what the heck is a whole 30?
My culinary philosophy is summed in the words of author and food advocate Michael Pollan, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". I'm not into "fad diets". I think, for most people, they act as a short fix. The goal of any diet should be long term health, not counting calories! Brad and I already eat a full fat, real food diet with hardly anything processed in our home so I didn't think doing a whole 30 would be necessary for us. And when you exclude my baking addiction, we already eat paleo-ish, so really how different could it be?
Well...it's definitely different. The program promises to change your life and redesign the way you think about the what and why behind food. According to the website, the Whole 30 is a nutritional program that acts "as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system." You go without sugar, dairy, grains, and legumes for 30 days in order to heal your gut and heal your emotional relationship to food. After the 30 days are over, you slowly reintroduce the "banned" foods into your diet to see how your body responds to them.
Sounds extreme right? I thought so too. But the more I researched, the more I became aware of how much I needed to do this. I realized that this isn't a "fad diet" but something that coincided with my own food philosophy. This was something that could truly enhance my life.
so...Why are you doing this?
At this point, you're probably thinking I'm crazy. How can you go without cheese, wine, muffins, and chocolate chip cookies for a month??? Well, it is only 30 days of my life. In the scheme of things, that's really not that long. I have done harder things than tell myself "no" to my favorite treats.
The real reason why I'm doing whole 30 (this may sound strange to some of you), but I felt like God was calling me to do this as an offering for Him. You see, I am addicted to sugar. Plain and simple. I eat healthy, I exercise, but I also really really love chocolate. When I'm sad, lonely, or stressed I bake homemade yummies....and then I eat the things I bake. All of them. I don't eat just one cookie, I eat half a dozen. I try to fix the thing that was bothering me by eating food (preferably in the form of homemade, warm, and gooey chocolate chip cookies).
Yesterday I had a long, stressful day. And MANNNN I wanted a chocolate chip cookie so bad I could cry. I wanted to give up and not do this whole 30 thing anymore. But then that quiet whisper stirred in my heart and I was reminded of the "why" behind this challenge.
It is a bad habit of mine that I tend to go to Ben & Jerry before going to Jesus. When I need to feel better, I want to eat my feelings in cookie dough or ice cream or donuts. When I want to pull my hair out because my child won't nap, I want to run into the kitchen to sneak eat some chocolate chips so I can make it through the day. The reason why I'm doing this crazy Whole 30 thing is simple: self control. I want to be able to be in control of my food choices and heal my emotional attachment to sugar, so that I can recognize that what I'm seeking isn't chocolate chip cookies -- it's Christ! He wants me to run to HIM for comfort instead of running to my Kitchen Aid mixer. Because, as we know, He is the only one who can fully do that.
Now that you know the why, here's what was on the menu for the week:
Week 1 Menu:
My breakfasts usually consists of eggs with veggies, some type of meat, and fruit. The photo pictured above is what a typical breakfast for me looks like. If I don't do that, then I'll eat a bowl of paleo granola, fresh fruit, and whipped coconut milk (pictured below) with a few hard boiled eggs on the side. Plus coffee of course!
My lunches, are either leftovers from dinner or tuna salad in a big bell pepper.
For dinner, I tried to pick recipes that I was familiar with, that way I didn't have to worry about cooking something brand new. That being said, I get bored with my food easily and can't really eat the same thing week after week. I usually cook one or two recipes I've never tried before just to keep things interesting! The recipes with a * in the name denote a recipe that is a fan favorite in the Fossier house and makes the rounds on our regular weekly menus.
Day 1 - White Chicken Chili
Day 2 - Basil Chicken Meatballs with Caramelized Lemon, Grapes, and Sweet potato (this was my first time trying this recipe and it was SO good)
Day 5 - Taco Salad
Day 6 - Left Overs
WEEK 1 snacks:
As a nursing mama, I need to fuel up constantly in order to meet the demands of my very hungry child. Pier still nurses every couple hours so I'm hungry all day long! I'll be making note each week of what I'm snacking on to help trigger my memory in the future if I ever decide to do one of these things again ;). Check out my favorites for this week:
Organic carrots with wholly guacamole
Chia Banana Crisps
Organic sweet potatoes
NUT BUTTER! -- I kinda overdosed on almond butter in college (not what you'd expect huh?) so I can't really eat it anymore. But I recently bought pecan butter and fell in L_O_V_E. It's got that sweet buttery flavor of a pecan and is perfect served with slices of apple or your granola!
Whole 30 tip of the Week:
PLAN AHEAD! About a month before I started Whole 30, I knew I needed to be well prepared if I was going to be successful. I meticulously planned my meals for the whole month and stocked up on staples such as bone broth, coconut oil, coconut milk, nut butter, whole 30 approved snacks, and cans of tuna fish in preparation. Those things add up when you're grocery shopping, so by purchasing those items in advance I saved the headache of going crazy overboard during my first week.