have been neglecting it. Finally realized it is probably a huge reason why my energy levels have been so low. Aside from B12, I have a Super B complex and a women's daily multivitamin. Since programs like Whole30 can really shock your body, it's important to keep it balanced with vitamins.
- Frozen Grapes. *Not pictured* but frozen grapes are the best! My friend Hailey showed me this in like high school, but I haven't jumped on board until now. Its a great little 'treat' after dinner.
- SPIRALIZER. Seriously the biggest game changer for me. I spent $10 at Homegoods on a small hand-held spiralizer and it is AH-mazing. This is something I will continue to do even after Whole30 all the time. I love to make zoodles (zucchini noodles) or use squash.
So how are things going you ask? The first five days were surprisingly easy and no biggie. I wasn't craving anything or feeling deprived. I was drinking A LOT of water which always helps. Then days 7-9 were just annoying. I was craving bad foods and just felt discouraged and not motivated to try and make good meals.
But I kept going! Lots of salads and some rather boring meals. My trainer made this sticker for me haha. I love it! It's from Bob's Burgers, but I thought it fit great with everything I have going on right now. All the little changes I'm making all the time are becoming the new me ;)
So let's see, some things I have learned so far... giving up alcohol is pretty easy. A glass of wine or cold IPA sounds freakin' amazing at times, but that's no biggie. I would say the biggest thing is to give yourself grace. Whole30 is a great kickstart refresh for the body. Get rid of toxins and crap food and let your body heal. It can be really hard, annoying and discouraging. Sometimes seeing other people's super successful results is inspiring and at the same times its discouraging because I think, 'well what if I don't have the same results!?' That's OK to be different. Staying focused on how you feel and finishing the commitment is enough. This is a mental battle more than anything else. Remain mindful in all the choices!
I am loving cooking more and more, but yes, there are definitely some days where I am just NOT in the mood and really wish I could get greasy take out. I have not done that and don't plan to ;) Most of the time though I keep it simple, so here are some of my favorite meals (more lunch and dinner) that have helped keep me going during these 30 days!
Lots of tuna salads or chicken salads mixed with avocado and Primal Kitchen Mayo. I usually just put it on a bed of lettuce or (pictured below) on top of a bell pepper for a fun, crunchy taste.
Planning is super important!!! Another great lesson I've learned so far. Going to a friend's or running errands for a few hours- it's important to always have something with you that is Whole30 approved. That way you can avoid the desperate hunger mode where you are willing to give up all of your hard work and eat anything that comes in your line of sight.
This salmon meal is one of my favorites that my parents showed me! Salmon with an avocado-red onion-mango-lime salsa and whatever sides you want. I boiled corn and sautéed cauliflower and broccoli in my coconut ghee- so so good.
The ZOODLES!!!! Ah, they are just the best! About one zuchinni makes enough zoodles for yourself. I like to sauté them with lemon and oil for a few minutes to warm + soften them. That helps make it feel even more like pasta.
BEST MEAL SO FAR!! ^^^^ This is a must try for everyone no matter if you're on Whole30. This has Zoodles, sautéed mushroom, grape tomatoes, shallot and baby shrimp all tossed in an avocado, lemon, oil and basil sauce (mix that in a food processor so it becomes a creamy sauce). On top is grilled chicken and a side of grilled heirloom tomatoes. Delish!
Keep on keeping on!
I hope this was helpful or inspiring for someone. If you're thinking about doing an elimination diet like this I say DO IT! Whether it's Whole30 or the JJ Virgin diet (21 days) or whatever, you can do it for such a short amount of time! In the grand scheme of things it's not long + your body will be so happy you did. I'll touch on this again when I successfully complete all 30 days! Thanks for reading as always :) Let me know in the comments if you have better recipe ideas or liked the one's I shared!