I’ve been eating Whole 30 for one week now, and I am feeling good. Actually I feel pretty much the same. The Whole 30 book lists some not-so-fun symptoms of sugar withdrawal – headaches and fatigue mostly – and I’ve been lucky not to have any of that (so far at least). Other than some tiredness from all the cooking, it’s going well.
The key they say is in preparing, and I did that – maybe a little too much. I got a bunch of Paleo cookbooks from the library and planned out breakfast and lunch for each day and then 4-5 dinners per week.
I made a trip to Whole Foods to pick up a few essentials – coconut oil, Paleo mayo (I got Primal Kitchen), and salad dressing without soy, sugar, or cheese.
I’ve deviated a little from my calendar, but it has been really helpful with grocery shopping and curbing my desire to eat bad things to have it all planned out.
All. The. Cooking.
Other than the few staples I got at Whole Foods, I cannot eat any pre-packaged food, so that means I have been doing A LOT of cooking. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I felt like all I did was cook (aside from working of course).
By Saturday morning I was so happy to eat leftovers for breakfast. When I was reading the Whole 30 book, I scoffed at the idea of eating “dinner foods” for breakfast, but let me tell you, those chicken meatballs tasted pretty awesome at breakfast when all I had to do was heat them up.
I knew I needed some foods to get me started on Thursday, so after shopping, I spent a couple of hours cooking.
Spinach & Meat Muffins
I found this recipe in Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan on page 105. I thought these would be a good mix of protein and veggies for when I needed a snack. Whole 30 discourages snacking, but advises that if you do need a snack, it should include at least 2 food groups.
I only had 1.19 lbs of ground beef, so I adjusted the spinach down to only 30 oz. of frozen chopped spinach. If I make these again, I'll only use 20 oz. (30 oz. was just too much).
I guess this isn't really cooking. I chopped and prepped 4 lunch containers with raw veggies to go with the next item - my protein for days 1-4's lunches.
Tuna Fish Salad
I was all set to make tuna salad with my normal "chunk light tuna in water" from Costco, when I checked the ingredients and found out they had soy. Apparently "water" is really vegetable broth that contains soy. Grr. I made a trip to the grocery store and found this Albacore tuna in water that was actually in water.
Then I just mixed these 3 cans with 4 stalks of celery (chopped) and enough Primal Kitchen mayo to hold it together. Then to make it more fun, I added some Old Bay seasoning. That may have been a mistake. I'm not sure if the weird taste was the seasoning, the Albacore tuna (which I'd never tried before), or the mayo.
For breakfast the first morning, I made scrambled eggs (using water instead of milk) in the microwave. Classy, I know. Warmed up a meat muffin and added carrots and sliced apple. It was fairly satisfying.
Then for lunch at work I had tuna and raw veggies made the day before. And I had an additional meat muffin as a snack later in the afternoon. I was still pretty hungry when I got home.
I found this chicken meatball recipe in The Whole 30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig on page 226. I thought these would make a good protein, and since Jim wasn't joining me for dinner that night, I wasn't worried about making something he would enjoy as well. I used turkey instead of ground chicken because that's what I already had in the freezer. Otherwise, I stuck to the recipe.
These were pretty wet and difficult to roll and fry (before baking), but they were delicious. I need to make more soon. Jim did end up eating some leftover, and he loved them too.
I added with a microwave-cooked sweet potato (because I forgot about the sweet potato spears I had planned to cook).
And I made this spinach recipe I found in Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan on page 170. I used slivered almonds instead of pine nuts because that's what I had. I didn't realize until I ate leftover shrimp (see below) on Day 3 that the lemon juice I had in the fridge had sulfites in it, which aren't allowed, so I didn't eat any more leftovers. I'll use fresh lemon juice next time.
I had the same breakfast and lunch as Day 1.
Shrimp & Asparagus Stir Fry
I used this recipe and made it without the soy sauce. I didn't miss it at all. Again, I didn't know about the bottled lemon juice at the time, so next time I'll use fresh lemon juice. Jim and I both LOVED this recipe. In fact, I was sort of heart broken that I had to share the leftovers with him. I need to make this again ASAP. It was so great. The crushed red pepper gave it a nice kick and the ginger (I used ground dry ginger) wasn't over powering. Neither was the lemon.
Sweet Potato Spears
I paired the stir fry with the sweet potato spears I was supposed to make the night before. I found it in Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen by Julie & Charles Mayfield on page 190. They were really good. I loved the cumin flavor. And they were cooked perfectly.
I ate mostly left overs on Saturday, and it was wonderful! I had chicken (turkey) meatballs, strawberries, and avocado for breakfast.
For dinner, I made our pork chop with sweet potatoes and apples crock pot recipe with a few adjustments. I exchanged the chicken bouillon cubes for some salt and pepper. And I skipped the sugar. It wasn't quite as good, but it was still very tasty.
More leftovers on Sunday for breakfast and lunch.
Then Jim cooked steaks, while I microwaved sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. He added butter to his, but I was fine eating them plain.
Again, I had leftovers for breakfast and lunch.
Then for dinner I made this stuffed pepper recipe I found in The Whole 30 on page 222. It was quite a lot of work, but the tomato paste made it reminiscent of Jim's mom's stuffed pepper recipe (at least for me). I enjoyed this recipe although I didn't eat the pepper because I don't actually like them. It left behind a good flavor, and I've had one left over so far. Jim didn't really like these, but he did eat the one on Monday night.
Roasted Red Potatoes
I also made this potato recipe (cut in half). I put these in first because they had to cook longer and at 400 degrees. I turned the temperature down to 370 after 25 minutes, so I could cook the peppers and just let the potatoes go a little longer. They turned out perfect, and Jim said, "The potatoes saved this meal."
Kale with Almonds
The kale was pretty quick, following a recipe I found in The Whole 30 on page 298. The flavors were pretty weird. Neither Jim nor I were thrilled with this recipe, but I did eat it left over.
I made this ground beef recipe (from Well Fed, page 31) on Tuesday morning, so I would have meat to make an egg mash each morning this week. I left out the garlic though, so I wouldn't end up with garlic breathe all day. The onion was enough.
Egg & Meat Mash
This was my own creation. It was supposed to be a sort of omelet, but that didn't really work out. I cooked a handful of baby spinach in coconut oil (or olive oil) and then added about a cup of meat. Then I added two eggs and kind of scrambled it all up, mixing every few minutes until the egg was cooked through.
I paired it with blueberries and half an avocado for breakfast.
I had leftovers for lunch and dinner.
I had another egg/meat mash for breakfast with strawberries and avocado.
Then I met a friend for lunch at Panera Bread and got the Seasonal Green Salad without dressing. I brought my own dressing from Whole Foods. I also had an apple. It wasn't really enough food, so I had a leftover pork chop when I returned to the office.
For dinner, I made my walnut-crusted salmon recipe.
I paired it with a recipe from Well Fed 2, page 204. I used a little ground cumin instead of cumin seeds, and I just squeezed the lemon half over the beans at the end, and it was the perfect amount of lemon juice. Jim and I both really loved this recipe.
Have you ever tried Whole 30? Do you have any recipe recommendations or tips?
On the blog last year...
Book Review: The Girl on the Train
On the blog last year...
Book Review: The Girl on the Train