So, as I mentioned in this post, I went on the Whole 30 again. As it turned out, I didn’t finish this pass before giving it up as a bad job – I guess I just wasn’t committed enough this time around. I gave myself a couple of nights off, some for good reasons (mother-in-law’s birthday; dinner at the home of new friends who I didn’t want to burden with my food demands) and some for not-so-good reasons (primarily, because I wasn’t feelin’ it). As a result, I am definitely not seeing the same benefits as I’ve seen in the past when I’ve stuck religiously to the program through inconvenience and don’t-wannas. But I’ll give it another try in April and do better next time.
Whenever I tell people about the Whole 30 – “no grains, no dairy, no sugar, no legumes, no soy, no corn, no white potatoes, no preservatives, no alcohol” – I inevitably get the same question: “So what exactly do you eat?” My answer is, always, “Really delicious food.” I’ve found that the key to succeeding with the Whole 30 is focusing on what you can have, and that list is actually pretty long. Meat and seafood is welcome (although I still avoid beef, pork and ham products as I have since I was 17), fruits and nuts (except peanuts) are encouraged, and vegetables are the cornerstone. Still, it can sometimes be hard to envision, so I thought I’d show you a full day of eating on the Whole 30.
A couple of things to note: first, while on the Whole 30, I don’t count calories, nor do I worry about fat, protein or carbs. I stick to the list of approved foods and let the chips fall where they may. It always takes care of itself. And second, please keep in mind that this is a fairly light day of eating. I try my best to eat intuitively, to have something when I’m hungry and to stop eating when I am full. I just wasn’t especially hungry on the day that I had planned to photograph my meals and snacks. (Probably because I’d been too busy to work out for a couple of days prior to documentation day. I’m always more hungry when I’m exercising a lot.) I promise, if I’d felt hungrier, I’d have eaten more! So, with that, here we go:
Breakfast was a baked egg cup with a side of orange. (I gave three of the orange slices you see here to Peanut. She had her own breakfast but – as usual – was more interested in mine. Oranges are delicious, so I can’t blame her.) The egg cups are something I’ve been experimenting with as quick, easy, protein-packed breakfasts to have on hand for when I go back to work. I don’t like to eat sweets in the morning – except for fruit, of course – and I’m not a cereal person (I’m hungry again in an hour), so I sometimes have trouble getting a breakfast together. The egg cups are the perfect solution. They’re filling – each cup is the equivalent of two eggs, plus some veggies (sautéed broccoli and onions in this case). They’re also a delicious way to have my favorite breakfast (eggs) in quick and convenient form. I’ll be sure to share a recipe soon! Unpictured: a cup of Harney & Sons “Tower of London” tea, which is amazing.
I didn’t have a morning snack – too busy chasing a goofy kid around to think about my stomach – so lunch was next and I did put a fairly good spread together. On my plate: turkey sausage (it’s tough but you can find Whole 30 compliant sausages – this one is a turkey kielbasa from Garrett Valley, which I got at the local co-op), sliced kohlrabi, red bell peppers, and leftover Brussels sprouts. I eat a lot of salad on the Whole 30, but sometimes I’m not feeling it and when I’m not, a “snack plate” like this is my go-to option.
I was still hungry after my snack plate, so I tossed together a fruit salad – half a banana, a few strawberries and a handful of raspberries. Fruit is my favorite food and I could eat a fruit salad every single day and not get bored.
Afternoon snack was another quick and easy one: half a small sweet potato topped with almond butter. I make baked sweet potatoes (in the microwave, it’s actually quick and easy) ahead of time and keep them in the fridge to toss into stews or soups, blend into smoothies, or just snack on like this. If you’ve already got the sweet potato cooked, it’s just a quick 3 minute blast in the microwave and you have a warm, filling snack. I know it looks revolting, but I promise it tastes good.
Dinner was late because I had a volunteer commitment in the evening. (I tutor a basic literacy student for two hours each week.) When I got home shortly after 8:00, I was starving and wanted something quick and easy, so salad was the clear answer. I used Romaine lettuce (which I prefer to spring mix; I used to throw out an entire container of spring mix every week and finally it occurred to me, eureka, don’t buy it if you don’t like it – it’s hubby’s favorite salad mix, but I eat far more salad than he does, so now I buy my favorite lettuce instead), cucumber slices (I keep them in the fridge for snacking and tossing on salads), shredded chicken from a roast I made a few days ago, and a simple dressing of herb-infused olive oil and a flaky pink sea salt. Perfectly yummy, filling from all that fiber and chicken, and on the table in a flash! Followed that up with an unpictured cup of herbal tea to unwind before bed, and… it was good. It was very, very good.
Have you ever done a Whole 30? Are you curious or do you think it’s crazy?