The Whole Story: Is Clean Eating Right for Your Family?
Sep 08, 2017
Welcome back to my sister Julie! When I ask Julie her thoughts on food she is always a wealth of information.
Last week my co-worker Jordan shared his 30 days of Whole30 experience. This week Julie will weigh in on her understanding of Whole30 and overall clean eating over the last few years.
Here is what my crafty cooking sister has to say:
As a starting point, I highly recommend reading the book the plan is based on "It Starts With Food", if you're someone who needs a strong "why" to commit to a plan, but the website does a good summary.
- Don't skip breakfast. Egg muffins work great, as they can be packed with veggies (no dairy, though!). Sometimes I just do a couple of hard boiled eggs and a handful of cherry tomatoes, or a banana and some almond butter (not peanut butter). Not fancy, but easy and can be prepped ahead of time. Here are a two examples. The first photo is egg muffins and the second is a veggie scramble with Whole30 sausage patties.
- Learn the various names for sweeteners. Sugar is a sneaky devil and in SO many processed foods. Dextrose, polysaccharide, sorbitol...all sugar. Longer list HERE. Artificial "sugar free" sweeteners are also bad because they keep you craving sweet things and actually make you want to eat more.
- Try to set a menu for the week and meal prep on Sunday (or whatever day you have the most extra time). You will be making most things from scratch, so bulk chopping, roasting, and grilling is a must. Have a good set of containers and lots of zipper top bags to prepack breakfasts and lunches. Here is an example of one of my packed lunches, marinara meat sauce on spaghetti squash:
- Make the mayo. If you have a food processor or blender, it's fairly easy. You may not like mayo or see the point with no sandwiches, but then you will realize all the dips, dressings (hello ranch!) and sauces you can make from it to jazz up your meat and veggies and then it will be nonnegotiable--especially since, when made from scratch, it is a source of healthy fat that will help you feel full longer. I added ranch to the baked potato in the below dinner photo:
As far as tips for families go:
- Always have bags of steamable frozen veggies on hand. Not thrilling, but they work just fine and can be dressed up with cheese for the kids.
- Extra grilled chicken and hamburger patties also good for those on or off the plan and can be made in advance.
- Baked potato wedges/homemade oven fries are perfectly okay (just not every night).
- If you have the self-control not to take a bite, make an extra side of rice or mac and cheese for the kiddos.
Here are a few more pictures of some of my favorite meals. The first photo is a burger with egg an bacon and the second photo is pan fried chicken cutlets with stir fry veggies (mushrooms, brussel sprouts and carrots):
Maureen’s younger sister, awesome mom, and all around superior cook and dinner crafter