Is Whole30 Right for Your Family? An Amateur Weighs In.
Sep 01, 2017
This week my co-worker Jordan is going to share his take on Whole30 and how it has worked for his family. After seeing Jordan bring in some awesome lunches, get in great shape, and talk about his experiences with the Whole30 program I asked him to share his thoughts with you. Thank you Jordan for stepping in this week! Here is what he has to say about Whole30:
My wife, Kendra, and I decided to start eating healthy and exercising. I’ve tried to watch what I ate in the past, but as usual, I would only last for a week or so and end up back where I started. This time I was determined and I knew I needed something to jump start my healthy kick. I’ve seen posts about the Whole30 all over social media and decided to learn more about it. If you haven’t heard of it, the idea is to only eat “whole foods” for 30 days. It is supposed to help you understand how foods affect your body. Some of the rules are: don’t eat anything processed, cut out all added sugars and sweeteners, all dairy, all grains, and all legumes. There is actually a book that outlines the plan, but I didn’t read it. I did some googling and found enough free resources of rules, recipes and tips where I felt comfortable enough to dive in.
Our first step was meal prep.
We researched some simple recipes, made a shopping list, and prepared our breakfast and lunches for a week at a time. Breakfast usually consisted of some sort of egg. Two simple breakfast recipes are egg “muffins” and banana bread pancakes.
For the egg “muffins” we basically made omelets in muffin tins. Just coat the tins in olive oil, mix up eggs with your favorite veggies, and bake. They were super simple to grab from the fridge and microwave on our way out the door.
For the banana bread pancakes, I kind of made up my own recipe which turned out really well. I had heard of a recipe for banana pancakes that consist of one egg and one banana, but I was concerned with cooking and flipping them. It seemed like a mess waiting to happen. I ended up making a really thin banana bread (about as thick as a pancake) in an 8” x 8” pan. I used one egg, one banana, a couple of tablespoons of almond flour, and a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda then used an emersion blender to get it really smooth. Then I topped the mixture with chopped pecans and baked for about 25 minutes and the result was perfect! It was way better than I expected, especially because the only sweet aspect of the bread was from the banana. I would cut a square off in the morning and microwave it and top it with coconut butter
Lunches were pretty simple. Fruits, veggies, and a protein. We used guacamole as a dip for veggies. Here is what our meal prep looked like:
For dinners, we would usually start with a protein to center our meal around. One week we centered our meals on grilled chicken breast. We alternated nights where we had the chicken with sugar free pasta sauce (we liked to think of it as chicken parmesan with no parmesan ☺) with a side of broccoli and fruit and the next night we had it with a homemade pineapples salsa, avocado, and fruit. The next week we made meatballs with lean beef. Again, we alternated one night with a cucumber, avocado, and dill tzatziki style sauce and the next night with pasta sauce.
My all-time favorite meal of the month was loaded sweet potato fries. We baked sweet potatoes, piled on pico de gallo, guacamole, pulled chili and lime pork, and crunched up plantain chips for some crunch. It was delicious! I would make it again even if I wasn’t eating healthy.
After the 30 days, I can say that it really wasn’t all that hard! I actually completed the full 30 days and ended up exercising almost every day. All in all, it came down to being creative with what’s allowed. It was a fun challenge to make meals that were compliant and tasty. I think this plan worked well for me because of the strict rules. Since I had clear boundaries of what I could and couldn’t eat it was much easier for me to stick to it!
If you are thinking about trying to eat healthier I would encourage you to give the Whole30 a shot. Do some research, make a plan, and stick to it!
Guest Blogger & Graphic Designer for County Market